University of Phoenix
May 28, 2011
American Identity Paper
John Hector St. John de Crevecoeur was a naturalized French-American writer authored the 1782 essay Series, ‘Letters to an American Farmer’ which were presented as a book; the narratives of the collective essays describing and giving rise to what can now be determined as ‘American Ideals’ His through his ‘letters’ used American-English slang as they were used in the frontier; the American ideals of self-determinism, principles of equality & liberalism were ever present and exemplified in the narrative. Together with detailed descriptions of daily lives from farms, towns cities & villages, the 1782 release opened the ‘New World’ to European eyes as slowly Europe came to t realize that a unique culture, a collective of varied nations & immigrants with new freedoms and greater risks worked the new British territories for little, big or no rewards. The hardships & joys he described, the landscapes & the social situation forged, to the Europeans an image of an American, a colonial one, that is. He was all encompassing in his essay, looking at America as a collective of people, a new nation other than describing it only as a certain colonial territory/region. De Crevecoeur immigrated to the Americans in 1755; the 3 decades of his American experience gave him a unique insight to how the America that he was a part of was a melting pot of culture believes and experiences where religious diversity was accepted and unlike in Europe, like was uncomplicated.
Bearing in mind that de Crevecoeur lived over 200 years ago in Colonial America and a Europe of Colonial rivalry, this is how he described an American: • They were able men (Englishmen, French, and Europeans) who had enough of the miseries of life in Europe and were seeking a new beginning, a refuge in the new world. • An adaptable individual who draws from his own...