Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

KNOW-NOTHINGISM

A lawless anti-Catholic movement in American politics, 1852-58. All men were admittedly created equal except Catholics, foreigners, and blacks. When questioned about their philosophy, the answered, "I don't know." Their main target was Irish Catholics, whom they wished to deprive of civil and private rights. Their victims suffered from repeated acts of mob violence. In 1852 the bigots organized the "National Council of the United States of North America." They swore an oath of secrecy about their aims and promised to elect to public office only native born Americans who were not Catholic or married to Catholics. In 1855 they carried elections in nine states and had seventy-five adherents in Congress, but their defeat by the Democratic Party in 1856 and the growing feeling of anti-slavery saw their decline as a united power.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Urgent! We need extra financial support between now and May 24th. May 22
What's wrong with these pictures? May 22
What can we learn from the dignity of military services? May 22
Was Lewis “basically Catholic”? May 21
Reading The Diary of a Country Priest: Scandal May 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days