When the early colonists came to America, most were fleeing religious persecution:

  • Wars, in the name of religion, were nothing more than a "legitimate" reason to control people and territory.
  • Laws, in the name of "progress" were nothing more than an "authorized" way to impose the will of the rulers on the lives of the ruled.

Life in Colonial America was not as free as people hoped it would be. Local rulers often made laws that merely imposed their religious practices on the entire community. The Salem Witch Trials are a good example of a community gone amuck when religious freedom is not guaranteed.

William Penn, who had been persecuted in England because he was a Quaker, came to America thinking he would live in a free country. Penn wanted to guarantee religious freedom.

His charter for Pennsylvania is a model tool of government. Laws established under that charter guaranteed freedom of religion to everyone, and it was used when the founders drafted the American Bill of Rights.

Let's take a look at the kinds of activities Penn and other early colonists tried to flee from, and eliminate, in their new land.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5186stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2009

Updated Last Revision: May 01, 2019

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 01, 2009. Jun 17, 2019.
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