By Axel Körner, Adam I. P. Smith, N. Miller
Why has "America" - that's, the USA of the USA - develop into a lot more than just a spot within the mind's eye of such a lot of humans around the globe? In either Europe and Latin the United States, the us has usually been a website of a number of attainable futures, a display onto that may be projected utopian desires and dystopian nightmares. no matter if castigated as a hazard to civilized order or championed as a promise of earthly paradise, the United States has continually been handled as a cipher for modernity. It has functioned as an inescapable reference aspect for either eu and Latin American societies, not just as a version of social and political association - one to reject as a lot one to emulate - but in addition because the best instance of a society rising from a dramatic range of cultural and social backgrounds.
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Extra info for America Imagined: Explaining the United States in Nineteenth-Century Europe and Latin America
9 Natural abundance was usually linked to other, essentially political, factors. In addition to the importance of republican institutions, it was public education and religious freedom that most often appeared in European and Latin American accounts as the key to US prosperity. ”10 In this, as in so many other respects, the United States offered the counterfoil to LAND OF OPPORTUNITY? 23 English failures: “In this country education is doled out like an alms— bestowed as a boon, and not acknowledged as a right .
An example is the English historian Lord Acton. In an 1865 lecture, he argued that, before the Civil War, America had been a “distant magnet” that exercised a “power of attraction over Europe of which the great migration is only a subordinate sign,” but that the war showed that those hopes had been proved false. It had now been revealed, he LAND OF OPPORTUNITY? 24 On similar lines, the English legal scholar Sir Henry Maine argued that American liberty had produced a society of staggering inequality.
29 In Europe as well as in Latin America, it was liberals who were most likely to believe that the US model offered the path to a better society, but by the very end of the century, even they were beginning to share elements of the socialist critique of the United States. In particular, increasing attention was given to problems of urban overcrowding, of unemployment and industrial unrest, with much of the information circulating about these problems produced by US Progressives in support of various reform campaigns.
America Imagined: Explaining the United States in Nineteenth-Century Europe and Latin America by Axel Körner, Adam I. P. Smith, N. Miller