julianne newmark In the first three decades of the twentieth century, racial nativism wielded considerable direct and indirect influence on policies that affected broader American attitudes concerning Native American people. In this three-decade period, many factors caused the kinds of national insecurity and instability that make a cultural climate ripe for upsurges in protectionist nativism. America experienced its greatest wave of immigration, the nation's soldiers fought in a heretofore unimaginable global conflict, the African American northern migration began, and an economic collapse took hold. Yet xenophobic nativism, also called Anglo-Saxon nativism, is more than a mere protective or "ethnocentric habit of mind," as John Higham points out. Within racial nativism, "race" becomes a vague glyph, employed in specific ascriptive fashion to groups of people who, for whichever of a variety of reasons, don't seem to have the requisite "national character," in Higham's phrase, to be "American."1 Functionaries of race-driven nativism that had particular impact on indigenous Americans were the Dawes Act, the Native American boarding school system, and the associated "outing" program. Between 1902 and 1938 Gertrude Bonnin (also known by her self-given name, Zitkala-Sa) came to understand that the employment of pluralist rhetoric could help her to
The American Indian Quarterly – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Oct 5, 2012
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