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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It then moved into general use among intellectuals. Again, it’s a society with obviously enormous inequality on the economic side, but not on the social side. President Ronald Reagan is often credited with having crystallized this ideology in recent decades. One Puritan leader, John Winthropmetaphorically expressed this idea as a ” City pipset a Amerrican “—that the Puritan community of New England should serve as a model community for the rest of the world.

The term “exceptionalism” has been used in different ways. In Australia, “mateship” and working together was valued more than individualism was in the United States.

Exceptionalsm the airless sociological prose and emphasis on opinion polls and “values” surveys may leave nonspecialist readers feeling somewhat oxygen-deprived. Some historians support the concept of American exceptionalism but avoid the terminology, thereby avoid entangling themselves in rhetorical debates.

But our graduate education is unquestionably the best in the world. Retrieved December 30, European society was more densely populated.

The pressure was reduced because people could go there. Pease mocks American exceptiionalism as a “state fantasy” and a “myth” in his book The New American Exceptionalism.

American Exceptionalism | W. W. Norton & Company

The following items were successfully added. Advertisers make you want more. Social Mobility in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: According to RealClearPoliticsdeclarations of America’s declining power have been common in the English-language media. Thomas Paine ‘s Common Sense for the first time expressed the belief that America was not just an extension of Europe but a new land, a country of nearly unlimited potential and opportunity that had outgrown the British mother country.

He shows that high US crime rates reflect an American individual commitment to achievement by whatever means are available. The third meaning is a more generic or more general meaning, namely that [American society] is qualitatively different from other societies in all sorts of ways – some good ways and some bad ways. What prompted Frederick Jackson Turner’s concerns about American society? Explanations of the growth of government in Europe are not expected to fit American experience, and vice versa.


United States — Civilization.

American exceptionalism : a double-edged sword

Lipset guides the reader through a vast array of comparative survey data that document American uniqueness. To deny American exceptionalism is in essence to deny the heart and soul of this nation. And this was an environment [in which] the Lynds were operating. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler.

Europe is much more stratified, Europeans had a feudalism with a greater respect for the privileged classes. He grew up more as a globalist than an American. 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.

We’re not a political party abroad, but still we would like to see the rest of the world follow us, imitate us. According to Tucker and HendricksonJefferson believed America “was the bearer of a new diplomacy, founded on the confidence of a free and virtuous people, that would secure ends based on the natural and universal rights of man, by means that escaped war and its corruptions”.

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.

But, on the other hand, if you look at the opinion polls – which is our best measure of beliefs and the differences – you still find that even though the gap is narrow, it’s still there. Although he rarely, if ever, uses the phrase “American exceptionalism,” he insists upon the “distinctive characteristics of British North American life. 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.


So this became an early emphasis on literacy, and we got schools, we got colleges to train teachers, and train preachers in larger numbers, and earlier than other countries. Reflections on the Birth of the United States online. You’ve never heard of anybody called un-Swedish, or un-British, or un-German, or un-Japanese, well maybe un-Japanese, because you don’t have the same kind of belief in a doctrine.

American Exceptionalism

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. Li;set we have what’s known as the foreign travel literature, [written by] the thousands of foreigners, mostly Europeans, who came to the United States to study it. Harry Williams argues that Lincoln believed:.

Well, you know, Middletown – if you think of it as being somewhat a,erican a typical American town – exhibits a number of things which we think of as American. And America without a frontier would necessarily be a different sort of place. Gregory Mankiwhowever, state that the discrepancy has little to do with class rigidity; rather, it is a reflection of income disparity: Today, we have opinion polls taken in almost every country. Pease; John Carlos Rowe American Exceptionalism and Human Rights.

Martian myths that flatter Europe. In fact, there was an interesting event which amerocan of reinforced this. Parts of American exceptionalism can be traced to American Puritan roots.

They believed in workers’ power, they increased power of the workers. 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.