America 's Miscegenation Anxiety And The State Of Virginia

1383 Words Dec 7th, 2015 6 Pages
Even through contradictory politics and the use of religion as justification in the formation and adherence to these segregation laws, the resolve of individuals have collectively played a tremendous role in racial equality in all facets of life.
Before the Civil War, the Constitution gave rights, individual rights, only against the government. After the Civil War, the 14th Amendment clearly defined national citizenship and prohibited any single state to deprive any person of “life, liberty or property without due process of law,” to deny any citizen the “privileges and immunities” of citizenship, or to deny any person “the equal protection of the laws.” After the Supreme Court ultimately neutralized this amendment through its decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, the southern states, individually, built legal barriers between blacks and whites in practically every aspect of life.
America’s miscegenation anxiety, very clearly documented in legislature, can also be found in social thought and theory. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson’s Notes On The State of Virginia must be thought of as one of the most important racialized texts in our national corpus, as it demonstrates, somewhat radically, the essential—which is to say unalterable-biological divisions between the races. Presenting itself very much as a history of Virginia—river systems, agricultural details, flora and fauna—this work also details the fundamental differences between the black and white races. While these details are…
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