Continuities in the social history of American religion are so significant and so obvious that competent pictures of relationships between religion and the remainder of society drawn by skilled observers a century or more ago are still valid. Thus the general pattern remains much the same as it was in the new nation in the 1830’s when Tocqueville wrote,1 but many of the details have changed. The United States has grown from obscurity into a position of international leadership. The tides of immigration, reaching their highest flow from 188o to 1920, multiplied the variety of peoples and of religions. The growth of legal traditions, especially through the accumulation of case law, has clarified the nature of religion in relationship to other institutions. The complexity of formal social organization increased vastly with population growth, urbanization, and political differentiation as the nation changed from an agrarian to an urban-industrial society.


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© Westdeutscher Verlag Köln und Opladen 1965

Authors and Affiliations

  • David O. Moberg

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