Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 225
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 225
 
to be resisted even by the German tenacity. Some remained un-Americanized in a sodden, useless lump; but after a generation or two this ceased to be the case with the majority. The children of the first generation were half, and the grandchildren in most cases wholly, Americanized,—to their own inestimable advantage. As long as they remained mere foreigners, speaking an alien tongue, they of course occupied a lower grade in the body politic and social than that to which their good qualities entitled them. As they became Americanized in speech and customs, they moved up to the same level with the native born. Perhaps two-thirds were nominally Protestants, and these had no religious prejudices to overcome or be hampered by. They were thrifty, hardworking, and on the whole law-abiding, and they not only rose rapidly in the social scale, but as soon as they learned to speak our language by preference, as their native tongue, they became indistinguishable from the other Americans with whom they mixed. They furnished leading men to all trades and professions, and many founded families of high social and political distinction. They rendered great service to the city by their efforts to cultivate a popular taste for music and for harmless public pleasures. Only the fact that the Lutheran clergy clung to the German language, prevented their church from becoming the most

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