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E Pluribus UnumHow the Common Law Helped Unify and Liberate Colonial America, 1607-1776$
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William E. Nelson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190880804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190880804.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 September 2021

The Law of Religion

The Law of Religion

(p.148) 10 The Law of Religion
E Pluribus Unum

William E. Nelson

Oxford University Press

With the accession of William III to the throne, Parliament in 1689 adopted an Act of Toleration that required every jurisdiction in the empire to allow all Protestants to practice their religious beliefs. Colonies were permitted to retain their denominational establishments, but they could no longer persecute Protestants who practiced other Protestant faiths. The chapter shows that over the course of the eighteenth century established denominations tended to grow weaker, and all colonies evolved in the direction of maintaining a sort of generic Protestant establishment.

Keywords:   Act of Toleration, Anglicans, Congregationalists, establishment, Jews, Pynchon v. First Parish in Springfield, Roman Catholics, William III

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