© 2018

Gladstone's Influence in America

Reactions in the Press to Modern Religion and Politics


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Prologue

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Stephen J. Peterson
      Pages 3-18
  3. Gladstone as Champion of Religious Liberty

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 37-37
    2. Stephen J. Peterson
      Pages 101-122
  4. Gladstone and the Battle for Orthodox Religion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. Stephen J. Peterson
      Pages 125-150
  5. Epilogue

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 187-187
    2. Stephen J. Peterson
      Pages 189-213
    3. Stephen J. Peterson
      Pages 215-220
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 221-243

About this book


By the end of the nineteenth century, William Gladstone was arguably the most popular statesman in America since Lincoln. How did a British prime minister achieve such fame in an era of troubled Anglo-American relations? And what do press reactions to Gladstone’s policies and published writings reveal about American society? Tracing Gladstone’s growing fame in the United States, beginning with his first term as prime minister in 1868 until his death in 1898, this volume focuses on periodicals of the era to illuminate how Americans responded to modern influences in religion and politics. His forays into religious controversy highlight the extent to which faith influenced the American cult of Gladstone. Coverage of Gladstone’s involvement in issues such as church disestablishment, papal infallibility, Christian orthodoxy, atheism and agnosticism, faith and science, and liberal theology reveal deepening religious and cultural rifts in American society. Gladstone’s Influence in America offers the most comprehensive picture to date of the statesman’s reputation in the United States.


William Gladstone Gladstone and America Gladstone and Religion British Liberalism Victorian America Victorian crisis of faith Victorian science and religion Anglo-American Relations 19th Century American Press separation of church and state Irish Church disestablishment anti-Catholicism in America Charles Bradlaugh papal infallibility evangelicalism T. H. Huxley Robert Ingersoll orthodox Christianity skepticism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Tulsa Community CollegeTulsa, OKUSA

About the authors

Stephen J. Peterson is Adjunct Instructor of Humanities and History, Tulsa Community College, USA.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Gladstone's Influence in America
  • Book Subtitle Reactions in the Press to Modern Religion and Politics
  • Authors Stephen J. Peterson
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-97995-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-07435-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-97996-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 243
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics US History
    History of Britain and Ireland
    Political History
    Politics and Religion
    History of Religion
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This book offers a new and original contribution to the field, addressing areas which are at the center of much debate, including Anglo-American relations, the relationship between religion and politics, the culture of the Irish-American diaspora, free trade, and the circulation of ideas and elites across the Atlantic.” (Eugenio F. Biagini, Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, University of Cambridge, UK)

“This valuable study is rooted in the expansive quality of influence. Building on the work of David Bebbington, Peterson demonstrates how the self-fashioning of Gladstone always involved two roles, the politician and the cultural controversialist.  This book details for the first time how Gladstone’s political fame and lifelong engagement as a Christian apologist drew him into the American culture wars of the late nineteenth century, and how the American press fashioned for themselves a mythic version of what it meant to be a great international statesman.” (John Powell, Professor of History, Oklahoma Baptist University, USA)