City on a hill the term city on a hill was initially invoked by english-born puritan leader john winthrop the concept became central to the united states' conception of itself as an exceptional and exemplary nation nonetheless, throughout american history a secularized variation on winthrop's.
People throughout united states history have seen winthrop’s city on a hill as a document to study and commemorate, because, i believe, it is similar to the pledge of allegiance that we do every single morning (or pretend to do every morning. A city upon a hill is a phrase from the parable of salt and light in jesus's sermon on the mount use in united states politics they dreamed of building a city upon a hill and the world watched, waiting to see if this improbable idea called america would succeed.
From john f kennedy to ronald reagan, united states presidents have continuously portrayed america as the city upon a hill, a shining model of charity and decency, e pluribus unum, an everlasting dream of opportunity. Today, trump was referring to something many other american leaders (both democrats and republicans) have said: the united states is, and should be, a “city upon a hill” in 1630, john winthrop , co-founder of the massachusetts bay colony, started the us trend.
So when politicians say that the us is a city on a hill they are saying that we are an example of how other people should be as you say, that goes back to the days of the puritans they thought their society should be a city on a hill to show everyone else how to live in the way that god wanted.
Future governor john winthrop stated their purpose quite clearly: we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us the arbella was one of eleven ships carrying over a thousand puritans to massachusetts that year. Reagan called america a ‘city on a hill’ because taxpayers funded the humanities march 16, 2017 807pm edt president ronald reagan on stage with his wife nancy, 1984.