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The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History$
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Paul Harvey and Edward Blum

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231140201

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231140201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Religion and the Law in American History

Religion and the Law in American History

Chapter:
(p.154) 7. Religion and the Law in American History
Source:
The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History
Author(s):

Frank S. Ravitch

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231140201.003.0008

This chapter surveys some of the major eras and events involving law and religion in American history. The history of law and religion in the United States has been used to argue both for and against the separation of church and state. Numerous decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court reflect this use of history. In 1940, the Supreme Court decided Cantwell v Connecticut, which incorporated the Free Exercise Clause through the Fourteenth Amendment. Seven years later, the Court decided Everson v Board of Education (1947), which incorporated the Establishment Clause. Incorporation was key to the current era of law and religion. This chapter begins with an overview of law and religion in the colonies and the United States during the period 1750–1870 before turning to the years 1870–1940 and the post-incorporation era from 1940/1947 to the present.

Keywords:   law, religion, American history, United States, Supreme Court, Free Exercise Clause, Fourteenth Amendment, Establishment Clause, incorporation, colonies

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