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Anti-Catholicism in England originated with the separation of the Church of England under Henry VIII, but it became more established during the struggle between the Stuarts and Parliament in the 17th century which appeared to place Catholicism and freedom on opposite sides. The American colonies inherited many of these prejudices, even in the colonies founded by settlers seeking religious freedom for themselves.

The anti-Irish sentiment engendered by the influx of Irish immigrants in the 1840`s mutated easily into anti-Catholicism.

The Ku Klux Klan identified Catholics as one of the three detested minorities, along with blacks and Jews.

In 1928, Al Smith became the first Catholic to be nominated for President by one of the two major parties. As soon as he announced his intention to run, questions about the fitness of Catholics to hold public office came into the open. It was argued that Catholic dogma would create conflicts for Catholics between the demands of their faith and the demands of patriotism. This view was expressed by a New York lawyer Charles C. Marshall in an article in the Atlantic Monthly which appeared in April 1927. The following month, Smith denied this in his own article in the same magazine the following month and pointed out the progress that had been made in public education (one of the popular concerns about Catholic politicians) while he had served as governor. - - - Books You May Like Include: ----

Catholicism and American Freedom: A History by John T. McGreevy.
In the seventeenth century, England was very intolerant of Catholics, and the colony of Maryland was established in the hopes of creating a place wher...
Party Of Fear, The: From Nativist Movements to the New Right in American History by David H. Bennett.
Why, for two hundred years, have some American citizens seen this country as an endangered Eden, to be purged of corrupting peoples or ideas by any me...
The First Prejudice: Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Early America by Chris Beneke.
In many ways, religion was the United States` first prejudice--both an early source of bigotry and the object of the first sustained efforts to limit...