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White Over BlackAmerican Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812$
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Winthrop D. Jordan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834022

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838686_jordan

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Toward a White Man's Country

Toward a White Man's Country

Chapter:
(p.542) XV Toward a White Man's Country
Source:
White Over Black
Author(s):

Winthrop D. Jordan

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807838686_jordan.21

This chapter discusses one of the most interesting and revealing aspects of American attitudes—the nearly universal belief that emancipation of Negroes from slavery would inevitably lead to increased racial intermixture. What is arresting about this opinion is that no one attempted to give reasons why such a development was inevitable and that there were in fact no good reasons. So far, a century and a half later, emancipation has actually lessened the rate of intermixture. The problem becomes, then, one of inquiring why Americans adhered, and in many quarters still adhere, to this belief. Perhaps the real reasons for this expectation lay in the hopes that white men had invested in America. A darkened nation would present incontrovertible evidence that sheer animal sex was governing the American destiny and that the great experiment in the wilderness had failed to maintain the social and personal restraints which were the hallmarks and the very stuff of civilization.

Keywords:   American attitudes, civilization, emancipation, Negroes, slavery, racial intermixture

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