In this Book

Bishops, Bourbons, and Big Mules
summary
Bishops, Bourbons, and Big Mules tells the story of how the Episcopal Church gained influence over Alabama’s cultural, political, and economic arenas despite being a denominational minority in the state.

The consensus of southern historians is that, since the Second Great Awakening, evangelicalism has dominated the South. This is certainly true when one considers the extent to which southern culture is dominated by evangelical rhetoric and ideas. However, in Alabama one
non-evangelical group has played a significant role in shaping the state’s history. J. Barry Vaughn explains that, although the Episcopal Church has always been a small fraction (around 1 percent) of Alabama’s population, an inordinately high proportion, close to 10 percent, of Alabama’s significant leaders have belonged to this denomination. Many of these leaders came to the Episcopal Church from other denominations because they were attracted to the church’s wide degree of doctrinal latitude and laissez-faire attitude toward human frailty.

Vaughn argues that the church was able to attract many of the state’s governors, congressmen, and legislators by positioning itself as the church of conservative political elites in the state--the planters before the Civil War, the “Bourbons” after the Civil War, and the “Big Mules” during industrialization. He begins this narrative by explaining how Anglicanism came to Alabama and then highlights how Episcopal bishops and congregation members alike took active roles in key historic movements including the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights Movement. Bishops, Bourbons, and Big Mules closes with Vaughn’s own predictions about the fate of the Episcopal Church in twenty-first-century Alabama.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, About the Series, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xvi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. 1. How Anglicanism Came to America
  2. pp. 5-13
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  1. 2. “No gentleman would choose any but the Episcopalian way”: From the Beginning to the 1850s
  2. pp. 14-40
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  1. 3. “This worldliness that is rushing upon us like a flood”: Secession and Civil War
  2. pp. 41-56
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  1. 4. “How is the South like Lazarus?”: Reconstruction
  2. pp. 57-77
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  1. 5. The Age of “Dread-Naughts and Sky-Scrapers”: The End of the Nineteenth Century and the Beginning of the Twentieth
  2. pp. 78-100
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  1. Images
  2. pp. 101-106
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  1. 6. “Great and untried experiments”: From the 1920s to the 1950s
  2. pp. 107-132
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  1. 7. “The Carpenter of Birmingham must not be allowed to forever deny the Carpenter of Nazareth”: The Civil Rights Era
  2. pp. 133-167
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  1. 8. “O thou who changest not . . .”: From 1968 to the Present
  2. pp. 168-184
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  1. Conclusion: “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required”
  2. pp. 185-192
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  1. Appendix A: Episcopal Churches in Alabama in Chronological Order
  2. pp. 193-203
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  1. Appendix B: Bishops of the Diocese of Alabama and the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast
  2. pp. 204-205
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  1. Appendix C: Membership of the Episcopal Church and US Population at Ten-Year Intervals from 1830 to 2010
  2. pp. 206-206
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  1. Appendix D: Episcopal Church Membership and Population of Alabama from 1830 to 2010
  2. pp. 207-208
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  1. Appendix E: Percentage of Alabamians Twenty-Five Years Old and Older with Four or More Years of Postsecondary Education from 1950 to 2010
  2. pp. 209-210
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  1. Abbreviations Used in Notes
  2. pp. 211-212
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 213-244
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 245-254
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 255-264
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