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The Liberty of StrangersMaking the American Nation$
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Desmond King

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306439

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306439.001.0001

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The Drive for Authentic Americans

The Drive for Authentic Americans

World War I Nationalism

(p.63) 5 The Drive for Authentic Americans
The Liberty of Strangers

Desmond King

Oxford University Press

Challenging hierarchy was a politically necessary step towards reforming and revising the content of the one-people nationalism philosophy. However, as this chapter explains, a first tentative step in this direction—to establish a racial equality clause in the League of Nations' constitution—failed in large part because of America's opposition. The United States government established a national committee to orchestrate loyalty even if the nationhood was weakly established among many Americans. It is shown that the United States was unwilling to break with the hierarchical view of the world's peoples in its foreign policy. When Americanization interacted with patriotic needs, such as during World War I, the dynamics of nation-building were most intense. To secure the cause of one-people nationalism, political leaders disparaged ethnic loyalty as incompatible with American politics.

Keywords:   authentic Americans, World War I, one-people Nationalism, United States, ethnic loyalty

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