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What Is "Your" Race?The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans$
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Kenneth Prewitt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157030

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157030.001.0001

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How Many White Races Are There?

How Many White Races Are There?

(p.61) Chapter 5 How Many White Races Are There?
What Is "Your" Race?

Kenneth Prewitt

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at how America continually readjusted its color line when the economy's need for workers resulted in immigration-driven population growth but the polity required a monopoly of power in the hands of the “right” whites—that is, European Protestants. In the half century starting with the Civil War, the social sciences entered the scene, which gradually displaced the biologically based race science popular earlier in the nineteenth century. The social sciences embraced the statistical races as a key to informing policy makers across a broad range of issues including stopping the flow of the “wrong” European immigrants—Catholic and Jewish—without interfering with immigration from the ancestral Protestant Europe.

Keywords:   color line, immigration, population growth, European Protestants, social sciences, statistical races, Catholic, Jewish

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