Essays

Roman Catholics and Immigration in Nineteenth-Century America, by Julie Byrne

The story of Roman Catholicism in the nineteenth century IS the story of immigration. Until about 1845, the Roman Catholic population of the United States was a small minority of mostly English Catholics, who were often quite socially accomplished. But when several years of devastating potato famine led millions of Irish Catholics to flee to the United States in the mid 1840s, the face of American Catholicism began to change drastically and permanently.