Disestablishment in Connecticut: 1816-1818
Smith, Timothy A.
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Disestablishment of the state and church in Connecticut proved to be rich in political and religious history. For years religious dissenters decried the forced support of religion in the state. As the Republican Party gained more support from religious dissenters desiring religious liberty, a war between Federalists and Republicans, establishmentarians and disestablishmentarians, began. The war was not simply political, however, rather more of a religious war waged on political battlefields. Newspaper articles of the day reveal that both sides attempted to prove they were the defenders of true religion and the other the enemy. Federalists argued Republicans were Atheists, infidels and irreligious and that support of religion and the Gospel itself was vital and necessary; Republicans argued Federalists corrupted religion and that Christianity would be free to prosper under Republican rule. Through each political season and issue, starting in 1816 and ending in 1818 with the ratification of Connecticut's first state constitution, religion - Christianity - dominated the conversation. It was a significant factor and most vociferously contested aspect of the battle between Federalists and Republicans including the creation and ratification of the state's first state constitution.
Church and state--Connecticut--History
Religion and politics--Connecticut--History
Connecticut--Politics and government
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