American History Final Paper

Submitted By Desmond-Cameron
Words: 1620
Pages: 7

Desmond Cameron

Has American Exceptionalism Freed or Destroy Us?

Being born America, we are raised to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world. Not that our system is perfect, but that it is superior to others around the globe, and even though our history is young and has incredibly embarrassing points, we continue to get better and better every year. Once a year the President of the United States gives his State of Union Address, he stands in front of Congress, and formally explains to the American people that even though there are issues (that need to be corrected) in the country, not to worry because we still live in the greatest country in the world and we the people, take in the information and believe every word he speaks, proud of our vote for him, unaware and ignorant to the actual truth of our fate. Our dome
The theory of American Exceptionalism stems from French writer, Alexis de Tocqueville who wrote that in the 1830s “Americans seemed exceptional in valuing practical attainments almost to the exclusion of the arts and sciences.” (Cain 2014). Since then the term has been used by many political members, media outlets, and educational institutions as a source of motivation, and the creation of a nationalistic ideology. Most conservatives see it as the belief that the United States is unique or exceptional when compared with the historical development of other countries, they see the U.S. as if it is the biblical "City upon a Hill", which makes it more resistant to the same forces that have torn down other nations in the past. They expect for other nations around the globe to understand and respect the regulations, policies, and our bold global leadership based solely on the fact that we are a virtues nation. Unfortunately, they are incorrect.
The term exceptionalism indicates that that a country, society, institution, movement, or time period is exceptional, or extraordinary in some way and thus does not need to conform to normal rules or general principles. Since being born from a Revolution, the United States has undoubtedly made its impact on the world in both negative and positive ways, and even sometimes in ways that we cannot yet foresee. It has been extraordinary in more way than one, and its citizens (for the most part) are proud to reside in the country. However, By focusing on their supposedly exceptional qualities, Americans blind themselves to the ways that they are a lot like everyone else (Walt. 2011) What that means in layman’s terms, is that America is no longer the greatest country in the world, and in many ways, the rest of the world has caught up and even surpassed America in multiple factors, such as education, healthcare, and stable economies. We lead the world in obesity and number of incarcerated citizens per capital, we have been involved in every major war in the last four decades, and we hold a multi-trillion dollar debt; that does not sound very exceptional to the average global citizen reading those statistics. One may even say that the country should not even be considered exceptional at all. Unfortunately, they are incorrect.
The American Revolution, without a doubt was the spark that began the history of American Exceptionalism. The colonist decided that America was no longer a convenient extension of the crown, but that it was a land in which they could be free from Britain, create their own opportunities and unlock their mas potential to be a great country. Since then, America has lead the world in four immensely important ways, militarily, economically, scientifically, and culturally. She has used her military forces for fair, and reasonable issues. Not using the military for just complete domination over the world, which could have happened after the usage of the atomic bomb, and again during the gulf war; instead of taking the land with rich oil, which our military held, we set the fires out, and left the country. Every major conflict since World War 2,