In order to understand what America’s mission is today, we must first examine her past. America’s mission began with the Puritans. However, it has changed dramatically over the course of history and many lives have been sacrificed for the mission, furthermore, the mission has and will continue to change over the course of time.
The Puritans came to the New World during the 1700’s and used the bible to gain land and wealth. They felt that it was their God-given duty to bring civilization to the new world, and to make the land prosperous. These hypocritical people would accomplish this with only two tools, their bibles, and their guns. They stole land from people whom they labeled as “wild men”. Of course, these men (indigenous people) were wild to them because the Puritans had never seen people living off the land. The Native American’s way of life did not coincide with the European-American’s way of life; therefore, the Native Americans were forced to conform to the European-American’s way of life. Nevertheless, not all Puritans were alike.
For example, Puritans such as Thomas Morton wanted to share the land and wealth with the Native Americans. Morton also wanted whites and Native Americans to share their lives to the point of intermarrying. However, his vision would never come to pass because Puritans like him were silenced. With Puritans like Morton silenced, the European-Americans pressed forward with their mission. This mission was not only to spread west, but also to bring “freedom” and “civilization” to the “savages,” as the article stated. Moreover, Thomas Jefferson saw Americas mission as one that would change other countries into republics. These countries would be based on America’s republic. One example of Jefferson’s view of mission coming to pass is the Philippians. This country was made into a republic and it has a constitution similar to the American constitution.
The essence of America has always been its economic growth. During the late 1800 and early 1900, America began to leave the comfort of its prosperous land to seek wealth on a much larger scale. This began the birth of a worldwide mission. Therefore, our mission during this time was “to make the world safe for democracy” as the article puts it. I think President Woodrow Wilson lead the nation into World War I, not only for freedom and democracy, but also for economic reasons. The reason I feel this way is because the article stated, “the only way to protect U.S. economic interest was to support dictators, or to send U.S. soldiers.” America could not allow their Allies, or should I say customers, to be taken over by Germany. Had Germany won the war America’s economic status could have fallen dramatically and our freedom could have been jeopardized. In addition, everyone knows that money is power. We have the money; it is our power and our strength.
Moreover, Martin Luther King had the same, yet slightly different concept of what America’s mission was. He believe that our mission should start right in America. He advocated the idea that love must start at home. In addition, he agreed with the idea that America did have a major role to play in God’s plan, by spreading the ideas of freedom and democracy, as the article stated. Dr King wanted Americans to help build one another up, eliminate oppression, and everyone to be treated as equals. This is what he called “the beloved community”. This was the only way to begin the mission in Dr King’s view. Therefore, it is our chance to make an intelligent choice, a choice that would preserve life and not waste it on the battlefields of war.
In my opinion, America’s mission should not change. We should continue to do what we have been doing as far as the world is concerned. I can only view America’s mission from my personal experiences. I have experienced the mission. When I was in the Navy, we had a creed…”The Sailor’s Creed”.
“The Sailors Creed”
I am a United State’s Sailor. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me. I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world. I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage, and Commitment. I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.
In my opinion, a part of this creed is America’s mission. We as citizens should support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. We all should defend freedom and democracy in the United States and support our government when the decision is made to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I agreed with this creed, for the most part. There was only one part that deeply troubled me or should I say, “I troubled it.” I had the hardest time with the part that states, “Obey the orders of those appointed over me”. However, I got over that trouble quickly. Our mission was a two-part mission. The first mission was to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America. The second one, which required some extensive travel, was to fight for freedom and democracy around the world. And that is what we did. I had an opportunity, one in which in hoped never came, to fight in operation desert shield and the war on terrorism. It was a life changing experience for me.
It allowed me to see the world from a different perspective. I soon realized that our mission was not one that every person in the world wanted or respected. Some people in the world envy our freedom. Therefore, they want to strip us of our freedom and democracy. For example, the latest terrorism attack was aimed to cripple our mission and our freedom. Additionally, it may have slowed us down, but it did not stop our mission. In fact, it made our mission even stronger.
I feel that America’s mission today is in line with what Dr Martin Luther King and the Navy’s view of mission. In addition, I feel our mission is an appropriate one. We are now able to spread our mission around the globe because we are now able to cross the barrier of racism and segregation. Nevertheless, in doing so we must remember that not everyone will accept our mission. That is a proven fact! Our views are not acceptable to other countries, even though the past two hundred years or so have proven that our mission works.