The Evolution of American Self Essays

Decent Essays

The American Self is the common character and values of American people which evolved depending on governmental philosophy, religious belief, and economical aspiration from beginning of its formation to the present. Any of the change in the above factors would contribute to the evolution of the American Self. Over time, the American Self changed from communalism, whole hearted religious faith, and interest in material goods to individualism, self interests, and greed.

The American Self depended on the governmental philosophy held by its early colonial leaders, the Founding Fathers, and the later elites who governed the nation. The Puritans were theocratic; the early Puritans based their governmental philosophy on their religious view …show more content…

The leaders separated themselves into two parties, the Federalism and the Republicanism. The Federalism provides for a powerful federal government. Their philosophy was "giving up on the public's ability to live selflessly, political actors [federalists] promulgated in its place the need for selfless leaders to carry out the common good."[44] The Federalists believed "democracy would lead to self-interest, license, and the eventual dissolution of the Union"[45] In contrast, Republicans following the philosophy of the founding fathers continued to advocate the extending of autonomy to the communities. During this transitional era, "Republicans accuse Federalist of tyranny and Federalists accusing Republicans of unwittingly perpetrating anarchy."[44] Finally, "by mid-century, communalism was hardly proffered as viable social option by the American intelligentsia."[46]

Religion also impacted the American Self to a great degree. As mentioned above, Puritans based their governmental structure on the religious view. "Raised in a pious society, the Founding Fathers were bound to be influenced by church doctrines."[42] Ben Franklin said, "The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth--that God governs in the affairs of men."[43] The religious beliefs of the founders contributed to

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