By T. Carty
Based on quite a few students and pundits, JFK's victory in 1960 symbolized America's evolution from a politically Protestant kingdom to a pluralistic one. The anti-Catholic prejudice that many blamed for presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith's crushing defeat in 1928 eventually looked as if it would were conquer. despite the fact that, if the presidential election of 1960 was once certainly a turning element for American Catholics, how will we clarify the failure of any Catholic--in over 40 years--to repeat Kennedy's accomplishment? during this exhaustively researched research that fuses political, cultural, social, and highbrow historical past, Thomas Carty demanding situations the idea that JFK's winning crusade for the presidency ended many years, if now not centuries, of spiritual and political tensions among American Catholics and Protestants.
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Additional info for A Catholic in the White House?: Religion, Politics, and John F. Kennedy's Presidential Campaign
4 Protestant America or a Nation of Immigrants? 29 Religious tensions were not always contained in symbolic violence. The Klan’s icon, a burning cross, appeared through the windows of Smith’s campaign railcar in Oklahoma and Montana. 5 Election Day provoked even more powerful passions. Four New England residents died of heart attacks due to the excitement, and a Hoover loyalist killed a Smith devotee in Kentucky. 6 The 1928 campaign’s ‘‘Catholic issue’’ exposed powerful negative and positive implications of Catholicism in presidential elections.
Assistant Attorney General for Prohibition Enforcement Mabel Walker Willebrandt publicly asked a meeting of 2,500 Methodist ministers in Ohio to campaign for Hoover: ‘‘You have in your churches more than six hundred thousand members . . in Ohio alone. 21 A Virginia National Committeewoman, Willie W. 22 Yet Hoover’s wife Lou also defended opposition to Smith on religious grounds. Despite repudiating the use of rumor and innuendo, Mrs. ’’23 Protestant America or a Nation of Immigrants? 33 Some American liberals agreed with Lou Hoover’s assessment that suspicion of a Catholic presidential candidate did not violate the political rights of that religion’s membership.
Senators and suggested that the pope had coerced Mexicans and Nicaraguans into plotting preemptive war on the United States. Smith’s presidential ambitions served as Heflin’s primary target. Heflin compelled Americans to ‘‘gird your loans for political battle’’ against Smith lest ‘‘the heavy hand of a Catholic state . . ’’9 Other southern senators, however, defended Smith. Senate Majority Leader Joseph Robinson, who Smith would choose as a running mate, immediately repudiated Heflin’s appeal on the senate floor.
A Catholic in the White House?: Religion, Politics, and John F. Kennedy's Presidential Campaign by T. Carty