As divisive as it can be, religion is sacred to millions of people, and they dearly hold their freedom to practice their religion of choice. Throughout the history of the United States, freedom of religion has been contentious, from persecution in colonial times to the First Amendment of the Constitution, which separated church and state and guaranteed numerous personal liberties, including freedom of religion.
Even after enacting the First Amendment, however, religious persecution continued to some degree in the early days of the nation, such as clashes between Protestants and Mormons, and the mass re-education and assimilation of Native American children. Notable and shocking examples of persecution of religious minorities have taken place around the world in the 20th and 21st centuries, including in Burma (renamed Myanmar by the ruling military junta), and currently in China, where upwards of a million-plus Uighur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and other Muslims have been detained by the government.
These volumes explore the development of religious rights in the United States from the country’s founding to present. Documents examined include charters, constitutions, legislative debates, political speeches, historical accounts, court cases, disputes involving church and state, and more.
About the Series
The Defining Documents series provides in-depth commentary and analysis on the most important primary source documents in the United States and the world. The Defining Documents series is perfect for students, those researching a particular era, or anyone interested in world history. Visit www.salempress.com for more information about additional titles in this series.
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