Jonathan Den Hartog: Disestablishment and Religious Dissent

Map of the 13 Colonies

Disestablishment and Religious Dissent: Church-State Relations in the New American States, 1776-1833

Edited by Carl H. Esbeck and Jonathan J. Den Hartog


Disestablishment and Religious DissentJMC fellow Jonathan Den Hartog has recently co-edited a book on church-state relations during and in the years after the Revolutionary War:

“On May 10, 1776, the Second Continental Congress sitting in Philadelphia adopted a Resolution which set in motion a round of constitution-making in the colonies. Several of these constitutions soon declared themselves sovereign states and severed all remaining ties to the British Crown. In forming these written constitutions, the delegates to the state conventions were forced to address the issue of church-state relations. Each colony had unique and differing traditions of church-state relations rooted in the colony’s peoples, their country of origin, and religion.

This definitive volume, comprising twenty-one original essays by eminent historians and political scientists, is a comprehensive state-by-state account of disestablishment in the original thirteen states, as well as a look at similar events in the soon-to-be-admitted states of Vermont, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Also considered are disestablishment in Ohio (the first state admitted from the Northwest Territory), Louisiana and Missouri (the first states admitted from the Louisiana Purchase), and Florida (wrestled from Spain under U.S. pressure). The volume makes a unique scholarly contribution by recounting in detail the process of disestablishment in each of the colonies, as well as religion’s constitutional and legal place in the new states of the federal republic.”

The book is due for release in November 2019. Preorder from University of Missouri Press or Amazon >>



Jonathan Den Hartog is Department Chair and Professor of History at Samford University, where he specializes in American history and American religious history. Previously, he served as the Professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of Northwestern. Professor Den Hartog has written extensively on the political outlooks of the Founders, and his work includes several journal articles, book reviews, and blog posts. He has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, the American Antiquarian Society, the University of Notre Dame, and Northwestern College.

Professor Den Hartog is a JMC fellow.

Learn more about Jonathan Den Hartog >>



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