Why does the USA not have an official language?
|US states where English is an official language. Light blue is where there are two official languages (Louisiana - French & English, New Mexico - Spanish & English, Hawaii - Hawaiian & English)|
In the United States this was a conscious decision of the Founding Fathers. They believed that an official language would be divisive and undemocratic in a multi-lingual country.
Around 30% of the 18th century population of the USA was German or Dutch speaking. There were also many other linguistic minorities:
18 languages were spoken on Manhattan Island [New York City] as early as 1646. The Dutch, Flemish, Walloons, French, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, English, Scots, Irish, Germans, Poles, Bohemians, Portuguese, and Italians were among the settlement’s early inhabitants. Vincent N. Parrillo, Diversity in America, 2008
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