American creed and values have been an ever changing concept, heavily influenced by numerous factors that tend to change over time. Some would say that it’s human nature for people to strongly adhere to their core values and beliefs and expel those who refuse to conform, and this argument has many examples to back it up. This phenomenon can especially be seen in the years of war and chaos, observe the Cold War when the idea of differing views of the government instilled fear in civilians and caused a “hysteria over the perceived threat posed by Communists in the U.S. became known as the Red Scare”, (History.com Editors, 2018). This then raises the question, what are American values? This question is one of the few where no matter your political, religious, or other beliefs, almost all Americans are able to find some common ground when it comes to forming an answer. These common ground traits seem to be agreed to be Equality, and Independence, ( Refugee Center Online).Equality and Independent are timeless descriptions of the U.S. whose usage can be traced all the way back to the founding documents of this country itself, (U.S. Constitution, Article VII). I believe that these are two answers that are broad enough to allow everyone’s beliefs to fit under. The differences in answers tend to occur when you narrow down the answers into subcategories. For example, equality is an easier answer to stand behind then equity, which can be considered to be a subcategory or equality. From there we get into other ideals and values that could be considered controversial, these include: assimilation and education. The reason I believe these ideals to be controversial is because of the value and intensity of these ideals deal with. The Huffington Post attempts to describe the different views on required assimilation. They begin their argument against required assimilation by explaining how America does not have a direct ethnicity, rather it is an unique combinations of thousands. They also claimed that the different ethnicities created a stable economy. They claim the argument for assimilation involves a greater sense of community when common ethnicities are reached. The value of education in my opinion is less controversial and can be more easily summarized. The controversy of this topic stems from what people consider to be the reasonable amount of schooling for Americans, often showcasing their views on the importance of certain career paths over others.
In conclusion, there are several characteristics that can be classified as American values, however, there are a select few that the majority of people can agree upon that fit their personal answer to the controversial question, even if these characteristic values have varying definitions among persons.
Featured Images, Youth Voices.
“Red Scare .” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 13 Sept. 2018,
Union, Yale Political. “Should Immigrant Assimilate?” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 25
“U.S. Constitution, Article VII”
“What Do Americans Value? | Information for Refugees and Immigrants.” Refugee Center Online,
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The Middle Ground of a Hot Issue by Bailey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.