Race is a classification system used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, or social affiliation. First used to denote national affiliations, the term began to be used to relate to physical traits in the 17th century and promoted hierarchies favorable to differing ethnic groups. Starting from the 19th century the term was often used, in a taxonomic sense, to denote genetically differentiated human populations defined by phenotype.
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