What Makes America Great

What Makes America Great?

What makes America Great – we all heard a lot about this during the past few years, while students spent hundreds of hours writing about it. Writing a sounding essay about a staple subject may seems easy at first. But finding new ways to illuminate a much-written-about may be daunting. Below you can see how to focus on rare issues, well-know facts, and pressing matters of the day to write a good essay.

What Makes America Great?

During his campaign to become president of the United States, Donald Trump pledged to restore the prestige, global influence, and greatness of the country. While this campaign message was intended to rally supporters, it also raised questions about whether the US is truly great. Is the country any different from other industrialized democracies in the West? There are some scholars and journalists who have explored this question. The answers that they have obtained confirm that the US is indeed great. The nation’s exceptionalism lies primarily in the strength of its people, the solid institutions that it has built over decades, and the tremendous influence that it wields over global affairs.

The institutions that the US has built are among the factors that make the country great. Johnson (2018) is among the individuals who have reminded Americans to understand that the nation’s greatness is found in its civic institutions. Essentially, these institutions play a crucial role in holding the government accountable and safeguarding the rights and liberties of the American people. In her article, Johnson (2018) identifies various civic institutions and authorities that have helped to secure America’s democracy and establish it as a great nation. One of the institutions whose contributions cannot be dismissed is the judicial system. Thanks to this system, the American people are assured that leaders will not abuse their powers and their rights shall not be violated. It is true that other nations have similarly effective civic institutions. However, what makes the US exceptional is that its institutions have stood the test of time and continue to preserve American ideals such as liberty and equality. More importantly, the US has been able to export the values and principles that underlie its civic institutions to other parts of the globe. Therefore, when they claim to be citizens of a great nation, Americans have a compelling and solid basis. 

The greatness of the United States extends beyond its civic institutions. The type and competence of leaders that have guided the country through difficult and trying moments in history are another source of the country’s greatness. According to Johnson (2018), the US has had the remarkable and rare privilege of being led by visionary and capable individuals. For example, Johnson (2018) identifies the nation’s founding fathers as among the key building blocks of American pride. In addition to establishing a nation that created spaces for individual freedom and opportunity, Johnson (2018) adds that the founding fathers also provided the US with values and models on which the nation is established. Therefore, since the US is based on robust principles that is deeply rooted in the country’s identity, it is reasonable to argue that the nation is special, great, and exceptional. 

The tremendous resilience of the US and its people is another issue that makes the country great. In its long history, the country has experienced challenges and crises that have raised serious questions about its future. According to Stephens (2018), a columnist for the New York Times, the US is a great nation because it has managed to emerge stronger from nearly all the crises that it has encountered. For example, during the 20th century, the country was confronted by such crises as economic downturns and political turmoil. While it is true that some of these challenges have persisted to date, it is difficult to deny that the US has made tremendous progress in addressing them. Stephens (2018) suggests that what makes the US different from other countries is how it resolves the challenges that it faces. While other countries look to their leaders for solutions, the US creates spaces for its citizens to develop initiatives to solve the problems. In essence, the US is for and of its people- a country that strives to promote equality. It is true that it continues to struggle in ensuring that all its citizens are treated equally and fairly. However, what matter more is that the US is ruled by a spirit of citizenship and people-centric movements. 

The immigration policies that the US has adopted and implemented over the years are another reason to believe that the country is indeed great. As noted above, Stephens (2018) penned a column through which he shed light on why the US is a global leader. In the article, Stephens (2018) cites the nation’s approach to immigration as among the central elements of its greatness. On the one hand, other nations tend to be restrictive in their immigration policies. They place stringent limitations on the number and classes of people that they allow in as immigrants. Stephens (2018) insists that the US is different. While other countries limit immigration, the US continues to welcome immigrants. In fact, foreign-born individuals make up a significant and increasing portion of the country’s population. The large immigrant population has helped the US to become a remarkably diverse and culturally rich nation. However, even as one acknowledges the superiority of the US, it is important to recognize that in the recent past, a new and frightening wave of anti-immigration has emerged. Under the leadership of President Donald Trump, the US has moved in the direction of other countries which have historically placed limits on immigration. While the new approach that the nation has adopted threatens to erode the progress that it has made, it is difficult to deny that immigration has made America a great nation. 

Further insights into the sources of American greatness can be obtained through an examination of the country’s foreign policy. Restad (2020) penned an article that offers an overview of the foreign policy of the US and what this policy reveals about American greatness and exceptionalism. According to Restad (2020), historically, the US has played a leading role in influencing the direction of the world. For example, the country has intervened in conflicts to restore peace and order. The contributions that the US has made to promoting human health, space exploration, and education, among many other endeavors, are also significant. America’s global leadership is still visible today. For example, it is the biggest contributor to the budgets of such international agencies as the World Health Organization (WHO). Through the financial support that it lends to the WHO, the US makes it clear that it is dedicated to ensuring that the progress made in healthcare is shared by all of humanity. Therefore, the vital role that the US continues to play in preserving world order highlights the country’s greatness.

This far, the discussion has focused on what makes the US great. For the most part, the country’s greatness is undisputable. However, as Restad (2020) indicates in his text, there are some developments that could threaten America’s greatness and global influence. The policies that the Trump administration is pursuing are among these developments. In particular, the nationalist “America-first” agenda that the Trump government is promoting could see the nation lose its greatness (Restad, 2020). Through this agenda, the US is seeking to withdraw from international engagements and instead focus its efforts on domestic issues. If implemented, this policy will certainly diminish America’s presence and influence on the global geopolitical stage.

In conclusion, there is no question that the US is among the most influential nations in the globe. In fact, many Americans are convinced that their country is the greatest. There are various reasons that make the US great. These include the fact that the country is based on values like democracy and equality, as well as the nation’s proven resilience and tenacity. The US also derives its greatness from the numerous contributions that it continues to make in promoting global progress. If the US is to retain its greatness, it should return to its foundational values, beliefs, and principles. 


Johnson, V. (2018). What really makes America great? The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/11/15/what-really-makes-america-great/ 

Restad, H. E. (2020). What makes America great? Donald Trump, national identity, and U.S. foreign policy. Global Affairs, 6(1), 21-36. 

Stephens, B. (2019). Here’s what makes America great, Gov. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/17/opinion/andrew-cuomo-america-great.html 

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