ERIC Number: ED228135
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Decline of German Language and Culture in the North American Heartland, 1890-1923.
Burnell, Jerrold B.
Although German influences in North America were prominent in the decades just before and after 1900, the advent of World War I marked a major decline in the ethnic identity and bilingualism of German-Americans. Specifically, the German communities in Ontario and the Prairie Provinces in Canada and the Midwest and Great Lakes States in the United States experienced the decline. Despite lack of official status as a national language, bilingual schools and the teaching of German were prevalent in German-Canadian communities prior to World War I. However, as a result of political pressures, in 1916 Manitoba passed education legislation which omitted provisions for teaching a second language. Further, returning war veterans became a potent political group which argued against any concession to cultural pluralism. In the United States, German-Americans became intensely loyal to the American cause. However, when war was declared in 1917, schools, teachers, and textbooks became the focal points for public animosity toward anything German. By 1918, 15 states had restricted German instruction. Confronted by pressures, the majority of German-Americans sought to relinquish their national identity and assimilation occurred rapidly. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada; North America; United States (Midwest); United States (Plains States); World War I
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society (New York, NY, March 18-21, 1982).