The word "Miscegenation" was coined in an anonymous pamphlet printed in the United States of America in late 1863, entitled "Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro". As the pamphlet noted, the term was coined from two words of the Latin language, miscere (to mix) and genus (race). The pamphlet argued in favor of "interbreeding" of "White" and African Americans until the races were indistiguishably mixed, and claimed that this was the goal of the United States Republican Party. The pamphlet was soon exposed as actually having been written by a group of Democratic Party opponents of the Republicans in an attempt to discredit the Republicans, the Abraham Lincoln administration, and the abolitionist movement. Nonetheless, this pamphlet and variations on it were reprinted widely in communities on both sides of the American Civil War by opponents of the Republicans.
The word miscegenation entered the language in the Southern USA. For a century, it was common for white southern advocates of the social status-quo to accuse advocates of the elimination of slavery, and later the advocates of civil rights for African Americans, of actually having the goal of miscegenation and the "destruction of the white race". After World War II, many white southerners accused the US civil rights movement of Martin Luther King of being a Communist plot funded by the U.S.S.R in order to destroy the United States through miscegenation.
In most of the southern states, various laws were passed making it illegal for members of different races to marry; these were known as miscegenation laws, like the South African Immorality Act. Typically a felony, miscegenation laws prohibited the solemnization of weddings between races and prohibit the officiating of such ceremonies. Sometimes the individuals attempting to marry would not be held guilty of miscegenation themselves, but felony charges of adultery or fornication would more usually be leveled against them. Most such laws have been repealed in the United States, and where still on the books have not been enforced, having been struck down in 1967 by the United States Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia.