Book

Americanization in the States

Christina A. Ziegler-McPherson

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033617
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813033617.001.0001
Americanization in the States

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In the first decades of the twentieth century, a number of states had bureaus whose responsibility was to help immigrants assimilate into American society. Often described negatively as efforts to force foreigners into appropriate molds, this book demonstrates that these programs—including adult education, environmental improvement, labor market regulations, and conflict resolutions—were typically implemented by groups sympathetic to immigrants and their cultures. The book offers a comparative history of social welfare policies developed in four distinct regions with diverse immigrant populations: New York, California, Massachusetts, and Illinois. By focusing on state actions versus national agencies and organizations, and by examining rural and western approaches in addition to urban and eastern ones, the author broadens the historical literature associated with Americanization. She also reveals how these programs, and the theories of citizenship and national identity used to justify their underlying policies, were really attempts by middle-class progressives to get new citizens to adopt Anglo-American, middle-class values and lifestyles.

Keywords: immigrants; American society; social welfare; Americanization; citizenship; national identity; middle class; Anglo-American

Book.  256 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Americanization in the States

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The Start of a Movement in Americanization in the States

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The California Plan in Americanization in the States

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An Unhealthy Relationship in Americanization in the States

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Americanizing the Home in Americanization in the States

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Cosmopolitanism Cut Short in Americanization in the States

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Schooling the Immigrant in Americanization in the States

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Americanization versus Restriction in Americanization in the States

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Conclusion in Americanization in the States

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