I have a few issues with our reading for today. First of all, when I started reading the chapter “Irrepressible Conflicts, ” by David M. Emmons, I found the topic of the connection between Catholicism and slavery somewhat interesting to read about. Of course we all know that there was a major rift in Christianity that resulted in the Reformation and the emergence of the Protestant movement. Emmons, describes how the Protestant movement shape England into a more superior nation, while Catholicism reduced the Irish to a mere slave status. This would be fine for analysis and maybe a parallel on American slavery, but Emmons spends to much time on the superior English and slave Irish and goes back to the same thought over and over again. This reestablishment of his central thesis makes me think he had nothing else to say about the connection between Catholicism and slavery (if there is one?). Even though he tries to support his argument with statements by Chevalier about how democracy only works in a Protestant nation and would never work in a Catholic nation (Emmons 13), he misses the fact that England was a Protestant nation and the monarchy resisted democracy for as long as it could. Emmons analysis on the Irish as down trodden and enslaved to the Catholic religion probably showed the bigotry and racism that was prevalent in the mid 1800s. Emmons seem to miss that each ethic group who immigrated to the United States (Germans and Italians to name a few) had to deal with adversity and degradation. My colleague Tram Hua points out that the Irish were a “necessary evil” because they were needed for the their labor. While this is true, the Irish manage to climb the ladder of success in America to make something of themselves and to provide for there families.
One Reply to “Catholicism, the Irish and Slavery: Is there really a connection?”