Assignment 5 REL 321, Joshua Manski

Assignment 5 REL 321, Joshua Manski - Joshua Manski Charles...

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Joshua Manski Charles Barfoot REL 321 Assignment 5- Final May 5 th , 2008 Throughout this course we have studied the growth and development of American religion from the Native Americans and first settlers, up through the 1900’s. All of these eras and times had great influence on American religion however, I feel the era that had the most influence on American Religion was the period between the Revolution and the Civil War. This time period brought many changes for churches such as the Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Jewish, and many others. As the American Revolution was starting to turn full swing the Anglican Church underwent many changes. Anti-England feelings made the church suffer, “a swift abandonment of those privileges that the Church of England enjoyed wherever it had been legally established” (page 123). The church responded to this by attempting to rally and send over a bishop from England but this never happened, mostly due to the progression of the War and the general detest of England’s bishops. One man who tried feverously to bring the church back to power was Patrick Henry. Henry tried to pass a series of bills that some saw as a sneak attack to regain Anglican power. But eventually he lost the battle to opponents such as James Madison, who felt no religion should be backed by government, “Madison believed even more strongly in keeping civil power far removed from matters of warship and belief” (page 125). After the Revolution was over the fate of the Anglican Church was faint. Many wanted to strip it down so it would
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become a small sect like the many others that existed at the time ensuring that it could never be powerful again. The Revolutionary War removed the power of arguably the most powerful church in America which forever changed the country. Once the Revolution was won, the country needed to gather all of its top thinkers to draft the constitution. Thomas Jefferson rallied for religious freedom with his fight to free Virginia from religious hold. Later, James Madison helped form the Constitution based on religious freedom and tolerance. After the Constitution was adopted by the United States people such as Jefferson felt that it lacked the promise of human liberty. This brought the Ten Amendments to the Constitution with First Amendment being “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (page 127). This was a very important event in history and for religion. The Constitution and Ten Amendments guaranteed the freedom of all religions against prosecution. This was the first such declaration in the world and set the basis for religion in the country. Enforcing these promises proved to a difficult task
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Assignment 5 REL 321, Joshua Manski - Joshua Manski Charles...

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