America is commonly characterized as the greatest country in the world, the glorious “land of the free and the home of the brave”, “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. This idealization of the American identity conveniently focuses on what people want to hear and blurs out most everything else. In reality, Americans do not live up to the dreamscape created by our views, and we never really have. America is no longer characterized by its freedom and democracy, nearly every first world country can afford that luxury. Nor are we set apart by the great opportunities given to our people, for those are far from universal. We aren’t equal, we aren’t unified, we aren’t kinder or smarter or richer than any other country across the board. It’s easy to find the shortcomings of American culture, all the things we aren’t, but the things we are have proven to be more elusive. First, let’s examine the nots.
I believe that McClay and Zinn provide a persuasive argument elaborating their notion of the validity of America’s “unique” mission. However, I am inclined to agree with Professor McClay in his assertion in the mythical nature of American exceptionalism that has promoted social cohesiveness and propelled America as the “beacon of liberty and democracy” (McKenna & Feingold 2011, 14). The existence of present-day America developed after a period of empirical practices that allowed us to incorporate the positive qualities of democracy and make note of the negative aspects of wrongfully enforcing democratic ideals internationally (McKenna & Feingold 2011). Since our inception, the “invisible hand” of “divine providence” has directed America to propagate freedom and democracy to all peoples of the world (McKenna & Feingold 2011, 2-3). The majority of American Presidents
American exceptionalism is the idea that the American people are somehow better than others. This belief is so engrained in our society that we don’t think anything of it, or if we do we don’t think of it as a negative part of our culture. We consider being the melting pot of the world to be something great. On the surface, being the melting pot of the world is good; we bring many different people and cultures together. But when you think critically about it, you realize that because of power imbalances and other problems like racism, sexism, or other forms of bigotry, it becomes an assimilation of cultures rather than an equal mixing together.
The Farewell Address embodied Washington’s political principles and hopes for the United States, a newly developed nation, to grow strong and remain independent. He stressed the importance of national unity. Despite the confidence Washington had for his country to continue to thrive without his leadership, he felt obligated to forewarn
“One nation under God, indivisible” (Bellamy) is a motto that is lived by Americans every single day. Americans are a united force that can not be broken apart and will do anything for other fellow Americans. From the use of heart wrenching pathos in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and The Quilt of a Country: Out of Many, One? by Anna Quindlen to the immaculate lighting in the beautifully famous painting George Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, we can see that American people will always unite and stick as one. Americans will stick together after a horrendous event has occurred or when there is beauty to rejoice about.
The differences that are present in America have engendered countless conflicts all over the nation for many years; Americans have clashed and exchanged blows due to their diversity. Though showered with such troubles, the country, surprisingly, remains whole and has not yet dispersed. Shortly after the tragedy in New York
America is a country full of ideas that create opportunities and memorable moments people enjoy with the company of others. Within the United States of America, diversity is a huge aspect that allows numerous races, ethnicities, and genders, etc. to roam our flourishing nation. Our nation is exceptional by having a beautiful range of natural wonders, collection of first-rate cities, and a wide variety of art and pop culture.The values and beliefs that unite Americans and define our nation’s purpose are the ideas of our nation steps forward to perform actions for the betterment of society, the lack of and enforcement of equality, and the citizenships that people fought to achieve.
The United States, often referred to as a “melting pot,” is known for its extensive cultures. This paramount aspect of the Unites States makes it so unique yet it also happens to be the center of its many conflicts. America, although seemingly doubtful due to the vast amount of cultures and people, has been able to withstand conflicts and adversities because Americans have been able to learn from the country’s past and find a way to use their differences to come together.
When the U.S. was first established it wasn’t all gumdrops and butterflies, we had to fight for it. And after we won our independence it still didn’t come easy. Now adults may not remember their American history classes but it took more than one try to set up a government. The first attempt, The Articles of Confederation, only lasted four years and it caused so many problems. But the important thing we didn’t give up, we all wanted to be heard and we all had something useful to say. And when we had it all worked out, we all listened to each and got along. We went some rough spots but everyone made it through and people casted the idea of the “American Dream” and how the U.S. was so amazing. Which it was, it truly was at that point in time
Both Quindlen and Kennedy recognize the various lands, people, and variety of cultures in our country. One of the authors Quindlen shared her views on American diversity in her article when she wrote, “A mongrel nation built of ever changing disparate parts...(Quindlen 13).” Kennedy shared those same views when he wrote, “The idea of the “melting pot” symbolizes the process of blending many strains into a single nationality…(Kennedy 27).” These two authors are very different even though they share the same
Jamestown and Plymouth Contrast The United States of America is and always will be a haven of diversity in this world. From the opening of Ellis Island, with many immigrants yearning for shelter, to the modern-day process of becoming a citizen, people of countless origins, cultures, and nationalities have flocked to America, creating the greatest melting pot of diversity on the planet. However, one key origin of this peaceful coexistence can often be overlooked. Rather than from immigration, the unique mindset that America is a land of differences was born not long after the first settlers stepped off their vessels in the Chesapeake Bay and Plymouth Harbor. The people from these two ships established two colonies so vastly different from each
America is an improbable idea, a mongrel nation built of ever-changing disparate parts, itis held together by a notion, the notion that all men are created equal, though everyone knows that most men consider themselves better than someone. "Of all the nations in the world, the United States was built in nobody's image," the historian Daniel Boorst in wrote. That's because it was built of bits and pieces that seem discordant, like the crazy quilts that have been one of its great folk-art forms, velvet and calico and checks and brocades. Out of many, one. That is the ideal.The reality is often quite different, a great national striving consisting frequently of failure. Many of the oft-told stories of the most pluralistic nation on earth are stories
No matter what I tried, I could never truly have an objective mindset if I continued defining the term American as I was. If I clung to my own preconceived notion that there was something unique about Americans, I could never be objective. So instead, I began to look at other countries, trying to find parallels. To my shock and dismay, I found that America is actually similar to North Korea in some ways: citizens of both countries are raised on nationalistic pride and are told that they live in the greatest country in the world, that there is no place better. This corrupts one’s ability to look at their country with a truly objective eye. From this, I discerned a troubling fact: all people are the same, regardless of nationality or personal beliefs. There is no true separation between individuals of different countries, helping to develop my current belief that the term American holds no special regard in comparison to the rest of the world. It is simply a term used to allow an individual to feel
In the story Quilt of a Country Anna Quindlen’s claim is that America is an “improbable” country and we have all come together as one community no matter what culture we are. Quindlen stated “of all nations in the world, the United States was built in nobody's image.” Of all nations we come together as one no matter the culture and nobody is able to do that. Other nations don’t except like the United States does. Quindlen also said “ America is an “improbable” idea, a mongrel nation built of ever changing disparate parts, it is held together by one nation, the notion that all men are created equal, though everyone knows that most men consider themselves better the someone.” This also proves her claim because all men are equal. If everybody
While, many of these discords were experienced since the beginning of time as he states “Even God’s chosen people were plagued by secession in the promised land, which resulted in strife and ultimately, war” (McClure 1886), it is poignant that not much has changed. However, as mentioned in our presentation “Ours is an exceptional nation of a self-governing people in a fallen world dedicated in the pursuit of liberty and equality” (Bringing it all together 2017). Ultimately, she is incomparable to any other, which is why the United States of America will always be a leader of nations that will continue to set the precedent for other