What does Americanization mean?

Americanization is the historic idea that foreign born citizens, who are becoming citizens of the United States, should assimilate into the U.S. culture. Americanization assumed the constant flow of immigrants from other countries brought strength and prosperity to the America. America was the "melting pot," and all cultures could be "fused into a harmonious and admirable blend."

The concept of Americanization flourished through World War I and the post war period but has become under attack in recent years with fewer efforts to prepare people for naturalization by teaching them English, civics, and history. Now critics of the concept of Americanization argue assimilation to an American way of life may be less important than cultural pluralism, which allows separate cultures to live side by side. Proponents of Americanization argue that the concept of the American ideal is still a noble goal; one which is critical to the success of the United States.

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