- Oct 13, 2012For those of you who have gone through the US censuses you will notice that the word Slovakland was entered. I have finally read why that was entered. In History of Slovaks in America by Konstantin Culen, Chapter XXIX: The Struggle for Slovak Identity in American Statistics is told how Slovaks in America fought to not to be identified as Hungarians.
The United States census prior to 1910 used the classification of “political nationality.” This meant that whoever was from Hungary was a Hungarian, and the Magyars considered every Hungarian to be a Magyar. Even though the Magyars were in the minority population. The Slovaks, Croats, Rusyns, Slovenes and Serbs outnumbered them in Hungary.
At the turn of the 20th century the Slovaks in America were pressing for their identity. Twenty year before there were several essays published in the Narodne noviny (National News) that recommended that the Slovaks when asked about the place of their birth should answer with “Slovakland.”
In February of 1910 the Slovaks held a meeting in Pittsburgh regard the upcoming census. This lead to a delegation being formed that petitioned Director of the Thirteenth United States Census, Dana Durand, that the non-Magyars in Hungary should be able to counted according to their identities. On the same day as the meeting, March 10, 1910, Senator Oliver in the Senate and Congressman Sabath in the House Representatives presented amendments to the census code. On March 14 Senate bill 7093 and House bill 22,678 passed. From the census of 1910 on the Slovaks could identify themselves as such in the census. No more Slovakland.
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