California Exceptionalism. Why the Golden State is different

Term Paper, 2020

21 Pages

Abstract or Introduction

This paper, in contrast, suggests that the notion of being exceptional – or as a noun: exceptionalism – does also exist within the United States. The particular example is the state of California in the western part. The paper aims at illustrating some factors which have motivated scholars to use the term in an extended, yet more specific manner. First, it will elaborate on Silicon Valley and its features by taking into account some differences to East Coast industry. Second, it introduces the Californian geography and the strong efforts for environmental protection. Third, it provides a section on some cultural and societal features, including the Californian Ideology. Finally, the findings are summarized and put into concluding remarks that also give an outlook on further developments.

'American exceptionalism is the recurring character in the nation's narrative.' This sentence by business executive and former journalist Ron Fournier describes a notion that is familiar to those studying the history of the United States. Here, America is often symbolically portrayed as a country that guarantees freedom, opportunity, rights and prosperity. A selection of characteristics distinguishes it from other countries in the world, whether it is on the basis of moral superiority or only because certain elements do exist and others do not. English Puritans added a religious meaning to the term, as the phrases 'The New Israel' and 'God’s Chosen People', the settlers, are mentioned. Further, the self-sustaining, hard-working yeoman farmer is an ideal figure that embodies the libertarian spirit of the nation. However, this definition looks at America in its entirety, and the scope is rather international as it is compared to other nations.


California Exceptionalism. Why the Golden State is different
University of Heidelberg  (Heidelberg Center for American Studies)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
California, Golden State, exceptional, special, Silicon Valley, tech, Google, geography, culture, exceptionalism, notion, special, cultural values, USA, America
Quote paper
Leo Kempe (Author), 2020, California Exceptionalism. Why the Golden State is different, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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