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Prairie PatrimonyFamily, Farming, and Community in the Midwest$
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Sonya Salamon

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780807845530

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9781469611181_Salamon

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Historical Background of Ethnic Farmers

Historical Background of Ethnic Farmers

Chapter:
(p.13) One Historical Background of Ethnic Farmers
Source:
Prairie Patrimony
Author(s):

Sonya Salamon

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9780807845530.003.0002

This chapter argues that the practices of contemporary Illinois farmers are best understood by starting with the past, and the source of cultural patterns that order action. In just fifty years of the nineteenth century the Midwest was settled through one of the most extraordinary transfers of land and people the world has known. While the settlers were white and had Christianity, farming, and European peasant backgrounds in common, their cultural differences led the Midwest to be termed an ethnic mosaic. The Illinois piece of the complex Midwestern mosaic was richly colored by immigrants from various German states, both Catholic and Protestant, who settled in a densely clustered diagonal corridor between St. Louis and Chicago. Balancing the Germans was another group of native-born settlers who also had diverse dialects and religions.

Keywords:   Illinois farmers, cultural patterns, Midwest, settlers, Christianity, European peasant

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