Ryan Fink

Date of Defense



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Ashlyn Kuersten

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Felkel


The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is one of the more powerful collections of words in all of political literature. The importance and meaning that have been given to this collection of words has served as a foundation of a nation. The first clause of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights is the Establishment Clause. Its location at the beginning of the Amendments indicates the significance of this clause, and the importance of its purpose to the Founding Fathers and the American people. One of the oldest stories of American history, that of the Pilgrims and their exodus to a land free of religious persecution, echoes in the Establishment Clause. Despite the history and prestige surrounding the Establishment Clause, its meaning and significance have never been more greatly underscored than in the last half century, through Everson v. Board of Education.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only