Center for Understanding and Institutional Cooperation

ISSN: 1857-8640


DOI: 10.5987/UJ-CENTRUM.17.015.1   |   Article Number: 34CC14D915   |   Vol.6 (1) - June 2016

Authors:  Behluli Mirlind and Valieva Aliya

Keywords: Puritanism, American Exceptionalism, Foreign Policy

From the very beginning of the U.S. history the idea of a burden mission to spread its high values thus ‘civilizing’ the other parts of the decadent world has been a crucial part of American foreign policy. Puritans during their journey to New England, the place where they immigrated from British Empire’s religious oppression were referring to as ‘’the city upon the hill’’. Their leader Winthrop stated that God has given to the Puritans a special commission to build America as a moral model because ‘’the eyes of all people are upon us’’. That was a destiny according to Puritans.
After the Thirteen Colonies declared independence the idea of being different and unique from the Old World was seen as the core feature of Americanism, thereupon, a missionary impulse took root in foreign policy. Some of the Founding Fathers were Puritans and believed that U.S. has a global mission to promote their model of liberty because it is the highest moral level comparing with others. In every U.S. Presidency the messianic view was articulated upon the American exceptionalism concept meaning that U.S. virtues are worthy to spread and a religious lexicon was a key concept within this approach. During the history the American exceptionalism was used to justify isolation-nism, the Manifest Destiny in 19th century, the fight against commu-nism, the war on terror and the idea of ‘’imposing democracy’’ were undertaken in the name of God to expand American civilization, thus, rescuing the world.
The main focus of this article is the connection between Purita-nism and the U.S. foreign policy. What is the legacy of Puritanism in American messianic attitude? Is the American exceptionalism just another face of Puritanism? What tells today Puritanism about the U.S. foreign policy and vice versa?

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