John Winthrop, Juan Jose Arevalo, And George W. Bush's Idea Of American Exceptionalism

Decent Essays
American Exceptionalism
Throughout American history, idealists and materialists have changed the theme of exceptionalism. In our readings, we see the idea of american exceptionalism come to life from the writings of John Winthrop, Juan Jose Arevalo, and George W. Bush. Exceptionalism is when one depicts something, especially a nation, as unique and different from others. Winthrop expresses exceptionalism to his Puritan followers as the belief that they are special and above all others, while Arevalo, being a part of Latin America, offers an outsider’s perspective on the greed and corruption that comes with the idea of exceptionalism in the United States. Then Bush gives off the idea that America is exceptional and others were out to get
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He addresses the American people and explains that the “grandeur spirit [of America] was replaced by greed” (Arevalo, 72). He believes that America became infatuated with the idea of wealth. They did not “strive for the greatest possible happiness for the greatest number of people” (Arevalo, 72), instead they sought Latin America as a easy target which they could make a lot of money off of. Here Arevalo makes it clear that the “exceptionalism” had gotten to the heads of the Americans and instead of seeing the Latin Americans as people they only saw the dollar signs that were to come. This explains, from the outsider’s perspective, the negative side of American exceptionalism.
The happenings of September 11, 2001 were tragic and heartbreaking, and in the presidential speech that George W. Bush gave nine days later, he ties ideas of American exceptionalism into the works. In his speech he adds that, “as long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be a time of terror” (Bush, 93). Here, he is trying to boost the morale of Americans by saying that we will come together and will be able to get over this since we are exceptional from the rest and have a lot of power. Bush then declares that they will go to war and are “confident of the victories to come” (Bush, 94). He is able to say that with confidence because they are a
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