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When Washington took command of the Continental Army, he had to unite different peoples of different faiths - or otherwise, risk losing the war.

The Continental Army

In order to unite his army against the British, Washington embraced the religious diversity of his soldiers. He made a point of worshiping with different denominations and provided chaplains to the men. Click here to find out more about Washington's army.

Fighting the Revolution

Trinity Church

Many clergy members of the Church of England remained loyal throughout the war; the ministers at Trinity Church in Philadelphia was no exception. Learn more about the role of Trinity Church in the American Revolution

Conflict in Church


Washington's victory at Yorktown affirmed his leadership skills; he successfully united peoples of different faiths and won the war. Learn more about the Battle of Yorktown and how it led to peace negotiations. 

The World Turned Upside Down

How do you think religion in America influenced the Revolutionary War?

Interact with the American Revolution

Click the link to go to an interactive timeline!

Explore the Timeline

Primary Source: the Declaration of Independence

In July of 1776, Congress officially passed the Declaration of Independence, severing ties between the colonies and Great Britain. Explore the Declaration of Independence with this link.

Read the Declaration

Primary Source: General Orders

Washington would often issue "General Orders" to his army. On June 28, 1777, Washington wrote;

"All Chaplains are to perform divine service to morrow, and on every succeeding Sunday, with their respective brigades and regiments, where the situation will possibly admit of it: And the commanding officers of corps are to see that they attend; themselves, with officers of all ranks, setting the example."

Washington expected his soldiers to attend a religious service in order to maintain morality in his army.

View the Order (Founders Online)

Primary Source: Victory at Yorktown

The Battle of Yorktown in 1781 led to American victory in the American War of Independence. This proved that people of different beliefs can work together in pursuit of a common cause.

Read the Terms of British Surrender

Why did Washington embrace religious diversity in his army? Why would this be significant?

Watch Religious Freedom

Learn how George Washington successfully established religious freedom in America with this 15 minute film!

Religious Freedom Home

Click the link to go back to Religious Freedom Classroom Resources

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