The Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom

The Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom

When the American Revolution ended, a social revolution swept the new United States of America, spawning ideas of equality and freedom. One of the documents spurring on this revolution was the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom.

This statute prohibited government support and interference in religion. This act also allowed Americans to have any religion they wanted.

At first, this act was opposed by many people because they thought that the churches in America would decline without financial support from the government.

However, some people, like James Madison, argued that religious freedom was one of the reasons why people fought the American Revolution. In fact, it was one of the reasons why people went to America in the first place (the pilgrims, remember?).

Soon after the American Revolution, many states stopped giving churches financial support, and they didn't die out, instead, church attendance between 1800 and 1840 doubled!

Some other important changes in American society were that many slaves in the northern states were freed, women were taught in schools, and most men were allowed to vote.