• History,  Immigration

    Immigrant bashing, 18th Century style

    The words may have changed, but the melody sure is familiar. The English-only nativists [in the American colonies] who attacked the Germans used arguments similar to those heard nowadays against newer immigrants. Benjamin Franklin considered the Pennsylvania Germans to be a “swarthy” racial group distinct from the English majority in the colony. In 1751 he complained, “Why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and…