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Philadelphia Nativist Riots

The Philadelphia Nativist Riots were a series of riots that took place May 3 and July 4, 1844. 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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