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The Perspective of The Contemporary U.

S Presidents on Puritanism: A Cultural Revitalization Mister Gidion Maru1, Soebakdi Soemanto2,

A. Introduction The journey of American nation can not be separated from religious issues. The arrival of the English Settlers who were assumed as the Puritans, at the early period of America, was mostly driven by the courage to find better place to practice their religious belief (Garraty,1981, p.11, Gaustad and Schmidt,2002,p.54). Moved by the intention to purely practice their religious teaching, these puritans turned their eyes to a new land with the expectation to establish a church community in accordance with the Words of God. Disagreeing with what they see as the violation of church way of life in England, the Puritans shipped and found America as the new land for living more biblical-based life different from violated life in England. The new land was seen as the answer for their longing for freely practicing the Christian teachings as prescribed in the Word of God. This marked the arrival of Puritanism in the New Land or New World which is now called the United States. In this sense, Puritanism clearly involved in the making of the U.S as nation as asserted by Morison, Puritanism has had its up and down in American history(Edward N Saveth, 1954, p.67). This indicates that Puritanism tints the history of America. Its dynamic might have permeated historical and socio-cultural aspects of American life. This further expounded by Corbett and Corbet, Puritanism was Not only historically specific phenomenon coincidence with the founding of New England; it was also a way of being in the world-a style of response to lived experience- has reverberated through American life ever since (1991,890). This statement is informatively remarkable. It emphasizes that the Puritanism is itself historical and most likely inherent in socio-cultural and political life of the America.

A Doctoral Student in American Studies at Gadjah Mada University, and currently Fulbright Research Fellow in Bowling Green State University, Ohio, US. (presenter) 2 Professor of Culture and Literary Studies in Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta (Advisor)

A sermon is one of the Puritan channels to step into and shape the American settlers mind. Daniel Boorstin wrote the puritan mind found its perfect medium and achieved its spectacular success in sermon(1958,p.10). Through sermon, the puritan leaders voice their doctrine and expectation. It implies that the role of puritan leaders such as Bradford, Winthrop, Mather, who occupied both religious and political position, act as the guide for the puritans by preaching of the biblical life. Delivered by the leader preacher as nicknamed pulpiteer (Elrick,1992: 3) the sermon is seen as a better means to imbue the relation of the Word of God to the condition before him. At this point, the sermon serves as a political guidance for it governs the practical life of the puritans as a community with share- common objectives. This is what Kathy Elrick called as political s ermons that come from puritan tradition (1992,p.1). This highlights that a sermon is also political for its attachment to the speaker as a leader of a community and for its tendency to orchestrate the practice life. It is this assumption that provides a point of departure to link the study of Presidents perspective on Puritanism in the American Presidents Inaugural addresses. As an expression delivered by a leading figure in American political life, an inaugural address as the first president formal speech before his public, is most possibly constructed in shadow of the values living in the country such as those of Puritanism. The American presidents Inaugural addresses unavoidably relate to American life-rooted socio-cultural values are confirmed by Chyntia Toolin by pointing out, Inaugural address, presidents give their official statement of how they view the national situation, frequently citing a cultural core or civil religion for the legitimation (1983,p.40). The statement conspicuously points out the importance of the cultural or religious aspect in presidents inaugural address. Hence, assuming Puritanism as one of the cultural or religious cores maintained since the founding of the nation, it opens the space in the inaugural addresses the presidents to access and obtain peoples recognition in this first moment of public audition. Grounding upon this perspective, it deserves to assume that the aroma of cultural life and perspectives of the American particularly Puritanism can be detected from the study of the inaugural address. That implies by drawing ones eyes upon the text of the presidents inaugural addresses and considering its tendency as well as momentum, the attempt to comprehend perspectives on Puritanism

as American value is on the way to find its goal. Lloyd E Rohler and Roger Cook in their book Great Speeches) proposed, a presidential inaugural address; At moments like these, speakers address audiences about the values that both share as members of a common group, the speeches given in such moments are thus noncontroversial for a specific audiences. They do not urge adoption of new values or rejection of old values (1986,p. 18). The proposition prescribes the possibility of the inaugural address to take the American values which believed and upheld together by both the speaker and audience in this case American cultural values. A president as the speaker of the address mindfully presents the socio-cultural and political issues confronting the current condition of the people. Yet it does not speculatively offers unknown values for he has to adapt American peoples situation and hope, and to foreshadow the future of the nation. The point is the ingredients of the presidents address might serve as political voice and response toward the circumstance within the nation, a mirror socio-cultural, religious and political values that persist within the nation whether it is of the present time or of the past. Within this postulation, it is open to trace Puritanism values in the presidents inaugural addresses. Therefore, the president inaugural address defines its importance in an attempt to comprehend the American culture and thought. In other words, the study on the Puritanism in the American Presidents inaugural addresses would be an interesting and challenging as well as crucial. Considering its contribution to reveal the perspective of the U.S presidents toward the American values especially Puritanism through their words in the addresses. As this study limits to the Presidents Reagan to Obama, it is expected this unveil the understanding of the Puritanism aspect in American socio-cultural values and it contemporary existence. It is challenging to see whether the Puritanism in the inaugural addresses exist as a cultural revitalization or not and how it used by focusing upon the use of puritan terminologies such as calling, mission and chosen.

B. Method This research is qualitative in nature. This means that the research on the topic is undertaken by grounding its data in the forms of words or terminologies as appeared in the texts of the American presidents inaugural addresses. In accordance with such orientation, the researcher as the key instrument carries out library research for the purpose of obtaining and analyzing data. The primary data of this research are the texts of American presidents inaugural addresses from Reagan to Obama which serve as the mental evidences to seek for the objective of the study. The secondary or supplementary data is taken from related sources in the forms of documents, commentaries, opinions, testimonies and biographies from libraries and journals as well as online data found in the internet. This sort of data are gathered in the frame of interdisciplinary perspective. In terms of data analysis, Frame analysis is employed by the inclusion of socio-political, anthropological and historical views. Frame analysis could be used to interpret experience. There is an effort to connect the experience and the context being involved. Rettie further remarked, frames answer the question, what is going on?(2004:117). That means frames are socially shared and culture specific. Frames organize experience; they provide assumption about what happens. Frames are not objects, but concepts used to decipher what is taking place around someone, observers actively project their frames of reference on the world immediately around them(2004:117). B. Analysis Puritanism is commenced in the beginning of English reformation and then reached New England in the early eighteenth. The term Puritanism (Puritan) was first used in the sixteenth century to disparage dissenters who believed that Church of England had been corrupted by certain rituals customs that suggested a lingering catholic influence inimical to protestant theology. Puritan was first assumed the attempt of those who wish to purify church doctrines in response the practice carried out by Church of England (Foster, 1991, Horton and Edward, 1967). The dissatisfaction developed to more radical ideas of reforming and purifying the church. Albanese clearly defines Those who share this view came to be called Puritans as they sought to purify the church (1992,108). In other words, the Puritans were a party in the Church of England that arose in

Elizabeths reign, with the purpose of carrying out the protestant reformation to its logical conclusion, to base the English church both in doctrine and discipline on the firm foundation of sacred scripture (Edward N Saveth,1954,p.69). Within the motive of practicing their religious view, the Puritans directed their eyes to having a new land for living. They departed to New England in order to live their lives in accord with their own religious views that had not been possible in England. The puritan migration was overwhelmingly a migration of families which marked the early America in history. It affirms the existence of a society accompanied with a new idea, Puritanism. Stephen Foster (1991) argued that there are two fundamental ideas related to Puritanism. The first is the sense of Puritanism as a movement, congruence (more than alliance) of progressive Protestants, lay and clerical, gentle and ordinary, thrown up by fortuitous circumstance that England official reformation took root unevenly. The second follows directly from the f irst: a commitment to establishment was native to English Puritanism in a paradoxical but perfectly intelligible way was responsible for the movements equally strong sectarian impulse (Foster xiii). This proposition is a reflection of shared-belief in Puritanism. In light of this, a commitment to a movement of bringing puritans insights into practical community life becomes clear and urges the separation of the unbiblical practice. The dependence and reliance upon Gods grace as required in the Word of God shall color the puritan life. The permeation of religion to every phase of living became the spirit generating Puritans endeavor to strengthen the individual mind. In the expectation of maintaining their ideals, the American Puritan, sought innovative ways to renew the religiosity and especially to preserve the goal of attaining the visible community of the saints as previously striven in the Old World, England. The circumstance in the New World and the deprived experience in the Church of England had made the Puritan to think of institutionalizing the continuity of their vision. The implication was the urgency of preserving the Puritans mind to generation over generation in the New World. According to

Albanese, the idea was in fact related to the Puritans hope of perfecting their own ordered communities with proper civil and churchly governance and as time passed, by thinking more of their impact to the world (1992, p.115). Apparently, the Puritan insisted upon the continuation and

sustainability of their doctrine which most likely reflected their response toward their being elected community. It was the Puritans duty to keep the community and the following generation in America, the New World, in the track of Puritans mind and membership as well. It was obvious, in this sense, that the Puritans leaders were in the attempt to bring their followers to keep maintaining their belief in themselves, in their morality, and in their mission for the world as once earlier done by John Winthrop with his Model For Christian Charity. Ahsltrom stated that sermon as a medium of passing the Puritan theology was designed to console the fearful, convince the hesitant, set aright the erring, guide the unsure, and above all bring assurance of salvation of the elect(1967,p.27). This emphasized the vitality of sermon for consolation and teaching of the Puritan doctrine particularly concerning with the elaboration of true Christian experience and the will for drawing out mans duties in the church and the world. T he Puritan seemed to believe of the power of words to influence to behave in accordance with the commonly shared values. At this point, the Puritan preacher affirmed the congregational listeners of their idealism as to the community of saints by providing them with the biblical conceptual words such as calling, and mission as well as chosen. These terminologies are in fact related one another. Concerning with the words; Calling, Duty and Mission, they are in fact related one another. Max Weber explains, The calling is not a condition in which the individual is born, but a strenuous and exacting enterprise to be chosen by himself, and to be pursued with a sense of religious responsibility (1958,p.2). In connection with such religious responsibility, an individual in Puritan perspective has duty and special mission to embody the calling in form of carrying out all of things in the world for the glorification of God including to lead people to see themselves for conversion. It is a destiny for the chosen people who are called to be A City upon a Hill. The idea of being chosen is rooted in the concept of unconditional election; God saves those he wishes and there are only few who are selected for salvation (Horton and Edwards, 1975,p. 20). It is from this term that the Americans see themselves as the elected or chosen nation. Taking these Puritan words, U.S presidents particularly from Reagan to Obama shape their inaugural addresses. They engage their perspectives to the mind of the American people by providing

the space for the terms as calling, mission, and chosen in the address. All of these contemporary U.S Presidents use the word calling. The word is said for fifteen times in the inaugural addresses. While the word mission appears for six times and so does the word chosen. The frequent use of the words, not to mention the conceptual implicit ones, reflects the belief of the presidents toward the familiarity of those terms in his audience. The selection of the words to be used is not for zero grounds since a president is the American peoples one authentic trumpet (Peter Woll,2004,p.278). That implies that there is an aspect of authenticity to American values in the words calling, mission and chosen. It is apparently albeit those words shared their roots in the early American puritan settlers, the meaning still carries from generation to generation. Thus, it becomes institutionalized in the mind of American people. It goes back to the Puritan attempts to preserve their ideals through church and educational institution in the early America. In other words, the U.S presidents are blowing the trumpet the of American preserved values. Although Puritanism declines in terms of church institution, the values come alive the shared cultural values that generate people thought and attitude. Foner and Garraty argued, Puritanism as a basic attitude was remarkably durable and can hardly be overestimated as a formative element of early American (1991,p.892). Puritanism has defined its existence in American culture. It energizes the fundamental of people to view his life as both individual and communal as a part of nation. It is seemingly obvious that the contemporary U.S presidents detect this cultural core. By using the puritans vocabularies such as calling, mission, chosen, the presidents frame their audience characteristics that are recognizable and hope to have impact of it. In this context the usage of the Puritans terminologies in the inaugural addresses of President Ronald Reagan to President Barrack H Obama reveals the attempt to root back in the vitality of American cultural values in this sense, Puritanism in order to attain a commonly shared purpose of the nation. The notion of having calling and mission in the state of being chosen country should be lighted to give the strength for America to accelerate the nation building. This cultural revitalization takes two dimensions through the use of the Puritans terminologies namely portrayal dimension which means the portrait of American cultural

perspective and functional that refers to the impact of the words to reaffirm and renew the American values. I. Portrayal Dimension I.1. American as The Calling Doer The calling was an important conception in puritan thought (Degler,1984,p.7). All individuals were responsible for life they were given by God the creator. In light of this argument, the calling constitutes mans role as a way of showing his responsibility to God as the owner of the grace . The conduction of calling gives the meaning for mans life. It is the frame of thought that is realized and fully acknowledged by American People and of course by the American presidents. The usage of the word calling stimulates the people of their personal identity as a part of community or to be very puritanical the community of the saints. The presidents; Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama, by attaching the word into their addresses, they are actually giving the people a portrait of who they are as they believed. Among the presidents usage of the concept of calling as carried by the word itself, it seems that George W Bush properly and representatively expresses the U.S presidents view on the Puritanism in the contemporary time. Bush, in his inaugural address, said, Sometimes in life we are called to do great things. But as a saint of our times has said, every day we are called to do small things with great love. The most important tasks of a democracy are done by everyone. (1 Bush line 39) By putting the idea of calling and emphasizing a saint, Bush provides his people with the vivid picture of the American shared values that is being responsible with the calling they have as a part of their obligation in the community of saints whose task is to build community for the Gods way and of course in this context for the nation. Bush actually refers to a belief that the only way of living acceptably to God is primarily through the fulfillment of obligations imposed upon every individual. W. Stanford Reid in his John Calvin: His Influence in the Western World.(1982) clarified, One of the keystones of Calvins view of calling was his understanding that great diversity of gifts has been given to people according to the sovereign will of the Spirit of God. Just as it is not a single ray of the sun that lightens the world, but all of the rays conjoin to perform their task, so God spreads His gifts abroad, in order to keep mankind in mutual interdependence(1982,p.22).

Since every man has particular gifts given and the gifts leads to the diversity of function as that of variety of universe objects with its variety of functions which were in mutual support for the perfection or that of the parts of a body; hands and feet, eyes and ear, eyes and hands, interdependent one another on the note for glorifying God. The same is true with each mans gift; it is mans calling to perform his task in line with the gift he owns for the purpose of enacting Gods will. Each gifted task, which was also assumed as a vocation, presupposed that everyman had a calling. Presidents Barrack Obama puts the context of doing the calling in his inaugural address, For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will actnot only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technologys wonders to raise health cares quality and lower its cost. (Obama line 16) Obama defines the contextual enactment of the calling for the American people. The calling is to answer the condition of the country. Obama frames his people to get the responsibility by participating to tackle the ongoing socio-economic circumstance. It is apparent that Obama perceive that the Puritanism thought of calling is one of the ways to drive his people to involve the development of the country. This is what Clinton said in inaugural address, we must answer the call (1 Clinton line 42-43). It is obvious here that the contemporary U.S presidents are still of the similar perspective to those of Puritanism that every individual or citizen has a calling for the community building and in the larger scope for the nation. By contextualizing the thought into the contemporary circumstances, the presidents are bringing the American people to their own cultural portrait of a calling doer society for the goodness of the country. I.2 America as The Chosen Nation Believing that God with His sovereignty has chosen or select few people for salvation and then framed themselves in the covenantal relationship, Puritans defines themselves as the chosen or the elected people. For Puritans, they had been selected by God to receive regeneration and t hat others had been passed over(Corbett and Corbett: 1999: 34). The attribute was Gods choice and it was not due to the Puritans good deeds. God elects them to receive grace irrespective of their actions,

in turn they have the obligation to Gods will. Thenceforth, the state of being chosen put the Puritans in the special divine intervention. God directs and cares for them. Such perspective has been chipped into the American mind. In such thought, the contemporary U.S Presidents find the ingredients for their inaugural address. As a first formal speech before the nation, the presidents are in demand to get into peoples mind by a means of peoples general see themselves. President Ronald Reagan illustrate s the propensity by voicing, we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on Earth,(1 Reagan line 16). Reagan stresses the concept of being chosen in the case of their prosperity. By claiming that there is no the country as his country, the President is framing his people for confidence of being the part of the special nation. Reagan also shares, this makes us special among the nation of the earth (1 Reagan line 13). As the puritans ideals of being chosen, Reagan shows his people that the American condition is different from other nation. They enjoyed the privilege of being selected among the few. Apropos with this perspective, President Bush demonstrates in his thought, The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake: America remains engaged in the world by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom (1 Bush line 27). Asserting this, Bush is fueling the American people with their own conviction that history has shown how the God intervention for them as the chosen nation. It was in fact back to the viewpoint of the early Puritan leader such as Bradford. Bradford, for instance, emphasized the chosen peoples privilege by showing the process of emigration from England which was assumed not to be apart from the role of Providence (Elliot:2002: 62). It illustrates the existence of Gods encouragement toward the few chosen people. God lead His people out of a corrupt land into a new one and shields them against trials and hardships until they prosper and multiply. In other words, Bush is serving his people with the cultural image that they are familiar with and reconcile it with the current context of the nation. What is conspicuous here is the essence of American conviction derived from Puritanism tradition being preserved as traced by the Presidents perspective. The contemporary U.S Presidents remain engaging with the notion that promotes America as a chosen nation as marked by more

prosperities. The American currents progress in various sectors is a not part of the special status as a chosen nation. Such view were developed by the Puritans, being chosen is the privilege of selected for the grace of salvation. I.3 America as The Exemplar The inspirational Winthrops remarks on the board of Arbella, Model for Christian Charity is notable for defining the Puritans insistence to be an exemplar community in the world. Here, Winthrop as the Puritans leader proposed to his people the notion of being focused of others. Winthrop declared, for we must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all p eople are upon eyes. Basing upon the view, Winthrop in fact postulated that New England Puritans would be the model for other colonist and other puritans (Lemay: 1990: 13). This hope surely becomes a primary motive of the Puritans leaving the depraved Church of England and its corrupted society; the coming to the New World is of course to set a community of religious life and to lead the world as a model. It is in this context that the vocabulary of mission and duty become closely attached to Puritanism. In belief of being the focus of the world, Puritanism institutionalizes in the idea of having a mission to inspire communities in the world with their biblical ways. Jim Cullen in his The American Dream stated that the Puritans were some people with a strong sense of religious mission founded a new world they hope would become a model for the old one (2003: 18). This sense of mission convinces American to impel to incessantly the best endeavors for the sake of the nation and individual success. The American Puritans engage all of the activities as the reflections of conducting the mission; each puritan individual should be in the light of embodying Gods will so that the community could be an example for others. In line with the perspective Reagan articulates in his inaugural address, as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom (1 Reagan line 25). Reagan explicitly enlivens the idea of carrying out a mission of being exemplar

for other. The conviction that the eyes of the world are turning upon America is picked up and served to people as a remainder of the mission. The president is leading his people to think in the context of mission as the citizens of America and certainly hoped to live with. It as a kind of operative repertoire (Perrin: 2006: 116) that the President is sending to the people. Further, Clinton similarly stresses the operatively portrayal perspective that for American is always alive in accordance with the time. He said, Not change for change's sake, but change to preserve America's idealslife, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Though we march to the music of our time, our mission is timeless.(1 Clinton line 5). Sticking on the idea of the mission to be a model, Clinton integrates it with the preservation of the Americas ideal such as liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are the contexts of the American mission contemporarily. It is this point that Obama further continue, For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth (Obama line 11-12). Associating with the journey made by the Puritan from the Old World to the New World, America, the Obama as his predecessors underlines the portrait of the consecutive mission the country has namely to be better than the other country in the world for which they could be an exemplar. Hence, the U.S presidents evidently view the Puritanisms thought as indicated by the word mission is still relevant to the attempt of generating peoples attention to circumstances of the country. That suggests that the Presidents usage of the Puritanism concept mirrors the presidents perspective to place the concept in the current context without putting aside its basic values. They are seemingly of the sight that Puritanism in this sense characterizes American cultural portrait. II.Functional Dimension George C Edward III in his book The Public Presidency: The Pursuit of Popular Support (1983) wrote,The president is rarely in a position to command others, to comply others with his wishes, instead he must rely on persuasion (1983,p.1). Putting this thought into American presidents inaugural addresses particularly of Reagan to Obama, it is interesting that these presidents remain

counting their persuasion upon the use of the puritans terminologies such as calling, mission and chosen. These words seem to energize the inaugural addresses. Seeing the previous discussion on the portrayal dimension, It is found that the existence of the Puritanism terminologies in the presidents inaugural address which is known for its high formality and importance, would be for very strong and useful function or reflective of something more fundamental (Tulis,1987,p 3). Thus, the bringing of the terms can be signified as the attempt to frame the public with the Puritanisms thought through the addresses, in this case, display two functional dimensions, first, the reaffirmation of the American culture, and second the renewal of it. In terms of reaffirmation function, The American presidents involve Puritanism terminologies as instruments to awaken the country of the power in the cultural values which have generated the existence as the big nation. The Presidents suggests his people to realize that they have a powerful capital in themselves. By sharing the values believed among the nation such as the calling, mission and being chosen, inherited from Puritanism, the presidents are in the attempt to reaffirm to his people that they could overcome the crisis as long as cling to the value of their calling, as the Puritan commonly believed, to their mission to use their existing value for the establishment of the community life as a nation. The U.S contemporary presidents employ the puritan perspective to designate that they should have been stronger since they have those values, the use of the Puritanism terminologies such as calling, mission going back to the days of the founding of the nation when the Puritanism permeated every aspect of life confirms Bush endeavors to reaffirm the nation as to values that supply then with the endurance throughout history. As the President said in the Puritanical terms, it is the calling of our time, the nation is asked to introspect to realize that they need to remember the value passed across the generation and it is the mission that created our nation; America. Following the reaffirmation function, the usage of Puritanism terms in the presidents inaugural addresses also reflects the renewal function. It refers to the tendency of the Presidents; from Reagan to Obama, to employ the Puritan terminologies in the effort to bring the people to an

introspection to bear the renewal of the American values that they might not be longer aware. The presidents seem to offer the American citizens with a personality that was recognizable yet idealized and therefore would invite them each to become their own vision of better self (Clark and Michael: 1993: 14). In the simple words, the presidents stress the American belief to be in need of renewed for dealing with the present national situation. People has to live up again the cultural capital as installed in the idea of calling and mission for it could be crucial for facing any crisis hit the country. To summarize this renewal dimension comes out from the inaugural addresses of the U.S contemporary president; it is worth to quote George W Bush words, We must live up to the calling we share. Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos. And this commitment, if we keep it, is a way to shared accomplishment. (1 Bush line 20). This expression is remarkable for Bush seemingly emphasizes the essentials of renewing the calling of American citizens from which they find their commitment to deal with the challenge of the time. The revival of the value enables American, as the Puritanism defines, to determine his duties to his country for the price of the American promise that is pursuit of happiness and freedom, what the Puritans seeked for their departure from the Old World, England. D. Conclusion The existence of the Puritanisms terminologies has colored the American presidents inaugural addresses particularly those of Reagan to Obama. The presidents, through their speeches, perceived that Puritanism reflects a portrait of American spirit. It is the cultural capital that has energized the nation since it beginning. Sharing the Puritanism values, American citizens as postulated by the presidents in the lines of their inaugural addresses are enabled to gain their confidence to overcome crises that confront the journey of the big country. In line with that perspective, the usage of the puritan terms is functionally fundamental to reaffirm and renew the American cultural values for attaining the promise of the nation. In brief, The reaffirmation and renewal could mean the attempt to revitalize American cultural cores particularly those of Puritanism for the progress of the country. Such cultural revitalization is expected to inspire Indonesian leaders to

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