Amalgamation is a now largely archaic term for the intermarriage and interbreeding of different ethnicities or races. In the English-speaking world, the term has been in use into the twentieth century. In the United States, it was partly replaced after 1863 by the term miscegenation. While the term amalgamation could refer to the interbreeding of different white as well as non-white ethnicities, the term miscegenation was used to refer specifically to the interbreeding of whites and non-whites, especially African-Americans.
The term amalgamation was derived from metallurgy (see amalgam), and has been linked to the metaphor of the melting pot, which also originated in the US, and which describes the cultural assimilation and intermarriage of different ethnicities. However, the intermarriage of whites with African-Americans and, to a lesser degree, other non-whites was until quite recently a taboo in the United States. Until 1967, such marriages were banned in many US states through so-called anti-miscegenation laws.
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