Chapter

“The Hand of Popery in this Hellish Conspiracy”

Jason K. Duncan

in Citizens or Papists?

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780823225125
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236930 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225125.003.0002

Series: Hudson Valley Heritage

“The Hand of Popery             in this Hellish Conspiracy”

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This chapter focuses on the anti-Catholicism that prevailed in New York's political culture in the 18th century. As they had during the turmoil surrounding the Glorious Revolution, New Yorkers associated violence and threats to the public order with Catholicism. In 1741, the threat became perhaps even more terrifying because Catholics, both lay and clergy, had appeared to have inspired slaves to rebel. Britain's last imperial war with France was a force for unity in a province that was known for its intense factional politics. The Seven Years War buttressed the Protestant identity of New Yorkers, which expanded to include even more denominations and churches. By the third quarter of the 18th century, the logic of empire and economics had help to generate a shadowy population of Catholics. It included immigrants from Ireland and New France, Irish and Irish-American soldiers who were assigned to defend New York, the descendants of Spanish-speaking slaves captured in imperial wars, and indentured servants from Ireland.

Keywords: Catholics; Catholicism; New York; slavery; Seven Years War; Protestants; political culture

Chapter.  3719 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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