What’s In A City

I think the phrase “City upon a Hill” does and does not hold the same meaning for Winthrop as it does for us today. The phrase does in a sense hold the same meaning in that presidents have used the phrase for their own interpretations hoping to show that The United States is a great force and to make Americans come together for their country. It is definitely a unifying phrase as it would make anyone feel like his or her country is special and important and that it is a worthy superpower. However, John Winthrop was on a boat at sea for months, going to a place that had barely been settled, I would be antsy and nervous. Perhaps this phrase for him was more to reassure and calm anyone on the boat that would be anxious about doing this life-changing move. Now I think the phrase has more of a power connotation to it, while Winthrop meant it in a sense for everyone to be on their best behavior and try their best in this new land or else no one else would want to live there and the move would be a bust. He excited people and hyped them up to this new experience by telling them you are being watched so don’t mess it up for the rest of us. He may have been extremely hopeful that this new settlement would be exceptional for America, but being on a boat for months and not knowing what I had gotten myself into traveling to a new world that was barely becoming established, I would not know what to expect and can imagine he was just putting his faith into making his new community something worthwhile.


–Alison Vining


One thought on “What’s In A City

  1. I think the most original part of this post that it says that the US has to be united, which does have similarities to what else you wrote in the post. I think as an improvement I would like to see more texual evidence of your claims, you don’t seem to have any which detracts from the message.


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