The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State
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Post-Civil War Attempts to Incorporate
Religious Language into the Constitution -- 1863 - 1910

The First Major Attempts to Amend the Constitution -- 1863 - 1880

There were two serious attempts made to amend the constitution during the time period from 1863 to 1878. The first effort, frequently called the Christian Amendment, attempted to change the Preamble to the Constitution to include God, Christianity, and Jesus. The second action, made by opposing groups, intended to insure the defeat of the attempt to include religion in the Constitution by offering a counter amendment. This latter attempt is frequently referred to as "the Religious Freedom Amendment."

The historical documents and commentary included here offer insight into the ongoing battle to protect religious freedom.

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