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View Diary: Who Am I?: Not So Irish After All (A Big Genealogy Surprise, Part 2) (180 comments)

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  •  I have several thoughts about that… (4+ / 0-)

    1. You’re exactly right. The Irish wave of immigration was around 1850. By 1924, after two or three generations of assimilation, the Irish were considered just another ethnic group (and they were a political force in places like Boston). But the 1910 Italians and the Greeks and Slavs! Oh no! We have to keep them out. They’re impoverished, they have alien customs and different religions, we’re going to be overrun. Some of them are criminals. And have you seen the food they eat? We need to pass a law to keep them out. They’ll ruin our way of life. This happened over and over again.

    2. There’s an essay written by Ben Franklin back in the 18th century where he worries about the influx of Germans (I wonder if he was thinking about the Pennsylvania Dutch and other similar groups). And speaking of Germans….

    3. In Minnesota, there are a lot of ethnic groups, English (in the southeast), Eastern Europeans and Finns (in the northeast), Scandinavians (in a lot of places), and Germans. In my (Norwegian-American) family there was sort of a prejudice against Germans. That includes both German Catholics and German Lutherans (plus you have to remember that the Germans lost two world wars). Germans were conservative. My family’s ancestors were all Norwegian Lutherans (and mostly liberal). When I was a kid, the Lutherans belonged to one of three groups: ALC was Norwegian, LCA was Swedish, and Missouri Synod was German. If you belonged to one church, you wouldn’t go to one of the other churches.

    Take a look at this map, which shows the most German counties in MN:

    Now look at this map, which shows the most Republican counties in the 2004 election:

    The Germans settled in the middle of Minnesota (around the city of St. Cloud), which is the most Republican area. By the way, this is where Michele Bachmann’s district is.

    4. Another thing, sometimes when you look back at history, progressives had good ideas and bad ideas. For example, the Suffrage movement wanted women to vote (good idea) but they also wanted to outlaw alcohol (not such a good idea). And there were eugenicists who advocated birth control and family planning (good idea), but their goal was to prevent African-Americans, Catholics, felons, mentally-challenged people, deaf people,and immigrants from having children (maybe not so good).

    If you managed to read this whole rant, thanks.

    And if you feel like reading more, here’s something I wrote on Daily about a few of My Norwegian Ancestors.

    Take care.

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:34:08 PM PST

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    •  Read with pleasure (1+ / 0-)
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      The Minnesota German stuff is very interesting.

      I have often thought, reading history from the 1924 period, that there's hardly anyone I agree with 100%. Woodrow Wilson, OK on economics, terrible on race and civil liberties. William Jennings Bryan, better on economics but not to my taste on religion, prohibition or evolution. Teddy Roosevelt, progressive on many things, but a militaristic imperialist who strongly opposed immigrant groups maintaining any identity from their homeland. Easy for you to say! And of course the Progressive reformers, who supported Suffrage as you say but also Prohibition.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:24:44 AM PST

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