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Religious Freedom, Newspapers, and Virginians: Common People’s Responses to Separation of Church and State

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Date Issued:
2022
Abstract/Description:
The two and a half decades following the ending of the American Revolution was filled with change. The formation of government and the ratification of the Constitution at the state and federal levels created spaces where topics were hotly debated. Specifically, religion and its role in the United States government generated much discussion: how much power should religious institutions have within this new country and should this new United States have an established religion? Historians have dissected and analyzed these topics for years. But, how informed were Americans during this period of these conversations which created the bedrock of American government? One conduit which was generally available to the masses was the newspaper. The creation of news and the dissemination of information to the expanding United States created a unique platform for newspaper printers and editors alike, touching all levels of society and politics. Using newspapers printed during this period and focusing specifically on the state of Virginia, this thesis analyzes newspaper content between 1784 – 1808 as a general guide as to what the Virginia common persons would have been exposed to regarding separation of church and state and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Based on the saturation of religion in society at this time, it is surprising to find that Americans were only minimally interested in the separation of church and state discussions happening in Virginia and the greater United States. It was when religious topics shifted into perceived morals and ethics, political campaigns, or the potential for land control through glebe land ownership that Virginians expressed their opinions and reactions to the separation of church and state.
Title: Religious Freedom, Newspapers, and Virginians: Common People’s Responses to Separation of Church and State.
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Name(s): Robinson, Morgyn L. , author
Finucane, Adrian , Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Department of History
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2022
Date Issued: 2022
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 93 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The two and a half decades following the ending of the American Revolution was filled with change. The formation of government and the ratification of the Constitution at the state and federal levels created spaces where topics were hotly debated. Specifically, religion and its role in the United States government generated much discussion: how much power should religious institutions have within this new country and should this new United States have an established religion? Historians have dissected and analyzed these topics for years. But, how informed were Americans during this period of these conversations which created the bedrock of American government? One conduit which was generally available to the masses was the newspaper. The creation of news and the dissemination of information to the expanding United States created a unique platform for newspaper printers and editors alike, touching all levels of society and politics. Using newspapers printed during this period and focusing specifically on the state of Virginia, this thesis analyzes newspaper content between 1784 – 1808 as a general guide as to what the Virginia common persons would have been exposed to regarding separation of church and state and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Based on the saturation of religion in society at this time, it is surprising to find that Americans were only minimally interested in the separation of church and state discussions happening in Virginia and the greater United States. It was when religious topics shifted into perceived morals and ethics, political campaigns, or the potential for land control through glebe land ownership that Virginians expressed their opinions and reactions to the separation of church and state.
Identifier: FA00014082 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (MA)--Florida Atlantic University, 2022.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Separation of church and state
Virginia
United States--History
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00014082
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.