Legacies for Citizenship: Pinpointing Americans During and after World War I

TitleLegacies for Citizenship: Pinpointing Americans During and after World War I
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsCapozzola, Christopher Joseph Nic
JournalDiplomatic History
Start Page713
Date Published09/2014

Excerpt from article in lieu of an Abstract:
World War I marked a fundamental transformation in the political structures and cultural meanings of U.S. citizenship that shaped the American policy for two generations and indeed continue to resonate a century later. From day to day, the changes that Americans experienced were varied and unpredictable—lurching expansions and contractions of citizenship that can be difficult to categorize collectively in retrospect. But by 1924, ideas and rules of citizenship had become increasingly uniform, focused around a single allegiance, articulated in paperwork, and managed by a federal government that had greater power to regulate the borders of citizenship and alienage after—and because of—World War I. This essay draws on recent work in the history of political culture that sees citizenship not only as a formal legal category but also as a set of cultural and discursive practices. While it is centrally concerned with the institutional history of U.S. citizenship, it also asks how laws structured social dynamics outside of the states.

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