Exceptionalism - Expressions of exceptionalism




"Wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are upon us."

— John Winthrop, "A Modell of Christian Charity" (1630) —

"It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no great distant period a great nation to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence."

— George Washington, Farewell Address, 17 September 1796 —

"America … goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all."

— Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Fourth of July Address, 1821 —

"And that claim [to Oregon] is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of Liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us."

— John L. O'Sullivan, New York Morning News, 27 December 1845 —

"Destiny has laid upon our country the responsibility of the free world's leadership."

— Dwight D. Eisenhower, First Inaugural Address, 20 January 1953 —

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty…. [T]he energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world."

— John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, 20 January 1961 —

"Our [foreign] policy is designed to serve mankind."

— Jimmy Carter, commencement address at University of Notre Dame, 22 May 1977 —

"Americans resort to force only when we must. We have never been aggressors. We have always struggled to defend freedom and democracy. We have no territorial ambitions. We occupy no territories."

— Ronald Reagan, State of the Union Address, 25 January 1984 —

"The fact is America remains the indispensable nation. America, and only America, can make a difference between war and peace, between freedom and repression, between hope and fear [in the world]."

— Bill Clinton, address at George Washington University, 5 August 1996 —

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