INTRODUCTION

This exhibition demonstrates that many of the colonies that in 1776 became the United States of America were settled by men and women of deep religious convictions who in the seventeenth century crossed the Atlantic Ocean to practice their faith freely. That the religious intensity of the original settlers would diminish to some extent over time was perhaps to be expected, but new waves of eighteenth century immigrants brought their own religious fervor across the Atlantic and the nation’s first major religious revival in the middle of the eighteenth century injected new vigor into American religion. The result was that a religious people rose in rebellion against Great Britain in 1776, and that most American statesmen, when they began to form new governments at the state and national levels, shared the convictions of most of their constituents that religion was, to quote Alexis de Tocqueville’s observation, indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. The efforts of the Founders of the American nation to define the role of religious faith in public life and the degree to which it could be supported by public officials that was not inconsistent with the revolutionary imperatives of the equality and freedom of all citizens is the central question which this exhibition explores.

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EXHIBITION SECTIONS

  1. America as a Religious Refuge: The Seventeenth Century
  2. Religion in Eighteenth-Century America
  3. Religion and the American Revolution
  4. Religion and the Congress of the Confederation, 1774-89
  5. Religion and the State Governments
  6. Religion and the Federal Government
  7. Religion and the New Republic

Credits

1 Response to “RELIGION AND THE FOUNDING OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC”



  1. 1 Pages « Friends of the American Revolution Trackback on July 22, 2008 at 10:26 am

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Adams in Patriotic Mode

“What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” John Adams

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