AHC: Screw US integration of immigrants

On the tin: significantly slow and delay the Americanization of the 'first wave' of predominantly European immigrants. The goal is an America where well into the 20th century, 'ethnic' immigrants and their descendants still largely live within their social networks. German and Scandinavian newspapers survive long enough to evolve into TV or at least radio across the Great Plains, matchmakers are still consulted by millions of Yiddish-speaking Jews in New York City, Italians keep their folk Catholicism alive and well to the horror of the nativists, 'Little Polands' comprise entire counties in the Upper Midwest, and New England is somehow even more Irish and proud than it is IOTL.

Something likely has to be done about Teddy Roosevelt to make this happen, but I think that going further back would be more effective: kill Horace Mann before he gets involved in public life. He practiced what he preached, transforming education into something that should be supported by the state government as a public, secular institution to impress a common civic identity onto American youth. Without him proving his ideas successful in Massachusetts and spreading them to the Whig Party, this should at least delay the public school system as a melting pot for several decades in time for turn-of-the-century mass immigration. Once they're in by the millions, many public officials without a proven notion of secular public education could shrug at the issue, asking little more of them than obeying the law and paying their taxes. Without the government actively inviting them into 'American' life, the immigrants and their children are likely to follow the existing precedent of American education, building and operating their own schools specific to their faith and mother tongue. If the private-sector skills and trades essential to any society (doctors, mechanics, restaurateurs, etc.) are still being passed down to children getting an education in the language of the old country, that kills off most of the environmental 'pull' into the majority 'just American' life. Thus integration will still happen, but only at a crawl when an individual wants to marry out, suffers disgrace or a falling out with their community, or actively pursues a career in the government at the state or federal level.


Do what's Turkey doing right now! Open borders and take as much as Middle Easterners without any questions while rejecting your own modern secular Turkic people!


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Do what's Turkey doing right now! Open borders and take as much as Middle Easterners without any questions while rejecting your own modern secular Turkic people!
This is kick two for dragging Current Politics kicking and screaming out of Chat.

Count is 0-2. Don't expect any ball to be called from here on out.

See ya in 7
An interesting POD and one that comes out of Left field, but here you go:

In the early 20th century there was a proposal within the American Catholic Church, by Polish priests, to grant an extra-territorial bishop to the Polish-American community. This was denied because the Church by this point was wedded very strongly to territorial bishops in America as they were in Europe, their support for 'national' parishes aside. However, there had been similar suggestions before, especially amongst German clergy who, whatever their politics, were considered 'conservative' on the whole 'Americanizing and giving up their language and customs' idea. The Irish clergy, on the other hand, were far more in favor of Americanization (because, lets be honest, they had much less to lose. Most already spoke English, and even the staunchest Americanizers had a tendency of being Irish nationalists or at least willing to support the nationalists).

So, lets say that - as the surge of immigrants comes in - it becomes a bit much for the Church to handle (what with the fighting and bickering between the Irish, the Germans and the French) and so Propaganda throws its collective hands in the air and decides to support the concept of national bishops. You still have the territorial system of the US Church, yes, but there was these extra-territorial bishops for Germans and Irish. As the 19th century continues, you see additional heirarchies for the Italians, Poles, and more. These would certainly promote the national interests of their flocks; paroachial education would probably be even more focused on the native language of the students and though English would be taught, it would almost certainly be as ESL (to use a modern term). The education bit isn't too different from OTL, but what does change if you now have entire institutions in place to preserving immigrant culture and identities, and though they wouldn't be impossible to get rid of as time goes it, it will be difficult. This would also build up a strong counter to the Americanizing faction within the Church as well (An Irish Bishop of, say, St. Paul could pass a decree demanding English language services in all of his diocean parishes, but if the Polish churches fall outside of his jurisdiction - and he has little say in who the Polish bishops are - it doesn't really amount to much.)

I don't think that this is going to preserve ethnic identities by itself (for that you're going to have to have the 19th century/Progressive Era discussion over what makes a good American citizen go in a different direction - though that's not as impossible as some would have you believe) but it would still give a strong push in that direction.

On a side note, you're also going to have to find a way to either strangle the post-war suburbanization in it's cradle or alter it in such a way that it wrks to preserve communities.
You can preserve the German language if you keep the USA from entering WW1 on the side of the Entente, but German-speaking Americans would still consider themselves Americans. It didn't take long relatively speaking for America to develop its own regional varieties of German. Preserving the language is one thing, but keeping them from participating in civic life would be considerably more difficult. Also even if you preserve languages other than German, there's a good chance that America would develop its own regional varieties of those languages too.
The fear of immigrants and their parochial schools led to Supreme Court Case - Pierce vs. Society of Sisters in 1925. In the 1920s there was a great deal of pressure to end the ethnic parochial schools that tended to be run by the Catholic church and had their own curriculum, and often taught children their parents' native tongue. Perhaps if compulsory education gets off to a slower start, you could see large ethnic settlement blocs, particularly in rural areas.

In Brazil the 1940 census counted 644,458 speakers of German as their primary daily language. However, of these 580,114 (90%) had been born in Brazil. By 1940, the majority of German speakers were not even second-generation immigrants, but third and fourth-generation by 1940 as German immigration to rural southern Brazil before 1890. In 1940 the state of Rio Grande do Sul had 393,934 German speakers, though only 18,120 German-born individuals. It would be interesting if something similar would have occurred in the United States with Germans, Scandinavians etc. North Dakota and much of Minnesota might fight the bill.
Avoid the Civil War. Have American Nationalism get devastated and the US ends up predominantly a common market and defense pact with no Federal Income tax, state share of GDP at Federal level still low single digits, no incorporation of the Bill of Rights. European immigration remains open decades later, allowing many migrant communities more people until their communities (and in some cases entire cities) are well established.