Chapter

Religion and Politics in America from the First Settlements to the Civil War

John M. Murrin

in Religion and American Politics

Second edition

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780195317145
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199851386 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195317145.003.0002
Religion and Politics in America from the First Settlements to the Civil War

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This chapter provides an overview of the striking circumstances that led from America's colonization by religious monopolists to the creation of constitutional freedom of religion in the early United States. It includes a description of many roads not taken, such as the Puritan effort to restrict religious freedom, the Quaker experiment of government by pacifists in colonial Pennsylvania, and the religious anarchy of early Rhode Island. The discussion also ponders the network of events that led from the writing of the Constitution, with its largely secular intentions shaped by its largely secular authors, to the flourishing of religion in the new nation, where Americans were soon looking back with holy gratitude upon the work of those founders.

Keywords: colonization; America; religion; Constitution; Puritan; Quaker

Chapter.  10540 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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