Immigration as treated in early history textbooks 1789-1939: prelude to multiculturalism
Lang, Mary Lee M.
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The purpose of this study was to discover the degree to which thirty-nine secondary textbooks used in the united States from 1789 to 1939 covered the significant topics that comprised the immigrant experience. Immigrants from Europe, Japan, and China were studied. Using a topic outline as the basis for discussion, authors' comments that were typical representations of their viewpoints were included. Besides this outline, which formed the heart of this study, several other evaluative measures were used. Bias was determined by using an evaluative coefficient analysis system. A picture identification checklist was utilized to classify designated components of each picture. Also, page coverage was included for the topic of immigration as well as by immigrant group classification. The results of this study indicated that immigration was not a significant topic in the early American history textbooks until after World War I. This investigation also revealed that immigration was treated in an biased light by the 1789-1939 historians. Bias that favored the English immigrants was discovered when page and topic coverage was analyzed. Bias by the omission of immigrant contributions was found. Pictures, too, formed a negative stereotype of the immigrant as a victim of crowded cities and the lines of Ellis Island.
- Doctoral Dissertations