Benjamin Franklin And The President Of Middleburry College Essay

Benjamin Franklin And The President Of Middleburry College Essay

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In 1753, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter, “Yet I am not for refusing entirely to admit them (Germans) into our Colonies: all that seems to be necessary is, to distribute them more equally, mix them with the English, establish English Schools where they are now too thick settled…” (Franklin) Xenophobia has existed in the United for centuries. If Benjamin Franklin, a founding father, can be concerned about the large population of Germans immigrating to the US in 1753, how did general Americans react to immigrants? About 100 years later, Franklin’s concern is reiterated in the primary source that will be analyzed. It is an excerpt of a lecture given by Benjamin Labaree in 1849 before the American Institute of Instruction. The excerpt not only sheds light on the negative perception of immigrants arriving to the US, but also suggests the most efficient way to assimilate them into the American culture. Benjamin Labaree was the president of Middleburry College from 1840 to 1866 (“Benjamin Labaree”). He was a revered man with liberal views. His lecture was given to the American Institute of Instruction, an organization of teachers and other interested in the development of education in the United States(Michael). The purpose of the lecture was to convey the educators that they had the sole responsibility of assimilating immigrants and defeating xenophobia. The following questions will be explored in this analysis: How did American perceive immigrants in the 19th century?, How did Labaree not recognize his own prejudices toward immigrants? How would immigrants be assimilated? How educators would help in assimilating immigrants? (Labaree, 1850 in Cohen 995)
In more than half of the lecture’s excerpt, Labaree shows his concerns towards ...


... middle of paper ...


...Cohen 995)
There is point that was not could be explored from this excerpt. In a country mainly composed of Protestants, why didn’t the church have a role in helping immigrants? Another way to continue the analysis of this excerpt is by discovering how the audience responded to his lecture. (Labaree, 1850 in Cohen 995)
Xenophobia is a long-lasting problem in the United States. From founding fathers to presidents of liberal colleges, immigrants were viewed as inferior who needed to be brought of darkness. Through Labaree’s analysis, the perception of immigrants in the United States, the prejudices people held towards immigrants, and the roles teachers are expected to hold were explored. It is quite remorseful to recognize that xenophobia currently exists and people who have power in the world system still hold prejudices toward immigrants. (Labaree, 1850 in Cohen 995)

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