American Identity

Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” (1775)

In his address to the House, Patrick Henry decried the continued denial of fundamental rights and freedoms by the British. He cited the surge of British troops into perceived American territories in readiness for war as enough reason to retaliate. Henry added that the British government had remained adamant to Americans’ plea for liberation despite engaging several diplomatic and peaceful means of achieving their freedom (“Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death” (March 23, 1775)”). The speech reflects America’s determination and unity to take up a challenging task if only to guarantee the freedom of each citizen.

The Constitution provides for rights and freedoms to every citizen regardless of gender, ethnic, and religious among other differences. The realization of the value of individual’s efforts has raised America’s determination in many courses which are undertaken to improve people’s welfare (Beard and Beard 65). For instance, the need to secure the country against rising threats of insecurity has led America to send its forces to suppress such possibilities while working on friendly ways to establish lasting solutions. Subsequently, the country is now a global superpower in various spheres including technology, economy, and research among others.

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The American identity has grown over the years to reflect an ever-transforming society. By the time of Henry’s speech in 1775, America comprised native communities and people from European nations, such as England and Spain. Nonetheless, even the British-Americans were ready to fight for America against the Britons. Thus, the value of unity has transformed America into a multicultural society in which people work together to achieve a common purpose (Beard and Beard 67). Besides, people have united in fighting various social ills and atrocities under a common belief that everyone has the right to be happy wherever they are regardless of any differences.

Thomas Jefferson on Native Americans (1780)

In an excerpt of one of Jefferson’s letters, his sentiments reflect frustration at the reality of Americans aiding the British to conquer their fellow citizens. He added that the magnitude of force used to deal with the communities should be strong enough to remain in the memories of later native generations (“Thomas Jefferson on Native Americans (1780)”).

By the time of Jefferson’s letter in 1780, it is possible that native communities perceived the settlers as a threat to their well-being. For instance, the war with Britain could have led the natives to assume that the immigrants comprised of dissenters and unruly characters whose intention was to cause trouble in America. Jefferson noted that despite the possibility of engaging in peaceful deliberations, the natives remained grounded on waging attacks on the settlers thus prompting a punishment.

Over the years, America has experienced the growth of institutions and their recognition as effective channels of addressing issues of interest to individuals, groups, and organizations. In turn, these have facilitated dialogue and cohesion, thus enabling citizens to speak out freely on the issues affecting them. Besides, transformational leadership has created equal opportunities for all Americans regardless of one’s background (Beard and Beard 54). For instance, the judicial system is designed to offer guidance on the law regarding interactions of any nature. Thus, people can address issues from a more analytical perspective based on best practices and evidence as provided by various institutions. Besides, the idea of an American culture enables citizens to set aside their differences for the common good of the country as opposed to focusing on personal interests.

 

Works Cited

“Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death” (March 23, 1775).” Cloudfront.Net, 2017, d1lexza0zk46za.cloudfront.net/history/am-docs/patrick-henry-speech.pdf. Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.

“Thomas Jefferson on Native Americans (1780).” Cloudfront.Net, 2017, d1lexza0zk46za.cloudfront.net/history/am-docs/jefferson-to-natives.pdf. Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.

Beard, Mary Ritter, and Charles Austin Beard. History of the United States. Macmillan, 1921.