The United States of America is the most powerful modern country in the world, which was founded by the immigrants from Europe at the end of the 18th century. The US is the first democratic republic in the world. When one refers to the American nation, it means the people whose ancestors from the British Empire and other European countries had risen in arms against the United Kingdom to live in the independent republic. John Francis Maguire in his book The Irish in America and the world-known inventor Samuel F.B. Morse in his work Imminent Dangers to the Free Institutions of the United States reveal the theme of establishment of the American nation. Both authors regard ideological problems on the ground of Catholic religion that were to be solved for establishing the first republic in the world. The facts of various prejudices concerning immigrants and religions are considered in this essay.
Both works were written in the 19th century, when the American nation gained independence and faced the first problems connected with prejudices concerning Irish immigrants and Catholic religion. The first impression from these works is warm-heartedness and love for the American nation and the young republic expressed by both authors. In addition, they demonstrate anxiety and agitation for the future life of the United States and its people. John Maguire describes Irish immigrants as one of the poorest nation in the world, who had to immigrate to the British Northern American colonies saving from famine and British oppressions in Ireland. As a rule, most of the Irish were Catholics, but it was not an obstacle for them to form the new nation.
Irish peasants have greatly contributed to the cultivation of new soils and had heavy crops in all parts of the United States. Their industry, persistence and skill for arable farming became the integrated features of the national American character. Irish families lived in the worship of God, cherishing all Christian virtues. Irish women were an embodiment of purity and well-doings. At the same time, Irish women could defend themselves, as Maguire states by the example of Kate, a poor Irish girl. According to Maguire, the Irish were among the founders of the American nation. As John Maguire states, drinking was the most dangerous evil in the United States, and Irish immigrants did not use to get drunk. John Maguire explains that the Irish were considered as the most drunken people by the elementary prejudice based on the hearty dislike to the Catholic Church.
Samuel F.B. Morse confirms Maguire's statements about prejudices to the Catholic Church by his statements that the Catholic world would never come to terms with the existence of any republic. He makes an example of the French Revolution and tells how the Austrian Empire suppressed the French Republic. Thus, Morse concludes that the Catholic Church and its Jesuits posed danger to the United States. He suggests limiting Catholic immigrants because they could destroy the young American republic. At the same time, Morse respects the first immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Austria, and other Catholic countries who gained independence for the United States. Of course, Samuel F.B. Morse had every reason to have such an attitude to the Catholics because Spain was one of the most dangerous rivals for the United States at that time. A Catholic mutiny, at the same time, was one of the shortest ways to put an end to the young American republic which did not fit the monarchical world of the 19th century.
Both authors describe the first steps of the young American republic revealing prejudices and hidden dangers for the future of the United States. As Morse and Maguire state, any religion could not pose a danger if it was separated from the country and politics. As a rule, religion, especially Catholicism, could not but engage itself in politic affairs of many countries. At the same time, any country could not exist without religion. Thus, the Protestant religion became the main religion in the United States to prevent the impact of the Catholic Church.