14 states, 22 senators, 59 representatives & the writing of the establishment clause: an analysis of the original intent

K-REx Repository

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Foust, Joseph R.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-05-04T15:32:39Z
dc.date.available 2010-05-04T15:32:39Z
dc.date.issued 2010-05-04T15:32:39Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/3883
dc.description.abstract This rhetorical history study attempts to refocus the narrow debate on the concept of the “Separation of Church and State.” Most scholars and popular organizations primarily focus their determination of the original intent of the Establishment Clause on the views of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Virginia. However, according to the United States Constitution it takes three-fourths of the states and two-thirds of Congress to ratify an amendment. As a result, most arguments on this topic center on an extremely small minority of evidence: one of fourteen states, and only one of eighty-one members of Congress to determine the Founders’ original intent. This study reverses this trend and consults evidence from all the states involved as well as the records of Congress. Since comparable documents are vital to understanding history, all the state constitutions, state bills of rights, and state proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution are consulted as evidence at the beginning of this study. Additionally, every reference of religion in the above documents are individually presented in order to alleviate concerns of potential evidence manipulation. Further, the debates in Congress and the multiple drafts of the Establishment Clause are evaluated in the process of determining the Founders’ original intent. Throughout the study, several useful tables have been constructed in order to facilitate the processing and evaluation of such a large base of evidence. The results of this study indicate a lack of evidence for the contemporary view that the Founders’ intent was to create a total separation between church and state. From the specific religious concerns voiced in the state ratification debates of the Constitution, what religious limits were written into state constitutions/bills of rights, and the amendments that states proposed concerning religion; it becomes evident that the Founders’ intention was only to prevent a particular Christian denomination from becoming the established "National American Church.” en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Establishment Clause en_US
dc.subject Separation of church and state en_US
dc.subject Bill of Rights en_US
dc.subject First Amendment en_US
dc.subject Constitution en_US
dc.subject Religion and government en_US
dc.subject Founding Fathers en_US
dc.title 14 states, 22 senators, 59 representatives & the writing of the establishment clause: an analysis of the original intent en_US
dc.title.alternative Fourteen states, twenty two senators, fifty nine representatives and the writing of the establishment clause: an analysis of the original intent en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Master of Arts en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department Department of Communication Studies, Theatre, and Dance en_US
dc.description.advisor Charles J. Griffin en_US
dc.subject.umi History, United States (0337) en_US
dc.date.published 2010 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth May en_US

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search K-REx

Advanced Search


My Account


Center for the

Advancement of Digital


118 Hale Library

Manhattan KS 66506

(785) 532-7444