By James B. Bell

Examines the debatable institution of the 1st Anglican Church in Boston in 1686, and the way later, political leaders John Adams, Samuel Adams, and John Wilkes exploited the disputes as political dynamite including taxation, exchange, and the quartering of troops: issues which John Adams later recalled as explanations of the yank Revolution.

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Additional info for A War of Religion: Dissenters, Anglicans and the American Revolution

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3 King William III signed the bill, inquiring: ‘Have the Quakers the benefit of Toleration? Let the Established Church have an Established Maintenance’. After nearly a decade of debate and legal manoeuvring, the Church of England was established in Maryland. The new act gave toleration to the Quakers and Dissenters and provided a stipend for every minister of the English church in Maryland. The colony included among its residents many confessions including Presbyterians, Independents, Anabaptists, Quakers, and Catholics.

The salary of each minister was fixed at £30 annually. Right away Quakers, Presbyterians, and some Anglicans objected to the Vestry Act, perhaps partly on principle and partly because it increased taxes. The adversaries were mindful that they would be taxed to support an established church. After waging a strong campaign, the opponents of the ‘Church Party’ returned a majority to the Assembly of 1703, determined to repeal the law. The Proprietors, however, politically shrewd, spared them the trouble by returning the law disallowed, with the face-saving qualification that the salary was not considered ‘a competency for a minister to live on’.

Prophane and Superstitious Customs, Mather assails health drinking, dicing and cards and lotteries, Candlemas, Christmas-keeping, New Year’s gifts, Shrove Tuesday, cockfighting, and dedicating days to saints. He traces the history of these customs and gives the opinions of the ancient and more recent Christian writers upon them. Finally he commits to the Assembly of Representatives the responsibility of seeking from the king a happy settlement and establishment of the college. Harvard had been left without a charter since the revocation of the colony’s charter in 1684.

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