Why Italians were considered non Whites in America?

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,750
Blame this guy:

Christoph Meiners - Wikipedia

According to this article, he's the one who first came up with this concept/idea:

Caucasian race - Wikipedia
No he didn't. He borrowed it from this guy:
Johann Friedrich Blumenbach - Wikipedia

And then they had a godawful row about it all. Blumenbach was a "monogenist" and an abolitionist (he collected literature and art produced by African slaves as a means of supporting his argument for they equality with white people) , who proposed the "Caucasian" (inhabitants of the Caucasus) to be the most esthetically pleasing of the white, European "variety" of mankind, and the whites to be the most beautiful variety. But he specifically rejected the idea that there were any differences in intellect or morality between any group of humans – humanity being a single species. (Blumenbach, a medical doctor and professor of anatomy by training, in other aspects was an extremely important and infleuntial theoretician, inventor of the important concept of "Bildungstrieb" fx.)

Meiners otoh wrote an entire book on the foundational concept that there were the beautiful "Caucasian", white, people who had created everything of any use – and the ugly, useless everyone one else.

Blumenbach was very cross over Meiners not just lifting the concept, but reconfiguring it like that. Blumenbach was also supported in the argument by the mathematician Lichtenberg and the natural historians father and son Forster, who had travelled with Captain Cook in the Pacific. They argued Meiners down to the extent that he shut up about the question of race until sometime in the 1810's when he clearly that the defeat of Napoleon had vindicated his views – that the defeat of the egalitarianism of the French Revolution was confirmation that his opponents back in the 1780's hade been wrong all along.

The funny thing about Meiners concept of history is that while he was inveterately racist, at least he assigned a role to non-Europeans in world history – unfortunately a purely negative one. (Later the Prussian school of history and source criticism founded by Leopold von Ranke solved the "problem" of non-Europeans by just writing them off as not having "real" written history, unlike the Europeans, and so they could be safely ignored. Various 19th c. schools of anthropology would however continue to think about non-Europeans and how they might related to Europe, the neo-Herbartian psyschologists (in philosophy) in Germany not least.)

Exactly why the United States got itself hooked on Blumebach's nomemclature of "Caucasians" is of these weird contingencies in intellectual history. Though we can assume England was involved in the transit – since both Blumenbach and Meiners (professor of hostory) were academics at the University of Göttingen, in Hannover, and so that important German annex of the Hannoverian kings of England. Göttingen was a vector for transiting a lot of important German science to Britian.
 
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Jan 2014
1,094
Rus
Yep--as were those who were born in the Middle East as well as in Latin America.
I think this was because of Jews case.

USA patronized Jews at least since end of XIX century.

But if they would listed as "non-white", it would mean that they imperfect in then circumstances.

Thats why all Middle Eastern people were included in whites then.

But i am not sure that they were considered such by public opinion.
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,744
USA
Were the actual caucasians: Georgians and Armenians considered to be white?

:)
Are they White Anglo Saxon Protestants or of Germanic Protestant descent?

Then no, not until fairly recently in America were they considered actually White.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,744
USA
I've never met anyone who thought Italians were not white. Ridiculous notion.
Got a lot of Italians in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Napoli? Siciliano?

Here is the easiest way to know if you have a legit Italian population in your area, enough to understand the culture. Its not whether or not you have a pizza shop. Is there a Cosa Nostra family there? If not, then no, you don't have enough Italians. Not racist (my grandfather was an "Associate") but it is a fact that across the US in every major region with an Italian population there were enough people to have an Italian criminal organization that would either join or be folded into Cosa Nosta, or later have a family created.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,750
Yes, well, that's the thing about Italy. According to many north Italians, Africa begins somewhere just south of Rome.

There are Italian political parties dedicated to breaking up Italy, so as to "free" the north Italians from the south "dragging them down".

And the Italian mass-immigration to the USA was virtually all from southern Italy, in decades around 1900; Sicilians, Neapolitans etc.

Prior to that south Italian mass-emigration to the New World (not just the US, but massively also the the La Plata region in South America; Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina), about 50 years earlier there had been a similar wave of north Italian mass-emigration. Part of that went to France, with another large group going to the eastern Mediterranean, to the Ottoman Empire and Khedival Egypt.
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,448
appalacian Mtns
Got a lot of Italians in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Napoli? Siciliano?
.
As someone who actually stayed in the US Army long enough too have a career & retire, I have lived all over the USA & indeed the world. Even Italy.
 
Jul 2019
4
Universe
North Italians, particularly from Lombardi and Tyrol are descended from Ancient Germanic Tribes such as Lombards, Goths, Suebi, Franks, Swabian, Vandals etc who settled in that region and made it their own home, this is the main reason that people from North Italy tend to have high percentage of fair hair and eyes compared to other part of Italy. due to high Germanic contribution to this region people with Germanic qualities must be in ample amount there, maybe someone from po valley can confirm ?
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,744
USA
As someone who actually stayed in the US Army long enough too have a career & retire, I have lived all over the USA & indeed the world. Even Italy.
You were in Reserve or Natl Guard, which means units from where you live. Try again.

And no, I don't believe you ever lived outside the US if you commonly toss out racial epithets the way you do.