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Roman Catholicism in the United StatesA Thematic History$
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Margaret M. McGuinness and James T. Fisher

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823282760

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823282760.001.0001

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Writing American Catholic History

Writing American Catholic History

(p.1) Introduction Writing American Catholic History
Roman Catholicism in the United States

Margaret M. McGuinness

James T. Fisher

Fordham University Press

This introductory chapter begins with a brief discussion of the history of U.S. Catholicism, which is traced back to the efforts of Franciscan missionaries in the sixteenth-century Southwest prior to the arrival of Anglo-Protestants along the Eastern Seaboard, and then moved on to Jesuits in New France (Canada) early in the following century. By 1850, Catholicism was the largest religious denomination in the United States, and remains so to this day. American Protestant Christianity has always boasted a substantial aggregate majority of religious adherents, but Protestantism was broken into so many movements by the mid-nineteenth century that no single Protestant group equaled in size the nation's Catholic populace. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   Catholicism, Catholic Church, United States, Franciscan missionaries, Anglo-Protestants, Jesuits, Catholic history

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