"Is America Exceptional?"
The concept of American exceptionalism has divergent views which are
constructed by American and foreign historians, alike. The topic is, what makes America
unique from other countries? What makes us, as Americans, precedent from other people
in the world? This is an issue tackled specifically by Seymour Martin Lispet and Ian Tyrell
in Take Sides. Lipset defends American exceptionalism, while Tyrell argues with it.
Seymour Martin Lipset reaffirms the nation of American exceptionalism by
insisting that the United States is the only nation that defines itself on the
basis of an ideology... Ian Tyrell argues that American exceptionalism is an
artificial construct that is largely anachronistic in the modern world or
internationalism and global connections.
After reading the two viewpoints, I came to the conclusion that even though Lispet does
affirm American exceptionalism, so does Tyrell. The two viewpoint cannot be compared in
the same way, but soley on the topic of exceptionalism.
Personally I thought that Lipset's
argument way a more terse one, however Tyrell's argument was more practical, and it was
his viewpoint that I agreed with... American is not exceptional.
Seymour Martin Lipset, a professor of public policy introduced the United States
as a "one of a kind" nation because of it origins and because, statistically, American is
"more religious, optimistic, patriotic, rights-oriented, and individualistic than other nation
in the world." (Taking Sides, 2) He claims, that in order for someone to consider
someplace exceptional, they must travel and collect data on other cultures. "Those who
know only one country, know no country." (Lipset, 4) Lipset uses Alexis de Toqueville, a
French aristocrat, who has written a numerous pieces of literature defending American
exceptionalism. Toqueville is considered to be the father of the ideology of American
exceptionalism. He came to American in...