English-only movement

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An English-only movement refers to political movements for establishing the English language as the only official language in the United States. "Movement" here is a loose collective term, as the idea has had incarnations in different political eras.

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The earliest English-only movement

In 1803, by the Louisiana Purchase, the United States acquired French-speaking populations in Louisiana. After the Mexican-American War, the United States acquired Spanish – (about 75,000) and American Native-speaking populations, as well.

An 1847 law authorized Anglo-French instruction in public schools in Louisiana. In 1849, the California constitution recognized Spanish language rights.

French language rights were abolished after the American Civil War. In 1868, the Indian Peace Commission recommended English-only schooling for the American Natives. In 187879, the California constitution was rewritten: "All laws of the State of California, and all official writings, and the executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings shall be conducted, preserved, and published in no other than the English language."

In the late 1880s, Wisconsin and Illinois passed English-only instruction laws for both public and parochial schools.

In 1896, English became the sole medium of public schooling for Hawaiian children. After the Spanish-American War, English was declared "the official language of the school room" in Puerto Rico. In the same, English was declared the official language in the Philippines, after the Philippine-American War.

The modern English-only movement

Current Law

Currently, the United States federal government specifies no official language, but there are official languages in these states:

  • None:
    • In addition to the states not otherwise mentioned:
    • Alaska's 1998 Official English amendment was overturned by the Alaska State Supreme Court in 2002.
    • Arizona's 1988 Official English amendment was overturned by the Arizona State Supreme Court in April, 1998.

Also, English and Spanish are official in Puerto Rico.

External links

See also

External links

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