Examples Of What It Means To Be An American Essay

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What does it mean to be an American? Is it determined by your physical appearance, like the color of your skin. Or is it determined by the origin of your birth? Many authors, especially African-American writers such as Alex Haley and Langston Hughes, have used their works to discuss what it truly means to be an American during their lifetimes. When writing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This was the first American thought. From that day on everyone that has been born in America has felt these words throughout their life at some point. What makes a person an American is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Life is the first key that makes a person an American. Life is a four letter word, but the meaning of it can change the world. Life isn’t just the condition that distinguishes
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Liberty is defined as the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one 's way of life, behavior, or political views. It can also be described as the power or scope to act as one pleases. For example, American’s have freedom of speech. To be an American means you have a certain liberty. You have the ability to to be free with who you are. Jefferson coveys, “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” As an American you have the right to remove yourself from oppressive governments. You have the right to be free, to be who you are. Truly, the second key to what it means to be an American is

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