& Home Of The Brave Essay, Research Paper
Land of the Free and Home of the Brave! Today there are approximately 250 million living Americans. But what exactly is an American? This is a very difficult question to answer, for there is absolutely no answer that everyone will agree upon! Technically speaking, an American is any person who is a citizen of the United States of America, either by birth or by naturalization. Yet this superficial definition does not even begin to describe what an American truly represents. With a group of 250 million people, there is no way that every one will have the same characteristics, or fall into the same categories. Thus, it is even more difficult to classify an American, than a citizen of most other less diversified countries. As said by Hamilton Wright Mabie in the early nineteen hundreds, Much confusion has been caused by the habit of speaking of people as if they were all cast in the same mold. We are so accustomed to the use of the phrase, the Japanese , the English , the Americans that we have come to think of these words as definite and exact characterizations. Nothing could be more misleading! An American is not any one concrete thing. An American is unique. According to J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur, an 18th century farmer, there is no set mold for an American; an American is a mixture of many different things,. It is possible for anyone to be an American, since America is so welcoming. As Crevecoeur put it, We know…no strangers; this is every person s country. This difference and variation from other countries was the main reason why Crevecoeur believed that America is, the most perfect society now existing in the world. In the Declaration of Independence, one of the fundamental document from which the principles of America are based upon declares that every man has the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is the foundation of all American ideals. One possible classification of an American is, a citizen who believes in the American ideals. This is not hard to come by, as America is practically overflowing with ideals. Of course, not everyone has the same ideals, but some of the basic American ideals, that appeal to the majority of Americans are ones of: freedom, self-reliance, democracy, individualism, nationalism, wealth, and equality. It has been said that the people of the United States are among the most altruistic and idealistic human beings in the world, and from this partial list of ideals, one would be inclined to agree! A great characteristic of an American is, and always has been the sense of great opportunity and hope. It is never too late in America. If one is poor there is a constant opportunity for them to gain wealth. The same applies to one s status. There is a continual invitation for those wishing to acquire prestige and recognition, it one really sets their minds to it. It is extremely possible for anyone to make an outstanding contribution to the American society as the product of their own hard work and determination. This is not the case in many other countries of the world.
America is indubitably a land of many promises. The Land of Promise as many have referred to it. This pertains even more so back a few centuries to the colonial era. Millions of people journeyed months across the rough and raging waters of the Atlantic Ocean to reach this great continent now called America. If it were not for the promises of the better, more prosperous, and freer lifestyle they and their families would lead once they arrived upon these shores few would have dared make the voyage. The promise that made America so appealing in the past still hold true in the present day. In many ways, the United States is geared through its laws and social consciousness to be capable of accommodating the needs of many different kinds of people. One of these ways is freedom of religion. It is safe to say that the majority of Americans have some type of religious affiliation, and one s religion plays a huge role in the lifestyles people lead. However, not every American has the same religion. An American can be Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Baptist, Moslem. The possibilities are endless, but none of this detracts from the fact that the person is still an American. Even the geographical differences of this vast land also are a factor to bear in mind when discussing the definition of an American. There are warm climates, cold climates, dry climates, humid climates, urban settings, rural settings, mountainous regions, deserts, as well as land along the shoreline. These various living conditions directly affect the community around them, and in turn have a lasting affect on the morals and values important to those of the community. From this viewpoint also, we have an assortment, rather than one particular type of the typical American . This is certainly a land of diversity, however, America does not offer the perfect society, nor are Americans the model citizens, but with all that the United States has to offer, it is no wonder that there are so many people in other parts of the world who wish that they could have the privilege of calling themselves an American!