Why were Anglo America’s race relations much more binary, strict & conservative than that of Latin America?

Oct 2017
356
America ??
Can’t decide whether this thread would be better suited to the North or South American, please share what you think about this.

Dividing the Western Hemisphere into Anglo & Latin America reflects the fact that the hemisphere’s colonizers were predominantly the British, Spanish & Portuguese, but doesn’t really take into account the Dutch & French, & these all seem to be the only European countries to have had lasting effect on their colonies, so which category do you consider them to be under?

North America & other British colonies’ race systems, formal as well as informal, appear to have been much more binary, strict & conservative than elsewhere in the Americas, the other European colonies & later independent countries. British culture & society seems to have been much more conservative overall than that of other Europeans. Several parts of the Americas ended up having more free colored people than whites, remarkable for the race-based slave societies that they were founded as, which I can only imagine must have been a nightmarish concept for North American slavers.
Why was it that only the United States had post-slavery racial segregation as well as the most intense racial issues of the New World Countries?
Why was Latin America demographic melting pots long before Anglo America was, which only seems to have been since post civil rights, if not later.

But on the other hand there appears to have been the inverse relationship with overall quality of life, that Anglo America had more binary & conservative race relations than Latin America who was more flexible & liberal with theirs, but on the other hand Latin America appears to have been more cruel & brutal with their treatment of races, as well as everyone frankly, while North America had a more healthy climate for work & living, while Latin America appears to have been far less healthy to have lived in.
This seems to be a particularly inverse dilemma for those enthusiastic about slavery, the topic of where slaves had it better.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,605
Dispargum
Throughout the Middle Ages the Spanish had shared Spain with the Moors. By 1492, they had extensive experience with cross-cultural and inter-racial marriage. The British did not have this experience.

Spanish and French colonists were overwhelmingly male. The idea was to come to the New World, make (or steal) a fortune in just a few years, then go back to Spain or France, marry a daughter of some nobleman, and live happily ever after. English colonists started out the same way, but where the Spanish found gold and silver and the French found furs, the English colonies had no readily exploitable wealth. The English colonists took to building up plantations which were life-long investments, so they brought their wives with them. Also the New England colonies were settled not for economic reasons but for religious freedom, but the result was the same - colonists came over as families, not bachelors. Many of those French and Spanish bachelors did not get rich quick and ended up changing their plans and staying in the New World. Because of the shortage of women, they married native girls. The English colonists never had to look outside of their own ethnic/racial group for spouses.

Edit: I should probably include the Portuguese as having the same experience as the Spanish when it came to intermarriage with the Moors.
 
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May 2019
218
Earth
In addition to what Chlodio has said, I would add that since trade and fur-trapping, rather than permanent settlement, was more of a priority for the French in the interior regions of North America, the French resorted to interracial marriage with indigenous peoples in that region as a way of forming alliances and maintaining good relations with the guys who knew where all the furs were...
 
Jan 2013
1,066
Toronto, Canada
1. Spanish and Portuguese settlers were wildly outnumbered by non-whites. The ratios in North America were significantly lower.
2. As Chlodio said, most of the early Spanish and Portuguese arrivals were single adventurers. Local sex, consensual or not, was part of the appeal - 'there is no sin south of the Equator'. Many of the early Anglo settlers came as families and European women were traditionally the most fervent advocates of racial separation.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,024
Portugal
Spanish and French colonists were overwhelmingly male. The idea was to come to the New World, make (or steal) a fortune in just a few years, then go back to Spain or France, marry a daughter of some nobleman, and live happily ever after. English colonists started out the same way, but where the Spanish found gold and silver and the French found furs, the English colonies had no readily exploitable wealth. The English colonists took to building up plantations which were life-long investments, so they brought their wives with them. Also the New England colonies were settled not for economic reasons but for religious freedom, but the result was the same - colonists came over as families, not bachelors. Many of those French and Spanish bachelors did not get rich quick and ended up changing their plans and staying in the New World. Because of the shortage of women, they married native girls. The English colonists never had to look outside of their own ethnic/racial group for spouses.
I see this ratio male/female thing repeated here often. In a recent thread I posted the Spanish ratio: How come Spain's colonies didn't do so well but Britain's colonies did well?

I will quote here the relevant part:

“Again about the European migration to America, and following Francismo Bethencourt here, there were 300.000 people that migrated to the Spanish America until the end of the 16th century, 400.000 in the 17th, 500.000 in the 18th, mostly from the Crown of Castile. Only in the 18th century the flux from Catalonia raised. The ration between man and women in the first decades (15 and beginning of the 16th centuries) was quite unequal (18-15 to 1), but in the second half of the 16th century reached more equilibrated ratios (4 to 1).

The British migration to America begun a century later. In the 17th century there were mostly English but also with Scots and Irish, while in the following century that relation changed with the arrival from other origins. This migration was about 355.000 individuals (versus 400.000 Spanish for the same time period). And in the 18th century 686.000 individuals (but not only from the British isles, the Germans begun to have an impact; versus the mentioned 500.000 for the Spanish America, mostly from Castile and at this time it also begun from Catalonia). The ration men/women was also unbalanced 3 to 1 in the second half of the 17th century, and 9 to 1 in the first half of the 18th.”

And, the numbers support that idea about the bachelors, Clodio! It was also a mental/social thing, not mostly a question of the ratio.

From the same post:

"And using Francisco's Bethencourt above mentioned book, we have pictures of this, for instance Walter Raleigh in his voyage to Guyana brag under oath that his man didn’t touch in any native female, even if he commented their beauty. Furthermore the local legislation in the English colonies was not favourable to the integration of the Indians (or Africans). The sexual interaction between ethnicities it would depend of the availability of white women and of the social control: the white assembly of colonist in Virginia forbid that the owners liberate their slaves and opposed to miscegenation (cf: Greene, Pursuits of Happiness, p. 84; John H. Elliot, Empires of the Atlantic World, 1492-1830, New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 168). "
 
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mark87

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,093
Santiago de Chile
The Spanish empire's race relations has been greatly mythologized in my opinion. The Spanish empire had a strict legal race framework (Pureza de Sangre) where Spanish born whites were at the highest of the social ladder and everyone else was behind them with natives and those of African heritage at the bottom. Now the issue is that this strict race paradigm was not both for practical and other reasons enforced completely. As an example it was possible in late 18th century Spanish colonial society to buy one's way to the top if one had enough money and had an ''unfortunate'' racial origin, but the legality still stood and until the end of the colonial era the highest offices of the administration were all to be held by peninsular born Spaniards.
There were a lot more natives in the areas the Spanish controlled, a lot more. The Andean highlands and Mesomerican area held perhaps dozens of millions at the time of contact/conquest. The amount of immigration to North America in general was much more in the post independence era than that of the rest of the hemisphere (exceptions exist like Argentina and Uruguay). Not to mention most of the immigration to South America at least was predominantly from southern European countries such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, not from more 'instantly' different northern/western Europeans.
All of this forgets the more recent historical legacy that race relations in Latin America are much less ''melting pot'' where everyone gets along and in several countries the color of you're skin to this day can be an enormous pointer to what class within the society you hail from. I would say Latin Americans are more casual than North America in terms of race relations but that doesn't mean that the situation is all that much better. In the areas where the social and racial situation is more akin to North America there is still a more pervasive underground current of racism and prejudice, it's just less institutionalized and goes deeper, you have to understand more of those societies to see it. Latin America does not have one history or reality, there is a variance between countries so it's a bit inexact to lump it all together even if the shared history can be similar.
 
May 2019
218
Earth
In the areas where the social and racial situation is more akin to North America there is still a more pervasive underground current of racism and prejudice
The term "indio" used by Mexicans to refer to someone simple-minded or stupid is one example. That slang was still being thrown around in California in the last generation before mine...
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,605
Dispargum
The British migration to America begun a century later. In the 17th century ... migration was about 355.000 individuals .... And in the 18th century 686.000 individuals ...The ration men/women was also unbalanced 3 to 1 in the second half of the 17th century, and 9 to 1 in the first half of the 18th.”
I had no idea the English immigrant ratio in the 18th century was so out of balance. But after a century or so, most of the women in any colony were probably born there rather than immigrants. New Englanders in particular had large families, sometimes eight or ten children and most of them survived to adulthood. By 1700, three generations had been born and raised in the English colonies. Because the Spanish colonies were older, even more Spanish generations had been born in the New World.

Your figures for immigration to the English colonies must include the Caribbean, Bermuda, etc, possibly even including Australia, South Africa, and India because your numbers are not matching up with mine for just the 13 colonies. I have total population for 12 colonies (Georgia hadn't been founded yet) in 1700 - 250,000 - which is less than your total number of immigrants in the 17th century. I have total population for 13 colonies in 1770 - 2.1 million which is less than double your immigration figure. I'm pretty sure there was a lot more natural increase than that.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,024
Portugal
I had no idea the English immigrant ratio in the 18th century was so out of balance. But after a century or so, most of the women in any colony were probably born there rather than immigrants. New Englanders in particular had large families, sometimes eight or ten children and most of them survived to adulthood. By 1700, three generations had been born and raised in the English colonies. Because the Spanish colonies were older, even more Spanish generations had been born in the New World.

Your figures for immigration to the English colonies must include the Caribbean, Bermuda, etc, possibly even including Australia, South Africa, and India because your numbers are not matching up with mine for just the 13 colonies. I have total population for 12 colonies (Georgia hadn't been founded yet) in 1700 - 250,000 - which is less than your total number of immigrants in the 17th century. I have total population for 13 colonies in 1770 - 2.1 million which is less than double your immigration figure. I'm pretty sure there was a lot more natural increase than that.
America there means the continent. So, no Australia, South Africa... the numbers are from Bethencourt 's mentioned book "Racisms": Racisms