How influential was Calvinism on the founding fathers, the American revolution and the secular ideas behind American democracy?
Which of the founding fathers wrote against Calvinism?
Any answers (with sources if available, there’s so much literature on the founding of this country that I’m overwhelmed) would be much appreciated.
To start you off, going off of Wikipedia’s page. It covers 55 of them, there might be more depending on your definition of what constitutes a Founding Father.
You can probably exclude: 3 Catholics and 2 Methodists, who aren’t likely to hold Calvinist beliefs. Probably the 2 Lutherans, too. Some Lutheran theology overlaps with Calvinism, but isn’t based on the same history.
You can put in the possible/likely column: 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Dutch Reformed.
For the ? People: 28 Anglican/Episcopalian, and a couple of Deists.
Thomas Jefferson wasn’t fond of Calvinism, or organized religion in general. Doesn’t stop modern conservatives from turning him into a strict Christian, of course.
Thank you. I’ve seen the Wikipedia page and I’m aware of Jefferson’s beliefs. Methinks googling to find out the individual beliefs and influences on each of those men would be a full-fledged research project. I was just wondering what people here knew about the influences of Calvinism on America.
I found this article which claimed that “the great struggles for civil and religious liberty were nursed in Calvinism, inspired by Calvinism, and carried out largely by men who were Calvinists.”
The majority of the founding fathers were the product of the eighteenth century enlightenment. While they lived in a largely Christian society I don’t think any of them felt they were directly influenced by Christian theology.