The most important American value is freedom of speech and belief. Since there is separation of religion and the government, it means that even if a majority of the country believe some things to be right and others to be wrong, the government can’t make laws that punish people for doing something considered wrong in a specific religion. But you can still be against something even if it is accepted as law. Not everything that is legal is necessarily good. For example we have freedom of speech but we shouldn’t abuse it and use it for wrong, but even if people are doing things like burning flags, we can’t really prevent them from doing that. If you live here you are free to say what you want and do what you want if it is legal, but you are also expected to act somewhat morally by others which I consider a good thing. In “The Transformation of the ‘American Dream’” they say that “The American dream was a trajectory to a promising future, a model for the United States and for the whole world” (Shiller Para 10). I think that there are two ‘American Dreams’ but the one about a promising future isn’t called the American Dream anymore and is still around.

Equality is extremely close to freedom of speech but I wouldn’t consider it quite as important. The only reason I say this is because if people feel that something isn’t fair or they aren’t being treated equally, they have the right to say what they want. (Or at least they should I know this wasn’t always the case in history). These two beliefs are the foundation of the country and are what makes the United States united. The proof is inside the founding documents, in The Declaration of Independence, they state that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”(Jefferson Para 2). If we didn’t have freedom of speech then no one could talk about how they are being treated unequally. All of the states have to follow the constitution and these core values but can have separate laws according to their own state’s needs.

There is also hope for a better life in America, it isn’t stated in the law but it has happened are there are many stories about people coming here for a better life. There are jobs and opportunities for hard working immigrants who came here from a place which had a worse standard of living. In “5 Reasons Why Immigrants Came to America” the main reasons were that some were almost forced here by famines like the Great Potato Famine in Ireland, but some came from places from Asia and Europe seeking better opportunities and religious freedom (Thomson Para 1&2). This created some different values because all the people came from different places, but what unites them are the beliefs in equality and freedom.

Jefferson, Thomas. “The Declaration of Independence: Full Text.” Ushistory.org, Independence Hall Association, www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/.

Shiller, Robert J. “The Transformation of the ‘American Dream.’” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Aug. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/08/04/upshot/the-transformation-of-the-american-dream.html

Thomson, Cindy. “5 Reasons Immigrants Came to America.” Cindy’s Writing , Cindy Thomson, 5 Dec. 2015, cindyswriting.com/5-reasons-immigrants-came-to-america-2/.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 What are the main values we share as Americans? by John is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. Grace 1 month ago

    John,

    I also agree that freedom of speech is one of the most important rights. I think that many people abuse this right. For example, the feminism protests and marches were a little out of control, but voicing their opinion is legal and they have every right to say what they want. Lots of times riots will result due to freedom of speech because people don’t agree with what other people say or protest. Like you said, equality is very similar to freedom of speech and is also so important. America has come a long way in this aspect even though there is still inequality. We overcame the racism that was in the 1900’s and people still think there is racism, and there is, but we have improved so much as a country. Equality should be the same no matter what gender, race or religion you might identify as.

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