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What is america - Essay Example

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America represents a unique culture and land shaped by historical and political traditions, social and cultural values of different nations. Culture is one of the main ways people express their identity and ethnicity. To some extent, culture reflects a person's identity and helps him/her to preserve unique national values and rituals…
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Download file to see previous pages Sitting Bull, a leader of the Lakota Sioux says: "The life my people want is a life of freedom" (Foner 1999, p. 49). Ideas of freedom and liberty define America and its style of life influenced by historical events and struggle for independence. For a long time, freedom was at length granted the slaves, not as a measure of social justice, but as an act of war. Emancipation came as a more or less accidental by-product of a titanic conflict between two powerful classes, each seeking in its own self-interest to dominate the Federal government, and neither concerned with the moral aspects of slavery (Bigsby, 2006). Studies of ethnicity in the United States have tended to emphasize the significance of large-scale social, economic, and political processes to account for the demise or endurance of hyphenated-Americans. It has been shown that, after arriving as immigrants, such groups search out economic opportunities and employ ties of common origin to create or occupy economic niches. "The idea of wage slavery served to deconstruct, as it were, the sharp contrast between slavery and freedom, to expose the forms of coercion and hidden inequalities inherent in ostensibly free economic institutions" (Foner 1999, p. 58)
Long struggle against oppression has created some stereotypic impressions of American as liberals and fighters. The stereotype of the American is used in a variety of ways in reference to a number of social traditions and values. It embodies all aspects of human activities reflecting historical and social development of the nation. Americans develop the specific system of standards or rules a person attributes to the membership of the group as a result of her experience. A person's cultural preferences may contain several cultures which he/she attributes to different sets of other persons. Again, "The long contest over slavery gave new meaning to personal liberty, political community, and the rights attached to American citizenship" (Foner 1999, p. 83).
America means the land of immigrants who come to America looking for better life and unique destiny. The Old World background made in new social surroundings created the role of environmental factors, and finally, the relation between institutional forms (social classes and authorities) and cultural values. The settlers created new social order in order to meet specific local conditions. The new comers were involved in public policy and social life, religious and political affairs. Probably, since that time, the national idea of the land and equality has been central in American culture. The new comers brought to America a common set of values affected church, state, and social order. It was amazing how much they changed in the American land bringing new religious traditions and values. The land symbolized unity of the nation and its traditions, resistance to foreign influences and interactions (Bigsby, 2006). There is no question that this common set of ideas and beliefs, assumptions and customs shaped the character of the new World that the immigrants founded. The most part the colonists' notions about economics, politics, and society were indistinguishable from those of their countrymen who never contemplated moving to the New World. Catholicism and Protestantism influenced morality and goodness, human values and attitude towards the world (Foner, 1999). Church ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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