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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    A question about "as"

    As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion as it has in itself no character of enmity [hatred] against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] and as the said States [America] have never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
    The above sentence was taken from the Treaty of Tripoli.

    I was wondering if this sentence is saying that the United States was not founded on the Christian religion in the sense that it is Christian but not hostile towards Muslims like the European Christians of previous centuries or is it saying that the United States is not Christian at all? I have put "as" in bold since there is no period after "religion" since many quote this passage and end it at the clause before the "as".

    Note: I am not here to debate whether or not the United States was founded on the Christian religion. I just want to know what this sentence is saying based on how it is constructed.

    Thank you.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A question about "as"

    Quote Originally Posted by slayer View Post
    The above sentence was taken from the Treaty of Tripoli.

    I was wondering if this sentence is saying that the United States was not founded on the Christian religion in the sense that it is Christian but not hostile towards Muslims like the European Christians of previous centuries or is it saying that the United States is not Christian at all? I have put "as" in bold since there is no period after "religion" since many quote this passage and end it at the clause before the "as".

    Note: I am not here to debate whether or not the United States was founded on the Christian religion. I just want to know what this sentence is saying based on how it is constructed.

    Thank you.
    Here's another version I found:
    As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    I think it means:
    As/Since/because:
    i)
    the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,
    ii)
    it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, AND
    iii) the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation,
    Then consequently:
    it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: A question about "as"

    Raymott, your version you found was the right one it seems, so it does indeed have a comma and a hyphen. Thank you for your input.

    Anyone else have any input?

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    #4

    Re: A question about "as"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Here's another version I found:
    As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
    To me, the ,- combination looks very odd indeed. The semicolon used to be used for such situations. Maybe I'm just too old-fashioned, but why use two punctuation marks when you can use just one?
    Last edited by 2006; 28-Jul-2010 at 03:12. Reason: correct spelling

  4. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A question about "as"

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    To me, the ,- combination looks very odd indeed. The semicolon used to be used for such situations. Maybe I'm just too old-fashioned, but why use two punctuation marks when you can use just one?
    Am I right?

    Cheers!

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    #6

    Re: A question about "as"

    Quote Originally Posted by slayer View Post
    The above sentence was taken from the Treaty of Tripoli.

    I was wondering if this sentence is saying that the United States was not founded on the Christian religion in the sense that it is Christian but not hostile towards Muslims like the European Christians of previous centuries or is it saying that the United States is not Christian at all? I have put "as" in bold since there is no period after "religion" since many quote this passage and end it at the clause before the "as".

    Note: I am not here to debate whether or not the United States was founded on the Christian religion. I just want to know what this sentence is saying based on how it is constructed.

    Thank you.
    It is saying that the US was not founded as a Christian state with an official state religion. The US has no official religion. The majority have always been Christian of one sect or another. But there is built into the nation's founding document a tolerance for all creeds.

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    #7

    Re: A question about "as"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Am I right? Yes, of course you are.

    Cheers!
    2006

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: A question about "as"

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    To me, the ,- combination looks very odd indeed. The semicolon used to be used for such situations. Maybe I'm just too old-fashioned, but why use two punctuation marks when you can use just one?
    Of course it's odd. I didn't correct any punctuation since that would possibly just add more errors and remove clues to the meaning. It was written in 1796 (translated in 1930), so the punctuation will not be modern - but it is meaningful. The punctuation atrocity was committed by whoever removed the hyphens in slayer's version. I took the hyphens to be indicating a list.

    The source is here:
    Treaty of Tripoli. Article 11. Christian nation phrase
    Here's another:
    Avalon Project - The Barbary Treaties 1786-1816 - Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796

    I think there's still some misunderstanding of the meaning. Here's an analogue with the same archaic punctuation:
    "As he isn't a woman,-as he isn't black,-and as he isn't disabled, the new affirmative action rules don't benefit him."

    As/Since/Because: i) He isn't a woman ii) He isn't black iii) He isn't disabled,
    the new rules don't benefit him.
    Last edited by Raymott; 28-Jul-2010 at 08:19.

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