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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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Imperial Church Stories

Imperial Church Stories

(p.202) Conclusion Imperial Church Stories
The Imperial Church

Katherine D. Moran

Cornell University Press

This chapter reviews the argument that in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, in the upper Midwest, Southern California, and the U.S. colonial Philippines, many American Protestants and Catholics turned to idealized visions of Catholic imperial pasts in order to talk about the past and future of U.S. empire. The chapter talks about the broader relevance of the allegory of the Imperial Church, as Americans have continued to think with Catholicism when thinking about their own imperial nation. It also describes the various invocations of Catholic imperial pasts that emerged in the context of three concurrent developments. First is the postbellum national commemorative boom that saw Americans erecting monuments, writing histories, and performing in pageants at a remarkable rate. Second are the two waves of nineteenth-century Catholic European immigration that had supplied American Protestants with Catholic friends, colleagues, and constituents. And third is the center of U.S. economic and cultural power that shifted away from the Eastern Seaboard and no longer so dominated by events and individuals on the Atlantic coast.

Keywords:   American Protestants, Catholicism, U.S. empire, Imperial Church, Catholic European immigration, Atlantic coast

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