This paper builds the argument that John Leland’s religious communities exemplify Ciceronian ideas of polis through his efforts to advocate for religious liberty and equality by first breaking down the concept of a Ciceronian polis and its basis in Platonic philosophy. This is done through a careful analysis of how John Leland’s sermons and other writings advocated for unity within the communities in Massachusetts and Virginia, using the case study of his religious town, Cheshire, Massachusetts, and the activities of the people within it. Additionally, this paper will examine how Cicero articulated that stronger communities lead to a stronger nation as a whole and how these communities led to a strengthened system of government within the fledgling American colonies.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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