Immigration and anti catholicism
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Immigration and Anti-Catholicism. 1800 - 1920. Immigration. Statistics on Catholics in U.S.:. By 1800 - 40,000 By 1820 - 195,000 By 1850 - 1½ million By 1860 - 3 million By 1820 - 18 million The increase is almost entirely due to immigration. French. 1790 – 1800

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Immigration and Anti-Catholicism

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Immigration and Anti-Catholicism

1800 - 1920


Immigration


Statistics on Catholics in U.S.:

  • By 1800 - 40,000

  • By 1820 - 195,000

  • By 1850 - 1½ million

  • By 1860 - 3 million

  • By 1820 - 18 million

    The increase is almost entirely due to immigration


French

  • 1790 – 1800

  • Caused by French Revolution

  • Influences:

    • Highly authoritarian

    • Love of ritual

    • Devotion to Blessed Virgin

  • Early 19th century, majority of bishops were French immigrants


Bishop DuBourg of St. Louis

Bishop Flaget of Bardstown

Bishop Lamy of

Santa Fe

Bishop Machebeuf of Denver


German

  • 1820 – 1920

  • Caused by search for economic opportunity and, after 1870, persecution of Catholics in Germany

  • Mostly farmers and tradesmen

  • Settled in “German Triangle” between Cincinnati, St. Louis and Milwaukee


  • Influences:

    • Involved in their local parishes

    • Catholic schools

      The first Catholics to settle in Ohio were German immigrants who settled near Somerset


Irish

  • 1820 – 1900

  • Came fleeing persecution in Ireland, famine, and looking for economic opportunity

  • Settled in large cities of East Coast and Great Lakes

  • Mostly under 25, illiterate, unmarried


  • Influences:

    • Importance of education

    • Stress religious vocations in their children

    • Rely on clergy – the priest is the most important person in the parish

      By 1900:

    • 50% of all Catholics are Irish

    • 65% of clergy are Irish

    • 70% of bishops are Irish


Hispanics

  • U.S. conquered 1/3 of Mexico in 1848 – California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado

  • 80,000 Hispanic Catholics became part of the U.S.

  • Immigration has increased the number – Hispanics are nearly 25% of American Catholics


Influences:

  • Popular devotions

  • Importance of home-based religious traditions

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe – patroness of the Americas


Anti-Catholicism


Historic Roots of Anti-Catholicism

  • English attitudes towards Catholics

  • Feeling that Catholics are not loyal to the government because of their allegiance to the pope

  • Protestant beliefs that Catholicism is not a Biblical religion because of its reliance on papal teachings, its veneration of Mary and saints, and rituals


Nativism(Part 1)

  • 1820 – 1846

  • Caused by –

    • Increased immigration

    • The rise of Protestant Revivalism

    • An economic downturn and the fact that immigrants were willing to work for lower wages

    • Question of teaching religion in public schools


  • 1830, magazine “The Protestant” founded to “inculcate Gospel doctrines against Romish corruptions.”

  • 1834 burning of Ursuline convent and school in Charlestown, Mass.

  • 1836 publication of “The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk” – a supposed memoir of life in a convent in Montreal


Frontispiece from an edition of The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk


Philadelphia Riots

  • Over the issue of allowing Catholic students to use the Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible in religion class in public schools

  • Led to anti-Catholic riots during which several churches were burned and 14 people died


Nativism(Part 2)

  • 1854 – 1860

  • “Know Nothing Party” established

    • Only “native born” Protestant Americans of European ancestry should be allowed to be citizens

    • Attempted to prevent Catholic citizens from voting

      • “Bloody Monday” – Louisville, 1855


  • Became majority in Congress – able to pass anti-Catholic laws (all of which were overturned in the courts)

  • Died out by 1860 because they had no stand on the slavery issue

Idealized portrait of a member of the Know Nothing Party


“I have been educated to enmity toward everything that is Catholic; sometimes, in consequence of this, I find it easier to discover Catholic faults than Catholic merits.”

Mark Twain


Nativism(Part 3)

  • 1887 – 1898

  • Main Issue: Catholic Schools

    • Belief that Catholic education is subversive and students are being taught to be loyal to the pope rather than good American citizens

    • Fear that Catholics will overthrow the government and replace it with a theocracy, getting rid of the Bill of Rights


  • Immigration is still an issue, especially as more immigrants from Eastern Europe are entering the country

  • Important spokesperson – political cartoonist Thomas Nast


The Ku Klux Klan

  • 1920s

  • See themselves as protecting America for white, Protestant Americans against Blacks, Jews, Catholics and Mexicans


Against Al Smith, the first Catholic candidate for president


  • Most organized anti-Catholicism ends with the election of John F. Kennedy to the presidency


  • "I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters — and the Church does not speak for me.“ Kennedy to the Greater Houston Ministerial Assc. In 1960


Anti-Catholicism Today

  • Little organized anti-Catholicism

  • A few Fundamentalist Christian groups – especially Jack Chick Publications

  • Anti-Catholic attitudes are still fairly common – it has been called “the last acceptable prejudice” recently

  • The clergy pedophilia cover-up brought a lot of those attitudes out


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