PLS 315-01

1800-1833 issue: state-supported churches, “religious freedom”

  • Democrats
    • attracts ev. Methodist & Baptist
      • equality
      • populist
    • Catholics gradually become Dem
      • evangelicals begin leaving party(party alignment via negative reference groups)
        • see selves as social reformers
          • alcohol
          • slavery
        • theological (Cath. v. Prot.)
          • Catholics can’t be loyal Americans (infallibility, supremacy of Pope)
        • sociopolitical
          • nativist reaction to Catholic immigration
          • urban problems, poverty etc
  • Federalists/Whigs
    • attracts Congregationalists & Episcopalians
      • hierarchical; elites

New party alignments:

  • Democrats
    • Catholics
    • Southern evangelicals
  • Republicans (formerly Whigs)
    • Northern evangelicals
    • AfAm

1860-1932 (Lincoln thru FDR): Dems in decline, Republican dominance

  • Dems only win 4 elections in this period
  • in reality ev. Protestant dominance (Northern elites)
    • moral zeal = social reform (normative)
      • make inner life manifest in outward world
    • sense of mission
    • “Christian nation”
  • Southern evangelicals = Dems

evangelicals v. “mainline” differences begin to manifest

  • varying approaches to social reform
    • evangelism
      • personal conversion/salvation seen as most effective means of social reform
    • legislation
      • use of govt to enforce morality
      • activist govt uses its coercive force for doctrinal goals
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