Religion Past and Present

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Know-Nothings
(158 words)

[German Version]

The Know-Nothing Party was a 19th-century political organization that emerged in the New England states and in New York, and was based on opposition to Roman Catholicism. It began as a secret society among Protestants, who feared the effects of rising immigration. They answered “we know nothing” when questioned about the existence of their group. In their view, Catholic immigrants competed unfairly for jobs, demanded state aid for Catholic schools, and followed the dictates of political leaders. The greatest s…

Cite this page
Noll, Mark A., “Know-Nothings”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 18 August 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_11918>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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