Blog Post: Church bells and the noise of democracy

Grade Range: 8-12
Resource Type(s): Reference Materials
Date Posted: 9/4/2020

“Like many other churches in the early republic, the Congregational meetinghouse in Castine, Maine, served both sacred and secular functions. Built in 1790, it was home not just to worship services but town meetings and judicial proceedings. Taxpayers paid its pastor’s wages. Though the ratification of the First Amendment made such arrangements unconstitutional at the federal level, a year after the meetinghouse’s construction, at the local level church and state remained very much entwined for decades. When parishioners heard the tolling of the 692-pound bell Paul Revere cast for the meetinghouse steeple in 1802, they knew it might signal time to pray—or time to vote.”

Click on the resource to continue reading.

Instructional Strategies