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Religion and the Founding of the American Republic

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Image, J Edwards, C. Keith Wilbur, 1982, Religion and the Founding of the ...

This exhibition of 212 written documents and visual images explores the significance of religion in early American history and its relationship with the establishment of republican institutions. Materials include manuscripts, letters, books, prints, paintings, sermons, pamphlets, artifacts, and music.

There are seven sections, each with a 500-word essay and item annotations. Topics include religious persecution in Europe that led to emigration, including woodcuts depicting religious violence; religious experience in 18th-century America, including the Great Awakening; the influence of religious leaders and ideas on the War of Independence; and evangelical movements of the early 19th century. Additional topics include policies toward religion of the Continental Confederation Congress, state governments, and the new federal government, including sermons and appeals arguing for and against tax-supported religion.