DID YOU KNOW that a”race” system was never the same any where in the world? and didn’t exist before Europeans started taking over other lands?
Here’s the break down of the “racialized” system we still deal with today.
Prior to European colonization of other continents, skin color was not used to differentiate between people in societies. CULTURE, language religion, and family were the various ways people were judged and treated according to.
Each of the European nations used a different RACIALIZED system AND a nation that had MULTIPLE locations under its control often had different racism systems in place depending on the location and what was needed to control the people and resources there
For example, South America was much more densely population prior to 1500 than North America. And the Spanish who came there DID NOT plan to stay for long. They wanted quick wealth.
The English on the other hand, planned to stay in North America and kept themselves isolated from indigenous groups for the most part.
In South America, the racialized system create a caste system that included Indigenous, African, and European people, as well as the INEVITABLE mixed population that would develop between the 3 groups.
The Spanish wanted to CONCENTRATE the wealth and political power in a small number of people to maintain their power structure. The caste system they developed did just that.
In North America, there were so few indigenous that the racialized system was based only on “European or African,” “black or white.” As a result, we see the longstanding “one drop rule” that developed.
Basically WHY THE DIFFERENCE?
#1 Spanish had no intent on developing long term settlements, but the English did.
#2 Spain was faced with a much larger indigenous population than the English did.
#3 Spanish conquistadors needed massive slave labor immediately because their goal was quick wealth from mines and sugar cane which require HARD LABOR and a large workforce.
#4 The English brought over more women than the Spanish did, so there were many “mixed” children born in the Spanish controlled areas, creating a large Mestizo population.
All of this taken together, created a much different race system and EXPERIENCE for those living from 1500 to the present in these areas.
NEXT TIME: Who decided which parts of the “old world” were black and who wasn’t? Why did Africa get split in the European system into 2 sections: Sub-Saharan and North Africa and the Middle East?