German immigrants in Dubois County, Indiana, and the temperance movement of the 1850s

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dc.contributor.advisor Glen, John M., 1953- en_US Hoffman, Aaron en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us-in en_US 2011-06-03T19:38:00Z 2011-06-03T19:38:00Z 1997 en_US 1997
dc.identifier LD2489.Z72 1997 .H65 en_US
dc.description.abstract In the 1850s, many of Indiana's native-born Protestant population perceived the traditions and customs of German immigrants, specifically those concerning drinking alcoholic beverages and beer, as a threat to their "American way of life." They believed that the Germans' public drinking habits and behavior were the source of social problems causing instability and disorder prevalent in many of their communities. Although these problems were caused by Indiana's rapid industrialization and urbanization, older-stock Hoosiers blamed them on the readily identifiable immigrants. During the 1850s, temperance advocates in Indiana sought to force the German immigrants to conform to native-born Anglo-American culture to solve these problems of societal order and control. The temperance movement in Indiana was a fight to impose American cultural values on immigrants. Though temperance was a powerful social and political force in Indiana in the 1850s, it could not alter the tight-knit German Catholic community of Dubois County.The numerical strength of the German community and their strong opposition to assimilation hindered the temperance movement in Dubois County. The prominent role of the local Catholic Church and the Germans' common ethnic and cultural identity were two main factors in keeping temperance out of the county. Other significant factors were the permanent nature of the Germanimmigrants' settlement, the rural isolation of the county, the domination of the local Democratic party, and the prominence of beer in the German-Americans' culture.This study is historically important for several reasons. First, the reaction of this specific community to the antebellum temperance campaign provides a more complete understanding of how German immigrants in Indiana and the Midwest dealt with the problems of assimilation. Second, by focusing on a rural area, the German reaction to the issues of assimilation and temperance can be identified and examined independent of the urban problems of industrialization, overcrowding, and unemployment. Finally, it also constitutes the only known interpretation of the Indiana temperance movement from the perspective of those it most affected: the immigrants themselves.
dc.description.sponsorship Department of History
dc.format.extent vi, 286 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh German Americans -- Alcohol use -- History. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh German Americans -- Indiana -- Dubois County -- History. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Catholics -- Indiana -- Dubois County -- History. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Temperance -- Indiana -- History. en_US
dc.subject.other Dubois County (Ind.) -- History. en_US
dc.title German immigrants in Dubois County, Indiana, and the temperance movement of the 1850s en_US Thesis (M.A.)
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Master's Theses [5510]
    Master's theses submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University master's degree candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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