What does it mean to be an American?There are many definitions, and no two people agree on an exact answer.I believe there are many things that make one an American.One thing is they should all be able to vote.I also believe they should all be able to participate in government.I also feel that all Americans deserve a good education.These ideas have been prevalent even in the earliest centuries of this country.


A major thing that all Americans deserve to be able to do is vote.This was a right given to all Americans,even the formers slaves who weren’t even counted as full human beings. This is thanks to the following quote from the Reconstruction Amendments “The right of citizens in the US to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any State on account of race,color,or previous condition of servitude.” This means that no matter what you look like or what you used to do,you can vote. There are still other fundamental rights that all Americans deserve to have that involve who is in charge.


Another major thing that Americans deserve is at least a chance to participate in government.As early as almost right after the Civil War came to a close,there have been African Americans having positions of political power.In the document “Portraits of Elected Black Officials During Reconstruction” there were many a African American who came to power.Examples include Blanche Bruce,who was Mississippi’s senator from 1875 to 1881, Robert DeLarge,who was the US Representative for South Carolina from 1871 to 1873, and Josiah Walls,who was the US Representative for Florida from 1871 to 1876. Of course,they still had to get an education for their new lives,which is my next point.


As I said before,education is another important right that all Americans deserve to have.It’s one of the many rights given to free slaves in the Reconstruction years. At first,it was illegal for a slave to be taught to read or write,and they and their teachers met severe punishment for violating this law.However, during Reconstruction, black schools were set up all over the South to educate the blacks who were freed. This was something people couldn’t wait for as shown by the quote from the document “SIdney Adams”:”Everywhere I found them hoping to get their children into schools”. This shows that everyone had high hopes for blacks getting an education.


There are many things that Americans deserve to have.They all deserve to be able to vote for whoever they want in power. They deserve a chance to be in power themselves.They also deserve a good education.Many people have their own reasons for what makes an American,those are the reasons I have and I’d honestly like to hear what you believe it means to be an American.


CC BY-SA 4.0 What does it means to be an American? by Parmenus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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