What Is an American?

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Jacqueline Delgado
Mrs. Pierce
Junior English
September 27, 2012
What is an American?
Thousands of Americans around the country ask themselves the same question; “What is an American?” National pride in one’s country is common, but does one truly know what one’s country is made of? The American people cannot be defined in one word. American society is created by many different shapes and colors to paint one massive masterpiece of freedom, justice and equality. America became a land for people who sought out hope, new life and opportunity. The foundations of American values and traditions began during the Puritan movement. The Puritan’s determination and unity still echoes in American culture today. Furthermore, Benjamin Franklin’s thirteen principles of success shows the American principles of self-reliance and independence. In addition, Franklin also illustrates the American Dream. Franklin’s set of virtues that are paralleled today by a multitude of people. For instance, Francisco Jiménez, who grew in poverty, rose from the pure poverty of migrant workers. Like Benjamin Franklin, teachers also strive to share their knowledge with others. It is vital to appreciate the similarities between the Puritans, Benjamin Franklin, Francisco Jiménez, and teachers so that the American nation can carry on modeling unity and determination and delivering virtues such as hope and altruism for others to come.

Above all, the Puritan civilization is one of the basic foundations of American culture. Because of their unity and hardworking ethics, they built the basis of the average American today. Like most Americans, the Puritans came from Europe to escape religious persecution. They found solace in America and created a civilization where everyone is equal. By uniting together, the Puritans found they could form a society that would thrive in the worst of situations. As Leland Ryken states, in Worldly Saints: some of the ethics that the Puritans used and lived by are...
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