In this lesson, students will gain an understanding of religious liberty from the colonial period to the Founding era. They will assess legal and historical documents of toleration and/or liberty, analyze George Washington's 1790 Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island and gain an appreciation of Washington's letter as an example of the shift from religious toleration to religious liberty.
Lesson plan PDF includes all handouts:
Essay: From Establishment to Free Exercise: Religion, George Washington, and the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island Handout A: Defining Toleration and Liberty
Handout B: Religion in America’s Past— Toleration, Liberty, or Both?
Handout C: Washington’s Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island
Handout D: Document Guide