The Framers’ Debates on Religion

The First Amendment and the Utah Constitution

Lesson I. Historical Background

Step 1. Key Terms

A legal framework that lays out the powers of a government. The United States Constitution governs the federal government and serves as the supreme law in the country. Each state has its own constitution. In this lesson we are learning about the development of the United States Constitution and its First Amendment, as well as the state constitution of Utah.
Elected officials who created the legal frameworks for governments. The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia created the United States Constitution, and are therefore considered to be Framers. The delegates to the Utah state constitutional convention are also Framers.
A list of legal protections ensuring the most important rights of citizens cannot be violated by the government. Each state had their own list of enumerated rights. At the national level, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution is known as the Bill of Rights.
The first of the ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The “five freedoms” of the First Amendment include the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to peaceably assemble/protest, and freedom to petition the government.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution makes inseparable two principles for the one right to religious freedom: The principles of no establishment and free exercise of religion. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” These parts are known as the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.
An official government-run religion that is subsidized with public funds. As the official religion of the land, a religion that is state-established is controlled by the government.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prevents the federal government from creating a national church. It also prevents the government from becoming entangled in religion or privileging one religion over another. The Establishment Clause is a limitation on the government’s power to regulate religion.
The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment guarantees that everyone can freely exercise their religion as they choose, as long as it does not hurt others. The Free Exercise Clause is an affirmation of a person’s right to religious freedom, protecting the inalienable right to liberty of conscience for individuals and for groups.
Lesson I. Step 1 of 9


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