From the colonial period on, many American Christians believed in the Providential importance of the Middle East as a place where Jews would soon be restored to their ancestral homeland. Many of these beliefs emerged from American ideas about their own ‘exceptionalism’ as a democratic and Christian people building a new Zion in America, a people likewise destined to assist Providence in restoring the Jews to the Holy Land.
Using both the text and your own research, briefly describe the religious and political movements that helped inspire this particular form of exceptionalism, and the particular eschatological beliefs that informed its political theology?
Finally, in terms of US foreign policy, what positive consequences resulted from these movements? Were there any negative consequences for the future?