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Assignment 4 REL 321, Joshua Manski

Assignment 4 REL 321, Joshua Manski - Joshua Manski Charles...

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Joshua Manski Charles Barfoot REL 321 Assignment 4 April 7 th , 2008 In the period after the Civil War, America experienced a large amount of immigration, numbering about 25 million people between 1860 and 1914. This immigration had a diverse effect on America, and not only on its economy but on religion. One of the religions that underwent a huge change was the Roman Catholics. Before the Civil War they had strong roots in America but the significant amount of immigration, particularly the Irish, changed the church, “Among the bishops and archbishops of the Roman Catholic Church in the late-nineteenth- century America, the Irish exercised a virtual monopoly” (page 210). The German Catholics who had been in America before the Irish had a particularly hard time with the changing church. The Germans enjoyed more of the splendor of the church while the Irish favored simplicity. Also the Germans preferred to be more active in the progression of their church and the Irish chose to let the administration run the church. Italians, the Polish, Austrians, Czechs, and Portuguese all found difficulty in adapting to the strong hold the Irish had on the church. The Roman Catholic Church eventually overcame the challenges of immigration, “the Catholic Church successfully resisted the natural tendency of ethnic enclaves to run their own ecclesiastical affairs and to establish competing hierarchies” (Page 12). This period in America also saw a large immigration of European Jews. “Many Eastern European Jews, however, sought nothing so much as the opportunity to practice their ancient
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religion without limitation or hindrance” (page 214). Those that came to America found the freedom to practice their beliefs without persecution. Many of the Conservative Jews did not like this new way of American life. They felt that Jews were valuing American Citizenship too much and not valuing the Torah enough. The Protestant churches also grew in this immigration period. The Lutherans suffered from this because all of the ethnic groups prevented a forming of a central church. In the period after the Civil War America’s religious population grew vastly yet even inside the individual denominations there were always ethnic separations. The time after the Civil was also filled with racial separation in the churches. The Methodist church in particular experienced a break off of Blacks who formed their own institutions such as the American Methodist Episcopal. Roman Catholics also found separation
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Assignment 4 REL 321, Joshua Manski - Joshua Manski Charles...

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