Saturday, July 8, 2017

Manifest Destiny and Divine Providence

(Jody Gray) this Blog Post is part of my personal research -Origins -understanding how what exists today came to exist; and, Why are you my enemy? This topic, relates to the belief, of Americans, in the ideologies of Manifest Destiny, Divine Providence, American Exceptionalism, etc

*
(illustration) American Progress (1872) by John Gast, is an allegorical representation of the modernization of the new west. Columbia (see), a personification of the United States, is shows leading civilization westward with the American settlers. She is shown bringing light from the East into the West, stringing telegraph wire, holding a school textbook that will instill knowledge, and highlights different stages of economic activity and evolving forms of transportation.

*Manifest Destiny [https://en.wikipedia.] In the 19th century, manifest destiny was a widely held belief in the United States that its settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny: 1) The special virtues of the American people and their institutions. 2) The mission of the United States to redeem and remake the west in the image of agrarian (technically, perhaps, an agrarian society is one in which agriculture is the leading vocation, whether for wealth, for pleasure, or for prestige. The theory of agrarianism is that the culture of the soil is the best and most sensitive of vocations, and that therefore it should have the economic preference and enlist the maximum number of workers.) 3. An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty.
 Historian Frederick Merk (1887-1977) says this concept was born out of "a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example... generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven."
 Historians have emphasized that "manifest destiny" was a contested concept -pre-civil war Democrats endorsed the idea but many prominent Americans (such as Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and most Whigs) rejected it. Historian Daniel Walker Howe writes, "American imperialism did not represent an American consensus; it provoked bitter dissent within the national polity... Whigs saw America's moral mission as one of democratic example rather that one of conquest."
 Newspaper editor John O'Sullivan is generally credited with coining the term manifest destiny in 1845 to describe the essence of this mindset, which was a rhetorical tone; however, the unsigned editorial titled "Annexation" in which it first appeared was arguably written by journalist and annexation advocate Jane Cazneau. The term was used by Democrats in the 1840s to justify the war with Mexico and it was also used to divide half of Oregon with the United Kingdom. But manifest destiny always limped along because of its internal limitations and the issue of slavery, says Merk. It never became a national priority. By 1843 John Quincy Adams, originally a major supporter of the concept underlying manifest destiny, had changed his mind and repudiated expansionism because it meant the expansion of slavery in Texas.
 Merk concluded: From the outset Manifest Destiny -vast in program, in its sense of continentalism -was slight in support. It lacked national, sectional, or party following commensurate with its magnitude. The reason was it did not reflect the national spirit. The thesis that it embodied nationalism, found in much historical writing, is backed by little real supporting evidence.
Context. There was never a set of principles defining manifest destiny, therefore it was always a general idea rather than a specific policy made with a motto. Ill-defined but keenly felt, manifest destiny was an expression of a conviction in the morality and value of expansionism that complemented other popular ideas of the era, including American exceptionalism (see) and Romantic nationalism (see). Andrew Jackson, who spoke of "extending the area of freedom", typified the conflation of America's potential greatness, the nation's budding sense of Romantic self-identity, and its expansion...
Origin of the term. Journalist John L. O'Sullivan, an influential advocate for Jacksonian democracy (a 19th century political philosophy in the United States that espoused greater democracy for the common man, as that term was then defined -not including African-Americans and Native Americans)... wrote an article in 1839, which, while not using the term "manifest destiny", did predict a "divine destiny" for the United States based upon values such as equality, rights of conscience, and personal enfranchisement "to establish on earth the moral dignity and salvation of man". This destiny was not explicitly territorial, but O'Sullivan predicted that the United States would be one of a "Union of many Republics" sharing those values.
 Six years later, in 1845, O'Sullivan wrote another essay titled Annexation in the Democratic Review, in which he first used the phrase manifest destiny. In this article he urged the U.S. to annex the Republic of Texas, not only because Texas desired this, but because it was "our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions"...
 O'Sullivan's second use of the phrase became extremely influential. 12/27/1845, in his newspaper the New York Morning News, O'Sullivan addressed the ongoing boundary dispute with Britain. O'Sullivan argued that the United States had the right to claim "the whole of Oregon". -And that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.
 ...Whigs denounced manifest destiny, arguing, "that the designers and supporters of schemes of conquest, to be carried on by this government, are engaged in treason to our Constitution and Declaration of Rights, giving aid and comfort to the enemies of republicanism, in that they are advocating and preaching the doctrine of the right of conquest"... expansionists embraced the phrase...
Themes and influences. Historian William E. Weeks has noted that three key themes were usually touched upon by advocates of manifest destiny: 1) the virtue of the American people and their institutions; 2) the mission to spread these institutions, thereby redeeming and remaking the world in the image of the United States; 3) the destiny under God to do this work. The origin of the first theme, later known as American Exceptionalism (see), was often traced to America's Puritan heritage, particularly John Winthrop's famous "City upon a Hill"  (see) sermon of 1630, in which he called for the establishment of a virtuous community that would be a shining example to the Old World. In his influential 1776 pamphlet Common Sense, Thomas Paine echoed this notion, arguing that the American Revolution provided an opportunity to create a new, better society: We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand...
 The second theme's origination is less precise...
 The third theme can be viewed as a natural outgrowth of the belief that God had a direct influence in the foundation and further actions of the United States. Clinton Rossiter, a scholar, described this view assuming "that God, at the proper stage in the march of history, called forth certain hardy souls from the old and privilege-ridden nations... and that in bestowing his grace He also bestowed a peculiar responsibility". Americans presupposed that they were not only divinely elected to maintain the North American continent, but also to "spread abroad the fundamental principles stated in the Bill of Rights". In many cases this meant neighboring colonial holdings and countries were seen as obstacles rather than the destiny God had provided the United States...
 Another possible influence is racial predominance, namely the idea that the American Anglo-Saxon race was "separate, innately superior" and "destined to bring good government, commercial prosperity and Christianity to the American continents and the world." This view also held that "inferior races were doomed to subordinate status or extinction." This was used to justify "the enslavement of the blacks and the expulsion and possible extermination of the Indians".
*Columbia.
*Columbia [https://en.wikipedia.] is a historical name used by both Europeans and Americans to describe the Americas, the New World, and often, more specifically, the United States of America. It is also a name given to the “Spirit of the Frontier” of which was used to illustrate Manifest Destiny among several political causes. It has given rise to the names of many persons, places, objects, institutions, and companies; e.g. the District of Columbia (the national capital)... Columbia is a New Latin toponym, in used since the 1730s, for the Thirteen Colonies. It originated from the name of the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and from the ending -ia, common in Latin for names of countries (paralleling Britannia, Gallia etc.).
History. Massachusetts Chief Justice Samuel Sewall used the name Columbina (not Columbia) for the New World in 1697. The name Columbia for “America” first appeared in 1738 in the weekly publication of the debates of the British Parliament in Edward Cave’s The Gentleman’s Magazine

*Divine providence.
*Divine providence [https://en.wikipedia.] In theology, divine providence, or just providence, is God’s intervention in the world. The term “Divine Providence” (usually capitalized) is also used as a title of God. A distinction is usually made between “general providence”, which refers to God’s continuous upholding the existence and natural order of the universe, and “special providence”, which refers to God’s extraordinary intervention in the life of people. Miracles generally fall in the latter category.

*American exceptionalism.
American exceptionalism [https://en.wikipedia.] is one of three related ideas. The first is that the history of the United States is inherently different than other nations. In this view, American exceptionalism stems from the American Revolution, becoming what political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset called “the first new nation” and developing the uniquely American ideology of “Americanism”, based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, republicanism, democracy, and laissez-faire economics (see). This ideology itself is often referred to as “American exceptionalism.” Second is the idea that the U.S. has a unique mission to transform the world. Abraham Lincoln stated in the Gettysburg address (1863), that Americans have a duty to ensure that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Third is the sense that the United States’ history and mission gives it a superiority over other nations.
  The term exceptionalism entails superiority; neoconservative and other American conservative writers have promoted its use in that sense. To them, the U.S. is like the biblical “City upon a Hill”, a phrase used by British colonists to North America as early as 1630.
  The theory of the exceptionalism of the U.S. can be traced to French political scientist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville, the first writer to describe the country as “exceptional” in 1831 and 1840.
  Similar beliefs have existed elsewhere in the world, such as Whig history in Britain which held that the political system of the British Empire was the apex of human development and uniquely suited to ruling foreign peoples benignly. Also, Sinocentrism in China, which regarded Chinese culture as more ancient than or superior to other cultures and neighboring countries as mere offshoots of China. Neither of these views are common today.
Terminology. ...However, post-nationalist scholars have rejected American exceptionalism, arguing that the U.S. did not break from European history, and accordingly, the U.S. retained class-based and race-based differences, as well as imperialism and willingness to wage war.
  In recent years scholars from numerous disciplines as well as politicians and commentators in the traditional media, have debated the meaning and usefulness of the concept. Roberts and DiCuirci ask: Why has the myth of American exceptionalism, characterized by a belief in America's highly distinctive features or unusual trajectory based on the abundance of its natural resources, its revolutionary origins and its Protestant religious culture that anticipated God's blessing of the nation, held such tremendous staying power, from its influence in popular culture to its critical role in foreign policy?
Origin. Although the concept of American exceptionalism dates to the founding ideas, the term was first used in the 1920s.
  ...After the 1930s, the phrase fell into obscurity for half a century, until it was popularized by American newspapers in the 1980s to describe America’s cultural and political uniqueness. The phrase became an issue of contention between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain in the 2008 presidential campaign, with Republicans attacking Obama for allegedly not believing in the concept.
Uniqueness. More generally Americans have considered national “uniqueness.” Historian Dorothy Ross points to three different currents regarding unique characteristics. 1. Some Protestants believed American progress would facilitate the return of Jesus Christ and Christian Millennium. 2. Some 19th century historians linked American liberty to the development of liberty in Anglo-Saxon England. 3. Other American writers looked to the “millennial newness” of America. Henry Nash Smith stressed the theme of “virgin land” in the American frontier that promised an escape from the decay that befell earlier republics.
Puritan roots. Parts of American exceptionalism can be traced to American Puritan roots. Many Puritans with Arminian leanings embraced a middle ground between strict Calvinist predestination and a less restricting theology of Divine Providence. They believed God had made a covenant with their people and had chosen them to provide a model for the other nations of the Earth. One Puritan leader, John Winthrop, metaphorically expressed this idea as a "City upon a Hill"—that the Puritan community of New England should serve as a model community for the rest of the world
American Revolution and republicanism. The ideas that created the American Revolution were derived from a tradition of republicanism that had been repudiated by the British mainstream. Historian Gordon Wood has argued, "Our beliefs in liberty, equality, constitutionalism, and the well-being of ordinary people came out of the Revolutionary era. So too did our idea that we Americans are a special people with a special destiny to lead the world toward liberty and democracy." ...
  Thomas Paine's Common Sense for the first time expressed the belief that America was not just an extension of Europe but a new land, a country of nearly unlimited potential and opportunity that had outgrown the British mother country. These sentiments laid the intellectual foundations for the Revolutionary concept of American exceptionalism and were closely tied to republicanism, the belief that sovereignty belonged to the people, not to a hereditary ruling class.
  Religious freedom characterized the American Revolution in unique ways—at a time when major nations had state religions. Republicanism (led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison) created modern constitutional republicanism, with a limit on ecclesiastical powers. Historian Thomas Kidd (2010) argues, "With the onset of the revolutionary crisis, a significant conceptual shift convinced Americans across the theological spectrum that God was raising up America for some particular purpose." ...
Jefferson and the Empire of Liberty. According to Tucker and Hendrickson (1992), Jefferson believed America "was the bearer of a new diplomacy, founded on the confidence of a free and virtuous people, that would secure ends based on the natural and universal rights of man, by means that escaped war and its corruptions". Jefferson sought a radical break from the traditional European emphasis on "reason of state" (which could justify any action) and the usual priority of foreign policy and the needs of the ruling family over the needs of the people.
  Jefferson envisaged America is becoming the world's great "Empire of Liberty"—that is, the model for democracy and republicanism. He identified his nation as a beacon to the world, for, he said on departing the presidency in 1809, America was: "Trusted with the destinies of this solitary republic of the world, the only monument of human rights, and the sole depository of the sacred fire of freedom and self-government, from hence it is to be lighted up in other regions of the earth, if other areas of the earth shall ever become susceptible of its benign influence."
Basis of arguments. ...
  In 2012, conservative historians Larry Schweikartand Dave Dougherty argued that American Exceptionalism be based on four pillars: (1) Common Law; (2) Virtue and morality located in Protestant Christianity; (3) Free-market capitalism; and (4) the sanctity of private property.
  In a 2015 book entitled Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney sets out and argues the case for American Exceptionalism, and concludes: "we are, as Lincoln said, 'the last, best hope of earth.' We are not just one more nation, one more same entity on the world stage. We have been essential to the preservation and progress of freedom, and those who lead us in the years ahead must remind us, as Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan did, of the unique role we play. Neither they nor we should ever forget that we are, in fact, exceptional."
Republican ethos and ideas about nationhood. Proponents of American exceptionalism argue that the United States be exceptional in that it was founded on a set of republican ideals, rather than on a common heritage, ethnicity, or ruling elite
  American policies have been characterized since their inception by a system of federalism (between the states and the federal government) and checks and balances (among the legislative, executive and judicial branches), which were designed to prevent any faction, region, or government organ from becoming too powerful. Some proponents of the theory of American exceptionalism argue that this system and the accompanying distrust of concentrated power prevent the United States from suffering a "tyranny of the majority", are preservative of a free republican democracy, and also that it allows citizens to live in a locality whose laws reflect those voters' values. A consequence of this political system is that laws can vary widely across the country. Critics of American exceptionalism maintain that this system merely replaces the power of the national majority over states with power by the states over local entities. On balance, the American political system arguably allows for more local dominance but prevents more domestic dominance than does a more unitary system.
  Historian Eric Foner has explored the question of birthright citizenship, the provision of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) that makes every baby born in the United States a full citizen. He argues that: birthright citizenship stands as an example of the much-abused idea of American exceptionalism... birthright citizenship does make the United States (along with Canada) unique in the developed world. No European nation recognizes the principle.
Frontier spirit. Proponents of American exceptionalism often claim that many features of the "American spirit" were shaped by the frontier process (following Frederick Jackson Turner's Frontier Thesis). They argue the American frontier allowed individualism to flourish as pioneers adopted democracy and equality and shed centuries-old European institutions such as royalty, standing armies, established churches and a landed aristocracy that owned most of the land.... the other frontiers did not involve widespread ownership of free land nor allow the settlers to control the local and provincial governments as in America...
Mobility and welfare. For most of its history, especially from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries, the United States has been known as the "land of opportunity", and in this sense, it prided and promoted itself on providing individuals with the opportunity to escape from the contexts of their class and family background. Examples of this social mobility include: Occupational -children could easily choose careers which were not based upon their parents' choices. Physical -that geographical location was not seen as static, and citizens often relocated freely over long distances without barrier. Status -as in most countries, family standing and riches were often a means to remain in a higher social circle. America was notably unusual due to an accepted wisdom that anyone—from poor immigrants upwards—who worked hard, could aspire to similar standing, regardless of circumstances of birth. This aspiration is commonly called living the American dream. Birth details were not taken as a social barrier to the upper echelons or high political status in American culture. This stood in contrast to other countries where many larger offices were socially determined, and usually hard to enter without being born into the suitable social group.
  However, social mobility in the U.S. is lower than in some European Union countries if defined regarding income movements. American men born into the lowest income quintile are much more likely to stay there compared to similar people in the Nordic countries or the United Kingdom. Many economists, such as Harvard economist N. Gregory Mankiw, however, state that the discrepancy has little to do with class rigidity; rather, it is a reflection of income disparity: "Moving up and down a short ladder is a lot easier than moving up and down a tall one."
Moral purity. Critics on the left such as (American) Marilyn Young and (American) Howard Zinn have argued that American history is so morally flawed, citing slavery, civil rights and social welfare issues, that it cannot be an exemplar of virtue. Zinn argues that American exceptionalism cannot be of divine origin because it was not benign, especially when dealing with Native Americans.
  (American) Donald E. Pease mocks American exceptionalism as a "state fantasy" and a "myth" in his 2009 book The New American Exceptionalism. Pease notes that "state fantasies cannot altogether conceal the inconsistencies they mask", showing how such events as the revelations of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison and the exposure of government incompetence after Hurricane Katrina "opened fissures in the myth of exceptionalism"...
See also. American civil religion. American imperialism. Americanism (ideology). Americanization. Americentrism. Anti-Americanism. Moral equivalence. Juche (Nationalist North Korean Ideology). Sonderweg (German exceptionalism). Yamato-damashii Yamato-damashii (Japanese spirit) Nihonjinron (Japanese uniqueness)
*City upon a Hill
*"City upon a Hill" [https://en.wikipedia.] is a phrase from the parable of Salt and Light in Jesus's Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:14, he tells his listeners, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." It has become popular with American politicians.
A Model of Christian Charity-The phrase entered the American lexicon early in its colonial history through the 1630 sermon "A Model of Christian Charity" preached by Puritan John Winthrop while still aboard the ship Arbella. Winthrop admonished the future Massachusetts Bay colonists that their new community would be "as a city upon a hill", watched by the world—which became the ideal that the New England colonists placed upon their hilly capital city of Boston. The Puritans' community in New England would set an example of communal charity, affection, and unity to the world or, if the Puritans failed to uphold their covenant of God, "we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world" of God's judgment. Winthrop's sermon is often cited as an early example of American exceptionalism.

Use in American politics. -In the twentieth century, the image was used a number of times in American politics.
On 9 January 1961, President-Elect John F. Kennedy returned the phrase to prominence during an address delivered to the General Court of Massachusetts: ... I have been guided by the standard John Winthrop set before his shipmates on the flagship Arbella three hundred and thirty-one years ago, as they, too, faced the task of building a new government on a perilous frontier. "We must always consider", he said, "that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us". Today the eyes of all people are truly upon us—and our governments, in every branch, at every level, national, state and local, must be as a city upon a hillconstructed and inhabited by men aware of their great trust and their great responsibilities. For we are setting out upon a voyage in 1961 no less hazardous than that undertaken by the Arbella in 1630. We are committing ourselves to tasks of statecraft no less awesome than that of governing the Massachusetts Bay Colony, beset as it was then by terror without and disorder within. History will not judge our endeavors—and a government cannot be selected—merely on the basis of color or creed or even party affiliation. Neither will competence and loyalty and stature, while essential to the utmost, suffice in times such as these. For of those to whom much is given, much is required

President Ronald Reagan referred to the same event and image on the eve of his election in 1980: I have quoted John Winthrop's words more than once on the campaign trail this year—for I believe that Americans in 1980 are every bit as committed to that vision of a shining "city on a hill," as were those long ago settlers …
  These visitors to that city on the Potomac do not come as white or black, red or yellow; they are not Jews or Christians; conservatives or liberals; or Democrats or Republicans. They are Americans awed by what has gone before, proud of what for them is still… a shining city on a hill.
  and in his January 11, 1989, farewell speech to the nation: I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.

U.S. Senator Barack Obama also made reference to the topic in his commencement address on June 2, 2006 at the University of Massachusetts Boston: It was right here, in the waters around us, where the American experiment began. As the earliest settlers arrived on the shores of Boston and Salem and Plymouth, they dreamed of building a City upon a Hill. And the world watched, waiting to see if this improbable idea called America would succeed.
  More than half of you represent the very first member of your family to ever attend college. In the most diverse university in all of New England, I look out at a sea of faces that are African-American and Hispanic-American and Asian-American and Arab-American. I see students that have come here from over 100 different countries, believing like those first settlers that they too could find a home in this City on a Hill—that they too could find success in this unlikeliest of places.

In 2016, 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney incorporated the idiom into a condemnation of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign: His domestic policies would lead to recession; his foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president, and his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.
*Americanism (ideology).
*Americanism [https://en.wikipedia.] is “an articulation of the nation’s rightful place in the world, a set of traditions, a political language, and a cultural style imbued with political meaning.” According the American Legion (a U.S. veteran’s organization), Americanism is an ideology or belief in devotion, loyalty, or allegiance to the United States of America or to its flag, traditions, customs, culture, symbols, institutions, or form of government.
History. Americanism has two different meanings. It can refer to the defining characteristics of the United States and can also signify loyalty to the United States and a defense of American political ideals. These ideals include, but are not limited to self-government, equal opportunity, freedom of speech, and a belief in progress. This collection of ideals that forms the modern Americanism ideology holds an enduring appeal to people from lands throughout the globe. Some organizations have embraced Americanism but have taken its ideals further: The Ku Klux Klan believes that Americanism includes aspects of race (purity of pioneer American stock) and of Protestantism.
  Unlike the patriotism associated with other powerful countries, Americanism is rooted less in a shared culture experience and more in shared political ideals. The concept of Americanism has been around since the first European settlers moved to North America. John Adams wrote that the new settlements in America were "the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence" (see). This transformed type of Americanism was common thinking throughout the New World after the war for independence. The newly independent nation would become more than what Tom Paine called "an asylum for mankind".
  The years from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War II brought new meaning to the term "Americanism" to millions of immigrants. Those were times of great economic growth and industrialization, and thus brought forth the American scene consisting of "industrial democracy" and the thinking that the people are the government in America. Since then, the success of the American nation has brought tremendous power to the notion of Americanism.
  According to Wendy L. Wall in Inventing the "American Way", Americanism was presented by a national propaganda campaign to contrast with Communism and Fascism, during the Cold War. The benefits of Americanism were promoted through the ideals of freedom and democracy.
*
Related:
*BP: Imperialism, Colonialism, Right to Rule. http://historicalandmisc. *
Manifest Destiny -reference to: The White Man’s Burden
The white man’s burden (used) to justify imperialism as a noble enterprise of civilization, conceptually related to the American philosophy of Manifest Destiny.
*

No comments:

Post a Comment