Blaine amendments—19th century amendments to state constitutions—aimed to
deny public funds for parochial schools and amplified the First Amendment’s
Laws and Proposed Laws, 1791-1899 Archives
Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act to pay American Indian
education using religious schools to diffuse First Amendment controversy
over church-state conflict.
Congress adopted the Morrill Act for the Suppression of Polygamy in
response to a perceived threat posed by polygamy, practiced by the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The clash over the Sedition Act of 1798, designed to deal with threats in
the “quasi-war” with France, yielded the first sustained debate over the
meaning of the First Amendment.