This book describes American ideas about and policies toward the relationship between government and religion from the founding of Virginia in 1607 to the presidency of Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837. Four principles were paramount during this period: the importance of religion to the public welfare; the resulting obligation of government to support religion; liberty of conscience and voluntaryism; the requirement that churches be supported by free will gifts, not taxation. The relevance of the concept of the separation of church and state during this period is examined in detail.
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