American nationalism or United States nationalism is a form of civic nationalism found in the United States. Essentially, it indicates the aspects that characterize and distinguish the United States as an autonomous political community. The term often serves to explain efforts to reinforce its national identity and self-determination within their national and international affairs. American scholars such as Hans Kohn state that the United States government institutionalized a civic nationalism founded upon legal and rational concepts of citizenship, being based on common language and cultural traditions. The Founding Fathers of the United States established the country upon classical liberal and individualist principles, although forms of ethnic nationalism were also present, as codified in the Naturalization Act of 1790.
The United States traces its origins to the Thirteen Colonies founded by Britain in the 17th and early 18th century. Residents identified with Britain until the mid-18th century when the first sense of being "American" emerged. The Albany Plan proposed a union between the colonies in 1754. Although unsuccessful, it served as a reference for future discussions of independence.
Soon afterward, the colonies faced several common grievances over acts passed by the British Parliament, including taxation without representation. Americans were in general agreement that only their own colonial legislatures—and not Parliament in London—could pass taxes. Parliament vigorously insisted otherwise and no compromise was found. The London government punished Boston for the Boston Tea Party and the Thirteen Colonies united and formed the Continental Congress, which lasted from 1774 to 1789. Fighting broke out in 1775 and the sentiment swung to independence in early 1776, influenced especially by the appeal to American nationalism by Thomas Paine. His pamphlet Common Sense was a runaway best seller in 1776. Congress unanimously issued a Declaration of Independence announcing a new nation had formed, the United States of America. American Patriots won the American Revolutionary War and received generous peace terms from Britain in 1783. The minority of Loyalists (loyal to King George III) could remain or leave, but about 80% remained and became full American citizens. Frequent parades along with new rituals and ceremonies—and a new flag—provided popular occasions for expressing a spirit of American nationalism.
The new nation operated under the very weak national government set up by the Articles of Confederation and most Americans put loyalty to their state ahead of loyalty to the nation. Nationalists led by George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison had Congress call a constitutional convention in 1787. It produced the Constitution for a strong national government which was debated in every state and unanimously adopted. It went into effect in 1789 with Washington as the first President.
In an 1858 speech, future President Abraham Lincoln alluded to a form of American civic nationalism originating from the tenets of the Declaration of Independence as a force for national unity in the United States, stating that it was a method for uniting diverse peoples of different ethnic ancestries into a common nationality:
If they look back through this history to trace their connection with those days by blood, they find they have none, they cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel that they are part of us, but when they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal", and then they feel that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their relation to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them, and that they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote the Declaration, and so they are. That is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.
White Southerners increasingly felt alienated—they saw themselves as becoming second-class citizens as aggressive anti-slavery Northerners tried to end their ability to take slave property to the fast-growing western territories. They questioned whether their loyalty to the nation trumped their loyalty to their state and their way of life since it was so intimately bound up with slavery, whether they owned any slaves or not. A sense of Southern nationalism was starting to emerge, though it was inchoate as late as 1860 when the election of Lincoln was a signal for most of the slave states in the South to secede and form their own new nation. The Confederate government insisted the nationalism was real and imposed increasing burdens on the population in the name of independence and nationalism. The fierce combat record of the Confederates demonstrates their commitment to the death for independence. The government and army refused to compromise and were militarily overwhelmed in 1865. By the 1890s, the white South felt vindicated through its belief in the newly constructed memory of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. The North came to accept or at least tolerate racial segregation and disfranchisement of black voters in the South. The spirit of American nationalism had returned to Dixie.
The North's triumph in the American Civil War marked a significant transition in American national identity. The ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment settled the basic question of national identity, such as the criteria for becoming a citizen of the United States. Everyone born in the territorial boundaries of the United States or those areas and subject to its jurisdiction was an American citizen, regardless of ethnicity or social status (Indians on reservations became citizens in 1924 while Indians off reservations had always been citizens).
With a very fast growing industrial economy, immigrants were welcome from Europe, Canada, Mexico and Cuba and millions came. Becoming a full citizen was an easy process of filling out paperwork over a five-year span.
However, new Asian arrivals were not welcome. Restrictions were imposed on most Chinese immigrants in the 1880s and informal restrictions on most Japanese in 1907. By 1924, it was difficult for any Asian to enter the United States, but children born in the United States to Asian parents were full citizens. The restrictions were ended on the Chinese in the 1940s and on other Asians in 1965.
Nationalism and Americanism remain topics in the modern United States. Political scientist Paul McCartney, for instance, argues that as a nation defined by a creed and sense of mission Americans tend to equate their interests with those of humanity, which in turn informs their global posture. In certain cases, it may be considered a form of ethnocentrism and American exceptionalism.
Due to the distinctive circumstances involved throughout history in American politics, its nationalism has developed in regards to both loyalty to a set of liberal, universal political ideals and a perceived accountability to propagate those principles globally. Acknowledging the conception of the United States as accountable for spreading liberal change and promoting democracy throughout the world's politics and governance has defined practically all of American foreign policy. Therefore, democracy promotion is not just another measure of foreign policy, but it is rather the fundamental characteristic of their national identity and political determination.
The September 11 attacks of 2001 led to a wave of nationalist expression in the United States. This was accompanied by a rise in military enlistment that included not only lower-income Americans, but also middle-class and upper-class citizens.
In a paper in the American Sociological Review, "Varieties of American Popular Nationalism", sociologists Bart Bonikowski and Paul DiMaggio report on research findings supporting the existence of at least four kinds of American nationalists, including, from smallest to largest groups: (1) the disengaged, (2) creedal or civic nationalists, (3) ardent nationalists, and (4) restrictive nationalists.
Bonikowski and Dimaggio's analysis of these four groups found that ardent nationalists made up about 24% of their study, and was the larger of the two groups they describe as "extreme". Members of this group identified closely with the United States, were very proud of their country, and associated themselves strongly with factors of national hubris. However, although they felt that it was important that a "true American" speak English, and had lived most of their life in the U.S., they rejected the necessity of being Christian or being born in the country. Nevertheless, ardent nationalists perceived Jews, Muslims, agnostics and naturalized citizens as something less than truly American. The second class that Bonikowski and DiMaggio referred to as "extreme" was the smallest of the four classes, making up 17% of their respondents. The disengaged showed low levels of pride in the institutions of government and did not fully identify themselves with the United States. Their lack of pride extended to American democracy, American history, the political equality in the U.S., and the country's political influence in the world. This group was the least nationalistic of all four groups identified.
The two remaining classes were less homogeneous in their responses than were ardent nationalists and the disengaged. Restrictive nationalists had low levels of pride in American and its institutions, but defined a "true American" in ways that were markedly "exclusionary". This group was the largest of the four, including 38% of the study's respondents. While their levels of national identification and pride were moderate, they espoused beliefs that restricted who they considered to be "true Americans", excluding, for instance, non-Christians. The final group identified were creedal nationalists, who made of 22% of the study. This group believes in liberal values, is proud of the United States, and held the fewest restrictions on who could be considered to be a true American. They identified closely with their country, which they felt "very close" to, and were proud of its achievements. Bonikowski and Dimaggio dubbed the group "creedal" because their beliefs most closely approximated the precepts of what is widely taken to be the American creed.
As part of their findings, the authors report that the connection between religious belief and national identity is a significant one. The belief that being a Christian is an important part of what it means to be a "true American" is the most significant factor which separates the creedal nationalists and the disengaged from the restrictive and ardent nationalists. They also determined that their groupings cut across partisan boundaries, and help to explain the recent success of populist, nativist and racist rhetoric in American politics, exemplified by the election of Donald Trump as president. Trump's expressed ideology closely resembles the beliefs of the largest group, the restrictive nationalists, and the sociodemographic breakdown of Trump's base of support is closely aligned with that of that group as well.
President Donald Trump has been described as a nationalist and has embraced the term himself. Several current and former officials within his administration, including former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, Director of the National Trade Council Peter Navarro, former Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka, Special Assistant to the President Julia Hahn, former Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications Michael Anton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, National Security Advisor John R. Bolton and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn have been described as representing a "nationalist wing" within the federal government.
In a February 2017 article in The Atlantic, journalist Uri Friedman described "populist economic nationalist" as a new nationalist movement "modeled on the 'populism' of the 19th-century U.S. President Andrew Jackson" which was introduced in Trump's remarks to the Republican National Convention in a speech written by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. Miller had adopted Sessions' form of "nation-state populism" while working as his aid. By September 2017, The Washington Post journalist Greg Sargent observed that "Trump's nationalism" as "defined" by Bannon, Breitbart, Miller and "the rest of the 'populist economic nationalist' contingent around Trump", was beginning to have wavering support among Trump voters. Some Republican members of Congress have also been described as nationalists, such as Representative Steve King.
During the Trump era, commonly identified American nationalist political commentators include Ann Coulter, Alex Jones, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Tucker Carlson and Mike Cernovich.
Who Is An American? Native-born and naturalized citizens
But it also expresses a myth of American nationality that remains vital in our political and cultural life: the idealized self-image of a multiethnic, multiracial democracy, hospitable to differences but united by a common sense of national belonging.
In inter-state relations, the American nation state presents its members as a monistic political body-despite ethnic and national groups in the interior.
To be or to become an American, a person did not have to be of any particular national, linguistic, religious, or ethnic background. All he had to do was to commit himself to the political ideology centered on the abstract ideals of liberty, equality, and republicanism. Thus the universalist ideological character of American nationality meant that it was open to anyone who willed to become an American.
The first, and central, way involves the view that Americans are all those persons born within the boundaries of the United States or admitted to citizenship by the government.
America First refers to a foreign policy in the United States that emphasizes American nationalism and unilateralism. It first gained prominence in the interwar period and was advocated by the America First Committee, a non-interventionist pressure group against the American entry into World War II. Since 2016, an identically-named foreign policy that emphasizes similar objectives has been pursued by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.American Creed
The American Creed is a statement of the defining element of American identity, first formulated by Thomas Jefferson and elaborated by many others, that includes liberty, equality, individualism, populism, and laissez faire.. Not to be confused with Dean Alfange's "An American's Creed".American patriotism
American Patriotism is patriotism involving cultural attachment to the United States of America. Identified as related to American Nationalism, despite many diverse ethnic backgrounds in the United States, pride in the American way of life is common amongst all of the citizens; the US constitution is at the center of this national pride.Americanism
Americanism may refer to:
A characteristic feature of American English
Americanism (ideology), an early 20th-century ideology frequently posited in opposition to communism or fascism
Americanism (heresy), a group of related beliefs supporting individualism and the separation of church and state that are regarded as heretical by the Catholic Church
"Americanism", a song by MxPx from their album Teenage PoliticsAmericanism (ideology)
Americanism is a set of the United States patriotic values aimed at creating a collective American identity, and can be defined as "an articulation of the nation's rightful place in the world, a set of traditions, a political language, and a cultural style imbued with political meaning". According to the American Legion, a U.S. veterans' organization, Americanism is an ideology, or belief in devotion, loyalty, or allegiance to the United States of America, or to its flag, traditions, customs, culture, symbols, institutions, or form of government. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, "Americanism is a question of spirit, conviction, and purpose, not of creed or birthplace."Americanism has two different meanings. It can refer to the defining characteristics of the United States and can also signify loyalty to the United States and a defense of American political ideals. These ideals include, but are not limited to self-government, equal opportunity, freedom of speech, and a belief in progress. This collection of ideals that forms the modern ideology of Americanism holds an enduring appeal to people from lands throughout the globe.Atomwaffen Division
The Atomwaffen Division (Atomwaffen meaning "atomic weapons" in German) is a neo-Nazi terrorist organization based in the United States and active in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany. Founded in 2013, the group's main base of operations is in Florida, but it has members in other states such as Texas and Montana. The group is part of the alt-right, but is considered extreme even within that movement.Atomwaffen encourages members to burn the United States flag and Constitution, and to attack the U.S. government and minorities (especially Jews). The group's membership is mostly young, and the Atomwaffen Division has been active on university campuses recruitment postering. The San Antonio, Texas, chapter is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).Atomwaffen has engaged in plans to cripple public water systems and destroy parts of the American electric grid. Atomwaffen has also been accused of planning to blow up nuclear plants to cause meltdowns of American nuclear energy sites. The organization aims for a violent overthrow of the United States government by use of terrorism and guerrilla warfare tactics. Since 2017, the organization has been linked to assaults and five killings.Black nationalism
Black nationalism is a type of political thought that seeks to promote, develop and maintain a black race identity for people of black ancestry.Black nationalist activism revolves around social, political, and economic empowerment of black communities and people, especially to resist assimilation into white culture (through integration or otherwise), and maintain a distinct black identity.Boys/Girls State
Boys State and Girls State are summer leadership and citizenship programs sponsored by The American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary for high school juniors, respectively. Boys and Girls are usually nominated by their high school during their junior year. Boys and Girls State programs both began in 1937 and are held in each of the U.S. states excluding Hawaii, usually at a college within that state. In general, male and female programs are held separately, but at least seven states—Georgia, Nebraska, Oregon, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island—host Boys and Girls State on the same campus on the same week.
Each state's program varies, but in general program participants are divided into subgroups referred to as cities. The citizens of each of these cities elect mock municipal officials and representatives to the mock state legislature. Many programs also have a county level as well. The participants also elect state officials, such as governor, lieutenant governor, and other state-level officials mirroring their actual State. The legislature meets to organize, elect leaders, and to pass bills, in a way that is similar to how their actual state legislature operates. Some programs tend to have a more traditional education focus, providing speakers and training throughout the week and then concluding with mock political functions. Other programs take a more hands-on approach by running the mock government activities all week.
All programs generally follow a similar pattern, but vary by state. Some states hold mock trials, the participants volunteering as lawyers, accused, and juries. Some states include a journalism component that represents the Fourth Estate in the political process. North Dakota includes a classroom-based emergency management simulation that requires participants to respond to various large-scale disasters by managing communication, resources and personnel. Other programs include creative and fun activities such as band, choir, and athletic competition. Some of the programs (e.g., New Mexico) host a dance during the week, inviting high school girls/boys from the area to attend. The Oregon program has moved away from using any mock systems to a completely simulated "State of Christensen" with its own law and order system that grows yearly and is passed on to the consecutive year.
Boys/Girls State is typically staffed by Legion members, past participants, and/or community leaders who volunteer their time and effort. Administrative costs are defrayed by their state Legion organizations and local businesses.Buy American Act
The Buy American Act ("BAA", originally 41 U.S.C. §§ 10a–10d, now 41 U.S.C. §§ 8301–8305) passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Hoover on his last full day in office (March 3, 1933), required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases. Other pieces of federal legislation extend similar requirements to third-party purchases that utilize federal funds, such as highway and transit programs.
The Buy American Act is not to be confused with the very similarly named "Buy America Act" that came into effect in 1983. The latter, a provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, is 49 U.S.C., § 5323 (j), and applies only to mass-transit-related procurements valued over US$100,000 and funded at least in part by federal grants.In certain government procurements, the requirement purchase may be waived by the Contracting Officer or the Head of the Contracting Activity (HCA) if the domestic product is 25% or more expensive than an identical foreign-sourced product, if the product is not available domestically in sufficient quantity or quality, or if doing so is in the public's interest.
The President has the authority to waive the Buy American Act within the terms of a reciprocal agreement or otherwise in response to the provision of reciprocal treatment to U.S. producers. Under the 1979 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Government Procurement Code, the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) 1996 Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), the United States provides access to the government procurement of certain U.S. agencies for goods from the other parties to those agreements. However, the Buy American Act was excluded from the GPA's coverage.Freedom fries
Freedom fries was a political euphemism for French fries in the United States. The term was born in 2003 when the then Republican Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, Bob Ney, renamed the menu item in three Congressional cafeterias in response to France's opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq. Although originally supported with several restaurants changing their menus as well, the term fell out of use due to declining support for the Iraq War. Following Ney's resignation as Chairman in 2006, it was quietly reverted.George C. Marshall Foundation
The George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Virginia, honors the legacy of George Catlett Marshall, who was Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense following World War II and the only person to hold all three high offices.God Bless America
"God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin during World War I in 1918 and revised by him in the run up to World War II in 1938. The later version has notably been recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song."God Bless America" takes the form of a prayer (intro lyrics "as we raise our voices, in a solemn prayer") for God's blessing and peace for the nation ("...stand beside her and guide her through the night...").Made in USA
The Made in USA mark is a country of origin label that indicates the product is "all or virtually all" made in the United States. The label is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).In general, goods imported into the United States must have a country of origin label unless excepted, but goods manufactured in the United States can be sold with no "Made in the USA" label unless explicitly required. U.S.-made goods that must bear an origin label include automobiles, textiles, wool, and fur products. Any voluntary claims about the amount of U.S. content in other products must comply with the FTC's Made in USA policy.A Made in USA claim can be expressed (for example, "American-made") or implied. In identifying implied claims, the Commission focuses on the overall impression of the advertising, label, or promotional material. Depending on the context, U.S. symbols or geographic references (for example, U.S. flags, outlines of U.S. maps, or references to U.S. locations of headquarters or factories) may convey a claim of U.S. origin either by themselves or in conjunction with other phrases or images.In 1996 the FTC proposed that the requirement be stated as:
It will not be considered a deceptive practice for a marketer to make an unqualified U.S. origin claim if, at the time it makes the claim, the marketer possesses and relies upon competent and reliable evidence that: (1) U.S. manufacturing costs constitute 75% of the manufacturing costs for the product; and (2) the product was last substantially transformed in the United States.However, this was just a proposal and never became part of the final guidelines published in the Federal Register in 1997.
On July 4, 2013 House Representative Steve Israel announced legislation that would require all U.S. national parks to sell merchandise that is Made in the USA.Manifest destiny
In the 19th century, manifest destiny was a widely held belief in the United States that its settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny:
The special virtues of the American people and their institutions
The mission of the United States to redeem and remake the west in the image of agrarian America
An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential dutyHistorian Frederick Merk says this concept was born out of "a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example ... generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven".Historians have emphasized that "manifest destiny" was a contested concept—Democrats endorsed the idea but many prominent Americans (such as Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and most Whigs) rejected it. Historian Daniel Walker Howe writes, "American imperialism did not represent an American consensus; it provoked bitter dissent within the national polity ... Whigs saw America's moral mission as one of democratic example rather than one of conquest."Newspaper editor John O'Sullivan is generally credited with coining the term manifest destiny in 1845 to describe the essence of this mindset, which was a rhetorical tone; however, the unsigned editorial titled "Annexation" in which it first appeared was arguably written by journalist and annexation advocate Jane Cazneau. The term was used by Democrats in the 1840s to justify the war with Mexico and it was also used to divide half of Oregon with the United Kingdom. But manifest destiny always limped along because of its internal limitations and the issue of slavery, says Merk. It never became a national priority. By 1843, former U.S. President John Quincy Adams, originally a major supporter of the concept underlying manifest destiny, had changed his mind and repudiated expansionism because it meant the expansion of slavery in Texas.Merk concluded:
From the outset Manifest Destiny—vast in program, in its sense of continentalism—was slight in support. It lacked national, sectional, or party following commensurate with its magnitude. The reason was it did not reflect the national spirit. The thesis that it embodied nationalism, found in much historical writing, is backed by little real supporting evidence.Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of allegiance to the flag of the United States and the republic of the United States of America. It was originally composed by Captain George Thatcher Balch, a Union Army Officer during the Civil War and later a teacher of patriotism in New York City schools. The form of the pledge used today was largely devised by Francis Bellamy in 1892, and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942. The official name of The Pledge of Allegiance was adopted in 1945. The most recent alteration of its wording came on Flag Day in 1954, when the words "under God" were added.Republic of Lakotah proposal
The Republic of Lakotah or Lakotah is a proposed independent republic in North America for the Lakota people and other people. Proposed by activist Russell Means, the suggested territory would be enclaved by the borders of the United States, covering thousands of square miles in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. These proposed borders are those of the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie between the United States government and the Lakota. These lands are now occupied by Indian reservations and non-Native settlements. None of the existing Lakota tribal governments support the proposed republic, and they were not consulted about the proposal.U.S. English (organization)
U.S. English is the umbrella name for two American political advocacy groups founded in 1983 by former United States Senator S.I. Hayakawa to advocate the adoption of English as the official language of the United States.
The group operates two separate nonprofit entities out of its headquarters in Washington, D.C.—U.S. English, Inc. and the U.S. English Foundation.United we stand, divided we fall
"United we stand, divided we fall" is a phrase used in many different kinds of mottos, most often to inspire unity and collaboration. Its core concept lies in the collectivist notion that if individual members of a certain group with binding ideals – such as a union, coalition, confederation or alliance – work on their own instead of as a team, they are each doomed to fail and will all be defeated. The phrase is also often referred to with only the words "United we stand".Vanguard America
Vanguard America is an American white supremacist, neo-Nazi, neo-fascist organization. The organization is also a member of the Nationalist Front. The group gained significant attention after it was revealed that James Alex Fields had marched with them at the Unite the Right rally before being arrested on murder charges. The group has its roots in the alt-right movement.
United States articles