Rethinking the American Narrative

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Reconnecting to the American Promise

by ChuckHunt [1]

For some time, I have been questioning when the American narrative actually began. From reading the popular histories today, it seems we are fixated on the late 1700s, when our foundational documents and institutions begin to emerge. The period leading up to July of 1776 seems a popular date.

This question resurfaced recently when I started reflecting on the differences between Americans and Europeans. After having spent over five years in Europe, mostly in France, representing the people of the United States, I began to appreciate the differences between the outlooks of Europeans and Americans. The optimism and the “can do” orientation of many Americans I knew stood in contrast to the pragmatism, realism and at times cynicism of many Europeans.

These experiences led me to question how the American narrative diverged from European perspectives and cultures. Many Americans today are descended from Europeans who arrived here…

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