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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 13, 2008

Patrick Foley
Pages 77-90

Catholics Of The South: Historical Perspectives

As the historical study of various aspects of American society has unfolded over the course of centuries, the terms “Catholic” and “South” have matured as specific identifications of peoples with clear and precise heritages. But far too often these identities have been victimized, made unclear, through certain scholarly purviews of authors writing the histories. One noticeable tendency long present in the publishing of American history textbooks, for example, has been the over-focusing on the English heritage of the American story at the expense of a more in-depth and accurate look at the Spanish historical legacy. Thus the Protestant Anglican narrative, even today, oftentimes tends to be biased and over-stated. Certainly this is true in Texas where your author lives. Just look, for example, at the manner in which the Alamo is handled. Or again, study how the U.S. invasion of Mexico in 1846 frequently is taught in our schools. Clearly, within this context, the American South and the Roman Catholic history of the United States, particularly in the South, needs to be presented more accurately. It is the several perspectives of this need to seek historical truth in these areas more accurately that this essay will search out.

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