Philosophy of Evil
Socialism In America
By Jerry McDaniel
Chapter 2
American Exceptionalism
E-mail address
jfm@illinoisconservative.com
Philosophy of
Evil
Socialism in America

"The struggle of History is not
between the bourgeoisie and the
proletariat; it is between government
and the governed."

Jerry McDaniel
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American Exceptionalism

During a 2009 European trip, President Obama was asked a question concerning America’s role in the world. “I believe in
American exceptionalism,”
he said, “just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe
in Greek exceptionalism.”
American exceptionalism has long been an integral part of the American self-image. It is telling that
foreign heads of state recognize the exceptional nature of America while its own President sees it as nothing more than
jingoistic self-delusion.

In a 1991 speech at a Washington luncheon, Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, gave a clear
definition of American exceptionalism that was shared by most other world leaders until recently.

    ``Americans and Europeans alike sometimes forget how unique is the United States of America. No other nation has
    been built upon an idea, the idea of liberty. No other nation has so successfully combined people of different races
    and nations within a single culture. Both the founding fathers of the United States and successive waves of
    immigrants to your country were determined to create a new identity. Whether in flight from persecution or from
    poverty, the huddled masses with few exceptions welcomed American values, the American way of life and American
    opportunities. And America herself has bound them to her with powerful bonds of patriotism and pride.

    ``The European nations are not and can never be like this. They are the product of history and not of philosophy. You
    can construct a nation on an idea, but you can`t reconstruct a nation on the basis of one. Political institutions can`t
    be imposed if they are to endure. They have to evolve and they have to command the affection, loyalty and respect of
    populations living under them, and they have to be accountable to the people.``         
                   ~~Margaret Thatcher

Ms. Thatcher rightly perceives that “America” is based on a philosophy that transcends individual idiosyncrasies and not on
its military might or its abundance of wealth and natural resources. There are three components to that philosophy: political
freedom, economic freedom and religious liberty. One cannot appreciate the uniqueness of America without first
understanding its history and the evolution of its philosophy. We have seen in our slow transition from the free capitalist
society established by the founders, to the looming socialist oligarchy we see on the horizon today, the consequences of
ignoring our history and allowing it to be eliminated from our education curriculum.

America’s Genesis

Throughout recorded history, there has always been a symbiotic relationship between government and religion. During the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Europe was a cauldron of strife and division, politically and religiously. It was the age of
discovery and the emergence of nation-states. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1450 and one of the first
books to be published was the Vulgate version of the Holy Bible. As the Bible became more accessible, many ecclesiastical
scholars began to question the teachings of the established Catholic Church.

The Vatican had been the “Supreme Court” of the Roman Catholic Church since its establishment early in the fourth century
by the Roman Emperor Constantine. Just as U.S. Supreme Court decisions over the past two centuries have changed the
meaning and interpretation of much of the U.S. Constitution, many Bible scholars of the sixteenth century believed that the
Church had changed the meaning and interpretation of much of the Bible. The increased availability of the Bible led to a
renewed interest in its teachings. The result was an increase in dissidents within the Catholic Church.

Martin Luther touched off a religious revolution in 1517 with his “Ninety-Five Theses” with which he confronted the sale of
indulgences and other practices of the Catholic Church. For the next hundred and thirty years Europe was racked by
religious warfare. During that time, northern Europe became mainly protestant while southern Europe remained Catholic. The
center of Europe became the location of fierce battles between the Catholic Church and various protestant groups. Catholics,
Lutherans, Anglicans, the Reformed churches and a number of smaller groups fought for dominance and survival. The wars
did not end until 1648 with the Treaty of Vespalia.

Religious wars and persecutions caused the people to think seriously about what they believed. The result was that virtually
everyone had a strong allegiance to his or her particular faith, whatever the creed. Anyone who did not believe as they did
was seen as a threat to their welfare. When the early settlers migrated to America, they took their prejudices and animosity
toward differing religions with them. Most colonies continued the practice of state sponsorship of religious worship with
each colony having an established church that it supported. Dissenters were often persecuted or oppressed in some way.

With advances in the methods and instruments of warfare, war became more expensive and European monarchs turned their
attention westward looking for additional sources of revenue. The feudal system in Europe was breaking down and there
were great numbers of landless peasants eager to seek their fortunes in other lands. Many of the Christian minorities in
Europe were anxious to escape from the persecution of established churches. Together these groups made up a pool of ready
recruits for colonization in other lands. A growing desire for territorial expansion was felt among the crowned heads of the
competing powers.

Soon Spanish and Portuguese explorers and adventurers were bringing back reports, highly exaggerated, of great riches in
gold and silver to be had for the taking in the new world. Colonization of the new world, however, was slow and difficult.
Over a hundred years lapsed between the voyages of Columbus and the establishment of successful and lasting colonies on
American soil. The mortality rate during the first decade of colonization was greater than that of any war in our history. Four
European nations eager to expand their territory and establish new sources of revenue were involved in the exploration and
settlement of North America. Spain, France, England and the Netherlands each established settlements along the East coast
during the early seventeenth century.

The first attempt at a permanent settlement in what is now the United States was made by a group of French Huguenots led
by Jean Ribault in 1562. The Huguenots were a Calvinist protestant group who were being cruelly persecuted in France by
the Catholic Church. Ten years after Ribault’s group escaped to America, thousands in France were slaughtered in what
came to be known as the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre which lasted from August 23 to October 3, 1572.  25,000
Huguenots were massacred in Paris alone.

The original Huguenot settlement in America, somewhere along the “New Georgia” coast, was abandoned and another one
established in 1564 near what is now Jacksonville, Florida. In 1565, the Spanish Government established a settlement at St
Augustine, Florida. Spain, like France was a Roman Catholic nation and considered the Huguenots as heretics and enemies of
the church. In the inevitable conflicts that followed, the Huguenots were soon wiped out. Ribault and hundreds of French
soldiers were killed by the Spanish during a battle at St August-ine. Afterwards Spanish troops marched on Fort Caroline, the
Huguenot settlement, and destroyed those remaining. Later Huguenot settlements were mainly located in the New York and
Pennsylvania area.

The Spanish method of colonizing was quite different from that of the mostly protestant settlements established later along
the Atlantic coast. The Spanish method was to conquer the indigenous peoples of the area and force them to convert to
Catholicism and swear allegiance to the King of Spain. Spanish colonialism is perhaps better described as conquest rather
than colonization. Most Spanish conquests took place in Central and South America, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona
and California. The present day cities of Santa Fe, San Diego, and Los Angeles were originally among the many Spanish
Missions established in the American Southwest during this time period.

While the Spaniards were establishing a presence in Florida, a group led by Ralph Lane was attempting to establish an English
colony on Roanoke Island off the Carolina Coast. In 1585, Sir Richard Grenville transported Lane and his fellow would-be
colonists to the Island and then returned to England for supplies needed to sustain the settlers while they were establishing the
colony. Grenville’s return was delayed however, and the entire colony returned to England with Sir Francis Drake who had
stopped at Roanoke on a return trip from a battle with the Spanish at St Augustine.

Another attempt was made to establish a colony on Roanoke Island by John White in 1587. Again, a trip to England for
supplies, this time by White, was delayed and when he returned to the Island in 1590, he found the colony deserted. The fate
of the colonists has never been officially determined. One theory is that when they ran out of supplies the colonists left
Roanoke for another island to the South. The southern Island was called Croatoan and peopled by an Indian Tribe of the
same name. One indication this may have been what happened was the word “CROATOAN” carved into a tree by the settlers
before leaving. The Croatoans were known to be a friendly tribe and it is possible the settlers were absorbed into it.
(Croatoan Island is known today as Hatteras Island.) Foul weather prevented White from searching for the missing colonists
on Croatoan and his party returned to England. The settlers were never heard from again.

Most of the early colonies in America were sponsored as commercial enterprises although many of the settlers themselves
were motivated by the desire to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience, without persecution.  As
commercial enterprises, they were mostly unsuccessful in the early days. The Virginia Company which sponsored both the
Jamestown colony and the Plymouth colony was bankrupt when King James I changed its charter from a corporation to a
royal charter in 1624.

Corporation, proprietary, and royal charters were the three most common types of charters in use during the early colonial
period. Colonies begun under corporation charters are usually referred to as “charter colonies” or sometimes, “independent
colonies”. These charters were issued to trading companies incorporated in London and financed through the sale of shares
to investors. Chartered trading companies were responsible for outfitting and transporting settlers to the colonies. The
company was also required to supply the colony’s needs until they were established. The Virginia charter issued by King
James in 1606 called for the formation of two trading companies, one made up of investors from the city of London, known
as the “first colony” and another consisting of investors from the Town of Plimouth in the County of Devon, known as the
“second colony“. The two companies were organized as the London Company and the Plymouth Company.
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