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Myths of American exceptionalism by Howard Zinn

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-05 12:55 AM
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Myths of American exceptionalism by Howard Zinn
The Power and the Glory
Myths of American exceptionalism

by Howard Zinn


" The notion of American exceptionalismthat the United States alone has the right, whether by divine sanction or moral obligation, to bring civilization, or democracy, or liberty to the rest of the world, by violence if necessaryis not new. It started as early as 1630 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony when Governor John Winthrop uttered the words that centuries later would be quoted by Ronald Reagan. Winthrop called the Massachusetts Bay Colony a city upon a hill. Reagan embellished a little, calling it a shining city on a hill.

The idea of a city on a hill is heartwarming. It suggests what George Bush has spoken of: that the United States is a beacon of liberty and democracy. People can look to us and learn from and emulate us.

In reality, we have never been just a city on a hill. A few years after Governor Winthrop uttered his famous words, the people in the city on a hill moved out to massacre the Pequot Indians. Heres a description by William Bradford, an early settler, of Captain John Masons attack on a Pequot village.

"Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword, some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived that they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent thereof; but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the praise thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy."

-- SNIP --"
http://bostonreview.net/BR30.3/zinn.html
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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-05 01:21 AM
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1. I'm tired - my eyes jumped to the last paragragh -
My first thought was that it was citation from the Old Testament.

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-05 06:32 AM
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2. The Only City on a Hill We Resemble Today Is Mordor!
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