About

 

This website is named after the American Know Nothing movement that was active in the 1850s. It was a political party at the national level that aimed to limit and end the influence of Irish and German Catholics in the United States. 

German and Catholic immigrants were accused of being controlled by the Catholic Church and not accepting republican values. The party was first named the Native American Party and then later renamed as the American Party. Native Americans referred to those Americans who had established themselves in the United States as opposed to recent Catholic immigrants. The picture on the right depicts the nativist ideal of the movement. 

Despite the various parties of the movement never being named Know Nothing, the name has come to dominate it. The term originates from the secretive beginnings of the movement. Apparently when a member of the movement was asked about the party activities, he (only protestant men were allowed to become members) was supposed to reply "I know nothing". 

Even though the party eventually declined in the late 1850s, as it refused to give a stand on slavery, it did manage to convince a large number of the electorate. The party won 51 of the 234 seats at the 1854 House of Representatives election and nearly 21.5% at the 1856 Presidential elections 

Citizen_Know_Nothing

Citizen Know Nothing - The Know Nothing Party's nativist ideal. (Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. American political prints, 1766-1876)

So why name your blog after a racist movement? That is a good question! And I have to admit that unfortunately I am not a history geek who came up with the fantastic analogy of the Know Nothing movement and the recent populist movements in the Western world (and beyond). So there you go. That's what this blog is all about.

 

But who are the authors of this blog? This is actually a one-man show. He holds a bachelor degree in International Relations and a master degree in South Asian Studies. Having lived and worked in several countries around the world, he sees himself capable - despite the name of the blog - of writing articles about relevant political issues.

 

In case you have any questions or enquiries concerning the content of this site, please feel free to contact the site manager using this form or by sending an email to contact (at) knownothingenquirer (dot) com. If you like our articles, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter.

 

I know that I know nothing.