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American Exceptionalism. A Double-Edged Sword. Seymour Martin Lipset ( Author, George Mason University). Sign up for the monthly New Releases email. American exceptionalism is an ideology holding the United States as unique among nations in Lipset, American Exceptionalism, pp. 1, 17–19, –74, Lipset’s survey of American exceptionalism proceeds along several lines of attack. Comparisons with Britain and other nations of Europe form the backdrop of.

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He also contributed articles to a number of magazines, including The New Republic, Encounter, and Commentary. This new use of the term has served to confuse the topic and muddy americab waters since its unilateralist emphasis, and actual orientation diverges somewhat from prior uses of the phrase.

The cities, of course, had slums, and those are dirty things. University of Minnesota Press.

A History in Documentsp. So these were sort of like rural factories, and there [was] strong trade unionism. Reflections on the Birth of the United States online.

Electoral history of the Tea Party movement Right America: American Exceptionalism explains why socialism has never taken hold in the United States, why Americans are resistant to absolute quotas as a way to integrate blacks and other minorities, and why American religion and foreign policy have a moralistic, crusading streak.

What did Turner mean when he called the frontier a “safety valve”? They believed God had made a covenant with their people and had chosen them to provide a model for the other nations of the Earth. They all explicitly accept the market, [believe] that the market economy is the best way to work the social system.

In fact, there was an interesting event which sort of reinforced this. Reichard and Ted Dickson argue “how the development of the United States has always depended on its transactions with other nations for commoditiescultural values and populations”. The Case for American Greatness. After they finished with Custer, they moved North, and they crossed the Canadian frontier border, and they surrendered to six Mounties. As Lipset argues throughout the book, American exceptionalism is a double-edged sword characterized by personal responsibility, independent action, and voluntarism, but also by self-serving behavior and disregard for communal values.


And [so you had] class relations in the Australian frontier which one couldn’t get in the United States. Did Muncie, Indiana [Middletown] represent the typical American town? Some proponents of the theory of American exceptionalism argue that this system and the accompanying distrust of concentrated power prevent the United States from suffering a ” tyranny of the majority “, are preservative of a free republican democracy, and also that it allows citizens to live in a locality whose laws reflect those voters’ values.

European society was more densely populated.

American Exceptionalism

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikiquote has quotations related to: How did the frontier set America apart from other countries? So, you might have a treaty that [said] the Black Hills, or the Dakotas, were supposed to be Indian [territory]. And this, people began to see as European. The term “exceptionalism” has been exceptiojalism in different ways.

By the late s, other academic critics started mocking the extreme chauvinism displayed by the modern usage of exceptionalism. The theory of the exceptionalism of the U. She argues that after the September 11th, terrorist attacks, the George W. InFlora Lewis said that “Talk of U. Kammen reports that historians Lawrence Veysey, C.

From the s to the late 19th century, the McGuffey Readers sold million copies and were studied by most American students.

Eric Luis Uhlmann of Northwestern University argues that Puritan values were taken up by all remaining Americans as time went by. Thank you for using the catalog. His passions, his wants, his education, and everything about him seem to unite in drawing the native of the United States earthward; his religion alone bids him turn, from time to time, a transient and distracted glance to heaven.

Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe, which allows them to neglect these pursuits without relapsing into barbarism, a thousand special causes, of which I have only been able to point out the most important, have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects.

Every country differs from every other country, and the mixture that makes up a country varies from place to place. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were the authority there.


One, [as] Tocqueville [used it], simply refers to the fact that America is qualitatively different from Europe, and he mentioned a lot of things, but the class structure was particularly important for him, [the religious differences were] important. The Puritans’ moralistic values [ clarification needed ] remained part of the national identity of the United States for centuries, remaining influential to the present day.

But there was an unfortunate thing about the choice of Muncie because in the book there’s a family called the X Family, which dominates. He shows that high US crime rates reflect an American individual commitment to achievement by whatever means are available. One is the history of the United States is different from other nations. The third idea of American exceptionalism—superiority—has been attacked with charges of moral defectiveness and the existence of double standards. And America without a frontier would necessarily be a different sort of place.

But then, in his judgment, the frontier ended at the turn of the century, and this for him meant that there would be a qualitative change in the character of America. The difference between the American society and European society is fairly clear and fairly obvious. It’s not just being an American; it has a content of values.

American exceptionalism – Wikipedia

Its uniqueness is explained by any or all of a variety of reasons: Their edge did not shape their national psyches. Hence, it was exceptional. However, he adds, America is made exceptional by the intensity with which these characteristics are concentrated there. We have more people in prison now than any other country has. Europe was primarily a rural exceptiknalism, but the Europeans were peasants, were underlings who had to bow down to the people above them. And the local populace dictated social relations on the American frontier, and they were interested in more land, they were interested in making money, and they really had no respect for the rights of the Indians.