Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Meeting the EnemyAmerican Exceptionalism and International Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Natsu Taylor Saito

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814798362

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814798362.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

“A City on a Hill”

“A City on a Hill”

Colonial Origins of International Law

(p.35) 2 Civilizing the Other
Meeting the Enemy

Natsu Taylor Saito

NYU Press

This chapter traces the ideology of American exceptionalism to the earliest English settlers' belief in their divinely ordained mission to bring progress and civilization to the wilderness. In particular, it considers the English settlers' vision of establishing a “city on a hill,” a beacon of freedom for the world, and how it was perpetuated in the faith of the American colonists that their new republic was taking European civilization to a higher level. The chapter begins with an overview of the early Puritan settlements and the legal context within which they framed their claims of bringing civilization to “New England.” It then examines the founding of the American Republic and how the Puritans' vision was transformed into a secularized mission-driven state. It also explains how America's founders situated themselves in the “genealogy” of Western progress, thus quite literally creating a “state of exception”.

Keywords:   freedom, American exceptionalism, civilization, city on a hill, Puritan settlements, New England, American Republic, Puritans, Western progress, English settlers

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.