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ERIC Number: ED314314
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-28
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Preach Americanism! The Education of Immigrants during the Great War.
Brumberg, Stephan F.
For the United States, fighting World War I involved not only preparing young citizens to fight the enemy abroad, but rooting out alien enemies at home. The national consensus, believed vital to success, presupposed a common set of values, shared behaviors, and a high degree of identification with the nation. The more homogeneous the population, the more likely it would voluntarily and spontaneously coalesce behind a common plan of action. Differences became suspect and a threat to consensus. The desire to aggressively assimilate new immigrants became linked to questions of loyalties and allegiances in wartime. The nation turned to its schools as a way to communicate its policies and generate popular support for the War. It also looked to the schools to counter dissent and to acculturate immigrants so that they would mesh with the established U.S. community and join the crusade to "make the world safe for democracy." The urgency of the movement led to direct federal involvement in Americanization programs and related work in immigrant education. This paper examines the federal government initiatives regarding Americanization, as represented by the work of three agencies: (1) the Bureau of Naturalization, (2) the Bureau of Education, and (3) the Committee on Public Information. The activities initiated by each agency are described, with emphasis on how each sought to transmit its program to the local level. An effort is made to assess the effects, if any, of these programs on the U.S. immigrant population. (JB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A