American Exceptionalism:During the 19th century, the settlers believed they were destined for greatness. The ideas came to be known as manifest destiny. According to the ideas, the American people had special virtues and their destiny was to remake the American continent in their image. Many of the democrats embraced the ideas while some prominent Americans rejected it. Manifest destiny was born out of the notion that the American people were fundamentally different from others in the rest of the world. The belief stated as a spiritual reform that later turned secular the people became more wealth and contented with the many opportunities they found in America. The ideology of American exceptionalism led the country to take the responsibility of civilizing different communities across the continent and in some cases displacing and replacing them.
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Manifest destiny contradicts the founding principles of the nation because it encouraged the inhuman treatment of native tribes for material gain. My Lai massacre makes it evident that the American soldiers are no different from the insurgency or other armies engaged in armed conflict. it makes it clear that American are similar to the rest of the people; there are primitive impulses that led people regardless of their nation to seek material gain.
Heidler, David S. and Heidler, Jeanne T. Manifest Destiny. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2003. Print.
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