Indeed, newcomers to the subject could be excused for believing that no two historians are alike in what they mean by the term. This diversity can partly be explained by the fact that, as successive generations of scholars have expanded the body of accumulated learning and provided evermore penetrating insights into the nature of ethnicity, the meanings attached to the concept itself have accordingly evolved over time. Nor is it to provide an all-encompassing list of the many ways in which ethnicity has been defined. Even if such objectives were attainable, which in all probability is doubtful, they are clearly beyond the scope of an 4 american ethnic history introductory text such as this.
What is the connecting link between these so different elements? How are they welded into one people? Here is the official reply, which Wendell considered "characteristically American": Hereditary honors both nature and scripture doth acknowledge Eccles Where God blesseth any branch of any noble or generous family, with a spirit and gifts fit for government, it would be a taking of God's name in vain to put such a talent under a bushel, and a sin against the honor of magistracy to neglect such in our public elections.
Hutchinson, History One could probably assemble a whole bookshelf full of answers to similar requests by European noblemen and dignitaries, but I shall be content here with one more—very prominent—reply to another such inquiry.
Morris de Furstenwaerther's question whether German emigrants might expect, as an incentive, special favors or privileges in America. In his reply, Adams reminded German emigrants that they come to a life of independence, but to a life of labor—-and, if they cannot accommodate themselves to the character, moral, political, and physical, of this country, with all its compensating balances of good and evil, the Atlantic is always open to them to return to the land of their nativity and their fathers.
To one thing they must make up their minds, or they will be disappointed in every expectation of happiness as Americans. They must cast off the European skin, never to resume it. They must look forward to their posterity rather than backward to their ancestors; they must be sure that whatever their own feelings may be, those of their children will cling to the prejudices of this country Rischin, Immigration 47; see Hansen, Atlantic 96 These two passages, both consciously written or quoted to invoke the "character When Wendell discussed the excerpt, he pointed out that Cotton "knew all the while, as everybody knows, that the grace of God is not apt to descend hereditarily in prolonged family lines" Liberty Wendell saw at the core of "the American national character" a denial of legitimacy and privilege based exclusively on descent.
The excerpt from Adams, which was included in a recent reader on immigration, expresses the classic American idea of the newcomers' rebirth into a forward-looking culture of consent.
Cotton and Adarns accepted the importance of descent; yet both also rejected it as an exclusive category in structuring a commonwealth. This tension between the rejection of hereditary old-world hierarchies embodied by the European nobility and the vision of a new people of diverse nativities united in the fair pursuit of happiness marks the course Introduction 5 that American ideology has steered between descent and consent.
It is this conflict which is at the root of the ambiguity surrounding the very terminology of American ethnic interaction.
Amused by the imaginative ways in which American historians have avoided using terms such as "imperialism," Robin Winks spoke of "semantic safety-valves" to which scholars resort Kroes The world of American group interaction is discussed with a whole arsenal of such safety valves, terms which are both ambiguous and elusive.
Trying to grasp one concept, we are led to another; and as we are focusing on that, to yet another one. The feeling is reminiscent of grabbing a balloon filled with water: Terms like "ethnicity," "melting pot," "intermarriage," "regionalism," and "generation" are all used in a dazzling variety of elusive ways.
They squush this way and that depending on how hard we squeeze the balloon.
The historian Frederick Jackson Turner's work is representative for many, as it provides us with numerous instances of heavily charged terms which are loosely arranged around his central metaphor of the frontier and offered as answers.
In his famous collection The Frontier in American Historyone can read such resonant sentences as the following: In the crucible of the frontier the immigrants were Americanized, liberated, and fused into a mixed race, English in neither nationality nor characteristics.
It represented that composite nationality which the contemporary United States exhibits, that juxtaposition of non-English groups occupying a valley or a little settlement, and presenting reflections of the map of Europe in their variety. It was democratic and nonsectional if not national; "easy, tolerant, and contented;" rooted strongly in material prosperity.
It was typical of the modern United States. In order to avoid such semantic safety valves, I am here trying to approach some of the most heavily charged terms head-on. Consent and descent are terms which allow me to approach and question the whole maze of American ethnicity and culture.Similarly, Oscar Handlin’s epic, The Uprooted (), is essentially a study of the European immigrant experience.
Asian immigration is only examined in the two chapters dealing with nativism and immigration restriction, but even then the topic is not given the prominence it deserves.
1. Needless to say, sociologists doing research in the s were making comparisons with a past as well. Too often that past, usually pre-Depression America, was also viewed as good old days, when examples of a Gemeinschaft Gemeinschaft.
there are little boys in Milwaukee and Duluth, in Palm Springs, Fla., and Palm Springs, Calif., in the desert, in the swamps, little boys of different colors are asking their moms or dads or grandmoms or granddads if they can't please, please have speedskates and a trip to the ice rink.
Analysis of Oscar Handlin's Essay, Uprooted Oscar Handlin In Oscar Handlin's essay, he writes that immigrants faced discrimination and racism.
Poverty amongst the immigrants played a huge role in being discriminated against by the older residents of America. Western Reserve Historical Society Various Western Reserve Manuscripts (Western Reserve Historical Society Manuscript Vertical File) linear feet (29 containers) The Western Reserve Manuscripts is a collection of small manuscript accessions that have been donated to the Western Reserve Historical Society since its founding in leslutinsduphoenix.com: The Uprooted: Oscar Handlin: Books From The Community.
Amazon Try Prime Books. Go Search EN Hello. Sign in Account & Lists The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations That Made the American People Second Edition/5(6).