September 5, 13
John Winthrop: City on a Hill Address
• American is not just a country but a city on a hill observed by all and is a way
of life/example to others
• “you better watch out because God is going to get you if you don’t act right.”
Also used by Reagan
What makes us americans?
• We are all from different religions and ethnic backgrounds
o Rights – freedom of religion and press, democracy, equality
o Democracy – foreigners surprised by extent which
Americans stick to elections such as sheriffs, state judges.
Americans are asked to vote in more elections than in any
other democracy. In 1830s it was known as a hyper democratic
o Equality – no aristocracy, no titles or nobility
Where did they get this from?
• British heritage (King Charles tried to rule without parliament and was
beheaded) and then magnified by colonial practice and revolution bc the colonies
were used to a high degree of self government
• Failure of socialism – never had a social gov, even though nearly every other
democratic country has had one, so we retained rights of individul citizens. Why
did socialism not succeed? Some argue that US has always been more affluent
than others so living standards were higher, life was better so there was less of a
desire to take from rich. Others argue that socialism means