Date of this Version
Americanizing the West is an eloquently written account of Progressive reformers' concerted efforts to Americanize immigrants and ethnics in the American West, with a specific focus on the Mountain and Southwest regions, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Americanization in the West was not a simple replica of similar efforts in the American East. In the West, Americanizers encountered a unique multicultural environment and the presence of ethnic groups who resided there well before the arrival of the first "Anglos" in the region. Euro-American pioneers pouring into the area during the second half of the nineteenth century increasingly interpreted the West as a "racial frontier" on which they attempted to create white dominance and supremacy over all other "races." To this end, they created a myth that portrayed the West as a manifestly "white country," the product of white pioneering and white pioneers who defined themselves as such vis-a-vis the "ethnic other."