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History - American Exceptionalism - Term Paper Example

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American Exceptionalism American exceptionalism, in classical fashion, can be considered as the special characteristic of the United States: an exceptionally free nation footed on democratic philosophies and personal autonomy…
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History - American Exceptionalism
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Download file to see previous pages From historical facts we find that American exceptionalism was tangled with convoluted and often ambiguous set of assumptions as it is important in explaining how Americans thought and how they have acted. In the opinion of Tyrrell, some historians attribute the terms “differences” or “uniqueness” to the exceptionalism; whatever the terminology, the long debated implications of American uniqueness and difference stems from political, intellectual, and even religious heritage, and is enduring. However, it is of equal importance to understand the “negative” version of the phenomenon, which means, the US had been exceptionally bad, racist, violent, with distorting unique American evils. Whether or not these assumptions are logical or coherent, as according to Pease, it is clear that exceptionalism is an idea that has prospered the American society, even though with many ups and downs in its tread (107). However, some historians say that the United Nations was never truly imperialistic in any manner, but was rather expansionist. The United States was a nation born through revolution against imperial control, and has been ostensibly disregarding imperialism, in their strategies with other nations and its own. According to an opinion, “instead of trying to administer other nations or peoples in an imperialistic or colonial fashion, the United States, has been asserted, fashioned itself as the liberator of the colonized, launching both a rhetorical assault on the practice of imperialism and a practical campaign to bring about its end” (Heiss ,2002, 511). Lipset explains that only in some cases the nation was seen taking control of territory that was not predestined to be included into the nation, and when it did, was for positive reasons, ruling in a liberal and compassionate fashion, providing opportunities for self-government and ultimately independence when seemed practicable. In their opinion, the United States was never an imperialist, rather expansionist, practicing benevolent assimilation, closely following its Manifest Destiny. However, some historian points out the darker side too. In the opinion of York, with all positive influences, of Manifest Destiny, filled with a surge of enthusiasm and energy for pushing West, the negative impacts created the belief within that the white men had the right to obliterate anything and anyone. Looking for the roots of Manifest Destiny across the West would point out the mass destruction of tribal organizations, and detention of Indians to reservation, holding high the belief that settlement of the land and civilization of its native were preordained. In the opinion of Walt, perhaps the basic principle of American exceptionalism can be the belief that they always are, and have always been, the good guys, spreading prosperity everywhere they go. He continues that it is a blind-faith that the United States is a uniquely virtuous nation, a nation that upholds peace, nurtures liberty, respects human rights, and embraces the rule of law that is so strict. Many hold the view, connecting it with American exceptionalism, that the nation’s values, political structure, and history are exceptional and are universally praiseworthy, which imply them to take a positive and distinctive role in the world stage. The only thing that contradicts this self-sycophantic illustration of the nation’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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