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.

5 Comments
  1. Armstrong 1 month 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.

  2. Nyleeah 1 month 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.

  3. Laura-Frances 1 month 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.

  4. Habiba 1 month 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.

  5. Zoe 3 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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