Today, the mixes among races and ethnicities are diverse, so it is considered preferable to use the term "mixed-race" or simply "mixed" (mezcla).In Portuguese-speaking Latin America (i.e., Brazil), a milder form of caste system existed, although it also provided for legal and social discrimination among individuals belonging to different races, since slavery for blacks existed until the late 19th century.These words, much older than the term miscegenation, are derived from the Late Latin mixticius for "mixed", which is also the root of the Spanish word mestizo.Portuguese also uses miscigenação, derived from the same Latin root as the English word.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.
Before the publication of Miscegenation, the word amalgamation, borrowed from metallurgy, had been in use as a general term for ethnic and racial intermixing.
Only in November 1864 was the pamphlet exposed as a hoax.
The hoax pamphlet was written by David Goodman Croly, managing editor of the New York World, a Democratic Party paper, and George Wakeman, a World reporter.
Intermarriage occurred significantly from the very first settlements, with their descendants achieving high rank in government and society.
To this day, there are controversies if Brazilian class system would be drawn mostly around socio-economic lines, not racial ones (in a manner similar to other former Portuguese colonies).