What Defines Us as Americans

1 January 2018

The Constitution States “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ” This statement alone heavily helps define us as Americans, as the many things our government consist of is stated. Article I, Section II, Clause I of the Constitution states: “The House of Representatives shall be composed ofMembers chosen every second Year by the people of the several States, and the Electors In each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

” This quote helps define us as Americans as a democratic nation, who allows everyone to have say in the voting of our leaders as well as controlling the power one could have to be sure that he/she is one of these leaders. The constitution defines us among every other nation through its loyalty to the average Joe of America, allowing a normal everyday person to have say in who runs this nation.The Constitution simply defines us as Americans because it protects all of the basic rights we have as citizens of the United States. Another big part of defining us as Americans was the Westward Expansion. The Westward Expansion was just what it sounds like; it was the expanding of our nation to the West. After the War of 1812 much of America’s attention turned to exploration and settlement of its territory to the West, which had been greatly enlarged by the Louisiana Purchase.Families of pioneers swept westward and founded new communities throughout what is now the Midwest, and between 1816 and 1821, six new states were admitted to the union.

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The land boom was fed by encouragement from the federal government and the actions of land speculators, who bought up large tracts of land in order to sell it in parcels to farmers who did not mind high prices and high interest on loans due to the success Of American agricultural products, at exorbitant prices.A major aspect of the conquest of the West was the removal of the Indians who dwelled there. After the Midwest had been substantially developed, the national focus turned toward the far west. The territory of Texas, controlled by the Spanish, was settled by Americans, who eventually undertook the Texas Rebellion in efforts to win independence. When the U. S admitted Texas to the union the Mexican War was started and upon victory the U.S gained control of Texas, New Mexico, California and the entire western land to the Pacific Ocean after Oregon land was annexed.

By the early twentieth century, the organization of the West was completed, and the United States consisted of all 48 contiguous states. This was a major part of defining us as Americans by setting the tone for our 50 states we are allowed to visit and/or live freely. The Civil War and Reconstruction is another thing that helps to define us as Americans. The Civil War (1861-65) was perhaps the most momentous event in American history.The survival of the United States as one nation was at risk, and the nation ;s ability to bring to reality the ideals of liberty, equality, human dignity, and justice depended on the outcome of the war. After Lincoln election, sectional differences over slavery and the question of states’ rights versus federal power erupted in the Civil War. After the war, Lincoln favored a mild Reconstruction of the South, Hough Congress was dominated by Radical Republicans who favored a harsher reconstruction plan in order to punish the South for secession and for slavery.

After Lincoln assassination, Congress overwhelmed Andrew Johnson, who had taken over as president, and instituted punitive Reconstruction policies. Blacks in the South, freed during the Civil War, gained considerable rights during radical Reconstruction. Through both legal and illegal means, Southerners fought against the granting of these rights. After the failure of radical Reconstruction, Southerners used the Supreme Court’s Please v. Ferguson decision to institutionalize segregation and the discrimination of blacks.The Civil War and Reconstruction took our nation another step further, helping define us as Americans in the process. These three events are just three popular events of IS.

S History that help define us as Americans, although there are many more. Such as: industrialization, World War II, and the Cold War. There are a series of events that all add together to define us as Americans, events like; the Constitution, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War and Reconstruction. So after reading this, what do you think defines us as Americans?

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