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Red State ReligionFaith and Politics in America's Heartland$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150550

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150550.001.0001

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Piety on the Plains

Piety on the Plains

(p.17) Chapter 1 Piety on the Plains
Red State Religion

Robert Wuthnow

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how Kansas became a bastion of Protestant Republican conservatism. The 1850s saw the first alliances between Republicans and Methodists in Kansas. The relationship of religion to politics that emerged in those years continued through the end of the nineteenth century—and shaped much of what happened in the twentieth century. The relationships between churches and public affairs in Kansas were complicated because Kansans were divided about the state being free or having slavery. Nearly all these complications were evident as Kansas moved toward statehood. The chapter first considers Abraham Lincoln's visit to the Kansas Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church in Atchison during his presidential campaign in 1859 before discussing the role of the churches in establishing civic order in the region's towns and farming communities. It also explores public religion, how abolition and temperance brought church leaders and politics together, and church expansion in Kansas.

Keywords:   conservatism, Republicans, Methodists, religion, politics, slavery, statehood, Abraham Lincoln, Methodist Episcopal Church, civic order

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