This map provides a first attempt at visually representing the movements and settlements of Jesuits and women’s congregations after the restorations (including the Restoration of the Society of Jesus ) following the Napoleonic era. The story is largely one of crossings and dwellings: crossing boundaries — geographical, national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, neighborhood — and setting up dwellings with varying degrees of stability.
The story begins in Europe and the narrative hinges on the fluidity of the boundaries there. The central position played by emigres from the Low Countries — present-day Netherlands and Belgium — has its roots in the instability of state formations and identities following the collapse of Napoleon’s occupations. Similarly, the constantly shifting fortunes of France — the Revolution’s dechristianization campaign; Napoleon’s empire; the Louisiana Purchase of 1803; and the church-state struggles that followed Napoleon’s fall throughout the 19th century — played a strong causal role in sending French religious congregations abroad. Analogous political struggles in territories that would eventually unite to form Germany and Italy provided similar causal factors, especially during the turbulent period following the revolutions of 1848 and the Kulturkampf [culture-struggle] in Bismarck’s nascent empire. Meanwhile, the building of the Illinois & Michigan Canal (1836-1848) lured numerous Irish immigrants to the Chicago region, a migration augmented by the great Irish famine that began in 1845. Continue reading