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- DescriptionThe Protestant white majority in the nineteenth century was convinced that Mormonism represented a racial-t merely religious-departure from the mainstream and they spent considerable effort attempting to deny Mormon whiteness. Being white equalled access to political, social, and ecomic power, all aspects of citizenship in which outsiders sought to limit or prevent Mormon participation. At least a part of those efforts came through persistent attacks on the collective Mormon body, ways in which outsiders suggested that Mormons were physically different, racially more similar to marginalized groups than they were white. Medical doctors went so far as to suggest that Mormon polygamy was spawning a new race. Mormons responded with aspirations toward whiteness. It was a back and forth struggle between what outsiders imagined and what Mormons believed. Mormons ultimately emerged triumphant, but t unscathed. At least a portion of the cost of their struggle came at the expense of their own black converts. Mormon leaders moved away from universalistic ideals toward segregated priesthood and temples, policies firmly in place by the early twentieth century. So successful were they at claiming whiteness for themselves, that by the time Mormon Mitt Romney sought the White House in 2012, he was labelled the whitest white man to run for office in recent memory. Mormons once again found themselves on the wrong side of white.
- Author BiographyW. Paul Reeve is associate professor of history at the University of Utah and the author of Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes, and co-editor of Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia.
- Author(s)W. Paul Reeve
- PublisherOxford University Press
- Date of Publication09/04/2015
- SubjectChristian History & Denominations
- Place of PublicationOxford
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintOxford University Press
- Content Note36 hts
- Weight628 g
- Width161 mm
- Height239 mm
- Spine28 mm
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