Everstine, Carl N.
"Maryland's Toleration Act: An Appraisal." Maryland Historical Magazine
79 (Summer 1984): 99-116.
Annotations / Notes: Considered from afar, Maryland's Toleration Act (1649) reinforces the nation's long tradition of religious toleration and moderation; or does it? After examining the wording of the act, and the history of toleration prior to 1649, the author points out that the act was repealed in 1654, and, while the repeal was itself repealed soon after, toleration would continue in force only until 1696, when the Church of England was established as the sole religious establishment in the Province. Caught in the rivalry between the resurgent Puritans and the Catholics at mid-century, religious toleration was on shaky grounds from the beginning. With the ascendancy of the Anglican Church in 1696, things grew worse for Catholics, and more legislation was adopted in the ensuing years restricting their ability to practice their religion publicly. Religious toleration for Christians was re-introduced in the state Constitution of 1776 and expanded to include Jews fifty years later.