Language barriers between Americans

Here's the Wednesday, May 24 page of the Founding Fathers page-a-day calendar that someone close to me owns:

Joseph Plumb Martin was a private in the 8th Connecticut regiment of Washington's Continental army. During his seven years as a soldier, he kept a journal faithfully. One entry gave his frank assessment of his fellow soldiers:
"They put met in this regiment, half New Englanders and half Pennsylvanians. Folks as different as night and day. Myself, I'd rather be fighting with a tribe of Indians than with these Southerners. I mean they're foreigners, can't hardly speak English. They don't like me either. They call me that 'damn Yankee.' That's about the nicest thing they say."

Presumably these were German-speaking Pennsylvanians.

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I think it's pretty clear

I think it's pretty clear that those German immigrants should've been kept out. It's obvious they weren't assimilating properly. God knows what might have happened if America had gotten into a war with their home country. Who knows what side they would've been on?

Caliban, I get where you're

Caliban, I get where you're coming from and I agree broadly, but in WWII it *was* an honest-to-god problem of US German 'ethnics' going back to fight for the Fatherland, becoming spies, etc. In fact, in numbers a few orders of magnitude greater than any Japanese-American treachery. The cruel irony, of course, is that since Germans are caucasian and can blend in, they were passed over in favor of locking up the Asians. Sigh.

LoneSnark- Everything I've

LoneSnark-

Everything I've read points to a 100:1 or so margin in favor of known German-American treachery v. known Japanese-American treachery. And perhaps you are right that the internment stopped some would-be traitors, but sheesh, by that logic we ought to have locked everyone in the US down- that would have solved treachery completely.

Or, we could have been vigilant like with every other ethnicity in the US and nabbed them in accordance with an admittedly compromised liberal society rather than grossly illiberal just-like-our-enemies internment schemes.

Of course, looking a shere

Of course, looking a shere numbers, does it really make sense that Germans are less loyal than Japanese?

Might it have been possible that a percentage of the people inturned at concentration camps were in fact turncoats that were never discovered because they were never allowed the opportunity to turncoat because they were inturned at a camp?

That said, how many German spies were there? I was under the impression that the number was remarkably small besides.

I fully agree, there was

I fully agree, there was negligible damage inflicted by free-ranging german turncoats, as such, I suspect even if without internment the Japanese turncoat rates would have equaled german rates the tiny amount of damage prevented was easily overwealmed by the productive and social losses associated with the internment camps.

Brian, you're right. And we

Brian, you're right.

And we survived the treachery of those individuals. It seems that even despite that, we were able to handle them in a time of war more pressing than today.

"Or, we could have been vigilant like with every other ethnicity in the US and nabbed them in accordance with an admittedly compromised liberal society rather than grossly illiberal just-like-our-enemies internment schemes."

^^^ Sums up exactly how I feel. If our legal system is incapable of handling criminals or traitors to the extent that we have to keep out (or put into camps) entire ethnicities, then it's not going to be capable of identifying homegrown threats very well -- which is a very bad thing on its own.

Same argument to the "but immigrants will exploit their majority in our democracy" or the "but immigrants will use too many social services." If such systems are so open to manipulation and abuse, then its far more pressing to fix them because they're already being abused by "natives."

Perhaps those Pennsylvanians

Perhaps those Pennsylvanians were Welsh.