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What is an american essay

Introduction

What it means to be an American goes beyond the legal definition of an American citizen. According to Philip Gleason, a renowned historian, a person did not have to be of any particular ethnic background, religion, language, or nationality in order to become or be an American. All one had to do was to live by the political ideology pegged on the abstract ideals of republicanism, equality, and liberty. American nationality was based on a Universalist ideological character which meant that anyone who willed to become an American was free to do so. One must act as an American to be an American by for instance paying taxes, voting in elections, and serving their country at home or abroad. Thus, Being an American means enjoying the right to freedom of speech, embracing diversity, embracing the American way of life, and having equal rights of determining the country’s leadership.

As an American, one is free to speak their mind because of the right to freedom of speech. This freedom makes it easy for American citizens to serve their country by standing up for what is just and right. In this spirit, it would be better and greater for an American to say a “no” from their inner conviction than say a “yes” to please anyone or worse off, to avoid getting into trouble. Free speech in America is based on the country’s creed which encompasses peace, freedom, and security. It also means that Americans have the opportunity to come together and overcome their challenges by finding befitting solutions, a possibility that might not be achievable in other countries. However, the freedom to worship God in different religions and communities is a great source of pride and does not undermine the oneness of Americans (Grant, 2012).

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Being an American also means one is part of one of the most diverse, if not the most diverse, cultures in the world. The United States is one of the very few world countries where nationality may not possibly be defined by religion, ancestry, or race. It is a melting pot of many different religions and cultures and it is near impossible to come across anyone whose ancestral roots are not tied to immigrant bloodlines from Africa and Europe (Grant, 2012). Rather than religion, race, or ancestry, Americans are defined by their unique social, economic, and political values. The Great Seal of the United States which reads “E pluribus unum” further drives home the fact that Americans are from all manners of backgrounds. In English, this translates to “From many, one” implying that one may even become and American without being born in the country as long as they embrace what the country stands for.

Third, being an American means leading the American way of life. This way of life emanated from the system of the limited government and personal liberty enshrined in the Constitution as well as the ideals proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. It is also rooted in the traditions of equal justice to all, respect for the rule of law, merit-based achievement, freedom of contract, private property, entrepreneurism, personal responsibility, and self-reliance (Raymond, 2014). However, with these freedoms also comes the need for deliberation whereby people must listen to and understand one another. In addition, they need to have the will to moderate their claims with a view to achieving a common ground especially when it comes to making political decisions. With a sense of solidarity, Americans can show one another mutual respect and sympathy which in turn cultivates common good for all.

Further, Americans have equal rights of determining the political leaders in whose hands the governance of the country rests. Every citizen has one vote and has the responsibility of casting it every four years in order to choose their leaders (Grant, 2008). This involves the election of leaders from state legislators, Congress members, to the president. As such, even the president is just a representative of the great people of the United States and any decisions he makes pertaining the presidency should be for the good of all. Similarly, bills passed by state legislators and Congressmen and women should be ones geared towards bettering the life of the common American. This is because they represent the interests of the electorate from whom they get the power to legislate.

Conclusion

To be an American is to be someone who knows that they are free to speak freely and that they live in a diverse-cultured country with a certain way of life. It means being in a position to determine who leads in whatever position in the country. An American has the opportunity to achieve upward economic mobility and cherishes freedom from slavery, freedom to fight for America, and freedom of speech. These ideals were established by the country’s Constitution and are rooted in its Declaration of Independence. No one can take them away from Americans or replace them with oppressive ones because they are the very pillars that distinguish America from other countries. It implies that Americans should resist at all costs anyone who might try to interfere with their freedoms and rights.

References

Grant, J. A. (2008). The New American Social Compact: Rights and Responsibilities in the Twenty-first Century. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Grant, S. (2012). A Concise History of the United States of America. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Raymond, T. (2014). Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens: First Grade Social Science Lesson, Activities, Discussion Questions and Quizzes. HomeSchool Brew Press.

What It Means To Be an American Essay Outline

Introduction

Thesis:

Being an American means enjoying the right to freedom of speech, embracing diversity, embracing the American way of life, and having equal rights of determining the country’s leadership.

Body

Paragraph 1:

An American is free to speak their mind because of the right to freedom of speech.

  • This freedom makes it easy for American citizens to serve their country.
  • The stand up for what is just and right.
  • Free speech is based on the country’s creed which encompasses peace, freedom, and security.

Paragraph 2:

Being an American means one is part of one of the most diverse cultures in the world.

  • In the U.S., nationality may not possibly be defined by religion, ancestry, or race.
  • The country has many different religions and cultures.
  • Rather than religion, race, or ancestry, Americans are defined by their unique social, economic, and political values.

Paragraph 3:

Being an American means leading the American way of life.

  • This way of life emanated from the system of the limited government and personal liberty.
  • It is rooted in the traditions of equal justice to all, respect for the rule of law, merit-based achievement, freedom of contract, private property, entrepreneurism, personal responsibility, and self-reliance.

Paragraph 4:

Americans have equal rights of determining the political leadership of the country.

  • Citizens elect leaders from state legislators, Congress members, to the president.
  • Even the president is just a representative of the people.
  • Bills passed by state legislators and Congressmen and women should be ones geared towards bettering the life of the common American.

Conclusion

  • An American knows that they are free to speak freely and that they live in a diverse-cultured country with a certain way of life.
  • It means being in a position to determine who leads in whatever position in the country.
  • An American is entitled to economic and social rights.
  • Americans should resist at all costs anyone who might try to interfere with their freedoms and rights.
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