There is no such thing as a “traditional American” who is not a Calvinist. All other “Americanism” is an Americanism that is artificial and non indigenous to the American soil. The Pilgrims who settled here were Calvinists. The founders of Plymouth Rock were Calvinists, the first two Governors of Massachusetts Bay Colony were Calvinists, the founder of Connecticut and New Haven colony were Calvinists. Even Wm. Penn, though no Calvinist was still discipled by the Calvinist Huguenots. America’s founding was Calvinist.
The original Ivy League Universities were started by Calvinists for Calvinists. The Calvinists understood there was no education that was not a Calvinist education. America’s University system was Calvinist.
The population was Calvinist. At the time of the American War for Independence Calvinists were thick as flies on honey. The colonies recorded a population of 3 million. Of that 3 million an easy 2/3 were assorted ill tempered fighting Calvinists. Among this number were 900K stubborn Scots / Ulster-Scots, 600K punctilious English Puritans, 400K exacting German or Dutch Reformed, as well as a significant smattering of Huguenots, as well as Episcopalians who understood their 39 Articles were Calvinistic. The British parliament knocked over a Calvinistic hornets nest and the English would be stung without mercy.
All this is to say that Americans who are not anchored in Calvinism are all Cowboy and no hat.
When Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown he surrendered in the teeth of a Continental Army which every single Colonel save one was a Presbyterian Elder. Further, over 50% of the whole Colonial Army at the time of Cornwallis’ surrender — officer and men — were Presbyterians.
And this Calvinism was not the sterilized R2K modern effeminate Calvinism. It was a fighting Calvinism. It was a Calvinism that scratched, clawed, and swung from the hip relentlessly. It was the same Calvinism that was defeated four score and seven years later by the same enemy it defeated in 1781. The Calvinism of America’s founding would not have recognized the Calvinism in America today. If those Calvinists were alive today they would pity the Calvinist clergy we have today. The Calvinism of our founding was characterized by “election Sermons,” the “Black-robed regiment,” and firearms everywhere in the Sanctuary. Our current Calvinism is characterized by “Clergy” in skinny jeans, the forbidding of preaching on God’s Law, and absolute terror at the sight of a weapon in the sanctuary. We have fallen.
Even the Brits understood that 100% proof Americans were Calvinist. English Prime Minister Horace Walpole standing in Parliament said, “Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian Parson.” An American Tory wrote home saying, “I fix all the blame for these extraordinary proceedings upon the Presbyterians. They have been the chief and principal instruments in all these flaming measures. They always do and ever will act against government from that restless and turbulent anti-monarchical spirit which has always distinguished them everywhere.”
Our own American Historian, George Bancroft could write, “The Revolution of 1776, so far as it was affected by religion, was a Presbyterian measure. It was the natural outgrowth of the principles which the Presbyterianism of the Old World planted in her sons, the English Puritans, the Scotch Covenanters, the French Huguenots, the Dutch Calvinists, and the Presbyterians of Ulster.”
The home grown American, in its original meaning, was a Calvinist and any hope that America has going forward to find her footing once again will be anchored in American returning to her Calvinistic roots.
Don’t tell me you are American Patriot unless you’re next sentence is “I am also a Calvinist.”