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What Does It Mean to Be an American

What Does It Mean to Be an American

Beginning in the 1690's all the way to1775, Americas' population doubled every 25 years. Most settlers came to America in the 17th century, from Europe, to escape war, oppression, and absentee-landlordism. Under strict European rule they were not allowed the freedoms that were promised in the "New World." They would be beheaded for speaking out against the king, not paying high percentage taxes, and even exercising their religion in the confines of their own home. The same people who were cast down upon in Europe started this great country we now call America. To be an American comes with the responsibility to express your rights in order to keep democracy alive. Being an American means having the Freedom of speech, religion, expression, and assembly.

The first Americans were reborn free, having left strict European rule behind them. They faced few obstacles in the development of a society built on the principles of political and social liberalism. The Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776, set forth a human freedom that was never before seen. The opening passage of the Declaration of Independence states "…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Many of our rights as Americans are based on this sentence alone. Our fore fathers understood what they went through and how important it was to keep freedom alive for generations to come.

Freedom of speech is the liberty to freely say what one pleases, as well as to hear what others have stated. It allows us to speak publicly about our own government, create movies, distribute pictures, and as Americans, to have a voice in our government without being prosecuted. This cannot be said for others throughout the world.

As an American, the ability to express your own ideas is one of the greatest freedoms we have acquired. It allows us to...

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