English colonization and the road to revolution was coupled with different religious backgrounds whereby enforcing the law on them resulted in unjust trials, severe punishment, and ongoing presentation. Revolution was mainly from the Great Britain, and the Americans were able to parlay their pivotal roles into the acquisition of powerful allies that would help them to separate the church from the state. Details on the road to evolution with the English colonization would be much discussed in the evaluation of primary sources.
In an article on Constitution debates on freedom of religion, Backus stepped up for the religion freedom and brought to peoples attention that the taxation that was imposed could offend their beliefs (Patrick, Long, & Backus, 1999). The taxation leads to property seizure and imprisonment due to excess debts. Those who opposed the taxes rules were persecuted, and despite that, the Patriots were invaluable in the revolution against the Great Britain. In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were in the front line as allies, and as a result, they passed a statute of Virginia for the religious freedom (Patrick, Long, & Backus, 1999). The statute acted as a barrier that separated the church and the state in colonial Virginia, therefore, securing religious liberty for the citizens.
During the time when the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights was made to the United States Constitution in 1791, the statue served as a model. The amendment indicated that the Congress would not be allowed to make any laws on an establishment of religion or even prohibiting the religious practices (Patrick, Long, & Backus, 1999). The triumph did not come without a price as Backus indicates how the House of Representatives had broken their promise of not taxing them, but when they increased in number, they could not honor the promise.
The proceedings that were being followed could not allow a man to secure either his person or his property. The contest between America and the Great Britain allowed the religious individuals to suffer through heavy taxation and affecting their conscience.
Backus appeal was for the anti-Anglican to not submit to the government since by so doing it would imply that they will lose their liberty. They believed that something in their nature was incompatible with the rest of the people (Patrick, Long, & Backus, 1999). He made people believe that disagreeing with the government does not mean they are evil but their ignorance is what robs them of their liberty. He states that true liberty of a man is to be aware of how to obey and enjoy his creation together with all the happiness that his fellow creators is in and also to have the law of love in their heart.
The facts in the book of liberty and conscience indicate that the reason for the conscientious objection was as a result of Vietnam War (Brock, 2002). Americans had struggled for a while in reconciling their pacifist beliefs and also their politics and that included their military services as well. The objection of conscience was defined as an account for patriotism and nation building (Brock, 2002). The source indicates that from late 1650 to the end of the civil war, most of the North Americans had refused to accept the military service on the ground of conscience. The article exposes a lot of poignant, painful and even humorous episodes that would glimpse into the lives of the conscientious objectors.
Brock was able to find out how the military services were inspired by the religious convictions and Quakers being one of the frequent ardent dissenters. The concept of liberty and conscience presented the thought and the practice of the objectors and most importantly the response of the authorities and the general public too. Conscientious objection was not widely used until it was understood to be the reason for hardships after the Vietnam War (Brock, 2002). The Civil War caused a great desire for the enlistment of the south. The South was unable to dismiss the issue of war and succession since they had strong regional and state identities which were prevalent when the war began.
No one was allowed to compel another person against their conscience to kill, train and go to war. If it were against the individuals conscience to fight nor destroy men, the person would be required to fight only when the enemy has attacked lives, goods, and cattle. The said person would help to convey out the danger and save the weak persons that are women and children (Brock, 2002). The person would also be required to perform any civil service by order of the civil officers for the good of the colony.
Brock sought to offer a remedy through his way of presenting sources that shed lights on the American religion and also their military history that allowed the revolutionary path to be smoothened (Brock, 2002). The main idea in Brocks source was to bring out the religion in the history of American pacifism in that the individual who were not in agreement with the military service, they were inspired by religious convictions. Liberty and conscience did not only present the citizens thought and the practices of the objectors, but it also presented the response of the authority.
Brock, P. (2002). Liberty and Conscience: A documentary history of the experiences of conscientious objectors in America through the Civil (1st ed., pp. 55-56). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Patrick, J., Long, G., & Backus, I. (1999). Constitutional debates on freedom of religion (1st ed., pp. 24-27). Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.
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