Is America the greatest nation in human history?

I am working on a paper on American exceptionalism that hopefully will lay the groundwork for a book in the not-too-distant future.

I would like to solicit some insightful feedback on the question, Is America exceptional? A number of questions fit under this larger question–

  • Is America the greatest nation in human history?
  • Is America the hope of the world?
  • Is America a city on a hill?
  • Does America enjoy unique blessings from God?
  • Does belief in American exceptionalism serve as a litmus test for authentic patriotism?
  • Can one affirm American uniqueness without affirming American exceptionalism?
  • What warrant is available to base a belief in American exceptionalism?
  • Have any other nations in history claimed exceptionalism? Could any nation in history claim exceptionalism? What would that mean for America, if other nations could make legitimate claims on exceptionalism?
  • Has America always been exceptional? In other words, could America claim exceptionalism before it was a world power?
  • Is exceptionalism demonstrated by economic indicators? Military? Cultural? Religious? Political? Aesthetic? Demographic?

I’d love your thoughts and ideas. If you have other questions that should be added to the list, I’d love those, too. Also, if you’ve read any relevant books or articles on this issue, please let me know.

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6 responses to “Is America the greatest nation in human history?

  1. Although I obviously would be biased in saying that American is the greatest nation on Earth because I was born here and live here, I think that's there's strong evidence and observations to note how exceptional America is. This is the first successful republic offering civil liberties and freedoms that were rare for any other nation of the time. We have not changed out Constitution (which is rare for existing democracies) since its adoption. This country has been able to unite people of different ethnicities, races, and religions into a single state without the use of a hegemonic empire. Although this country wasn't created as a Christian state, Judeo-Christian values were deeply rooted in our nation in government and still exist to be (sadly not as much as it once did). I'm excited about reading your paper on this, perhaps these thoughts will help.

  2. Dr. Wilsey, would you like the feedback via comment here or some other way?

  3. Hi John,You already know what I think about this, but I thought I'd ad my two cents anyway.Is America exceptional? Yes, I think so. Do I buy into the overarching theory about "American exceptionalism"? No.As Wesley suggested in his comment above, our founders broke new ground when it comes to civil liberties, and we should be grateful to God that we were born into such a system.I love this country. I have volunteered to fight and die for her and the freedoms she gives us. But I also believe that we are toying with heresy if we claim that God has anointed and ordained the United States to be his representative power on earth.

  4. Jason, here would be great! Thanks.

  5. Is America the greatest nation in human history? – Yes and No. America is the greatest nation in human history in terms of world power and world domination. America once was, perhaps, the most freedom-loving nation in human history. That is no longer the case. Modern America has taken historically unprecedented steps to limit extremely important freedoms on a world-wide scale. Therefore, modern America may now be the least nation in human history.Is America the hope of the world? – Yes and No. Because America has come into great wealth and power, America is sometimes the only hope for many in the world (in terms of material help). America can do great good or great evil with its wealth though. She has been a curse on the world in many ways.Is America a city on a hill? – Yes. But what light is this city shining? America has done some great things and exemplified some good principles. However, "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light" and is the "father of lies." Unfortunately, while we still stand for many good things in principle, much of what we now shine to the world is deception.Does America enjoy unique blessings from God? – Yes, every creature and every nation does.Does belief in American exceptionalism serve as a litmus test for authentic patriotism? – I don't think so.Can one affirm American uniqueness without affirming American exceptionalism? – Yes, I think so, but that depends on what you mean by exceptionalism.What warrant is available to base a belief in American exceptionalism? – I'm not sure what you mean. I tend to think what makes her exceptional is that America was founded extremely free, perhaps more free in principle than any other nation. In any event, America has since become significantly less free even to the point of becoming anti-Christ (which I'll explain below).Have any other nations in history claimed exceptionalism? – I think the Communists in Russia likely thought of themselves in a similar light, along with some other nations at various times in Europe.Could any nation in history claim exceptionalism? – Certainly, and some could actually be exceptional too. "What has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.."What would that mean for America, if other nations could make legitimate claims on exceptionalism? – Americans could not be as proud. Perhaps we would start looking for planks in our eyes instead of specks in the eyes of the nations around us.Has America always been exceptional? In other words, could America claim exceptionalism before it was a world power? – I believe America was most exceptional in her first 100 years and has gotten less exceptional since then. Is exceptionalism demonstrated by economic indicators? Military? Cultural? Religious? Political? Aesthetic? Demographic? – What made America exceptional to me was her religious, political, and cultural background with regards to liberty. She was a nation with many people who wanted their neighbors to be free. However, now many of us want our neighbors to be in jail. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This desecration of American liberty started about three or four generations ago. I believe it was motivated by greed and accomplished through deception. Because of the word limit for each comment, I'll continue in a "reply" below…

  6. Hello Dr. Wilsey,I think I would like to give these questions a bit of input from a heartbroken American.1. Is American the greatest nation in human history? No.. Israel was the greatest nation in human history – completely designed and controlled by God – until their rebellion and vanity caused them to break their vows. America came to a close second until we also turned on God and have allowed all that he hates to control our land. Imagine how wonderful this land was when God was considered our 'everything' instead of a bother, or as some say 'a mystical creature' or others say 'a myth'. How can we expect to consider our country grand when we no longer defend our creator and allow such garbage to be allowed. We deserve his anger and his punishment, just as Israel did.2. Is America the hope of the World? Absolutely not. We are but another example of a blessed nation that has turned on God and credit ourselves with glory instead of giving him the Glory for what was once a great land. I believe our time is limited and it causing me much grief. Coming from a person of Jewish & Native American decent, I can promise that God will only allow this nation to continue if it is in his plans and for the benefit of others. We are now under his wrath. We will not be 'players' in the end times and I believe those times are closely approaching.3. Is America a city on a hill? I believe America is a city on a hill, but not all cities on hills are a good thing. Look at Babylon, Persia, Egypt and Rome for examples of places that thought they were untouchable and correct on all accords. The true and only city on a hill will be the new Jerusalem coming in the clouds. All others are man made and temporary.4. Does America enjoy unique blessings from God? This is the sad question. The answer is, America did enjoy many unique blessings from God but much like my ancestors, they became vain and gave themselves all the glory. This country was allowed to be created and prosper because God came first and he blessed those here. This nation is falling and unless we turn back to God – it will continue to fall. He tells us time and again in his word that we must turn back but instead we continue to allow him to be kicked out of every aspect of this nation and none defend him to the enemies. All we would have to do is call on him and he would help us overcome and prevail once again. Even the Israelites did this for a time, but yet – we can't even do it once. For example: Our Congress passes laws that totally go against God's word but then they have the nerve to stand in front of their glorious buildings and pray to him when things go wrong. Who are they to write laws against his law and then pray to him in times of trouble. And what's even more sad — once the trouble has passed — they find more ways to kick him aside.5. Does belief in American exceptionalism serve as a litmus test for authentic patriotism? Sadly so..6. Can one affirm American uniqueness without affirming American exceptionalism? Yes, but again, people would have to accept the fact that American was only exceptional due to God's blessing and not on her own. The statement would be best in this manner: We give God the glory for the success of this nation. We realize that without him we would not be unique and could never attempt to be exceptional. We pray now Dear Lord, that you forgive us of our filthy ways, cleanse our land of all unrighteousness, and have all those who abide here return to you so that once again you would bless us and guide us.7.

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