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The American Identity

Essay by   •  August 22, 2012  •  Essay  •  661 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,428 Views

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The American Identity

What is an identity? Is an identity one owns characteristics or is it what society thinks of an individual and therefore has created and molded in that certain identity? Identity is formed by society but when defining what American consists of there are several controversies because there is not a set type ethnicity for America. Instead America is a big melting pot. Even though 

Since the time of the American Revolution, a frequently asked question is "What is this man, this American?" One can compare an American of the 21st century to a strong river formed by the two streams: the original colonials who settled the new continent and the immigrants who came in trickles and torrents, bringing their culture with them. Religious freedom was the reason for becoming American for early settlers. Puritans settled New England to establish God's 'city on a hill' and had faith in the idea that God rewards hard work and piety. The Quakers, who settled Pennsylvania, believed that the revelation of God comes through personal experience. Both Quakers and Puritans were instrumental in the anti-slavery movement that helped to fuel the fire for abolition. Maryland granted freedom for Christians of all denominations and became a haven for Catholics. This idea foreshadowed later laws granted by America that stated everyone should be able to follow their own religious practices without persecution, and the idea of separation of church and state. . Although during colonial America, one religious group did not combine with another, time proved to thoroughly combine them. Religious diversity has increased throughout America's history, as has the tolerance of other's religion. To be tolerant of their beliefs does not require accepting them as being the truth, for there is no possible way that every religion could be precisely right. Instead Americans in general have learned to accept others differences of faith. 

America's economic system is free market where all men are given equal opportunity for success. This is proven by the fact that today in the United States hard work can result in reaching your dreams. Any person can become successful if they only make them selves worthy of the position. Also the United States strives to be a classless society. There is no royalty, no aristocracy, and any person can grow up to lead our country as president. The first woman president may come in this new century. Income tax in America spreads the economic wealth, for as you make more money you are required to give a larger percentage to the government.

Prejudice is found most anywhere, not excluding America and its people. In fact only through gradual moral awakening was equality under the law given to all with out regard for race or sex. Our Declaration of Independence affirmed that all men are created equal. But in that time "men" referred to white

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