Ake Law

From Ohio History Central


During World War I, the United States fought against Germany and its allies. As a result, there was a significant amount of anti-German sentiment across the United States, including in Ohio. Many Americans felt that it was patriotic to do away with anything German. One manifestation of this sentiment was the Ake Law.

The state legislature passed the Ake Law in 1919. This law banned the teaching of the German language in all schools, both public and private, below the eighth grade. Although it did not address high school or colleges, many schools stopped offering German at those levels as well. Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court ruled that laws like the Ake Law were unconstitutional in Meyer V. Nebraska (1922). The court determined that the state did not have the constitutional authority to ban German in private schools.