Jefferson's Definition Of What It Means To Be An American

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The idea of what defines an American individual has been tossed around for ages. Being more American than the next person is a very common competition among people in America. Whether people testify with who has been here the longest or who received their citizenship first, it all just seems to be a perpetual feud. Considering that the first inhabitants of America were the Native Americans, technically speaking none of us are American. We are all of immigrant descent, since the Native Americans were already here when all the other settlers began showing up. Natives were already their own nation with their own religions, regulations, and reserved lands but they were and are still not perceived as Americans by countless people.

European colonizers and Natives have had several disputes and bloody battles. Most Europeans failed to see that by starting an empire in America they were ignorantly driving away an already existing nation. There were Native American tribes all throughout the different regions of the United States. Each and everyone of those tribes had their own civilization. Hearing the words “A nation within a nation” was initially pretty vague on account of not being able to tell how that would function. It is most definitely a thought provoking idea, but a nation is a group of people that share a lifestyle. The Native Americans and the colonists did not share a lifestyle because they were completely different culturally.

When the British had become the most dominant power in North America, the

American colonists were slowly inching towards the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The colonists had no longer seen themselves as the people from where they came from, because they felt American. In simpler terms, being American was not about where they had come from, it was about what they were slowly becoming. This fixed image of what an American is supposed to look like only seems to count in the present United States. When any person that has adapted and engaged in the American way of life, they will immediately be recognized as an American in any foreign country. Every person with or without citizenship living in the United States all have similar living habits, and the majority of people fail to perceive this.

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Living among the same people for so long people will tend to change their routines and practices. This naturally happen to all the immigrants that come here seeking a better life. It has always been the land with a surplus of opportunities, simply because this country provided more than where they were coming from. Regardless of where any of the immigrants are coming from they all want the same thing, a fresh start. Blaming immigrants for the country’s problems is just unethical seeing that most of the country is populated by immigrants. Americans have and will never share one blood, making it impossible to attempt to make it a homogenous country. All the people that have settled here, have at some point

There is a variation of beliefs and races all throughout the country with a handful of small areas that are concentrated with people that have very similar practices and origins. For instance, there are plenty of places in New Jersey where there are Hispanics, African Americans, or Europeans along with several other groups are all found in one town. After all this country is one of the few that as a whole does not have an abundance of a particular group of people. The mixed population has always existed and the reason for that is the increase of people immigrating from all over the world. However, not all the people here wanted to come in the first place. African slaves were forcibly brought here which fabricating another nation amidst two pre-existing nation, the Natives and the colonists. Colonists, Native Americans, and the Africans were all their own separate nations that usually did not integrate. As expected there was the exception of Jefferson and his family that included African slaves. He was intimately involved with

Jefferson believed a nation consisted of one race of people which is fairly ironic because Jefferson is perceived by many as a hypocrite, but in my opinion he was just conforming to the norm of the period of time he lived in. Perhaps there was more to Jefferson then just being a land, slave owning white colonist because he clearly had some sort of affiliation towards Africans since they were an important factor in his life. He never really had the people in the north or in the south ever in his favor. Jefferson advocated civil rights, but owned civilly dead individuals. A nation needs to lack uniformity so that people are motivated enough to want to have different opinions. If the United States were an absolutely uniform society we would never comprehend any other person’s beliefs besides our own. For a nation of people to all share the same opinions would lead to inevitable conflict.

A nation is a people that have a commonwealth and mutual behavior. If we were all as distinct from each other as we make it seem, it would be impossible to live among one another. The people in every generation slowly evolve and modify this country’s national identity. Despite the fact that this country’s national identity is changing we still incorporate significant elements that make America what it is today. There are crucial basic human rights in the constitution’s Bill of Rights that should not be neglected because they are the building blocks of the liberty and justice for all, this country has to offer. The ability to do and be as one pleases has to some degree created a society where people are encouraged to live their own life, not someone else's.

Jefferson is a great example of where all this American culture is coming from. Jefferson acted as most Americans do, especially since he preached something he did not act on. We are all hypocrites in our way, and criticizing Jefferson for who he was but that does not make us any better than him. American dishonesty has come down a long road and it never fails to have a presence in this nation. It is in our human nature to have circular logic, since as a people sometimes there is no reasoning for opinions. At times the only method of backing up your beliefs is by justifying that they are your own.

Jefferson proves that what we say does not always match how we act. Obviously Americans are not the only dishonest people in the world and that is just the truth. Most of us do not even we are being hypocrites until we do some thorough self evaluation and even then people still refuse to admit it. Sometimes what we say is not what we mean and Jefferson’s history displays exactly that. Telling one’s self something over and over again, might make us believe it, but it is still not true.

Who you are and who you want to be are two completely separate things. No matter how hard may someone may try to hide something the truth always comes out. Jefferson was never hiding who he was or how he lived, which is why he was and is so disliked. He life was no secret and that did not at all change the equal rights to man to spoke about. People like Jefferson intimidate others because no person likes to make it obvious they are contradicting their own ideas. Jefferson seemed to be a man with no shame and at the end of the day he just to be loved by the people he cared for the most. He did not need the public’s utter appreciation to accomplish a critical part of American history. He is most popularly known for being one of the coauthors of the United States Declaration of Independence, and being crowd’s favorite person was never a priority.

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