immigrant communities, Great Plains, assimilation


Following the American Civil War, the vast sweep of the Great Plains exerted a powerful force on the imagination of Americans and Northern European immigrants, resulting in a period of rapid settlement. Within immigrant communities, in particular, attempts were made to establish institutions where the language, beliefs and cultural heritage of a people might be preserved. The history of these immigrant institutions mirror the challenges immigrant communities faced in confronting not only the vicissitudes of climate and evolving economic conditions but also the pressures of assimilation.