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The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume IIThe Long Eighteenth Century c. 1689-c. 1828$
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Andrew Thompson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702245

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198702245.001.0001

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Dissent in the Atlantic World, 1787–1830

Dissent in the Atlantic World, 1787–1830

Chapter:
(p.200) 10 Dissent in the Atlantic World, 1787–1830
Source:
The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume II
Author(s):

Katherine Carté Engel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198702245.003.0011

The very term ‘Dissenter’ became problematic in the United States, following the passing of the First Amendment. The formal separation of Church and state embodied in the First Amendment was followed by the ending of state-level tax support for churches. None of the states established after 1792 had formal religious establishments. Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and Methodists accounted for the majority of the American population both at the beginning and end of this period, but this simple fact masks an important compositional shift. While the denominations of Old Dissent declined relatively, Methodism grew quickly, representing a third of the population by 1850. Dissenters thus faced several different challenges. Primary among these were how to understand the idea of ‘denomination’ and also the more general role of institutional religion in a post-establishment society. Concerns about missions, and the positions of women and African Americans are best understood within this context.

Keywords:   Baptists, Canada, Congregationalists, denomination, Methodists, Presbyterians, Quakers, Unitarians, United States

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