Talk:Swedish emigration to the United States

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Overstateing things[edit]

The last paragraph of the first part of the article: "After a dip in the 1890s, emigration rose again, causing national alarm in Sweden. A broad-based parliamentary emigration commission was instituted in 1907. It recommended social and economic reform in order to reduce emigration by "bringing the best sides of America to Sweden". The commission's major proposals were rapidly implemented: universal male suffrage, better housing, general economic development, and broader popular education. The effect of these measures is hard to assess, as World War I (1914–1918) broke out the year after the commission published its last volume, reducing emigration to a mere trickle. From the mid-1920s, there was no longer a Swedish mass emigration." It overstates the importance of the "Parliamentary emigration commission of 1907". It's true they proposed social reforms. However, it was the Labour movement that lead the way and proposed and fought for those things to come true from the 1880 and forward. This was a time of major political and socital changes. The history of social progress is not as technical as "comission X proposed changes - parliament implemented it". --I_have_no_username 21:37, 25 November 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.216.123.240 (talk)

Extreme POV in this article[edit]

There are a lot of accounts and references in this article that aren't factually based. The whole article should be rewritten or removed.

And so you vandalized. If what you said were true, if the article were based on the only books extant on the subject but these aren't true, then that would be best possible scholarship. It would not be a "point of view." You're not articulating your complaint at all. If it's that you don't like the account, then you can go do some research and find out for yourself. Geogre (talk) 21:35, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Until now i hadnt seen this page. But yikes, its VERY much POV infested! "There was widespread resentment against the religious repression practiced by the Swedish Lutheran State Church and the social conservatism and class snobbery of the Swedish monarchy." Say what??? Im heavy on history and im Swedish and yet the above feels like someone talking about another country. Or as seen through a lens of... im not even sure what POV can talk about that as a major reason for emigration. "Population growth and crop failures made conditions in the Swedish countryside increasingly bleak." No, population growth created a surplus of people while a string of extremely bad weather during summer was the big cause for initiative to emigrate. Mortality rates decreased so greatly that even with a net emigration of 1M 1850-1930 population increased from 3.5M to 6M. Meanwhile, from 1825 to 1900, the average number of youth per year(15-20year olds) doubled. The summers of 1851 to 1856(and again less so several years in the 1880s combined with good economy in USA, while the 1870s had good economy in Sweden and poor in USA leading to very few emigrants) are not even mentioned, despite being the single biggest cause of mass emigration! And depending on how you count, between 120000 and over 20000 of the 1.2M emigrants returned to Sweden. "Rural conditions were especially bleak in the stony and unforgiving Småland province, which became the heartland of emigration." Stony perhaps, but where did "unforgiving" come from? The "heartland of emigration" is more likely Småland, Öland, Halland, Västergötland, Östergötland, Dalsland, Värmland and Bergslagen. ( http://www.immi.se/ http://www.scb.se http://www.scb.se/statistik/_publikationer/BE0701_1950I02_BR_04_BE51ST0405.pdf http://w1.631.telia.com/~u63103170/22.html (understand swedish or dont even try this link)) From what i can see, all that Yuslo posted is correct. It looks more like Geogre and whoever wrote the article is the one dealing with "lies, damned lies, and statistics" here. Political and religious reasons for emigration were mostly secondary, when they existed at all. The population boom coinciding with the 3rd minima of the "little ice age" that hit Sweden severly, thats the main reasons. The article seems to have been written from a very american ideologic viewpoint, based on what is focused on. DW75 (talk) 20:09, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Without having looked too much into the literature, the demographic pressure is usually what is cited. Daily suffering from social snobbery probably requires a higher population density than rural Sweden had in those days. Freedom of religion of course featured for a few. Actually, can an article remain at FA status having these issues? Tomas e (talk) 16:34, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
As there has been no response from the author since i wrote here previously and the article is still extremely nonneutral, i´ll be placing a NPOV tag.
Main reason being the severely skewed picture given. As i have already given sources contradicting the article i wont add anything more for now.

DW75 (talk) 23:58, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Picture of distribution[edit]

It should be made clear in the picture that depicts the distribution of Sweds in the US that the picture depicts percentage of county make up and not actual numbers of Swedish Americans. I don't know how to edit pictures. This distinction is important because the map beguiles the large Chicago area population and to some degree the huge Minneapolis population. What this map is good for is identifying counties with strong Swedish character. Anyways, the map should be labeled as county percentage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.219.156.65 (talk) 21:40, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion. I have made a "temporary" wording change to identify that is distribution by county, and will ask the regular editors to consider a more extensive modification in the description of the image at their earliest opportunity. Risker (talk) 21:46, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Congratulations and some adjusting[edit]

First of all to all the editors of this article, congratulations. It was informative, and a pleasure to read. Second I will change just a paragrapher that can be better. But again, congratulations on the Main Page. Samuel Sol (talk) 12:56, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Another thing. On the same area I edit it can be read Franklin D. Scott argues in an influential essay. I think I reference to said essay is necessary. Samuel Sol (talk) 13:01, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Virgin land[edit]

Is the second sentence "The virgin land of the US frontier..." really appropriate for an encyclopedia article?

Yes, of course it is. Indirect discourse. This is a characterization of the image. I don't know what kinds of encyclopedias would reject the line, but I can only assume they're not useful. Geogre (talk) 14:02, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
It's an entirely apt and accurate description for land to which agriculture is being introduced for the first time.MarkVolundNYC (talk) 15:29, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
The sentences are also characterizing the image of the place. I.e. to European emigrees, this is "virgin land." Of course the first inhabitants of the Americas had practiced agriculture there, and there would be some of the worst abuses of American Indians during the "Indian Wars" in the area, but to the European peasant, this is "virgin land," and the sentence is aiming at the pull of emigration. Geogre (talk) 15:44, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Following Text was removed[edit]

Following block of text was removed from this article by user:Yuslo.

The religious repression practiced by the Swedish Lutheran State Church was widely resented, as was the social conservatism and class snobbery of the Swedish monarchy. Population growth and crop failures made conditions in the Swedish countryside increasingly bleak. By contrast, reports from early Swedish emigrants painted the American Midwest as an earthly paradise, and praised American religious and political freedom and undreamed-of opportunities to better one's condition.

Would there be any reason to reintroduce this text in any other form into the article?

Chirag (talk) 17:48, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

  • It shouldn't have been removed! This article went through a lengthy Featured Article Review, where all questions were entertained and answered. No one person gets to change the contents of a main page article because of some private concern. Talk page: consensus: change. No other way. Geogre (talk) 17:57, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I have no opinion on the removal, but this is completely wrong. Your characterization is not the way Wikipedia works; it flies in the face of WP:BB. You know as well as I do that FA reviews are very thinly read. Do you really think "all questions were entertained and answered"? From all of humanity? The article doesn't get encased in plastic in order to remain on the main page for a day untouched, you know. You hopefully also know that the heavy surge in edits that articles receive when they hit the main page make the articles far better. Tempshill (talk) 20:25, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
  • No, you are completely wrong, because my response was to the removal. It was one of a few edits that were, essentially, private quarrels with one fact or another. FA's have been read very carefully, if I've been anywhere near them, and if people are not reading them clearly, that's an indictment of the "count the footnotes" culture at FAC these days. Nothing I said was against being bold: it was about putting in "cite more" notations and cutting tone because of a person's private and idiosyncratic reading. I.e. they were the very things that FAC reviews thoroughly. There are many, many people without much understanding of research. I've seen people ask for a citation that the earth is the third planet in the solar system. Be bold, but don't be stupid. Geogre (talk) 20:39, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
  • You didn't say your statement was limited to that particular removal. You made a broad claim that nobody gets to change the contents of a main page article "because of a private concern", which could mean anything - a concern about an error or a typo? - then claimed that "all questions were entertained and answered" in the FA process; and claimed we have to go through the talk page for changes. Each of those three statements is incorrect. Please do scold other editors for individual poor edits, but you went way overbroad on that paragraph. Tempshill (talk) 22:06, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Need to request a Edit Block[edit]

Need to request an edit block on this page, as it is being vandalized frequently. Chirag (talk) 17:51, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Edit blocks are considered very undesirable on the main page despite the vandalism that always occurs. The reason is to try to make sure every user gets an opportunity for a mini-introduction to editing Wikipedia (even the vandals get one by vandalizing). Tempshill (talk) 20:27, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
That's a rather unique reasoning. We don't protect main page articles because we don't protect to prevent editing. We do protect if we believe that only vandalism is going to come through, or if we believe that there is a concerted effort to vandalize. This is rarely the case with main page articles, although it has occurred in the past. When the FA is of a controversial topic -- something involving one of the world religions or one of the historically contentious issues or a matter of ethnicity -- we can face concerted vandalism which requires protection. Ask Raul. He'll tell you that articles are selected for the main page often to avoid those situations. Protection at Wikipedia should be extremely rare and always temporary, but the main page article isn't really there to be target practice for new users. Geogre (talk) 20:42, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, but it doesn't hurt much to be target practice, certainly (as you note) not enough to merit an edit block. Tempshill (talk) 22:00, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Two photographs have been vandalized. One was changed to an Al Jolson movie poster and another to a ham. Dr. Morbius (talk) 22:40, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Well in that case, it should atleast require a user to log in, to make changes to a FA. Chirag (talk) 00:09, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

James J Hill quote[edit]

I was expecting to see James J. Hill's famous quote somewhere in this article or one of its sub-articles, I'll just put it here in case one of the regular editors thinks it's appropriate and wants to put it in:

EditorInTheRye (talk) 21:04, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I've been uninvolved in the article, except at FAC, but the primary author is away, so I've been keeping an eye on it. When she was writing, it, though, I kept wishing it could address some of the heritage of New World Swedes. E.g. Minnesota's Farmer's and Progressives, their version of Republican Party, and on to folks like Joe Hill and the number of Swedes involved in the labor movement in the US. I wonder if the Hill, above, is referring to the engineering prowess or the industriousness of Swedes, though? Geogre (talk) 22:57, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
As a reliable and efficient labour force, I believe. EditorInTheRye (talk) 23:00, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
That's a great quote (assuming it's accurate and not apocryphal, though even in the latter case it would be useful) and future additions along the lines Geogre describes would certainly add to the article.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 06:14, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Reasons for NPOV tag[edit]

I earlier added sourced material in order to provide a more nuanced view of Swedish emigration to the US. However, it was all removed by User:Geogre, who is self-described as a "rogue administrator". Please find below some important facts that should be incorporated into the article.

At present the article presents Swedish emigration to the US as the result of exceptional poverty and oppressive conditions in Sweden. However, at the time of mass emigation in the late 19th century, Sweden had a reasonable standard of living by contemporary standards. The large scale of Swedish emigration to the US is most likely found in the combination of (a) the reasonably high level of development which ensured that the rural poor was aware of opportunities in the US and could afford the travel cost, (b) the nonetheless higher standard of living in the US which made the country attractive and (c) the manageable cultural distance between the two countries. This helps to explain why Sweden had far hígher levels of emigration than e.g. Eastern or Southern Europe, where living standards were lower and democratic institutions arguably less developed.

Consider the following facts:

  • Sweden had a GDP per person that was about 60% that of the US in the late 19th century. This was only slightly lower than Germany and France and higher than in Italy. It was much higher than in for instance southern and eastern Europe (see the data set by Angus Maddison, [1]).
  • Sweden had perhaps the world's highest literacy rate, with nearly the all adults being able to read.
  • Sweden was one of the very first countries in the world to develop a comphrensive national railway network. This ensured convienent transportation to port cities for potential emigrants in remote rural locations.
  • Agents for shipping firms travelled across the country using the railways to distribute leaflets expounding the attractions of the US -- leaflets nearly all adults could read.

Consider the following problems with the article at present:

  • Intro: "crop failures made conditions in the Swedish countryside increasingly bleak".
    • In the late 18th and early 19th century, massive land reforms produced large farms where productivity increased manyfold. Widespread famines became uncommon, the very last occurring in 1867. Thereafter, emigration took off. Why? Probably because reform and increased efficiency produced surplus rural labor. Hence the article gets it exactly wrong.
  • "Most immigrants became pioneers, clearing and cultivating the virgin land of the Midwest"
    • No, most Swedes settled in large cities, particularly Chicago.
  • Intro: "The religious repression practiced by the Swedish Lutheran State Church was widely resented"
    • Possibly, but the relevance for emigration is doubtful. Only a very limited fraction clearly emigrated for religious reasons (about 0.1%). They emigrated in the early 19th century, when it was still forbidden to organize worship independently of the State Church. By the late 19th century, when the great majority of emigrants left, independent protestant churches (frikyrkor) were thriving in the cities. The main theme of the late 19th century was further emerging secularization, and in Swedish cities it was easy to avoid organized religion entirely.
  • Intro: "the social conservatism and class snobbery of the Swedish monarchy [was widelt resented]".
    • This is not phrased in fashion consistent with NPOV. Further, in the late 19th century, when most emigrants left, the power of the king and the aristocracy had already declined significantly, and continued to do so. In fact, the end of the parliament of the four estates in 1866, and thus formal aristochratic privilege, coincided with a rapid increase in emigration. In addition the rural poor idolized the king, ensuring that mail order firms made a fortune selling posters with the king and royal family.

/Yuslo (talk) 00:05, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Yuslo, with due respect, the article was being frantically and repeatedly vandalised yesterday because of its presence on the Main Page. I have no doubt that good edits by several esteemed editors were reverted unintentionally in the effort to keep the article readable and at least reasonably accurate; at least twice the article was reverted to its pre-Main Page version because of previously missed "sneaky" vandalism that, for example, changed names of reference sources and made apparently minor changes that altered context of sentences. Perhaps you could try again now, providing full references for your proposed changes; it might be best to see if things can be worked out on the talk page first. I will note that the primary author of this article is not currently available, so it may take a bit of time for responses. As I was one of the people reverting vandalism yesterday, I apologise if I removed any of your sourced edits. Risker (talk) 00:19, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I have removed the NPOV tag. As for the inability to understand what "rouge administrator" means (if you're going to be picayune, be right: roUge is not rogUE) goes, it's irrelevant. Yes indeed, I reverted the changes, and I did so not to get rid of "sourced" view, but to overcome a mass of sneaky changes that had been made and not carefully patrolled.
The NPOV tag is for substantial and well attested demonstration that the article lacks a neutral point of view. It is not because there are other points of view, not because it presents a point of view that not all hands agree to, not because a person dislikes the point of view. Is there any indication that the point of view in this article is biased? No. There are citations for all of the major findings in the article. Therefore, the tag is an absurdity, at best.
As for the substantive disagreements of Yuslo, they are not cited. Surplus labor would mean poverty, of course, and that would be part of the "push." There is no citation Yuslo offers that "most" went to Chicago and other major cities, but there is a citation to the fact that they went to farm. There is no citation that farm yields increased and there was no shortage of food, but there is a citation to the famines as a push. There are citations to primary source eye-witnesses. Against that, we have a golden haze of surmise. If Yuslo were to have citations to every surmise, then that would not make them correct, and it certainly would not make this article non-neutral. It would simply be another interpretation of the story of emigration. For anyone who does history anywhere but the armchair, this is a common situation.
We do not get to tag things that we disagree with. That's not scholarship, and it's not cooperative editing: that's pique. Geogre (talk) 03:43, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Geogre quite frankly you're a bit bitey in your comments here, though that's understandable given the vandalism that comes with main page status and the fact that Bishonen is not around right now to cover (resulting in you acting as a friendly and generally well informed caretaker for an article with which you are apparently not very familiar--for which I give you props). The NPOV tag was definitely ill placed and righteously removed, but Yuslo made some good, substantive edits to the article and constructive comments to this section of the talk page. I'd like to hear more from this "guy from Canada" on this talk page about the sources he would cite to make the changes he described. I sense a real desire to make good content contributions to this article on Yuslo's part and am sure Geogre would be down with that.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 11:09, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Of course I would welcome that. I was, however, answering tone with tone. The idea that an article has a point of view other than the reader's own being an occasion for putting a tag is something that has to be stopped early, as we have far too much of that going about. Tags are offensive, and drive-by tagging is a real problem. People need to discuss on the talk page first, and then, when there is consensus, tag, if there is no other way. Historical events have multiple interpretations. I thought this article did a better job than is ordinarily done even in professional literature by getting first hand accounts. When the people say, in their own hands, "This is why I left," and when recruiters make specific appeals to the land of plenty, that's pretty compelling. My bite was about the tag. Geogre (talk) 13:52, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, bad tag, but also a bad bite I think. I hope Yuslo weighs in here with some good sourcing if he wants to contribute to the article.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 16:20, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
A main issue with the current article is that it gives the impression that Sweden was an exceptionally underdeveloped country in the 19th century. However, as the authoritative economic statistics by Angus Madison shows [2] Sweden was not exceptionally poor. Sweden had a GDP per capita of about 60% that of the US. Sweden was definately significantly less affluent than the US, which explains why the US was highly attractive. However, Sweden nonetheless had a standard of living that compared favorably to much of Europe at the time (for instance, Portugal had a GDP per capita of about 25% that of the US). The unusually high level of emigration to the US is not fully explained by a low standard of living. Had that been the main explanatory factor, it would have been countries in southern and eastern Europe that had seen the largest exodus. /Yuslo (talk) 20:09, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I'd just like to point out that this article is not about which countries saw the most citizens emigrating to the United States, or why Swedish immigrants didn't go elsewhere in Europe. The article is narrowly focused on one particular group of emigrants (Swedes) going to one particular destination (United States). There could easily be other articles about Portuguese emigration to the United States, Italian emigration to the United States, Swedish emigration to France, and so on. It strikes me that the article talks as much about the political and religious reasons for the emigration, and also quite extensively about the agricultural reasons - farmers coming to United States for inexpensive, productive land after having struggled through droughts and famines. The article is narrowly focused, I will agree - but its narrow focus is described by the title of the article. Risker (talk) 23:23, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I should add that in the framework of modern Swedish history, the emigration to the US is a really major event.
Peter Isotalo 17:44, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics, and the problem with such melodramatic statistics as the one above is that they can show accumulated wealth (in what terms? real terms?), but they can't show anything about the distribution of that wealth. The article speaks specifically of attraction and repulsion, and how one area in particular, Smaland, suffered most from disparities, religious friction, and crop failures, and that area emigrated most. Hardly surprising, really. Unless our person, above, wishes to say that those Swedes left for no particular reason, or didn't leave, then he will be faced with a major portion of a national population leaving. If all of traditional history is bunk and economics had nothing to do with it (because the peasants were rolling in money and paternal care), then there still has to be a reason... unless he suspects dastardly American sailors kidnapped them all. For myself, I see migrations of peoples almost always following economic pressures throughout history, and I see good evidence here that the populations left were poor, and I see one person complaining that there was good GDP, and I think we're faced with logical explanations commensurate with historical models everywhere else vs. "but there was money in the country." There is money in my local bank, but that doesn't make me wealthy. Geogre (talk) 20:14, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
POV allegations need to be based on specific sources--when critics fail to mention their sources they lose credibility. Rjensen (talk) 03:35, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Minor issue[edit]

This is obviously an excellent article (major props to Bishonen), but I do have a problem with the third to last sentence in the "Late 19th Century" section. As a partial explanation for the decline of the "pull" of the U.S. it reads: "The price of land rose, and the U.S. was torn by monopoly capitalism and labor unrest." In a sense this is true, but in a relatively flawless article it stuck out as a bit of a sore thumb.

Less importantly, the term monopoly capitalism (while not necessarily inaccurate) is a bit problematic as it is linked to the article on "state monopoly capitalism," generally a strictly Marxist concept. A more neutral term for the rapacious capitalism of the Gilded Age ("rapacious capitalism" probably is not it!) would be desirable.

More importantly, it is not made clear what, if any, the precise causal relationship was between the excesses of American capitalism (and the concomitant labor unrest) and a decline in Swedish immigration to the U.S. I think this needs to be proven, not merely asserted, particularly because it is an interesting point if true. Americans had been complaining about the railroads and JD Rockefeller for quite awhile, so why did prospective Swedish immigrants only take note of it in the 1890s, as is implied? Similarly, labor revolt preceded the closing of the frontier (think the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 or Haymarket) but also rose up at other points in the early 1900s before, during, and after WWI (think the Wobblies and the failed strike wave of 1919). It's unclear how this worker unrest (or for that matter the relatively tranquil period when the AFL utterly dominated the labor scene in the late 19th and early 20th century) connects with reduced Swedish immigration.

I don't bring this up to be niggling, but because if there are connections that would be interesting and should be expanded upon--and if not the sentence should probably be removed. Increasing land prices are an obvious reason why fewer Swedes would hop the Atlantic so that point should of course stay, but we ought to show specifically how Swedish folks were more reluctant to immigrate because of labor/capital battles/excesses of the era. I'm assuming the original source for the sentence is Barton's book, but if it was a throwaway, unsourced sentence on his part it probably does not bear inclusion (nor does it if it was tossed in by a Wiki editor without a source). Better though would be to expand on the point with some specifics. A historian discussing letters from Swedish-Americans in Chicago sent to relatives back in Sweden about the labor troubles there during 1886 or comments from prospective Swedish immigrants on the evils of Standard Oil (the latter seems quite a bit more unlikely) are the kind of things I have in mind. Any thoughts about this would be welcome, though I know the primary creator of the article seems unfortunately to have left us for the time being.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 05:44, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Footnotes and Archiving the talk[edit]

Two minor things I noticed and thought it could be done, although my lack of wiki-power stops me of doing it. First I think the footnotes, as there are 50+ of them, should be in 2 collumns. They are too long as it is now. And second, I think this page could use some archiving. There are finished discussions on the top of it. Samuel Sol (talk) 17:32, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Ok. After getting my laz a** and reading Help:Archive I archived the 3 discussion I though wasn't more pertinent. If any of the editors think it is wrong. Please revert it. Samuel Sol (talk) 17:48, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Noun-verb number agreement[edit]

An early sentence, "The religious repression practiced by the Swedish Lutheran State Church was widely resented, as were the social conservatism and class snobbery of the Swedish monarchy," has been changed several times back-and-forth now. The dispute is whether the verb in the ending clause should be plural (were) or singular (was). The subject of the clause is the compound (plural) subject "the social conservatism and class snobbery." The syntax may fool a reader's "ear" so that the reader thinks that it is a singular subject, requiring the singular verb was. But the simple fact is that the subject is plural. There's no fancy way of getting around it. The interpretation of what the subject is is not in any way affected by the structure or the verb number of the introducing clause. The clause could be rewritten: "...as the social conservatism and class snobbery were..." (leaving off the prepositional phrase "of the Swedish monarchy," which also can never have an impact on determining what the subject is).

The argument by the opposing contributor is that the clause should be read as, "as was the social conservatism and [as was] class snobbery...." Nice try, but verbs just don't work that way! The number of the noun and the number of the verb have to agree as they are written--implied words "don't count." In my preceding sentence, would you claim that the verb should be "has," because the implied sentence is, "The number of the noun [has to agree] and the number of the verb has to agree"? No, of course not! And that sentence has essentially the same structure as the sentence in question, but with different syntax. The argument doesn't fly. Holy (talk) 21:44, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Peter Isotalo has "fixed" the sentence by recasting it. It sure seems odd, though, to "fix" a perfectly good, nicely-written sentence, that flows with the style and tone of the article, in order to avoid a supposed "controversy" which is really no controversy at all, but rather a grammar issue which could be clearly understood by an elementary school student who pays attention in class. Holy (talk) 01:33, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Cite tags in the lede[edit]

Thanks for your revert and edit summary, Sluzzelin. I removed another cite tag from the lede, at a sentence which is also well referenced below.[3] As you say, per WP:LEADCITE, the lede is a summary of the article, and doesn't need citations, provided its claims are sourced in the body of the article. (Without this principle, the lede would probably be seriously unsightly, with several footnotes per sentence.) I realise people mean well when they pepper the lede with redundant cite tags, but it's not a good idea. Bishonen | talk 09:19, 2 January 2011 (UTC).


Restoring lead section, "POV", and talkpage layout[edit]

I appreciate the interest shown in this page, and I see there is some curiosity expressed above about who is the "main contributor" (=the writer) of the article. That would be me. If you're interested in general in who has edited an article and how many times, here is a useful way to find out. (Looking at the History works too, but takes longer.)

I intend to restore the original lead section, which has been drastically shortened. Please consider carefully before you remove text from the lede in particular, since it is supposed to be a summary of the article. This means that with the present very short lede, there's a lot of stuff in the article proper which isn't even mentioned in the lede. If there are things in the article that you disapprove of and consider unrerenced, please change the article proper (and then perhaps the lede to fit your change); avoid starting by gutting the summary. Please see WP:LEDE. Of course I'm not trying to stop anybody editing any part of the article; but please try, for the reader's sake, to retain the relationship between the lede and the rest.

Moreover, as far as I can see, the removed blocks of text are fully referenced. They're not referenced in the lede (and don't need to be), but in the full version below.

Also, regardless of content, the lede is simply too short in relation to the length of the article. Please see this section in the Manual of Style.

As for my "extreme POV": thanks to whoever removed the inappropriate POV tag. The article doesn't contain my personal opinions nor my original research, but is written entirely from reliable secondary sources. Frankly, some of the comments on this talkpage read as if people missed my citations and footnotes altogether.

A small point about talkpage layout: please always add your posts at the foot of the page, as I'm doing now. I can see the logic of adding related material to, say, the section "Extreme POV in this article", created in 2008, as DW75 did yesterday, but the fact is other editors are extremely likely to miss it there. See also this guide to talk page layout. Bishonen | talk 23:08, 5 July 2011 (UTC).

I added NPOV because at the time, the article presented the biased views of less than 3% of the emigrants(mostly religious extremeist groups who were unhappy about being treated as extremeists, it´s like using a propaganda speech by Al-Qaida to describe USA) both as a general truth about Sweden at the time but also as main reasons for emigration for ALL emigrants. It doesn´t matter how reliable your sources are if they´re presented in a totally misleading manner, that´s also why i chose NPOV rather than some less flattering tag. As the article no longer includes the questionable material, it´s no longer a problem, mission accomplished. ^_^
DW75 (talk) 13:30, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Bad revert: please explain[edit]

Rjensen, you have reverted me, back to the abrupt and incomplete little lede, without any discussion whatsoever on this talkpage. That's not a proper way to edit. Could you please, for example, explain the point of demoting two of the lede's original paragraphs to a separate section named "Trends" ? I'm sorry, but the only effect of dividing the lede in that way is to make the article (which is, in the interest of readability, basically a chronological narrative) less coherent. The same statements as were originally in the lede are now in an ill-placed separate section. Why? I presume it's not the statements in it you disagree with, since those are the same as before, and "Trends" still summarises, or even quotes, a large part of the article. How many times, for instance, does the article need to state "By 1890 the U.S. census reported a Swedish-American population of nearly 800,000" ? Once in the lede and once in the article proper, IMO. With your revert, it's instead stated twice in the article and not at all in the lede. You're messing up the structure of the article. Please revert yourself, or explain why you think you've improved it. Further: in your edit summary (the only comment you vouchsafe) you seem to claim my sources are not reliable. If you're serious, you need to be a lot more specific; again, use this talkpage, please. If you think, for example, that H. Arnold Barton's A Folk Divided, which I've used a good deal, is not a reliable source, I suggest you read Wikipedia's article on Barton, which begins "H. Arnold Barton is an American historian and a national authority on Swedish-American history". Bishonen | talk 12:51, 6 July 2011 (UTC).

I'm interested in seeing the reasoning behind Rjensen's edits to the first paragraph of the lead, so I won't comment on that until then. However, breaking out two lead paragraphs which very clearly summarize the article really doesn't make any sense. If there's an issue with reliability of sources or frequency of citations, that should be discussed on its own. The lead, however, should be a summary of the existing article content, and in the three-paragraph form, it does that in accordance with WP:LEAD.
Peter Isotalo 08:51, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

"no significant anti-Swedish nativism"[edit]

If that is so, then why were Swedes traditionally characterized as "squareheads", stupid people? That is mentioned in the works of Eugene O'Neill and George Orwell. There are stupid Swedish stock characters in American films of the 1930s.
Varlaam (talk) 21:17, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

first it did not quite happen (that's a standard rural=hick image that applies by town people to all farmers in all ethnic groups, including old stock hillbillies) and second it's trivial. Eugene ONeill of course is an ethnic himself (Irish Catholic) and most of the Hollywood producers were Jewish--you don't have NATIVISM therefore. Orwell?? (he's British) Rjensen (talk) 21:31, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I know Orwell is English. He mentions this same stereotype somewhere in his essays. Evidently it was prevalent in the early 20th century.
Hicks and hillbillies normally are Appalachian so they're Scotch-Irish, meaning Protestant Irish. Yes, they are characterized as dumb, but they are pure American.
The Americans have routinely depicted the Poles as dumb. Their "Polish jokes" are not called that in my country (Canada).
O'Neill is not ethnic; he's Irish. The Irish are not ethnic; they are from the British Isles.
Irish Catholics are resented, despised, discriminated against, sure, but "ethnic", no.
If you call an Irishman an "ethnic" then that's an insult right there, and you will get a punch in the face because the Irish love a good fight (stereotype).
So my point is that the other ethnic group, other than the Poles, who were routinely labelled as stupid in US culture were the Swedes, and the fact that Orwell mentions it too implies that this stereotype was general.
Why did this stereotype exist? I don't know. I read those O'Neill and Orwell books in the 1980s and I have not seen an explanation for this stereotype since then.
What is that Danish film where Max Von Sydow works on a Danish farm and everyone has contempt for him because he is just a Swede? I am guessing that the stereotype probably relates to large scale emigration of rural Swedes.
You have the popular 1944 play I Remember Mama which I believe has something to do with reversing this stereotype. (And don't say that the play is about Norwegians, because that does not matter.)
Varlaam (talk) 15:19, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Let's not mix up friendly jokes with the vicious nativism that exploded against Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, and Germans at the same time (or for that matter the nasty anti-Moslem and anti-Mexican sentiments in the US in 2011). Rjensen (talk) 10:17, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

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