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: In the decades preceding the Civil War, the fledgling Catholic Church in the United States found herself swept along in the maddening pace of an expanding nation. The very circumstances of the time forced her to make the long trek to the West, to the South, to the North with the ever growing United States. As the nation was acquiring more territory and more States, the Church was honored with more Bishops and blessed with more souls. From the Bishop of Baltimore in 1808, forty Bishops governed her by 1853. From the 23.000 souls she counted in 1785 she could number 1.606.000 by 1850. European immigration. The natural birthrate and, to some extent, recent converts assured her that more and more souls would enter her fold and consequently more dioceses would be needed. The Catholic Church in the USA had found a liberty of action and a freedom of worship, completely alien to any European scheme of things. She was proud and thankful for this position. She was also proud and fortunate that she had long cemented ties with Rome. Once this unity was assured, the American Church had taken care to assure unity among her own Bishops by numerous councils, which found their climax in the First Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1852. But she had problems, which even the Plenary Council did not solve.