Rajiv Malhotra

American Exceptionalism and the Myth of the Frontiers 6: Phase II: Guilt Management while Committing Genocide

The greatest episodes of ethnic cleansing and genocide of Native Americans occurred in the period following independence that was dominated by Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Before Andrew Jackson’s presidency (and the massive “removal,” i.e., ethnic cleansing, of Native Americans) there was some debate between the Enlightenment view of the …

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American Exceptionalism and the Myth of the Frontiers- 5 : (Phase I) Theorizing the Savage in Early Expansion

In early America, Christianity played a key role in forming the identity of the settlers and in justifying the brutalities against Native Americans once they refused to convert. But upon Independence, the generation known as the Founding Fathers of America was very much influenced by the Enlightenment.  The “Merciless Savage” …

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American Exceptionalism and the Myth of the Frontiers – 4: Encounter with Native Americans

Encounter with Native Americans Christianity, Enlightenment ideas, and greed often colluded to produce a result that annihilated the natives and built up America into a super nation. These three forces are summarized below:  Biblical Myths  ● Lieven explains that the biblical myths were a driving force for settlers from the …

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American Exceptionalism and the Myth of the Frontiers – 3: Mutations of the Myth

Mutations of the Myth  The Myth mutated from its Christian base to include an Enlightenment base over time. Between 1795 and 1830 the agrarian expansion was very successfully accomplished, and the Christian-eschatological substructure of the original Frontier Myth was overlaid with a more secular ideology. This and the subsequent rapid …

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American Exceptionalism and the Myth of the Frontiers – 2: The City upon a Hill

Author: Rajiv Malhotra. Americans not only have a deep and positive sense of history but are particularly invested in their own special place in the world. There is no need for the national myth to be explicitly stated as such and, in fact, leaving it implicit or denying its very …

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American Exceptionalism and the Myth of the Frontiers – 1: Introduction

Author: Rajiv Malhotra. Editorial Note: As part of the IK Masters Series, we re-publish a 2009 paper (book chapter) by Rajiv Malhotra on American Exceptionalism, published in the book,The Challenge of Eurocentrism: Global Perspectives, Policy, and Prospects. Given current events transpiring in 2020, this paper is all the more relevant, …

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