Thursday, March 24, 2016

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Americans once told themselves a story about the religious tolerance of the Puritans and other Europeans who fled persecution in Europe to find sanctuary in North America. Some textbooks tell that story even today. More common now, however, is a realistic portrayal of the motives and perspectives of religious Americans, from the colonial period through the twentieth century. It renders Americans considerably less tolerant than the traditional story reported. Why were Americans for so long pictured as all but free of religious intolerance? Who was intolerant and on what scale?

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