Essay on Americanism: Ideology of the United States
According to experts in American studies, Americanism embraces a range of traditions, language peculiarities and cultural background of Americans if to look at these aspects from the political perspective. Americanism essays generally explore two sides of the question, namely the ideology of the USA and anti-American movements that have been caused by this ideology. The following Americanism essay will examine the ideology of the USA based on the belief of American nation in loyalty and devotion to their country of origin. This includes allegiance to such aspects of national identity as flag, customs and traditions, symbols and the form of government.
We will start the discussion from giving a definition of Americanism. In fact, Americanism has two absolutely different meanings. On the one hand, it can reflect the well-defined characteristics of the USA and indicate loyalty of people to their homeland as well as the protection of the country’s political ideals. The latter includes but is not restricted to the importance of self-government, equal opportunities for all people, freedom of speech and a strong belief in the state’s progress and development. The set of these beliefs forms the way people perceive contemporary Americanism ideology that is based on the appeal of the USA to people across the globe. There are organizations that have taken the political ideals of the country even further. Thus, the Ku Klux Klan organization adheres to the opinion that Americanism should also include such aspect as racial purity and the Americans should affiliate themselves with Protestantism. As for the other definition of Americanism, it is related to the language peculiarities meaning that Americanisms are a set of words and phrases that are peculiar only to the American nation.
It needs to be noted that Americanism is sometimes compared with patriotism. However, there is a distinction between the two phenomena. Patriotism is rather associated with the power of the country, while Americanism originates from the cultural experience and focuses on political ideals of the nation. The notion of Americanism has emerged since the first Europeans arrived in America. Some researchers claim that new settlers opened new prospects for the future of American nation. This used to be a common thinking all over the New World right after the USA gained its independence. The newly formed independent state would, however, end up transforming into something that the scholars call “an asylum for mankind”.
Let us further discuss the transformation of the concept of Americanism throughout the ages. Thus, after the Civil War and towards the end of the World War II, Americanism acquired quite a new meaning across millions of people who immigrated to the USA. Those times were characterized by huge economic development as well as industrialization, and therefore, the American ideology was perceived as industrialized democracy. The perception of the American government also changed and since that time, the success and prosperity of the American nation have turned the concept of Americanism into a more powerful notion that would guide the people throughout the history of the country. However, at this point a new contradicting concept was formed. This concept is now known as anti-Americanism and will be further analyzed in the current paper.
The notion of anti-Americanism originated from the perception of the third-world states that regarded America as an oppressor. The international interventions of American government caused a number of conflicts across the globe, so that America started to be perceived as a nation that puts its ideals and achievements above those of other nations. Therefore, it should be noted that Americanism and anti-Americanism are two interrelated concepts. The traditional ideology of the American nation presupposes that Americans are morally obliged to take all possible measures for the benefit of other countries across the world. This is done to achieve justice globally. However, such intentions of the Americans and their way of thinking have brought to life the anti-American ideas according to which America does not have a right to interfere with the domestic affairs of other countries, and when they actually do so, they bring more harm than benefit.
As for anti-Americanism, it should be noted that this movement is associated with much injustice across the world. The unreasonable hatred to the USA is caused by the phenomenon of victimization peculiar to the humankind. This means that whatever person is in charge of the affairs and has power in the state, he/she would be hated by the nation. This hatred often originates without any ground reasons. The unreasonable criticism of American nation will be briefly discussed further.
The hatred towards Americans can take different forms. Among the most prevalent forms of anti-Americanism across Western countries is the intellectual criticism. This means that America is condemned for its actions in terms of political interference with the affairs of other countries. The intellectual criticism of America is grounded on morals and principles derived from the actions of the USA in the past. Anti-Americanism is greatly prevalent across European countries. In Europe, this phenomenon takes the form of intellectual hatred towards the American nation. Such distaste of America is deeply rooted in the history of Europe in terms of various international conflicts in which America played a significant role. The survey conducted among German population has shown that German nation has a critical attitude to the American leadership. This can be explained by the following reasons:
- Failure of the US to address the problems of its allies as has been promised by the US government.
- Refusal of the US to take joint actions in finding a solution to environmental problems like global warming.
- The protectionist position of the US regarding the issues of trade in such spheres as steel industry and agriculture.
The above reasons for the distaste of the US among the European countries are applicable to such states as France, Germany, Italy and Spain. These reasons can be added with a lot of other critical remarks from the leading countries across the globe. All this proves that the Americanism ideology of the US is closely related to the anti-American moods around the world. Although American nation is proud of its homeland, other countries have a critical attitude towards the US nation. American government should take criticism of its leadership into account and reconsider its foreign policy to prevent conflicts that might arise in future.
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