Presidential Speeches

March 31, 1921: Nationalism and Americanism

About this speech

Warren G. Harding

March 31, 1921

Source Miller Center

In this speech given by President-elect Harding early in 1921, he underscored President George Washington’s admonition in his 1796 “Farewell Address” to America that we should avoid, when possible, alliances with the Old World. He also noted the importance of U.S. citizens becoming fully integrated into the “melting pot” of American culture. He cautioned to avoid “hyphenated citizenship,” whereby immigrants’ loyalties were diluted by being divided between America and their country of origin. It was a popular way of speaking about the millions of immigrants who had poured into the United States beginning in the early 1880’s. Until that time most of the growth in the nation’s population had come through the American ”multiplication table,” as people described it—the huge size of American families. The new immigration was centering on Eastern Europe, unlike the older immigrants who came from Western Europe. The resumption of new immigration was much on the minds of political leaders as the United States emerged from World War I.

Presidential Speeches |

March 31, 1921: Nationalism and Americanism