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Charles H. By John T.

New York: Norton, The usual story about Roman Catholicism and American democratic impulses begins with the Puritan castigation of Catholicism as superstition and falsehood. It tracks a growing anti-Catholicism, based on the Protestant conviction that loyalty to the pope is treasonous devotion to a foreign prince.

Catholicism and American Freedom: a History

Standard accounts point to the burning of the Ursuline convent outside Boston in the s to symbolize an anti-Catholicism that periodically swelled and receded at least until the election of John F. Kennedy to the presidency.

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John T. McGreevy's probing of this tangled web is more nuanced.

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He sketches in broad strokes the Protestant ambivalence toward Catholicism, forcefully proclaimed by Paul Blanshard in the mid-twentieth century, but he also paints a detailed picture of profound Catholic ambivalence about democracy and American moral values shaped by Protestantism. He reminds us that Catholic approaches reflect the church's international character; teaching Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.

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Don't already have an Oxford Academic account? Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. The former was a political ideology that challenged Catholic conceptions of freedom and government, while the latter may not have always been widespread. By the time of the Revolution, Catholics in Maryland and elsewhere were on board with the Patriot cause.

Catholicism & American Freedom A History

Breidenbach has recently explained, with American, Protestant-influenced notions of individual rights. The early republican period, however, represented the calm before the storm of the antebellum era. As Catholic immigration from Germany and Ireland increased, anti-Catholicism made a fierce reappearance.

Farrelly does an excellent job recounting the rise of anti-Catholic nativism in the decades before the Civil War and takes readers on a tour of disturbing incidents of violence and bigotry, including the burning of the Ursuline convent in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in ; the Philadelphia Bible riots of ; the spread of lurid and fraudulent convent tales by such figures as Rebecca Reed and Maria Monk, which fueled anti-Catholicism for many years; and the rapid rise and fall of the Know Nothings in the s.

I consider this to be one of the best histories of American anti-Catholicism I have ever read.

It is impressive that Farrelly was able to cover so much ground historically, geographically, and thematically in just under two hundred pages of narrative text and endnotes. Anti-Catholicism in America can serve for students as a model of strong prose, superb primary- and secondary-source research, and persuasive argumentation, and it is entirely suitable for undergraduate and graduate seminars.

‎Catholicism and American Freedom: A History on Apple Books

It should be the go-to source on pre-Civil War anti-Catholicism for those familiar with the subject and for readers seeking an introduction. McGreevy See All.


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