Augustana College is a private Lutheran college in Rock Island, Illinois. The college enrolls approximately 2,500 students. Its campus is adjacent to the Mississippi River and covers 115 acres (46.5 ha) of hilly, wooded land. Augustana College was founded as Augustana College and Theological Seminary in 1860 by the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod. Located first in Chicago, it moved to Paxton, Illinois, in 1863 and to Rock Island, Illinois, its current home, in 1875. After 1890, an increasingly large Swedish American community in America promoted a new institutional structure, including a lively Swedish-language press, many new churches, several colleges, and a network of ethnic organizations. The result was to foster a sense of Swedishness with pride in the United States. Thus, there emerged a self-confident Americanized generation. Augustana College put itself in the lead of the movement to affirm Swedish American identity. Early on all the students had been born in Sweden but by 1890 the second generation of American-born students predominated. They typically had white-collar or professional backgrounds; few were the sons and daughters of farmers and laborers. These middle class youth developed an idealized view of Sweden, characterized by romanticism, patriotism, and idealism, just like their counterparts across the Atlantic. The new generation was especially proud of the Swedish contributions to American democracy and of the creation of a republic that promised liberty and destroyed the menace of slavery. More information...

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