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Is the United States exceptional? Show more Show less
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American exceptionalism is the belief that America is the greatest and freest nation on earth, destined to guide mankind to true freedom. The supporters of this idea adduce America's unique history and establishment, as well as its values, ideals, and strength.

Yes, America is exceptional Show more Show less

The United States has a particular identity and historical context of revolution, expansion and development which makes it exceptional.
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American history is distinct from the rest of the world's

The way that America's history has unfolded means that it is clearly distinct from other nations.
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The Argument

American history is different from that of other nations because its revolution is exceptional. The United States was the first nation to be built on popular sovereignty and the first to not frame its national identity in a celebration of monarchical or aristocratic authority. Rather, the United States was founded on the natural rights of the individual and a patriotism based on belief in ones fellow man.

Counter arguments

The United States is not the only nation that defined itself as Republican even in the eighteenth century. For instance, the Netherlands or Italian city-states.


[P1] The American Revolution brings forward a new conception of what a nation can be founded on. [P2] This history makes the United States Exceptional.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] This conception of what nations can be founded on is not unique to the US.


This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Mar 2020 at 09:12 UTC

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