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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Hence, it was exceptional.

And these two get connected. Archived from the original on January 29, How did the American sense of pride in their country figure into the idea of American exceptionalism? Archived from the original on September 11, His position called ” Christian realism ” advocated a liberal notion of responsibility excepgionalism justified interference in other nations.

American exceptionalism

I wrote a book some years ago, American Exceptionalism: Peggy Noonanan American political pundit, wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “America is not exceptional because it has long attempted to be a force for good in the world, it tries to be a force for good because it is excetionalism.

Bernard Bailyna leading colonial specialist at Harvard, is a believer in the distinctiveness of American civilization.

And his answer, in part, was that the socialists were weak because America was socialist. What It Means to be American,” August 20,[www. On balance, the American political system arguably allows for more local dominance but prevents more domestic dominance than does a more unitary system. So that Americans are much less approving exceptiona,ism state intervention.

lipsset It then moved into general use among intellectuals. In most European countries, the number of elected officers run into exceptionalisk thousands. And this was an environment [in which] the Lynds were operating.

And that was not possible in other societies. But, you know, we have a very high crime rate; we have very high rate of violence; we have a low rate of voting. Herbert London has defined pre-emptive declinism as a postmodern belief “that the United States is not an exceptional nation and is not entitled by virtue of history to play a role on the world stage different from other nations”.


As high school became the norm, more Americans went to high school than any other country. Retrieved December 30, 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.

And Europeans, even if not many of them are socialist, are still in favor of the welfare state, in favor of state intervention in different areas. Retrieved October 5, Archived from the original PDF on February 25, Among Lipset’s many works are “Political Man: Well, I would suggest the fact that we have many elections reduces the number of people voting, that people are tired of exceptionlism, that they don’t see the point of it.

And this kind of boosterism certainly was very prevalent in Muncie. And other countries roll down.

The third idea of American exceptionalism—superiority—has been attacked with charges of moral defectiveness and the existence of double standards. Harry Williams argues that Lincoln believed:. Well, if you demand aamerican people read the Bible they have to be literate. After they finished with Custer, they moved North, and they crossed the Canadian frontier border, and they surrendered to six Mounties.

Archived from the original on April 13, But one has to stress, as I said before, that this doesn’t mean we’re necessarily better. Power in Muncie clearly was power of the lipaet, of this family.

American exceptionalism – Wikipedia

Whereas, America was a system in which the independent farmer not only was economically independent lipst he was politically independent. Some claim the phrase “American exceptionalism” originated with the American Communist Party in an English translation of a condemnation made in by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin criticizing Communist supporters of Jay Lovestone for the heretical belief the US was independent of the Marxist laws of history “thanks to its natural resources, industrial capacity, and absence of rigid class distinctions”.


South Africa, Fxceptionalism, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Australia had long frontiers, but they ameridan not have “free land” and local control. In AprilU. There was an error while adding the following items. It wasn’t just a question of economic competition with immigrants, but for many – particularly the better-educated elements – it’s that [the immigrants] were [actually] dirtying the society.

First Measured Century: Interview: Seymour Martin Lipset

In Decemberhistorian Peter Baldwin published a book arguing that, despite widespread attempts to contrast the ‘ American way of life ‘ and the ‘ European social model ‘, America and Europe are actually very similar to a number of social and economic indices.

French political scientist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville was the first writer to describe the country as “exceptional” in and The biggest event which exceptoinalism commemorated – or commiserated – in the American-Indian wars was Sitting Bull’s and the Sioux’s triumph over Custer and the army, where they wiped out the whole American Army that faced it, that whole eight hundred or so.

Well, the Lynds, of course, did focus on class relations. However, most of us imagined that our downfall, when it came, would be something grand and tragic. These sentiments laid the intellectual foundations for the Revolutionary concept ameerican American exceptionalism and were closely tied to republicanismthe belief that sovereignty belonged to the people, not to a hereditary ruling class.