Looking at the American Experience
This paper analyzes two books, Louis Hartz's "The Liberal Tradition in America" and Eric Foner's "The Story of American Freedom."
# 26334 | 2,010 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2002 |
Published on Apr 30, 2003 in Literature (American) , History (U.S. Colonization of North America) , English (Analysis) , English (Comparison)
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This paper compares and contrasts the two ruminations on the American experience. The first, "The Liberal Tradition in America," looks at the uniqueness of American history through the concept of the nation's liberal tradition, while the second, "The Story of American Freedom," examines the changing meanings of freedom throughout history. The writer argues that both books consider the uniqueness of the American experience.
From the Paper:"Hartz makes a convincing argument for studying the unique situation of the American political system, one which grew from and was informed by European tradition but, in some respects, was born with the founding of the country: "It has a quiet, matter of fact quality, it does not understand the meaning of sovereign power, the bourgeois class passion is scarcely present, the sense of the past is altered, and there is about it all, as compared with the European pattern, a vast and almost charming innocence of mind" (7). In other words, the lack of political antecedents means that the American system began its life as a liberal society, rather than evolving into one, making it unique among all the world's significant political systems. Unlike the European model, the American system did not really grow out of feudalism. It had no long-standing traditions to rebel against and overthrow. Although the American Revolution is often compared to its French counterpart, the two events are actually quite separate. France was overthrowing centuries of royal rule and the existence of an aristocratic class that oppressed the workers and considered them in many ways as subhuman. America was overthrowing traditions that had not been in place for very long and were, at best, imported and modeled on the traditions of entirely different societies. The nation that emerged had an entirely new, separate identity, while the new France still had ties in many significant ways to its royalist, class-dominated past."
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Looking at the American Experience (2003, April 30) Retrieved July 04, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/looking-at-the-american-experience-26334/
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