Creation of the USA, USA United States of American, challenges, religious liberty, women conditions, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, 13 colonies, Congress, puritanism
Religious liberty was associated with the US and its constitution. Religious moralism was the main feature of America even before the Revolution. Before the Revolution, there was an established church. Dissenters were free to hold religious services but had to pay a special tax that aimed at financing the official church.
[...] During the colonial period, they were subordinated to males : to their father (if not married) and to their husband (if married). Until the 1830's, people cannot vote if they haven't property. Therefore women were excluded from political life because they couldn't have a property legally. Politically, they couldn't play any role at all (cf. Matrimonial Republican). Feminism has been a very long history in the US. Women played a very important role in the history of feminism, of slavery and of the right to vote. The transformations of the marital relationship had prepared the changes of the 20th century. [...]
[...] The same year, Virginia signed the Bill of Rights that stipulated that « religion can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence ». People don't have to pay because they don't practice the official religion. This kind of religious freedom and tolerance had limits. Most state constitution refer to the liberties of Christians. If they were not protestant then they were not allowed to hold public offices. By the end of the Revolution the religious environment had changed. As all men are equal, they have to enjoy the same right including religious rights. [...]
[...] The survival of the country was seriously in doubt. They created a firm league of friendship, it was not a real constitution. They stipulated that memberstates could retain their sovereignty, freedom and independence. A Congress was authorised to sign treaties, to make alliances, and to declare war. However this Congress could not levy taxes on states or raise a national army. Even law enforcement and justice were the matters of the states. Any amendment to the Articles necessitated the consent of each state. [...]
[...] Continental Congress had no right to reinforce a specific law. The constant threat of the British army could explain why the 13 states were able to hold together. [1776 –> 1789] In 1777, the Continental Congress approved a plan to create a permanent union : « The Articles of the Confederation » which gave special powers to the « central government » but regulated the arrangements already in place since 1776. Although the Continental Congress urged states to ratify these articles, some states waited until 1779 (Maryland in 1781). [...]
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