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antidisestablishmentarianism

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Considered the longest, non-technical, word in the English dictionary, antidisestablishmentarianism was first used in a 19th century essay entitled “Church and State” by British Liberal party politician, William Ewart Gladstone, to describe a political position regarding religious authority in the United Kingdom. Gladstone served four non-consecutive terms as British Prime Minister toward the latter years of Victorian England as well as several other high government offices.

The root, disestablishmentarian, is a term defining a movement to separate government from a state sponsored religion, in this case, the Church of England. The Church of England has been the officially sanctioned Christian church in England since the reign of King Henry VIII, when it separated from the Holy Roman Catholic Church in theyear 1534. It remains so to this day.

You will find reference to the term antidisestablishmentarianism in the January 21, 2011 article entitled What’s the longest English word? on www.kottke.org, as well as Wiki – Ideas: Antidisestablishmentarianism on Blogospherical Journalization.

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