1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Independents

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INDEPENDENTS, in religion, a name used in the 17th century for those holding to the autonomy of each several church or congregation, hence otherwise known as Congregationalists. Down to the end of the 18th century the former title prevailed in England, though not in America; while since then “Congregationalist” has obtained generally in both. (See Congregationalism.)