The civil rights movement was successful of achieving its goals. The civil rights movements wanted to end segregation, desegregate schools, and reverse the separate but equal rule. To achieve these goals the civil rights movement did various things like, court cases, sit-ins, boycotts, non-violent protest, and marches. Some of the court cases that helped the movement reach its goals was, NAACP, brown vs, board. Some sit-ins were, the non-violent protest in which blacks and whites attempt to desegregate lunch counters buy sitting at counters until served. The boycotts were, the Montgomery bus boycott, the attempt by those Montgomery, AL to desegregate the bus system. Non-violent protest like, the one adopted by Martin Luther King Jr. and the
American Exceptionalism is a true and driving force in society and politics throughout America’s history, this idea can create multiple debates over opinions of the matter. First American Exceptionalism is the idea that America is exceptional to all other countries, the belief that we are dominant to anyone and that nothing stands in our way. The term American Exceptionalism is found commonly used in a political setting, but also affects the normal everyday life of all residents of the United States of America. The idea of American Exceptionalism has been a controversial topic for years now, and many scholarly authors have written their own opinion, or somehow addressed American Exceptionalism in a book or essay. A prime example of this is Thomas Paine’s essay, Common Sense, written around 1775, in colonial times.
In 1831 French sociologist and political theorist Alexis De Tocqueville and a lawyer he befriended named Gustave de Beaumont, spent nine months traveling around America studying its prisons and came back with a full report on the cultural, political and psychological life in America. While Beaumont wrote about the penitentiary system, Tocqueville focused more in the cultural and political life in America. He wrote two essays and published them in a book called Democracy in America. He discussed the possible threats to democracy and the possible dangers of democracy. He believed that religion and equality were the greatest ideas and they were the most advanced in the United States and that's why democracy worked so well in America.
Alexis de Tocqueville penned Democracy in America after he spent month America in the 1831, where he witnessed a new democratic system. He found it’s concepts to have unique strengths and weaknesses that he believed could be the inspiration for the new government of post-revolution France. The concepts of limiting individualism, encouraging positive associations, and moderating the tyranny of the majority that Tocqueville observed during his trip in America helped maintain the new democratic republic built after the revolution.
In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville provides an analysis and critique of American civic life. During his travels across the country, he discovered how different America was from Europe, particularly France. While the majority of Europe consisted of aristocratic countries with hundreds of years of history, America was a young democratic country. Most notably, he observed that America was growing in equality. The growing equality becomes a presupposition of individualism and isolation, but despite this inevitable growth of equality, individualism and isolation can be minimized. Tocqueville provided an analysis of how citizens can prevent equality from evolving into a high degree of isolation.
Throughout American history, our presidents have changed the implications by the meaning of American exceptionalism. Originally coined to mean the United States has a unique position to create a better world, the term soon morphed into an excuse to force our beliefs onto other nations. In its purest form, American exceptionalism serves as an urging for the United States to go and help nations who ask for it, and it is our duty to respond. However, various administrations have morphed this message to imply that the United States is the pinnacle of “good”, and any nation who is not following our system is “evil”. This view leads to a dangerous international affairs, and the perception Americans have of the world.
Famous French historian Alexis de Tocqueville once said, “America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” (qtd. in Carson 651.) In “Recovering America’s Exceptionalism,” Ben Carson explains how we are losing touch with the values that once made America a great country. These include decency, honesty, compassion, and fairness. He explains that in order to avoid devastation we must remember these values when making decisions about our future. I would agree that all hope is not lost, but we will have to embrace the values that America was originally founded upon to achieve greatness once again.
The primary source is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, published in 1835 with the purpose of describing American way of life in the 1800s. Tocqueville’s point of view comes from his own aristocratic life in France. The late 1700s and early 1800s were a very turbulent time in France’s history, due to the political and social disturbances caused by the French Revolution. Thus, when he comes to America Tocqueville contrasts the American democracy with the forms of government he familiar with in Europe. The message he is trying to send to his French audience is how a proper democracy works. He saw how the government in France was in shambles; thus, he wanted to discuss what allowed
The four elements of American Exceptionalism are its location, philosophy, and qualities of the American people and how the political system works.
Today, the United States of America is analogous with the terms freedom, liberty and prosperity. Throughout its existence, the nation has come to represent a unique melting pot of ideals, races, and cultures, which have recurrently exhibited the perspectives of freedom and equality in regards to not only daily livelihood, but also free trade. Although the United States continues to stand as an immense representation of hope and prominence in reference to opportunity, it is almost impossible to ignore the dark aspects of its history. For a nation that was founded by the ideals of assuring freedom for those who arrived at its shores and ports, a majority of the early stages of American history were flooded with an immense amount of prejudice
Tocqueville illustrates the harsh fact of an aristocratic society that if a man has been born rich, he is credited to wealth and inherits to remain rich. This striving force led by a man continues till he dies. Furthermore, if a man is born a peasant, it becomes his destiny to die as a peasant, consequently inheriting the same virtue to his children (Tocqueville, p. 54). All in all, both of these classes intersect to pursue their private interests in their walk of life. They both act upon to depict their ideas to support democratic government. Status, pride, honor, national glory, excellence, and passivity are all important values in an aristocratic society (Tocqueville, p. 13).
In the article "Beyond Vietnam", Martin Luther argues that war in Vietnam has far reaching affects that not only rapaciously take away America's resources, but make an immediate impact on African Americans perspective on the civil rights movement.
American exceptionalism, in reference to John Wilsey, author of American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion: Reassessing the History of an Idea, is defined as “a unique nation—an exceptional nation—set apart and qualitatively different from, even superior to, the rest of the world.” (Wilsey 15). America, throughout history, has always been viewed as superior to other countries. While this may be true in today’s society, America back in the 18th century acted and answered differently toward certain affairs. In the 1700s, there were events that can be considered exceptional, nevertheless there is a larger amount of negative aspects that occurred. American exceptionalism is not an effective tool to explain America in the 18th century because of
the power form of the majority. He believed that majority of equals leads to the creation of people abusing their powers. Lastly, as the Tocqueville’s likes, and dislikes were mentioned other great philosophers such as Rousseau of those times had a say on the equality in a country.
“I have tried to see not differently but further…”(Tocqueville, 1835) was Alexis de Tocqueville’s conclusion to the introduction of his perennial classic text Democracy in America, and adumbrates to the reader of his modern ideas and observations that were to follow. At the same time, he measures the progress of society through its relationship with equality and liberty. In this paper, I will highlight Tocqueville’s use of equality and liberty to compare the past and the modern, and establish his views on the effects of these concepts with society and each other. Finally, I will put forth that Tocqueville does not favour one concept over the other, but notes the complex relationship between the two and the importance of the co-existence of liberty and equality for a society of people.