The Rise and Impact of Anti-German Sentiment In Iowa 1917-1921
The problem. This thesis attempts to find out exactly what happened to the German-Americans in Iowa in 1917-1921 and suggests reasons for the difficulties they experienced. The procedure. the Des Moines Register served as a starting point as did many secondary works dealing with the period. Scanning the paper provided the overall view of life at the time. Bibliographies provided additional sources. Most local and church histories used are in the author's personal collection of such items and are available from the institutions themselves. The government propaganda items quoted are in the collection of Cowles library, Drake University. The findings. During this period, everyone lived under a great deal of pressure from federal and local government. In Iowa, the Governor, by proclamation, forbade the use of any foreign language in school, church, or any public place. There was pressure to purchase Liberty Bonds and on the local level matters were often handled by "extra-legal" courts. Government propaganda was plentiful and did little to discourage anti-German feeling. Iowans of German birth or ancestry lived in every county of Iowa which insured their visibility in the state and their contact with other segments of the population. In some areas, competition between the groups existed and these factors added to the difficulties when war came. The indications are that the Germans were not disloyal and few cases involving them ever reached court.