1 December 2013
What is an American?
How would you define an American? We do not all look alike, we do not all support the same belief system, what are we? Americans have always been hardworking. American didn't just magically appear one day in the past, people had to work to build Her into something. Early Americans were very hardworking and determined to make American what She is today. The journey of America began in England when a group of Puritans wanted to find a New World. In the beginning, America was nothing but woods, woods, and more woods. With a determined mind set and a lot of hard work, those woods turned into a village, into a colony, into multiple colonies, into states, into what we have now, an independent country.
America has been a dream since 1630. John Winthrop describes the perfect colony in his writing of “City Upon a Hill.” At that point in time, “City Upon a Hill” was an idea of what America would be; it is a dream of a perfect, model colony- the Pilgrims- wished to live in (155). A group of Puritans had to dream of going to another place to live; they were going through hardships in England. It was a thought to leave England and find a better, easier place of living, where they had freedom and liberty. Hard times were coming to the people of England; according to Proverbs 22:3, “that a wise man seeth the plague when it cometh, and hideth him selfe” (Bradford 130). This verse gave the group of Puritans the mental push they needed to find a better place of living. Thus starting the hard work and determination that defines America today. The Pilgrims undergo hardships and challenges to get to the “New World”. One hundred and two people board the Mayflower and set sail. They are met with bad weather- fierce storms, rough seas, heavy winds- and have leaks in the ship, which gave the Pilgrims fear, but they never lost hope or determination (Bradford 132). They push through the weather, fix any injuries to the boat, and never lose their faith. When the treacherous voyage finally ended, the Pilgrims were filled with delight to actually see land. However, after the initial relieve wore off, they realize what they have before them: no friends to welcome them or shelter to repair their beaten bodies or houses to live in, just desolate wilderness. Though times were hard, it didn't stop or discourage the Pilgrims. They began working and making “The New World” (Bradford 134) a liveable place; making it their new home. After the first winter, about half of the one hundred and two had died from sickness; times were hard for the Pilgrims but they never stopped trying. Whether they realized it then or not, they founded the country we live in today.
The Pilgrims had to work hard to make something out of nothing. Over the next decade, America began to flourish into something magnificent. Jean DeCrevecoeur describes America with awe and amazement in his writing of “Letters to an American Farmer”. “Here he beholds fair cities, substantial villages, extensive fields, an immense country filled with decent houses, good roads, orchards, meadows, and bridges, where a hundred years ago all was wild, woody, and uncultivated,” (430) DeCrevecoeur is amazed at how beautiful America has blossomed in such a short amount of time. America is great; it is better than Her mother country (England), as Jean DeCrevecoeur, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson describe it. In America, there is no caste system, the rich and the poor aren't so divided , and men and women of any ethnicity is accepted. “In this great American Asylum- place of refuge, security, shelter- the poor of England have by some means met together” (432). America is a place full of opportunity and liberty; a place man can come and make a life for his family. Our Founding Fathers had to work hard to make America that way. They couldn't stop and quit when times got tough, they had to keep their determination and push through the hard times. Our