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Because of the term's historical use in contexts that typically implied disapproval, more unambiguously neutral terms such as interracial, interethnic, or cross-cultural are more common in contemporary usage.The term miscegenation has been used since the 19th century to refer to interracial marriage and interracial sexual relations, In the present day, the word miscegenation is avoided by many scholars, because the term suggests a concrete biological phenomenon, rather than a categorization imposed on certain relationships.It purported to advocate the intermarriage of whites and blacks until they were indistinguishably mixed, as a desirable goal, and further asserted that this was the goal of the Republican Party.The pamphlet was a hoax, concocted by Democrats, to discredit the Republicans by imputing to them what were then radical views that offended against the attitudes of the vast majority of whites, including those who opposed slavery.There was already much opposition to the war effort.The pamphlet and variations on it were reprinted widely in both the north and south by Democrats and Confederates.By then, the word miscegenation had entered the common language of the day as a popular buzzword in political and social discourse.The issue of miscegenation, raised by the opponents of Abraham Lincoln, featured prominently in the election campaign of 1864.
Borrowing Boulainvilliers' discourse on the "Nordic race" as being the French aristocracy that invaded the plebeian "Gauls", he showed his contempt for the lowest social class, the Third Estate, calling it "this new people born of slaves ... Miscegenation comes from the Latin miscere, "to mix" and genus, "kind". The reference to genus was made to emphasize the supposedly distinct biological differences between whites and non-whites, though all humans belong to the same genus, Homo, and the same species, Homo sapiens.
In 1967, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v.
Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional. With this ruling, these laws were no longer in effect in the remaining 16 states that still had them.
Intermarriage occurred significantly from the very first settlements, with their descendants achieving high rank in government and society.
To this day, there are controversies if Brazilian class system would be drawn mostly around socio-economic lines, not racial ones (in a manner similar to other former Portuguese colonies).
A contemporary usage of this metaphor was that of Ralph Waldo Emerson's private vision in 1845 of America as an ethnic and racial smelting-pot, a variation on the concept of the melting pot. S on the desirability of such intermixing, including that between white Protestants and Irish Catholic immigrants, were divided.