Defense Date

3-30-2009

Graduation Date

2009

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MA

Department

History

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

John Dwyer

Committee Member

Holly Mayer

Keywords

anti-Catholicism, Manifest Destiny, Texas Annexation, U.S.-Mexican War, U.S.-Latin American Relations, Catholic Church

Abstract

This paper seeks to demonstrate how anti-Catholicism, like other domestic issues such as race, economics, and politics, influenced U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America during the first half of the nineteenth century. Catholicism, the Roman Catholic Church, and monarchism/despotism were all seen by U.S. elites as interconnected forces that undermined the growth and stability of republicanism in Latin America. U.S. politicians were able to manipulate anti-Catholic rhetoric in order to justify certain U.S. diplomatic policies toward Latin America. Anti-Catholic rhetoric could be separated into missionary and exclusionary arguments. Followers of Manifest Destiny utilized missionary anti-Catholic rhetoric to sanction U.S. territorial expansion while opponents relied on exclusionary anti-Catholic rhetoric to justify halting the further acquisition of territory. Regardless of how they were used, both missionary and exclusionary anti-Catholic rhetoric resonated with Americans because they reaffirmed already held beliefs of American exceptionalism and Latin American inferiority.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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