RACE AND NATION IN THE
%7A P R ID C. E
iL P I t D E R*X I IjT EN H'L 'S
I. B F.P i T L F. N H I i L, PF
U. A F. .IACM-L
RACE AND NATION
.A istMrialt skI ch oi t Ih ?/ iI o nti of the
peoples in thi making of Melmht An'1o an Na' /'.'io'
E. A. BENIANS
.*l,/it .:".Sf 7.'..F,,'1 J i../i';.t,- C.:l',tri.,'
A LECTURE DELIVERED TO STUDENTS OF BEDFORD COLLEGE
AT CAMBRIDGE I MARCH 1944
AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS
PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, CM RP IrE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
31262I08645 I 476
3 1262 08645 476 5
My object in the following lecture was to describe
the intermingling of the peoples in the making of
the American nation and the manner in which
national unity has been attained. The lecture was
delivered to students of Bedflrd College at Cam-
bridage on i Miarclh ii94 and has been :a little
enlarged lor publication. I am indebted to my
friend Dr Dextcr Perkins, at the present time
Prolessor :lf American History and Institunions in
the University ol Camnbridge, tfr reading through
the manuscript and assisting me with valuablee
E. A. B.
2(V ( IJ UjIiI
RACE AND NATION IN THE
THERE are no p',.,pl,-' in the United States in the
senCs, in .hi~ h there arc picoplIF s in the Bricih
Enil:ire or in the Union of' S,.''.nt Sociali-t Re-
publics. The Americans are not one race divided
into many peoples, but one people made up of
man, races. Or shall we say being made; for the
American Republic is still young? We and our
parents and grandparents have lived through the
period when there passed through its open doors
the great majority of the men and women who will
be the ancestors of the American nation.
Under the old regime France colonised Louisiana
as well as Quebec; but it is on the St Lawrence, and
not the Mississippi, that there is a French people
to-day. At the time of its conquest in 1664, the
New Netherlands contained about 7000 Dutch
inhabitants, while at the Cape of Good Hope in
that year, there were not as many hundreds; but in
South Africa, and not in New York, a Dutch people
took root and flourished. The circumstances and
policy of the British Empire have tended to pre-
ser\e natnionality the cir'cumstances and policy of
the United State. to absorb it. Thu,. while the
British Empire i reslvcs itself into r a Coinmmnonwealth
of Nation,, the United States pursues the goal of
NMlore remarkable still ic the fact that Irish,
German-.s Scandinaxiarn, Poles, Italians, and
indeed a d.izen different racsc, lhae entered the
counrit in numihers sufficient t.i formi separate
people,, hlad they and the Ameiican sO:i dc'ired.
Neither so de-ired. Thliu. in the New World we do
not see the diversity of Europe reproduced in a
federation of people., btit a nex\ nation.
All .Amricans, except the Indianc. are recent
imnlmigrants. The great niajnrity crossed the ocean
of their own will, to find freedom or betterment.
Thc\ ade\ntured becau_,e the New W\orld seemed
to the t to: offer better propect, than the Old. To
them America was the land of hli,.p. Thick pre-
vailing n,' mtie governed their belhaxi',ur in their
adopted iounrtr-. their expectations and their
reception. The national ipscholog! early exhibited
a cinlidenice that the New Woirld can offer some-
thing better than the Old. The relations of the
different peoples .th each Ithler have been shaped
by the ta k and tlie ho:,pe tat they lhared-to
etrablich in a nie. nation a new order for mankind
1 8 1
The nineteenth century was the great age of
lo1lenllent. Or, to be more exact, the century
beti\cn .1820 and i120o In those ears more tian
thirty million people crostcd the ocean from
Europe to, the United States The de\ell:pment of
steam transport made it physically easier and so
cheaper to mo\e than it had ever been before. The
telegraph and the newspaper spread ev\r more
widely a knowledge of tihe conditions and oppor-
tuniies o Aimenrica. Population Ca. gr..nin.g fsI t
in Eirope. Over-peopled lands saw ifr roff a
relam\elv' empty contineilt. In Europe, at different
tiinme, n ditierent places, in ditlerent degrees, .cre
ir Irnploymnenc, po'.crty, famine, racial, political
and religious discrimination and persecution: in
.-A\imerica %.ere employment, freedom, and *ippor-
Illlnt. The inducement to move, the means to
move, the willinnenss Vt receive, all coincided.
So the stream began to flol. Fed from an ever-
wideninc .aticrshcd-from thie RPritrih Isles, from
North* and Wcste'rn Europe, frnom iSouth and
Eastern Europe, and frorn the eastern hoires of
A.sia, increasing the population :of the United
States by immense nimb:er of a great di\ersit\ of
races. It s\.elled at lies t1 a torrential irn\aion
It was the greatest nmiiration of recorded hiSto,,r\
At last the ,olden door was closed and the "general
invitation to the people of the world' withdrawn.
The vacant lands were taken up, the field of
emplI moment ceased rc be unlimited, the continent
had pa."ed bec~ .nd the initial stage of it. develop-
Such was the comin',g ,,f the peoples who-se
a.iimilation and amaleamation are to form the
American nation. As the\ distributed themselves
j\er the continental space and became absorbed
in the acii\nies of American life, the Lountry
seemed a gravevard of European nationality.
\henJeTer'on add rested a Ifamous dec laration to
a candlid :orl d'. lie wh rote of' :'ur British brethren'
and of'the tiec olfonr common kindred'. In 1776
this wa- no doubt true Careful enquiries into the
national origiins of the American people have
shown that the colonial population, excepting the
negro, wac substantially of British rtock. Yet
already; many other race were rcpreecnted. The
first ceinsui, taken in 17r0. did not distinguish
nati\e-born and foireign-born; nrir wa.i this done
until the census of 18o30, of sr little importance
seemed the question of the intermixture of races.
Later calculation based upon it distributes the
colonial population acc.ordinr to country of origin
a. f:,ll, s: Great Britain and Northern Ireland
77":., Gelrany 7-4. Irih Free State 4-4. Nether-
I 1 : I
lands 3-3; of the other nationalities represented,
French, Canadians, and Belgians ecre the most
important.' I'he total population in 1790 was
about four million, ol'whomn the negroes numbered
three-quai ters of a million.
In their seventeenth century the immigrants had
been mainly English, but Swedes and Dutch had
planted commercial settlement. on the Atlantic
seaboard. In 168o a stream :,I' persecuted ;ects
began tIl I., I'rom Germanyv. and, a little later,
lther German.; emigrated from regions devastated
by war. The Scotch-Irish who came from Ulster-
Ibr British policy in Ireland pressed hard .,n
1'rotestarn as ell a; Catholic-were the largest
group of immigrants in the eighteenth century,
perhaps 20.o,000 in all, and, with the Germans.
made up as large a number a, the English im-
migrants ofr the preceding century. S.':tland, too,
was contributing. Boswell, tra selling withjohns n
in the Western Highlands in i773, found a 'rage for
emigration'. In Sk'.e, a dance called 'America'
had been introduced, apparently t,: show 'lhow
emigration catchlies, tll a whole neighbourliod is
set allo-t '. -
These eighteenth-century immigrants %ent
SD .t ie. M. R i'i '/,l IIrn.,,r uin. p I I
' Bc'icil. J.h',s.:,, led Cr.Aer 18311, 1 p. 5.r2.
t II )
largely t the frontier districts, particularly of
Pennsylvania anid New York. where the fusion of
races began. So the western halves of the colonies,
from Massachusetts to North Car-,lina, tended to
show soni difference ':f race and character fr'im
the tide-water. The religious xcvlusi\eness of the
New Engl'indc:rs ke:pt them from i nixing freely
,itl lihe rI w\\'-:i.meir s far into.1 the nineteenth
.enttiir\. But e-lsewhere there was intermixture,
cspeL iall in the i idd le cIln ie:. To South Carolina
had :omie W\est Indian planters and Huguenot
merchants; ;Gorgia had r-ciived Oglethorpe's
iinmigrant:. Soiutl o:f Pennsyl; ani'a the plantation
s/stiem rested on slax er\, and here \were nost of the
negrle;s. Inr Georia there \\ere Indians. But, in
general. the Indians retired beh-:ire the white man
and there was little intermixture. Disraeli wished
that the republic 1' thc Puritans had blended with
the tribes o1f the .wilderness. Raleigh, and. Inter,
Colonel B; rd o:f Viiginia I 167-1-1744- advocated
int-rmarriaec with the Indian;. But this. was un-
common in the East It %.'as the riouriers ,ts bois on
the St Lawrence and the Mississippi Lho brought
in thi Inldi.n blod. A, writer of 18io remarks thai
"'onl a Fiew A.mentci ha\e ever seen a native
iHed .k i '..
Brov i., R. H .11v-"..' .I .q ic-.:, p. .
k 12 -'
The diversity\ of the population had resulted
froin circumstances. It %\as neither promoted nor
pre-ented on theory. The colonists needed labour,
and welcomed the kind of imnuLiati-on that sup-
plied it. whetherr British, European or African.
The\ were not more, perhaps less, hospital, than
their descendant: In mall commnuni ies di2sidents
arc more trouble than in large. The religious per-
secutions of Ei.iope, lhowl eer, taught the duly and
showed tile advantage of hospitalnali, and ihe
English colonie; became e place, of reception, though
the\ sho:v.ed dilTerent decrees of liberalitl in their
treatment of alien. At the, Philadelphia Conven-
non (i 787. James \\ilon, a Scot of Penn\ kIania,
mentmi:ned that, \when in Nlaryland, he had found
certain disabilitie. there a continual xvexar ion; he
would feel it alyburd to frame a cortitution under
Shnchl he himself could not hold office
Thus colonial experience contributed to the
making of the American nation. It produced a
ci ili action substantially British. The institutions
and habit of self-government and religious freedom
\wele planted in favourable and stimulating sur-
rounding_. The American too learned to welcome
the immiicrant. The intermixture of races began,
and in the la,. e population the chief race problem
of the Ifuture appeared. But we must remember
( '3 )
that the colonies had noi in mind an American
nation. Great Britain could not persuade them to
unite fr defence against Indians or France. Local
fecling was very strong, distances \ere creat and
mlealn: of communication lacking, and the manner
of life \va., difTerent in New Englanid, the Middle
Colinic and the Sourth As ye, the concept of
America did not exist Iamong these separated,
diverse anid mutual\ suspicious communities. But
the ,-iiditiorn; \\ere fa\ourable lor national de-
velopment and events brought it about. In the
quarrel v, ith England the idea .of American unity
and an American nation \\as born. At the Stamp
Act Conmgress ,f i 765 a delegate said: 'There ought
to be no New\ Englander, ni. New Yorker, knocn
on thii continent, but all of us Americans.' Then
oI;llm\ed, step by .tep. the inakinrg of ite Unic iin-
the C:,ontinental C.-rniress 17741 brouLrht the
leading mind: toccther, the Declaration of Inde-
pendence I 17761 set a goal, the Continental Army
a-soc,,iated men in action and danger, the Articles
of:, Confederation i 1i78 1 started them on the road
to political union, the Federal Convention at
Philadelphia i I;8;I produced the Constitution of
the Urnited States. So, thle po litical mould of the
Amenri.:an nation wa'. forined.
;\t tle Philadelphia Convention the question of
( 14 I
the lbreign immigrant was discussed.' The dis-
cussion revealed dilTcrent points of view. It was
clear that the proposed federal government must
be empowered to establish a uniform rule rf
naturalisation; f.or citizens of one state of he Union
must automatic llC become citizen: of other tates.
But Ifear vwas expressed concerning a too free
admission of forceign'r:. Th fear %as of thuir
political opinions. Foreigners, said CGliveriicur
Morris, cannot learn our Ilais ard understand our
constitution under fourteen years; it will require
time ut ecradicate native attachment and the
allections of education. \e should inot be polite at
the expense (f prudence As tAi thi>,e philh.sophiclal
gentlemen, those citizens of the v.orld, as the\
called theminslcles, he did not w-ish to: see any ,of
them in our pLublic councils Men who can shake
olT th,.ir attachments to their own country, can
nc\cr lc,,e any other. Nor could tie legislature:
be trusted neeer to l.hoo:s irnpr.,per per,,,n:-
there tas n, knol\\ing \\hat lyc-ilain re- \%uld do
Others, howc\er, stressed the economic advantage
of ad mitting imm igran rIts and die America n trad i ltn.
ofliberalit\. Madisn belie\id that great numbers
of re pectabl: Europeans, men who liicd liberty,
1 I.,.w. '.i .tf diithir.rii.e i. th, J. rn l i t l i ,l I '1A1.l j PiP, nly'ii.ri
St.1e, ,cl:i:[ J. arr.agd an'.l iri.deicd bs C C Taraill. ,e
pp o,5 1i.. ," ., ,:4 B76
I 15 )
would be lead\ to transfer their fortunes thither.
He did not \\aam anything illiberal in the con-
stitUlii.n. IAmenrica w\as indebted to immigration
for hur settlement and prosperity. Those parts
which had iencouraled it nmost had advanced most
rapidly in plopulati;nr, education and the arts.
Mr WVilsoii,. ofl Pcnnsylvania. cited his own state in
ploof of this, and pointed out that three of it<.
deputies at the C .,neiiix ii-in %f-'rc ,:not nat ixes or
America. The traCellh-d Franklin s.iught tci rca.surc
the as-iembly. The people in Euro:pe, he said, are
-riendly to tih i country. He \,toild irnot discourage
th,: comm'in pcopie in Eur.-.pe from cnmigrat ring to
America. The Conctntion sa%% thi: fuituri as they
sa\ the past; tlhe\ could not foresee tle multitude
ff e'mirraint. S. the liberal \ iew pre. ailed. The
do,.':r ,as opened and Con w nress xa. I:r to regulate
But l'Illoing the Freiiclh Re\,olution. (Gou.er-
iii.ir Morris had thi satilf'aiction seeing his
propheti,: fcais realisd. A good many philo-
sophical gentlemen came and many cio d American
citiz.en w\ere alarmed. The Federalist party legis-
lated to pro:ite-l the rights of mankind from their
French champions. A Naturalisation Act if 1798
\i,. -rn p ...... r d 'l. .rabli ar urni,rm r. l r naiur li ii'ur.
<'.". iHi.h,".i I i *n I **':ji,.'.
I if I
extended the period of residence required obr
citizenship from five to fourteen years, and an
Aliens Act empowered ile President to expel
foreigners. But these enactment. awvoke protests
from Virginia and Kentucky., vshich laid the
f6:unclation of the doctrine of state rights and were
to resound f Ir long in American history.
While the politicians ,\ere discussing the admis-
sion of the foreigner into the American state, the
people on the frontier had settled his admission
into the American nation. In the old colonies,
with fixed habits, prejudices and character, a new'
nation was less easy to visualise than in the back-
woods, -. here life was forming, afresh and ci ilisa-
tion had to be built up from its foundations. Here
human qualities and capacities counted Ibr more
than dilTerences of race. The welcome to the
immigrant came from the fr ontier, %where the battle
with nature reached into the :orcst. 'In America',
writes the Marquis de Chastellux in 1782, 'a man
is never alone, ncecr an isolated being. The neigh-
bours, for they are everywhere to be found, make
it a point i.-f hospitality to aid the new farmer';
and St John de Cr'vecorur, in his Letters from an
.imrnrican Farirni (i 782), pictures the forming of the
*' M.-:r.'.. dJ Charellu., Travels in North America in 1780, 178;
.i, i, 78:. qiw'.:d rn T" IHeritage of America, edited by Commager,
H1 S. and N-n., Pll 2, p. 255-
( 7 )
new type, the American man, as the incoming
peoples mingled in the \\est. 'Here', he writes,
individuals of all nations are melted into a new
race of men, whose libours and pstei ity v xill one
day cause great changes in the world....The
Amerricans were irce scattered all oxer Europe;
here they are incorpo rated into one of the finest
Ssytems oc populalo:n \w which has et.er appeared and
which \\ill hereafter become distnct...'. What
then i te Am\nerican, this new mn.n? He is either
a Europe.an, .r the descendant of a European,
hence that strange mixture rof blood, which you
'will find in n,- other country. I could point out
t,, \.u a family \\whoio grandfather was an English-
man, %hcse -il;' was Durch, whose son married a
French\nomain, and lose present 11 iur sons have
now hur wi'.es co different nalns. He is an
Amenirican, xwho lea\ int behind hinm all hi: ancient
prejudices and manners, receives new ones trom
the nec\ mode of I lie 1e las embraced, the new
gow ernnment he ,.be\;. and the ne\i rank he holds.
He becomes an Americ.an by being received in the
broad lap 'f olur i' reat Almi./nal MI "
Thus ,a: et I;rt h the principle on which the
American nation %w.s to be formed-'race inter-
L 'r4, t,,.-, .,, 'rvi&,.* "..,,,".T .>ith pr,'f.ce -, \\. P Trent
I .m.:.:i, ith 5. -S
I 18 )
mixture on the basis of political and religious
Qualityy. The United States % as born on the
Atlantiic seaboard of tile political wiisdm of
colonial leaders: the American nation \\as horn in
the Mississippi Valleyv f the practical needs of the
incoming people. Each iti;., fit liitelf to the other.
But America did not acquire a distincti'.e national
spirit until the first generation had passed from the
stage. Until about the year 18:20 ,. writes Pro'fessor
Hadle '. ..the United States remained in many
essential fc.itures a group -.If English colonies,
separated froni the mother country in 1776, some-
\I.ha against their will. by the want c.f tact ofl
George III and his ministers, and united with one
another in 1788, also somewhat against their t\ill,
by the extraordinary tact of the leaders of the
Constitutional Con\enti,:n'.' In the years im-
mediateil Ibllowing the \\': r f I;;-2-14 we discern
the birth of a national spirit, democratic and
Aieriican, reading from the West to the Atlantic
Coast. This new conception becomes the got erning
I;,rce in American histior Ha, ing made a state,
to, make a nation. State rights and secruonal
differences, geographical separation and racial
diversity iceld to the idea o, an American nation.
The relations i.,f peoples within the United S.tesnc
' -l,. :N. .%. r L.< '., u,-,,,e i, .I. ,r., P"... Fr ... , | .
( 10 i
havc been governed by this ideal of national
Faisceing suaesnmen al-o cn isaged the future for
which the \Ve'tenrners \ ere laying the foundation.
At a time ihen New\ England \,as showing a
strongly separatist feeling ( I3o'i, *nec hlicrleading
mcre. J,:hn Q(uincy Adanti., was pleading with
William Plumer lifr hi.iitr\ %n written from a, national
point ,' ic, n-ot N\w England histories or
Virginian hi.itorie;. "Histo:rial ,-irk;, ho nestly
and judicioulIv executed', he \rites, will best
counteract the icendency i-f the -.tales it "partial
and fli,-lih combination.'. The d-ictrinc if-, union
is '"he findamentail nma xim to, be con frmed'. Let
Ne\\ England exhibit tlhe brighlitet example of 'a
truly liberal and omnprehleni\ e American sytem '.'
Publius, in The, Ftdi/l.is/, had earlier struck the
note of "'ne gizrcea Americai, system, superior to
the control lof all transatlantic I-re or influence,
and able to dictare the term cf the connection
betcceen the old and the new worldld.
At tihe same time, fro-nm the bench ol'the Supreme
Court, Chief Justice Marshall was enlarging the
.cope o-f the National G,-. ernment and establishing
its authority 'America'. he said. in a lfamoius
S II TUir'is Ji. <(A, .1 /ira, iI. p 341.
SThi Fi.drt-l' edihiid b, Iod. :, H C p ''.
( 2 )
decision in 1821, 'has chosen to be, in many
respects, and to many purposes, a nation',' and he
was determined to make her gol\ernment equal
to dtha choice. The claims :-,f the stares were
kept within due bounds and political unity in-
In the stirring years of the Revolution there were
vigorous advocates of a national language and
system' of education and culture to inspire
patriotism, confidence and a bond of union. But
distinctlie culture is the olTspring o'f time, and it
was not by that avencN, but in its advocacy of
frieeckdm and equality, that the new republic was
to find a unimyine idea, an image of itself and a
sense of its uniquene: and mission in the world.
JeTfercon gave confident expression to this ideal
now born in the American people. 'He believed
the young nation had been :ingled :outi by Pro-
\idence to become the embodiment of the, national
and liberal ideals of the eighteenth century.'2
Here was something to capture the spirit of men-
to infuse a common faith and purpose in a growing
multitude who lacked the ties of blood and history
and religion and the integration of an older social
order. As 'the sole depository of the sacred fire of
*' heritage iof .A'Irre, .l,, |p M: .
' Kohn, H., 7 fe /Ide i 1,'.V\r:d-v, i. p -,.8
(I 1 )
ireedlom and 4cl .oveIrnImeiit', America would
become a place of rcl'ue fuj thlie oppressed 'of all
natio.nc and an example to the tlatic- oi the Old
Worid. 'I like the dream ofthe future', he wrote.
'bcttrc than tlie hist(:r o:f lie pa,:t.
An American goi ertin'nt. an .lAmerican man,
an American nai,,'n, an American ideal-,',o\ was
shlapcJ the mould into i: hich the d lierN,, races of
Lurope \\err received.
D'wn ti, i'8 o the remarkabic uri.wth of popula-
tio.,n \,\a r:,r (he i st rt a r natu111.al Im 1mnig-rati'l.:
;"~it t the prime ca.uie. Buit fiin 182o the
number I.f .rciers cenicrine the LUnited States
mou.intedl rapidly. In the 'thirties hal a million
came from Euiiope. in lie 'fTi ieC a million and a
hall. and in iihl 'liftie, 1iwn and a half milli'.n. The\
carnet from the same int ourlries as ii c,.olniial day,.
chielli from Grear Britain. Ireland and Germanry.
Ti.i the Amcricans there seemed unli united space.
Jefferson had ?poken of *a ,ci,.,scn ',l.ntr',' with
i0.iom eioiiali l'.:r :our desced,.uants tit I'I th tiiisandth
ad ii h uiisandlit 'eneiatl n'.-'
TlIh.se S\\ hol prospered r ent m mtne\ anil e.xhoritation
i, their friends t,: r.ollo 'Thi i e c'ui.intly or a
man to enjio\ himself". w'ritc an Engli-hman to his
i..lr, f. p .2 6.
: Ir.' ui auril ,\>d>re I? ,I. H ,, r. ,' ,.t .1, p -i-
1 22 I
broader n 18r8,'prairie...at twodollarsanacre..
tea, colTcee, beef, fowls, pies. eggs, pickles, good
bread; and their favourite be\crage is whliky or
peach brandy. Say is it so in England?'
The stream was flowing. But, to the outside
observer, neither its immediate ctTects, nor its
future possibilities, were apparent. Carlyle, writing
to Emerson in 1839, foresees, as Adam Smith had
dune, the future growth of America, but he sees it
as Anglo-Saxon, 'the ties of the tw,:o parishes,
Mother and Daughter, getting closer and closer
knit. Indissoluble ties. I reckon the goes onl that
this huge srnmoky Wen may, I or some centuries yet,
be... a yearly meeting place f:r "- All the Saxons".
.. After centuries, if Bo-tojn, if New York, hase
become the most convenient "All Saendorn" we
will right cheerfully go thither to hold such
festival.' But ihis was not to be the destiny\ of
New York or Bosto'n. Nor was Emerson more
gifted %with prophetic vision, for he saw in the
American only the continuation of the Enelish
character in new conditions.
Meanwhile Irish and German emigrants were
increasing in numbers. The Irish came in a stream
with the famine caused by the failure of the potato
' Herivn e ,f .Imn .a., p. j:.. Cf Dic)kcn. IJ,,n z.., .'. r eN i L r*-r,
lTina, p. 221
: Gi rdon, G. S ,.Awl..- I Le,'ra.rz' L fr rv Reiiri i. p ,
( 23 )
irop in 1845 and 1846. For the ne\t few years they
averaged 2oo,ooo a year. Before the end of the
ceniur\ Ireland had sent four million other people
to the United State,. The Irisl went to, New
England and the North Atlantic and Nortil Central
States. and eIpecij:lly into the tc.wns .and con-
struction camp,. A great programme o:f roads,
canal.| and public wo'rkL was gA: irni lrv ard and
their labour %,as \,elci:,me.
Tlhe German: included :; first a g'..:d many
political refugees and inLc tllctuals, but after 185':'
eco,no:imit. .ause&I slimnIilted an exodui .if peasants,
nmeclhanii: and lalourer%. The\ distributed them-
et-l more esenl\ in tlih: countr'. than other
imnmigranit, hut in general faoured the \Western
States, and \\'ice'.n:in at one time seemed likely t.-
be~.:ome a German st:ite. La\\-aLidinrg, indlustriout,
and intelligent, the\ \\erc gcencrally welcome,
though their ._,cial custom' ciiaused Come Friction
\\iith ciitlers of Puritan des cent, upholders of t-m-
perance and Sal:bbath ober\"an e. On the whole
their American record i' g':i:d, though one ;( an it
in .ain for e idence of ao mater race.
The rise l o the great political parties, facilitated
lie as,.imilation 'f thu immigr:ilnts. Party poilitl:s
gi(.\e valuee to the citizen: the otherr ha-_ a friend
The Demnccrrat,. in p:idticular, laid hold of them.
I 24 I
fio Whigs and Republicans were suspected of anti-
foreign prejudice. To capture the immigrant vote,
the Democratic party had from 1840 to 1856 a
special plank in its platform:
'That the liberal principles. .which make ours
the land of liberty, and the asylum of the oppressed
of every lnaion, have ever been cardinal principles
in the democratic faith; and ever\ attempt to
abridge the present privilege of becoming citizens,
and the owners of soil alrongjst us, ought t, be
Some apprehensions ere aroused. The Irish and
Germans were mainly Catholics, and Catholics
wanted thcir Iwn schools. But Americans already
saw in the conm'imn school the great nationalising
agency. The common school, caid the .innesola
Chronicle in 185o, places the child of the immigrant
on the same bench with the native. As .ie plays
wich his schoollellow he learns tv, sing 'Hail
Columbia', and before he leaves the desk lir the
plough, he is a; sturdy a little republican as may
be found in the land.'
Others complained of the flocking of emigrants
to the populous towns of the Middle \\'est. In-
temperate, tunused to the colmforts of life and
Portcr, 1K II.. .' iim l I',, t I'l i tf.rrri. pp. 3. cl.
S S ecphenson. C M I /li.I r t,, .ITertca, I l.'1,iat,fI'N, p C.I.
( "5 I
regardless oi: its pr.ipeties, they were creating a
new S:ocial pitoblem.
The political influence of the immn irant and the
Sagle diquiet caused bi their increasing numbers
awoke at last an organized opp_,ition. In 1854
., fI.irmied the Supreme Order :,' the Star-
Spangleld Bannrr. p...pulrly kn,:,%\n as the Knoi\v-
Nothing Party. Their principle wias that .-\mercans
nlut rule America T'hey demanded that native-
bi.irn citizen, ble 'elected 1..,r all ,tate, Ifederal and
municipal offices and that the la of naturalisation
be changed and twenty-oine \ears' reFidence bL
required Il.,r citizenship.' The Parts achieved
nothing. for the itsue they raised was .wallowed up
in the rising c.-nillicrt concerning Lav\'ry.
In general American: welcomed the fi.,rcigner.
What they objected to was any attempt to per-
petiuate lureign languages .iand cuLioms, any
di\isi\e influence, in their life. It was From the
\\Ve5t that the warmest wlcme came. There, %'as
the greatest need for labour: there, society was
nmo-t free from convention and a-nimilation easiest.
So the immigrant [:Lund his place, and the vote and
the freehoild consolidated him with the nation.
Sou.therner? did n.,t fa'vour immigration. The\ saw
I D...'i .rn-'t, .." .4:'',,..i Hi i r i l. .- d E., Ci:.-rin'.aeer. H. S.,
I, 31 I ;.l ed i
( "-6 i
that lthe immigrants went chiellv to the northern
and western states :ind isrengthened the No-rth.
New England also retained her old charact:-r.
Foreign labourers began t. flnow into her towns;
but the native population kept itself ',-parate, and
the daughters of the farmers v.ithdrew from lthe
facrtocries, lere the Irish replaced them. The
competition 'of North and South for the western
lands made immigrants still more elco, me in the
North, for Scandina\ian; and Germans were
against the extension of sla\ery. Kansas, said one
politician. m.tt be made German, if nccc-sary, in
order that it may be made free. How strange
the words zound to-day\'
At the decisive electoral struggle ol 1860 the
voit of the immigrants sas of critical importance.
In .some states they held the balance ol power. The
sla,\cn issue caused a shift of allegiance. While the
Irish stuck to, the Democirats, Germans, Scandi-
na\ians and Dutch i\ent o\er tV, the Republican;
and helped them to v in the North-\Wc~t There-
atr'r, the inimigr.at-on plank dis-ippeari from the
Democratic platform, and in 1864 it was the Re-
publicansnl h, maintained that foreignimmigration
had addid to the \wealh and power of the nation
and shouIld be fo.stered by a liberal and just policy.'
' P,.r' .r. ef ca. p u;2.
\est\\ald the Americans traversed a relatively
empty v i-Lninent. Indians did not become citizens,
and in time lie tribes \were placed on reservations.
But there \ere descendants ,- f French colonists in
L.-.usiana. Spaniards in Ncew Mexico and Cali-
Frnia, and a mixture of pec-ples in East Florida.
In the NMisilssippi \ alle .ld names m peak tl;r the
':r-iilgAl French settlements-St Louis, \in<.ennes,
Terre Haute. Thle ,old Creole Ifainlies o'f Louisiana
desired t', pireer\c their lani.uaec and manner of
ll'e. But the cncre\ r:, the incomnini Americans
c'\erfl:wied them. In Nec\ Orleans. the faLibourg
M ari.niii, i.as i r,:,'>n r .ut.lasied b i tle iaubuiire
St Mar%,. and an entcipri-int American cit-, dic-
pla .cd the sleepy" ba',.':u :Li its oiutskirts.
To:Caastileand I.Len Cliuimliib .'a.e a n\\ew\Ivirld.
.Si- i 1as tihe m,-itt po:,-thumrnuI iisribed on tihe
armsn ': (-i Columbus. And still in Santa F' the
Spaniard makes his claim oi:f pieedence. He is the
native Americtan" Itier c-,mers are Anigli.-\Amieri-
I ani, the- 'AnI,:,s'. The Ne\ Mexictan legislaitire
has always b beei bilingual. Santa F[ and Quebec
ate the onl', places in N.ith .\America where the
gi:uernment iF c'ridIucted in two languages. But
s. hools are carried o,,l in English. intermarriaLc is
Fluina thle tw\\ rmaes and New \ Mexicoi assimilates
itscl' itI the either tatces.
( ,; .),
California had the -amne mixed sccietvy a; the
other Spanish colonies-a e I i. Creole Ifamliic- oi
pure Spanish blood, and then, \vrite- Richard
Henry Dana in 1340, from this upper Il:a.s they
go dtoIn by regular -hadc ... I. the pure Indi.n.
The ,\niericanm .ind Engliih \iho reside here, lie
adds, hi-conic C:athiclics to a man, the current
phrase among them beini'. 'A man mu:t leave his
con'l;clcne att Cape Horn' I The inunidation of
gold-sekcrs and lth annexation trt the United
State;, Follo:iing the Ile\ican War, zpeedil, trianm-
f'ormcd Calilornia, but the old mi,,ions and place-
name- iccall its Spanish origins.
Thliu uian.;continental expand ion was ac:com-
plished idthouit raiing an'y erioni- problem; of the
relauon; of pi'cples The rapid -pread of'.American
ci: ilis.ation, foi tered b all the modern arts. still
leaes iome i.land0 ol ain ,older lil'. uniulinbmerced
in tlhe sea ':,f moderii tiniforiity, blut no -_entre:
Ihence a different national tradition mai, spread.
All this while e the Union nursed idt hin it- bosom
thie t,:o vi'e:s oF- dihe negro inherited from colonial
days. Was he man, 'created equal', or chattel?
The makers of the Union kept the word slavery out
of the Constitution, but the fact remained. On this
i1iie the course; of events had given the country no
I Heriage I .I. t'r .. p. 517.
( 29 )
peace. As lhe Northelrn States emancipated their
slaves. the 'g.,graphical frontier of the two views
\.a._ defined, and ilie di vision between No rt h and
South appealed. The competition Icr the western
lands sharpened the antagonismn. Opinion ciy-
;ialli.cd in two\ phil.:.sophi-. of iscial relations The
South claimed to haTe frirnmed a dilTerent society, a
soicety cumpo.icd f tii,,' race:, in which equality
V.a._ nut the right of man, but ,:1f a f\\w only.
National unity was threatened. In ;:;55 Lincoln
p'iised tle inevitable q) ieltion : '(.:an \e a, a nati-in
continue together /f'r', ',l:,/ ..'/r-l ;ii ,r.i-- half slave
and half free ?' The Union nmui.i become all one
thing :,r all the other'.
It \wa' nit *imply the tamtu i ihe neero th'' at
\as at take, :.u thte d \ihole theory of the social
order, the democratic faitlh \ hitchi \,was iuidinge the
:creiaticin i,f the American nation. Slavery w\as
defended b a p,:'litical philo.,niphs i,.ppc._cd it
democracy and democracy %\as the c-reat p.:ower
\which a.s making ione nation of a imedleev of
peo:plh-. The .trui'gle in preserv,- tie ih union was a
struggle to preCerve dimocracv, and the .truggle to
pre.erxe dermncraci \nas a struggle for dhe being if
The re,:ult :f the Civil \\ar \\a that the principle
* L, .,J Lea l ,r n' Le,...'I, p. ir E, r. iiari e.J.i.
I :3 -' .)
nf democracy survived. In the trying years of
reconstruction an elrort was made to apply it t:' the-
negro. The XII Ith amendment to the Co institution
secured this freedom Further amendments at-
ccmpted to secure himi p,:olical and civil rights
Never in the history of s :ocial ch-ang,' was so much
expected sci quickly. But carpet-bag government
could noi I.v the Ijutiidations fl'a nic\ order. The
South resisted and wo-ld not endure te h Northern
reconstruction of its i Wfe \\hen Goxernor Cham-
berlain was defeated in South Carolina in iS; 6,
the last carpet-bag go\'ernmcnt lll. To William
Llod Garrison. that ardent champion ol' neanrl-
p.ation, he \ I oe that hisdcdleat had been inex table
-- the u neducated niegro, was to,-. weak, no matter
what his number;, to cope 'sth Ithe hite's'.' The
political wisdom i e n.hrin ed in thi Supreme Court,
which has adapted the American Constitution t,1
the circumstances of the nation, resciied the So.ith
from an intolerant and intolerable haste. Legisla-
tion to secure the negro civil and social rights was
declared unc-nstitutional. The transition was
slowed down. Means were found by the South to
deprive the neegro of political influence, and the
plinlciple :f social and cultural segregation was
.adpteid. The religious life of the negroes had
C C ,,iii'n. e D| roW II, 11 i
' 31 )
betcme separate b\ their voluntary action. Schools
were made separate by lawv. Separate accommo-
dation was provided in public co.-nve\'ances and
places. Thus, thr-iughout a part of the country, the
ne", relations of the races ale organized on a basis
of so. ial separation.
Since the Civil \\ar, a third of the neru p,.pu-
laition iha. moved to other parts \\here there is no
legal di-crimn nation in edi :Ctlior n and political life.
Economic opportunities and public anenities are
not generally a, open to ilieni a. i to other races,
and race conflict is liable to, break out %\ here the
po:oi white and the negr': come intc economic
To raise the negro to the standard of American
democracy and give him equal part in 'ts fun.-
tining, is clearly a process-a prc:Ies.4 x which does
not "implilv itself into a singhql problem Succetsi\e
generations will have to ind their c(, n solNition of
the dilliculties it presents at each stage. Racial
quc-itionn oI similar character exit in other coun-
tries and are not likely t,: disappear in our time.
S 'he Civil \Var a.as followed b\ a greatly in-
creased inilux from Europe 'lle tide ifimmigration
s,.,ll-led auain. Bet\\'een 18&i and i93i'', twenty-
eight million people entered the United States from
Eurotpe. Congress opened the door \'ider to the
( .3: i
immigrant and the Homestead Ac:t of 1863 offered
free grants of land. A great age of industrial
expansion was beginning and employers welcomed
the cheap labour which Europe could supply. In
the United States the balance %as shifting from
agriculture to industry, from country to town. The
opportunities of employment were immense and of
all kinds. American industrial development tended
to eliminate skill, and the unskilled labourers who
formed so large a proportion of the immigrants
could quickly learn a simplejob. At the same time
means of transport improved and multiplied, the
great shipping lines were seeking passengers, and
their agents spread about Europe stimulating
emigration. Better facilities for remitting rn-oney
made it ea, lir the prosperous immigrant to
bring over relatives and friends. Shipping agents
and renmitanc:es probably stimulated more emigra-
tion than any other cause'.
Hitherto, almost all the emigrants had been from
Northern and Western Europe, but as these parts
of Europe I.bc'ame industrialized, and as their
birth-rate 11el. they provided a diminishing pro-
portion. The turn of Southern and Eastern Europe
had come, and quicklv the stream Iron these parts
grew. Hall of lthe later immigration came from
them. The new emigrant' were Italians, Greek,
( 33 .
Slais from Au-ria-Hungary. Je ws, Poles, Fi1nn,
and Lithutaanian floin Russia. The-c pc-ples had
oit sh.h,,n the initiati\c, or acquired the habit of
cmigratioin, until the inducement.t were bought
it:, their d:ooi. But the idea, once sown,. ,rcw and
Ilourilshed. In the tw\'cintii ti century, the new
cmigratio, n wasc nearly three n'ries the volume ol
the old, and Italy displaced G(ermana a thie c:hi(f
.urie. Fhe S, andinal ia tns alone oft the North-
Western nations were keeping up their number.;.
The Amerin:an leter still spread thr,-uugh their
1illages and the ,ouineg men \,cre drain away
to, the big American 'arms.
Particular industries attracted partiulal races.
Slat ernirant; hent mrniil1 int-ir the hea\v in-
dustnies and mining and packing. Italians, Poles
and SloenL ei displaced tile British or native
American \(worker in the l'ennrsa l\nia iniies, and,
in the New Engladand co:ttn mills, Greek-, Po-les,
R,,liants and Italiani %. ere employed instead of
French Canadian and Iri_ i Jews and Italians
took possession :,f the Netw York lothin.tn trade,
which had been American. Englhsh and Scolt h;
and Ru-siarn andl Poles substituted rhemscl\vc fior
Germans. Enrlish and Iri-lh in tdie paper iind.ustrry'.
It wa~s the competition f ,\lower ctandarids oflivinig.
\\'ith the change in the labour employed in
industry, the population of different quarters of
cities changed irt character. New York. which
Carille had envisaged as a centre of Anglo-
Saxondom. had become an international city. I'
coloured by narionalinie, writes Jacob Riis in
i38o. 'it .would sh:-w more stripe- than the zebra
and more colour.i than .any rainbl \'. Ethnic
cohesion, is 1 natural consequence of large-scale
innigration. In 1843 Lord Mo:rpeth, travelling
in the United Staies. remarked thle existence of a
colonv of Yorkshiremen near Jacks:,nv\ille on the
prairie. Such seeregatio: n was' even more natural
to f.reign races, and the urban and industrial
expansion of the country immensely promn-oted it.
The earlier immigrantt, had spread themel,,es
evenly between land and industry. But free farms
were gone by the t%%enrieth cenIuriN aAnd inl:,r I:"of
ilie eIlloplviienit was in the [o ns Hence the
gro.'wing concentration :of Irish. Italians, Slavs,
Greeks and other races in the large cities %\here.
by t 1 30, '".'.,:f i the fi.reien-born were to be fnuind.
The new .sream gre.tlv diversified the racial
compositiion of the American people, and the
process of aislnilMtion presented net problems
Assimilation depends on willingness on both sides,
antl on the numbers on both sides. The nim"ijorit\ .1
ilie immigrants still caie with the intention of
( 35 .
becorning American. [But their geographical and
economic distribution affected their opportunities.
The habits; and o:uthlo.k of individuals can be
changed n hen theq have n,-. root in the life of a
group which offers oppoiti:n to assimilation. But
foreigners ,*atihered in large cities tended to, keep
their o n i.anguagc, have their owvn newspaper
and social club, churches and schools, and to live
as a separate community, and they\ ,ere easily
manipulated b\ the politic ins. aManr \\ ere
ignorant and illiterate, liable to be victimised, and
coniriorr ted \\ith an i increasing race prejud ice.
Jacol, Rii.. a Danish immiinrant. in his .lMakin
(/.In u .men1', sho\\w he difficulties attending the
ii\newcomler, and reveals, too, thie attractive power of
American citizenship. He tells us how, on his
return to. Denmark. he lav sick and despondent at
Elsinore, w hen, Iuddenl\, from his window he isaw
in the harb:our b:elo\\ the Stars and Stripes I rating
in the breeze, and springing up Ion his bed to wave
hi; hands, he knew that he had become an
American in truth.
While the immigrants cionrtributed immensely to
the rapid growth o.f the country and exhibited to
the .world America's great tradition of hospitality,
their ginrwiii numbers and changing, race distri-
I 36 i
butnon had begun to awaken questi.'onings before
the nineteenth century ended. \hat would be the
effect orlinrc:stricted immigrantiIn :1n tlhe unity and
c-harac ter o' the Am-erican nat;i,_n? A mcri. a wi"sl ih.d'
to be lchi, and ,wished to be h.ropiitable, bti she
wishcd also tu' remain essentially what -he wa;--to
preserve the chaia ; ter -f her p[ilitiial and social
life. Had all the imnigrantv the cIpacity f.,r
dem' oc ratio: giernii ent-the intelig ir e the man-
liness, the p,.,' cr ifr c,--:i pcration it riquircd? H_,\\
long io.uld it take: the s:h:iols, the newspapers, the
:ommnrt lan tua'', the practi,:' of political life, all
the totality of Anicri an infiuenc:e-,, to bring thiem
up to the dc:mi:ocratic IceI ? Organized labour wa.
bcUoming hu tile. while e Ilie emplo:',\er welcomed a
stream .,l'ow-pri:ced Iabnuir ti. keep down pri:oduc-
tion costs, the employee would limit the supply to
Ira.e wage" Protestant sentiment became- an.xiiu
ab',out the Catholic inllux from southernn and
Eastern Europe, whichh for thirty ycs, s. 18;;7-o7,
provided half the immigrants. The Pacific CIoast
was o'pp'.'ed ito Oriental immigration In that
matter, a precedent had already been Cet. Chlinese
imnmigrati,:.n ; ar. prohibited in 1[82.' and Japanc;e
restricted by a gentleman's agreement in 1907.
But the country wva, demanding further actio.n.
Political )parties began it chang,"e their planks. All
( 37 J
'erned the grron iing feeling and failed for restri,--
Ficm 1897 Congress attempted ,r impose a
literacy rtet but sU:cc-.i\'ce Prcidclnt \vered the
Bill. W\\'idr', Wilson declared it 191) "a radical
departure fiom (lthie tradiria.inal and long e;tablislied
policy .fI this C:,unrry and I'rom ihe \cry mi-_-ion
anu]d pirit of the natioInin respect of i(s ielation'is t:,
the peoples 'of the wcorild '. Illiteracy might denote,
not iincapac.:iy, lbit lack of 'pporiuniity. Jefferson
-had u.ecd .imilar langmcge; bhut iii 1917 the Bill was
p.ar-ed o\er the Piesidc-nt's \iro.
Tlhe Great War disclrs-ed a ne", aspect o the
quc-ti-'n. Hitherto exte nal c.:nt, had int exited
racial sentrimenr in a manner tc create internal
di,,enii-n. Bur th lie iseI the Gerrmii Empire
prodi>:ced unexpected reaction- Tlhere was a
;tirriing in the gr aveyard o:f Euriope. German reeling
;aj triiijglv a.ri.ced. Social clubs %ere n'i longer
so innocent f pi'-litical object. PredIdent Wilson
;po:l:e outit against the hyphenated Americans who
iet thie land of their birth bel;re the land of their
adoption. .\ po-.s;ible danger w a_ revealed. Was
America pro\ideniiallv de tiiied ti escape rtie race
pri:'blems :tof E.uiope? Might int the sleeping racial
'clmenimles be \alkened toi: inrernal strite?
S i[epheri:o ri. ,.'* p'p. -.--
I 38 I
Follow irng the War, came apprehensions 0o a
mighty flood of immigrant, from the Old World,
distracicd and bankrupt. There \wa% dread of iii-
creasing unemploi ment, of an influx of rc\iolu-
tionar\ opinion, which would add to thce i :ial
uni- rst. A-mern-a becan to doubt wlhetcler her lutuie
could be left to the: plans of niaural forces. The
country, it x. ,s argued, had reached ith point of
saturation and could rid loner full\ ass.imilat-e tie
ltbrcign clements So opinion shifted, and, as often
lihapp:ns in America, v.h-en it moves, it mi-'c-s
quickly\ Within a few years the police ,f restrictiori
\%as accepted li\ the ,rc.it majority of Americans
as a social alnd political necessitL.
The Ice. islation c'f thie 't cntiec restricted the
number i," irnrmiarants 1t a imni\iiium o l i 5I 50o,0 a
'.ear, di idled ailmonigs tlie variou natio:nalitIes on
a quota system fixed according to the national
origins of the American people. Persons not eligible
for citizenship were c:cluded, and only white
persons and persons of African descent are eligible.
America looked back to 1790-the starting-point of
an American people; the earlier stocks had blended
~i eil a nd to them the new policy gave a decided pre-
fcre nce. So the door was closed. Within was a nation
of rio million people, an offshoot of Northern
Eulope, an'.I determined to keep that character.
( 39 )
Long ago Disraeli bade us turn our e' es to the
younllg nations girin-L \\ up b\onrid the: sas. But
OuLr Inst4orians and our people have followed with
more attention the rise of nationalism on the
European than on the \merican :ontinent. Yet
tie making olf the Am.r-ri,.an nation is the most
important develO.pmnent orf nimoidrn times. It will
lill a greater page 1of Iutu-e Iistory than the
unification of Italv or Gerilian'.
1 lhr:ie-Fifths i.f thi' population to-dal is oflBritish
and Irish origin; there is great di\'crsity of race in
the renaitnder. \Vhen w\e talk to a soldier lad in the
.street \.i dor wl\l .;., remmniber that, while he may
be d,-scendcd from a Pilgrimn Father or a hero of
Bunker Hill, it is more likely that he is the jon
ol' a Bavarian peasant or a Scandinavian farmn'r or
an Italian shopkeeperr r a Greek shepherd or a
Boliemian or Polish mechanic, and wo may %%ell
wiondcr at tile assimilative power of American
i.ivilisatiorn which has given him a neiw language
and inpiined him %with i faith in national and
indil idual frcedo.m.
How has so, much been achieved W\\': look on at
one ,of the greatest social and polii].al e.\xperiment
o f history -an experiment in the % elding of man-
kind \e see it in its pro. css-alreadv on an un-
equalled sc:ale an unrequalled achievement. We see
I .1 I
the present problems. The result-the future
American nation-we shall not -ee. But in outline
the pro .es-., of its growth it clear. If \e turn our
eyes for a moment from the conditions of to-dav-
the problems of assimilation, all the bubbling of thc
melting-pot and its unmelted lump', to the mould
into which h its Lontent has been and is being
poured, we see the raoes being made into a nation
b\ condition', material and ideal. which create a
common life, common ideac and a community of
The authority of the national government over-
rode the divisive tradition of state rights. The
triu mphant achievements of the great iail a\\', a e
the continent physical unit', and overcame the
natural effects ,of geographical sectionnlism The
directing idea. in economic de\ciopment came
largely from Ne.\ England and the North Atlantic
tState. From t(iil centre \\ent forthl the men w\hoc
o:rgian'lng ability narthalled the labour of Europe
in the co.lonisation of the West. A single type of
life, '-prending from a single centre, with the facility
tith \which men and goods and ideas move in
A mer ica, c iated the economic unity of the country.
Modern inmention neededd the process. Free trade
o),cr the ,\holc area aimilated the mechanism of
daily existence, the habits of the people, their food
( 41 )
and dress. Wherever the immigrant nt ent he entered
into the same kind ,of life and ae caulight up intu
it' ac' ti cities
This was the material frame of unity; not less
important is the spirit. The intenLse co.ncentratiun
on material things has n.t siibmerged the ideal side
If American life. Land :.'f unprecede noted Iaith',
,,r'.,te W'hitman. The ideal .-'f 'he il'iinder) ofl the
republic-the faith in liberty and equality, the
belief in man and lie belief in pi'.'gress-have
nut been lhIst. The \ astnies and bourit of
nature, pride in the riatirin.al hi'tor,, the pre-
\ailirng energy, the sense of gr'iat achievement
anl c' onilidlece in the futr'e--these create
the atm.i-plhere in hhich the great task .,' making
a n ation ,i'such diverse clement: has been esa\ ec.
.Al t[lrouugh us histo'n the ciulintlV has been
animated bv the sense -'' a nissiun. Crud,:l\ or
spiritually expressed, it is al\'avy present. "A spiit
iofbr-'therh'-:,d ', \\ rite; a recent .\ ieric an hisitria n.
"tran:cc ndinri class, race, and religi.'n., a feelirig that
all dwellers within these state are partners in a
c':mm,,n enterprise, is the peculiar quality that
br,.ught the Aminrican Republic into. being.' I That
unique puwer of in pairing men jfdi\ erse race- ith
a comnlimn Ifaith is the greatet fI;:re -.,rasimilation.
, C .:m] n :,.r. H .. T G'.-...(, -.'f'i.- r. r.,. i..' ,.- .
( 42 I
To an assenlblage of people. without the tie; of race,
religion and history, of common inheritance and
background, the democratic faith i the essential
bond. It is this \ which creates the magic of American
citizenship and makes America an idea as \cell ac
And here a v.ord must be said oi educaition-' the
best safeguard oifdemocracy', as President Eliot or
Harvard described it-and of. religion, ,,o powerful
to unite or divide. From the beginning, educational
opportunity and religious liberty have been ol vital
importance in the making of the nation. No.
country has been more c cnsciou. o:f the imp,:irtanc e
of education oi m,:,re abundant in its educational
enterprise. Social integration and the ue o:' a
common language are essential to: democracy. To
the common c:ho'ol the country look. to draw the
immigrant out (io his race group and to spreadd
common ideas and s:oci.il habits and the s.en e of
pride in belonging to the American nation. The
ignorance and illiteracy iof i'o many immigrants
makes the burden heavy and the process slow.
'The national igo,\ernment placed religion out- ide
of r oiitic.: 'C:.ngrcs shall make no laI\ respecting
an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free
exercise rhereof.' So runs the fi rt amendment tip
the Constitution. In a land without religious.
( -1 3
establilhments and historic feuds and jealousies, the
dils iV I: force of religion is reduced to, a minimum,
and an impediment to assimilation and unity is
remou ed. There has been n,.i unifying influence of
a nati.,nal Church. Yet it may be that Christianity
has more influence to unite thli population under
conditi.nrs f l": implete freedom, where all Il.rms of
relizi..,n abouniidl, than it has %\here one lurm is
'irablished bi la i. Rellg.i',u freedoin', it has
been said. "i mn.,irr than a private right, it is an
\V hat has been true of relielun has been true of
other di'. isive f.,rcee in Eur..ipean hitorr', Wendell
\W'illkie smlnlllmed up the matter thus in his book.
\e have created a strung nation because these
new arrivals did nr.it have the distractions, under
our o:rnm o:f government, of continually opposing
and battling one anojthrr, but entered as partners
into thie general iiplbui-lding and con.,rislidation. ...
The lieicht o .,i .iir civilisati,.n ha. been reached..
by the abillit of' peo-ples. of ,arine belief and of
different racial e\tractiions to, live side by side in
the Lniited States vith comnimon understanding,
respect and I-:lpllriess '
What is th,: ignificancr '.i the racial factor in
American history S? South African history is d:omin-
* ', ,I pp. I ",7-9
I 44 .
ared by it, Canadian much influenced. But in the
United States there has been no race sectionalism-
no. concentration ofcone people in a partIcular area,
like the French Canadians in Quebec. None of the
American states ha' a national basis; all were
artifcially formed, so far as their race character
is concerned. And the larger groupings in the
COuntrV, the cc(tion-s, have a tinily ofc eonoirnl,
not racial, i. rterest.
Nor in ihle reat inmove'ient, of American history
have the race difference? asserted themselhex
Perhaps here there has been safety it-, numbers; lor.
while two races will contend 1'-r the mastery, many
will more eail\ imitL their effort's in a common tack
Taken as a whole, the vast immigration connti-
buted substantially to the -ettlement of the Wesi,
to industrial expansion and it political unity The
uniform mi vot American civi isauni to-dav Inmpresse.;
the iraxeller more than the dclri.it.r of the perple..
\VWhile the ereat namenc in American histo-ry haxe
a familiar sound to. us, we -bserve the contribution
of the foreign ;trains to Americar, culture in recent
times-to literature, the fine arts and music, to
religion, science and leii ing. Many of Ainmerca's
leading writer, to-day do not bear Anglo-Saxon
ran'jCes.1 Are lthei a' ha' been aid, "a fo:rcign
I Gord' n, l rit p. '...
( 45 )
patch on the American quilt'. or are they tluly'
national? Whence is their inspiration? Such a
question Ioo:ks beyond our sight. Only the lututre
can reveal the inlluence of the different peoples in
the formation of lnaional character and culture.
It mu t be admitted that the ideal of American
democracy and American unit', has not been
seriouslv challenged Itom without. Few external
e\cnt. ha\ e tended .to precipitate racial reeling, lor
moit immigrants have been glad t:, leave the Old
worldl d behind them. The Irish, indeed, are slo to
lorgi t or iobri\ve the \ ron'i- of their race and ha\e
generally exerted their influence in an anti-English
sense. 'It Imu.t al avs be borne in mind', \\rote
Sir Li..onc ISacL\ ille- W\et from \\'ashington to Lord
Granville in i :j, that the object ofthe Irish party
here is to create ill-feeling bet\\ ren the t\\l:i coun-
tries',' and members of Cong'ress dependent on the
Irish vote will use language much Istrnger than
their real sentiimentS. A feeling :,f this kind might
be a cause :,I trouble in internati.:,nal relations, but
not a peril to national unity. Even if Hitler in 1940
had triumphed in Europe and Africa, if South
America had fallen to the Axis, and he had
made an appeal t, racial srentinment in the United
' riat.' L rr tl'.'i tl HI a,',iI EC-t's,'. 1i ilij. .,rt.., 188.0-5
tdihed h., K a.Slpi'id. P and Cle er, C'. M N p. i78.
I 4b )
States, it is unlikely that he could have endangered
internal unity. Nazi philosophy was ne\cr ac-
ceptable to American democracy
In America, then, we conclude that the differ-
ences of the European peoples have had non major
political significance. The manner ofsettlemcnt and
the assimilative power of American ci\ilination
reduced them from major to minor influences.
Foreign elements are not grouped in the states in
such numbers as to capture the machinery of
government, tloulh this may happen in towns.
Appeals to racc Iceling have been of local and
temporary significance, and not concerning great
issues of national policy. The unifying influence
of political lilf varies with local circumstances,
hut steadily prevails.
Willkie alludes in his b-.ok to, the 'maladjiist-
menits ol'the races'. He see muicnh remaining to be
done if Am ricKa is to realise her ideals. Th;i is
doubtless true. But the historian w\ho, is dealing not
with the problems o: contemporary politics, but
re, viewing the \ holile story, may justly conclude that
the American experiment has aLiieved an amazing
su.'cess and that nowhere is an,,thing equal to it
seen. The process is unfinished, the mutual assinmi-
lation of the races continues,; asiimiiilation is not
amalgamation, and we know\ too little about Ilir
' -17 I
fusi -o of races to visualis e the America of the future'.
But the hop,--: of the fhioun ders wveren not ixt ra\agant.
The (ettlemert of America was, to use the words
of John .dams in 1765, "the opening of a grand
scene' I "A nation', said Disraeli, 'i a \\ork ol'art
and a xork ,of time." Certainly, they who build a
nation (.ut '-f earth's niyn races inust have an ideal
l-Ir their ally and t-kec patience int..l thrir p.'litics.
This the size of the country and the varictv of its
people emphasise fItr the Ullrted States. But the
extent to which unifli:caii-n has already\ proceeded,
and the irm faith and intention that it shall
proceed, seem likely o make true the national
m ottr,, ti f/illni.'l'. lllil. l.
' '.L.,It.-:I in t.Zlhri. 'I at. p 2''
i 4;- i