Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Property Rights in Black and White

Massachusetts atoned for it Colonial oppression of Africans and the whole cycle of importing, marketing, selling and buying people – just two centuries later. It seems long overdue, but Massachusetts overturned its laws against interracial marriage in 1843. As hard as that may seem to believe, that make it the first state in the country to do so.

There's a nice analysis of the history of such laws here. Info there includes:
Interracial romance has been a point of contention in America since the first English settlers established colonies in the seventeenth century. In 1664 Maryland banned interracial marriage due to questions over whether the offspring of a black slave and a white person would be considered a free person or property. In following years, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina instituted antimiscegenation laws which banned interracial marriage.

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