The Uniqueness Of American Patriotism
From Agnes Repplier's 1916 article on "Americanism":
Of all the countries in the world, we and we only have any need to create artificially the patriotism which is the birthright of other nations. Into the hearts of six millions of foreign-born menless than half of them naturalizedwe must infuse that quality of devotion which will make them place the good of the state above their personal good, and the safety of the state above their personal safety. It is like pumping oxygen into six million pairs of lungs for which the common air is not sufficiently stimulating. We must also keep a watchful eye upon these men's wives,when they are so blessed,and concentrate our supreme energy on uncounted millions of children, whose first step toward patriotism is the acquirement of a common tongue.
We are trying fitfully, but in good faith, to work this civic miracle.