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Contingent CitizensShifting Perceptions of Latter-day Saints in American Political Culture$
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Spencer W. McBride, Brent M. Rogers, and Keith A. Erekson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501716737

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501716737.001.0001

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Political Perceptions of Mormon Polygamy and the Struggle for Utah Statehood, 1847–1896

Political Perceptions of Mormon Polygamy and the Struggle for Utah Statehood, 1847–1896

Chapter:
(p.128) Chapter 8 Political Perceptions of Mormon Polygamy and the Struggle for Utah Statehood, 1847–1896
Source:
Contingent Citizens
Author(s):
Stephen Eliot Smith
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501716737.003.0009

This chapter explains the culture war being waged by the federal government against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It describes how Mormons were typically characterized as representatives of systems and practices that were quintessentially un-American or even anti-American. It also recounts the admission of Utah as the forty-fifth state of the Union in 1896, which was a momentous occasion for both the Mormon church and the United States. The chapter focuses on polygamy as one of the reasons for the unprecedented delay of Utah's admission as a state. It analyzes the religious doctrine of plural marriage that was openly practiced by Mormons from 1852 to 1890, which was unanimously disapproved by members of Congress and American citizens in general.

Keywords:   culture war, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormons, un-American, anti-American, Utah, plural marriage

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