With James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, Mason carried through the Virginia legislature measures disestablishing the Episcopal Church and protecting all forms of worship. In politics he was a radical republican, who believed that local government should be kept strong and central government weak; his democratic theories had much influence in Virginia and other southern and western states.
Juarez was recognized by the United States, and allowed to draw supplies of arms and volunteers thence; and in July 1859 he published laws suppressing the religious orders, nationalizing ecclesiastical property (of the estimated value of $45,000,000), establishing civil marriage and registration, transferring the cemeteries to civil control, and, in short, disestablishing the church.
After the legislation under William and Mary disestablishing episcopacy in Scotland and subjecting its professors to civil penalties, little attention was given to canon law for many years.
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