What follows are screen shots of the above mentioned article published in the May 1914 edition of “The World’s Work.” This is one of the articles which deeply impressed upon my Uncle Sammy and me the deep seated concerns and fears about immigration during the 1910s. It also inspired us to craft a response in the form of three letters to Gennaro Serrapede as featured in postings 11a, 11b and 11c.
I am posting these articles as a way to get people to think on how a response that was deeply felt and a fear widely spread at that time proved wrong as the following decades passed. The immigrants went on to become loyal Americans, many serving their new country in WWI and WWII.
What is shown by the passage of time is that fear is easily transmitted and proliferated while hope and anticipation for a better tomorrow is an uphill struggle to communicate en masse. The writers of these articles were alarmed at an unknown future, one that was not predictable given how diverse the immigrants were and how many were coming at the same time. The fear communicated in these articles also reveals how little faith the writers had in all that the process of becoming American involved.
When I read my maternal Grandfather’s Declaration of Intent, I am struck by how much it is like a marriage vow. He promised to forsake all allegiance to Italy and the King of Italy in order to become an American citizen. To forsake means to leave forever and embrace the new country as the Motherland and Fatherland in all ways. All who signed their own Declarations of Intent knew they were making a tremendous change in their lives and identities. It was not something undertaken lightly. The contributions our immigrant ancestors made during WWI, WWII and to the post-WWII economic growth show how enriched the country was by the contributions of those who were hardworking members of our society.
Please note you may find the language in the article unacceptable. You must read it with the point of view that it is 1914, not 2015.
The World’s Work, May 1914 issue
Google Books https://archive.org/details/worldswork12pagegoog
In this volume please see: “Controversies of Race and Religion”, May 1914, pgs. 16-17.