Father Bresciani’s novels were widely published in America in the Civil War era. The editions, abridged and adapted to the habits of American readers, were aimed at parents, teachers and tutors in order to provide moral principles and historical information with a clear educational goal. Father Bresciani wasn’t only an authority for the Catholic minority, but also a weapon in the fight between Catholics and Protestants for the control of religious contents and values in the ongoing project of publicly funded common schools. When the debate on slavery broke the Protestant lines, Catholics seized the opportunity to charge the Republican institutions with inherent Protestantism and sectarian bias.
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