GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Dr. John C. Pinheiro, associate professor of history and director of Catholic studies at Aquinas College, has published a book detailing the religious history of the Mexican-American war. Missionaries of Republicanism: A Religious History of the Mexican-American War has been published by Oxford University Press.
With Latino immigration and border disputes currently in the national spotlight, Pinheiro believes it is important to look back and understand the impact of the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848. Manifest Destiny, the 19th-century belief that the expansion of the U.S. throughout the American continents was both justified and inevitable, and American republicanism both relied heavily on anti-Catholic civil discourse. When the Protestant United States went to war with Catholic Mexico, anti-Catholic rhetoric became a factor in every major argument for and against the war.