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"In short, Rappaport’s Law drove the American wizarding community, already dealing with an unusually suspicious No-Maj population, still deeper underground."
— Overview of the law[src]

Rappaport's Law was an American wizarding law enacted by President Emily Rappaport in 1790 in response to the fallout of Dorcus Twelvetrees's breach of the International Statute of Secrecy.[1] It was eventually repealed in 1965.[2]

Principles

The law was intended to create absolute segregation between the No-Maj and wizarding communities. It banned witches and wizards from marrying or befriending No-Majs, allowing only interactions "necessary to perform daily activities", and meted out "harsh" penalties for fraternisation with No-Majs.[1] To ensure complete conformity with the Law, only upon reaching the age of majority (seventeen) would a witch or wizard be legally allowed to carry a wand outside school: wands were issued when students first arrived at Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and had to be left at school during vacations.[2]

Rappaport's Law had the long-term consequence of driving the American wizarding community even deeper underground and widening the cultural divide between the wizarding communities of the United States and Europe. In Europe, wizarding governments clandestinely cooperated and communicated with their Muggle counterparts, and witches and wizards were free to marry and befriend Muggles.

However, in the United States, the Magical Congress of the United States of America exercised complete independence from the No-Maj government, and wizards and witches increasingly came to view the country's No-Maj population with hostility. The law also required all wizards in America to apply for and carry a wand permit, so as to keep track of magical activity and keep track of wizards who use magic against the limits set by the law.[1]

The 1920 book Spell Casting in the Age of Rappaport's Law by Yuri Von Blisch examined the impact of Rappaport's Law on the use of magic in the United States.[3][4]

History

In 1790, the law was enacted at the order of Emily Rappaport, then President of the MACUSA.

In 1926, Queenie Goldstein met No-maj Jacob Kowalski when the pair, and Queenie's sister Tina, became involved with Magizoologist Newt Scamander's search the magical creatures that escaped from his suitcase. At the end of their adventure, Jacob's memory of it was erased but Queenie, who had become attracted to him, later visited Jacob at his bakery. Seeing her again triggered his memories, and the couple began a relationship.

By 1927, they had discussed marriage but were unable to wed due to Rappaport's Law. Jacob was reluctant to openly defy the law, fearing the potential consequences for his fiancée, however she wanted to marry regardless, even going so far as to entrance him to get him to agree. This gambit failed due to Newt's intervention. The promise of the freedom offered by the repeal of the Statute of Secrecy and, by extension, Rappaport's Law, eventually led Queenie to join Gellert Grindelwald's revolution.

Rappaport's Law was repealed in 1965.

Behind the scenes

  • The 1965 repeal date of Rappaport's Law may be intended to mirror the abolishment of racial segregation laws in the United States, which included the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Indeed, Rappaport's Law in itself could be interpreted as a metaphor for actual racial segregation laws in the United States of America's history.
  • It is possible that since 1965, the President of MACUSA has kept in touch with the No-Maj President, much like how the Minister for Magic informs the UK Prime Minister about events in the wizarding world that may affect both societies.
    • Presuming that a governmental relationship began between 1965 and 1969, the first No-Maj President to have been informed about the existence of magic since the repeal of Rappaport's Law would have been Lyndon B. Johnson.
  • It is not known how other countries in North America (Canada, Mexico, Caribbean Isles, and Central America) were affected by Rappaport's Law, whether they adapted similar laws themselves or if MACUSA is the sole magical government of the continent, which is very unlikely.
  • The status of and policies surrounding No-Maj-borns in the age of Rappaport's law are unknown. Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry would need to inform the parents of said children. It is unknown what, if any, provisions are in place pertaining to this. Rappaport's law however does allow necessary interaction and this could be deemed necessary.
    • An additional possibility could be that Ilvermorny lied to No-Maj parents about where their children were going, perhaps tricking them into thinking that their children had been selected to attend a sort of private school or prep school without revealing the true, magical nature of the place or that No-Maj-born children were separated from their non-magical parents by MACUSA to be adopted by wizarding families.

Appearances

Notes and references

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