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REL 455: American Catholicism 1775-1881: Home

Theology, Spirituality, Culture and History

Recommended Reading (ebooks)


A timeline of Catholic History in the United States is tricky, at least at the beginnings, as it depends on what one might or might not call the Univeted States.

  • 1565 The Spanish brought Catholicism to the continent when they settled St Augustine, Florida.
  • 1634 Three  English Jesuit priests arrived in Maryland, accompanying Protestant and Catholic colonists in the Ark and the Dove to the new colony.
  • 1763 French Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette explores the Mississippi river valley.
  • 1773 John Carroll becomes missionary priest to Maryland
  • 1776 Population of the U.S. approximately 2.5 million; of that number about 25,000 were Catholic
  • 1776 Charles Carroll of Carrollton delegate to the Continental Congress, signer of Declaration of Independence
  • 1789 John Carroll was elected by the clergy and appointed Bishop of Baltimore; only Bishop in the U.S. until 1808.
  • 1780 Republican era begins
  • 1789 French Revolution begins
  • 1790 Mathew Carey, Irish Catholic published first Catholic Bible in the United States 
  • 1792 Stephen Badin, pioneer priest of Kentucky
  • 1798 (Feb 10) Napoleon's troops occupy Rome
  • 1798 (Feb 15) Pope Pius VI kidnapped by Napoleon
  • 1799 French Revolution ends
  • 1820 Republican Era of Catholicism ends
  • 1820 Immigfrant period in American Catholic Hisotry begins
  • 1820s Devotional Catholicism begins to increase
  • 1856 Orestes Brownson publishes an Essay which argues that Catholcis should not separate themselves from American Nationality, but rather become assimilated into the "Great current of American Life" (Sarna, Johnathan, 1998)
  • 1920 Immigrant period ends
  • 1840s Devotional Catholicism more prominent
  • 1841 Archibishop John Hughes Condemns the Public School Society of NY
  • 1868 First Vatican Council
  • 1875 Propaganda Fide concerning Catholic Children in American Public Schools
  • 1899 Testum Benevolentiae Condemnation of Americanism influence on Catholic churches in U.S.
  • 1949 Papal Birth Control Commission formed
  • 1956 Catholic Viewpoint on Race Relations by John LarFarge
  • To be continued...

EBSCO's Ebook Collection

Primary Documents in American History

Declaration of Independence (image and info)