De Crevecoeur What Is an American?

Topics: Europe, Immigration to the United States, Immigration Pages: 2 (564 words) Published: March 30, 2008
The reoccurring themes of de Crevecoeur ‘s essay are the work ethic of America’s people, the common good of all it’s people work towards, and the identity the poor gained in this country. De Crevecoeur’s image of the poor is like a phoenix rising from the ashes in the New World. The immigrants were once poor, nameless, and insignificant in Europe, but they are now regarded as “citizens” of America. They now have a way to provide for themselves.

This image of the poor, powerless European immigrant has changed over the years. The helpless European immigrant has changed to the helpless Hispanic immigrant coming mainly from Mexico and South America. What de Crevecoeur said continues to stand for them to an extent. This new wave of poor immigrants still see America as the land of opportunity. The leave their homes behind and move to this country where they can receive “land, bread, protection, and consequence.” Though one of de Crevecoeur’s statements about new immigrants are not true with Hispanics coming to this country. In de Crevecoeur ‘s words, “He is an American, who leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the mode of life he embraced.” and, “What attachment can a poor European emigrant have for a country where he had nothing? The knowledge of the language…were the only cords that tied him.” That is not true with Hispanic immigrants. They try to keep their language and culture alive in America as a way to hold on to what they left behind.

America was looked at as the land of opportunity to Europeans seeking a new way of life. Now, that image has completely changed to them. Europeans look at America in a critical way, and if they look at this nation on the many races coming together is true, but his idealistic outlooks of then distorts the image of America now.

The society de Crevecoeur describes the immigrants came form was of social feudalism, class ranks, monarchies, and oppression. The exact thing the immigrants...
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