America was founded on a philosophy of individual freedom. A principle diametrically opposed to imperial and/or divine control. It give man the freedom of will - as opposed to the pre-determined fate that enslaved the masses for centuries. Yet this was not a new idea, but a rebirth of an old one remembered in the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta, itself was a rememberance of the pre-Norman England. Prior to a seismic shift in Christianity that enslaved Europe under an new imperial Christianity. Ironically, it was the period prior to Christ, when all life was subject to the order of pagan gods, that the new Christian order would return. In the pagan world (pre-Christian Roman era) the people were ruled over, and property of, god-kings whose chosen few lived off the work of masses. In the new Imperial Christian era, the god-kings would return under the dominion of the Vicar of Christ (the formal title of the Pope).
This is in direct contrast to the life of Christ, who humbled himself - and walked among the worst of the worst, and communed with the common-man calling them heirsof God, family. This was a proclaimed king, who called all his family - eliminating the castes. He had crazy ideas, like all could directly commune with God - as Father (not master). He directly challenged Jewish, and Roman, autority along with their governing structures. The lowest (sinners) were held in the same regard as the highest in society (The Gospel reading of the Publican and Pharisee). Christ even went as far as to say that, God was in the unclean (violating the Kosher laws) - and the actions done to the unclean was also being done to God. He said that He was the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords - yet he shuned the laws of vengence (an eye for and eye). As such, the Jewish authorities employed the Roman court to eliminate this threat to their power and authority. Expecting that if this was indeed God, that no man could kill God. Yet, from the view of the world that is just what happened, at the point that would become 0 AD - God was killed by the Roman and the Jewish authorities. Afterwhich, the Jewish authorities began to war amungst themselves. The Romans responed by destroying Palestian, and exiling all Jews, Christians, and all other Hebrew groups.
It would seem inconceivable that an empire could be conquored by dying - yet this is just what occurred. As the Roman Empire tried to wipe out the Christian threat using their tools of execution - of which the cross was one. However, for the Christian it became a symbol of freedom. Those who chose death, just as Christ had, were crowned as martyrs and granted eternal life - with God as Father, not master. As more Christians were put to death, the number of Christians increased. Then around 300 AD, the Roman Empire became Christian. An irony, and a problem, because early Christian Theology (pre-1000 AD) also was based in the idea that man was free to choose his relationship with God and could never be imposed by the church or some "authority". This freedom, termed free will, gave each individual the right, and the opportunity, to be his own king, with no authority above him. This created the "Individual Soveriegnity", that was later influenced the Magna Carta, and then was embeded in the American ideals of freedom - becoming the basis of American Democracy.
However, as with all concepts, it becomes eroded with time - and the United States is no exception. The desire for power, by those who desire to govern, has become paramount once again. Events in history, that have seen the American (Christian) gates of freedom close, and now in ruins.