On July 4, 1776, America boldly declared it independence from Great Britain, and in so doing the founding father's framed the idea of independence in a way that was strikingly original at the time.
In honor of this anniversary we are examining those ideas that have stood the test of time and which also somehow embody a quality that is quintessentially American. So what does that mean? From the process of compiling this list we have detected a pattern. It is very difficult, after all, to claim that a certain idea -- such as the right to revolution, for instance -- is a wholly original American idea.
What is apparent, however, is that due to its history, its geography, and a host of other factors, America has been throughout its history a great synthesizer of ideas. In other words, all ideas have a history. Many American ideas were imported. And yet, what we see in many cases is how certain ideas were allowed to play out - and ultimately win out - in the American context.
Despite its shortcomings, we see the American context as a solid platform for the synthesis of the ideas of the future, which will no doubt increasingly give the appearance not as distinctly American ideas, but global ideas.