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Religion in Early America

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Religion and government in England had always gone hand in hand, and if one group’s ideas did not coincide with England’s laws controlling the practice of religion they would be denied. The unification of church and state within European countries led to many wars, resulting in massive debt. As England declared themselves a Catholic country, Protestants who did not hold the same beliefs needed a new homeland where they could be free to worship in their own way. This new homeland was America, and it allowed Protestants, now calling themselves Puritans, to practice Christianity without government interference. While original settlers came to America to create a Christian homeland where they could practice their faith how they wanted, America quickly became a homeland for religious freedom through a mixing pot of differing religions, cultures, and ethnicities, enough open land for them to exist together, and the key idea of the separation of Church and State.
The Protestants who emigrated to America knew from experience of the negative effect the government had on religion when the two were operating together. With the mindset of creating a new perfect holy land, they decided to make sure both church and state worked separately. While Puritans still did everything they could to enforce their beliefs in New England, including exiling those who did not attend church regularly, the core idea of separation of church and state was in the minds of the people. In order to have a country that values the freedom of religion, the church has to be out of any government policy. Any laws that are created around a single church’s faith, even if the majority of the population believes in them, threaten the freedoms of all other denominations. Ame...

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...owards complete absence of religious persecution, it served as a positive influence to neighboring colonies, and led to inspire the founders of America when writing the constitution.
William Penn, Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania, soon after wrote the Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges and Liberties, a constitution for the colony of Pennsylvania, which enabled the people to freely practice their religion of choice without fear of government punishment.
American colonies were clearly established with the intent to all live together with Christian beliefs, but with so many interpretations and versions of the same religious scripture, freedom to practice whichever adaptation feels right became most important in colonial life. And as a safe haven for those who were persecuted in their home countries, America truly flourished as a place for the religiously tolerant.
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