What Is American?

Topics: United States, Immigration to the United States, United States Declaration of Independence Pages: 2 (620 words) Published: September 2, 2013
What is an American?

The very definition of American can be disputed by people of different nationalities. The accepted school of thought is if one is born in the United States or naturalized through a set process, they are an American. To begin with, the United States has had a functioning government for no more than two hundred and forty years. Every modern American prior to becoming a proper “American” held another nationality. But it is not only the technical terms that separate Americans and non Americans, it is also their ideology. Differences in ideology differ of course on a person to person basis, but it also differs in regions of the country. Some ideas that might be fine with one American might seem un- American to another and vice versa. To be an American, one has to commit to a political ideology pertaining to liberty, equality, and democracy. A true American is somebody that believes in basic American principles in addition to holding a legal American status.

The very basis of America is a commitment to liberty; liberty played a big role in the founding of America. The founders of this country wanted to break free of tyrannical rule so they fought the revolutionary war in order to overcome oppressive rule and thus achieved independence. The belief in liberty still rings true today in American society. Americans in their daily lives expect take liberty, freedom of speech, etc for granted; while that is not necessarily a bad thing; many other citizens exercise these rights by protesting and being active in their communities. Americans as a whole view these rights as “god given rights” and always expect them to be there. Equality has been only truly achieved toward the end of the twentieth century when the civil rights movement took full swing and granted complete equality to all blacks in the country. One does not have to be a specific race to vote, be qualified to entitlements, and most importantly to enjoy all of the rights granted to the...
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