Development of a Nation 1783-1815: Religion Research Article from American Eras

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Enlightenment Religion.

A few Americans pursued more-radical roads in the early national period. The deists were perhaps the most extreme of these people, and certainly the most notorious. While there were never many American deists, they were an important group because of their elite social status, high levels of education, and prominence in the political leadership of the new nation. Deists tended to be deeply identified with the thinking of the Enlightenment, an eighteenth-century intellectual movement that stressed rationality, natural order, and an openness to scientific inquiry. Despite their distance from Europe, many Americans were part of this movement, as the well-known example of Benjamin Franklin's freethinking and scientific experiments show. Religiously, many Enlightenment thinkers came to reject biblically based Christianity in favor of a more general belief in a "divinity" or a "creator," often visualized as a being who had...

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This section contains 1,159 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Development of a Nation 1783-1815: Religion Encyclopedia Article
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Development of a Nation 1783-1815: Religion from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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