Chapter

Papists Become Patriots

Maura Jane Farrelly

in Papist Patriots

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199757718
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932504 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757718.003.0006
Papists Become Patriots

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This chapter considers the various ways in which the Catholic community in Maryland endorsed, contributed to, fought for, and died for an ideology that rested upon republican principles, mandated a political break from England, and utilized the rhetoric of anti-Catholicism. Maryland’s Catholics supported the independence movement more enthusiastically than their Protestant neighbors, in part because the movement relied upon a premise that had been sustaining Catholics for years – namely, the idea that their colony’s constitution was separate from that of England, and the belief that Maryland’s constitution was being corrupted by the colony’s connection to England. By the 1770s, Maryland’s Catholics were the colonists most prepared to accept the cultural and psychological implications of independence from England. They had been taking responsibility for their religious identity for generations by that point; taking responsibility for their national identity was the logical next step.

Keywords: independence; rhetoric; anti-Catholicism; constitution; republican; corruption; religious identity; national identity

Chapter.  14173 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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