Author (Your Name)

Stuart H. Rakoff, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. Government Dept.


Marvin Weinbaum

Second Advisor

Albert Mavrinac


The process of acculturation, seen clearly in the development of the French-Canadians in New England, provides that as contacts to the homeland and ethnic group become more distant and weak with the successive generations, tile individual v1ill become more open to social pressures of the American genre. Politically this means that the ethnic pressures and views which may be prevalent early in the group's American history, will gradually weaken and disappear, being replaced by the traditional appeals of American politics. This ability of the political system to break down and destroy foreign ties has been the central reason for the ability of the system to assimilate such large numbers of immigrants. This capacity for destroying an old myth, and replacing it with the American myth, establishes the closed system in which all can be understood, and in which a larger unity overshadows the divisive effects of the subgroupings in society. The history French-Canadians thus illustrates the mechanism which the American political system has used so successfully to transform congeries of people into a nation.


ethnocentrism, French-Canadians, Waterville Maine, History, Political Manifestations