I was poking around in various historical blurbs when I was waiting to do something at work. I noticed something interesting:
The Edmunds Act was signed on March 23, 1882.
This doesn’t mean that much until you dig into it. That act was giant government over reach.
I don’t think that governments should be in the morals business. This act was anti-Mormon. Or even anti-polygamy.
(I am not a fan of it or even the LDS religion. I don’t see eye to eye with a lot of what they do.)
Just like the Baptists that run my state, the federal government was run by protestants that wanted to shape the vast majority of the country in their view. They couldn’t allow anyone outside of their “ideal” to have their way. This was also true of other minority groups in our country.
Most people know of the regular arguments against polygamy, namely subsidies fraud and tax evasion but these weren’t an issue in the 1800’s. (The vast majority of the women involved voluntarily sign on to this).
In the end, it was cultural disagreement. That and the governments desire to lay a heavy hand.
If you didn’t believe this, look into the US Army’s run ins with Mormon militias in the years leading up to this.