Providence and the Invention of the United States, 1607-1876

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 23, 2007 - History - 341 pages
Nicholas Guyatt offers a completely new understanding of a central question in American history: how did Americans come to think that God favored the United States above other nations? Tracing the story of American providentialism, this book uncovers the British roots of American religious nationalism before the American Revolution and the extraordinary struggles of white Americans to reconcile their ideas of national mission with the racial diversity of the early republic. Making sense of previously diffuse debates on manifest destiny, millenarianism, and American mission, Providence and the Invention of the United States explains the origins and development of the idea that God has a special plan for America. This conviction supplied the United States with a powerful sense of national purpose, but it also prevented Americans from clearly understanding events and people that could not easily be fitted into the providential scheme.
 

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Contents

Providence and the Problem of England in Early America
11
The Origins of Providential Separatism
55
Providentialism and
95
providence race and the limits of revolution
137
Race and Removal in the Early Republic
173
Removal
194
The Providential Meanings of American
214
That Great Idea of National Continuity
256
William Lloyd Garrisons Complaint
299
Index
327
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About the author (2007)

Nicholas Guyatt is Assistant Professor of History at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia. He has studied at Cambridge University (B.A., M. Phil.) and Princeton Univeristy (Ph.D.). This is his first academic monograph, but his fourth book; a work on apocalyptic Christianity will also be published in 2007. He writes about American history for the London Review of Books and the Nation.

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