Regions and nations
The Mongols divided different races into a four-class system during the Yuan dynasty.
The Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan had introduced a hierarchy of reliability by dividing the population of the Yuan Dynasty into the following classes:
- Mongols introduced it to China which at time ruled by the Mongol Empire
- Semuren, immigrants from the west and some clans of Central Asia (Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists)
- North Chinese, Kitans, Jurchens and Koreans
- Southerners, or all subjects of the former Song Dynasty
Several laws enforcing racial segregation of foreigners were passed during the Tang dynasty. In 779 AD, the Tang dynasty issued an edict which forced Uighurs to wear their ethnic dress, and restricted them from marrying Chinese.
In 836 AD, Lu Chun was appointed as governor of Canton. He was disgusted to find Chinese living with foreigners and intermarriage. Lu enforced separation, banning interracial marriages, and prevented foreigners from owning properties.
The 836 law specifically banned Chinese from forming relationships with "Dark peoples" or "People of colour", terms referring to foreigners, such as "Iranians, Sogdians, Arabs, Indians, Malays, Sumatrans", etc.
By 1935, the French government enacted a series of racial quotas on certain professions.
See Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.
See Bumiputera (Malaysia).
The National Origins Formula was an American system of immigration quotas, between 1921 and 1965, which restricted immigration on the basis of existing proportions of the population. The goal was to maintain the existing ethnic composition of the United States. It had the effect of giving low quotas to Eastern and Southern Europe.
Such racial quotas were restored after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, especially during the 1970s. Richard Nixon's Labor Secretary George P. Shultz demanded that anti-black construction unions allow a certain number of black people into the unions. The Department of Labor began enforcing these quotas across the country. After a U.S. Supreme Court case, Griggs v. Duke Power Company, found that neutral application tests and procedures that still resulted in de facto segregation of employees (if previous discrimination had existed) were illegal, more companies began implementing quotas on their own.
In a 1973 court case, a federal judge created one of the first mandated quotas when he ruled that half of the Bridgeport, Connecticut Police Department's new employees must be either black or Puerto Rican. In 1974, the Department of Justice and the United Steelworkers of America came to an agreement on the largest-to-then quota program, for steel unions.
In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke that public universities (and other government institutions) could not set specific numerical targets based on race for admissions or employment. The Court said that "goals" and "timetables" for diversity could be set instead. A 1979 Supreme Court case, United Steelworkers v. Weber, found that private employers could set rigid numerical quotas, if they chose to do so. In 1980, the Supreme Court found that a 10% racial quota for federal contractors was permitted.
Then in 1991, President George H. W. Bush made an attempt to abolish affirmative action altogether, maintaining that "any regulation, rule, enforcement practice or other aspect of these programs that mandates, encourages, or otherwise involves the use of quotas, preferences, set-asides or other devices on the basis of race, sex, religion or national origin are to be terminated as soon as is legally feasible". This claim led up to the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, however the document was not able to implement these changes. It only covered the terms for settling cases where discrimination has been confirmed to have occurred.
College admissions in the United States have had racial quotas; see Numerus clausus § United States for details. These have notably included blanket bans on African-Americans, Jewish quotas from 1918 to the 1950s, and an alleged Asian quota from the 1980s and ongoing as of 2017 .