Essay about The American Dictionary Of The English Language

1282 Words Nov 6th, 2015 6 Pages
When an American Dictionary of the English Language was first published in 1828 by Noah Webster the word “American” was defined as; “noun. A native of America; originally applied to the aboriginals, or copper colored races, found here by the Europeans; but now applied to the descendants of Europeans born in America.” A further note applied to the definition of “American” was a quote from Washington stating, “The name American must always exalt the pride of patriotism” (Webster 's Dictionary 1828 - Online Edition.). Noah Webster had officially defined the standard by which society should determine who exactly was American. In 1901 when Leon Czolgosz assassinated President William McKinley, Webster’s definition of who was and was not American had proven to be painfully inaccurate to Czolgosz. In his book Murdering McKinley, Eric Rauchway examines the many aspects of the assassination; from it’s conception and occurrence to the trial and execution of Leon Czolgosz. Rauchway then examines the affects on American politics after the events of September 6, l901. Rauchway, through his research comes to the conclusion that Leon Czolgosz was not insane, nor had he been an anarchist as others had implied. Leon Czolgosz was merely a product of an ineffective society that had been accustomed to oppressing “outsiders” for over a century. While he was a “descendant of Europeans born in America”, his Polish heritage never allowed him to be considered American by the establishment that…

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