Boundary Spillover and the Politics of Racial Violence: The Transatlantic Response to American Lynching 1891-1903

Throughout the 1880s lynching in the American South attracted little condemnation by the national newspapers or political elites. In 1891 a New Orleans mob lynched eleven Italian nationals, many of them Italian citizens, and set into motion the internationalization of American lynching as a social and political problem. We trace how this event, and other similar events, spread anti-lynching politics to Italy and Great Britain, and thus eventually contributed to domestic political opposition to lynching. We conclude with discussion of a theory on how repression backfire emerges based on the spread of repression to members of less marginalized social categories.