Penn Book has been asked to write about what it means to be an American. As the Presidential election draws near, this is a timely question with many different answers and perspectives. Penn Book would like to share what does it mean to be an American quotes from famous Americans who have spoken on this topic in one way or another.
What Does it Mean to be American?
The idea of American identity is multifaceted and intricate, encompassing various legal, cultural, and personal factors. At its core, being an American refers to a combination of citizenship, national identity, and shared values.
American national identification is a feeling of belonging to the US and its history, culture, and customs.
Individualism, freedom, democracy, and equality are profoundly ingrained in American history and culture and unite Americans.
Color, race, religion, gender, and politics redefine “American.” Thus, being an American is multifaceted and fluid.
What Does It Mean To Be An American Quotes
Becoming American means following the rules. It means respecting your neighbors, in your own neighborhood. —Francine Sharp, 73, retired teacher in Kansas (born in Kansas)
Precisely because we are not a people held together by blood, no one knows who an American is except by what they believe. It’s important that we do know our history because our history is the source of our Americanness. —Historian Gordon Wood
America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. – President Harry S. Truman
When people wrote ‘All men are created equal,’ they really meant men; but they didn’t mean any other men except white men who owned land. That’s what they meant. But because the ideas are powerful, there’s no way that they could get away with holding to that.
The idea that we begin the Constitution with, ‘We, the People’ . . . even though they didn’t mean me! They had no idea I’d ever want to make a claim on that. And they’d have been horrified if they’d known that any of us would. But you can’t let that powerful an idea out into the world without consequences. —Writer Rosemary Bray
Being American is making a change and making good changes. Being American is being welcomed, being caring about other people, being proud of the country. And it’s forgiveness. It’s not holding grudges on anything—I mean, where’s that going to get you? —Natalie Villafranca, 14, in Texas (born in Dallas)
Being American means protection by the law. Anyone can say whatever they want and, even if I don’t agree with them, they’re still protected by the law it’s my job to enforce. That’s their freedom. That’s their right. —Sean Larkin, 40, a sergeant with Tulsa Police Department’s gang unit in Tulsa, Oklahoma (born in Virginia)
The American Dream has no meaning for me. What it was founded on, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in many ways I feel are used as billy clubs against minorities and cultural minorities, whether they be gay, or different in any way from the norm in this country.
We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty. – Author Mark Twain
There is much more to being a patriot and a citizen than reciting the pledge or raising a flag. – Wrestler, Actor and former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura
Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory. – United States Army General George S. Patton
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. – Author Edward Abbey
Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it. – Author Mark Twain
I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit. – President Theodore Roosevelt
If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin. – Founding Father Samuel Adams
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Founding Father Benjamin Franklin
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. – President Ronald Reagan
I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. – American Revolutionary Soldier Nathan Hale
We are all the sons or daughters of immigrants – some more recent than others – but all dedicated to the triumph of an idea that serves as the touchstone of what it means to be an American.
This America is the only America that we have hitherto known – if being conservative has anything to do with conserving the principles of our past, then no conservative has any business bashing legal immigration. – Jack Kemp
We can’t all be Washingtons, but we can all be patriots. – Writer Charles F. Browne
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! – Founding Father Patrick Henry
America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race. – Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson
There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. – President Bill Clinton
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. – President John F. Kennedy
Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. – Malcolm X
The way to secure liberty is to place it in the people’s hands, that is, to give them the power at all times to defend it in the legislature and in the courts of justice. – President John Adams
What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom ‘to’ and freedom ‘from. – Writer Marilyn Vos Savant
Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. – President John Quincy Adams
What is America known for?
America is known for its natural beauty, wide open spaces, and democratic ideals. The country is also known for its immigrant population, technology industry, and iconic landmarks.
What is America’s catchphrase?
There’s no definitive answer to this question, as America is a large and diverse country with many different catchphrases. However, some popular ones include “freedom,” “liberty,” and “justice for all.” These catchphrases encapsulate the values that America is built on and represent the hope that many Americans have for their country.
Why do we call ourselves American?
There are many reasons why we call ourselves American. One reason is because we are proud of our country and what it stands for. Another reason is because it is a way to show our unity as a nation. Finally, it is also a way to show our pride in our heritage and our history.
In conclusion, being an American is a multi-dimensional concept that encompasses citizenship, national identity, and shared values. American citizenship grants the right to live, work, and vote in the US. A sense of belonging to the US and its history, culture, and customs is called American national identity.