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17th & 18th Century Essays

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Religion and the American Revolution

Links to online resources:

Religion and the American Revolution
Religion and the Congress of the Confederation, 1774–1789
Generously illustrated with artifacts and documents from the Library of Congress, these concise overviews are very accessible to secondary level students. Part of the Library’s outstanding online exhibition Religion and the Founding of the American Republic.

Religion and Revolution
Highly readable lecture from Dr. Terry Matthews for his course “Religious Life in the United States” at Wake Forest University (NC).

Religion and Revolution
A brief scholarly look at the conflict between the Anglican Church and evangelical dissenters over religious freedom in colonial Virginia. From the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

“Sins of the Fathers: Religion and the Revolution”
Highly accessible essay on the British “sins of the fathers”—ecclesiastical and ethical, especially—and their role in generating revolutionary unity in the American colonies. By Edwin S. Gaustad, Professor of History and Religious Studies, Emeritus, University of California, Riverside; posted on the site

Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”
One of the best online sources for the full text of Paine’s “Common Sense,” which Professor Heyrman compares to a sermon in its purpose and rhetoric. From an American history hypertext project at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


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