Begining in the 1820s, large scale immigrantion from Ireland and other countries began to reshape and redefine the American Catholic Church. Enlightenment was on the wane; the Republican era was at its end; the parrish mission and evangelical Catholicism were in ascent. (Dolan, p44, 2002)
The biggest issues of the time leading up to the U.S. Civil War was Slavery and the supreme authority of the Catholic church over the laity. After the Civil War, the focus turned towards the temperance movement, the rights of women, and anti-immigrant feelings.
Father Mathew's Disciples: American Catholic Support for Temperance, 1840-1920.
Growth of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States (1933 Thesis, ebook available through Google Scholar)