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Published: May 29, 2011

Evangelical Alliance for the United States

The American branch for an international, interdenominational organization formed in London in 1846 to unite Protestant sects in a common war against free thought and Roman Catholicism. Business leader William A. Dodge, who founded the Young Men’s Christian Association (as well as the Phelps, Dodge Co.), formed the American branch in 1867, but it did not become powerful until the alliance named JOSIAH STRONG its leader in 1886. Determined “to save American civilization” by turning it into a Protestant Kingdom of God, Strong reached out to the millions of unchurched and unschooled immigrants inhabiting the slums of major American cities. He sent a small army of missionaries, social workers and teachers to teach them academic as well as social skills, while indoctrinating them in Protestantism. Alliance members permeated public school systems and were instrumental in influencing the passage of laws in some states, mandating the teaching of biblical interpretations of the creation of man and the universe, while banning the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution. The influence of the alliance waned after the 1925 SCOPES MONKEY TRIAL, in which those who claimed a scientific basis for the biblical theory of creation were ridiculed. The erosion of church membership, attendance and contributions during the economic depression of the 1930s virtually ended alliance influence in American education.
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