American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny

Topics: United States, Puritan, Manifest Destiny Pages: 3 (920 words) Published: December 6, 2014


exceptionalism not to be confused with the ideology of americanism.

American Exceptionalism:
Belief that U.S.A. is historically and politicaly a completely unique nation and therefor superior to other nations (Hebel 2008)

Rhethorical origins:
- especially John Winthrop´s ''A Model of Christian Charity'' - sermon by Puritan layman and leader John Winthrop, who delivered on board the ship Arbella while on route to the Massachusetts Bay Colony - biblical aproach

- Puritan colonists are god's ''chosen people''
- New England is also referred to as ''New Jerusalem'' and as ''city upon a hill'' (biblical metaphor) - god himself dwells in New England and shows Puritans the way - Winthrop's view: New England Puritans were not refugees fleeing to avoid persecution; they were missionaries intent on guiding other nations. - Puritans themselves are supposed to be a shining example for other nations

Own additions:
A City upon a Hill is a phrase from the parable of Salt and Light in Jesus's Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:14-16, he tells his listeners, " “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His owne people, and will commaund a blessing upon us in all our ways, soe that we shall see much more of his wisdome, goodness and truthe, than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israell is among us, when tenn of us will be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when hee shall make us a prayse and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations: the lord make it like that of New England: for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eies of all people...
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