Monday, June 21, 2010

When asked about the leaders of the movement, they were expected to say "I Know Nothing"

1. Severe limits on immigration, especially from non-Protestant Christian countries.
2. Restricting political office to native-born Americans.
3. Mandating a wait of 21 years before an immigrant could gain citizenship.
4. Restricting public school teacher positions to Protestants.
5. Mandating daily Bible readings in public schools.
6. Restricting the use of languages other than English.

The 2010 Tea Party platform? No, this is the platform of the Know Nothing American Party of the 1840s and 1850s. They had the same kind of distrust of government, and fear/hatred of immigrants and non-Christians as the current day Tea Partiers do.

The good news: their political movement petered out after a few years, with most of the Know Nothings joining the Republican party.

The bad news: their political rallies frequently turned into political riots, which left over 50 people dead.

The Know-Nothing Party

Know Nothing Riot of 1856

More Know Nothing Riots

Catholic take on the anti-catholicism of the Know Nothings

A Know Nothing Pamphlet from the 1850s

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