Existence of a New Man Based on the New Social Conditions
In 1770, Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur, a young French noble, wrote in his essay Letters from an American Farmer that a “New Man” has appeared in America, where the colonists from many different countries in Europe gathered and created a totally new society. In this new social structure, people were equal and could achieve success and prosperity by working assiduously, and so the American Dream could come true in reality. The brand-new society guaranteed freedom and citizenship to everyone and promoted self-interest among the colonists.
The new social system enabled Americans to enjoy freedom and equality. Many of the colonists were low class men who “owned not a single foot of the extensive surface of this planet” (Bailey 87) where they starved and were treated poorly. The impoverished Europeans came to the new land hoping to find a new way of life in which they could have their own land and make their own living. The land was free, meaning that no one had claimed the ownership of the land, and so people were also free of any restriction on their rights. There were “no aristocratical families, no courts, no kings, no bishops, no ecclesiastical dominion, no invisible power giving to a few a very visible one” (Bailey 98); basically there was no strict social hierarchy in America, like the one in Europe, where most people remained at the bottom of the pyramid and a few enjoyed privileges of the upper class. Discarding their own national identity, people began to form their national identity as Americans. Therefore, Americans ensured their freedom and equality securely and emerged as New Men; and these concepts engendered the following pursuit of self-interest.
After the colonists arrived in America, they promoted self-interest, meaning that they worked for themselves. Since the vast land of America was not occupied “either by a despotic prince, a rich abbot, or a mighty lord” (Bailey 88), people...