American Exceptionalism

823 Words2 Pages

During the early stages of the United States of America in the nineteenth an idea known as manifest destiny was very popular. Manifest destiny is the name of the time period where Americans believed that it is their mission to overspread over the continent beginning with the Western territories of the frontier and then to export the nations ideals of democracy and enlighten the entire world. Manifest destiny played a major role in the creation of the theory of American exceptionalism. According to Loch K. Johnson, exceptionalism is a “belief in a mission to disperse this nations value around the world.” During this time many people in America thought that their country was looked on by God and was chosen to save humanity by spreading their ideals across the world. Many of our political leaders at the time believed that America’s ideals of democracy were truly exceptional and decided to make it their mission to help other countries to make them better and make them conform to the same democratic ideals that the United States of America follows. One example of America trying to fulfill the “national mission” is during the Spanish-American War. The Spanish–American War emerged between Spain and the United States during the months of April and August of 1898 over Cuba’s liberation. The war began when Spain rejected American demands for the Cuban independence. The United States got involved in the war because they had economic interest in Cuba and also because they had reason to believe that Spain had caused the explosion of the USS Maine. Congress passed the Teller Amendment in May 1898, in which the US promised not to annex Cuba, but to liberate it as an independent state. Thus, the US claimed to be fighting the war not for self... ... middle of paper ... was in the 20th century but there are still times when America feels as if it is our mission to do. For example, after the attacks of 9/11 President George W. Bush declared, “We did not ask for this mission, but we will fulfill it…We defend not only our precious freedoms, but also the freedom of people everywhere to live and raise their children free from fear.” There are still those who highly believe that the United States and the American people are in a higher standard than everyone else in the world. They believe that their duty as Americans is to offer hope for humanity around the world, which can be done so by instilling in them our ideals of personal and economic freedom. Works Cited Johnson, Loch K. 1942-. American Foreign Policy and the Challenges of World Leadership. Power, Principle, and the Constitution. New York: Oxford UP, 2015. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the spanish-american war between spain and the united states during the months of april and august of 1898 over cuba's liberation.
  • Explains that vietnam was the longest and most unpopular war in the 20th century. it resulted in nearly 60,000 american deaths and an estimated 2 million vietnamese deaths.
Show More
Open Document