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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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Post-war Anti-Catholicism

Post-war Anti-Catholicism

(p.129) 7 Post-war Anti-Catholicism
Excommunicated From the Union

William B. Kurtz

Fordham University Press

The divided response of Catholics to the war allowed nativism to continue to thrive in post-war America. Thomas Nast lampooned their loyalty and Americanness in his cartoons while President Ulysses S. Grant publicly attacked them as a threat to the nation in an 1875 speech at Des Moines, Iowa. Events in Europe, including the unification of Italy and Otto von Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, further exacerbated anti-Catholicism in American society. A renewed debate over education in the United States allowed the Republican Party to play on anti-Catholic fears by proposing an anti-parochial school amendment to the constitution during the 1876 presidential campaign. While many Catholics lived peacefully with their Protestant neighbors, it was clear that the Catholic faith was far from being accepted in American society. The growth of post-war nativism, despite the sacrifices of Catholics during the war, only encouraged the growth of a separate Catholic subculture in the United States.

Keywords:   1876, anti-Catholicism, Catholics, education, Ulysses S. Grant, nativism, Republicans, subculture

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