How are American values different from values of people from other countries?

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jerseygyrl1983 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main value that separates the United States from other countries throughout the world is that of American exceptionalism. 

The French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in Democracy in America that "the position of Americans is therefore quite exceptional" based on his belief that no other democratic people would ever be placed in a similar position.

Arguably, the United States is unique in how long its modern democracy has persisted. No other country, even those with much longer histories, can lay a similar claim. France, for example, was inspired by the American Revolution to carry out its own. However, its revolutionary phase was followed by chaos, the eventual rise of Napoleon, a series of revolutions, then the Second Empire. It would not see modern democracy until after the Second World War.

American exceptionalism is one area in which both liberals and conservatives seem to agree. It is not unusual to hear members of both political persuasions claim that the United States is the world's greatest nation. Such a laudatory statement is unusual outside of the U.S.

American exceptionalism took on a new form after World War II. At that time, the U.S. took on the belief that it had a mission to ensure a democratic world order. This led to a number of interventions to establish democracy in other countries.