Define "Anti-American."


  1. Coined in the nineteenth century, the term Americanism referred to a group of related heresies which were defined as the endorsement of the separation of church and sate. It was thought that these doctrines were held by and taught by many members of the Catholic hierarchy in the United States of America in the 1890s.

    The Americanist heresy is characterized as an insistence upon individual initiative which the Vatican judged to be incompatible with what was considered to be a fundamental principle of Catholicism: obedience to authority. Moreover, the conservatives were anti-republicans who distrusted and disliked the democratic ideas that were dominant in America.

    Pope Leo XIII wrote against these ideas in his encyclical (Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae) to Cardinal James Gibbons. In 1898 Leo XIII lamented an America where church and state are "dissevered and divorced," and wrote of his preference for a closer relationship between the Catholic Church and the State, along European lines.

    I hope this helps.

    Further readings:

    • James Hankins, "Exclusivist Republicanism and the Non-Monarchical Republic," Political Theory 38.4 (August 2010)
    • Murray, John Courtney. "Religious liberty: Catholic struggles with pluralism‎" (1993)

  2. "What a difference a century makes
    One Hundred and Twelve little years"