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Americanizing Maine immigrant Youth late 1800s - 1920s

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Public education in Maine for Jewish immigrants like Goldie Sulkowitch (left) reflected a national movement to use schooling as a means of Americanizing immigrant youth. These efforts to implant respect for democracy and American ideals are an example of outside pressures that shaped Jewish identity in Maine. Students posing in costume with the American flag were part of public education for immigrant children. Beginning in the late 19th century and into the 1920s, Maine's largest city became home to numbers of new immigrants. The Irish families already in Maine were joined by Italians, Jews, Armenians, Greeks and Chinese citizens. Americanization classes had various motivations. Some citizens and groups genuinely feared foreign influences would harm democracy and wished to homogenize all newcomers. Other classes sought only to make the transition easier for them. #mainehistory #jewishmaine #immigration #americanization #emersonschoolportland

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thanks to DMJ for the video


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