The Christian heritage of the United States of America is acknowledged as deeply rooted by both historians and scholars. In 1682, William Penn founded the Province of Pennsylvania, a Quaker government based on the ideals of the Bible, which would prove the foundation for the future United States of America. Afterward, many of the colonies that became the United States were settled by men and women of deep religious convictions who in the seventeenth century crossed the Atlantic Ocean to practice their faith freely. When the new governments were formed at the state and national levels, most American statesmen shared the convictions of their constituents that religion was "indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions" (Alexis de Tocqueville).
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