American Revolution Response
Thereligious freedom was greatly affected by the American Revolution.This happened when the state and the authority of the day sought tocurtail the freedom of religions in a bid to stop any dissent (Frank148).The attainment of the American independence led to the establishmentof a state that had not governed a country and religion before.Therefore, freedom of the United States from the British was supposedto lead to a disconnection from the colonialists completely. However,the American nation was still having the religion of their colonialmasters, an element that created suspicion. Any allegiance toreligions could be perceived as an element of dissent from the fightfor freedom in the revolution.
In1173, the British introduced punitive laws against the dissenters ofreligion as they were perceived to support the revolution. On theother hand, the American Revolution was targeted at independence andthe freedom fighters would get this at any cost. Therefore, therevolution had a negative impact on the church and religious freedom.Being free to worship was being checked by both the revolutionistsand the colonial masters. As a result, the most appropriate solutionto the situation was the state and religion to be separated. However,this could not be achieved until after the attainment of independenceas the state was seeking better ways of relating to the churches.
However,the revolution made the principle of equality a part of Americanfreedom. The revolution fought inequality as one of the main elementsof colonialism. The colonial masters had based their colonial rule onsocial and political inequality that was adversely implemented on thenatives. As a result of unequal treatment of the natives by thecolonialists, the revolution was started to guide America to freedommarked by equal rights and justice. The experience made the people ofAmerica learn the importance of equality and freedom of people intheir own nation. Therefore, equality was one of the main pillarsthat were entrenched in the constitution of the independent America.
However,there were limits to the sense of equality at the time of theAmerican Revolution. Limitations of equality were based on the twomain sides the loyalists or the patriots. Patriots were not treatedequally by the colonial masters who viewed them as a threat to theircolonist dominance (Kennedy, 51). At the same time, loyalists werenot treated equally by the revolutionists, as they were thebetrayers. Enjoyment of equality was limited by the colonial masters.The colonialists did not uphold the basic rights to all peopleequally instead, there were those who were treated better thanothers. Despite these limitations, the revolution had assured thepeople that having equality was possible and would be achieved withindependence.
Therevolution affected the freedom of religion by creating a riftbetween the revolutionists and the loyalists of the Church ofEngland. During the revolution, the ideas of liberty spread from thefight for independence to fight for freedom of religion from thecolonial masters. According to Frank(149), many Americans started to genuinely oppose religion due to itsattachment to the colonial government. Therefore, the revolutioncurtailed the freedom of worship by creating genuine reasons why thechurch was a tool for social and political inequality. Therefore, theindependent America found it wise to establish the first amendmentthat sought to separate religion from the state by creating the "wallof separation" between them.
Frank,Andrew. AmericanRevolution: People and Perspectives.New York, ABC-CLIO, print, 2008
Kennedy,Frances. TheAmerican Revolution: A Historical Guidebook.Oxford: Oxford University Press, print, 2014