John Calvin and the American Republic

John Calvin’s theology, as well as his influence on the civil government of Geneva, significantly influenced the founding of the United States. The Founding Fathers understood well the wisdom of Calvin’s teaching that original sin sometimes necessitated resisting tyrants and limiting the power of civil government, and were thus prepared when the time came to resist British overreach.

Every year the United States celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain on the Fourth of July. This national holiday is to remember the sacrifice of those Founding Fathers in 1776 who risked all they had to break away from a tyrannical British government. After five years of fighting (1776-1781), the American War for Independence was successful. The thirteen American colonies became thirteen confederated states under the Articles of Confederation. This new government placed strict limitations on the power of the national Congress, and liberty flourished.

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Matthew Carpenter is a husband, father, humanities teacher, and pastor of Trinity Reformed Church in Huntsville, Alabama. He has written for Front Porch Republic, The Imaginative Conservative, New Focus, and others publications.

Matthew Carpenter is a high school history teacher, having taught American history, American government, world history, and economics. He graduated from Jacksonville State University with a B.S. in Secondary Education (concentration in history), and from the University of Alabama with an M.A. in Educational Leadership. Mr. Carpenter has also served as a pastor and associate pastor.