United Americans, Order of
UNITED AMERICANS, ORDER OF
UNITED AMERICANS, ORDER OF. The Order of United Americans, formed in New York in 1844, was a nativistic benevolent association that quickly attained nationwide membership, which was limited to American laborers. Although members gained retirement benefits, the society was principally an agency for the dissemination of anti-Catholic and antiforeign propaganda. Members' xenophobia stemmed from the conviction that most immigrants, especially Catholics, were not worthy of American freedoms and would corrupt the American way of life. Although not expressly opposed to violence against immigrants, the Order of United Americans concentrated more on the mutual-aid aspect of its organization. A decade later the Know-Nothing Party copied its secret methods and elaborate rituals.
Bennett, David H. The Party of Fear: From Nativist Movements to the New Right in American History. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988.
Ray AllenBillington/a. e.