World War I Spurs Anti-German Crusade

1914 — 1918

United States

Discrimination & Inequity Race & Ethnicity

During the time of World War I, the U.S. witnessed drastic decline in immigration and a rise in intolerance toward foreigners. As Germany was a U.S. enemy during the war, German immigrants and German Americans found themselves the targets of forced Americanization campaigns and daily hostility and discrimination. The use of German language in schools (see also: State legislation authorizes German bilingual education, 1831)and the wider culture came under attack. In some places, German music was even banned. By the close of the war, most states had passed laws against foreign language instruction. Many German Americans were compelled to prove their allegiance to the United States through military service and cultural assimilation.