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By T. Carty

Based on a variety of students and pundits, JFK's victory in 1960 symbolized America's evolution from a politically Protestant state to a pluralistic one. The anti-Catholic prejudice that many blamed for presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith's crushing defeat in 1928 ultimately looked as if it would were conquer. even though, 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 resources for A Catholic in the White House?: Religion, Politics, and John F. Kennedy's Presidential Campaign

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According to many Catholic writers, the same nativist anti-Catholic forces that blocked Smith’s nomination in 1924 had reconstituted in 1928. Catholics especially viewed Walsh’s candidacy as a plot by former Treasury Secretary William G. McAdoo, who 36 A Catholic in the White House? refused to support a ‘‘religious liberty’’ clause that would have repudiated the Klan four years earlier at the Democratic National Convention. After placing a distant third to Smith in the California primary, Walsh received many appeals to concede the nomination to his fellow Catholic.

Speaking to a meeting of the American Liberty League—a conservative organization founded by wealthy Catholic businessman John Raskob to defend property Protestant America or a Nation of Immigrants? 39 rights against Roosevelt’s ‘‘New Deal’’ expansion of federal authority— Smith denounced the similarity of the Democratic Party and the Socialist Party platforms. ’’50 Catholic-liberal clashes about communism arose again in response to anticlerical regimes in Mexico and the Soviet Union. Radio priest Charles Coughlin also turned against Roosevelt after initially praising the Democratic president.

In an April 1929 letter to Hoover’s secretary of the navy Charles Francis Adams, Kennedy claimed to have voted Republican in 1928. ’’ This shocking admission that a prominent Catholic Democrat voted against Smith’s presidential bid may merely demonstrate Kennedy’s penchant for using blandishments to secure political allies in government. Yet when Smith contested for the party’s nomination in 1932, Kennedy again rebuffed the Catholic candidate by actively supporting the front-runner, Protestant New York Governor Franklin Roosevelt.

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