The history of Babylon, fused from the Christian Bible and classical sources, occupied a critical, but hitherto unacknowledged, place in the conceptual life of Americans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By examining the uses of Babylon and Babel, which early Americans conceived of as the same historical place, this article works to expand historians' understanding of empire in the early modern Atlantic. From the American Revolution through a second "Great Awakening" and the demise of the Federalist party, many Americans turned to Babylon as a model to grapple with their country's growing imperial aspirations. Since the fall of the Tower of Babel the history of Babylon reflected and formed a larger ambivalence toward empire in ways that distinguished it from the familiar narrative of decline and fall. Those who wrestled with Babylon's story saw potential for a lasting empire in the world but were torn as to whether that empire aught to be one of liberty or uniformity. Ultimately, Babylon provided a conceptual space in which Americans wrestled with how best to be a Godly empire.