Act for Establishing Religious Freedom

Sign up for free access to this entire collection
James Coleman QHRZv6PIW4s Unsplash
Thomas Jefferson drafted this bill in 1779, during the Revolutionary War, and James Madison saw to it that the Virginia legislature passed it in 1786. The statute was a notable precursor of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. As you read, pay careful attention to the rhetorical techniques Jefferson uses to make his argument. This text is for 12th grade students.
Red Cloud’s Speech After Wounded Knee
Margaret Garner: Defying the Fugitive Slave Act

Reading Presentations Library