"Yn eu hiaith eu hunain" / "In their own language." The settlement and assimilation of the Welsh in Iowa County, Wisconsin, 1840-1920.

Humphries, Robert (2012) "Yn eu hiaith eu hunain" / "In their own language." The settlement and assimilation of the Welsh in Iowa County, Wisconsin, 1840-1920. thesis, University of Wales, Trinity St David.

[img]
Preview
Text
ROBERT HUMPHRIES.pdf
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview

Abstract

Attracted by opportunities in lead mining and agriculture, the Welsh established a small but influential ethnic community in Iowa County, Wisconsin, in the mid-nineteenth century. However, it is a community that has so far escaped detailed historical study. This dissertation examines the settlement and assimilation of the Welsh between their arrival in the 1840s and the ethnic community’s effective dissipation in the early twentieth century. As Calvinistic Protestants from Britain, they were culturally similar to native-born Americans and other British immigrants. More than any other factor, it was the Welsh language that distinguished them from their neighbours and compelled them to settle close to each other and worship in their own congregations. Therefore this dissertation not only traces the development of the Welsh ethnic community, but also examines the role of language in shaping this process as well as how the immigrants’ perception of their native tongue changed. Although the Welsh went through a process of ‘ethnicization’ that reinforced their distinctive cultural identity, they also embraced mainstream American political and economic values. Indeed, the Welsh projected a public image of themselves as obedient citizens and were eager to assimilate. Rooted in beliefs they brought with them from Wales, these attitudes, as well as demographic change, contributed to the decline of Welsh linguistic and cultural identity in Iowa County in the early twentieth century.

Item Type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Additional Information: Series: Carmarthen / Lampeter Dissertations;10412/263.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Welsh, Wisconsin
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2014 17:44
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2015 10:14
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/396

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item