What's American Exceptionalism? Essay

1472 words - 6 pages

American Exceptionalism refers to the image portrayed by the United States of America as a unique and distinct nation with strong pillars of democracy and liberty. The image stands out globally and defines the U.S. as a nation founded on a viable constitution since its inception in 1776. The other inferences linked to its uniqueness include strong political institutions and the American Revolution. These events happened relatively in the same period according to the American history. Thereafter, they contributed to the modern day American Exceptionalism. In this regard, the American Revolution and the emancipation from the British rule contributed to the American Exceptionalism ideology. However, different schools of thought have emerged that present different views on the subject of Exceptionalism (Shulman 2011).
For example, others argue that the sense of Exceptionalism is a far reaching ideology and diverts from the political aspect. They suggest that the American uniqueness comes from the vast wealth and resources possessed by the nation. Another different theory explains that the Exceptionalism comes from the freedom enjoyed by the Americans. Moreover, others argue that it is as a result of North American inheritance of resources that are depicted partially by Canada. Therefore, there is a need to clarify the American Exceptionalism ideology, its resources and influence on the American society and the world at large (Bacevich 2008). This paper approaches the matter argumentatively while analyzing the existing schools of thought on the subject matter.
Much information has been exempted from the explanation such as the racial aspect, the contribution of different ethnic groups and the issue of slavery. The modern definition focuses on Lincoln’s ideology on perfect America with rights to freedom. Contrary to the positive, negative and destructive aspect of the American culture has been linked to the American Exceptionalism. In this context, the negative version of the subject matter is linked to racism and violence. To understand the notion of the American Exceptionalism, one needs to distant away from common myths and modern day evils that distort the whole image of Exceptionalism. It is equally important to associate American Exceptionalism to the divisions created by racism and gender chauvinism (Roberts 2009).
The term Exceptionalism was formulated by the founders of Marxist ideologies. They coined the term in a bid to explain the United States nature of avoiding socialism and Marxism. In the real sense, the United States had parties with Marxist and socialist ideas. However, the two parties did not wield enough power to change the nation’s governance. Up to date, the historians argue about the permanence of the term. Others suggest that it was a temporary uniqueness and the current American society is similar to other world societies. In that, the U.S. is not excluding itself, but rather it wants to be the same with other countries. On...

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