Letters from an American Farmer

Topics: United States, Immigration to the United States, Definition Pages: 4 (1222 words) Published: March 10, 2013
We Are America
America — a land known for its ideals of freedom and new opportunities, a nation built under the idea that every man and women is created equal. However, the definition of what makes a person an American is entirely different from what it is that makes up America, itself. J.Hector St. John Crevecoeur, author of Letters from an American Farmer (1782), exposes what he believes makes an American. However, when compared to the standards of what makes an American in today’s world, it seems that becoming an American then was much simpler then, than it is today. The definition of an American is always evolving due to the influences of our changing nation. During a simpler time, Crevecoeur defined an American as someone of European descent with great ambition but as the times have changed, so has the definition of an American.        J.Hector St. John Crevecoeur created his own definition of an American when he first came to America. After living here for some time he got a good sense of what it meant and/or took to be an American. Since most people entering the country during the 18th century came from Europe, Crevecoeur thought this to be an important attribute for being an American. “He is either an European, or the descendant of an European, hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country” (de Crevecoeur 262). He saw that those Europeans were coming to America because of how they were treated in their home countries, especially a lack of respect for their natural born rights. Due to religious persecution, many Europeans came to America, where they believed that they could practice whatever religion they pleased. “[T]o the right, lives a Catholic who prays to God as he has been taught and believes in transubstantiation…. his belief, his prayers, offend nobody” (Crevecoeur 265). Americans believed in freedom of religion and did not find the reason in persecuting someone that was doing them no harm. An American was someone...
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