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The Imperial ChurchCatholic Founding Fathers and United States Empire$
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Katherine D. Moran

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748813

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748813.001.0001

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Thinking with Catholicism, Empire, and History

Thinking with Catholicism, Empire, and History

(p.1) Introduction Thinking with Catholicism, Empire, and History
The Imperial Church

Katherine D. Moran

Cornell University Press

This chapter begins with an overview of George Everett Adams's and Helen Taft's speeches, which they delivered as Protestants in a country that was increasingly home to a large and growing Catholic minority. It argues that Adams's and Taft's speeches were part of a much larger religious pattern in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the ongoing currents of anti-Catholicism in U.S. culture, many late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Protestants joined their Catholic compatriots in speaking with nostalgia and admiration about the figures and institutions of Roman Catholic exploration and evangelization. The chapter also describes how men and women celebrated idealized versions of Catholic imperial pasts as the United States grew into a global power. It traces Catholic origin stories that emerged in three different sites and circumstances: the upper Midwest, Southern California, and the U.S. colonial Philippines.

Keywords:   George Everett Adams, Helen Taft, Protestants, Catholic minority, anti-Catholicism, Roman Catholic exploration

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