Friday, December 1, 2017

Ah, history............................


     He was not at all happy about the number of Germans coming to America, especially to Pennsylvania, where they tended to vote en bloc, the first instance of ethnicity in politics.  "Why should the Palantine boor 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 Germanise us, instead of us Anglicising them?"  He wanted language qualifications "for any Post of trust, profit, or honor."  He also wanted monetary rewards to encourage Englishmen to marry German women, but dismissed the idea for "German women are generally so disagreeable to an English eye that it wou'd require great portions to induce Englishman to marry them."  These views were by no means unusual among the founders.  Neither Washington nor Jefferson wanted unlimited or even large-scale immigration.

-Paul Johnson, A History of the American People, quoting Benjamin Franklin circa the late 1780s

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