Perception of American Exceptionalism Essay example

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Americans through the years of existence have adapted well to the radical changes throughout the world. Technology, independence and social equality are some of the diverse concepts the United States have adapted to and developed in order to become a more unified country. Our nation believes that it is exceptional when it comes to other countries worldwide. As can be shown through the popular reference to America as the ‘shining city on a hill’. The term “American exceptionalism” is derived from ideals held by many Americans throughout history. Different people have analyzed American exceptionalism through multiple literary devices. Works such as A Model of Christian Charity, What is an American and Acres of Diamonds illustrate the …show more content…
But if we shall neglect…shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us” (Winthrop, 20). This idea that the Christian deity is somehow connected to America’s greatness can be found in Conwell’s work, albeit used in a different manner. Like Winthrop, Russell Conwell, author of Acres of Diamonds, stresses how great America is with emphasis that it somehow ordained from a higher power. However, Winthrop focuses maintaining this status through unselfish means while Conwell uses this as a way to establish individual success. “There never was a place on earth more adapted than the city of Philadelphia to-day, and never in the history of the world did a poor man without capital have such an opportunity . . . Because to make money honestly is to preach the gospel” (Conwell, 179). His argument that Philadelphia is the greatest city on earth ties in with the concept of American exceptionalism. The connection he makes with religion is contrasted to Winthrop since Winthrop argues that America will lose its exceptionality if it does not avoid selfish actions. Conwell argues that God is placing America in such a place that every person has the ability to acquire individual wealth. Though Conwell focuses on the city of Philadelphia, his arguments can be applied to a more general sense in America. His statement that
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