Many early americans believed that america was the New Jerusalem and in manifest destiny ; they also were prejudiced against blacks and genocided the american indians. Many americans were also progressive and tolerant. See Thomas Paine's the Age of Reason as well for the realism of that age. Mormons also thought the indians were the lost tribes of Israel. Ignorance.
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ISIS militants head south in Libya, threatening Africa's Sahel region (Reuters)
from the article: Newt Gingrich's flip-flopping on the Middle East