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What Are Americans?. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur. Letters to an American Farmer

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What are americans

Letters to an American Farmer

“What is the American, this new man? He is either a European, or a descendant of an European, hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country. He is an American, who leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys and the new rank he holds . . . Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the word . . . Here the rewards of his industry following with equal steps the progress of his labor; his labor is founded on the basis of nature, self interest; can it want a stronger allurement. Wives and children gladly help their father to clear those abundant fields where crops grow to feed and clothe them all; without any part being claimed, either by a despotic prince , a rich abbot, or a might lord.“

What are americans


Wrote Democracy in America

- Absence of Nobility

- Overriding concern of

American with money

- Common people

exercised political power



Society of equals –

Differences in wealth, power and

intelligence, but everyone is socially


Availablity of free land promoted


Primary concern of the nation should be to

safeguard liberty

**Exception – Slaves, Indians



The participation of the common people in political life

Everyone has the same right to participate in government


Peace and prosperity for all



Protection against a tyrannical government

Americans were devoted to the

rule of the law

Federal system helped prevent the

rise of an over-powerful


American customs and manners

were devoted to the spirit of liberty

**Religious faith helped

strengthen the belief in

individual liberty



Government does not direct all individual activity

Flourish without hereditary

distinctions and can rise in


Organize into private voluntary


Laissez faire

Laissez Faire

Role of government is limited

Hands off approach to the


Each American is the best

judge of his own interests

E pluribus unum

E Pluribus Unum

Out of many [comes] one

States have united to form one nation