"Is America Exceptional?".

Essay by aradman@hotmail.comHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2003

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"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...