Social class in the United States Though most Americans today identify themselves as middle classAmerican society and its culture are considerably more fragmented. Distinct lifestyles, consumption patterns and values are associated with different classes.
It was used together with concepts of the United States as an ideal republic and a " city upon a hill " or new promised land. While "melting" was in common use the exact term "melting pot" came into general usage inafter the premiere of the play The Melting Pot by Israel Zangwill.
The first use in American literature of the concept of immigrants "melting" into the receiving culture are found in the writings of J. In his Letters from an American Farmer Crevecoeur writes, in response to his own question, "What then is the American, this new man? He becomes an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater.
Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world. What, then, is the American, this new man? He is either an European or American melting pot the city of descendant of an European; hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country.
I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have now four wives of different nations.
He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds The Americans were once scattered all over Europe; here they are incorporated into one of the finest systems of population which has ever appeared.
John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer InRalph Waldo Emersonalluding to the development of European civilization out of the medieval Dark Ageswrote in his private journal of America as the Utopian product of a culturally and racially mixed " smelting pot", but only in were his remarks first published.
In his writing, Emerson explicitly welcomed the racial intermixing of whites and non-whites, a highly controversial view during his lifetime. A magazine article in used the metaphor explicitly: The fusing process goes on as in a blast-furnace ; one generation, a single year even—transforms the English, the German, the Irish emigrant into an American.
Uniform institutions, ideas, language, the influence of the majority, bring us soon to a similar complexion; the individuality of the immigrant, almost even his traits of race and religion, fuse down in the democratic alembic like chips of brass thrown into the melting pot.
In his essay The Significance of the Frontier in American Historyhe referred to the "composite nationality" of the American people, arguing that the frontier had functioned as a " crucible " where "the immigrants were Americanized, liberated and fused into a mixed race, English in neither nationality nor characteristics".
In his travel narrative The American SceneHenry James discusses cultural intermixing in New York City as a "fusion, as of elements in solution in a vast hot pot".
Here you stand, good folk, think I, when I see them at Ellis Island, here you stand in your fifty groups, your fifty languages, and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries.
A fig for your feuds and vendettas! God is making the American. Vera is an idealistic settlement house worker and David is a composer struggling to create an "American symphony" to celebrate his adopted homeland.
Together they manage to overcome the old world animosities that threaten to separate them. But then David discovers that Vera is the daughter of the Tsarist officer who directed the pogrom that forced him to flee Russia.
Horrified, he breaks up with her, betraying his belief in the possibility of transcending religious and ethnic animosities. At the end of the play the lovers are reconciled. Reunited with Vera and watching the setting sun gilding the Statue of LibertyDavid Quixano has a prophetic vision: There she lies, the great Melting-Pot—Listen!
There gapes her mouth, the harbor where a thousand mammoth feeders come from the ends of the world to pour in their human freight". Ah, Vera, what is the glory of Rome and Jerusalem where all nations and races come to worship and look back, compared with the glory of America, where all races and nations come to labour and look forward!
United States[ edit ] In terms of immigrants to the United Statesthe "melting pot" process has been equated with Americanizationthat is, cultural assimilation and acculturation.
The "melting pot" metaphor implies both a melting of cultures and intermarriage of ethnicitiesyet cultural assimilation or acculturation can also occur without intermarriage.
Thus African-Americans are fully culturally integrated into American culture and institutions.By Jack Rakove 6/3/ • American History Magazine, Politics.
The moderates debated whether war with Britain outweighed the real benefits colonists enjoyed as subjects of the king. In the decade before the American colonies declared independence, no patriot enjoyed greater renown than John Dickinson. Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians — into the Crucible with you all!
God is making the American.” Despite its shortcomings, the great melting pot was the face of America for decades after Zangwill’s play. The city of New Orleans, now prosperous from its diversity, epitomizes the "American Melting Pot".
It is complicated to relate such different backgrounds, but with an overview of history, culture, religion, and integration on a small scale, a reader is capable of applying . Much to my chagrin, the melting pot metaphor has been out of style for decades. Way back in , Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously lamented that in New York City, at least, we.
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ROSE: By the eve of the American Revolution, Philadelphia was the biggest city in the colonies.