Chapter

Disestablishing Religion and Protecting Religious Liberty in State Laws and Constitutions (1776–1833)

Mark D. McGarvie

in No Establishment of Religion

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860371
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199950164 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860371.003.0003
Disestablishing Religion and Protecting Religious Liberty in State Laws and Constitutions (1776–1833)

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter argues that the process of disestablishment, which largely took place between 1776 and 1833, was based on a republican ideal of improving society. It was at the state level that disestablishment and the separation of church and state took place during these years and continued through the nineteenth century. Many historians have focused on the particular case of Virginia in the 1780s, and some have even challenged its representativeness. Although Virginia was somewhat unusual in its use of the rhetoric of radical libertarianism, most of the states went through a similar process while using different language and concepts to explain their actions. Increasingly, religion came to be seen as a private matter, a matter of voluntary contracts among people, rather than a public truth to be decided by or be under the control of the state.

Keywords: disestablishment; separation of church and state; Virginia; contracts

Chapter.  14404 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.