Is the United States exceptional?

American exceptionalism is the belief that America is the greatest and freest nation on earth, destined to guide mankind to true freedom. The supporters of this idea adduce America's unique history and establishment, as well as its values, ideals, and strength.

No, America is not exceptional

America being exceptional is a national myth which is inconsistent with the reality of global history.

American history exists in a global context

The United States is not immune to larger tides and trends in global history. Events in American history fit in a much wider global context.

American exceptionalism is a national myth

All nations have a myth about why they are special or distinct. Exceptionalism is the American version.

Yes, America is exceptional

The United States has a particular identity and historical context of revolution, expansion and development which makes it exceptional.

American character is distinct

The creation of the United States caused its people to have unique values and characteristics.

Visitors to the US see a distinct American character

Even those viewing the United States from the outside have identified the ways in which American character is exceptional.

American history is distinct from the rest of the world's

The way that America's history has unfolded means that it is clearly distinct from other nations.

Yes, America is exceptional but not necessarily in a good way

America is exceptional for the wrong reasons. It has a history of brutality against other peoples, a record of fighting many wars wherein scores of civilians were killed, and it refuses to sign most human rights treaties. It is exceptional from these mistakes, not its successes.

America has many characteristics that make it stand out

America's somewhat self-congratulatory portrait of itself and largely unchallenged faith in American exceptionalism is not necessarily an opinion shared by other countries.

America has exceptional statistics across social, health and welfare areas

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This page was last edited on Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 19:27 UTC