This is an American story. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to write about superiority in general because it always was. There have always been strong-weak, winners-losers. The subject of my present article is a supremacy bond to skin color, ethnicity. This is an American invention.
From the legal point of view, there was no white man until 1664. At that time, however, a change took place and white skin color took legal form. This was not ratiocinated by me to state anything against America, but it is a fact that an American researcher, Jacqueline-Battalora, claims on that subject:
Until 1664, there was no ethnic discrimination. Regardless of skin color, all free, land-owning citizens could keep servants, slaves, could vote, and marry anyone from any ethnic affiliation. It is true that this was provided by law, yet it was not customary.
The story began in the American states of Maryland and Virginia, where were significant tobacco plantations in the 1660s. Tobacco plantations were demanding extremely labor work, so plenty of slaves were needed. At that time, the importation of slaves was not primarily from Africa, but from England. The reason was that at this time England was overpopulated, and the king opened the way for his subjects to the crown owned colonies.
The emigrants, in return for their livelihood, undertook slavery, but at that time even the fate of the slave was not as cruel as it was a few decades later, after the mass settlement of African slaves. In the plantations of Maryland and Virginia, the white slaves worked, ate, and slept together with the black and native population who were still scattered here at the time. As the demand for male labor was much higher than for women, the gender ratio followed that, 8 man per 1 woman.
There was a way out of slavery. That was the release. It was a promising future for black, white and colored slaves. Of course, those who created the "templates" of the age also made Christianity a condition for freedom. In response, most blacks were baptized. This made the legislators think, and the Maryland National Assembly enacted the 1664 Act: https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/speccol/sc5300/sc5348/html/chap3.html
"The specific issue that prompted the 1664 law, however, was the problem of baptized blacks who claimed their freedom. The Lower House of the Assembly outlined the problem for the Upper House:
It is desired by the lower house that the upper house would be pleased to drawe up an Act obliging negroes to serve durante vita they thinking itt very necessary for the prevencion of the damage [that] Masters of such Slaves may susteyn by such Slaves pretending to be Christened And soe pleade the lawe of England
- All "Negroes or other slaves," whether already in the Province, or to be importated later, were to serve "Durante Vita."
- All children born of any black or other slave were to be "Slaves as their Fathers."
- To discourage "dives freeborne English women" who, "forgettfull of their free Condicion and to the disgrace of our Nation", married slaves, thus inconveniencing courts and masters with legal debates over the status of the offspring, any free woman so marrying after the act's passage was to serve her husband's master during her husband's lifetime.
- To further discourage such marriages, the children of matches contracted after the act's passage were to be "Slaves as their fathers were." The children of such marriages contracted before the act's passage were to serve their parents' masters until they reached the age of thirty-one."
It was the first law in the world where a "white" became a legal category. In this, the institution of slavery is not redeemable but lifelong. The law also states that the white who violates this (of course, the legislator here meant mainly white women) will enslave him/herself, and his/her property and land will be confiscated. Apparently, the landowners who represented 1% of the population were happy with such confiscations, so they were not barriers of the marriages between white woman and black slaves. It is important to note that this law cannot be derived from British Common Law, it is the achievement of the North American Colonial lawmakers alone.
It is important to note, that this law cannot be derived from British Common Law, it is the work of the North American Colonial lawmakers alone. This was the "Anti-Miscegenation Law", which was valid for 300 years, until 1967, when the state of Virginia finally declared it unconstitutional.
It is also important to note, too, that the law did not prohibit marriages between blacks and Chinese or others. It considered that irrelevant. It limited the possibility of white's marriages to whites only. The law gradually spread from Maryland to other states. As a result, in 1681, the Virginia National Assembly further tightened the 1664 Act and banned all free British women from marrying other men of white descent than British. This limitation includes Irish, Scottish, Polish, etc. men, too.
In this law, even the landowner and the church are also sanctioned, if they assist to carry out mixed marriages. Prohibitions here or there, yet there has been a lot of sexual intercourse between whites, especially white men and women of other ethnicities. The courts turned a blind eye to that, focusing more on white women. The ethnic and sexual purity of white women was legally more articulated.
What happened between 1664 and 1681 that caused this tightening? The answer is the Bacon's rebellion.
In 1676, Nathaniel Bacon launched an uprising in Virginia against Governor William Berkeley. The rebellion lasted for a year. The reasons were:
- British immigration has declined, white labor resources have been depleted
- Labors from other European countries were forced to work longer and harder
- Increasing quantities of labor were imported from Africa
- Tobacco prices have fallen
- Additional lands could not be involved into production because the British throne had distributed them to its elites by this time.
In this situation it was Bacon, who first attacked the native tribes, to drive them out of their lands to involve additional plantations into production. His attempts were viewed from a distance by Governor Berkeley, not supported, so Bacon turned against him. England sent troops and crushed the rebellion. Although the uprising failed, it was a huge warning to the landowners. The following conclusion was reached:
- Colonies are in great danger if labor is united and is able to represent their interests
- Virginia lawmakers have urged the authorities of the British Crown to draft a "divide and conquer" law to eliminate the possibility of further insurgency
- The Bacon's rebellion was the turning point from where the legal emergence of the "whites" began
The legislature endowed the white workforce with additional rights and thus contributed to the establishment of the legal background of the sense of supremacy. Before 1681, there was no such a sense that would have divided society on the basis of skin color.
From then on, free black citizens could not be employed in public offices, blacks and natives could not marry whites, whites had the right to buy guns and ammunition, blacks could not keep weapons. Blacks could not testify against whites in court. These provisions washed away the common past of the American lower classes, when before 1664 they worked, ate and slept together regardless of skin color or ethnicity. Ethnics were given a legal interpretation, which despised the basis of legal discrimination.
This was followed by the legislation in the 18th century. In 1790, the "Immigration and Naturalization" Act came into force: https://immigrationhistory.org/item/1790-nationality-act/
By this time, the sense of white supremacy was completely natural, so the legislators did not even realize the legal superiority that the whites were given in that. If a white woman married a forbidden ethnicity specified in the paragraph of Naturalization, she lost her citizenship.
I will not detail the further additions or provisions. We have to accept that the same process continued until the 1960s and 1970s. Only then were laws based on racial discrimination repealed. Yes, but it's just the legal side. People's souls change much slower. Inside, this supremacy and slave reflex continues to this day.
I am not claiming that there is no similar subordination, superiority, supremacy among Muslims. Yes, there is, it is enough just to look at the Gulf countries. But unlike the advanced white civilizations, Islamic law does not allow that kind of discrimination. This is a huge sin. We Muslims have never passed laws that stabilize our own superiority based on ethnicity. If there had been an example of this, of which I do not know, we would have been confronted with the constitution of our faith, i.e., the Quran.
Inside, we all consider ourselves to be a superior race, forgetting even our recent sins. It is fashionable to imitate "advanced civilizations," although their economic development may not go hand in hand with their conscious, cultural, and other achievements. At the same time, we look down on other cultures on an ethnic basis, which for thousands of years have overstepped the civilizational problems that we "advanced" are struggling with on day by day.
Do people have any idea when slavery have been abolished in the United States? In 1865. Do we have any idea since when Hungarian has been the official language in Hungary? Since 1936. Since 1844, it has been exclusively Hungarian. It's awful how quickly we forget our written past while carrying a vain, haughty self-consciousness inside ourselves instead of knowledge. This statement is true for all ethnicities and skin colors, however only the white race has built / is building legal systems on this haughty, vain self-awareness.