Characteristics Of Individualism In The United States

Decent Essays

Since the United States exists as a global power and is thus involved in various decisions and conflicts, people’s perceptions of the nation may vary. Some may say that it is a country of complete freedom where people can live the “American Dream”. On the other hand, others believe that it is rather a country where majority rules and the minority fails to be heard. Additionally, some even refuse to put a label on the United States, for it is a nation that is constantly adapting. Although it can be difficult to truthfully characterize the United States, the nation’s defining characteristics that continue to appear in society today are participation, individualism, and self-interest. Ever since the planning of the Constitution, the term “participation” has perfectly described the United States, for it is a nation built off of the citizen’s involvement and contributions. In fact, even with the proposal of the Virginia Plan, this idea of people participating in society appeared: “A two-house legislature with one house elected directly by the people…” (O'Connor & Sabato, 42). This concept of the people electing officials in the government promoted the characteristic of participation, for it put the power in the hands of the people by making the process rely on the people’s participation; thus, a participatory democracy was formed. This defining characteristic, though emerging a very long time ago, still plays a prominent role in the functioning of the American society today:

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