See how Washington's leadership, words, and actions helped enable religious freedom in this informative timeline.Explore the Timeline
Washington enlists in the British army and fights in the French and Indian War. He must sign a statement rejecting the Sacraments of the Catholic Church (or risk losing his commission).
George Washington's vows rejecting the Catholic Church
I do declare there is no transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of the bread and wine, at or after the consecration. ”
In order to unite people of different faiths, Washington embraces the religious diversity of his army. He worships with different denominations, gives thanks to a common deity, and encourages soldiers to act on their morals.
Washington is successful in leading his troops and wins the American Revolution, signing the Treaty of Paris.
Washington is sworn in as the first president of the United States under the new Constitution.
The Touro Synagogue Hebrew Congregation's Address to President Washington Explore the Primary Source
Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free Citizens, we now... behold a Government, erected by the Majesty of the People—a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance—but generously affording to All liberty of conscience, and immunities of Citizenship”
Congress passes the First Amendment to the Constitution through the Bill of Rights, ensuring religious freedom for citizens of America.
Enslaved peoples are free and made citizens through the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. They are now free to practice whatever religion they choose. Native Americans are still not included in religious freedom.