Kevin Starr has achieved a fast-paced evocation of three Roman Catholic civilizationsSpain, France, and Recusant Englandas they explored, evangelized, and settled the North American continent. This book represents the first time this story has been told in one volume. Showing the same narrative verve of Starr's award-winning Americans and the California Dream series, this rivetingbut sometimes painfulhistory should reach a wide readership.
Starr begins this work with the exploration and temporary settlement of North America by recently Christianized Scandinavians. He continues with the destruction of Caribbean peoples by New Spain, the struggle against this tragedy by the great Dominican Bartolomé de Las Casas, the Jesuit and Franciscan exploration and settlement of the Spanish Borderlands (Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Baja, and Alta California), and the strengths and weaknesses of the mission system.
He then turns his attention to New France with its highly developed Catholic and Counter-Reformational cultures of Québec and Montreal, its encounters with Native American peoples, and its advance southward to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The volume ends with the founding of Maryland as a proprietary colony for Roman Catholic Recusants and Anglicans alike, the rise of Philadelphia and southern Pennsylvania as centers of Catholic life, the Suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, and the return of John Carroll to Maryland the following year.
Starr dramatizes the representative personalities and events that illustrate the triumphs and the tragedies, the achievements and the failures, of each of these societies in their explorations, treatment of Native Americans, and translations of religious and social value to new and challenging environments. His history is notable for its honesty and its synoptic success in comparing and contrasting three disparate civilizations, albeit each of them Catholic, with three similar and differing approaches to expansion in the New World.
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About the Author
Kevin Starr holds a BA from the University of San Francisco, an MA and PhD from Harvard University, and a Master of Library Science from UC Berkeley. He has served as both the City Librarian of San Francisco and the State Librarian for California. He is currently a Professor History at the University of Southern California, where he is a director of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies. Starr's many articles and books, including his Americans and the California Dream series, have earned him multiple fellowships, awards, and honorary degrees.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Garðar 1126: Bishop Eric Gnupson arrives in Greenland as Scandinavians advance Christianity across the North Atlantic 1
Part 1 Las Floridas
1 Santo Domingo 1511: Resistance grows against the genocide and enslavement of indigenous peoples 21
2 Quivira 1527: Dreams of empire mingle with evangelical ambition 44
3 Saint Augustine 1565: Evangelization falters amid violence, slavery, and revolt 68
4 Apalachee 1595: Friars and soldiers hold the Florida frontier 93
Part 2 The Spanish Borderlands
5 Ácoma 1599: New Mexico, anchor kingdom of the Borderlands, begins with a massacre 115
6 San Fernando de Béxar 1718: Texas is organized as a buffer province 142
7 Loreto 1767: The Society of Jesus gains and loses its Pacific domain 173
Part 3 Las Californias
8 San Bias 1768: New Spain launches an entrada into Alta California 203
9 The Bay of San Francisco 1776: New Spain secures a strategic harbor on the Pacific coast 226
10 Santa Barbara 1842: Secularization brings a bishop to the Califomias 247
Part 4 New France
11 Port-Royal 1606: Humanism inspires the foundation of New France 279
12 Quebec 1615: The Counter-Reformation and Catholic Revival take hold in New France 299
13 Ville-Marie (Montreal) 1642: Divots found a city on the far frontier 321
14 Saint-Ignace 1649: Iroquois destroy Huronia and threaten the survival of New France 342
15 The Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres 1658: The secret consecration of a vicar apostolic for Quebec brings Roman Catholicism to new maturity 364
16 New Orleans 1722: A Jesuit savant reconnoiters French North America 397
17 Natchez 1729: The Mississippi valley and Louisiana are explored and evangelized 430
Part 5 British North America
18 The River Boyne 1689: A king and a peer lose their colonies 463
19 Annapolis 1704: Catholic settlement spreads through the Chesapeake region 500
20 London 1763: Catholic Maryland seeks education abroad while Philadelphia prefigures an American Catholic future 526
Envoy: John Carroll, returns to Maryland 551
Essay on Sources 567