Review Of "No King, No Popery: Anti-Catholicism In Revolutionary New England" By F. D. Cogliano

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New England's record of anti-Catholicism is well known, but Cogliano provides the first comprehensive history of its influence in the Revolutionary period. He argues that anti-Catholicism was a "persuasion," a systematic worldview helping to force a unified identity for educated and poorer classes. The rhetoric used in Pope's Day festivities and against the French before 1763 was later utilized against allegedly popish King Grorge because of opposition to an Anglican bishop and the Quebec Act. The patriots toned down their rhetoric after the French alliance, but religious tensions over the presence of French troops continued. Although voters rejected the Massachusetts constitution of 1778 granting religious liberty only to Protestants, articles in the new constitution of 1779 granted freedom of worship yet continued tax support for the established Congregational Church. Cogliano demonstrates that after 1779, anti-Catholicism, no longer a unifying cultural force, became less respectable. However, the oath that required of officeholders renunciation of any foreign potentate's power over "ecclesiastical" and "spiritual" matters still precluded Catholics from serving. Unfortunately, "New England" here equals Massachusetts, with little attention paid to Rhode Island. This book adds to our knowledge of anti-Catholicism without requiring basic revision. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate; graduate; faculty.


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