Archbishop John Ireland a late nineteenth century American prelate became well known for his controversial educational positions. In 1890, he proposed an organizational compromise to separate Catholic and state operated school systems. While this position was neither new nor radical (at least in Ireland’s eyes), it did differ significantly from the educational position of Ireland’s fellow prelates—Bernard J. McQuaid and Michael A. Corrigan. In fact, these men were the principal opponents in the acrimonious debate over the efficacy of Ireland’s attempt to develop a single school system in America for both Catholics and Protestants. This school system would be publicly supported by taxes and include both secular and religious instruction.