A Folk Divided: Homeland Swedes and Swedish Americans, 1840-1940

A Folk Divided: Homeland Swedes and Swedish Americans, 1840-1940

by H. Arnold Barton
     
 

ISBN-10: 0809319446

ISBN-13: 9780809319442

Pub. Date: 12/02/1994

Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press

In this unique longitudinal study of how a divided people relate to one another, H. Arnold Barton outlines dilemmas created by the great migration of Swedes to the United States from 1840 through 1940 and the complex love-hate relationship that resulted between those who stayed and those who left. During that hundred-year period, one Swede out of five voluntarily

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Overview

In this unique longitudinal study of how a divided people relate to one another, H. Arnold Barton outlines dilemmas created by the great migration of Swedes to the United States from 1840 through 1940 and the complex love-hate relationship that resulted between those who stayed and those who left. During that hundred-year period, one Swede out of five voluntarily immigrated to the United States, and four-fifths of those immigrants remained in their new country. This study seeks to explore the far-reaching implications of this mass migration for both Swedes and Swedish Americans.

The Swedes were a literate, historically aware people, and the 1.2 million Swedes who immigrated to the United States offer a particularly well-documented and illuminating case study. Barton has skillfully woven into the text translations of little known published and unpublished Swedish sources from both sides of the Atlantic, to embody—in haunting human terms—both what was gained and what was lost through emigration.

Past studies have traditionally shown ethnic mobilization to be a defensive reaction against the exclusive nativism of resident Americans. Barton convincingly demonstrates, however, that the creation of a distinctive Swedish-American identity was at least equally an expression of the immigrants’ need to justify leaving their homeland to their former compatriots and to themselves by asserting a rightful and unique place within the Swedish national community. He concludes that the relationship between Swedes and Swedish Americans was essentially similar to that experienced by other peoples divided by migration, and that the long debate over the United States and emigration at its deepest level reveals both hopes and fears most conspicuously symbolized by America and "Americanization" in an increasingly integrated world undergoing the relentless advance of modernization.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809319442
Publisher:
Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date:
12/02/1994
Series:
Studia Multiethnica Upsaliensia
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
424
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Preface
1Prologue: Before the Great Migration5
2The Flow Begins, 1840-186513
3A New Sweden Across the Sea37
4A Group Portrait for Those at Home44
5The Creation of a Swedish-American Identity59
6What Was Sweden to Do?71
7Changing Signals80
8Visitations and Counter-Visitations90
9Swedish America Self-Appraised114
10The Homeland Faces Its Emigration Crisis133
11The Search for Answers147
12The Anti-Emigration Movement166
13Transatlantic Visions and Images179
14Visitors to Alien Shores187
15The Heyday of Swedish America210
16Swedish America at the Divide245
17A Changing Sweden and the Swedish Americans265
18Travelers from Afar283
19The Afterglow302
20Epilogue329
App. 1. Annual Emigration from and Remigration to Sweden, 1851-1940343
App. 2. A Note on Swedish Regions and Their Inhabitants347
App. 3. Map of the Swedish-born in North America, 1920-21348
Notes349
An Essay on Sources388
Index393

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