What makes America different from other countries? Are Americans different from the citizens or subjects of other countries and cultures?

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In reponse to #9 and #11 - During the 1990's many classified documents from WWII were finally available.  I don't remember which one I read, but it's very clear the US sat on the fence for quite a while during The Great Slavic-Germanic Conflict because.......they were waiting to see who...

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In reponse to #9 and #11 - During the 1990's many classified documents from WWII were finally available.  I don't remember which one I read, but it's very clear the US sat on the fence for quite a while during The Great Slavic-Germanic Conflict because.......they were waiting to see who got the upper hand, and jump into bed with the winning side. Much has been made about German atrocities; less has been made about Slavic ones -- is that because Uncle Sam finally threw in with "Uncle Joe?"  People forget the US actually fought the burgeoning Soviet Union during WWI!   Poltics makes strange bedfellows, and nothing shifts faster than politics.  Patton knew what had to happen next, and pushed his idea to invade our Soviet "Allies."  Strangely, he then didn't make it out of the war alive....... History shows us, again and again, standing armies are not a good thing, because some mega-maniacal god-damned fool will eventually come round who'll want to use them (I won't even hint about our recent vice president......)

Germany lost the war at the Battle of Britain, not tactically, but strategically.  All that German aircraft that went down couldn't be replaced, yet was vital to to counter the Slavic ground forces later on.  Would have been a different land war then.  Had it happened, maybe Anglo-Germanic forces would have solved the Cold War back in '45.....

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Even though this will be #11, I'll throw it in! :)

One thing that I believe has made America different is that it was populated by people who were willing to leave behind everything they knew, travel a great distance often at great sacrifice, and carve out a home. These people were risk-takers, and I believe that their genetic inheritance has led Americans to achieve many things. Of course, it has also led to excesses!

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The United States of America is a country that provides people with freedom and opportunity. As long as our current Administration doesn't allow their Socialist ideology to destroy our capitalist society, America will remain the greatest country in the world.

No country is as generous as America, no country gives more support, both financial and with the blood of our soldiers like America. It is because of America that Europe was saved from the savages of Stalin and Hitler.

It is because of America that people in trouble due to catastrophes caused by natural events or through invasion by the enemies of freedom, that more people are free today, free from oppression, torture, starvation and disease. America is different from other countries and cultures, Americans are free people who give freely to help others in need and in trouble.

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In response to frizzyperm:

I stand corrected. The Soviet Union indeed bled the most during the war, and Adolph's sole motivation was to destroy Stalin & Company. And Stalingrad was the beginning of the end (and an interesting study of battle -- apparently, Adolph wanted to level it as a slap in the face to Joe's namesake. Capturing the city didn't warrant the resources expended on it. How's that for hubris? One egomaniac attempting to belittle the other!) The Western Theatre was very much secondary. It's important to remember that the conflict in that part of the world during that whole ugly era was about Fascism vs. Communism. How's that for a no win choice? Which totalitarian regime do you want to be supreme?

Thank you for catching my bit of ethnocentricity. Given that, would it be safe to say that they saved Europe?

"Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his."

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The United States were found upon principles established during the Enlightenment, as previously noted, and established governance by Rule of Law.  With the possible exception of the Greek city-states, this was the first country in the world to do so. That alone makes it unique, and all else that followed, well or ill, until recently, was the result of a free people under a limited government.  (See poem at end, written 35 years ago.  Still applicable today.)

Once, many years ago late at night,  I walked through the Chinatown section of my city with a friend looking for an open restaurant.  Here were two kids, one descended from Polish Jews and the other from Italian Catholics looking for Chinese food.  Just as we were about to enter the restaurant of our choice, we nearly bumped into a Chinese kid (who turned out to be the owner's son) who was hurrying inside carrying a stack of pizzas for the kitchen staff's dinner.  "Only in America!"  said my friend.

France symbolizes wine and Frenchness.  Try speaking English in the wrong place at the wrong time and you're assessed a fine.

Italy had its place in the sun during Roman times.  I'm sure when Rome was young, Romans went around the known world waving id scrolls in foreign official's faces while shouting "You can't do this, I'm a Roman!"   Imperialism isn't specific to any time or culture.  It's just sad the US has devolved so fast.  But still, it was only 65 odd years ago they saved the world.

Mankind Loosed, author Unknown

I have died in Viet Nam but I have walked the face of the moon.
I have befouled the waters and tainted the air of a magnificent land but I have made it safe from disease.
I have flown through the sky faster than the sun but I have idled in streets made ugly with traffic.
I have littered the land with garbage but I have built upon it 100 million homes.
I have divided schools with my prejudice but I have sent armies to unite them.
I have beat down my enemies with clubs but I have built courtrooms to keep them free.
I have built a bomb to destroy the world but I have used it to light a light.
I have outraged my brothers in the alleys of the ghettos but I have transplanted a human heart.
I have scribbled out filth and pornography but I have elevated the philosophy of man.
I have watched children starve from my golden towers but I have fed half the earth.
I was raised in a grotesque slum but I am surfeited by the silver spoon of opulence.
I live in the greatest country in the world in the greatest time in history but I scorn the ground I stand upon.
I am ashamed but I am proud. I am an American

 

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I am going to go a way slightly calmer than Frizzy did because I didn't read it as you asking "why are we so awesome?" I am reading your question as "Are there distinctions and differences of Americans to those of other nationalities."

Simple answer: Yes.

We have a different culture, we are exposed to a lot more diverse cultures in a small space. Someone born in Italy has a different way of life than someone in Africa, and Mexico, and Russia. It is about life experiences. Even look at the difference between someone born and raised in NYC versus Oklahoma. Everyone is different and have different cultures, values and ideas. That doesn't make one culture better or worse than another, just...different.

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The United States of America was the first nation on the planet that was born out of the idea that people had the capacity to totally govern themselves. The political philosophies of  Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquieu become the great American experiment. The notion that the political ideologies which suggest natural rights surpass the divine right of Kings was as radical as it could get in the 17th century. (Please note that the U.S. with all of its aspiring ideologies has not been without fault. There was and still is discrimination here, and although we have not attained the aspiration of 'We The People' the nation has struggled to move in that direction, much blood has been shed in that vein.)

Another subject that differentiates The United States from other nations are the people who live here. We are a nation of people who at one point or another came from another nation. Often referred to as a nation of immigrants, the U.S. is far more ethnically diverse than most other nations. I think that the complexity of America's diversity has created a very unique perspective on its culture. For example, if they choose people can celebrate ethnic festivals such as St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year and need not be Irish, Mexican or Chinese to do so. On the other hand, regardless of where their heritage originates, most folks do recognize and my experience has been that many celebrate the 4th of July. That mindset is purely American.

 

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