Thomas Jefferson:  Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom


Please purchase for access to the document text and analysis

Thomas Jefferson was a student of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with its emphasis on human reason and science and the rejection of outmoded traditions and social structures. At the foundation of his political philosophy was his admiration for the yeoman farmer and a distrust of financiers and big-city interests. He favored a limited federal government and strong states’ rights. Although he was raised in the Church of England (the established church of Virginia), Jefferson also...