The concept of exceptionalism is universal and rooted in ancient times. Even the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans built their great empires based on the concept of a special mission of their peoples. Since then and until today, the different peoples of the world consider themselves as exceptional. However, this uniqueness is manifested through such subjective indicators, such as special history, belonging to a particular religious group, the presence of a large state, military power, etc. However, American exceptionalism is a quite different ideological concept. The following paper will analyze the concept of American exceptionalism and its key features.
The famous French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville was the first writer who mentioned the exceptional mission of America in his work “Democracy in America” published in 1831. I do agree with this concept in all its major points. I believe that America remains extremely attractive to immigrants from all over the world because of the expected economic and political empowerment. Speaking about the concept of American exceptionalism, "The American Dream" should also be mentioned. The American Dream is an imaginary abundance of opportunities of the American system. Therefore, many people from all over the globe are dreaming to achieve great success here. America is considered to be the greatest power in the world when speaking about education, military, the social possibilities, and many other aspects of human life. Cain (2011) said that “American Exceptionalism is the standard that our laws reflect the understanding that we are afforded certain God-given rights that can never be taken away”. Indeed, the whole American nation believes that the rights were given by God. Therefore, this fact makes the country so unique and exceptional. In order to prove that America is an exceptional country I can say that it was the first state where power was given to the government and church was separated from the state.
As for the modern world, it should be said that after the events of 9/11 some researchers doubted the idea of American exceptionalism. However, I can say that this case only proved the fact that America is a powerful state and it is able to fight terrorism as well as any outside enemy. Koh (2005) believes that the United States is exceptional in many ways and is, in fact, the major good force in the modern world. I do agree with his opinion as this country with all its military forces does not use it to enslave the countries. It just tries to maintain the peace in the world.
Undoubtedly, the concept of the American exceptionalism has a lot of flaws. Many researchers prove that this theory is far from perfect. For example, Phillips (2010) said that “The US may be an exceptional nation, but it is not exceptionally immune to the historical forces that have shaped other nations and empires”. However, I do believe that every theory has some shortcomings. Nevertheless, the concept of American exceptionalism is correct since it benefited the American society and the whole world. The constant American search for democracy can serve as an example for many other countries.
To summarize the above-mentioned, it should be admitted that the idea of the United States as an exceptional country has always been the key element of the US ideology. It is based on the history, policy, law, and many other components. This state fights for its citizens, support their rights and liberties. The unique history, as well as the idealized concepts of the “American Dream”, allows believing in the concept of American exceptionalism. American society is conscious and democratic. Therefore, it makes the concept of American exceptionalism correct and valid nowadays.