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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The phrase fell to obscurity after the s, and in the s American newspapers popularized it to describe America’s cultural and political uniqueness. From the s to the late 19th century, the McGuffey Readers sold million copies and were studied by most American students. I think it’s in the 90th percentiles.
That’s the double-edged sword, which Lipset swings through copious quantities of polling and survey data. And every country, in some sense, is exceptional. And these two get connected. And, as many people have pointed out, Americanism is an ideology.
They tell you life can be better. In a speech on the Syria crisis on September 10,Obama said: 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 xeceptionalism on the world stage different from other nations”. If you look at Canada and the United States, [despite their similarities,] these are two quite different countries.
Because, for Jefferson, cities were a bad thing. Seymour Martin Lipset Interview.
The most important factor in Americanism is equality, equality of opportunity, and social equality. 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.
Exxeptionalism American Occupational Structure.
When Turner spoke of the frontier as a safety valve, he meant, in part, a political safety valve. And the local populace dictated social relations on the American frontier, and they were interested in more land, they were interested in making money, and they really had no respect for the rights of the Indians.
And Tocqueville was already noticing the fact that the average person in the city wore the same sort of clothes that the well-to-do people did. So these were sort of like rural factories, and there [was] strong trade unionism.
This new use of the term has served to confuse the topic and muddy the waters since its unilateralist emphasis, and actual orientation diverges somewhat from prior uses of the phrase. South Africa, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Australia had long frontiers, but they did not have “free land” and local control. What factors made America unique even after the closing of the frontier?
In Australia, “mateship” and working together was valued more than individualism was in the United States. Well, Frederick Jackson Turner, who was a very prominent and important historian, emphasized the fact that the United States was a society which moved West, [which] made the country a much more open system than Europe.
And we have many elections; they have relatively fewer elections.
American exceptionalism – Wikipedia
And this was not true for many other cities, and exceptionaalism other places. Their edge did not shape their national psyches. Though the concept has no formal definition, there are some themes common to various conceptions of the idea.
Using extensive survey data comparing the US to other developed nations, the author seeks to put into context the question of the uniqueness of the US. Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, — Columbia University Press, Well, you know, Middletown – if you think of it as being somewhat of a typical American town – exhibits a number of things which we think of as American. But seeing class and class conflict [in America] was very prevalent [at the time of the Lynd’s study].
The Case for American Greatness. 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. And so that when socialists came along and said, “You should change your system so we can get more equality,” they couldn’t appeal to people who thought they were living in an [egalitarian] society, that they were living in a society which didn’t require deference.
But it did take the form of militant unions, unions which, again, were not socialist. And they weren’t conservative; they were what in the labor history is syndicalist.
The double-edged sword refers to the fact that America is different in good ways and in bad ways. And that was not possible in other societies. Exceptionaalism [so you had] class relations in the Australian frontier which one couldn’t get in the United States. Historian Gordon Wood has argued, “Our beliefs in liberty, equality, constitutionalism, and the well-being of ordinary people came out of the Revolutionary era.