Pilgrims and Puritans:
Shariar Alam Sadmun
November 26, 2013
“When, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death, and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That's what makes America different. That's what makes us exceptional.” Those are the words of US President Barack Obama describing what makes America “exceptional.” The term “American exceptionalism” can be defined as the theory that the United States is “qualitatively different” from other countries around the world. The ideology of “American exceptionalism” has originated from the time Pilgrims and Puritans (1620) landed in North America, where they believed their colony was the biblical shining of “city upon a hill” as a reflection of America as God’s country to improve and lead the world. This belief of “American exceptionalism” has been instilled in its people and is still a dominant essence in all of their past and current leaders, which is evident by their actions taken to “improve and lead the world.” There are many events that show blatant evidence of America’s exceptional attitude, however only certain events have been highlighted in this report to showcase such exceptionalism attitude. In the following paragraphs, “American exceptionalism” will be shown by the events of Vietnam War, Panama Crisis and Iraq War while tying it back to the history of the Pilgrims and the Puritans to show the historical bearing and current relevancy of “American exceptionalism.”
The first piece of event that will be discussed in detail is the Vietnam War, which will further exemplify “American exceptionalism.” This war happened following the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, who was supported by communist superpowers such as China, and the government of South Vietnam, who was supported by anti-communist countries especially United States of America....