American Exceptionalism Is A Matter Of Perspective Chapter

Length: 2 pages Subject: Political Science Type: Chapter Paper: #40744416 Related Topics: American Population, World Affairs, World Peace, History American
Excerpt from Chapter :

American Exceptionalism

While some believe that America is truly exceptional, others believe that it is just another country in history that has many of the same problems that other countries have. Furthermore, some people even go further towards the opposite end of the spectrum, against the idea of the U.S. being exceptional in any way, and believe that its actions and its presence are largely counterproductive among world affairs. For example, in one international Gallop poll, individuals were surveyed with a few questions about world peace and what they believed were the greatest threats to peace. Within the United States, the majority of people felt that Iran was the world's biggest threat to world peace. However, individuals living outside the U.S. that were surveyed believed that the United States was the greatest threat to world peace by an overwhelming margin. However, despite the individual perspective, it is hard to argue that the U.S. has not produced major achievements both internationally and domestically. Therefore, I believe it is accurate to state that America is ONE of the greatest countries in the world.

There are many demographics that are also likely to believe in American exceptionalism. The United States has the largest Christian population in the world and many people who follow this faith believe that America is exceptional based on their religious beliefs. Such beliefs go beyond secular beliefs that America is a great nation, and believe that there religion has actually...


Other justifications for the belief in American exceptionalism can also take other forms that are akin to the religious. For example, some people who believe in Democracy or the power of free markets can also hold a belief about the United States that has something of a supernatural component. However, I do not believe that the United States has any form of exceptionalism bestowed upon it from a religious or ideological perspective -- I believe it is just another country that has a mix of positive and negative characteristics that can be associated with it. For example, many people believe the Founding Fathers were geniuses, divinely inspired, or something to the effect. However, if you were to question their slaves about the issue they would likely not agree (assuming they could speak freely). While the United States has made many positive contributions to art and culture, it also has had more than its fair share of citizens that have acted immorally. The idea that the country is uniquely exceptional is not supported by the evidence and is not shared by the majority of the world. I tend to lean towards Zinn's perspective as well.

American exceptionalism is the belief that the United States is exceptional among all countries and nation states that both exist now, and have existed in historical times. This concept, for better or worse, conflates the perception of America, with several different ideological values such as freedom, justice, and democracy among others. They believe that the United States is the most perfect union that has ever existed and that this existence is synonymous with the…

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