Catholicism and the Shaping of Nineteenth-Century America

Catholicism and the Shaping of Nineteenth-Century America

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Offers a series of fresh perspectives on America's encounter with Catholicism in the nineteenth-century. While religious and immigration historians have construed this history in univocal terms, Jon Gjerde bridges sectarian divides by presenting Protestants and Catholics in conversation with each other. In so doing, Gjerde reveals the ways in which America's encounter with Catholicism was much more than a story about American nativism. Nineteenth-century religious debates raised questions about the fundamental underpinnings of the American state and society: the shape of the antebellum market economy, gender roles in the American family, and the place of slavery were only a few of the issues engaged by Protestants and Catholics in a lively and enduring dialectic. While the question of the place of Catholics in America was left unresolved, the very debates surrounding this question generated multiple conceptions of American pluralism and American national identity.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 304 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 7 b/w illus.
  • 1139200488
  • 9781139200486

Table of contents

1. Editor's preface S. Deborah Kang; 2. Introduction Jon Gjerde; 3. The Protestant conundrum Jon Gjerde; The Catholic conundrum Jon Gjerde; 4. Conversion and the West Jon Gjerde; 5. Schools and the state Jon Gjerde; 6. Protestant and Catholic critiques of family and women Jon Gjerde; 7. The American economy and social justice Jon Gjerde; 8. Epilogue S. Deborah Kang.
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Review quote

'... a nuanced examination of how Catholic and Protestant leaders' disagreements over a range of issues shaped antebellum society and how the lack of victory by either side shaped national identity long afterward.' John Dichtl, Indiana Magazine of History '... a thoughtful reconsideration of the mutually constitutive relationship between Christian and national identities in the antebellum United States.' Elizabeth Fenton, American Catholic Studies 'Gjerde's final book stands as a fine achievement that enhances our understanding of a critical juncture in the history of American pluralism and religious freedom.' Timothy D. Grundmeier, Journal of Church and State
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About Jon Gjerde

Jon Gjerde (February 25, 1953-October 26, 2008) was an American historian and the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, he also served as chair of the History Department and Dean of the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters and Science. He is the author of the award-winning From Peasants to Farmers: The Migration from Balestrand, Norway, to the Upper Middle West and The Minds of the West: Ethnocultural Evolution in the Rural Middle West, 1830-1917. S. Deborah Kang is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of History at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a specialist in the areas of American legal, western and immigration history and the author of The Legal Construction of the Borderlands: The INS, Immigration Law, and Immigrant Rights on the U.S.-Mexico Border, which will be published in 2012.
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Rating details

10 ratings
3.3 out of 5 stars
5 10% (1)
4 20% (2)
3 60% (6)
2 10% (1)
1 0% (0)
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