Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1968


Maryland holds the unique and admirable distinction of having been the State whose early history most directly ensured, and whose citizenry was most directly affected by, the first amendment's grant of religious liberty. The Supreme Court's docket is still liberally sprinkled with petitions calling for renewed interpretation of the establishment clause, and Marylanders will soon vote upon a proposed new state constitution with a similar provision - hence, the opportuneness for tracing Maryland's contribution to the cause of toleration and to the principle of church-state separation.

The scope of this article will not extend beyond a sketch of the important events concerning the theme of toleration and its development in Maryland; from a background setting of religious persecution in the early 1600's to the recent cases involving church and state. The solution to the underlying question of interpretation - whether the establishment clause requires complete separation of church and state, or whether it permits nondiscriminatory government participation - will not be attempted, although a conclusion will be offered.