The Catholic People in American History

Introduction: A Unique American Catholic Identity

Catholicism in America has its own unique history. In order to understand that history, it is necessary to take a look at the people who identified as Catholic and how that identification shaped their experience in America.

How did Catholicism come to the Americas? How did it sustain its membership over time? What was the relationship between the pope and American Catholics, or American Catholics and non-Catholic Americans? How did the American Catholic people respond to the clergy? These questions are critical to understanding the way Catholic people created a distinctively Catholic-American identity and experience.


See "Background" to begin