Tag Archives: Americanization

The Bethel Academy Class of 1917

“Are You Loyal?”: Bethel as an Immigrant School in 1917-18

Because of their widespread pro-German sentiments at the beginning of the European conflict and outspoken support for American neutrality, up to April 1917, the Swedes and other Scandinavians in the United States faced a highly uncomfortable situation, causing many to overreact—or to keep quiet. – H. Arnold Barton, A Folk Divided, p. 248 Both responses — overreact […]

"Remember! The flag of liberty" - 1918 propaganda aimed at recent immigrants

“100 Percentism”: Nativism in WWI America

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism…. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or […]

Calvin College student in military uniform, 1918

War and Americanization at Immigrant Schools: Bethel and Calvin

Not long after the United States entered the First World War, Bethel Academy graduated its class of 1917, fifteen strong. It had been sixty-five years since Swedish Baptist immigrants founded their first American congregation, yet still one in three of the school’s graduates were natives of Sweden or Norway, and almost all the rest had Scandinavian surnames. That last […]