American Definition Essay

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Sam Pointer

American Definition Essay

What does it mean to be an American? That question can be answered differently by everyone. The Melting Pot of America has become a melting pot of ethnic people. If you live in or near a city you can see the many ethnic cultures that influence our lives. America began with a bunch of immigrants, bringing their own cultures and traditions to a new country so they can express them. Nowhere else on this planet can you find such a diverse population! It's this mixture that makes America what it is but it also makes up a lot of the problems we face. For centuries the United States has attracted the poor, huddled masses that are yearning to breathe free. Here in America individuals of all the races and nations of Europe and all around the world are melted into a new race of men. In this new race of men people can carry-out whatever customs or traditions they wish, and the more people from other nations that come to the United States the more the our culture changes to incorporate their beliefs.

The American mosaic is one of various cultures and personalities, each of them with their own specific characteristics. America is a melting pot of many groups, some who have come to find the freedoms of the New World had to offer, and some who have come against their own will. All have had a great influence on our lives. We come from different places, speak different languages, are different colors, eat different foods, wear different clothes, have different religions, follow different customs, but we are all Americans. For America, I think the melting pot has been a success. I think another key thing about being American has to deal with is perseverance. This does not mean Americans are simply persistent, doing the same things over and over in a vain effort to succeed, but rather, we share a commitment to following through on our goals and pursuing them over time, in different ways if necessary, until they are met. Being an American means I relentlessly pursue happiness. I don’t give up; I keep trying until I get it right.

Perseverance is so fundamental to being an American that it is embodied in the Constitution itself, itself a second and try, if you will. Americans did not give up on their new country when the Articles of Confederation proved inadequate, and more importantly, they knew they would have to adjust their form of government. The Preamble declares that the new form of republican government, which the delegates persevered over a long hot Pennsylvania summer to write, was created “in order to form a more perfect union.” Further, the Constitution contains within itself the means for amending it, which illustrates that it was written to endure if Americans citizens persevere in working for change.

One such citizen was Alice Paul was an American suffragist leader and led a successful campaign for women’s suffrage. Paul devoted her life to a cause she believed in and used various approaches when it came to persuading others of her message. When her initial efforts appeared to her to be ineffective, she switched to more radical strategies but never took her eyes off her ultimate goal: a constitutional amendment securing votes for women. It is in large part thanks to her perseverance that the Nineteenth Amendment was passed. The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Perseverance is essential to American citizenship America could not exist without it, and Americans’ indefatigable spirit both sets us apart and joins us together.

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