A final quote from "The Roads to Modernity"

Posted by Tory Historian Monday, November 15, 2010 ,

Tory Historian is about to put that book back on the shelf but would like to quote one last paragraph, which says things that TH has also said before: so much about present-day America reminds one of Victorian Britain. Professor Himmelfarb puts it more eloquently:

Having derived a good deal of its own Enlightenment from the mother country, the United States is now repaying Britain by perpetuating the spirit of her Enlightenment. We are often reminded of the theme of American "exceptionalism". America was exceptional at the time of its founding, and continues to be so today. Europeans complain that the United States is unduly, individualistic, religious, and moralistic(the last meant invidiously). And so it is, by European standards, including British standards, today. But not by British standards of old. If America is now exceptional, it is because it has inherited and preserved aspects of the British Enlightenment that the British themselves have discarded and that other countries (France, most notably) have never adopted.
As they say, discuss.


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