James G. Dauphine
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An exploration of Louisiana's two culturally distinct regions and cultures: the Anglo-Protestant north, and the Latin-Catholic south.
This is a study of the relationship between cultural change and the persistence of cultural identities in two distinct sections of Louisiana in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From the early nineteenth century, Louisiana was culturally divided between northern and southern regions. North Louisiana, whose white population descended from Anglo-Protestants, became culturally separate from the French Triangle parishes of South Louisiana-- composed primarily of Catholics who are culturally indebted to the French, Spanish, and French Canadian heritages of the region.
The social dichotomy in Louisiana between Protestantism and Catholicism, already statistically apparent by religious census data in 1890, remained apparent into the twentieth century. By 1936, the date of the United States government's fifth and last religious census, North and South Louisiana had become more firmly differentiated by religious affiliation than in 1890, when the first government religious census was taken. From the beginning of Louisiana's settlement by different ethnic and national populations, religion was the primary social institution that reinforced ethnic, linguistic, economic, and other differences of custom, allowing cultural identities, once formed, to persist even once other cultural boundary-maintaining mechanisms weakened or disappeared.
Louisiana's cultural dichotomy perpetuated itself throughout the period of rapid social change between Reconstruction and World War II, largely through the survival of different cultural identities associated with Catholicism and with evangelical Protestantism. During the twentieth century, Catholics and Protestants alike used Louisiana's developing public school system not only to maintain and strengthen their own influence in those geographic areas where they were dominant, but they also used public education to help preserve the cultural boundary between the northern and southern sections of the Pelican State.
A Question of Inheritance is the most important study to date of the deep and enduring cultural and religious differences between North and South Louisiana. Order a copy today and explore the factors that have done so much to shape contemporary Louisiana's character.
Introduction: Some Overall Perspectives on
Cultural Boundary Formation and Maintenance in Louisiana, 1880-1940
Definition and Delineation of Louisiana's Cultural Boundary
Religion and the "Great Detour" in Louisiana:
Black Baptists and Education
Waiting for Men and Society: Catholics and Black Education
Cultural Captivity: Evangelism and Education Among Louisiana Baptists
Catholic Education and Cultural Persistence in South Louisiana
Methodists, Other Denominations, Public Educational Development, and the Cultural Boundary
Center for Louisiana Studies
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Library of Congress: 92-83847
Book Publisher: Center for Louisiana Studies
No. of Pages: 180