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German-Iowan Studies

Selected Essays


William Roba

Is America the new Germany? Focusing on Iowa, this book explores the hidden meaning of that question, and seeks its answer in the forgotten history of nineteenth-century migration. Between 1847 and 1881, more than 300,000 North Germans migrated to the Midwestern state of Iowa. Despite their experiences in the failed revolutions of 1848-1849 in Europe’s German speaking kingdoms, leaders among these immigrants developed a program of political change that successfully influenced Iowans through the early twentieth century. The eight essays in German-Iowan Studies focus on both the individuals and the ideas that shaped a powerful vision of America for more than 150 years. Using interdisciplinary approaches and overlooked archival materials, this unique approach to ethnic studies skillfully reconstructs German influence in Iowa and the Midwestern region.