By William J. Frost
Using a wide selection of sources--laws, proceedings, church documents, sermons, political tracts, diaries, newspapers, and govt records--Frost strains the advance of non secular freedom in Pennsylvania from the founding of the colony as much as international conflict II.
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Extra info for A Perfect Freedom: Religious Liberty in Pennsylvania
The assembly repeatedly requested the governor to approve the bill. In 1712 the assembly framed another law that attempted to meet previous objections. It applied only to religious societies and left out earlier clauses giving power to sell and alter title. Until 1714 the assembly and governor could not agree, and when a law did pass in Pennsylvania it was disallowed in England as potentially interfering with the rights of property. 66 For fifteen years after 1715 there was no discussion of a bill entitling religious societies to own land.
All denominations had legal equality; all enjoyed property rights; all kept registers of births and deaths and marriages. Because of royal restrictions, only Protestants had full liberty of conscience. Foreign Catholics could not legally become naturalized and hold property, but they could worship openly. Legal discrimination remained at the level of English policy, but in practice in Pennsylvania non-British Catholics owned property. Why had Pennsylvania become the most tolerant colony in the New World?
An organization to promote the schools received the endorsement and support of the king, the proprietor, and many of the German Reformed and Lutheran ministers in Pennsylvania. Reverend Michael Schlatter of the German Reformed Church solicited funds in Europe and in Pennsylvania, and a few schools began/ 2 But even if the schools had indoctrinated German children into supporting a militia and the Proprietary faction, turning that program into electoral victories would have taken years. 43 The anti-German sentiments expressed by Anglican Reverend William Smith and Benjamin Franklin and the suspicion by the German ministers and people that the sponsors wanted charity schools to force acculturation to English norms doomed the venture.
A Perfect Freedom: Religious Liberty in Pennsylvania by William J. Frost