In the late 1800s, Mormonism was vilified throughout the United States. A national campaign featuring politicians, church leaders, social reformers, the press, women's organizations, businessmen, and ordinary citizens sought to end the Latter-day Saint practice of polygamy and to extinguish the entire religion. Patrick Mason demonstrates that anti-Mormonism was one of the earliest grounds for reconciliation between North and South after the Civil War and Reconstruction. Southerners joined with northern reformers and Republicans to endorse the use of newly expanded federal power to vanquish the perceived threat to Christian marriage and the American republic.

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