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By T. Carty

In line with various 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 finally appeared to were conquer. besides the fact that, if the presidential election of 1960 used to be certainly a turning element for American Catholics, how can 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 heritage, Thomas Carty demanding situations the idea that JFK's winning crusade for the presidency ended many years, if no longer centuries, of spiritual and political tensions among American Catholics and Protestants.

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Extra info for A Catholic in the White House?: Religion, Politics, and John F. Kennedy's Presidential Campaign

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Founder of the four million member United Negro Improvement Association Marcus Garvey endorsed Smith. Bayard Rustin, future organizer of a major civil rights rally—the 1963 March on Washington—distributed Smith’s campaign material with a young Jewish friend. 41 Although nativist and liberal anti-Catholicism certainly damaged Smith’s presidential hopes in 1928, the attraction of a New York City Catholic proved powerful for religious and racial minorities. Smith refused to accept the rules of a majority Protestant society and culture.

Smith refused to accept the rules of a majority Protestant society and culture. Smith’s opposition to Prohibition symbolized the pride of immigrant and urban Americans. The persistence of nativism in the Protestant clergy and the Klan further perpetuated Catholic, Jewish, and African American sympathy and sincere love for Smith. ’’42 Despite Tom Walsh’s potential to attract more southern and western non-Catholic support, he could not rival Smith’s reputation among Catholic, Jewish, and African Americans, who viewed Smith as the embodiment of a pluralist ideal that would replace Protestant hegemony.

S. House Majority Leader John W. McCormack (MA) ‘‘the papal knight’’ for his role in passing this law. S. ’’74 Christian Century asserted that Kennedy and other prominent Catholics had not proven themselves worthy of such an honor. Despite these liberal Protestant fears, several Catholic politicians agreed that a Catholic should not yet pursue the nation’s highest office. ’’ Other Catholics, such as Stevenson’s campaign manager James Finnegan and Democratic National Chairman Frank McKinney, also discouraged the choice of Kennedy because of the potential for an anti-Catholic backlash.

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