American Exceptionalism Tocqueville Summary

1362 Words6 Pages

American Exceptionalism was coined by Alexis de Tocqueville in his book Democracy in America. To illustrate how the American way of thought is superior to the other ways of the world, Tocqueville expresses that the American way of thought is distinctively unique and special. This distinction is exemplified through liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and Laissez-Faire Economics. These qualities prove America’s exceptionality and difference from other countries. Although American Exceptionalism originated in the early 1800s, the idyllic values Tocqueville paints in his book can be seen throughout American history. Specifically, in the 1960s, a decade where de Tocqueville’s defining characteristics of American Exceptionalism are …show more content…

America’s fear of communism stretched beyond the western hemisphere; the Domino Theory became popular in the 1960s as the Vietnam War was increasingly seen as a threat to democracy in Asia. The Domino Theory is the belief that a communist victory in one nation would start a “chain reaction of communist takeovers in neighboring states.”(Domino Theory) In the Vietnam War, this theory was used as a justification for American involvement. Communism, as understood by the American people, was a threat to peace and liberty. It was seen as a “major problem confronting the people of the United States and free peoples everywhere” because of its “distorted shadows of their capitalist equivalents” where the people are seen as machines with no other purpose than to work. (Nixon, Richard M.) Another example of liberty would be the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement began in the mid-1950s and continued well into the late 1960s. The objective of this movement, headed by African American leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, was to end racial discrimination and segregation. Their goals were realized through legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of

Show More
Open Document