What is an American: Defining The Identity

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489 words

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Fundamentals of American Identity
  3. Conclusion


It is impossible to find a short and simple answer to the question "What is an American?". For the issue is complex and multifaceted, encompassing a range of identities, stories and perspectives that contribute to a nation's rich heritage. To understand what it means to be an American, one must examine the values, traditions, and experiences that shape this diverse and ever-evolving identity.

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At its core, being an American is about embracing diversity. The United States is a melting pot of cultures, languages, and backgrounds. From the Indigenous peoples who have inhabited the land for centuries to the immigrants who have arrived seeking new opportunities, the nation's identity is deeply intertwined with its diversity.

Fundamentals of American Identity

Freedom is a fundamental pillar of the American identity. The United States was founded on the principles of individual liberty and self-governance, and these ideals continue to influence the way Americans perceive themselves. The ability to express one's thoughts, practice one's religion, and engage in civil discourse are all integral to the American experience.

The pursuit of the American Dream is another defining aspect of being an American. This dream embodies the belief that through hard work, determination, and opportunity, anyone can achieve success and upward mobility. It reflects the nation's ethos of progress and self-improvement.

Community and unity are also vital components of the American identity. Despite its diversity, the nation is bound together by shared values and a sense of belonging. Americans come together to support one another in times of crisis and celebration, fostering a sense of national solidarity.

The history of the United States shapes its identity as well. From the struggles for independence to the Civil Rights Movement, the nation's past is marked by moments of both triumph and adversity. Acknowledging this history, with all its complexities, is integral to understanding what it means to be an American.

Being an American is also about the commitment to democracy and civic engagement. Citizens participate in elections, advocate for social change, and contribute to the nation's governance. The ability to shape the nation's future through civic action is a privilege that underscores the essence of being an American.

Technology and innovation play a significant role in the American identity. The nation has been a global leader in technological advancements, from the invention of the telephone to the development of the internet. This spirit of innovation reflects the nation's drive for progress and its impact on the world.

As with any identity, being an American is not without its challenges. Issues of inequality, political divisions, and social injustices continue to shape the nation's identity, prompting conversations about what it truly means to be American in the 21st century.

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Being an American encompasses a diverse range of experiences, values, and histories. It is about embracing diversity, freedom, the pursuit of the American Dream, unity, history, democracy, and innovation. As the nation evolves, so too does the identity of an American, shaped by its past, present, and aspirations for the future.

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Dr. Oliver Johnson

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What is an American: Defining the Identity. (2023, September 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 3, 2023, from
“What is an American: Defining the Identity.” GradesFixer, 05 Sept. 2023,
What is an American: Defining the Identity. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Oct. 2023].
What is an American: Defining the Identity [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Sept 05 [cited 2023 Oct 3]. Available from:
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