What Defines An American Analysis

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What Defines An American? The United States of America: It is a story of progress, of ever-expanding freedom, and of an always widening definition of what it means to be an American. As we can see today, there is no simple answer to the question, ‘What defines an American?’ When our founding fathers were constructing our social contract for the United States of America, which was the Constitution, the opening words, “We the people,” had a certain meaning. This meaning was that the power of government comes from the people, and based off this, has shaped America to what it is today. When talking about the definition of what an American is, nearly 100 years ago, in 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt hit the nail on the head when he stated…show more content…
He proudly stated, “Since are the highest per capita income place in the world, excluding those small oil rich nations, it is what gives people the opportunity to have wealth and a much higher standard of living than any place in the world.” Also, being an American is also being a part of the most powerful nation in the world which comes with it being responsible for the maintenance of world peace. He gave the analogy, “for if we weren’t the biggest bad dog in the valley, there would be a lot more warlike activities, but countries know that if things get too bad America might intercede and it would be all bad for the country that is taking unfair advantage of other people.” After hearing this, I started to think about my own personal application of it. What drives Americans to work hard? The last thing that he said really drove home for me. “Being an American is also about making profits.” For me, being an economics major, I knew that Americans run their lives on their economic situation, and many times to make profits it is about seeing opportunities, and to some sense exploiting people, but they want to be exploited because it is called work. If people work for you and they do not produce more than they are worth, then the owner does not get a profit. You have to understand to appreciate your profit ability notion and that is all a part of being an American. This is clearly seen in the article, My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant by Jose Vargas. Jose’s driving force for staying in the United States was the ability to make profits and have a higher standard of living. His opportunities to be exploited were reasonable to him for he made such a high profit, but tried reconcile his illegal activities veiled behind a façade of “the American Dream.” Unfortunately, he was not living the true American Dream, for
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