The Roots of Religious Freedom in Early America: Religious Toleration and Religious Diversity in New Netherland and Colonial New York

Nanzan Review of American Studies, Vol. 34, pp. 1-26, 2012

Albany Law School Research Paper No. 6 for 2013-2014

31 Pages Posted: 4 May 2013 Last revised: 29 Aug 2013

See all articles by Paul Finkelman

Paul Finkelman

Gratz College; Albany Law School

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

This article explores the development of religious freedom in Dutch New Netherland and early New York. The article argues that for practical reasons the leaders of the Dutch West Indies Company in Holland forced authorities in New Netherland to extend religious toleration to various groups, including Lutherans, Jews, and Quakers. The article further argues that under the British this diversity led to remarkable religious liberty in the New York Colony and set the stage for the first New York State Constitution, which provided more religious liberty and greater separation of church and state than any other early state founding document.

Keywords: Religous Freedom, Diversity, Dutch New Netherland, Colonial New York

Suggested Citation

Finkelman, Paul, The Roots of Religious Freedom in Early America: Religious Toleration and Religious Diversity in New Netherland and Colonial New York (2012). Nanzan Review of American Studies, Vol. 34, pp. 1-26, 2012, Albany Law School Research Paper No. 6 for 2013-2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2259729

Paul Finkelman (Contact Author)

Gratz College ( email )

7605 Old York Road
Melrose Park, PA 19027
United States

Albany Law School

NY
United States

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