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Roger Williams believed in the idea that religion was a matter of individual conscience, not to be regulated or supported by a government. In this lesson students examine both sides of the issue of a proposed R. I. bill that would provide tax supported school vouchers for private schools. The students will research the issue using primary and secondary sources and then participate in a debate as to whether or not this bill is a violation of the separation of church and state.
In 1643, Roger Williams wrote A Key into the Language of America. It is an anthropological study of 17th century American Indian culture, a phrase book of the Narragansett language, and a commentary on 17th American Indian life during the early colonial period. This lesson plan introduces students to A Key into the Language of America and provides a glimpse into the complex relationship Williams had with the Narragansett and gives a first-hand account of17th century native culture.
Roger Williams advocated for free exercise of religion at a time where Church and State were often indistinguishable from one another. Williams believed that religion was a matter of individual conscience, not to be regulated by a government. In this lesson, students examine Williams’ writings to learn about his influence and relevance on some of the fundamental ideals set forth in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, particularly the 1st Amendment.