Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620-1860

$24.99 (G)

Part of Cambridge Essential Histories

  • Date Published: November 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316616369

$ 24.99 (G)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Using fears of Catholicism as a mechanism through which to explore the contours of Anglo-American understandings of freedom, Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620–1860 reveals the ironic role that anti-Catholicism played in defining and sustaining some of the core values of American identity, values that continue to animate our religious and political discussions today. Farrelly explains how that bias helped to shape colonial and antebellum cultural understandings of God, the individual, salvation, society, government, law, national identity, and freedom. In so doing, Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620–1860 provides contemporary observers with a framework for understanding what is at stake in the debate over the place of Muslims and other non-Christian groups in American society.

    • Uses anti-Catholicism as an opportunity to explore the various Protestant groups - Puritans and Pilgrims - that were dominant on the colonial and early-American landscape
    • Shows how anti-Catholicism was both an expression of, and an abandonment of, the dominant values of the colonial and early-American period
    • Provides a useful distillation of the narrative on anti-Catholicism in early America, while citations point them to the pertinent historiography
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Farrelly combines the best features of a first-rate scholar, an engaging raconteur, and an accomplished journalist's eye for the larger picture to narrate a rollicking account of the first two hundred years of what has been called 'America's oldest prejudice'. Hers is the new magisterial voice on the block for understanding the colonial and Revolutionary Era distrust of Catholic 'others'. Run out and buy this book.' Mark Massa, S.J., Boisi Center for Religion and American Life, Boston College

    'Though thankfully rare today, anti-Catholic prejudice shaped many discussions of public policy early in America's national history. This book fully explores that past, providing important context for understanding religious difference in our present.' James O’Toole, Boston College

    'This timely book explores the transformation of a mistrusted minority faith into the largest denomination in the United States. In lively prose, Farrelly guides readers through some of the most important political and cultural contests in early American history, introducing unforgettable and unexpected characters along the way. Anyone interested in the history of American tolerance and intolerance should read this book.' Catherine O’Donnell, Arizona State University

    'Anti-Catholicism was a defining prejudice in early America. It clarified what Protestant Americans meant by freedom and where they drew the boundaries of tolerance. In this remarkably concise and vividly composed volume, Maura Jane Farrelly demonstrates how historical tensions between Catholics and Protestants played out in the United States. Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620–1860 offers a riveting account of the struggles that raged within the Church, as well as the resistance it faced from without. It is an elegantly told story of American Catholicism and its long, painful journey into the national mainstream.' Chris Beneke, Bentley University, Massachusetts

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316616369
    • length: 222 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.31kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'It hath been found inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant Kingdom.': anti-Catholicism in Old England and New
    2. 'This Province is God be thanked very peaceable and quiet.': anti-Catholicism and colonial Catholics in the seventeenth century
    3. 'The common Word then was: No King, No Popery.': anti-Catholicism and the American revolution
    4. 'The Catholic religion is modified by the spirit of the time in America.': anti-Catholicism and the new republic
    5. 'Those now pouring in upon us…are wholly of another kind in morals and intellect.': anti-Catholicism in the age of immigration
    6. 'The benumbing and paralyzing influence of Romanism is such, as to disqualify a person for the relish and enjoyment of liberty.': anti-Catholicism and American politics

  • Author

    Maura Jane Farrelly, Brandeis University, Massachusetts
    Maura Jane Farrelly is Associate Professor American Studies at Brandeis University, Massachusetts.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.