American Exceptionalism

Topics: United States, Barack Obama, President of the United States Pages: 5 (1336 words) Published: July 21, 2013
American Exceptionalism
The colonists must work to make New England a model for future settlements. Puritan lawyer John Winthrop states that the new land is to “be as a city upon a hill,” and, “the eyes of all people are upon us” 1776-89

Thomas Paine describes America as a beacon of liberty for the world stating, “Freedom hath been hunted around the globe.” He goes on to say that America is not like any other, and the world does not know how to regard her. Declaration of independence

French intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville writes that the "position of the Americans" is "quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one." 1898

Mark Twain writes, "There is but a single specialty with us, only one thing that can be called by the wide name 'American.' That is the national devotion to ice-water. ... I suppose we do stand alone in having a drink that nobody likes but ourselves." 1914

President Wilson expands on Paine’s notion, and states that it is America’s duty to spread liberty abroad, "For that is the only distinction that America has." 1929-1930
Stalin condemns America’s exceptionalism. The USA communist part says this about American exceptionalism after the great depression: “The storm of the economic crisis in the United States blew down the house of cards of American exceptionalism.” 1950

Agroup of American historians including, Daniel Boorstin, Louis Hartz, Richard Hofstadter and David Potter, state that our ideals have indeed allowed us to sidestep fascism and socialism, but they are not sure if this can be reproduced elsewhere. Boorstin states, "Nothing could be more un-American than to urge other countries to imitate America." 1961

President John F. Kennedy goes back to Wintrop’s “City upon a hill” and states, "More than any other people on Earth, we bear burdens and accept risks unprecedented in their size and their duration, not for ourselves alone but for all who wish to be free." He believes that America’s distinctiveness stems from its determination to exemplify and defend freedom all over the world. 1975

American exceptionalism took a major blow during this time of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. Socialist Daniel Bell writes, “the belief in American exceptionalism has vanished with the end of empire, the weakening of power, the loss of faith in the nation's future." 1980

reagan reasserts faith in america: “"I've always believed that this blessed land was set apart in a special way," 1989
with the end of the cold war, there is a belief that the America model could become the norm, not the exception 1996
in response to NATO’s intervention in Bosnia, President Bill Clinton declares, "America remains the indispensable nation" and that "there are times when America, and only America, can make a difference between war and peace, between freedom and repression." 2000

exceptionalism becomes very political when George W. Bush speech writer says that there are two competing visions of internationalism in the 21st century: the "'global multilateralism' of the Clinton-Gore Democrats" vs. the " 'American exceptionalism' of the Reagan-Bush Republicans." 2007-2008

while running for office, Barack Obama states, "I believe in American exceptionalism, but not one based on "our military prowess or our economic dominance." 2009
President Barack Obama became the first president to use the phrase “American exceptionalism” publicly (Friedman, Uri)

American exceptionalism refers to the United States being a uniquely free nation based on democratic ideals and personal liberty (Daniel). American exceptionalism is also the belief that the United States is unique, or exceptional, when compared with the historical development of other countries (Friedman, Thomas). The revolution and the freeing of ourselves from Great Britain are very important to the ideas of American...
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