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Chapter Summary

The idea of destiny is applied to analyze and predict the evolution of modern societies. Destiny as applied to societies is a synonym, analogy, or metaphor for societal determination in respect of Calvinism, including Puritanism, in Europe and America. Weber, while analyzing Calvinism in relation to capitalism and modernity, provides sociological usefulness and legitimacy to the concept of national destiny or societal fate with respect to contemporary Western societies. Sociology cannot prove or disapprove, confirm or disconfirm, whether America and any Western or other society has a "manifest destiny". Puritan America is commonly described as the wealthiest and most modern nation economically or technologically but in cultural and related noneconomic terms is considered as the "last remaining primitive". Calvinism usually prevails via Puritanism over the spirit of capitalism and, of course, liberal-secular democracy. According to Tocqueville, America's "destiny" is not really embodied in the first Puritans and thus original Calvinists.

Keywords: America; Calvinism; capitalism; Europe; Puritanism; Tocqueville; Weber

10.1163/ej.9789004176294.i-622.52
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