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By M. Hampton

Americans and Europeans understand possibility another way. american citizens stay extra spiritual than Europeans and customarily nonetheless think their state is providentially blessed. American safety tradition is comparatively reliable and comprises the deeply held trust that existential probability on the earth emanates from the paintings of evil-doers. the united states needs to consequently occasionally intrude militarily opposed to evil. the eu Union (EU) safeguard tradition version differs from conventional eu iterations and from the yank version. the idea that of probability as evil misplaced salience as Western Europe grew to become extra secularist. Threats turned difficulties to control and get to the bottom of. The upsurge in anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner sentiment in the course of financial difficulty undermines this version.

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Extra resources for A Thorn in Transatlantic Relations: American and European Perceptions of Threat and Security

Sample text

Immanent vs. ” Wills’s argument is important “GOD HAS FAVORED OUR UNDERTAKING” 29 to this study in three ways. First, he distinguishes between the influence of Enlightenment thinking in the United States and Europe, especially France. In France, the combination of the Revolution and Enlightenment thinking led to the decoupling of religion from the state and the ejection of religiosity from public life. Not only did postrevolutionary France become secular, many Frenchmen strongly advocated for a secularist society.

The innocent Cuba. President William McKinley was not predisposed to declaring war on Spain in 1897 when he entered the White House. He resisted much pressure from the increasingly aggressive national press, much of the public, and many in Congress. Once the Maine exploded under mysterious circumstances, he finally felt compelled to respond with war, easily winning support from Congress. Once again, the public and elite beliefs about the nature of the threat were centered on the rejection of a corrupt empire, Spain, and its unfair subjugation of Cuba.

When the United States was pulled into the great power wars of the twentieth century as an increasingly global player, the beliefs about American providential favor were twice reinforced through national victory and fuelled American exceptionalism. The perceived connection between American national identity and Providence was tightened. The collective perception that existential threats emerged and could be countered in foreign lands was buttressed. The experiences affirmed why and how Americans go to war: either to slay evil, to save the world from evil, or sometimes both.

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