There are several ways in which the Puritan legacy has formed all modern Americans, no matter what the color of their skin or their ancestors' place of origin. The Puritans implanted the American work ethic and the tenacious primacy of religion. They also invented American newness--the idea of newness as the prime creator of culture. They lived in expectation of something new and very big arising: Christ's reign on earth, the Millennium. This newness (with ancient precedents that lay in the Old Testament) would bring about a new phase of world history. Newness was to Americans what antiquity was to Europeans--a...

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