Date of Award


Degree Type



Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Carl, James

Subject Headings

Church and education -- Ohio -- History -- 19th century, Politics and education -- Ohio -- History -- 19th century, Public schools -- Ohio -- History -- 19th century, Catholic, Geghan, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Rutherford B. Hayes, School funding, Church taxation, Nativism, Gilmour


This study chronicles the contentious relationship between advocates of public schools and those promoting Catholic education in Ohio during the career of Archbishop John Purcell of Cincinnati. Using information culled from qualitative research into primary resources such as personal correspondence, published proceedings and newspaper articles of the time, this monograph reconstructs a history of philosophical and political conflict accompanying the parallel development of two burgeoning school systems. The years from 1833 to 1883 saw the development of an equilibrium between the two systems that helped to define Thomas Jefferson's concept of the "wall of separation" between church and state. Public schools did not have to share tax-generated funding with parochial schools which, in turn, were irrefutably protected from taxation themselves. Furthermore, the history of competing school systems exhibits the paradox of religious liberty in America and uncovers an evolution in the nature of opposition to Catholicism in the United States

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