Melting pot

The melting pot is a metaphor for a heterogeneous society becoming more homogeneous, the different elements "melting together" into a harmonious whole with a common culture. It is particularly used to describe the assimilation of immigrants to the United States. The melting-together metaphor was in use by the 1780s. The exact term "melting pot" came into general usage in the United States after it was used as a metaphor describing a fusion of nationalities, cultures and ethnicities in the 1908 play of the same name.

The desirability of assimilation and the melting pot model has been reconsidered by some proponents of multiculturalism, who have suggested alternative metaphors to describe the current American society, such as a mosaic, salad bowl, or kaleidoscope, in which different cultures mix, but remain distinct in some aspects. Others argue that cultural assimilation is important to the maintenance of national unity, and should be promoted.

Full article...

American History USA Articles



American History

Cultural History

The Gilded Age and Progressive Era (1877-1929)

Spread the Word