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British SettlersEdit

In colonial US Society, some of the original settlers were men and women of deep religious convictions. The religious intensity of the original settlers diminished to some extent over time but new waves of 18th century immigrants brought their own religious fervor across the Atlantic.

In addition, the nation's first major religious revival in the middle of the eighteenth century injected new vigor into American religion. yeezy to the sieijd

Religions ReasonsEdit

The result was that many of the people who rose in rebellion against Great Britain in 1776 cited reasons of a religious nature for their actions, and most American statesmen, when they began to form new governments at the state and national levels, shared a conviction that religion was, to quote Alexis de Tocqueville's observation, "indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions".

Tax Support and Church in VirginiaEdit

In 1779, the Virginia Assembly deprived Church of England ministers of tax support. Patrick Henry sponsored a bill for a general religious assessment in 1784. He appeared to be on the verge of securing its passage when his opponents neutralized his political influence by electing him governor. As a result, legislative consideration of Henry's bill was postponed until the fall of 1785, giving its adversaries an opportunity to mobilize public opposition to it.

Religious Persecution of BaptistsEdit

In Virginia, religious persecution, directed at Baptists and, to a lesser degree, at Presbyterians, continued after the Declaration of Independence. The perpetrators were members of the Church of England, sometimes acting as vigilantes but often operating in tandem with local authorities.

In October 1801, members of the Danbury Baptists Associations wrote a letter to the new president-elect Jefferson. Baptists, being a minority in Connecticut, were still required to pay fees to support the Congregationalist majority. The Baptists found this intolerable. They wrote that under the existing state constitution: "...religion is considered as the first object of Legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favor granted, and not as inalienable rights: And these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen."

Clearly, the Baptists were well aware of Jefferson's own unorthodox beliefs and sought him as an ally in making all religious expression a fundamental human right and not a matter of government largesse. Supporting a particular state denomination was no different than supporting a religion.

In his January 1, 1802 reply to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist Association Jefferson cited the First Amendment and, in summing up its original intent, coined a now-familiar phrase in today's political and judicial circles: the amendment established a "wall of separation between church and state."

Culture and educationEdit

Elementary education was widespread in New England. Early Puritan settlers believed it was necessary to study the Bible, so children were taught to read at an early age. It was also required that each town pay for a primary school. About 10 percent enjoyed secondary schooling and funded grammar schools in larger towns. Most boys learned skills from their fathers on the farm or as apprentices to artisans. Few girls attended formal schools, but most were able to get some education at home or at so-called "Dame schools" where women taught basic reading and writing skills in their own houses. By 1750, nearly 90% of New England's women and almost all of its men could read and write. Many churches in New England established colleges to train ministers while Puritans founded many places of higher learning such as Harvard College in 1636 and Yale College in 1701. Later, Baptists founded Rhode Island College (now Brown University) in 1764 and a Congregationlist minister established Dartmouth College in 1769. Great Britain also founded schools, such as the College of William and Mary in 1693. Few people (no women and a small number of men) attended college, making higher education available only for wealthy merchant families.

New England produced many great literary works. In fact, more works were created in New England than all of the other colonies combined. Most of these works were histories, sermons, and personal journals, and were written by ministers or inspired by religious beliefs. Cotton Mather, a Boston minister published Magnalia Christi Americana (The Great Works of Christ in America, 1702), while revivalist Jonathan Edwards wrote his philosophical work, A Careful and Strict Enquiry Into...Notions of...Freedom of Will... (1754). Most music had a religious theme as well and was mainly the singing of Psalms. Because of New England's deep religious beliefs, artistic works that were not very religious or too "worldly" were banned. These endeavors included drama and other types of plays.




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Slaves and TobaccoEdit


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