How the Dutch became Americans
First contactThe Dutch were much on their own. They didn't look for contact with the "outer world". More about their separation: "Preservation of the Dutch identity". Finally they had to integrate with society; some of them worked for Americans, others traded with them. The real modivation to Americanize began when the American government fully recognized Holland. Yankees"). In many papers, which were written in Dutch, there were advertisements which called for all men to join the army. Hundreds of Duth joined the Northerners; the boys fought and the girls packed things (bandage, clothes and food). In the church were prayers for the victory of the Northerners (finally they won).
Dutch, no: AmericanThe Dutch thought that the victory of the war was very important. They felt, for the first time, like an American citizen! They were American heros! When they came back in the Dutch colony, they were treated like heros. But there came conflicts after a while. The soldiers had had contact with other Americans and had seen much more of the US. They had adopted American habits refused to return to their old Dutch habits.
The Dutch began to change. The church had less say and had less control. The inhabitants could behave more freely and new pubs were opened. The circus came back and this time people could go to it. The elderly weren't very pleased with this:
"God is forgotten and verlaten, our children want new stuff and start to look at the American dolls and false gods"said Reverend Van der Werp from Holland about it.
Does here live Dutch?
Languist problemsThe Americanization couldn't be stopped, especially in the 2nd generation, the children of the immigrants. In spite of the Dutch they learned at home and in the church, they spoke English at school and on the streets. They adopted American habits too. The result of this was conflicts between parents and children. Gradually, the 1st generation adapted to it. The children didn't want to have to do much with the Netherlands and Dutch, which they knew only from the stories of their parents.
The Dutch spoke more and more English, which resulted in a mix of English and Dutch. Difficult pronounciations of Dutch words became Anglicized. Such as: the surname Blauw became Blue and Jansen became Johnson. Several problems arose.
|Letter from a boy to his parents (Dutch)||Answer of his parents (Dutch)|
|"De tijd zal u lang gevallen zijn, voor gij deze brief ontvingt. Het is echter niet mijne schuld, maar ik trevelle [travel=reis] reeds twee jaren in het land rond en peddel [peddle=venten]. Ik heb een goede stok [stock=kapitaal] voorhanden en maak geld [make money=geld verdienen]. Ik heb reeds zoveel geld gemaakt dat ik een lotje [lot=stuk land] met een liesje [lease=pacht] genomen heb, waarop ik aanstaande voorjaar een fremhuis zal bouwen."||"Uw brief zal wel de laatste zijn den uwe arme ouders voor hun dood van u ontfangen. Dit verdriet en deze schande zullen wij wel niet overleven, dat gij nu in het land reist en bedelt. (...) En dan maakt gij nog geld. Dus bedelaar en valschmunter zijt gij. En daarbij hebt gij twee vrouwen, want gij schrijft dat gij een Lotje en een Liesje genomen hebt. De arme Anna wacht reeds zoo lang dat gij haar zoudt laten overkomen; (...) Foei, dit hebben wij nooit van u kunnen denken, dat gij in Amerika zo slecht zoudt worden! Vaarwel en verbeter u."|
|Letter from a boy to his parents (English)||Answer of his parents (English)|
|"It will take a long time before you get this letter. It's not my fault, but I traveled for two years in the country and peddled. I have a lot of capital and make money. I've made so much money that I took a lot [a piece of land] with some leased land, where I will build a framehouse next spring."||"Your letter would be the last one which your poor parents would get before they die. We can't survive this grief and shame, that you're now travelling and begging in the country. (...) And than you counterfeit banknotes. So you are a beggar and a coiner. And then you have two women, because you wrote that you took a Lotje and a Liesje. The poor Anna is waiting for a long time, till you let her emigrate; (...) For shame, we had never thought that this would happen to you, that you became so bad in America! Goodbye and reclaim you."|