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The Edmunds-Tucker Act (1887) was the final law passed by the U.S. Congress to control the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (LDS) practice of polygamy. It added increased restrictions to the Morrill Act (1862), the Poland Act (1874), and the Edmunds Act (1882). Congress had attempted to pass another legislation and was considering an even stricter law, the Cullom-Struble Bill, when LDS Church President issued the Manifesto, which stated that the Church was not teaching or permitting the practice of polygamy.

After the Mormon Church publicly announced the practice of polygamy in 1852, Americans’ reactions were almost immediate and negative. In 1854 the Republican Party platform called for the elimination of “the twin relics of barbarism”—polygamy and slavery. Congress approved the Morrill Act, which ...

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