The “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments”


For this assignment, you will conduct research in a topic relevant to early American history (@1600-1865) using the Library of Congress’ American Memory digital collections, linked here OR another credible web archive of historical primary sources. Here are some other websites with primary source collections: 

• the Smithsonian 

• National Archives “docsteach”  

• History Matters – Many Pasts If searching for a primary source on the web, you should use the terms “source” or “sources” or “document” or “documents” along with your subject term(s). You need to find one (1) primary source from a collection on the LOC site or another similar site with primary sources. Note: this should not be a commonly-used source, such as one of the documents like Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Constitution or Declaration of Independence. Strive to find something that is less common for your analysis and let me know if you have any questions. [see the syllabus for more information on primary sources] and submit a brief analysis paper that touches on the following information: 

• research process:how did you go about it, key issues, challenges, what worked, didn’t work, etc, 

• source: what does it say, depict, etc. – authorship(?)– any descriptive information you can garner, quotes, etc. 

• meaning: what’s meaningful about it for understanding American history? analyze it for significance, credibility, meaning to you as a student of history  

• context: what is broader setting of your source? How does it inform about particular time/place/era in American history?  

• citation: basic information on where it’s located, author, title, date, publisher, etc. URL, etc. – a digital copy attached to your paper, if possible, would be helpful to; this information should be found in a separate “Works Cited” section, here is a decent guide to putting together a “Works Cited” page with examples of citations: MLA Works Cited guide 

• NOTE: your assignment must reflect independent research and your source should not be fundamental, common American document your source can not be one found on a website already in use for the class. •  • Length: @3-5 double-spaced pages  


– original materials from the period

– (Note: These can be re-printed in books, on the Web, etc.)  

– journal accounts

– newspaper articles/editorials/letters-to-editor 

– cartoons 

– photographs/films (from period) 

– poems. songs, literature 

– political records (speeches, debates, etc.) 

– letters  

– oral testimony  

Primary Source Analysis Paper
Scoring Tool

Process15 ptsDescribes the process that went into selecting the primary source (including sites used, challenges and/or obstacles to find the source)Discusses the reasoning behind the source that was chosen
Source25 ptsIdentifies the author of the source Identifies the time period of the sourceIdentifies the intended audience Provides an overview of the physical lay-out of the source including descriptions of specific elements or parts of the source.  (Sections of a document, objects in a painting, landmarks on a map, etc.)
Meaning30 ptsDiscusses the purpose or rationale for why this document was createdProvides a significant reason about how why this source matters in the study of American history (This reason must have a significant connection to either its time period or the modern study of American history)Provides an intrapersonal reason of why this source matters to the writer as an American history student
Context30 ptsDiscusses how the source is reflective of the time period that it is from.Provides multiple pieces of evidence (2-3) that supports the reason cited in “Meaning” for why this source matters in the study of American history.Provides 1 piece of evidence of why this source matters to the writer of the paper on an intrapersonal level. 


                               Memorial and Remonstrate

The “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments” is a document presented by James Madison to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785 in his efforts to establish the necessity of religious liberty in the nation and argue against the government supporting religion in any form (Founders Online).  This document was significant in the establishment of religious liberty in America. Regarding religion, the US has been built on convictions and ideals that have become basic democratic principles. However, there has been a huge transition from the colonial period to the present, and religion has played a significant role in American politics. Moreover, the framers intended to govern the relationship between the church and religion. Looking at the framers’ contribution in shaping the relationship between the church and the state, James Madison’s “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments” strongly supported the separation between the church and state.

To find Madison’s thoughts to support the importance of separation of the church and the state, I searched for “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments” in various sites, but I found the document at “Founders Online” under “Madison Papers.” “Founders Online” is an official US government website administered by Record Administration and National Archives in partnership with the University of Virginia Press  …………for help with this assignment contact us via Email Address:

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