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Published on 15 Dec 2010
School
UTSG
Department
Geography
Course
GGR254H1
Sept 14
th
2009
3 themes major themes
1
st
= america is an empire outside of its boundaries(how was america created as a nation,
immigration,settlement,the making of the empire)
2
nd
=the development of regions (how did cities come to be booming cities, how do places like Chicago,
Pittsburgh change to go down t he tubes, while places in the south and the west have grown enormously,
has to do with the internal structure of the united states
3
rd
=race, class and ethnicity in the american metropolis(look at how race class and ethnicity are played out
in the geography of the contemporary cities, segregation, the formation of t he ghetto, inner cities, r iots
etc
www.geog.utoronto.ca/people/faculty/lewis/home/GGR254
American Exceptionalism
1. Key ideas of exceptional
2. Key moments of exceptionalism
3. But is this t he case?
1.
What is exceptional= belief t that the US is exceptional-unique/what is good for america is good for the
world
The united states differs from Europe because its not ar i stocratic, third world because its booming
There is something surperior about american society
It is because of that superior ity it has the responsibility and duty to spread freedom and democracy across
the world
i.e. Iraq/post-war Europe
Manifest destiny(god given right and duty to spread across the world)=America should spread out
terr itor ially across both t he continent and overseas
By the end of the 19
th
century all the land of america had been taken over
To do this they use many key moment to say this is what makes us exceptional 1. Americ an Revolution(fr ee
americans from the shackles of despotic colonial rule) this was seen as a moment when colonial r ule is
swapped for democracy.
American revolution is seens as the basis of the development of democracy and freedom
2
nd
key moment=the american fromtier(settlement,cities,agriculture,modern technologies, etc
3
rd
key moment= the civil war (1861-1865) laid the basis for democracy for all the war was between the
union north and t he confederate south it was to unite t he states/free t he american slaves
Civil war was necess ary to destroy t he past to build t he new
4
th
key moment=overseas mission.=spread american values in t he face of backwardness, communism and
tyranny I.e. the Spanish war of 1888 in the 19
th
century t he br istish were the policeman of the world
now it’s the u.s.
Theses ideas have permeated all elements of ameri can society for 300 years
The fact still remains that america is using its power to bring the 3 ideas to control the workd
But is this the case?
1
st
of all america was not unique t here were many revolutions I.e. france, germany americas industrial
revolutuions came later than other ones across the world
The notion that america is revolutionary is actually not the case
America was a part of a revolutionary time but its not unique in doing it
Frontier=was to grabb hold of land and resourceses to build an empire and for people to live
www.notesolution.com
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Document Summary

1st= america is an empire outside of its boundaries(how was america created as a nation, immigration,settlement,the making of the empire) 2nd =the development of regions (how did cities come to be booming cities, how do places like chicago, Pittsburgh change to go down the tubes, while places in the south and the west have grown enormously, has to do with the internal structure of the united states. 3rd =race, class and ethnicity in the american metropolis(look at how race class and ethnicity are played out in the geography of the contemporary cities, segregation, the formation of the ghetto, inner cities, riots etc www. geog. utoronto. ca/people/faculty/lewis/home/ggr254. What is exceptional= belieft that the us is exceptional-unique/what is good for america is good for the world. The united states differs from europe because its not aristocratic, third world because its booming. It is because of that superiority it has the responsibility and duty to spread freedom and democracy across the world i. e. iraq/post-war europe.