50 states are all united by the word American, but what does the word actually mean? The word American may actually mean something different to everyone depending on their values and beliefs. Politics plays a major role in answering this question which is why there are many answers. Having said that, I believe there are a couple of things that everyone can agree are true American values. The Constitution includes The Bill of Rights which gives Americans freedoms just because they are American and they cannot be taken away by the government. These are essential when it comes to defining what it means to truly call yourself an American. Our freedoms separate this nation from all others around the world and they are amazing, but you have to do some things in order to be granted these fruitful liberties. You must abide by our nation’s laws, respect others no matter what they look like or believe, and help to improve your community as well as the lives of others. If you do not abide by these rules, you can be sent to prison and can lose these rights. Calling yourself an American is a privilege that must be earned but it is well worth it. It is a prestigious title that is respected around the world especially in places that do not have the freedoms Americans do.

America is beautiful because everyone is entitled to their own opinions and it doesn’t matter how you look at an argument because a lot of people view the same argument a lot of different ways. In the article “What does it mean to be American? The answer may depend on your politics” Matt Sedensky talks about a number of controversial topics and how democrats view them and how republicans view them. The answers conflicted a lot and republicans valued America’s roots in Christianity while democrats valued America as a melting pot of different cultures. There were many more arguments in the article but I’d like to focus on this one. This is an example of two conflicting viewpoints from different sets of people. Americans accept the fact that people don’t think exactly like them which is great because life would be incredibly boring if everyone wanted to do the same activities and had the same viewpoints and thoughts. Americans listen to each other because they may be persuaded to switch sides on an argument or may persuade someone else to switch sides. Lots of countries are jealous of Americans because they don’t have freedom of speech or the right to have their own opinions. Some people live under brutal dictatorships and have their news censored to make it appear as though everything is going great in their home countries. This is not the case in America because we have a media that will occasionally be really biased and occasionally be fair. You have to look at what you’re reading and find out if what you’re reading is biased which may require a little bit of research.

Americans help each other around their communities to improve their towns and cities which can have a big impact of the country as a whole. There’s an article by Lee Hamilton called “What Does it Mean to be an American Citizen?” and this article gives examples of things that Americans can do around their communities to help their neighbors and fellow patriots. One quote that stood out to me was “America is not and will never be a finished project.” This quote shows that even today, there are things that need to be done to make America successful. The article gives numerous examples such as voting for elected officials, working for those elected officials, volunteering for charitable causes, writing letters to elected officials, giving speeches in our communities, organizing petition drives, and staying more informed about issues both local and nationwide. This great article calls upon Americans to step up to the challenge and get stuff done so we can leave this country to our children better than we inherited it. These tasks are not a lot to ask for especially considering what our founding fathers had to go through to create this amazing place we call America.

America is a spectacular country with so much to offer. Freedoms and liberties enshrined in the Constitution are given to every citizen and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. What more could you ask for? American citizens care about one another even if they have different beliefs for how the country should be governed and what laws should be put into place. One word that MUST be used to define the word American is freedom. It is freedom that drives Americans towards success and encourages friends and family to achieve their goals whatever they may be. Everyone is different and Americans not only accept that but value it. We learn about different cultures and people from around the world but also value our Christian roots. We understand that people are different but we also understand that they should not be treated differently. We all have the privilege to live in this great country that we call home and we are all united by one word, American.

Works Cited

Hamilton, Lee H. “What Does It Mean to Be an American Citizen?” What Does It Mean to Be an American Citizen? | Center on Representative Government. N.p., 21 Sept. 2003. Web.

Press, Matt Sedensky Associated. “What Does It Mean to Be American? The Answer Depends on Your Politics, Study Says.” PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, 06 Mar. 2017. Web.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 What Does it Mean to Call Yourself an American? by Nick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

12 Comments
  1. Hala 4 months ago

    Dear Nick,
    I am engrossed by your post, “What does it mean to call yourself an American” because we share similar views. You mentioned that, ¨Lots of countries are jealous of Americans because they don´t have freedom of speech or the right to have their own opinions.¨ I agree with your opinion, other countries may envy us because they may not have the right to their own opinion. Here we are in a way lucky, we are entitled to our own opinion which can be a luxury. So much can be learned from others when we speak our mind and can freely express ourselves. Another quote that stood out to me was, “We all have the privilege to live in this great country that we call home and we are all united by one word, American.” I partially agree with your statement, we are privileged but we are not united. People are discriminated against and seen differently depending on things like race, religion or sexual orientation. While being united by the word American we are still divided. In general, I agree with your views on being an American. You discuss the privilege of being a American and how other countries may be jealous of us. One thing you failed to mention was that some people are in a way more free than others. Some groups of people have to be more cautious than others when expressing themselves and there are some struggles that come along. Thanks for writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next.

  2. Madyson 4 months ago

    Dear Nick,
    I am a bit puzzled but fascinated with your article “What Does It Mean to Call Yourself American?” I’m fascinated because you made some great points and showed how America is viewed and should always be viewed. I’m puzzled with the way you used Christianity in the article and I wonder what does Christianity have to do with calling yourself an American?

    One sentence that stands out to me is “Our freedoms separate this nation from all others around the world and they are amazing, but you have to do some things in order to be granted these fruitful liberties.”This quote stood out to me because although this is mostly true now, American wasn’t always full of “freedom”. Some Americans had to fight to receive the freedom and respect that’s given now of days. It wasn’t always easy and some people of certain backgrounds weren’t even considered as citizens of the United States of America.

    Another sentence well sentences that stands out to me are “ American citizens care about one another even if they have different beliefs for how the country should be governed and what laws should be put into place.”and “We understand that people are different but we also understand that they should not be treated differently.” These quotes stood out to me and they also intertwine with each other. The first quote to me is interesting because as Americans we may not agree with the laws sat in place and we want things to go how we want them to go but that’s only because we care about others even though we may not know them. We just want equality! The second quote intertwines because it makes me think of my lifestyle which is not holding hatred or dislike for anyone. No matter who they are, what race,sexuality, religion,etc. Being different is unique and cool so everyone should be accepted even if we don’t agree with certain things.

    I agree with this article but I disagree with how they covered over some things because some people weren’t considered citizens and didn’t even have total freedom in America. Another reason I disagree with this article may be offensive to certain people especially people who aren’t Christian. This article kind of didn’t make that much sense. Yes America may seem like this amazing non judgmental country but as a citizen it is. Nick,I don’t think that you’ve ever experienced hard times as a person in America like me, a young black woman in America. America as a whole isn’t as built up as you are making it seem. Looking at America as a person in another country and living in America is different. To me Nick you have to stop being blind to America just to cover it up and make it look pretty but it’s not. I agree with some of your points but some people had it harder than you and still do have it harder to get total freedom.

    Thanks for your writing and I look forward to seeing some more so that you can make more interesting articles. This article you wrote was good but make sure you actually talk about what your title says,it needs to relate more. What will bring me back to see your next article is the points you made because you did have some good points. I also love how you love America and I’ll come back to see if you took in some of my response to realize some things. Keep up the good work and making articles.

  3. Shahadah 4 months ago

    Dear Zoe

    I am very interested in your post about “ What does it mean to call yourself an American” because you made a lot of great points. Also you had some very strong opinions and viewpoints about things that make American great for example our diversity but you also viewpoint on things that doesn’t make America so great.

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is “We as Americans take our freedom of press, speech, and assembly for granted”. I find this to be interesting because me personally I never thought of how Americans take freedom for granted and this made how I view this topic differently.

    Another sentence that stands out to me is “It’s too bad that we as Americans have been separated by these opinions.” This stood out for me because I find this to be one of the main reason America is so divided because of the opinions we have and we shouldn’t let opinions divide all people.

    I do agree with you when you say “It’s too bad that we as Americans have been separated by these opinions, especially with the election of the president causing people’s opinions to become more intense on both sides of the political spectrum”. I like that you gave a example of how political spectrum can divide people and also how opinions can separate us. One reason I say this is because I think the political spectrum has a big impact on how people form their opinions.

    Thanks for your writing this piece I enjoyed reading it. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because you have many great opinions and viewpoints.

  4. Juanamarina 4 months ago

    Dear Nick:

    I am a little lost with your post “What Does it Mean to Call Yourself an American?” because I don’t think it fulfills your title. I am confused as to how your essay explains what it means to call yourself American. Your post is full of redundancies about Americans being able to have opinions, which confuses me as to why this one right makes us American as opposed to something more deep.

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is your quote from Lee Hamilton’s essay, where they state: “America is not and will never be a finished project.” I think this is a good addition to your post because it shows more depth of what it means to be called American. It adds more of a reasoning behind your title that you lacked in your post.

    Another sentence that I thought was interesting was: “Americans listen to each other because they may be persuaded to switch sides on an argument or may persuade someone else to switch sides.” This stood out for me because it shows how easily people are influenced into believing what others say to believe.

    I don’t agree with the general message of this post. It doesn’t necessarily fulfill its title. The essay doesn’t grasp the topic of what it means to call yourself American. I don’t understand how simply “believing” and “having different opinions” makes you American. The essay was vague and floated over many opportunities to improve on it.

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because I wish to see what more you can do to improve your writing for your viewers.

  5. Siennae 6 months ago

    Dear Nick,

    After reading “What does it mean to call yourself an American I feel very discouraged to call myself and american because I am not white, and I am not a christian. Do these characteristics make me american because if so I am not. One sentence that stands out to me is “The answer conflicted a lot and republicans valued America’s roots in Christianity while democrats valued…” I think this false accused ties back to my beginning statements with this being false because even though I am not these characteristics I am considered to be an American. I do not agree with this post because America has been a colonized country. One reason I say this is because the Americans have been dividing and conquering for centuries.

  6. Christine 6 months ago

    Dear Nick,
    My name’s Christine and I am fascinated by your post because it informed me with more knowledge about America and the freedom of rights. You talked about American values which I can agree on because there are tons of answers to what it means to call yourself an American. Also, you mentioned the Bill of Rights which comes together giving Americans freedom and that’s essential to life that’ll guide us to success.
    One sentence that stood out to me is, “ Calling yourself an American is a privilege that must be earned but it is well worth it.“ This caught my attention because I think it’s an important title that defines pride and respect for America. Having a chance to be an American is definitely a privilege where you’re able to do things not other countries may have. For example, being a citizen gives you a chance to vote. Voting is something you shouldn’t take for granted and instead, it’s something you work for which is well worth. I think being an American defines who you are.
    Another sentence that stood out to me in your post is, “ Americans accept the fact that people don’t think exactly like them which is great because life would be incredibly boring if everyone wanted to do the same activities and had the same viewpoints and thoughts.” This line stood out to me because I highly agree that we should be able to do what we are offered and help out the communities to make a big impact. We are all able to think and do what we like because we all view arguments differently. For example, everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and together, we can listen to one another to put together something great for America.
    If you ask me, I do agree with you that America is beautiful and is a great country with different beliefs that make us who we are because we all have freedom that drives Americans to achieve their goals whatever they may be. One reason I say this is because we are all different but not only do Americans accept who we are but we value. Another reason why i agree is because is we may not be the same but that doesn’t mean you should be treated differently. I believe everyone should be treated equally which is why we share this country and call it our home.
    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing you what you write next because I enjoy reading your view on what it means to call yourself an American where I can agree through this post . Also, I think this topic is important to share with the world and for everyone else to read. After I read this post, it build my understanding of how great America is.

  7. Luis 6 months ago

    Dear Nick,
    I am Luis and I am really surprised by your post because you had a lot of different opinions on America. You talked about how the Bill of Rights gives America freedom and I re-thought about it because I never think this deeply about America. After I read this blog post, I now have gained a deep understanding of what does it mean to call yourself an American. You talked about America very deeply and it seems really interesting to me that makes me want to agree with you.
    One sentence that you wrote that stands out to me was, “Calling yourself an American is a privilege that must be earned but it is well worth it.” I think this is really true and accurate because when people earn privileges they shouldn’t use it improperly, but they should be glad and use it properly. Or else it can be taken away. For instance, a citizen gets to vote and they should take it seriously and this privilege is well worth it. Some people want to vote, but they can’t because they are not a citizen. Everything has to be earned because there is nothing in the world you can just get. Even in school this is really true because it has to be earned and when a teacher give the students certain privileges they shouldn’t take it to the next level and use it improperly. If so, the teacher will take away the privileges. In this case, it is like the same thing as privileges you get in America.
    Another sentence that I read earlier was “ There’s an article by Lee Hamilton called “What Does it Mean to be an American Citizen?” and this article gives examples of things that Americans can do around their communities to help their neighbors and fellow patriots. One quote that stood out to me was “America is not and will never be a finished project.” This quote shows that even today, there are things that need to be done to make America successful.” This stood out to me because a saying says that nothing/no one can be perfect and this is what he said. In the earlier times of the United States there was slavery, wars, conflicts. It got better because slavery was abolished and they solved some conflicts. Now these days some of these things are still happening around us but we just don’t know. Everything can get better, but nothing can be perfect. This also shocked me because there are still a lot of things everyone can do to make America better!
    I do totally agree with “America is beautiful because everyone is entitled to their own opinions and it doesn’t matter how you look at an argument because a lot of people view the same argument a lot of different ways.” One reason I say this is because one person may seem an argument different than another person. Another reason I agree with you is because during the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Lincoln thinks slavery is evil, but Douglas is for slavery. This shows that you can have different views on an opinion.
    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing you what you write next because your thoughts are really interesting to me. Also, I never thought about this topic because I thought America isn’t that hard to define. After I read this post, it makes me want to read more about it in the future.

  8. Armstrong 8 months ago

    Dear Nick,

    I am understanding with your blog, “What Does it Mean to Call Yourself an American?”, because calling yourself American means you have the privilege to have the freedoms America has granted its citizens. In your blog, you said, “It is a prestigious title that is respected around the world especially in places that do not have the freedoms Americans do,” because when you are American you are entitled to the rights in the Bill of Rights. One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “Calling yourself an American is a privilege that must be earned but it is well worth it.” I think this is an accurate description because like most privileges it comes with benefits, but it can also be taking away due to improper use of the privilege. Our freedoms separate this nation from all others around the world. But, convicted felons lose rights, including freedom, because they disobeyed the law. Another sentence that I read was: “The word American may actually mean something different to everyone depending on their values and beliefs.” This stood out for me because it shows how the answer to this question is subjective. I do definitely agree with you that “America is a spectacular country with so much to offer,” because there are so many opportunities in America when you’re American like jobs and education. Another reason I agree with you is because America have many freedoms that other countries don’t have.

  9. Nyleeah 9 months ago

    Hello Nick, after reading your post I got a sense of how open minded you are. You pointed out many reason as to how and why America is such a great place and why Americans should be happy to be here. While your points were convincing, they didn’t give the whole truth in my opinion. You stated how “America is beautiful because everyone is entitled to their own opinions and it doesn’t matter how you look at an argument because a lot of people view the same argument a lot of different ways”, which is 100% true. We all do look at the same argument in different ways, but that does not mean our fellow Americans accept our different views. It does matter how you look upon a certain situation because once you voice your opinion on that situation people will have a out look on you. They will then based your whole personality and characteristics off of the side of the argument that you are on. Another thing that caught my attention was the fact that you kept throwing the word “freedom” around. This quote in particular caught my eye “Freedoms and liberties enshrined in the Constitution are given to every citizen and everyone is entitled to their own opinions”. Yes we get our freedom until we do something that the government doesn’t like. This is the same in many other countries, the only difference is The United States tries to hide it and make it seem as though everyone is free until they break the law. No everyone is free until they do something that goes against the majority of the people, and the majority is always the government. And every one is considered ”free” but that does not mean that everyone is treated freely and given the same rights as others. As you stated from the article by Lee Hamilton, “America is not and will never be a finished project.” Yes this is because “even today, there are things that need to be done to make America successful” which you pointed out to us but you failed to point what these things are and why they are happening. There will always be dividers between the people of America, and these dividers – rather it be race, religion, sexual orientation, or even political stance – will always be a problem that can sometimes put hatred into the hearts of others. So in my opinion you pointed out all the good, but non of the bad which would contradict a lot of what you are saying. America is not all that it is cracked up to be and that is purely factual.

  10. Laura-Frances 9 months ago

    Hello Nick, you made a plethora of interesting points which often cause heated debates in politics as well as among normal civilians. There is even much debate in the question, “What does it mean to be American?” To tell the truth, I feel that you missed the target of the question. In my opinion, there is no definite meaning of being American and there is no such thing as a “melting pot”. The term, to me is quite unpleasant in a sense. If America was truly a melting pot, everyone would be the same color, have similar features, practice the same religions, and have the same culture. As Americans, we also have to face that all of us aren’t free. There are a number of immigrants that live here, just seeking citizenship to feed their families and make a better life for themselves. There are also Americans who are afraid of the outside world because they aren’t accepted. The color of their skin, religion, and sexual orientation hinders them from a lot of freedoms.

  11. Habiba 9 months ago

    Hello nick,
    I was very intrigued reading your post “what does it mean to call yourself an american?”. I was so interested in what you were saying because you had some very strong opinions and viewpoints regarding the “freedom” of Americans and how other countries view us. Its funny because you stating your opinion and me responding and stating how i feel on this blog post represents the freedom we have have here .In your post you stated ,”Our freedoms separate this nation from all others around the world and they are amazing, but you have to do some things in order to be granted these fruitful liberties. You must abide by our nation’s laws, respect others no matter what they look like or believe, and help to improve your community as well as the lives of others”. I think this has to be one of the main things that makes America America because whenever someone’s “freedom” is threatened a little bit people will demand a change or a reform, whereas somewhere else they could be killed for even showing signs of dislike for the government. I disagree with you when you said ,” Americans accept the fact that people don’t think exactly like them which is great because life would be incredibly boring if everyone wanted to do the same activities and had the same viewpoints and thoughts”. A lot of Americans really don’t accept or respect the differences of others and it’s nothing wrong with that. Not everyone agrees on everything. What you might’ve meant was we have the opportunity to voice our differences and we are offered protected from people who disagree. We are ensured nothing will happen for simply having different opinions. Another sentence that stood out to me is ,”The article gives numerous examples such as voting for elected officials, working for those elected officials, volunteering for charitable causes, writing letters to elected officials, giving speeches in our communities, organizing petition drives, and staying more informed about issues both local and nationwide”. This interested me because when i think about things that could approve in america i never really thought to think about how we as citizens could be more involved in communities, politics, and worldwide affairs. We tend to think very exclusively. we should be more open and knowledgeable about what is going on outside of the states because many things going on could could affect us.
    Thanks for writing this piece i enjoyed reading it. Keep writing about different topics from unique view point and i will be back to read more.

  12. Zoe 11 months ago

    Nick, I think you made a lot of great points. Something that makes America great is our diversity and what we can all bring to the table when we come from all different places and walks of life. I feel as though we as Americans take our freedom of press, speech, and assembly for granted. It is a really great thing to be able to say what is on your mind and for everyone to be entitled to their own opinion. It’s too bad that we as Americans have been separated by these opinions, especially with the election of the president causing people’s opinions to become more intense on both sides of the political spectrum. At the end of the day however, we should be grateful that we are allowed to have our own voices living in the land of the free.

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