Philadelphia Nativist Riots
The Philadelphia Nativist Riots
were a series of riots
that took place May 3
and July 4
. The riots involved conflicts between nativists
and recent Irish Catholic
immigrants. Principally these arguments were over religion in schooling. The Protestant
majority had control of the school system, and taught Protestant concepts that were in direct conflict with Roman Catholic teachings. After several go-arounds, the Catholics got non-denominational schooling institutionalized. A vocal Protestant faction objected, and took their concerns to the streets. The rioting spread from Irish areas of Philadelphia
to more central areas and led to significant property destruction, particularly of churches, and numerous injuries, including a handful of documented fatalities. Catholics withdrew from the public school system at that point, and started the private Catholic school system in order to have education that didn't denigrate their religion. Ironically, private Catholic schooling would be later be used as a precedent for homeschooling
and private Protestant schools.
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