Struggles over Immigrants' Language: Literacy Tests in the United States, 1917-1966

By Young-in Oh | Go to book overview

Introduction

In August 2006, the U.S. Senate passed an immigration bill stipulating English as the “national language of the United States.”1 Senator James M. Inhofe from Oklahoma had successfully put forth his bill that asserted, “no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the Government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English.”2 Senator Inhofe proudly declared that it was the first victory toward securing English as the national language since 1981 when the first proposal to declare English the official language nationwide was put forth in the Congress.3

The 1981 effort was clearly not the first attempt to standardize English as an official language since the founding of the United States. Individuals such as John Adams and Theodore Roosevelt had spearheaded similar campaigns in 1780 and in the 1880s respectively.4 Ultimately, such attempts achieved little success in light of the consensus view that it was improper for any government to interfere in the matter of individual languages. At the beginning of the 21st century, however, twenty-five states and forty cities passed some form of law that proclaimed English the official language.5 Current proponents of official English measures argue that the purpose of this legislation is to promote national unity and protect a common bond that holds the divergent society together.6

The United States is a well-known representative of many multiracial countries which never declared a specific national language. While it is a nation where diverse ethnicities with different tongues and nationalities live together, it was unnecessary for centuries to legislate an official language because English was obviously the de facto common language. This historical reality raises the question of why the United States suddenly requires an official language where none existed before. The easy conclusion is that the English only movement

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Struggles over Immigrants' Language: Literacy Tests in the United States, 1917-1966
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 174

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.