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“FIGHTING MIT SIGEL” OR “RUNNING MIT HOWARD”: ATTITUDES TOWARDS GERMAN-AMERICANS IN THE CIVIL WAR

by Ruschau, Adam Richard

Abstract (Summary)
There is a disagreement over the role of the American Civil War in the acculturation and Americanization of German immigrants. Some have argued that the Civil War helped Americanize German immigrants. Others have claimed that the war only exacerbated ethnic tensions. Using newspapers, journals, diaries, letters, and memoirs, this thesis explores northern Americans’ attitudes towards German-Americans as they developed through the course of the war. It argues that two conflicting and coexisting stereotypes of Germans emerged during the Civil War: the German as a looter and a coward and the German as a fiercely loyal patriot. Eventually, the loyalty much of the German-American population showed to the Union overshadowed allegations of cowardice in the mindset of the American people, demonstrating that loyalty trumped courage in nineteenth-century American opinions of what qualities made one “worthy” of American citizenship.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Miami University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:german american civil war germans in eleventh corps

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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