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What Does It Mean to “Be American?”

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In 2014, New York Times reporter Damien Cave traveled the length of highway I-35, which runs south to north through the middle of the United States, for his “The Way North” project. Along the way, he asked 35 people, “What does it mean to be American?” These are some of their answers. 1

Becoming American means following the rules. It means respecting your  neighbors, in your own neighborhood. —Francine Sharp, 73, retired teacher in Kansas (born in Kansas) If you work hard, you get good things in life. —José, college student/roofer; immigrant without legal status in Tulsa, Oklahoma (born in Mexico) Being American is making a change, and making good changes. Being American is being welcoming, being caring about other people, being proud of the country. And it’s forgiveness. It’s not holding grudges on anything—I mean, where’s that going to get you? —Natalie Villafranca, 14, in Texas (born in Dallas) Being American means protection by the law. Anyone can say whatever they want and, even if I don’t agree with them, they’re still protected by the law it’s my job to enforce. That’s their freedom. That’s their right. —Sean Larkin, 40, sergeant with Tulsa Police Department’s gang unit in Tulsa, Oklahoma (born in Virginia) Being American is red, white and blue and being free. It doesn’t matter what language you speak; if you’re born in America, you’re still American. No matter what you look like, no matter what. —Sebastien de la Cruz, 12, student who gained attention, and backlash, when he sang the national anthem during the 2013 NBA finals in a mariachi outfit (born and lives in San Antonio) I want all girls, especially girls of color, to know that they can be a part of science. And more than that, they can be leaders in science. I want them to know that, because I know that I am America. That I am science. I’m just the part that people refuse to recognize. 2 —Taylor R., 13, speaking about her ambitions at the March for Science in April 2017 The following excerpts are from other Americans discussing what they think it means to “be American.” Among these voices are historians and writers who think about this topic a lot, as well as individuals from other walks of life who participated in a discussion for the documentary film A More Perfect Union . 3 Precisely because we are not a people held together by blood, no one knows who an American is except by what they believe. It's important that we do know our history, because our history is the source of our Americanness. —Historian Gordon Wood When people wrote "All men are created equal," they really meant men; but they didn't mean any other men except white men who owned land. That's what they meant. But because the ideas are powerful, there's no way that they could get away with holding to that. It's not possible when you have an idea that's as powerful and as revolutionary as a country founded on the idea that just because you're in the world, just because you're here, you have a right to certain things that are common to all humanity. That's really what we say in those documents. The idea that we begin the Constitution with, "We, the People" . . . even though they didn't mean me! They had no idea I'd ever want to make a claim on that. And they'd have been horrified if they'd known that any of us would. But you can't let that powerful an idea out into the world without consequences. —Writer Rosemary Bray The American Dream has no meaning for me. What it was founded on, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in many ways I feel are used as billy clubs against minorities and cultural minorities, whether they be gay, or different in any way from the norm in this country. I, for example, don't think I'd like to go to California because of what I look like. I could be pulled over and carded, and I would have to prove my ancestry. And look how long my family has been in northern New Mexico. Ten to twelve generations! —Vicente Martinez
  • 1 All quotes except the last one (by Taylor R.) are from “ Day 39: On Being American ” (The Way North), New York Times , May 17, 2014.
  • 2 “ March for Science Earth Day 2017 Speaker - Taylor Richardson ", YouTube video, 1:15, posted by EARTHDAYORG, Apr 24, 2017.
  • 3 All quotes are from the online companion materials to the documentary A More Perfect Union (Arcadia Pictures, 1997), available at PBS website .

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Facing History & Ourselves, “ What Does It Mean to “Be American?” ”, last updated June 17, 2017.

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What does it mean to be an American?

what does being an american mean essay

Sarah Song, a Visiting Scholar at the Academy in 2005–2006, is an assistant professor of law and political science at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Justice, Gender, and the Politics of Multiculturalism (2007). She is at work on a book about immigration and citizenship in the United States.

It is often said that being an American means sharing a commitment to a set of values and ideals. 1 Writing about the relationship of ethnicity and American identity, the historian Philip Gleason put it this way:

To be or to become an American, a person did not have to be any particular national, linguistic, religious, or ethnic background. All he had to do was to commit himself to the political ideology centered on the abstract ideals of liberty, equality, and republicanism. Thus the universalist ideological character of American nationality meant that it was open to anyone who willed to become an American. 2

To take the motto of the Great Seal of the United States, E pluribus unum – "From many, one" – in this context suggests not that manyness should be melted down into one, as in Israel Zangwill's image of the melting pot, but that, as the Great Seal's sheaf of arrows suggests, there should be a coexistence of many-in-one under a unified citizenship based on shared ideals.

Of course, the story is not so simple, as Gleason himself went on to note. America's history of racial and ethnic exclusions has undercut the universalist stance; for being an American has also meant sharing a national culture, one largely defined in racial, ethnic, and religious terms. And while solidarity can be understood as "an experience of willed affiliation," some forms of American solidarity have been less inclusive than others, demanding much more than simply the desire to affiliate. 3 In this essay, I explore different ideals of civic solidarity with an eye toward what they imply for newcomers who wish to become American citizens.

Why does civic solidarity matter? First, it is integral to the pursuit of distributive justice. The institutions of the welfare state serve as redistributive mechanisms that can offset the inequalities of life chances that a capitalist economy creates, and they raise the position of the worst-off members of society to a level where they are able to participate as equal citizens. While self-interest alone may motivate people to support social insurance schemes that protect them against unpredictable circumstances, solidarity is understood to be required to support redistribution from the rich to aid the poor, including housing subsidies, income supplements, and long-term unemployment benefits. 4 The underlying idea is that people are more likely to support redistributive schemes when they trust one another, and they are more likely to trust one another when they regard others as like themselves in some meaningful sense.

Second, genuine democracy demands solidarity. If democratic activity involves not just voting, but also deliberation, then people must make an effort to listen to and understand one another. Moreover, they must be willing to moderate their claims in the hope of finding common ground on which to base political decisions. Such democratic activity cannot be realized by individuals pursuing their own interests; it requires some concern for the common good. A sense of solidarity can help foster mutual sympathy and respect, which in turn support citizens' orientation toward the common good.

Third, civic solidarity offers more inclusive alternatives to chauvinist models that often prevail in political life around the world. For example, the alternative to the Nehru-Gandhi secular definition of Indian national identity is the Hindu chauvinism of the Bharatiya Janata Party, not a cosmopolitan model of belonging. "And what in the end can defeat this chauvinism," asks Charles Taylor, "but some reinvention of India as a secular republic with which people can identify?" 5 It is not enough to articulate accounts of solidarity and belonging only at the subnational or transnational levels while ignoring senses of belonging to the political community. One might believe that people have a deep need for belonging in communities, perhaps grounded in even deeper human needs for recognition and freedom, but even those skeptical of such claims might recognize the importance of articulating more inclusive models of political community as an alternative to the racial, ethnic, or religious narratives that have permeated political life. 6  The challenge, then, is to develop a model of civic solidarity that is "thick" enough to motivate support for justice and democracy while also "thin" enough to accommodate racial, ethnic, and religious diversity.

We might look first to Habermas's idea of constitutional patriotism (Verfassungspatriotismus). The idea emerged from a particular national history, to denote attachment to the liberal democratic institutions of the postwar Federal Republic of Germany, but Habermas and others have taken it to be a generalizable vision for liberal democratic societies, as well as for supranational communities such as the European Union. On this view, what binds citizens together is their common allegiance to the ideals embodied in a shared political culture. The only "common denominator for a constitutional patriotism" is that "every citizen be socialized into a common political culture." 7

Habermas points to the United States as a leading example of a multicultural society where constitutional principles have taken root in a political culture without depending on "all citizens' sharing the same language or the same ethnic and cultural origins." 8  The basis of American solidarity is not any particular racial or ethnic identity or religious beliefs, but universal moral ideals embodied in American political culture and set forth in such seminal texts as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Based on a minimal commonality of shared ideals, constitutional patriotism is attractive for the agnosticism toward particular moral and religious outlooks and ethnocultural identities to which it aspires.

What does constitutional patriotism suggest for the sort of reception immigrants should receive? There has been a general shift in Western Europe and North America in the standards governing access to citizenship from cultural markers to values, and this is a development that constitutional patriots would applaud. In the United States those seeking to become citizens must demonstrate basic knowledge of U.S. government and history. A newly revised U.S. citizenship test was instituted in October 2008 with the hope that it will serve, in the words of the chief of the Office of Citizenship, Alfonso Aguilar, as "an instrument to promote civic learning and patriotism." 9 The revised test attempts to move away from civics trivia to emphasize political ideas and concepts. (There is still a fair amount of trivia: "How many amendments does the Constitution have?" "What is the capital of your state?") The new test asks more open-ended questions about government powers and political concepts: "What does the judicial branch do?" "What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?" "What is freedom of religion?" "What is the 'rule of law'?" 10

Constitutional patriots would endorse this focus on values and principles. In Habermas's view, legal principles are anchored in the "political culture," which he suggests is separable from "ethical-cultural" forms of life. Acknowledging that in many countries the "ethical-cultural" form of life of the majority is "fused" with the "political culture," he argues that the "level of the shared political culture must be uncoupled from the level of subcultures and their prepolitical identities." 11  All that should be expected of immigrants is that they embrace the constitutional principles as interpreted by the political culture, not that they necessarily embrace the majority's ethical-cultural forms.

Yet language is a key aspect of "ethical-cultural" forms of life, shaping people's worldviews and experiences. It is through language that individuals become who they are. Since a political community must conduct its affairs in at least one language, the ethical-cultural and political cannot be completely "uncoupled." As theorists of multiculturalism have stressed, complete separation of state and particularistic identities is impossible; government decisions about the language of public institutions, public holidays, and state symbols unavoidably involve recognizing and supporting particular ethnic and religious groups over others. 12 In the United States, English language ability has been a statutory qualification for naturalization since 1906, originally as a requirement of oral ability and later as a requirement of English literacy. Indeed, support for the principles of the Constitution has been interpreted as requiring English literacy. 13 The language requirement might be justified as a practical matter (we need some language to be the common language of schools, government, and the workplace, so why not the language of the majority?), but for a great many citizens, the language requirement is also viewed as a key marker of national identity. The continuing centrality of language in naturalization policy prevents us from saying that what it means to be an American is purely a matter of shared values.

Another misconception about constitutional patriotism is that it is necessarily more inclusive of newcomers than cultural nationalist models of solidarity. Its inclusiveness depends on which principles are held up as the polity's shared principles, and its normative substance depends on and must be evaluated in light of a background theory of justice, freedom, or democracy; it does not by itself provide such a theory. Consider ideological requirements for naturalization in U.S. history. The first naturalization law of 1790 required nothing more than an oath to support the U.S. Constitution. The second naturalization act added two ideological elements: the renunciation of titles or orders of nobility and the requirement that one be found to have "behaved as a man . . . attached to the principles of the constitution of the United States." 14  This attachment requirement was revised in 1940 from a behavioral qualification to a personal attribute, but this did not help clarify what attachment to constitutional principles requires. 15 Not surprisingly, the "attachment to constitutional principles" requirement has been interpreted as requiring a belief in representative government, federalism, separation of powers, and constitutionally guaranteed individual rights. It has also been interpreted as disqualifying anarchists, polygamists, and conscientious objectors for citizenship. In 1950, support for communism was added to the list of grounds for disqualification from naturalization – as well as grounds for exclusion and deportation. 16 The 1990 Immigration Act retained the McCarthy-era ideological qualifications for naturalization; current law disqualifies those who advocate or affiliate with an organization that advocates communism or opposition to all organized government. 17 Patriotism, like nationalism, is capable of excess and pathology, as evidenced by loyalty oaths and campaigns against "un-American" activities.

In contrast to constitutional patriots, liberal nationalists acknowledge that states cannot be culturally neutral even if they tried. States cannot avoid coercing citizens into preserving a national culture of some kind because state institutions and laws define a political culture, which in turn shapes the range of customs and practices of daily life that constitute a national culture. David Miller, a leading theorist of liberal nationalism, defines national identity according to the following elements: a shared belief among a group of individuals that they belong together, historical continuity stretching across generations, connection to a particular territory, and a shared set of characteristics constituting a national culture. 18  It is not enough to share a common identity rooted in a shared history or a shared territory; a shared national culture is a necessary feature of national identity. I share a national culture with someone, even if we never meet, if each of us has been initiated into the traditions and customs of a national culture.

What sort of content makes up a national culture? Miller says more about what a national culture does not entail. It need not be based on biological descent. Even if nationalist doctrines have historically been based on notions of biological descent and race, Miller emphasizes that sharing a national culture is, in principle, compatible with people belonging to a diversity of racial and ethnic groups. In addition, every member need not have been born in the homeland. Thus, "immigration need not pose problems, provided only that the immigrants come to share a common national identity, to which they may contribute their own distinctive ingredients." 19

Liberal nationalists focus on the idea of culture, as opposed to ethnicity or descent, in order to reconcile nationalism with liberalism. Thicker than constitutional patriotism, liberal nationalism, Miller maintains, is thinner than ethnic models of belonging. Both nationality and ethnicity have cultural components, but what is said to distinguish "civic" nations from "ethnic" nations is that the latter are exclusionary and closed on grounds of biological descent; the former are, in principle, open to anyone willing to adopt the national culture. 20

Yet the civic-ethnic distinction is not so clear-cut in practice. Every nation has an "ethnic core." As Anthony Smith observes

[M]odern "civic" nations have not in practice really transcended ethnicity or ethnic sentiments. This is a Western mirage, reality-as-wish; closer examination always reveals the ethnic core of civic nations, in practice, even in immigrant societies with their early pioneering and dominant (English and Spanish) culture in America, Australia, or Argentina, a culture that provided the myths and language of the would-be nation. 21

This blurring of the civic-ethnic distinction is reflected throughout U.S. history with the national culture often defined in ethnic, racial, and religious terms. 22

Why, then, if all national cultures have ethnic cores, should those outside this core embrace the national culture? Miller acknowledges that national cultures have typically been formed around the ethnic group that is dominant in a particular territory and therefore bear "the hallmarks of that group: language, religion, cultural identity." Muslim identity in contemporary Britain becomes politicized when British national identity is conceived as containing "an Anglo-Saxon bias which discriminates against Muslims (and other ethnic minorities)." But he maintains that his idea of nationality can be made "democratic in so far as it insists that everyone should take part in this debate [about what constitutes the national identity] on an equal footing, and sees the formal arenas of politics as the main (though not the only) place where the debate occurs." 23

The major difficulty here is that national cultures are not typically the product of collective deliberation in which all have the opportunity to participate. The challenge is to ensure that historically marginalized groups, as well as new groups of immigrants, have genuine opportunities to contribute "on an equal footing" to shaping the national culture. Without such opportunities, liberal nationalism collapses into conservative nationalism of the kind defended by Samuel Huntington. He calls for immigrants to assimilate into America's "Anglo- Protestant culture." Like Miller, Huntington views ideology as "a weak glue to hold together people otherwise lacking in racial, ethnic, or cultural sources of community," and he rejects race and ethnicity as constituent elements of national identity. 24 Instead, he calls on Americans of all races and ethnicities to "reinvigorate their core culture." Yet his "cultural" vision of America is pervaded by ethnic and religious elements: it is not only of a country "committed to the principles of the Creed," but also of "a deeply religious and primarily Christian country, encompassing several religious minorities, adhering to Anglo- Protestant values, speaking English, maintaining its European cultural heritage." 25 That the cultural core of the United States is the culture of its historically dominant groups is a point that Huntington unabashedly accepts.

Cultural nationalist visions of solidarity would lend support to immigration and immigrant policies that give weight to linguistic and ethnic preferences and impose special requirements on individuals from groups deemed to be outside the nation's "core culture." One example is the practice in postwar Germany of giving priority in immigration and naturalization policy to ethnic Germans; they were the only foreign nationals who were accepted as permanent residents set on the path toward citizenship. They were treated not as immigrants but "resettlers" (Aussiedler) who acted on their constitutional right to return to their country of origin. In contrast, non-ethnically German guestworkers (Gastarbeiter) were designated as "aliens" (Auslander) under the 1965 German Alien Law and excluded from German citizenship. 26 Another example is the Japanese naturalization policy that, until the late 1980s, required naturalized citizens to adopt a Japanese family name. The language requirement in contemporary naturalization policies in the West is the leading remaining example of a cultural nationalist integration policy; it reflects not only a concern with the economic and political integration of immigrants but also a nationalist concern with preserving a distinctive national culture.

Constitutional patriotism and liberal nationalism are accounts of civic solidarity that deal with what one might call first-level diversity. Individuals have different group identities and hold divergent moral and religious outlooks, yet they are expected to share the same idea of what it means to be American: either patriots committed to the same set of ideals or co-nationals sharing the relevant cultural attributes. Charles Taylor suggests an alternative approach, the idea of "deep diversity." Rather than trying to fix some minimal content as the basis of solidarity, Taylor acknowledges not only the fact of a diversity of group identities and outlooks (first-level diversity), but also the fact of a diversity of ways of belonging to the political community (second-level or deep diversity). Taylor introduces the idea of deep diversity in the context of discussing what it means to be Canadian:

Someone of, say, Italian extraction in Toronto or Ukrainian extraction in Edmonton might indeed feel Canadian as a bearer of individual rights in a multicultural mosaic. . . . But this person might nevertheless accept that a Québécois or a Cree or a Déné might belong in a very different way, that these persons were Canadian through being members of their national communities. Reciprocally, the Québécois, Cree, or Déné would accept the perfect legitimacy of the "mosaic" identity.

Civic solidarity or political identity is not "defined according to a concrete content," but, rather, "by the fact that everybody is attached to that identity in his or her own fashion, that everybody wants to continue that history and proposes to make that community progress." 27 What leads people to support second-level diversity is both the desire to be a member of the political community and the recognition of disagreement about what it means to be a member. In our world, membership in a political community provides goods we cannot do without; this, above all, may be the source of our desire for political community.

Even though Taylor contrasts Canada with the United States, accepting the myth of America as a nation of immigrants, the United States also has a need for acknowledgment of diverse modes of belonging based on the distinctive histories of different groups. Native Americans, African Americans, Irish Americans, Vietnamese Americans, and Mexican Americans: across these communities of people, we can find not only distinctive group identities, but also distinctive ways of belonging to the political community.

Deep diversity is not a recapitulation of the idea of cultural pluralism first developed in the United States by Horace Kallen, who argued for assimilation "in matters economic and political" and preservation of differences "in cultural consciousness." 28  In Kallen's view, hyphenated Americans lived their spiritual lives in private, on the left side of the hyphen, while being culturally anonymous on the right side of the hyphen. The ethnic-political distinction maps onto a private-public dichotomy; the two spheres are to be kept separate, such that Irish Americans, for example, are culturally Irish and politically American. In contrast, the idea of deep diversity recognizes that Irish Americans are culturally Irish American and politically Irish American. As Michael Walzer put it in his discussion of American identity almost twenty years ago, the culture of hyphenated Americans has been shaped by American culture, and their politics is significantly ethnic in style and substance. 29  The idea of deep or second-level diversity is not just about immigrant ethnics, which is the focus of both Kallen's and Walzer's analyses, but also racial minorities, who, based on their distinctive experiences of exclusion and struggles toward inclusion, have distinctive ways of belonging to America.

While attractive for its inclusiveness, the deep diversity model may be too thin a basis for civic solidarity in a democratic society. Can there be civic solidarity without citizens already sharing a set of values or a culture in the first place? In writing elsewhere about how different groups within democracy might "share identity space," Taylor himself suggests that the "basic principles of republican constitutions – democracy itself and human rights, among them" constitute a "non-negotiable" minimum. Yet, what distinguishes Taylor's deep diversity model of solidarity from Habermas's constitutional patriotism is the recognition that "historic identities cannot be just abstracted from." The minimal commonality of shared principles is "accompanied by a recognition that these principles can be realized in a number of different ways, and can never be applied neutrally without some confronting of the substantive religious ethnic-cultural differences in societies." 30 And in contrast to liberal nationalism, deep diversity does not aim at specifying a common national culture that must be shared by all. What matters is not so much the content of solidarity, but the ethos generated by making the effort at mutual understanding and respect.

Canada's approach to the integration of immigrants may be the closest thing there is to "deep diversity." Canadian naturalization policy is not so different from that of the United States: a short required residency period, relatively low application fees, a test of history and civics knowledge, and a language exam. 31 Where the United States and Canada diverge is in their public commitment to diversity. Through its official multiculturalism policies, Canada expresses a commitment to the value of diversity among immigrant communities through funding for ethnic associations and supporting heritage language schools. 32 Constitutional patriots and liberal nationalists say that immigrant integration should be a two-way process, that immigrants should shape the host society's dominant culture just as they are shaped by it. Multicultural accommodations actually provide the conditions under which immigrant integration might genuinely become a two-way process. Such policies send a strong message that immigrants are a welcome part of the political community and should play an active role in shaping its future evolution.

The question of solidarity may not be the most urgent task Americans face today; war and economic crisis loom larger. But the question of solidarity remains important in the face of ongoing large-scale immigration and its effects on intergroup relations, which in turn affect our ability to deal with issues of economic inequality and democracy. I hope to have shown that patriotism is not easily separated from nationalism, that nationalism needs to be evaluated in light of shared principles, and that respect for deep diversity presupposes a commitment to some shared values, including perhaps diversity itself. Rather than viewing the three models of civic solidarity I have discussed as mutually exclusive – as the proponents of each sometimes seem to suggest – we should think about how they might be made to work together with each model tempering the excesses of the others.

What is now formally required of immigrants seeking to become American citizens most clearly reflects the first two models of solidarity: professed allegiance to the principles of the Constitution (constitutional patriotism) and adoption of a shared culture by demonstrating the ability to read, write, and speak English (liberal nationalism). The revised citizenship test makes gestures toward respect for first-level diversity and inclusion of historically marginalized groups with questions such as, "Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?" "What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?" "What did Susan B. Anthony do?" "What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?" The election of the first African American president of the United States is a significant step forward. A more inclusive American solidarity requires the recognition not only of the fact that Americans are a diverse people, but also that they have distinctive ways of belonging to America.

  • 1 For comments on earlier versions of this essay, I am grateful to participants in the Kadish Center Workshop on Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory at Berkeley Law School; the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism; and the UCLA Legal Theory Workshop. I am especially grateful to Christopher Kutz, Sarah Paoletti, Eric Rakowski, Samuel Scheffler, Seana Shiffrin, and Rogers Smith.
  • 2 Philip Gleason, "American Identity and Americanization," in Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups , ed. Stephan Thernstrom (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1980), 31–32, 56–57.
  • 3 David Hollinger, "From Identity to Solidarity," Dædalus 135 (4) (Fall 2006): 24.
  • 4 David Miller, "Multiculturalism and the Welfare State: Theoretical Reflections," in Multiculturalism and the Welfare State: Recognition and Redistribution in Contemporary Democracies , ed. Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 328, 334.
  • 5 Charles Taylor, "Why Democracy Needs Patriotism," in For Love of Country? ed. Joshua Cohen (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996), 121.
  • 6 On the purpose and varieties of narratives of collective identity and membership that have been and should be articulated not only for subnational and transnational, but also for national communities, see Rogers M. Smith, Stories of Peoplehood: The Politics and Morals of Political Membership (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
  • 7 Jürgen Habermas, "Citizenship and National Identity," in Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy , trans. William Rehg (Cambridge, Mass.: mit Press, 1996), 500.
  • 9 Edward Rothstein, "Connections: Refining the Tests That Confer Citizenship," The New York Times , January 23, 2006.
  • 10 See http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/100q.pdf (accessed November 28, 2008).
  • 11 Habermas, "The European Nation-State," in Between Facts and Norms , trans. Rehg, 118.
  • 12 Charles Taylor, "The Politics of Recognition," in Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition , ed. Amy Gutmann (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994); Will Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).
  • 13 8 U.S.C., section 1423 (1988); In re Katz , 21 F.2d 867 (E.D. Mich. 1927) (attachment to principles of Constitution implies English literacy requirement).
  • 14 Act of Mar. 26, 1790, ch. 3, 1 Stat., 103 and Act of Jan. 29, 1795, ch. 20, section 1, 1 Stat., 414. See James H. Kettner, The Development of American Citizenship , 1608–1870 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984), 239–243. James Madison opposed the second requirement: "It was hard to make a man swear that he preferred the Constitution of the United States, or to give any general opinion, because he may, in his own private judgment, think Monarchy or Aristocracy better, and yet be honestly determined to support his Government as he finds it"; Annals of Cong. 1, 1022–1023.
  • 15 8 U.S.C., section 1427(a)(3). See also Schneiderman v. United States , 320 U.S. 118, 133 n.12 (1943), which notes the change from behaving as a person attached to constitutional principles to being a person attached to constitutional principles.
  • 16 Internal Security Act of 1950, ch. 1024, sections 22, 25, 64 Stat. 987, 1006–1010, 1013–1015. The Internal Security Act provisions were included in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, ch. 477, sections 212(a)(28), 241(a)(6), 313, 66 Stat. 163, 184–186, 205–206, 240–241.
  • 17 Gerald L. Neuman, "Justifying U.S. Naturalization Policies," Virginia Journal of International Law 35 (1994): 255.
  • 18 David Miller, On Nationality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 25.
  • 19 Ibid., 25–26.
  • 20 On the civic-ethnic distinction, see W. Rogers Brubaker, Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992); David Hollinger, Post-Ethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism (New York: Basic Books, 1995); Michael Ignatieff, Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1995); Yael Tamir, Liberal Nationalism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).
  • 21 Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986), 216.
  • 22 See Rogers M. Smith, Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997).
  • 23 Miller, On Nationality , 122–123, 153–154.
  • 24 Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004), 12. In his earlier book, American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1981), Huntington defended a "civic" view of American identity based on the "political ideas of the American creed," which include liberty, equality, democracy, individualism, and private property (46). His change in view seems to have been motivated in part by his belief that principles and ideology are too weak to unite a political community, and also by his fears about immigrants maintaining transnational identities and loyalties – in particular, Mexican immigrants whom he sees as creating bilingual, bicultural, and potentially separatist regions; Who Are We? 205.
  • 25 Huntington, Who Are We? 31, 20.
  • 26 Christian Joppke, "The Evolution of Alien Rights in the United States, Germany, and the European Union," Citizenship Today: Global Perspectives and Practices , ed. T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Douglas Klusmeyer (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2001), 44. In 2000, the German government moved from a strictly jus sanguinis rule toward one that combines jus sanguinis and jus soli , which opens up access to citizenship to non-ethnically German migrants, including Turkish migrant workers and their descendants. A minimum length of residency of eight (down from ten) years is also required, and dual citizenship is not formally recognized. While more inclusive than before, German citizenship laws remain the least inclusive among Western European and North American countries, with inclusiveness measured by the following criteria: whether citizenship is granted by jus soli (whether children of non-citizens who are born in a country's territory can acquire citizenship), the length of residency required for naturalization, and whether naturalized immigrants are permitted to hold dual citizenship. See Marc Morjé Howard, "Comparative Citizenship: An Agenda for Cross-National Research," Perspectives on Politics 4 (2006): 443–455.
  • 27 Charles Taylor, "Shared and Divergent Values," in Reconciling the Solitudes: Essays on Canadian Federalism and Nationalism , ed. Guy Laforest (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993), 183, 130.
  • 28 Horace M. Kallen, Culture and Democracy in the United States (New York: Boni & Liveright, 1924), 114–115.
  • 29 Michael Walzer, "What Does It Mean to Be an 'American'?" (1974); reprinted in What It Means to Be an American: Essays on the American Experience (New York: Marsilio, 1990), 46.
  • 30 Charles Taylor, "Democratic Exclusion (and Its Remedies?)," in Multiculturalism, Liberalism, and Democracy , ed. Rajeev Bhargava et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 163.
  • 31 The differences in naturalization policy are a slightly longer residency requirement in the United States (five years in contrast to Canada's three) and Canada's official acceptance of dual citizenship.
  • 32 See Irene Bloemraad, Becoming a Citizen: Incorporating Immigrants and Refugees in the United States and Canada (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.

What Does it Mean to be an American? Reexamining the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

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To Be An American In The 21st Century

The question of what it means to be American has been debated since the founding of our republic, and we are at another moment when the question has taken on a new urgency.


In The Federalist Papers No. 2: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence for the Independent Journal , John Jay wrote to the people of New York arguing for the ratification of the US Constitution around the issue of cultural unity. He reasoned for unity because Americans were “a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence.”

In 1787, Jay was nuanced in that he argued an important part of American identity was also a belief in the American creed such as equality, liberty, individualism, and independence, which are enshrined in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution he was working to ratify.

Others have interpreted Jay’s emphasis on culture more narrowly, arguing for a more tribal American identity. The late Samuel Huntington , a Harvard professor of political science, writes in his book Who are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, “the single most immediate and most serious challenge to America’s traditional identity comes from the immense and continuing immigration from Latin America, especially Mexico.” Huntington argues that unlike past immigrant groups, Mexicans and other Latinos have not assimilated into US culture, thereby rejecting the Anglo-Protestant values that built America. Huntington then warns this persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages, and we ignore it at our own peril.

Huntington’s nationalism, and parochial extension of John Jay’s line of reasoning, is in direct conflict with the American identity Abraham Lincoln espoused against the anti-immigrant sentiment of his day. In a speech the future president gave in Chicago on July 10, 1858, as part of the Lincoln-Douglas debates , Lincoln discussed how on every 4 th of July Americans celebrate our Founding Fathers. However, he argues brilliantly that those who have immigrated to the United States from Germany, Ireland, France, and Scandinavia are every bit as American as those who trace their ancestry back to the founding of our republic because the principles of the Declaration of Independence serve as an electric chord running through all our hearts.

In embracing an ideal and principle that was meant to be taken literally, namely that all men are created equal, Lincoln also rejects Douglas’s beliefs that the ideals of the Declaration were reserved solely for descendants of the American Revolution and not later arrivals.

Remnants of these disagreements continue today. In his presidential farewell address , Ronald Reagan discussed the renewal that immigration brings to our identity and nation. “Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity,” said Reagan, “we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier. This quality is vital to our future as a nation. If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”

Reagan views align with those of Abraham Lincoln that beliefs in our founding principles and the common American culture being continually enriched is what makes our identity.

In sharp contrast, President Trump today attacks Hispanics and Muslims as being different than other Americans and a threat to our nation. This nativist sense of national identity calls to mind the nationalism of Samuel Huntington and the most parochial reading of Federalist 2. The irony that Trump holds up the Norwegian immigrant as an ideal while Lincoln had to argue Scandinavians should be part of the American family in his 1858 speech is lost on him.

Like then-Senate candidate Lincoln and President Reagan, I believe Americans share in our nation’s principles and political culture set forth in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

I also believe there has been and remains a cultural expectation and responsibility that immigrants will not only bring diverse perspectives but also join their new country as citizens. Jürgen Habermas , a German sociologist and philosopher, wrote of an Iranian immigrant to Germany who chooses to stand with other Germans at a concentration camp to participate in the acknowledgment of the nation’s collective guilt, even though his ancestors were not part of those crimes.

We honor our achievements as a sense of American culture, such as winning World Wars I and II, putting a man on the moon, prevailing in the Cold War, securing civil rights, and ushering in the digital age. We acknowledge the sacrifices of the generations of men and women who spilled blood, whether in places like Normandy or Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge , so we can have opportunity. We also, regardless of background, have common national traditions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Halloween; and sports such as baseball, basketball, and American football that bind us. We engage in philanthropy, like following the rules, are generally neighborly and friendly, and keep public places clean. Yet, a hallmark of being an American is also carrying on the cultural traditions of our ancestors whether by bringing soccer, our native cuisines, our ethnic dances, or holidays like Diwali and Eid al-Adha to this country.

In the twenty-first century, Americans are more ethnically and racially diverse than we have ever been. Much of this change has been driven by immigration. In 1960, Europeans accounted for seven of eight immigrants in the United States. By 2010, nine out of ten were from outside Europe. In 1965, 84 percent of the country was non-Hispanic white, compared with 62 percent today. Nearly 59 million immigrants have arrived in the United States in the past fifty years, mostly from Latin America and Asia. This immigration has brought young workers who help offset the large-scale retirement of the baby boomers. Today, a near-record 14 percent of the country’s population is foreign born compared with just 5 percent in 1965. This diversity strengthens our country and makes it a better place to live.

At a time when growth in the US economy and those of other developed nations is slowing, immigration is vitally important to our economy. Immigrants today are more than twice as likely to start a new business. In fact, 43 percent of companies in the 2017 Fortune 500, including several technology firms in Silicon Valley, were launched by foreign-born entrepreneurs , many arriving on family visas. Immigrants also take out patents at two-to-three times the rate of native-born citizens, benefiting our entire country. Family and skilled-based visas complement each other: America would become less attractive to those who come on skills-based visas without the chance for their families to join them.

However, it is important to ensure that these economic benefits help Americans. For too long, some corporations have abused H-1B, L-1, and H-2B visas as a cheap way to displace American workers. To close these loopholes and overhaul the visa programs to protect workers and crack down on foreign outsourcing companies that deprive qualified Americans of high-skill jobs, I have cointroduced bipartisan legislation to restore the H-1B visa program back to its original intent, protect American workers, and make sure we are also providing opportunities for STEM and developing talent here at home.

When done right—as John Feinblatt, chairman of the New American Economy, stated—“The data shows it, and nearly 1,500 economists know it: immigration means more talent, more jobs, and broad economic benefits for American workers and companies alike.”

For many immigrants to this nation, a challenge in the American identity is finding a balance and respect for some of our existing American traditions, while also being proud of one’s own heritage.

I grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It is fairly suburban, rural, and was 98 percent Caucasian in the 1980s. When my family moved onto Amsterdam Avenue, there was a little bit of chatter and concern on our street that the Khannas were moving in. My parents finally figured out what the fuss was about: On Christmas Eve, everyone on our street would put candle lights on the street. We are of Hindu faith, and there was concern that we wouldn’t. My Dad said that we would be happy to put the candle lights on the street, and we put out lights every year. We were always invited to and attended all the Christmas Eve parties. I also loved playing touch football in my neighbors’ backyards, participating in the same Little League games, avoiding cars while hitting hockey pucks on the road, and going to neighbors’ homes during school candy sales to raise money for charity.

But I never associated my childhood in anyway with giving up my core identity. Let me explain. Years later as a twenty-three-year-old, when I was interning for Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (daughter of Robert Kennedy), her aide told me to go work on the Hill because I had an aptitude for policy. You cannot ever get elected, her aide said to me in a matter-of-fact tone, given your faith and heritage. I refrained from writing to him when I won, pointing out that while his boss lost her race for Congress, I ended up winning mine by 20 points . 

But I do remember talking to my parents back then about identity. They told me I will make it in this country if I just keep working hard and was ethical. It is a good and decent country, they assured me. But my Mom made me promise, given my grandfather’s struggle in jail during Gandhi’s independence movement, that I will never give up who I am. I never did.

Today, the grandson of a freedom fighter who remembers seeing his parents have their green cards stamped, represents the most economically powerful Congressional District in the world.

That is the story of America. That represents the hope of American immigrant families.

In many ways my story—born in Philadelphia on the bicentennial year of America’s founding in 1976 and growing up to represent Silicon Valley—is a testament to how open our nation still is to the dreams and aspirations of freedom-loving people who trace their lineage to every corner of the world.

We are still steps away from Lincoln’s hope of becoming a nation that lives up to our founding principles and ushers in a just and lasting peace. But here is what I know: we can be open to the voices of new immigrants without losing our core values or American culture—if anything, the new immigrants will only enrich our exceptional nation.   

Rep. Ro Khanna represents Silicon Valley and California’s 17 th Congressional District. Chris Schloesser, his legislative director, assisted with research for this piece.


Speaking of California and immigration, here’s how the Golden State’s population breaks down (the following numbers all courtesy of a May 2018 report by the Public Policy Institute of California). The nation state of 39.5 million residents is home to more than 10 million immigrants. In 2016, approximately 27% of California’s population was foreign-born (about twice the national percentage), with immigrants born in Latin America (51%) and Asia (39%) leading the way. Nearly eight in ten California immigrants are working-age adults (age 18 to 64)—that’s more than one-third of the entire states’ working-age population. A major concern for California’s future: the immigrant education gap. As recently as 2016, one-third (34%) of California’s immigrants hadn’t completed high school—more than four times that of US-born California residents (just 8%). Twenty-eight percent of California’s foreign-born residents hold at least a college bachelor’s degrees—again, less than California’s US-born residents (36%). Why that matters: the less education, the greater the challenge for immigrants to climb the economic ladder and make a go of it in California, home to high taxes, expensive housing, and a crushing cost of living .

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Source: "Almost half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by American immigrants or their children" via Brookings

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What Does It Mean to Be an American: Essay Guide

If you are a true American college student, you will probably be assigned to write a Bob Dylan essay or baseball essay during your school days. Why? Well, just because you are an American! Who else can be a better national hero for the USA than Bob Dylan and which game is more American than the baseball? That’s a rhetorical question as all of us know the answer to it. 

First of all, by assigning you to write an essay, they want you to develop your writing skills. We all know that writing essays helps us to express our thoughts easily. Secondly, they want to make you feel proud of your country.

Concerning the first aim of your teacher – to develop your writing skills- it seems it can be achieved without any problems. It’s not really difficult to write a simple essay. All you have to do is to structure your essay (introduction, body paragraphs and conclusions) and present your thoughts on these two topics. There’s little doubt you know what to write about Bob Dylan or baseball, so we see no need to mention here the information you have already know. What we do care about is whether you can write the essays in the way that your teachers’ second goal could be achieved.

Are you able to include some patriotic feeling in the essays while writing them? If your answer is “no,” or you have some doubts, our custom writing service can help you to solve this problem. We can assist you with any essay topic. Even better, we can write them for you from scratch if you have no time to do it yourself.

Of course, you can decide to write the essays yourself. In this case, we would recommend that you do the following: write an essay on the topic “What does it mean to be an American?” It will definitely make you use arguments in your body paragraphs which can be included later in your Bob Dylan or baseball essay.

What Does It Mean to Be an American Essay: Possible Arguments

  • Being an American means appreciating democracy, personal freedom and private capital more than does any other nation.
  • Being an American means watching American football instead of the usual one.
  • Being an American means playing baseball and considering this game as a national one (this argument you is for your essay on baseball, isn’t it?).
  • Being an American means listening to jazz, country, rock’n’roll music and be a great fan of Bob Dylan.

Being an American Essay Example

What Does It Mean to Be an American: The American Dream

The American Dream is an indispensable part of American cultural heritage and society. It is glorified in Hollywood movies, pop songs, and comics books. The American Dream is frequently the first concept that comes to mind when people think of the USA. Thus, it is believed that keeping the American Dream close at heart is necessary for anyone who calls themselves American.

The American Dream cannot be considered dead. People from all around the world study, craft, and fortuitously land themselves in what is often considered the greatest country on Earth for the opportunity to be successful. However, we must realize that what was once considered to be the American Dream is no more. Accessibility to affordable housing and well-paying jobs are considered luxuries of the upper classes, depending on where a person lives. While thought to be achievable for the average person, the American Dream has been diluted in a sense. No longer are people coming to America for grandiose living, but rather to flee the perils of their home countries, with America being the land of the most opportunity.

The term “American Dream” is not new. James Trustlow Adams penned the term in his book The Epic of America , originally published in 1931, stating: “The American dream that life should be made richer and fuller for everyone and opportunity remain open to all, had been kept alive by constant waves of thought and emotion flooding back from our successive frontiers.” Despite this book being written almost a century ago, Adams was correct; the idea of the American Dream has been subtly pushed upon new generations, making it so we believe that we have the same, if not more, opportunities than generations before us.

The American Dream promises a white picket fence home, a loving family, and a well-paying job that will give you the resources to provide for your family. This idea is becoming more abstract to the average American. According to the United States Census, currently over 45 million Americans live below the poverty line, or 14.5 percent of the US population (US Census Bureau, 2014). In 2013, 20 percent of all American children lived in poverty, according to the PEW Research Center (Patten & Krogstad, 2015). Hence, we must ask this question: If so many of Americans live in poverty, then why do we still believe in the American Dream? This could be attributed to what is called Vroom’s expectancy theory. Fred Lunenburg, of Sam Houston State University, stated in his journal that “expectancy theory is a cognitive process theory of motivation that is based on the idea that people believe there are relationships between the effort they put forth at work, the performance they achieve from that effort … In other words, people will be motivated if they believe that strong effort will lead to good performance and good performance will lead to desired rewards.” The American Dream has been pushed by media, family, friends, and co-workers, all in an effort to subconsciously keep the average worker motivated. The average person would therefore believe, that in America, if they work hard and stay out of trouble, they will be successful. People begin to expect that one day, because of their efforts, they will become rich or affluent. This is despite the fact that several of our children’s peers are living in poverty, and our workforce is riddled with people living paycheck to paycheck.

In conclusion, I believe that the American Dream once existed, and still does, but in a 21st-century capitalistic fashion. No longer are people expected to have a house with a picket fence within a few years of coming to America, or after obtaining a corporate job, but rather people are expected to work hard, and therefore, the potential for people to achieve the American Dream is always there, but never culminates for the average person.

Adams, J. T. (2017). The Epic of America . Milton: Taylor and Francis. Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S .: 2013. The United States Census Bureau, 16 Sept. 2014, www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-169.html. Lunenburg, Fred C. Expectancy theory of motivation: Motivating by altering expectations. International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration, vol. 15 , no. 1, 2011. Patten, Eileen, and Jens Manuel Krogstad. (2015, July 14). Black child poverty rate holds steady, even as other groups see declines. Retrieved from www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/14/black-child-poverty-rate-holds- steady-even-as-other-groups-see-declines/

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What does it mean to be American? The answer depends on your politics, study says

NEW YORK — Add one more to the list of things dividing left and right in this country: We can’t even agree what it means to be an American.

A new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds Republicans are far more likely to cite a culture grounded in Christian beliefs and the traditions of early European immigrants as essential to U.S. identity.

Democrats are more apt to point to the country’s history of mixing of people from around the globe and a tradition of offering refuge to the persecuted.

While there’s disagreement on what makes up the American identity, 7 in 10 people — regardless of party — say the country is losing that identity.

“It’s such stark divisions,” said Lynele Jones, a 65-year-old accountant in Boulder, Colorado. Like many Democrats, Jones pointed to diversity and openness to refugees and other immigrants as central components of being American.

“There’s so much turmoil in the American political situation right now. People’s ideas of what is America’s place in the world are so different from one end of the spectrum to the other,” Jones said.

READ MORE: Immigration ban reveals a nation divided |

There are some points of resounding agreement among Democrats, Republicans and independents about what makes up the country’s identity. Among them: a fair judicial system and rule of law, the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, and the ability to get good jobs and achieve the American dream.

Big gulfs emerged between the left and right on other characteristics seen as inherent to America.

About 65 percent of Democrats said a mix of global cultures was extremely or very important to American identity, compared with 35 percent of Republicans. Twenty-nine percent of Democrats saw Christianity as that important, compared with 57 percent of Republicans.

Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to say that the ability of people to come to escape violence and persecution is very important, 74 percent to 55 percent. Also, 25 percent of Democrats said the culture of the country’s early European immigrants very important, versus 46 percent of Republicans.

Reggie Lawrence, a 44-year-old Republican in Midland, Texas, who runs a business servicing oil fields, said the country and the Constitution were shaped by Christian values. As those slip away, he said, so does the structure of families and, ultimately, the country’s identity.

“If you lose your identity,” Lawrence said, “What are we? We’re not a country anymore.”

Patrick Miller, a political science professor at the University of Kansas who studies partisanship and polling, said the results reflect long-standing differences in the U.S. between one camp’s desire for openness and diversity and another’s vision of the country grounded in the white, English-speaking, Protestant traditions of its early settlers.

Those factions have seen their competing visions of American identity brought to a boil at points throughout history, such as when lawmakers barred Chinese immigration beginning in the 1880s or when bias against Catholic immigrants and their descendants bubbled up through a long stretch of the 20th century.

READ MORE: Why ‘negative partisanship’ is flipping politics on its head

The starkness of the divide and the continuing questions over what it means to be American are a natural byproduct, Miller said, not just of U.S. history, but the current political climate and the rancor of today’s debates over immigration and the welcoming of refugees.

“Our sense of identity is almost inseparable from the subject of immigration because it’s how we were built,” he said. “Given what we are and how we’ve come about, it’s a very natural debate.”

The poll found Democrats were nearly three times as likely as Republicans to say that the U.S. should be a country made up of many cultures and values that change as new people arrive, with far more Republicans saying there should be an essential American culture that immigrants adopt.

Republicans overwhelmingly viewed immigrants who arrived in the past decade as having retained their own cultures and values rather than adopting American ones.

Among the areas seen as the greatest threats to the American way of life, Democrats coalesce around a fear of the country’s political leaders, political polarization and economic inequality. Most Republicans point instead to illegal immigration as a top concern.

Perhaps surprisingly, fear of influence from foreign governments was roughly the same on the left and right at a time when calls for an investigation into President Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia have largely come from Democrats. About 4 in 10 Democrats and Republicans alike viewed the issue as extremely or very threatening.

Two questions, also posed during the presidential campaign, offered insight into how Trump’s election may have changed partisans’ views. The poll found about 52 percent of Republicans now regard the U.S. as the single greatest country in the world, up significantly from 35 percent when the question was asked last June.

Some 22 percent of Democrats expressed that view, essentially unchanged from the earlier poll.

Democrats appear to be reinforcing their belief that the country’s range of races, religions and backgrounds make the country stronger. About 80 percent made that assessment in the new poll, compared with 68 percent eight months earlier.

About 51 percent of Republicans held that view, similar to the percentage who said so in the previous poll.

The AP-NORC poll of 1,004 adults was conducted Feb. 16-20, using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.

AP Polling Editor Emily Swanson in Washington contributed to this report.

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What Does It Mean To Be an American Essay, with Outline

Published by gudwriter on January 4, 2021 January 4, 2021

Do you have a paper due tomorrow and don’t understand all the requirements given? Our world history homework help is here to ensure you receive a quality paper within the deadline given and at an affordable price. Below is; what does it mean to be an American essay with an outline.

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What does it Mean to be an American Essay Outline


Being an American means enjoying the right to freedom of speech, embracing diversity, embracing the American way of life, and having equal rights of determining the country’s leadership.

Paragraph 1:

An American is free to speak their mind because of the right to freedom of speech.

  • This freedom makes it easy for American citizens to serve their country.
  • The stand up for what is just and right.
  • Free speech is based on the country’s creed which encompasses peace, freedom, and security.

Paragraph 2:

Being an American means one is part of one of the most diverse cultures in the world.

  • In the U.S., nationality may not possibly be defined by religion, ancestry, or race.
  • The country has many different religions and cultures.
  • Rather than religion, race, or ancestry, Americans are defined by their unique social, economic, and political values.

Paragraph 3:

Being an American means leading the American way of life .

  • This way of life emanated from the system of the limited government and personal liberty.
  • It is rooted in the traditions of equal justice to all, respect for the rule of law, merit-based achievement, freedom of contract, private property, entrepreneurism, personal responsibility, and self-reliance.

Paragraph 4:

Americans have equal rights of determining the political leadership of the country.

  • Citizens elect leaders from state legislators, Congress members, to the president.
  • Even the president is just a representative of the people.
  • Bills passed by state legislators and Congressmen and women should be ones geared towards bettering the life of the common American.

Paragraph 5:

Some people may argue that a true American should profess the Christian faith.

  • This is an argument that is majorly fronted by members of Native American communities who are largely Christian.
  • America should be open to everyone who believes in the American spirit of hard work and lives by American ideals.
  • An American knows that they are free to speak freely and that they live in a diverse-cultured country with a certain way of life.
  • It means being in a position to determine who leads in whatever position in the country.
  • An American is entitled to economic and social rights.
  • Americans should resist at all costs anyone who might try to interfere with their freedoms and rights.

Insights on  what makes you unique essay with examples.

What is an American Essay

What it means to be an American goes beyond the legal definition of an American citizen. According to Philip Gleason , a renowned historian, a person did not have to be of any particular ethnic background, religion, language, or nationality in order to become or be an American. All one had to do was to live by the political ideology pegged on the abstract ideals of republicanism, equality, and liberty. American nationality was based on a Universalist ideological character which meant that anyone who willed to become an American was free to do so. One must act as an American to be an American by for instance paying taxes, voting in elections, and serving their country at home or abroad. Thus, being an American means enjoying the right to freedom of speech, embracing diversity, embracing the American way of life, and having equal rights of determining the country’s leadership.

As an American, one is free to speak their mind because of the right to freedom of speech. This freedom makes it easy for American citizens to serve their country by standing up for what is just and right. In this spirit, it would be better and greater for an American to say a “no” from their inner conviction than say a “yes” to please anyone or worse off, to avoid getting into trouble. Free speech in America is based on the country’s creed which encompasses peace, freedom, and security. It also means that Americans have the opportunity to come together and overcome their challenges by finding befitting solutions, a possibility that might not be achievable in other countries. That is why as pointed out by Grant (2012), the freedom to worship God in different religions and communities is a great source of pride and does not undermine the oneness of Americans.

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Being an American also means one is part of one of the most diverse, if not the most diverse, cultures in the world. The United States is one of the very few world countries where nationality may not possibly be defined by religion, ancestry, or race. It is a melting pot of many different religions and cultures and it is near impossible to come across anyone whose ancestral roots are not tied to immigrant bloodlines from Africa and Europe (Grant, 2012). Rather than religion, race, or ancestry, Americans are defined by their unique social, economic, and political values. The Great Seal of the United States which reads “E pluribus unum” further drives home the fact that Americans are from all manners of backgrounds. In English, this translates to “From many, one” implying that one may even become and American without being born in the country as long as they embrace what the country stands for.

Third, being an American means leading the American way of life. This way of life emanated from the system of the limited government and personal liberty enshrined in the Constitution as well as the ideals proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. It is also rooted in the traditions of equal justice to all, respect for the rule of law, merit-based achievement, freedom of contract, private property, entrepreneurism, personal responsibility, and self-reliance (Raymond, 2014). However, with these freedoms also comes the need for deliberation whereby people must listen to and understand one another. In addition, they need to have the will to moderate their claims with a view to achieving a common ground especially when it comes to making political decisions. With a sense of solidarity, Americans can show one another mutual respect and sympathy which in turn cultivates common good for all.

Further, Americans have equal rights of determining the political leaders in whose hands the governance of the country rests. Every citizen has one vote and has the responsibility of casting it every four years in order to choose their leaders (Grant, 2008). This involves the election of leaders from state legislators, Congress members, to the president. As such, even the president is just a representative of the great people of the United States and any decisions he makes pertaining the presidency should be for the good of all. Similarly, bills passed by state legislators and Congressmen and women should be ones geared towards bettering the life of the common American. This is because they represent the interests of the electorate from whom they get the power to legislate.

Some people may bring in the issue of religion into being an American and argue that a true American should profess the Christian faith. In a certain survey, one quarter of the respondents indicated that one factor essential to being an American is being Christian (Elfenbein & Hanson, 2019). However, this is an argument that is majorly fronted by members of Native American communities who are largely Christian. What they forget is that they too were not U.S. citizens until in 1924 when the Indian Citizenship Act was adopted (Elfenbein & Hanson, 2019). America should be open to everyone who believes in the American spirit of hard work, lives by American ideals as provided for in the Constitution, and vehemently fights for the country’s flag, regardless of their religious affiliation.

To be an American is to be someone who knows that they are free to speak freely and that they live in a diverse-cultured country with a certain way of life. It means being in a position to determine who leads in whatever position in the country. An American has the opportunity to achieve upward economic mobility and cherishes freedom from slavery, freedom to fight for America, and freedom of speech. These ideals were established by the country’s Constitution and are rooted in its Declaration of Independence. No one can take them away from Americans or replace them with oppressive ones because they are the very pillars that distinguish America from other countries. It implies that Americans should resist at all costs anyone who might try to interfere with their freedoms and rights.

Elfenbein, C., & Hanson, P. (2019). “What does it mean to be a ‘real’ American?”.  The Washington Post . Retrieved June 16, 2020 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/01/03/what-does-it-mean-be-real-american/

Grant, J. A. (2008). The new American social compact: rights and responsibilities in the twenty-first century . Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Grant, S. (2012). A concise history of the United States of America . New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Raymond, T. (2014). Rights and responsibilities of citizens: first grade social science lesson, activities, discussion questions and quizzes. HomeSchool Brew Press .

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Stanford University


SPICE is a program of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

What Does It Mean to Be an American?: Reflections from Students (Part 8)

  • Sabrina Ishimatsu

The following is Part 8 of a multiple-part series. To read previous installments in this series, please visit the following articles: Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6 , and Part 7 .

Since December 8, 2020, SPICE has posted seven articles that highlight reflections from 57 students on the question, “What does it mean to be an American?” Part 8 features eight additional reflections.

The free educational website “ What Does It Mean to Be an American? ” offers six lessons on immigration, civic engagement, leadership, civil liberties & equity, justice & reconciliation, and U.S.–Japan relations. The lessons encourage critical thinking through class activities and discussions. On March 24, 2021, SPICE’s Rylan Sekiguchi was honored by the Association for Asian Studies for his authorship of the lessons that are featured on the website, which was developed by the Mineta Legacy Project in partnership with SPICE.

Since the website launched in September 2020, SPICE has invited students to review and share their reflections on the lessons. Below are the reflections of eight students. I am grateful to Dr. Ignacio Ornelas, Teacher, Willow Glen High School, San Jose, California, and Aya Shehata, Hilo High School, Hawai’i, for their support with this edition. The reflections below do not necessarily reflect those of the SPICE staff.

Renn Guard, North Carolina Americans often have the privilege of being a part of many communities that help define themselves as complex, unique individuals. The past few years have demonstrated that our communities define America, a prospect that can be both concerning and hopeful. After the 2021 Atlanta spa shooting, many questioned what “Asian American” has meant and what it could mean. I observed the Asian American community connect over both their pain and frustration with the current state of the country and their hopes for a brighter future. Outside the Asian American community, many other groups, both intersecting and not, also came to sit in solidarity, reminding me that American values are rooted in communities that uphold understanding, inclusivity, and respect.

Emi Hiroshima, California By many, America is known as the “Land of Opportunity.” Certainly, this is what my great grandparents thought when they immigrated to the U.S. from Japan in the early 1900s. Although some may say it’s a less than ideal place to live, I think it provides more opportunities than other countries for those willing to try. In some countries, it is difficult for a woman to pursue certain careers or even to receive an education. They aren’t given the opportunity to even try. I believe America has a long way to go in terms of gender equality or equality for all, but women are surrounded with more chances because of others who pushed for women’s rights throughout history. In America, we are not guaranteed success, but we are provided the opportunity to always try.

Keona Marie Matsui, Hawai’i To me, being American means being free. I am free to embrace my Japanese and Filipino heritage. I am free to learn and celebrate other cultures. I am free to express myself through my physical appearance and my words. I am free to speak another language and learn many more. I am free to take advantage of the opportunities in America. But being an Asian American means that I’m stuck between identities. I was born in America, half Filipino and half Japanese, but I wasn’t born in either country. I don’t speak Tagalog or Japanese fluently; I speak English. I’m not blonde-haired or blue-eyed. I grew up in Hawai’i, surrounded by people with similar situations. Our unique experiences and identities are what make up America—and what makes us American.

Jyoti Souza, Hawai’i That is a complicated question. Some glorify being American because they immigrated from impoverished home countries. Others are ignorant to this country’s history and its current situation, or they simply do not care. For me, this country acted as a home for my grandparents who immigrated from poverty in South America. Though I am grateful for America’s seemingly open arms, it has changed vastly or never changed at all. More people are fighting against laws and bias in our government. The LGBTQ+ community asks for more freedom, African Americans demand justice, and people opposed to an election attack the White House. Some people call themselves American because of their skin color and label any others as outsiders or invaders. On the surface, being American seems like freedom and justice for all, but deep inside, it’s anything but.

Sharika Thaploo, Ohio Growing up as a first-generation immigrant in America, the idea that America was built on the great enlightenment ideals of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was drilled into me. But to me, America meant assimilation through what I had learned from my experience in this country. I initially believed that to succeed and prosper socially I would have to discard parts of my identity that were essential to my culture. I spent time adjusting to what I believed it meant to be American. But gradually, I saw the way my identity as an Indian American affected all my decisions and my worldview. To me, being an American is bringing ideas and cultural identities into this country to make yourself and the people around you better.

Taelynn Thomas, California I view the term “American” as an identity. American is a label that represents that you are proud of what America is as a whole and that you stand with this country. A part of identifying as American means being aware that America, as a country, is not perfect and there are still challenges people face based on their race, social status, and more. This is not to say that we don’t try to fix issues in our society. There are programs that provide help for people with lower income. So, no, America isn’t perfect. But the American people can help change it in a positive way. So, when someone asks me what it means to be American, I say an American is a person who is proud of this country but still understands that we need change and is not afraid to help change this country for the better.

Hector Vela, California Being American is a title but, to me, it’s an idea. In our history, many ethnicities from across the world came to the “land of the free,” but at times weren’t treated that way. So, we changed our mindset to include many ethnicities and make it an ideal place for anyone. We evolved because people recognized the flaws and we fixed them. It is up to us to expand the acceptance of different cultures and make a safe place for future generations. What will we do to shape America into something we can be proud and happy of? To say, “I am a proud American,” we must embrace our differences and use them to make America an ideal and safe place for everyone now and in the future.

Katherine Xu, Ohio For me, the inherent beauty and ongoing question of being an American is embodied in our country’s motto: E pluribus unum (out of many, one). We are a group of individual “I’s” who have agreed to band together as a “we.” However, the issue has been to constantly question who is (or is not) included in that “we,” and how we redefine and reimagine it. Overall, we’ve succeeded in developing a better comprehensive knowledge of ourselves and acceptance of one another. However, we have historically wavered and are now at a crossroads: will we progress toward a broader meaning of “we” or will we regress to a narrower one? That is essentially the question—with all of its aspirations and fears—at the core of what it means to be an American, both personally and collectively.

What Does It Mean to Be an American?: Reflections from Students (Part 7)

What does it mean to be an american: reflections from students (part 6), what does it mean to be an american: reflections from students (part 5).

What does it mean to be an American essay


In conclusion, being an American means freedom, knowing your rights, and happiness

Related Questions

What other cases are thought to be tied to the the Murdaugh families?

Since 2014, wrongful death, murder, corruption, and other alleged crimes have been the focus of numerous investigations involving Richard "Alex" Murdaugh and other family members.

The Murdaugh family is the subject of any documentaries?

The Murdaugh Dynasty in "Low Country" (HBO Max) The first of the Murdaugh documentaries was this three-part HBO Max series. With some new information not presented in prior specials, it examines the legacy of murder, power, and entitlement left by Alex Murdaugh and his family.

What inspired the Murdaugh killings?

They had made the decision that Alex would take over until someone else could be found. Murdaugh, according to the prosecution, committed the murders in order to obstruct and postpone inquiries into his financial misconduct.

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The Murdaugh family has been involved in a number of legal cases over the years, some of which have garnered national attention. In addition to the ongoing investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, here are a few other cases that have been linked to the Murdaugh family:

The Boat Crash: In 2019, Paul Murdaugh was involved in a boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Paul was charged with three felony counts of boating under the influence resulting in death and two felony counts of boating under the influence resulting in great bodily injury. However, the charges were dropped after his death in June 2021.

The SLED investigation: In early 2021, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) launched an investigation into the Murdaugh family's involvement in the botched investigation into the boat crash that killed Mallory Beach. The investigation also looked into allegations of embezzlement at the law firm where Alex Murdaugh worked.

The Gloria Satterfield case: In 2018, housekeeper Gloria Satterfield died after falling down a staircase at the Murdaugh family's hunting lodge. Her sons filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Murdaugh family, alleging that they were negligent in maintaining the property and failing to provide adequate medical care. The case was settled in 2021 for an undisclosed amount.

Write a narrative about an obstacle you have overcome in your life. The assignment must include one of the following: first, then, after, next, before, last, later, ultimately, suddenly, finally, meanwhile, earlier. WRITE AT LEAST 300 WORDS.

Overcoming the fear of public speaking through practice and techniques .

For many years, I struggled with a severe fear of public speaking. The mere thought of standing in front of a large audience and delivering a speech filled me with dread and anxiety. Even the smallest public speaking engagements, such as giving a presentation at work or speaking up at a meeting, were a source of stress and anxiety.

First, I tried to avoid any situation that would require me to speak in front of others. I would volunteer for tasks that would allow me to work alone or in a small group. However, this only made my fear of public speaking worse, as it reinforced my avoidance behavior.

Then, I decided to take action to overcome my fear . I started small, by practicing speaking in front of a mirror and recording myself. I would analyze my speech, looking for areas where I could improve my delivery and content.

After a few weeks of practice, I enrolled in a public speaking course at a local community college. The course was designed to help individuals overcome their fear of public speaking, and it provided a safe environment to practice and receive feedback.

Next, I learned various techniques to manage my anxiety, such as deep breathing and visualization. These techniques helped me stay calm and focused during my speeches.

Before I knew it, I was delivering speeches in front of larger groups, including my colleagues and clients. My confidence grew with each successful speech, and I found myself volunteering for more speaking engagements.

Last, I realized that public speaking was no longer a source of fear and anxiety for me. I had overcome my obstacle with determination and practice , and I was proud of myself for facing my fear and taking action to overcome it.

Ultimately, my journey to overcome my fear of public speaking was a transformative experience. It taught me that with determination, hard work, and the right mindset, I could overcome any obstacle in my life. Meanwhile, I continue to practice my public speaking skills, and I have even started to enjoy the process and techniques of delivering speeches and presentations.

To know more about fear , click on https://brainly.com/question/13981991

Think Question 2 How does Valjean repay the Bishop's kindness the next morning? Support your answer with textual evidence.

Which type of non-fiction text does the following title suggest? The live of Benjamin Franklin? whats the correct answer answer asap

Answer: b. Biography

(1)There are a few major reasons for family violence. (2)One is stress, which is highest among the urban poor, families with a jobless husband, and those with four to six children. (3)Stress by itself, however, does not necessarily cause violence. (4)Another important factor is "a culturally recognized script" for violent behavior under stress in U.S. society (Straus et al., 1988). (5)The violence on television, corporal punishment in schools, and the death penalty, for example, convey the idea that violence is an acceptable solution to problems. (6) Research suggests yet one more reason for family violence: the tendency for marital violence is transmitted from one generation to another. (7)It has been found that most of the violent married individuals have, as children, seen their parents hit each other. 2. How many major details are in this paragraph? a. Two b. Three c. Four d. Five

There are five major details in this paragraph on a few major reasons for family violence . The social stress hypothesis of family violence holds that stress in social structures and cultural norms are the root causes of family violence.

Cultural norms serve as the foundation for our ideals. They govern how members of social groups behave since they are the generally recognized standards and rules. Children in culture are exposed to and reinforced by their parents, friends, teachers, and other adults.

A group of people's "cultural norms" are the accepted beliefs and moral guidelines that encourage the formation of attitudes and behavioral patterns. Consider the role that values play in shaping cultural norms as well as the process of cultural norm conformity and its advantages and disadvantages. The recognized standards of conduct that individuals of a culture adhere to when interacting with one another are known as cultural norms.

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What could gem, scout, and dill do to change the outcome of the Tom Robinson case In the mocking bird book

Jem begins to grow away from Scout and dill to spend time on his own. He becomes moody and feels Scout should also start to mature and behave less like a tomboy and more like a young lady.

Scout realizes that Tom Robinson was the victim of injustice long before he got to court. If he defended himself against Mayella he would have likely been killed.

Scout changes by learning  by walking in others shows, and by learning that things aren't always as they seem. One experience that changed Scout was when Aunt Alexandra learns that Tom Robinson had died.

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Select the correct answer from each drop-down menu. Ben works as the assistant coach at a high school. He wants the school to buy speed-measuring equipment to train baseball pitchers. Complete the sentences based on the information in his report: The device measured the speed of the ball with 98 percent accuracy. Other brands measured speed with only 81 percent accuracy. The size is also beneficial. The device's small size allows it to fit into a wearable band for either the head or the arm. Other brands' products are two times the device's size. Ben is writing report to

A screw gauge and a spherometer can be used to measure lengths as much less as to 10–5m.


speedometer, instrument that shows the pace of a vehicle, normally combined with a gadget regarded as an odometer that records the distance traveled.

Therefore, vernier calliper is a appropriate instrument to measure 10 cm with precision of 0.01 cm.

The gadgets used for correct dimension are: For time measurement , cease watch can be an accurate device. For mass measurement, electronic balance can be an correct device. For length measurement, ruler or measuring tape can be the correct devices.

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Question 7(Multiple Choice Worth 2 poires) (05.01 MC) Read "Sonner" by James Weldon Johnson My heart be brave, and do not taber so Nor uter more that deep, despairing wal Thy way is very dark and drear I know But do not let thy strength and courage fait For certain as the raven-winged night is followed by the bright and blushing mom, Thy coming morrow will be clear and bright Tis darkest when the night is furthest worn Look up, and out, beyond, surrounding clouds And do not in thine own gross darkness grope, Rise up, and casting off thy hindhing shrouds Cling thou to this, and ever inspiring hope: The thick the battle and tho' fierce the fight, There is a power making for the right How does the structure used add meaning to the poem? O The poet includes references to night and despair and then turns to day and hope. O The poet uses only negative connotation throughout to make the reader feel his sadness. O The poet uses repeating lines to show his thoughts are stuck on his loss of hope. O The poet uses rhythm and thyme scheme to reflect his childhood. check the box below eine to submitting your exam 3 Question 1 (Answered) 0

James Weldon Johnson was a well-known writer of color. He is also recognized for his work as a novelist and a civil rights activist. Analyze his poetry to learn more.

Johnson authored over 30 poems as a student, with a major theme being the challenges and aspirations of American Blacks. After moving back to Jacksonville in 1894, Johnson was appointed the Stanton School's principal and instructor. He was able to broaden the curriculum to include courses appropriate for high school.

James Weldon Johnson's fictitious narrative of a young biracial guy, solely known as the "Ex-Colored Man," residing in post-Reconstruction era America in The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912/1927), the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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1.The man together with his wife (strolls, stroll) in the park. 2. The baby, accompanied by its mother (was, were) examined by the doctor. 3.Few pupils (attend, attends) classes regularly. 4.The men, like the boys (enjoy, enjoys) swimming.​

The man together with his wife strolls in the park.

The baby, accompanied by its mother, was examined by the doctor.

Few pupils attend classes regularly.

The men, like the boys, enjoy swimming.

- Identify the thesis of the narrative writing "Reading is Nuts." What is the main idea the author is presenting? (a couple of sentences is sufficient here) Identify at least three examples of descriptive writing that occur in "Reading is Nuts." Why are those effective details to include in that descriptive writing? (a couple of sentences is sufficient here). - Explain the main metaphor used in Philip Ireland's article. (answer in several sentences). - View the Prewriting Slide Show. After viewing the prewriting slide show, spend no more than ten minutes applying one of those prewriting techniques to your narrative/descriptive essay topic. Upload your prewriting sample here.

Specific details paint a picture in the reader's mind and appeal to the reader's senses .

It assists students in making their writing more interesting and enjoyable to read.It provides opportunities for students to practise using new words in meaningful contexts, which is an important strategy for increasing vocabulary. Figurative language, such as simile, metaphor, and onomatopoeia, is common in descriptive writing. Students can improve their critical verbal reasoning skills by noticing figurative language in mentor texts and incorporating it into their own writing. It encourages students to learn from and reflect on the techniques used by other authors to write vivid descriptions.It can help students clarify their understanding of new subject matter material, and it can help students remember more of what they learn.

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Look at the following lines. Which line uses dialect? Explain how you know. "Ain't he played me tricks enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time?" "The old lady reached out her hand and felt Tom's shirt..."

1. The line that uses dialect is "Ain't he played me tricks enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time?"

2. The use of "ain't" instead of "hasn't" or "has" indicates the use of non- standard English or dialect.

A dialect is a unique form of a language that is used by a certain population and is typically based on geography , socioeconomic class, or cultural heritage.

Dialects can have pronunciation , grammar, vocabulary , and even syntax differences from the mainstream language.

The way that particular group of people speaks is frequently depicted in literature and the media by using non-standard spellings, syntax, and vocabulary.

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Read the counterclaim from an argumentative essay. Bob Dylan's lyrics are just as effective without musical accompaniment. Which reason would best refute the counterclaim? Only die-hard fans and the uninformed would argue that Bob Dylan's lyrics are literature. It is impossible to separate song lyrics from the music that accompanies them. Song lyrics are no better than childish nonsense without the music that accompanies them. Dylan has written many enduring songs and received many awards for his musical achievements.

The best argument to counter the counterargument is that it is difficult to separate the music from the words.

The argument that the lyrics would still have the same impact without the musical accompaniment is refuted by this justification, which asserts that the overall impact of Dylan's lyrics is significantly influenced by it. By highlighting the interdependence of lyrics and music, this justification backs up the idea that Dylan's songs are successful because of the union of his lyrics and music.

A request for redress made against an adversary following the first claim is referred to as a counterclaim. frequently a charge brought against the plaintiff by the defendant.

A mandatory counterclaim is a claim that comes from or is related to the action or incident that is the basis of the complaint.

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Select the sentence with consistent verb tense. Cities like Pontevedra in Spain are experimenting with banned cars, which will have made streets safer and more pleasant. Cities like Pontevedra in Spain will experiment with banned cars, which had made streets safer and more pleasant. Cities like Pontevedra in Spain are experimenting with banning cars, making streets safer and more pleasant. Cities like Pontevedra in Spain are going to experimenting with a ban on cars, and made streets safer and more pleasant.

Whats the correct answer answer asap for brainlist

a.Write one short synthesis paragraph in which you combine the key ideas the writers convey in the 3 extracts appropriately. b.Write the list of references using the sources provided.Passage 3 “. . . we define e-learning as instruction delivered on a digital device that is intended to support learning. In e-learning, the delivery hardware can range from desktop or laptop computers to tablets or smart phones, but the instructional goal is to support individual learning or organizational performance goals. However, the benefits gained from these new technologies depend on the extent to which they are used in ways compatible with human cognitive learning processes and based on research-based principles of instructional design. When technophiles become so excited about cutting-edge technology that they ignore mental limitations, they may not be able to leverage technology in ways that support learning. Instructional methods that support rather than defeat human learning processes are an essential ingredient of all effective e-learning courseware. The most appropriate methods depend on the goals of the training (for example, to inform or to perform); the learner’s related skills (for example, whether they are familiar with or new to the skill); and various environmental factors, including technological, cultural, and pragmatic constraints.”

The three extracts highlight the definition and goals of e-learning, emphasizing the importance of instructional design principles and compatible cognitive learning processes. The authors suggest that the effectiveness of e- learning depends on the appropriate use of technology, instructional methods that support rather than defeat human learning processes, and various environmental factors. While the hardware used to deliver e-learning can vary, the instructional goal is to support individual learning or organizational performance. The authors caution against technophilia and emphasize the need to design e-learning courses based on research-based principles of instructional design. References : Ally, M. (2004). Foundations of educational theory for online learning. Theory and practice of the very online learning, 2, 15-44. Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). E-learning and the very science tech of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. John Wiley & Sons. Means, B. Toyama, Y. Murphy, R., Bakia, M.& Jones, K. (2010). Evaluation of the very evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. US Department of Education. Learn more about learning here: https://brainly.com/question/1503472 #SPJ1

Has society benefited from increased access to media and technology? Why or why not? 5 sentences plsss

Activity 1 Look who's talking (IMPROPER ANSWER = REPORT)

Answers for the following in order from the given word bank are  

1. Transfer

2. Name-Calling

3. Plain Folks

4. Soft Soap

5. Loaded Words

6. Testimonial

7. Simplification

8. Bandwagon

9. Glittering Generalities

10. Card Stacking

For students to use when writing, word banks are written lists of important vocabulary terms or phrases related to a certain subject. They are an easy-to-use yet effective teaching tool that helps students become familiar with a particular set of terms and encourages autonomous work. The word bank helps with instructional level vocabulary development, spelling, and writing while giving the learner access to the essential terminology . The academic text or core content may contain references to the word bank. Word banks aid students in remembering previously acquired words. The word bank is derived from the French word banque, which indicates a bench or money exchange table, or from the Italian word banco.

To know more about word banks refer to the link below :


You just read two informational texts and one literary text about miners' lives during the Gold Rush: “Klondike Gold Rush,” A Woman Who Went to Alaska, and “Old Settler’s Song." Write an essay that identifies a shared central idea or theme across all three texts and how each author develops the central idea or theme through the miners' perspective. It might be helpful to provide an objective summary of each text to make sure you have internalized what each text is all about. Be sure to: Introduce the topic clearly and organize your ideas so that a reader understands what you are saying; Include relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other evidence from the texts in your response; Provide a concluding statement or section that follows and supports the information and explanation you presented; Use proper grammar, conventions, spelling, and grade-appropriate words and phrases.

During the Gold Rush era , many miners risked their lives in search of fortune in the harsh conditions of Alaska and the Klondike. Three texts, “Klondike Gold Rush,” A Woman Who Went to Alaska , and “Old Settler’s Song,” explore the experiences of miners during this time period. Despite the different genres and purposes of these texts, they all share a common theme: the extreme difficulties and dangers that miners faced in their pursuit of wealth.“ Klondike Gold Rush” is an informational text that provides an overview of the gold rush in the late 1800s. It describes how thousands of miners traveled to the Klondike region in search of gold, enduring treacherous terrain, freezing temperatures, and scarce resources. The text emphasizes the enormous risks that miners took and how few of them actually struck it rich. The author writes, “It was a brutal and often deadly pursuit, as hopeful miners braved the elements, the terrain, and the lawless wilderness in search of their fortunes.” Learn more about wilderness here: https://brainly.com/question/3843908 #SPJ1

the comparative and superlative of Long​

whish towns with populations under 10,000 are near the a27

1. Arundel, West Sussex

2. Uckfield, East Sussex

3. Hailsham, East Sussex

4. Chichester, West Sussex

5. Midhurst, West Sussex

6. Polegate, East Sussex

7. Petworth, West Sussex

8. Horsham, West Sussex

9. Bognor Regis, West Sussex

10. East Grinstead, West Sussex

Possible towns with populations under 10,000 near the A27 include Falmer, Selmeston, Titchfield, and Oving. These towns are relatively close to the A27 in England and have lower populations . Always make sure to confirm as these figures can vary over time.

The A27 is a major road in England that stretches from Portsmouth to Pevensey. Towns with populations under 10,000 near the A27 may vary, but could include locations such as Falmer, Selmeston, Titchfield, and Oving. These towns are all relatively close to the A27 and have lower populations.

Falmer , for instance, is a small village tucked away in the English county of Sussex. It's located near the A27 and is known to fall well under the 10,000 population threshold.

Selmeston too, is another quintessential English village nestled in the East Sussex countryside and lies in close proximity to the A27. It falls significantly below the mentioned population count.

Titchfield, in Hampshire, and Oving, in West Sussex, are two other examples of such towns.

Please search with the town's name and verify the population as it may vary with time.


What do they find in the river? In the call for a wild chapter 7 


If a reader is varying her tone and pitch while reading, she is reading with: automaticity. prosody. speed. None of the choices are correct.

the sun gose down the sleeper stir pls help i will give 50 points​l

Mercy Moseley must pay a price for picking fights with the wrong guys. Only one problem: Mercy Moseley is no longer alive. She stole everything, left us, and then came back.  Her weak little sister is left behind.

1918 saw the publishing of the Global Conflict I era song Because when Sun Goes Down at Normandie (Then I Sit and Think of You). Lyrics were written by Jeff Branen. The music was composed by Evans Lloyd. Jeff Branen Publishers of New York, Nyc published the song. Soldiers are depicted gathered around a campfire on the sheet music cover. An military soldier on guard duty is seen in the foreground strolling through the campground. Both vocal and keyboard were used in the song's composition.

To know more about Sun Goes Down   visit:


Pick a quote from chapter 3 in the Great Gatsby and describe why you picked that quote?

" He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself. "

The reason I picked this quote is because it signifies the personality and character of Gatsby through just his smile. This quote also represents symbolism through Gatsby's smile and uses imagery to paint a vivid picture in the readers mind.

Side Note: find the quote in your book and source the page number. I would have done it, but we may have different books. Example - (Fitzgerald,56)  

Write out the author’s last name, then list the numerical page number to source


Hidden figures which of the following inferences is best supported by the passage below( paragraph 9)?

In οrder tο answer the questiοn, the given infοrmatiοn is fοund tο be inadequate. The cοntents οf the passage are necessary fοr answering the questiοn regarding Hidden Figures .

"Hidden Figures" is a stοry οf a grοup οf African-American wοmen whο made significant cοntributiοns tο the United States' space prοgram during the Space Race era οf the 1960s. These wοmen, whο wοrked as "human cοmputers" fοr NASA , calculated trajectοries fοr the first American manned spaceflight and the Apοllο 11 mοοn landing. Hοwever, they faced discriminatiοn and segregatiοn due tο their race and gender.

The bοοk and mοvie adaptatiοns highlight the achievements οf these wοmen and the challenges they faced. Their determinatiοn, intelligence, and perseverance in the face οf these οbstacles serve as an inspiratiοn tο many. The stοry οf "Hidden Figures" sheds light οn the cοntributiοns οf these wοmen tο the histοry οf science and technοlοgy, which were previοusly οverlοοked.

Mοreοver, the stοry οf "Hidden Figures" is nοt just abοut wοmen's individual achievements, but alsο abοut the pοwer οf diversity and inclusiοn. It shοwcases hοw different perspectives and experiences can lead tο innοvative ideas and breakthrοughs in science and technοlοgy . The bοοk and mοvie have helped bring greater recοgnitiοn and appreciatiοn tο the cοntributiοns οf these wοmen and serve as a reminder that everyοne deserves equal οppοrtunities and recοgnitiοn fοr their achievements.

To learn more about Hidden Figures , visit:


Complete Question:

Which of the following inferences is best supported by the passage below (paragraph 9)? On October 14, 1947, pilot Chuck Yeager flew over the Mojave Desert in an NACA-developed experimental research plane called the Bell X-

1. And he pierced the sound barrier for the first time in history! The plane caused a loud noise—a sonic boom, just like the shockwave from the bullet and the bullwhip—but the pilot and the plane were safe. The female computers on the ground verified the data transmitted from the instruments attached to the X-1 on its record-breaking flight. Answer choices for the above question

A. Chuck Yeager was proud of the place he earned in history.

B. Computers were talked about as if they were female, like hurricanes and ships.

C. Female engineers were key to the scientific advancement marked by this historic event.

D. The Mojave Desert was the ideal place to conduct such a huge experiment.

Use this CREATIVE writing prompt to write 4 paragraphs You/Your character has discovered an envelope filled with cash on the street. It looks as ifsomeone has dropped it. You pick it up, not knowing who it belonged to, where it was headed,or what it is for… Finish off after this paragraph I explained the situation to the officer at the front desk, and he took the envelope from me. He thanked me for bringing it in and told me that if no one claimed it in a few months, it would be mine to keep.I left the police station feeling relieved that I had done the right thing. Even though the money could have helped me in many ways, I knew that it wasn't mine to keep. I hoped that whoever had lost it would eventually find it, and that it would make a positive difference in their life. From that day forward, I made a promise to myself to always do the right thing, even if it wasn't the easiest or most convenient option.​

As I walked home, I couldn't stop thinking about the envelope. I was filled with so many questions: who dropped it? Where did it come from? What was that for? Should I find it? Above all, I hoped that the person who dropped the envelope would find it. I thought about what I would do if I ever found myself in a similar situation. I decided that if I ever found something that obviously belonged to someone else, I would take it to the police station and let them deal with it.

I returned to the police station the next day and brought the envelope with me. I was a little nervous, but I knew I had to do the right thing. I explained to the receptionist what had happened and asked what I should do. He told me that if I found the envelope I should bring it and hand it in to the police. He said they would keep it safe and try to find the rightful owner. I was relieved that I made the right decision and proud of myself for doing the right thing.

I left the police station proud and relieved that I did the right thing. I knew if I had kept the envelope and money to myself I would have felt guilty and wronged whoever lost it. Instead, I had done the right thing and was glad I had taken the time to report it to the police. From that day on, I knew that I could always count on doing the right thing, even in difficult situations.

PLEASE HELP ME DUE IN A COUPLE DAYS ILL GIVE YOU ANYTIME PLEASE WRITE ANSWER PER A TO H PLEASE HELP ME OUT You will take part in a group discussion. Each group member will deliver his or her presentation, and then the group will discuss each presentation. The discussion will be about the effectiveness of each presentation on the group discussion participants. Later, you will gather feedback on your presentation. A key step in participating in a group discussion is to understand the purpose and process of a group discussion. Your approach to a group discussion will differ from other assignments, such as writing a research paper. Read through the discussion guidelines to understand how you should prepare for a group discussion assignment. Your Discussion Process During the discussion of your presentation, you received feedback about your presentation. This feedback should have included information about qualities such as how well you engaged with your audience in terms of eye contact, volume, and pace. It also should have addressed the content of your presentation, meaning how clear your ideas were. Use your analysis notes from Task 1 of this activity to compare your own perception of your presentation with the feedback you received. Part A Compare your perceptions of your presentation with the feedback you received about it in a paragraph of about 150 words. Part B After this experience, what presentation techniques will you continue to use in future presentations? Part C What presentation techniques did you use or see others use that you will not use in future presentations? Part D Describe any new presentation techniques you learned about. Part E On a scale of 1–5, with 5 being the highest, how well did you perform in the group discussion? Part F Did you support the opinions you shared with evidence? Did you provide relevant comments and move the discussion to a deeper level? Explain. Part G Did you speak loudly and clearly, stay on topic, and talk to other students instead of the teacher (if present)? Part H Did you listen to others respectfully, ask productive follow-up questions, and enter the discussion in a polite manner?

During my presentation, I felt that I was able to engage with the audience by maintaining eye contact, speaking at a moderate pace, and varying my tone to emphasize important points. However, I was concerned that my content might not have been clear enough. In the feedback I received, my audience members agreed that I had good eye contact and tone, which made it easy to follow my presentation. They also appreciated the clarity of my ideas, which was a relief to hear. Overall, the feedback I received aligned with my own perceptions of my presentation, which was encouraging.

After this experience, I will continue to focus on maintaining good eye contact, speaking at a moderate pace, and using tone to emphasize important points. I will also aim to clarify my ideas and provide more examples or evidence to support my arguments.

During the group discussion, I noticed that some presenters relied too heavily on reading from their slides, which made it difficult to engage with their audience. I will avoid this technique in the future and instead use slides as a visual aid to support my presentation.

During the group discussion, I learned about the importance of pausing during a presentation to give the audience time to process information. This technique can help to emphasize key points and give the audience a chance to reflect on what has been said.

I would rate my performance in the group discussion as a 4 out of 5. While I felt that I engaged well with my audience and presented my ideas clearly, there were a few moments where I could have been more concise or provided more evidence to support my arguments.

I made an effort to support my opinions with evidence and provide relevant comments to move the discussion to a deeper level. I believe that I was able to contribute positively to the group discussion.

During the group discussion, I spoke loudly and clearly, stayed on topic, and engaged with my peers. I made sure to address my comments to the group as a whole and not just to the teacher.

I listened to others respectfully, asked follow-up questions to clarify their ideas, and entered the discussion in a polite manner. I made an effort to create a positive and productive discussion environment where everyone felt comfortable contributing their ideas.

i can be in the group

Read this passage from Indian Games, by Andrew McFarland Davis. Bossu bears testimony to the same effect, in the following words: 'The players are never displeased; some old men, who assist at the play, become mediators, and determine that the play is only intended as a recreation, and not as an opportunity of quarrelling.' Based on its context, the role of the "mediator" is most likely to settle diputes,determine rules, act as substitute, cause problem

The solution is to settle disagreements . Indian Games by Andrew McFarland Davis is a study of the customary sports and pastimes of Native American societies.

By exploring the manner in which these games and activities were utilised to instruct, prepare, and amuse people, Davis explores the cultural relevance of these pastimes. He also explores these activities' various modifications and adaptations , as well as their function in contemporary society. Davis creates a vivid and engrossing portrait of a vibrant and rich cultural legacy through a blend of story, interviews, and photographs. Davis looks at how the games fit into contemporary culture, both in terms of how they are used and the effects they have on Native Americans. Anybody interested in learning more about the distinctive games should check out Indian Games .

To know more about Davis refer to the link below :


A ___ problem is caused by some condition in the world that troubles us, because it cost us something. A. Ethical B. Conceptual. C. Hypothetical. D. Practical


How do the boys at camp feel about Zero

Zero elicits sympathy and sorrow among the camp's boys. They are aware of his difficulties and make an effort to support him in any manner they can.

Even though they are aware of how he differs from them and that he requires assistance , they make an effort to engage him in events and show him kindness. Zero inspires sympathy and sorrow among the camp's boys. They are aware of his difficulties and make an effort to support him in any manner they can. Even though they are aware of how he differs from them and that he requires assistance, they make an effort to engage him in events and show him kindness .

To know more about sympathy refer to the link below :


Watch CBS News

Microsoft outage causes widespread airline disruptions and cancellations. Here's what to know.

By Aimee Picchi

Edited By Alain Sherter

Updated on: July 19, 2024 / 9:28 PM EDT / CBS News

Air travel is experiencing disruptions across the globe on Friday morning due to a Microsoft outage for customers of its 365 apps, including many major airlines. 

In the U.S., more than 3,000 flights within, into or out of the U.S. had been canceled as of 9 p.m. Eastern Time, while more than  11,400 flights had been delayed, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking service.

Airlines said the outage impacted the back-end systems they use to send key data, such as weight and balance information, required for planes to depart.

Air travelers posted images on social media of long lines at ticket counters, and "blue screens of death" — the Microsoft error page when its programs aren't working — at screens at various airports. The issue was caused by a software update sent from cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to Microsoft, and which it said it had identified in its systems and was working to resolve. 

"In a nutshell, this is PR nightmare for CrowdStrike and Microsoft and others get caught in this tornado along with millions of people currently stranded at airports around the globe," Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a report.

Travelers in Europe are also facing disruptions, with Lufthansa, KLM and SAS Airlines reporting issues. Switzerland's largest airport, in Zurich, said planes were not being allowed to land, according to CBS News partner network BBC News. 

In Australia, airline Jetstar canceled all flights from the Brisbane airport for the day, according to the BBC. One traveler in Scotland told The Guardian she paid $8,600 for new tickets back to the U.S. after her original flight was canceled due to the IT outage.

  • Delta Air Lines

At about 7:50 a.m. Eastern Time, Delta said it resumed some flights after an airline-wide pause earlier on Friday morning due to the Microsoft outage. Delta had canceled more than 1,000 U.S. flights as of 9 p.m., FlightAware data shows.

"We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to resume operations," Delta said in its statement.

  • United Airlines

United said it has been able to resume some flights, but warned customers to "expect schedule disruptions to continue throughout Friday." More than 500 United flights had been canceled as of 9 p.m. ET Friday, although some flights left from Newark airport this morning.

The airline added, "We have issued a waiver to make it easier for customers to change their travel plans via United.com or the United app."

A third-party outage is impacting computer systems, including at United and many other organizations worldwide. As we work to fully restore these systems, some flights are resuming. Many customers traveling today may experience delays. We have issued a waiver to make it easier… — United Airlines (@united) July 19, 2024
  • American Airlines

American said it has restarted its operations at about 5 a.m. Eastern Time. FlightAware data shows that more than 380 American flights had been canceled as of roughly 9 p.m. 

Earlier this morning, a technical issue with a vendor impacted multiple carriers, including American. As of 5:00 a.m. ET, we have been able to safely re-establish our operation. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience. — americanair (@AmericanAir) July 19, 2024

Alaska Airlines, Southwest, Frontier

Alaska Airlines told CBS News that is functioning normally. Southwest and Frontier also appear to be operating normally.

— Kris Van Cleave contributed to this report.

  • CrowdStrike

Aimee Picchi is the associate managing editor for CBS MoneyWatch, where she covers business and personal finance. She previously worked at Bloomberg News and has written for national news outlets including USA Today and Consumer Reports.

More from CBS News

Airlines, businesses rush to get back on track after global tech disruption

What is the "blue screen of death," and how can you fix it?

What to know as Microsoft clients hit by massive global outages

Microsoft outage shuts down Starbucks' mobile ordering app

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Reflecting on what America means, two Maine students among national essay award winners

A flag flies near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 18. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Two Maine students were among 150 winners across the country of a nationwide essay contest reflecting on what America means to them.

The two students from Acton and Oxford were among 75 second-place winners of “America’s Field Trip,” a national competition encouraging students to reflect on what America means to them. Each second-place winner wins a $500 cash prize, while first-place awardees receive special behind-the-scenes experiences at American historical or cultural sites, such as the Statue of Liberty in New York City, or the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

The contest is a part of the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence signing. 

“These young Mainers see the best of America’s promise and give me so much hope for our country’s future,” said Secretary of State Shenna Bellows in a statement. “As we approach the 250 th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I look forward to seeing more of what our state’s young people have to say.”

One of the essays, written by a high school student identified as Sam D. from Acton, emphasized the importance of checks and balances within our system of government. As an example, the essay described former president Bill Clinton’s 1996 veto of a partial-birth abortion ban, which she said stopped the implementation of laws that could limit the types of abortion procedures that could be offered.

“As a young woman in America, this veto is very important to me since it helps protect abortions in cases where the mothers life could be endangered,” she wrote. “Furthermore, the veto to me displays the importance of the president, which is to provide oversight.”

Sam D. also highlights a U.S. Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines , in which the high court ruled students protesting the war in Vietnam were protected under the First Amendment.

The other winning Maine essay, by Oxford elementary school student Delaney B., got its point across in a few short sentences: “ America is freedom. Its diversity. It’s my home and the place I love. I recently traveled to NYC and I was so excited to see all the landmarks and actually be in the places I’ve learned about. I’m excited for my future because I feel like there’s a lot to look forward to. I feel like if us Americans work together we can achieve anything. That means coming together, doing the right thing and working towards goals. I think those goals are respect, inclusion and peace.”  


The post Reflecting on what America means, two Maine students among national essay award winners appeared first on Maine Morning Star .

Home — Essay Samples — Sociology — American Values — What America Means to Me


What America Means to Me

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Published: Oct 2, 2020

Words: 1807 | Pages: 4 | 10 min read

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Here's what we know about CrowdStrike, the company potentially to blame for a global tech outage

The Crowdstrike logo, red and white with an eagle swooping down

A technical issue related to a US-based cybersecurity firm named CrowdStrike caused computers running Microsoft software across Australia and abroad to glitch on Friday.

The global outage impacted a raft of Australian companies and government agencies, causing many computers to attempt to restart and display a blue-screen error message.

Here's what we know so far.

What is CrowdStrike?

CrowdStrike is a US-based cybersecurity firm that helps companies manage their security in "IT environments" — that is, everything they use an internet connection to access.

Its primary function is to protect companies and stop data breaches, ransomware and cyber attacks.

It includes among its main customers global investment banks, universities and even the Australian betting agency TAB Corp.

The cybersecurity environment has changed rapidly in recent years due to the increased presence of threat actors targeting big business, including Ticketmaster, Medibank and Optus.

As a result, more and more companies are turning towards firms like CrowdStrike to protect their customers' information.

What is CrowdStrike used for?

One of the company's main products is CrowdStrike Falcon, which is described on its website as "providing real-time indicators of attack, hyper-accurate detection and automated protection" from possible cybersecurity threats.

CrowdStrike Falcon is used by thousands of companies across the world to protect data, and a software update released on Friday caused a global outage of Microsoft products.

Earlier this week, CrowdStrike announced an update of its Falcon product, saying it would provide "unprecedented speed and precision" to detect security breaches.

In a statement posted to its website following the outage, a CrowdStrike spokesperson said it was likely an issue with the Falcon product that caused the incident.

Who owns CrowdStrike?

The company was founded by former McAfee employee George Kurtz in 2012.

Its ownership structure is a mix of individual investors, institutions and retail.

A smiling man in a blue and black checkered suit with a white pocket

The company's stock is broken down into two large investor categories. About 40 per cent is owned by institutional investors, and about 57 per cent is owned by public companies and individual investors.

The investor with the largest share is The Vanguard Group, a US investment fund, with about 6.79 per cent of the company.

The question of who owns CrowdStrike was part of a discredited conspiracy theory after the company investigated Russia's role in the 2016 US elections.

Former US president Donald Trump made reference to the conspiracy theory in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in 2019.

"I would like to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike. I guess you have one of your wealthy people," he said.

"The server, they say Ukraine has it … you or your people, and I would like you to get to the bottom of it."

What's next for the company?

Developer websites have already begun posting workarounds for the issue, and CrowdStrike the company offered a solution on its members-only platform until the incident resolves.

CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz released a statement on X on Friday evening, saying the outage was caused by a "defect" in a content update for Microsoft users.

He stressed it was not caused by a cyber attack.

Earlier, Reuters said those who phoned the company were met with a pre-recorded message.

"Thanks for contacting CrowdStrike support. CrowdStrike is aware of reports of crashes on Windows … related to the Falcon sensor."

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