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Excommunicated From the UnionHow the Civil War Created a Separate Catholic America$
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William B. Kurtz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267538

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267538.001.0001

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The Mexican War and Nativism

The Mexican War and Nativism

(p.9) 1 The Mexican War and Nativism
Excommunicated From the Union

William B. Kurtz

Fordham University Press

The Mexican War was a dress rehearsal not just for military leaders, but for Catholics who believed that military service would prove their patriotism once and for all. Although many Catholics served in the U.S. Army, the presence of Irish Catholic deserters in the San Patricio Battalion of the Mexican Army tarred the larger community with the stain of disloyalty. As a result of rampant immigration and debates over education, a powerful wave of political nativism swept the Know-Nothing Party into office in many states throughout the United States. Although the party declined in influence as the 1850s ended, Catholics were concerned that the new Republican Party harbored many former nativists and might attack the church in the future.

Keywords:   Catholicism, Know-Nothing Party, Mexican War, nativism, San Patricio Battalion

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