This study takes an anthropological approach to a sociological phenomenon - the ethnic group persistence of the German-Americans of southwestern Illinois. From an anthropological perspective, ethnic identity is based on the recognition of socially-significant cultural distinctions between groups, such as language or dialects, cultural values, stereotypes and customs, differences that the group itself - not the researcher - considers socially significant. The book is organized chronologically, first establishing the area's French and predominant Anglo-American settlement. The next four chapters outline the socio-historical forces that impact on local groups, and then the way in which these forces specifically effect the German-American incomers. The final chapter proposes areas for study and suggests the future of German-American ethnic persistence.