Religion and The War For Southern Independence- 1

 At this blog Al Mackey and his bunch attack  a lady for expressing her views on one of the causes of the War For Southern Independence. They make fun of her and call her names.

On My blog post at

Rob Baker trots out the Declarations of Immediate Causes – slavery as the reason for the war. This was supposed to be a factual response to religion . Nothing could be further from the truth. I debated him just for the fun of it. Now let’s get to some real facts. These are notes that I have collected over the years out of my own interest, nothing more. I do not make the claim to be knowledgeable in religion and the war. That being said if you have some facts to post please do so, I won’t debate them.

All names of posters have been removed.


“I do not perceive how any one professing to be sensitive to the wrongs of the negro, can join in a league to degrade a class of white men.” Abraham Lincoln on the Know Nothing Party and their ant-Catholic stance.


New England’s history against anything other than puritan religions goes back to its beginning. But related to the Civil War anti-Catholic riots rocked New England in the 1840s and political parties were formed just to be anti-Catholic up until 1860. Any religion that even seemed to be related to Catholics also came under attack, so there seems to be a basis to my theory, even if I’m wrong.

Massachusetts Bay- Puritan government enacted an anti-priest law in May of 1647, which threatened with death “all and every Jesuit, seminary priest, missionary or other spiritual or ecclesiastical person made or ordained by any authority, power or jurisdiction, derived, challenged or pretended, from the Pope or See of Rome.”

“Pope’s Day in Boston

Remember, remember, the fifth of November took on a new ritual life in Boston. By the middle of the eighteenth century, the traditional English effigy-burning had evolved into a city-wide festival marked by battles between the North End’s and the South End’s apprentices and artisans. The “lower orders” in each part of the city made effigies of the Pope, Devil, and Pretender and then tried to capture and burn each other’s effigies. The riots were certainly anti-Catholic but also served another purpose. Resistance to the Stamp Tax in 1765-66 was built on networks of communication and leadership already in place to coordinate “organized” Pope’s Day rioting. Ironically, what was a celebration of English, Protestant identity, and by extension, a celebration of Parliamentary and monarchical authority, helped foment revolution against those very institutions.”

“1798: The Alien and Sedition Laws
Earliest expression of American nativism under the new constitutional system was manifest during the John Adams administration with the infamous Alien and Sedition laws directed especially against foreign immigrants. Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson asking, “Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?”
1830: The Leopoldine “conspiracy”
In Ohio there were twenty-two churches, twenty-four priests, twenty thousand Catholics, one Catholic newspaper, a college, and a seminary. The preponderant number of Catholics, especially German, among the immigrants flooding into the Midwest caused American nativists to think that the power of the Pope might be transferred there. Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872), inventor of the telegraph, who gained his first fame as an artist, was the descendant of a New England Puritan family in Boston. He became aware of the grants of money by the Leopoldine Society to the Church in the West and viewed this as a foreign conspiracy. He decided to dedicate the greater part of his life to opposing the Church of Rome.
“Anti-Catholic animus in the United States reached a peak in the nineteenth century when the Protestant population became alarmed by the influx of Roman Catholic immigrants. The resulting “nativist” movement, which achieved prominence in the 1840s, was whipped into a frenzy of anti-Catholicism that led to mob violence, the burning of Roman Catholic property, and the killing of Roman Catholics. This violence was fed by claims that Catholics were destroying the culture of the United States. Irish Catholic immigrants were blamed for raising the taxes of the country as well as spreading violence and disease. The nativist movement found expression in a national political movement called the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s, which (unsuccessfully) ran former president Millard Fillmore as its presidential candidate in 1856.”

The Know-Nothing Party was an anti-Catholic political party originated in New York in the 1850s. By 1860 most had become Republicans.


End part 1


4 thoughts on “Religion and The War For Southern Independence- 1

  1. First you need to clarify. She proclaimed that the South fought a war of religion. Not the war was a war of religion, as we would know war of religions throughout history.

    You have not provided very many citations for these facts. Some of them are actually wrong. In reality, the Know-Nothing was considered to be a early political opponent of the Republicans. In fact, the Know-Nothings were actually split over the issue of slavery, and after the party formerly split after the election of 1856, the anti-slavery element joined the Republican platform because of how open to ideas it originally was. (Tyler Anbinder. Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings and the politics of the 1850s (1992)) Just an FYI, the Know-Nothing Party also developed into the South.

    George, what you have here are random quotes about Nativism. But there is nothing about a Holy War being fought between the North and the South.

    If you are truly seeking enlightenment on the role of religion, I recommend this:

    • Thanks Rob. As I said I will not debate the religious aspect of the war simply because I know nothing about the subject one way or the other. I posted simply to say religion may be a subject for more study. I do have a couple of other notes to add but not much at this time, and to be honest I doubt I will ever research the subject unless I happen upon something interesting.


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