Religion, Politics, and Journalism: Modern Influences in Nineteenth-Century America
This chapter serves as an introduction to the relevant trends in the late nineteenth century in American religion, politics, and journalism. Traditional ideas and institutions were battered steadily by progressive developments, and opinions about Gladstone in the American press were often framed within the context of these changes to intellectual life. Specifically, Peterson discusses the effects of liberalism on both politics and Christian theology. Postbellum America had witnessed the rise of a new generation of liberal democratic reformers, while, in religion, liberal theology was making decisive inroads. The chapter also explores the continuing conflict between the Protestant majority and Roman Catholics along with the changing nature of print journalism. The chapter concludes with an overview of the book’s primary-source periodicals, both secular and religious.