Describe the evolution of racial notions derived from Iberian rule in America.

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The notion of race that derived from Iberian rule in America evolved from an ideology to the kind of scientific racism that became prominent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

When the Spanish first began to conquer the Americas in the fifteenth century, the Castilian word raza—"race"—referred to a group of human beings, plants, or animals that had shared traits or a shared genealogy.

However, from the very outset of the Spanish colonial project, it became clear that what we would now call racist beliefs in relation to the indigenous population were firmly entrenched. Spanish colonialists regarded the people of the Americas as racially and culturally inferior, uncultivated pagans whose religious practices they found deeply offensive.

The harsh, exploitative treatment to which the Spanish notoriously subjected indigenous Americans was largely motivated and sustained by such preconceived racist attitudes, which, over time, hardened into a fixed ideology.

Spanish racism was by no means new. Racist attitudes towards the Muslim Moors, who had once conquered large swathes of the Iberian peninsula, had long been in existence. To some extent, Spanish colonialists took such attitudes with them to the Americas.

It was only from the eighteenth century onwards, however, that the notion of race evolved into scientific racism, a set of racist beliefs masquerading as science. What had once been ideology was given a legitimacy it did not deserve by being cloaked in the value-free language of scientific experiment and observation. As a result, the unthinking prejudice of bygone eras was considerably reinforced and strengthened, not just in Spain, but right across the Western world.

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Describe the evolution of the notions of race that were derived from Iberian rule in America and the development of constitutional rule in Britain and the Netherlands, and explain how things were different in each.

Let's begin by talking about ideas of race in Spanish- and Portuguese-ruled areas of the Americas. The conquistadors, of course, were white, but intermarriage with the native population quickly began, and therefore, a mixed race people grew up almost at once.

As the years went by, the people were organized into a caste system of sorts based on the how much Native American blood a person had. The more Native American blood, the lower the position in the system. Those who wanted to belong to the ruling class had to have a certain "purity of blood." The colonists also imported African slaves into their colonies, and this added another level of racial difficulty. The Africans were on the lowest rung of the social ladder, and they had few if any ways to move up. Brazil didn't even abolish slavery until the late date of 1888.

Now let's think about constitutional rule in Britain and the Netherlands. Both of these countries limited the absolute rule of their monarchs. Constitutions in these countries allowed for the rights of citizens and their representation in parliaments. In England, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 put William and Mary on the throne, and the next year, Parliament legislated that absolute monarchy would never occur again in England. It also enacted a Bill of Rights. In the Netherlands, the Constitution was first written in 1814 and has been since revised, ensuring the rights and freedoms of the people. The king and the ministers of Parliament govern the Netherlands together, with the king's power accordingly limited.

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