A strong commitment to republican citizenship – partly in principle and partly in practice – is central in helping Americans to maintain political stability and public order. Although this commitment is probably not reproducible in many countries today, it can nevertheless serve scholars as a standard of comparison. As such, it shows how far most other countries are from enjoying a similar sense of citizenship, one which is particularly beneficial in forestalling ethnic antagonisms and national conflicts. Some elements of nationalism do of course exist in America: but they are tempered by the republican vision which is the main theme of this essay.