By T. Carty
Based on quite a few students and pundits, JFK's victory in 1960 symbolized America's evolution from a politically Protestant state to a pluralistic one. The anti-Catholic prejudice that many blamed for presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith's crushing defeat in 1928 eventually looked as if it would were triumph over. in spite of the fact that, if the presidential election of 1960 was once certainly a turning element for American Catholics, how can we clarify the failure of any Catholic--in over 40 years--to repeat Kennedy's accomplishment? during this exhaustively researched examine that fuses political, cultural, social, and highbrow background, Thomas Carty demanding situations the idea that JFK's winning crusade for the presidency ended many years, if no longer centuries, of spiritual and political tensions among American Catholics and Protestants.
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Additional info for A Catholic in the White House?: Religion, Politics, and John F. Kennedy's Presidential Campaign
As nativism declined in popularity, Ku Klux Klansmen surprisingly advanced liberal arguments to challenge Catholicism in the 1920s. ’’ At the same time, however, the Klan also characterized the pope as an authoritarian monarch who harbored reactionary, fascist sympathies. Citing Roman Catholic support for autocratic monarchs in earlier centuries, Klansmen portrayed Catholicism as inherently opposed to liberal, democratic principles. ’’ This traditionally nativist organization sounded more like liberal, Social Gospel reformers—who viewed Christ’s teachings as inspiration for promoting political equality—than conservative fundamentalists when accusing Catholics of resisting both progressive taxation and governmental protection of workers.
Tom Walsh promoted child labor laws, for example, which some preeminent members of the American Catholic hierarchy, such as Boston Cardinal William O’Connell, opposed. Failing to appreciate this institutional diversity, Ku Klux Klansmen appealed to liberals, as well as nativists, by portraying Catholicism as reactionary and sympathetic with fascism. At the 1924 Democratic National Convention, Walsh and Al Smith offered two distinct faces of American Catholicism. Smith’s urban, northeastern roots and opposition to Prohibition appealed to Catholic, Jewish, and African Americans who resisted rural, white, Protestant social and political hegemony.
10 Smith’s personal and political decisions fueled nativist propaganda and conspiracy theories. Some historians, such as David Burner, have Protestant America or a Nation of Immigrants? 31 credited Smith’s parochialism with Hoover’s 1928 victory. Smith alienated rural, Protestant Americans by drinking in defiance of Prohibition, exaggerating his New York roots and accent, and taking excessive pride in ‘‘outward tokens of his faith,’’ according to Burner. The New York governor had publicly kissed the ring of papal ambassador Giovanni Bonzano in 1926.