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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Any examination of American nationalism must contend with its contradictory character. On the one hand, this nationalism harbors a civic creed promising all Americans equal rights irrespective of race, religion, sex, or national origin. On the other hand, certain religious and racial traditions within American nationalism have defined the United States in exclusionary ways. Thus, while America proclaimed itself an open society, it also saw itself as a Protestant nation with a mission to save the world from Catholicism and other false faiths; and while it proclaimed that all men are created equal, it aspired, for much of its history, to be a white republic. This chapter analyzes the balance between American nationalism’s inclusive and exclusionary traditions during different periods of American history, and how and why the balance between the civic, religious, and racial traditions has changed over time.

Keywords: American nationalism, civic nationalism, racial nationalism, religious nationalism, Judeo-Christian civilization, birthright citizenship, anti-Catholicism, immigration restriction, multiculturalism, Muslim immigrants

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