American exceptionalism

ideology holding the United States as unique among nations; facet of nationalism in the United States

American exceptionalism is the belief that

  1. the US is unique and special[2]
  2. the US has a unique mission to transform the world
  3. the US is superior to other nations because of its unique history and mission
German professor Sieglinde Lemke argues that the Statue of Liberty represents how the US sees itself as a unique nation and its mission to spread its values across the world.[1]

Unique nationEdit

The US started from the American Revolutionary War. Martin Lipset calls it the "first new nation".[3] It developed an American set of ideas (Americanism) based on republicanism, democracy, laissez-faire (no government interference in economy), liberty, equality, individualism (importance of individual).[4]

Unique missionEdit

Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg address (1863), that Americans have a responsibility to make sure that the "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Related pagesEdit


  1. Winfried Fluck; Donald E. Pease; John Carlos Rowe (2011). Re-framing the Transnational Turn in American Studies. University Press of New England. p. 207. ISBN 9781611681901.
  2. American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword. Seymour Martin Lipset. New York, N.Y.: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc. 1996. p. 18. .
  3. Seymour Martin Lipset, The first new nation (1963).
  4. Lipset, American Exceptionalism, pp. 1, 17–19, 165–74, 197