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Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Roger Williams establishes a colony he names "Providence" in present-day Rhode Island.

Williams had quarreled with Puritan authorities over their theology, their decision to remain within the Church of England and their failure to pay Native Americans for their land.

Later advocates for religious freedom argue that religious liberty should be defined as a natural right rather than as a right afforded by a civil government.

The first major mass movement in American history, the Great Awakening changes the way people experience God.

Like the Pilgrims, the English Puritans believe that the Church of England is corrupt.

Unlike the Pilgrims, they do not break with the church, but remain a part of it.

Hutchinson's righteous insistence gets her in trouble with the religious and political authorities, including Governor John Winthrop.

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In 1784, Patrick Henry introduces a bill that would impose a tax to support churches but would allow citizens to designate the church their taxes would support; the following year James Madison writes "Memorial and Remonstrance," a widely circulated pamphlet that makes a strong case against state-supported religion.Thomas Jefferson, then a Virginia state assemblyman, receives the petition and joins forces with the Baptists to propose the disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Virginia.Written by Thomas Jefferson and first submitted in 1779, the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom proposes ending state support of the Anglican Church.Williams' colony of Providence guarantees freedom of conscience and becomes a haven for religious dissidents.Outspoken, opinionated and well versed in the Bible, Hutchinson accuses the ministers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony of teaching false doctrine and asserts that God has spoken to her directly -- a claim considered heresy in Puritan theology.

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