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By Trevor McCrisken

American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam examines the impression of the idea in American exceptionalism at the historical past of U.S. international coverage because the Vietnam battle. Trevor B. McCrisken analyzes makes an attempt by means of each one post-Vietnam U.S. management to restore the preferred trust in exceptionalism either rhetorically and through pursuing overseas coverage supposedly grounded in conventional American ideas. He argues that exceptionalism constantly supplied the framework for international coverage discourse yet that the behavior of international affairs used to be restricted by means of the Vietnam syndrome.

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Additional resources for American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam: US Foreign Policy since 1974

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Cold War foreign policy had, though, ‘done much to force many of us to rethink attitudes that were deep and basic sentiments about our country’. 25 The End of American Exceptionalism? 27 What was it about the American experience in Vietnam that caused Americans to question their national values and aims? The belief in American exceptionalism had been challenged by other events in US history prior to the Vietnam War. The debate over imperialism of the late nineteenth century, the years surrounding American involvement in the First World War, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the increasingly unpopular Korean War all gave Americans cause to question whether theirs remained the chosen nation.

Hospitals, schools, churches, ‘friendly’ villages, and villages containing mostly women and children were frequently targeted. 33 That the The End of American Exceptionalism? 29 US could employ such weapons, especially against civilians, seemed an indication that the nation had lost its sense of morality. Americans were used to condemning their enemies for acts of brutality but considered themselves above such actions. Yet Americans had bombed civilians in the past, of course, most notably the firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo and the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There was a broad understanding among the Members of Congress that they were not issuing the equivalent of a declaration of war. But the resolution had effectively given Johnson a blank cheque to wage whatever war he deemed necessary in Vietnam, and Congress was not approached for any 28 American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam further authorizations. Quite apart from the dubious constitutionality of such an action, the event that allowed for the resolution was itself of questionable nature.

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