Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Jeffers Lennox

Major

History (HIST)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

The nineteenth-century German immigrant community of Central Texas has long been associated with certain anti-slavery and pro-Union stereotypes which originate from the political opinions of a radical minority. The first Germans to arrive in Central Texas in the 1840¿¿¿s intentionally excluded themselves from participation in the region¿¿¿s politics and culture. By comparison, the small number of highly politicized Germans who sought refuge in Texas in the years immediately after the failed Revolutions of 1848 actively sought to engage in debates and controversies surrounding major issues such as slavery. These radical ¿¿¿Forty-Eighters¿¿¿ had a disproportionally large impact on the perceived liberal identity of the German immigrants as a whole, a dynamic that has often been ignored in the relevant historiography. The association of the German community with abolitionism, fostered by contemporary American newspapermen, was ultimately cemented by the experiences of the Civil War.

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