Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The United States is often called a nation of immigrants. The earliest migrants were the Native Americans or Indians. Starting in the early 1600s, European immigrants began to arrive on the east coast, mostly from England and other parts of northern Europe. Spaniards explored and colonized the southwest of what is now the United States, and somewhat later, Russian traders were active in Alaska and the Pacific coast. Today, English is heavily dominant in almost all of the United States, but it was not always so. Even now, there are substantial linguistic minorities throughout the country. This article, which examines language policy in the United States, provides a background on Native American languages, European languages in early America, and immigration in America during World War I. It also looks at the movement to make English the official language of the United States, focusing on Arizona's law and resulting litigation and the Kritz case in Alaska. The article concludes by considering governmental services to non-English speakers in the areas of medical care and social services, elections, and education.

Keywords: language policy, United States, immigrants, immigration, Native Americans, Europe, English, linguistic minorities, non-English speakers, governmental services

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.