1900 interracial dating laws

As the analysis shows, bans on miscegenation clearly sought to limit white men's capacity to threaten whiteness by producing with their black partners children who could potentially pass for white.Alabama, like most southern states, suffered great economic and social devastation during the Civil War and experienced turbulent politics in the immediate postbellum period.Racial inferiority and the connection between interracial sexual relationships and white supremacy had not existed in a single unchanging form over the years, but slavery had set the boundaries for these relationships.White patriarchy had defined the authority and responsibility of white men, the subordination and rights to protection for white women, and the gendered forms of subordination to which slaves and free blacks were subject.In the years immediately after the Civil War, the South faced a racial crisis.The rigid lines between the races that slavery had maintained by marking blacks as undeniably subordinate and inferior were called into question, first through emancipation and then through Reconstruction.The North's victory in the war and the emancipation of the slaves disrupted the repressive modus vivendi by eliminating slavery as a legal status that maintained most blacks' structural subordination.The white South had to develop new means of linking whiteness to superior status, rights, and authority in both the legal and social realms.

Under slavery, while such transgressions violated the established systems of racial subordination and patriarchy, they did not ultimately threaten the systems themselves.The one constant, however, was a legal commitment to barring interracial relationships that approximated the loving bonds of marriage.The years to come would see intensive efforts on the part of legal actors connected to the state to maintain laws against miscegenation and to punish those who violated them.While adultery and fornication were addressed in separate sections of the Alabama code, the Alabama courts ruled repeatedly that prosecutions for miscegenation not involving an accusation of an attempt to marry required proof of all of the elements of adultery or fornication in addition to the allegation that the parties were of different races.In the appellate records, the form of the charges was often felonious adultery or felonious fornication rather than miscegenation; the identification of the charged crime as a felony signaled that the parties were of different races.