The Roots Of American Exceptionalism

1055 WordsDec 9, 20145 Pages
It is important to examine the roots of American exceptionalism. French philosopher and social scientist, Alexis de Tocqueville was recognized to be the first writer to promote the theory of exceptionalism via his document Democracy in America. However, his use of exceptionalism does not match the true concept. Tocqueville reveals that “Americans have no aptitude or taste for science, literature, or art, but argues that this is due to the particular American experience, and is no natural concomitant to democracy” (Gordon). Communist leader Jay Lovestone stated that everyone was in the revolution of communism with the exception of the United States. In response, soviet leader Joseph Stalin expresses that he wants to end this “heresy of American exceptionalism.” Since then, Stalin has been recognized for coining the phrase. Stalin and Tocqueville’s definition of American exceptionalism was not meant as a compliment as Americans make it out to be. It is ironic to know that a communist branded American exceptionalism and the United States turned it into a form of endearment. President Barack Obama once said “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism" (Ceaser). His remark reflects how all nations have pride and believe that they have a quality that makes them unique. There are numerous qualities that make America exceptional. One of them being that the
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