The nation's mission: Social movements and nation-building in the United States

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Abstract

Long after the American revolution, social movements played important roles in the development of the United States as a nation, helping to define and express identities that were both larger and smaller than the nation itself. Movements that were founded to advance certain goals - temperance, religious conversion, or the abolition of slavery - consciously helped to shape and define "Americanness" and therefore played an important role in constituting the nation itself. Movements inspired by Protestantism have been a particular force. To outsiders - immigrants, the irreligious, non-Protestants, or foreigners - American social movements sought to impose American civilization on peoples, lands, and nations outside their cultural or political domain, all justified as a mission sanctioned and supervised by God.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-341
Number of pages16
JournalHistoire Sociale
Volume33
Issue number66
StatePublished - Nov 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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