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Journal
2013 | 14 | 19-35
Article title

North vs. South or New Jerusalem vs. New Troy: Founding Myths and Competing Visions of the American Regime

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EN
Abstracts
EN
One of the best‑known American founding myths is that of New Jerusalem – presenting an ‘American experiment’ in terms of building ‘a city upon a hill.’ This myth originated in New England and reflected Puritans’ highly moralistic and, to a great extent, utopian disposition of thinking about political and social community. What is often forgotten is the fact that the southern colonies developed their own myth – that of New Troy – which differed substantially from its northern counterpart with respect to the basic convictions concerning the nature, as well as the role and functions, of political order. The present paper discusses and compares both founding myths, and goes further to argue that these myths reflect substantial differences in mentality between Americans living in the two regions, and resulted in the development of incompatible sets of political beliefs and aspirations. While the northern myth favored the disposition to judge an existing social and political order by moral standards and thus fostered constant reforms and changes, the southern myth strengthened the conservative attitude of accepting and defending traditional institutions and mores. These differences contributed to the rise of mutual misunderstanding and animosity, which, accompanied by political and economic factors, made reaching a consensus in 1860 extremely difficult, if not impossible.
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Journal
Year
Issue
14
Pages
19-35
Physical description
Contributors
author
References
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Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-d88f4c17-36b7-4a69-ac0c-38b01edcf432
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