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Hutchinson's righteous insistence gets her in trouble with the religious and political authorities, including Governor John Winthrop.
Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Roger Williams establishes a colony he names "Providence" in present-day Rhode Island.
Williams had quarreled with Puritan authorities over their theology, their decision to remain within the Church of England and their failure to pay Native Americans for their land.
Other religions, termed "dissenting religions," do not have freedom of worship.
By the time of the Revolutionary War, nine colonies have established state religions.
The bill is opposed by many who believe religion is essential to the cultivation of a moral citizenry and that religion will wither away without state support.
In 1784, Patrick Henry introduces a bill that would impose a tax to support churches but would allow citizens to designate the church their taxes would support; the following year James Madison writes "Memorial and Remonstrance," a widely circulated pamphlet that makes a strong case against state-supported religion.Following his arrest for preaching without a license, Baptist Jeremiah Moore preaches to crowds through the bars of his jail cell.In October, he delivers a petition to the Virginia State Assembly -- signed by 10,000 dissidents -- demanding that Baptists be able to freely worship without fear of prosecution.The document formally severing ties with the British government enshrines the American idea that "liberty" and "freedom" are rights given by God.The idea of America as a land uniquely blessed by divine power will echo throughout American history.Thomas Jefferson, then a Virginia state assemblyman, receives the petition and joins forces with the Baptists to propose the disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Virginia.