A United States Citizen? Essay, Research Paper
The greatest benefit of being a United States citizen is the freedom that American citizens have that the Constitution of the United States guarantees. Freedom means being able to decide freely what paths you would like to pursue without government interference. Personal decisions such as which church to attend and which religion to practice can be made without fear of persecution. Similarly, electing who we want to be responsible for running the country is a choice that Americans are privileged to. Freedom is a quality that all U.S. citizens can enjoy, and should therefore I believe that is should be acknowledged as the greatest benefit of being a citizen.
Freedom of religion, as defined by the Constitution says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”. This confirms that one can openly practice anything from Voodoo to Catholicism to absolutely no religion at all. In many European countries, such a freedom is non-existent. Whatever the religion of the state happens to be is the religion that is practiced and enforced throughout that country. Looking back in time, a major crisis involving disputes concerning freedom of religion occurred between Hitler and Nazi Germany. In the 19th century, the Nazi regime, headed by Adolf Hitler, was responsible for the widespread termination of over three million Jews throughout Poland, Austria, and Germany. These persecutions were triggered by Hitler’s belief that Jews were an alien race an that there should be no other religion besides the one he supported. In contrast, because of the way that our government is set up, Americans no longer have to struggle with such hardships as people in other countries have had to endure.
Electing who we want lead our country as well as represent us is a freedom that we as citizens maintain. Every four years United States citizens are responsible for who the next person will be to lead the country. Also, the government which our leader heads is separated into three other branches. This structure assures that no one person or branch has too much power, and also provides maximum efficiency. This is a freedom that not all people can say they are fortunate to possess. The system of democracy that the United States thrives on is not the same system used in many middle eastern and European countries. For them, the responsibility of running a country is placed solely in the hands a dictator. Usually, this dictator’s power was handed down from the previous generations’ dictator. So inevitably, power remains within one family. Such is the case in Iraq where Saddam Hussein is responsible for all the countries affairs. Many ascertain that if Iraq had a government like the United States, their economy and status of that country would be much more favorable.
Furthermore, the freedoms that our Founding Fathers’ established in this country is one factor that makes being a citizen of the United States such a great privilege. Having personal freedoms like religion, speech, as well as the decisions that citizens are responsible for making are some of the greatest benefits of being a United States citizen. I feel very fortunate knowing that the government is established in such a way that our privileges as citizens will always be preserved and protected through our constitution. Therefore, the greatest benefit of being a United States citizen is not one specific aspect, but rather the combination of all the rights and freedoms that we appreciate.