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The Myth Of American Exceptionalism Essay

1014 words - 5 pages

American exceptionalism is a term suggesting that America was the best or superior; it was a term saying that it was different than any other place. Winthrop talks about the city upon the hill, which suggests America being a model or setting an example for other countries. We were supposed to be a beacon of liberty and freedom. During the founding of America, America was different than any other place. At its founding America was exceptional because it was different in the way people interacted with each other, different in the way the government worked, and different in its aspirations. The ideology of America has changed making it where America is no longer exceptional.
One of the ideologies of America was that the best government was a small government. Our country was founded by settlers who wanted to get out of the grasp of Great Britain rule. These settlers wanted to have the natural rights that they felt were guaranteed to them by god. The Declaration of Independence was written to declare that the thirteen colonies were claiming themselves as independent states. Then U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights were written. These important papers spell out freedoms guaranteed to Americans and the laws that protect those freedoms. They talk of a government that works for the people.
For a nation that is built on the concept of freedoms it is sad that America was one of the last places to illegalize slavery. Even after declaring slavery illegal Jim Crowe laws restricted the freedoms of anyone that wasn’t white. America kept Japanese people in concentration camps under the guise that they were a threat against or safety and freedom. It was easy to justify taking someone else’s freedom away by making sure America knew they were attacking ours. America a nation built by immigration was also plagued by some of the most racist and unjust immigration laws. Freedom may be guaranteed in America but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t limited.
America exceptionalism is seen through a biased lens. A lot of people would like to argue that we are the best in a lot of arenas. If you look at another one of our prized freedoms the freedom of press, it might be surprising how little freedom of press our nation really has. How the press is just a tool used to feed us what the government needs us to be fed, and to hide all the things that the government thinks we don’t need to know. A lot of people would argue that our government is one of the best in the world but the recent shutdown might hinder that argument. The government is a group of adults who argue all day. America’s government doesn’t argue for the people but for the companies and lobbyist that line their pockets. A lot of people would love to argue that we have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. If a...

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