KNOWLEDGE, THEORY OF RELIGIOUS. See TRUTH, TRUTHFULNESS, I.
KNOWLING, noling, RICHARD JOHN: Church of England; b. at Devonport (2 m. w.n.w. of Plymouth), Devonshire, Sept. 16, 1851. He studied at Balliol College, Oxford (B.A., 1874), and was ordered deacon in 1875 and ordained priest in 1876. He was classical master in Abingdon Grammar
KNOW-NOTHING MOVEMENT: A popular movement which had considerable influence in the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century, partly political, partly inspired by a not unnatural nervousness in view of the experience of all European countries with the meddling of the Roman Catholic Church in national politics and the fact that there was no official deliverance to show that it would not do the same in the United States. It was based on the theory that the republic would be in danger unless the Roman Catholic Church were held in check and foreign-born citizens, especially Roman Catholics, excluded from all share in the government. As the successor of various "native American" movements which had nursed similar beliefs even in colonial times, the Know-Nothing party (so called from the injunction laid upon its members to profess utter ignorance of even the existence of any such organization) was formally organized in 1852, when political condi tions favored the launching of a new party which should attract the dissatisfied elements of the older ones. It was begun as a local organization in New York City, and at first aimed at local and municipal victories. As stated in its ritual after a national council had been formed, its objects were among other things "to resist the insidious policy of the Church of Rome and all other foreign influence against our republican institutions in all law ful ways" and "to place in all offices of honor, trust, or profit in the gift of the people or by appointment none but native-born Protestant citizens." These and other uncompromising declarations were for the initiated; a statement of principles was drawn up for the general public which professed to aim at "no interference with religious faith or worship and no test or oaths for office." After several successes in municipal elections, in 1854 the party sent forty representatives to Congress and elected a governor and legislature in Massachusetts. In the following year they carried the elections in nine States, and elected the governors of New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, while in the next Congress there were seventy-five Know-Nothing members elected as such. The inflammatory talk of the promoters of the movement produced its natural results. Riotous mobs assembled in various New England cities, and Roman Catholic churches were set on fire there and in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio. At least twenty persons were killed in Know-Nothing riots in Louisville, and attempts were made to assassinate Archbishop Bedini, nuncio in Brazil, who had been commissioned to examine various ecclesiastical matters on his passage through the United States. In 1856 the party held a national convention and nominated Millard Fillmore for president. The northern delegates, however, seceded from the convention on failing to secure a definite anti-slavery declaration, and Fillmore secured only the eight electoral votes of Maryland. From this time Know-Nothingism as a political movement may be said to have collapsed, although in 1860 Bell and Everett, candidates of the "Constitutional Union," received thirty-nine electoral votes largely through the support of Know-Nothing elements which had refused to merge in either of the two great parties. With the outbreak of the Civil War an opportunity was afforded to American citizens of foreign birth and Roman Catholic religion to demonstrate their loyalty to the land of their adoption; and the fact that no less than 150,000 men of Irish birth enlisted in the Union army proved that the laity of that church were not scheming against the government. The general decay of religious intolerance tended in the same direction--although in comparatively recent years, especially from 1891 to 1897, the "American Protective Association" has attracted some attention as representing substantially the same principles.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: T. B. Whitney, Defence of American Policy, New York, 1856 (by an advocate); J. Kehoe, Life and Writings of Archbishop Hughes, ib. 1865; J. L. Spalding, Life of Archbishop Spalding, Baltimore, 1872; T. V. Cooper and H. T. Fenton, American Policies, Chicago, 1884 (containing the ritual); J. B. McMaster, The Riotous Career of the Know-Nothings, in With the Fathers, New York, 1896; L. F. Schmeckebier, Hist. of Ae Know-Nothing Party in Maryland, Baltimore, 1899; J. A. Woodburn, Political Parties, New York, 1903; T. J. Jenkins, in Catholic World, Ivii (1893), 511-522; and the works on the history of the period.
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