WHAT IS AN AMERICAN? 4
WHATIS AN AMERICAN?
HectorSt. Jean de Crevecoeur was a native from France who moved to theUnited States as a map maker and then as a lived as a farmer (St.de Crevecoeur,2014).He later came to serve as a French Consul. He wrote several essayswith the most famous essay being the essay III that was called “Whatis an American?” Most of his letters tried to describe the life ofthe Americans at the time (St.de Crevecoeur,2014).This paper analyses the influence of an article written by Hector St.Jean de Crevecoeur on the American identity.
Definitionand characteristics of American people by the author
Inhis letter he spoke about the feeling that an Englishman would havewhen he first landed in America (St.de Crevecoeur,2014).Jean describes the American country as a fair country that has beendiscovered and settled. He admired the American development bydescribing the national pride that a person would have by viewing themagnificent settlements along the shores. Crevecoeur gives a briefdescription of the afflictions, miseries, wants, and impatience thatthe people of America experienced in order for them to decide tosettle there (St.de Crevecoeur,2014).After settling and building their country based on principles ofliberty and fairness, the author describes the pride that an outsidermight have when he visits the country by seeing the progress that thepeople had made in the country.
Theview of de Crevecouer as an outsider helped greatly to cultivate thefeeling of true Americans. By reading his article the American peoplecan feel the great admiration that the world has for them and thishelps them to feel proud of their country and identity as theAmerican people. He indirectly congratulates the Americans for whatthey were able to achieve at the time in a span of less than onehundred years (St.de Crevecoeur,2014).Jean de Crevecoeur beheld the beautiful villages, fair cities,extensive fields and an immense country that has meadows, goodhouses, wonderful roads, orchards and bridges. He explained that inabout one hundred years earlier, the country was woody, wild anduncultivated. He described that the achievement shows the good ideasthat the American people have and each American citizen should beproud these prospects that inspire a deep heartfelt pleasure.
Toadd more weight to the American achievement, he described theimproved social standing of the American people that is admirable andfar better than the European society. He described the Americansociety as modern with little composure (St.de Crevecoeur,2014). The society is different from that in Europe in that there are nogreat lords who possess everything at the expense of the poor, noaristocratic families, no kings, no bishops, no courts, noecclesiastical dominion, no excessive luxury and no greatmanufacturers who employ thousands of people (St.de Crevecoeur,2014).The author describes that the American society is far better than theEuropean society because social justice is upheld and there is littlegap between the rich and the poor people.
Inconclusion, Hector St. Jean de Crevecoeur helped to cultivate adominant culture for the United States of America through thewritings that he made. By reading the articles, the American peoplecan have a strong sense of identity and differentiation from theother societies in the world. The article depicts the Americansociety as a cultural society that has a great value in upholding thesocial justice.
St.de Crevecoeur, J. H. (2014). What is an American.Digital History.Retrieved 7 March 2015, fromhttp://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtid=3&psid=3644