Images of German-Americans During World War I
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This study will follow a roughly chronological progression through the years of the First World War, beginning toward the end of the first decade of the Twentieth century, and concluding with the immediate aftermath of the armistice and peace negotiations. This chronological recounting of the war and surrounding events will utilize articles, editorials, and letters to the editor pulled from a selection of prominent newspapers from· across the United States, so as to achieve some sense of the vast array of opinion and great proliferation of thought regarding the worth and character of German-Americans, and their place in American society, if they were to be given any place at all. Hopefully, after a close reading of this work, the reader will come away from it with a sense of the great variety of thought on the subject, as opposed to an elementary understanding of the First World War as a universal anti-German witch hunt of sorts. In addition to this, it is hoped that the reader gains a further understanding of the dramatically sudden nature with which new kinds of opinions on the subject arose during the war years. If the war years were characterized by a great variety of opinion regarding Germans and German-Americans, they were also characterized by the rise of many new strains of thought and opinion which had not previously been present in the national conversation, or had at the very least not been present in a significant way. Finally, while keeping these themes of variety and change in mind, remember how this case is a useful and illustrative example of some basic historical principles and truths.