Could be a number of things. Prussia was very militarist. They had wars in 1858, 1864, 1866 and 1870. There was a draft, and there were the inevitable oppression of minority groups or political groups that come with such wars. Could also have been religious. I didn’t go into this fact, but Northern Germans are mostly Protestant and Southern Germans are mostly Catholic, but immigrants can sometimes be flipped, because those most likely to immigrate for religious purposes are the minorities, not the majorities.
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Great article. My Ehlinger great-grandfather immigrated from Alsace to Tx in 1883 and thus this branch always said we were German and spoke German. I figured it was because Alsace was part of Germany at the time. My Schmidt family said was from Alsace too, but referred to themselves as German. They came over in the 1940s, though. I refer to myself as Alsatian on my dad’s side, but it is still a little confusing to know if that is correct.