Name_________________________________________________________________Date___________________________ Thomas Paine AP Argument Prompt Essay Student Samples
Sample 1: A
Throughout American history there have been many theories as to the makeup of this diverse nation. One of the most popular refers to America as the “great melting pot,” suggesting that America is a place where all kinds of different cultures and beliefs combine to form a uniquely American identity. Thomas Paine here, however, seems to be more in accord with the “tomato soup” analogy where it states that the essence of American culture is the tomato soup, that is, the so-called “American creed,” a combination of liberty, self-government, social mobility, and economic independence, while other cultures add ingredients and spices to the soup, but do not change its nature as being a pot of tomato soup. Paine suggests that despite the diversity of American population, “the simple operation of constructing government on the principles of society and the rights of man” brings “cordial unison" and serves as the basis of American society as the tomato taste is the basis of the soup. Although his assertion of diversity and the importance of rights of man seems to hold true today, that they continue to bring unity is no longer accurate.
There is little doubt that American even today is largely an immigrant society. Ever since Lyndon Johnson loosened the quota system in 1905, every year thousands, if not millions of people from all backgrounds pour into American, recently Asians and Latin Americans in predominance. However, while in the 1700s and 1800s the immigrants also came from different nations, they often shared similar cultures as most were from the European continents; the integration of Asians and Latin Americans into a predominantly white society presents unprecedented difficulties. Community-first values held by many Asians contradict the value of personal liberty in American and most...
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