Cover image for Religious liberties : anti-Catholicism and liberal democracy in nineteenth-century U.S. literature and culture
Religious liberties : anti-Catholicism and liberal democracy in nineteenth-century U.S. literature and culture
Fenton, Elizabeth A., 1978-
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New York : Oxford University Press, 2011.
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178 p.
Imagining the Americas
Privacy, pluralism, and anti-Catholic democracy -- Catholic Canadians and Protestant pluralism in the early republic -- Pleas for democracy: Federalism, expansionism, and nativism -- Papal persuasions: religious conversion and deliberative democracy -- This is my body politic: Catholic democracy and the limits of representation -- Haitian Catholicism and the end of pluralism -- Losing faith: ultramontane liberalism and democratic failure.


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Book 0316479 PS217 .P54 F46 2011 Central Campus Library

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In the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Catholicism was often presented in the U.S. not only as a threat to Protestantism but also as an enemy of democracy. Focusing on literary and cultural representations of Catholics as a political force, Elizabeth Fenton argues that the U.S.perception of religious freedom grew partly, and paradoxically, out of a sometimes virulent but often genteel anti-Catholicism. Depictions of Catholicism's imagined intolerance and cruelty allowed writers time and again to depict their nation as tolerant and free. As Religious Liberties shows,anti-Catholic sentiment particularly shaped U.S. conceptions of pluralism and its relationship to issues as diverse as religious privacy, territorial expansion, female citizenship, political representation, chattel slavery, and governmental partisanship.Drawing on a wide range of materials - from the Federalist Papers to antebellum biographies of Toussaint Louverture; from nativist treatises to Margaret Fuller's journalism; from convent exposes to novels by Catharine Sedgwick, Augusta J. Evans, Nathanial Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, HermanMelville, and Mark Twain - Fenton's study excavates the influence of anti-Catholic sentiment on both the liberal tradition and early U.S. culture more generally. In concert, these texts suggest how the prejudice against Catholicism facilitated an alignment of U.S. nationalism with Protestantism,thus ensuring the mutual dependence, rather than the putative "separation" of church and state.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Privacy, Pluralism, and Anti-Catholic Democracyp. 3
Chapter 1 Catholic Canadians and Protestant Pluralism in the Early Republicp. 17
Chapter 2 Pleas for Democracy: Federalism, Expansionism, and Nativismp. 37
Chapter 3 Papal Persuasions: Religious Conversion and Deliberative Democracyp. 57
Chapter 4 This Is My Body Politic: Catholic Democracy and the Limits of Representationp. 81
Chapter 5 Haitian Catholicism and the End of Pluralismp. 103
Chapter 6 Losing Faith: Ultramontane Liberalism and Democratic Failurep. 121
Afterwordp. 141
Notesp. 149
Indexp. 175