Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2007


"The object [America] is wholly new in the world. It is singular...Nothing in history is parallel to it."1 -----Edmund Burke

Distinct civilizations can have common origins.2 Byzantine, Western and Islamic civilization each grew its separate way from Judaic and Hellenic roots. In similar fashion, the United States of America may well be in the process of branching off to form a civilization increasingly distinguishable from European civilization. The separation has been gradually but steadily underway since 1776. However, in civilizational time, 240 years represent a rather short period. The division has not yet fully matured. So the precise lines of demarcation are less than crystal clear, but the general contours are visible. It is time to entertain the idea of two civilizations – (North) American3 and European – where we have traditionally spoken of a single Western civilization.


Brigham Young University

Publication Information

Comparative Civilizations Review