Using examples of American Latvians, Estonians and Ukrainians in the states of Minnesota, New Jersey and New York this article explores the ambiguous nature of integration of nationalities groups inside the Republican Party during the 1960s-1980s. Based on the analysis of available archival information, it is shown that the Republican Party intentionally brought in the ethnics during the discussed period and created the Nationalities Sections within specific electoral campaigns, Nationalities Divisions inside the state party organizations and the National Republican Heritage Groups (Nationalities) Council within the Republican National Committee in order to recruit the ethnics and engage in the partisan struggle with the Democrats. Consequently, the nationalities were given a sense of importance, but little real power to actually influence the internal processes inside the party. At the same time, the nationalities eagerly responded to the invitation to join the Republican national and state-level organizations specifically designed for the ethnics. Yet in doing this they perceived themselves primarily as ethnics with a distinct, mainly anti-communist, agenda and only secondarily thought of themselves as Americans dedicated to Republican politics. Consequently, the Republican political strategy of creating Nationalities Sections and Divisions seemed to integrate the ethnics on the surface, while in reality intensifying political separation and even ghettoization of the ethnics in American politics. This research initiates a larger project, which will compare the Republican and Democratic strategies of directly involving ethnic groups and minorities inside the party organizations in the second part of the twentieth century.
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