Religion has been a potent social force throughout American history. The reverberations of the Protestant Revolt and the Catholic Reformation have been experienced many times in many American communities since the 17th century, in varying degrees of intensity. Colorado, in the last quarter of the 19th century, was typical of this tradition. Colorado had been part of a vast Spanish domain and, therefore, many of its citizens, particularly in the southern half, were both Spanish-speaking and Catholic in faith. On the other hand, a preponderance of the adventurers and fortune-hunters who came after the gold discoveries of 1858 and 1859 and who tended to settle around and north of Denver, were Protestants. This, then, was the religious setting as convention delegates met in Denver in the winter of 1875-1876 to write a constitution for the state.