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Grand Valley State University

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Full-Text Articles in Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies

Supporting Caste: The Origins Of Racism In Colonial Virginia, Patrick D. Anderson Dec 2012

Supporting Caste: The Origins Of Racism In Colonial Virginia, Patrick D. Anderson

Grand Valley Journal of History

In 17th century Virginia, lower class whites and blacks coordinated on multiple occasions to resist the power of the ruling class elites. By the late 19th century, white laborers viewed the newly freed slaves through racist precepts and the two groups clashed on a regular basis. The aim of this essay is to explain how the shift from racial solidarity to racial antagonism occurred. Racist ideology originated in the minds of the elites and they attempted to separate the restless lower class along racial lines, first, by legal reforms, second, by creating a separate class of enslaved blacks. Anti-black racism ...