From Limited Tolerance to Political Freedom: Religion in America between 1620 and 1820
Hoffmann, Rebekka A.
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In this paper I will argue that religious diversity and the development of unique religious cultures in the various colonies along with the growth of the notions of tolerance and freedom resulted in the political establishment of religious freedom in America. In Part 1, I will discuss the concept of religious diversity, the cultural background of the development of unique religious cultures in Britain's American Colonies, and the historical development of the concepts of tolerance and freedom. In Part 2, I investigate the issues of the religious cultural development and diversity found in colonial America between 1620 and 1740. In Part 3 my investigation turns to these same two issues between 1740 and 1820. Part 4 of this essay will discuss the role of the developing notions of religious tolerance and freedom and finally the establishment of political religious freedom.