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Culling the Masses

Culling the Masses

David scott Fitzgerald
David Cook-Martín
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Harvard University Press
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  • Book Info
    Culling the Masses
    Book Description:

    Culling the Masses questions the view that democracy and racism cannot coexist. Based on records from 22 countries 1790-2010, it offers a history of the rise and fall of racial selection in the Western Hemisphere, showing that democracies were first to select immigrants by race, and undemocratic states first to outlaw discrimination.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-36966-5
    Subjects: Sociology, Law, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[x])
  3. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-46)

    Juan Bautista Alberdi, the leading Argentine intellectual of the nineteenth century, famously observed that “in the Americas, to govern is to populate.”¹ Open immigration policies in the nineteenth century allowed nearly anyone to walk off the docks in Buenos Aires, Havana, New York, or Halifax. By the 1930s, intellectuals from Argentina to Cuba had attached a qualifier to his dictum: “to govern is to populatewell.”² The governments of every independent country in the Americas created the legal and bureaucratic machinery to cull only “ethnically desirable” human stock from the millions yearning to breathe free.

    The United States led the...

  4. CHAPTER TWO The Organizational Landscape From Eugenics to Anti-Racism
    (pp. 47-81)

    Norms concerning the selection of immigrants shifted from acceptance of racial selection among Pan American Union member countries in 1928 to an explicitly anti-racist consensus in the same organization just ten years later. Governments and non-state actors from geopolitically weaker countries like Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Panama played a leadership role in delegitimizing racism and eventually pressuring stronger countries like the United States and Canada to change their immigration policies. These developments run counter to the received wisdom that the international turn away from racial discrimination in public policies was led by liberal democratic exemplars of the hemisphere in...

  5. CHAPTER THREE The United States Paragon of Liberal Democracy and Racism
    (pp. 82-140)

    The United States is the world’s oldest continuous democracy and has often been described as a global beacon—“the only example of a true liberal democracy that the rest of the world would emulate.”¹ The United States was also the first independent country in the Americas to introduce racial selection in policies of naturalization (1790) and immigration (1803) and late to end racial discrimination in policies of naturalization (1952) and immigration (1965). What explains the paradox of a liberal democracy culling newcomers by race while proclaiming that all men are created equal? It is one facet of a deep contradiction...

  6. CHAPTER FOUR Canada Between Neighbor and Empire
    (pp. 141-185)

    Canada is a quintessential nation of immigrants. For much of its history, one in five Canadians was born abroad.¹ With the world’s second-largest land mass and a population of less than 18 million in 1960, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker proclaimed that Canada must “populate or perish.”² Despite a history of urgently seeking more immigrants, Canada was even more ethnically selective than the United States from 1910 through the 1960s. The sources of ethnic selection lie in both the vertical and horizontal dimensions of policymaking, but the causal forces from outside Canada’s borders—in the United States, the British Empire, the...

  7. CHAPTER FIVE Cuba Whitening an Island
    (pp. 186-216)

    Cuba was among Spain’s first and last colonies in the New World. Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain on his first voyage in 1492. Cuba and Puerto Rico remained Spain’s last colonies in the Americas until the U.S. military seized the islands in 1898. Cuba’s unusually long colonial history with Spain and quasi-colonial history with the United States shaped its immigration policies in ways that make it stand out in the Americas.

    Centuries of colonialism nearly eliminated its indigenous population through disease and attacks by colonists. Most republics in Latin America began to abolish slavery around the time they...

  8. CHAPTER SIX Mexico Selecting Those Who Never Came
    (pp. 217-258)

    Despite a century of efforts to populate its vast landmass with immigrants, the Mexican government never achieved the success of countries such as the United States, Argentina, and Canada. During the heyday of transatlantic migration in the late nineteenth century, only 0.6 percent of European immigrants settled in Mexico.¹ The foreign-born share of the Mexican population rose from 0.4 percent in 1900 to a height of only 1 percent in 1930, before falling to 0.7 percent in 2010. Mexico competed for immigrants with other destinations that provided greater political stability and economic opportunity. From independence in 1821 to the onset...

  9. CHAPTER SEVEN Brazil Selling the Myth of Racial Democracy
    (pp. 259-298)

    Ethnic selectivity in Brazil emerged from the collision between elite disputes over the economic and racial benefits of different immigrant groups and a state-led effort to portray Brazil at home and abroad as a “racial democracy.” When Brazil became a republic in 1889, just a year after the full abolition of slavery, it had the largest African-origin population in the Americas. Elites agreed that they did not want more blacks, but they argued over whether Asian workers might fill labor needs until the desired agents of whiteness and modernity—European immigrants—could be attracted in sufficient numbers. The “Chinese question,”...

  10. CHAPTER EIGHT Argentina Crucible of European Nations?
    (pp. 299-332)

    Argentina wanted European immigration just as badly as other countries in the Americas. It was among the first to formally express a European preference after Gran Colombia led the way in 1823, and Argentina was the only country in the hemisphere to still have one on the books in the twenty-first century. Since 1853, Article 25 of the Argentine Constitution has mandated, “The Federal Government shall foster European immigration and shall not restrict, limit or tax in any way the entry of foreigners who come to the Argentine territory with the purpose of working the land, improving industry, and introducing...

  11. CHAPTER NINE Conclusion
    (pp. 333-348)

    Conventional wisdom in the tradition of Alexis de Tocqueville’sDemocracy in Americamaintains that racism and liberal democracy are fundamentally incompatible. Any historical instances of racism are aberrations that must have originated elsewhere.¹ Drawing on this tradition, prominent scholars such as John Higham, Christian Joppke, and Gary Freeman conclude that liberal democracy is inherently at odds with the selection of immigrants by race or national origin. They share the assumption that leading liberal democracies—the Anglophone settler societies—led the move away from racially discriminatory policies.² According to this perspective, racism is a foreign object that eventually works its way...

  12. Appendix: Ethnic Selection in Sixteen Countries
    (pp. 351-380)
  13. Abbreviations
    (pp. 381-382)
  14. Notes
    (pp. 383-438)
  15. References
    (pp. 439-482)
  16. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 483-484)
  17. Index
    (pp. 485-501)