Faculty Experts

Margaret Susan Thompson

Associate Professor, History and Political Science


Modern American history, government and politics, religion, women’s history.


The “Spider Web”: Congress and Lobbying in the Age of Grant (Cornell University Press, 1985).
“Women, Feminism, and the New Religious History: Catholic Sisters as a Case Study.”

In Belief and Behavior: Essays in the New Religious History, ed. Philip VanderMeer and Robert Swierenga, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1991, pp. 136-63.

“Cultural Conundrum: Sisters, Ethnicity, and the Adaptation of American Catholicism.” Mid-America, 74 (1992): 205-30.

“Research on 19th Century Legislatures: Present Contours and Future Directions.”Legislative Studies Quarterly, May 1984; reprinted in Handbook of Legislative Research, ed. Gerhard Loewenberg, et al. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UniversityPress, 1985); also reprinted in The United States Congress in a Transitional Era,1800-1841: The Interplay of Party, Faction and Section, ed. Joel H. Silbey (Brooklyn: Carlson Publishing, Inc., 1991), Vol. I [Joel H. Silbey, co-author].

“Corruption–or Confusion? Lobbying and Congressional Government in the Early Gilded Age.” Congress and the Presidency, Fall 1983; reprinted in The United States Congress in a Partisan Political Nation, 1841-1896, ed. Joel H. Silbey (Brooklyn: Carlson Publishing, Inc., 1991), Vol. III.

Research Interests

U.S. Politics and Governance (especially Modernization), Women and Politics, Religion and Politics, Women and Religion in U.S. History.

Research Projects

Catholic Sisters in American History and Politics, the Catholic Church and Politics, Religion and Political Extremism, Women and American Religion. My principal research for now concerns the Americanization of Catholic women’s religious life (sisters and nuns), but I am also quite interested in the impact of religion upon American politics and governance.