American Exceptionalism: A Cultural Myth
Perrin C. Carrell
Dr. Dereck Daschke, Faculty Mentor
The aim of this paper is to discuss the history of American Exceptionalism, the idea that America holds a unique place in the world because it is a moral model and because it offers hope and opportunity to humanity. There is an emphasis on early American millennialism, particularly the Puritan colonies of New England, where Exceptionalism has its roots, as well as how Puritan ideals are eventually replaced by patriotism. The paper also discusses Exceptionalism as it functions as a cultural myth and what impact that myth has on the American public. Finally, the paper discusses the controversial use of Exceptionalism by American political leaders, examining national motives under a retrospective lens to try to understand what portion of American Exceptionalism is propaganda.
Keywords: America, Exceptionalism, myth, United States, millenialsim
Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: VH 1412