What Is an American

2973 WordsJun 2, 201312 Pages
American writings have portrayed numerous ideologies of what it means to be an American and these ideals have transcended throughout time and can clearly be depicted by the major influential literary aspirants from each century. The one thing that remains the same is that it has always been a struggle to forge a truly "American" identity given the fact that our nation is one of immigrants. These early works reached the level of literature, as in the robust and perhaps truthful account of his adventures by many literary aspirants such as: Thomas Jefferson, William Bradford, Crevecoeur, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Through the tendentious journalistic accounts as directed by the edification of these credited writers, the identity of these…show more content…
In reference to the differences in skin color, Jefferson states, “Is it not the foundation of a greater or less share of beauty in the two races?” He recognized that to ensure order was kept if races were created equal, it would require the blacks to be removed from the reach of mixture with the whites. Ultimately, it seems that Jefferson was influenced by Locke’s work because Jefferson seems to have the same beliefs about how a government should function and how it should protect its people. The first great American Puritan, William Bradford came to America on the Mayflower in 1620 as one of the many Separatists, Puritans who believed the Church of England could not be reformed and therefore resolved to separate themselves from it. “Of Plymouth Plantation” by William Bradford provides a glimpse of the Puritan mind in the reformation of the Separatists in the influential cultural myth of what being an American, during that time, really was. Bradford, who became governor of Plymouth Colony in 1621, wrote an account of the Separatists ' travails and successes, comparing them to the Israelites in the wilderness. William Bradford’s vision for the New World was definitely influenced by his beliefs he saw America as the “promise land” as many settlers’ do today. He drew many parallels between the Puritans struggles with the New World and the trials the Israelites’ struggled within the wilderness. He proclaims that being an

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