American Exceptionalism Essay

1775 words - 8 pages

“When we examine the meaning of Americanism, we discover that Americanism is to the American not a tradition or a territory, not what France is to a Frenchman or England to an Englishman, but a doctrine—what socialism is to a socialist. Like socialism, Americanism is looked upon ... as a highly attenuated, conceptualized, platonic, impersonal attraction toward a system of ideas”(ACSC, 63). Although this quote by Samson is biased toward his radial views, it is important to realize that throughout the world this is how the world audience looks upon American exceptionalism. Throughout its inception, its freedoms have lured many people from vast lifestyles with the promise of the “American ...view middle of the document...

Its vast expanse and diverse topography are rich with natural resources, allowing the nation to strive without the dependency of outside sources. These resources have been responsible for the successful growth of the United States (US) as one of the most powerful economic and technological nations in the world. This development and success has allowed the US to develop economic and political relationships throughout the world. Along with this power comes the ability to sway world attitude towards economic issues. However due to the abundance of resources, the US does present itself as a potential target both economically and politically to countries in need of these resources, especially with its ability to use its position to force economic sanctions against other countries. Although the threat of a kinetic attack on US soil is highly unlikely, history has shown that is has been attempted before. Before entering WWII, the US was pulling itself out of the Great Depression, while on the same time the world stage the Japanese Empire found itself in a struggle to find resources. In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China, the US placed a trade embargo against already ailing Empire on July 26, 1941 (History, par.1). The embargo eventually drove the Japanese into war with the US due to ever decreasing lack of natural resources. Although many see the embargo as a justifiable action against the Japanese for committing violent during its military campaign, this type of action from the US can have adverse affects on its image and policies worldwide. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, America was essentially one of the only countries not involved in any conflict. Therefore, by standing back out both conflicts in both Europe and the Pacific, the perception was given to the rest of the world of being an elite, isolationist nation.
Due to the isolated location of the US, compared to most of the populated world, the US is viewed by many countries as an isolationist state since its birth. Far from attempting to isolate American interests or feign indifference to events abroad, America’s founding diplomats understood that U.S. statecraft could use America’s freedom of action and resources to shift—however little or much—the structure of international politics in a way more favorable to America’s liberty, even at the risk of its short-term material interests (Smith, par. 45). However even today, the US is viewed as a nation shut in; this fact can be easily observed in our nation’s policy of protecting our domestic borders. In comparison to most of the world, the strict measures used to protect our borders are far from standard. The European Union currently exercises an open border policy which allows for ease of transportation throughout the region. In comparison the US policy involves much more strict measures to ensure domestic security. This involves multiple checkpoints, manned/unmanned reconnaissance, and even security...

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