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The American Identity

            The American Identity It can strongly be argued, as it has for many years, whether or not an American identity ever occurred between 1776 and 1861. The answer to this question really depends on your definition of what an identity consists of. An identity is the sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing; oneness. The thirteen colonies tried hard to find a sense of themselves as a nation even before they had a nation. Nationality became an American invention (notes). To find an identity the thirteen colonies created a flag, symbols of nationality (bald eagle, pluribus Unum), and they established national heroes (George Washington). Next they began to shape a national character. They asked themselves what it is to be an American (notes). An American should have no ethnic roots, and they gave this country a moral definition in order to build an identity. They had three objectives as well. The people wanted freedom and justice for all, they made the understanding that we are one nation under God and they wanted to help distinguish America from Europe. Like nature America was young, vigorous and strong compared to civilization in Europe. These colonists were desperately trying to create their own identity, which would separate them from England and any other country. They were dedicated to live their lives of Christian brotherhood while being guided by the divine providence. They were dedicated to the expansion of human rights. From these thoughts and their common quest for freedom the thirteen colonies formed their identity. As years went on and the nation united politically, their views and ideas changed. The north and south separated and one national identity did not exist. Using slavery, sectionalism and it is quite clear that the nation's first common goals of unity and peace were lost. There were strong signs that the nation could very well divide. They did not have a strong central government because many people believed in states' rights.

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