The notion that America had a special role in God’s plan for the world had deep roots. In a 1630 sermon John Winthrop reminded the Puritan colonists that they were “a city upon a hill,” and in a 1783 circular letter George Washington called on Americans to congratulate themselves on “the lot which Providence has assigned us, whether we view it in a natural, a political, or moral point of light.” Americans took seriously the idea that God had chosen their nation to further his will on earth. Federalists appropriated the rhetoric of millennialism to persuade Americans that God’s continued blessing on the nation was contingent on their ratifying the Constitution, as the following documents show.
- New York Daily Advertiser, 24 September 1787
- Berkeley County, Va., Meeting, 28 September 1787
- The People, New Haven Gazette, 11 October 1787
- Monitor, New Hampshire Gazette, 24 October 1787
- A Connecticut Farmer, Connecticut Courant, 28 January 1788
- The New Litany, Virginia Herald, 21 February 1788
- Benjamin Rush: Observations on the Fourth of July Procession in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mercury, 15 July 1788