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In Canada, however, the M├ętis, who also have partly Amerindian and partly white, often French-Canadian, ancestry, have identified as an ethnic group and are a constitutionally recognized aboriginal people.The differences between related terms and words which encompass aspects of racial admixture show the impact of different historical and cultural factors leading to changing social interpretations of race and ethnicity.The word was coined in an anonymous propaganda pamphlet published in New York City in December 1863, during the American Civil War.The pamphlet was entitled Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro.In the United States, miscegenation has referred primarily to the intermarriage between whites and non-whites, especially blacks.Before the publication of Miscegenation, the word amalgamation, borrowed from metallurgy, had been in use as a general term for ethnic and racial intermixing.As the different connotations and etymologies of miscegenation and mestizaje suggest, definitions of race, "race mixing" and multiraciality have diverged globally as well as historically, depending on changing social circumstances and cultural perceptions.

The term miscegenation was coined to refer specifically to the intermarriage of blacks and whites, with the intent of galvanising opposition to the war. states, as well as laws in South Africa, also banned sexual relations between such individuals.

Because of the term's historical use in contexts that typically implied disapproval, more unambiguously neutral terms such as interracial, interethnic, or cross-cultural are more common in contemporary usage.

The term miscegenation has been used since the 19th century to refer to interracial marriage and interracial sexual relations, In the present day, the word miscegenation is avoided by many scholars, because the term suggests a concrete biological phenomenon, rather than a categorization imposed on certain relationships.

By then, the word miscegenation had entered the common language of the day as a popular buzzword in political and social discourse.

The issue of miscegenation, raised by the opponents of Abraham Lincoln, featured prominently in the election campaign of 1864.

Today, the mixes among races and ethnicities are diverse, so it is considered preferable to use the term "mixed-race" or simply "mixed" (mezcla).

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