AP English

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I am doing an essay for my english class that deals with American values.

The questions to consider:

What does America value? How do you know?

In class we dicussed the following:

America Values

1.)The individual
The US was set up by the people themselves, thus they are to be given the utmost respect. Also man must make a place for himself in the world--defining his own life not imitating the life of another.

"the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power..." --- 'Declaration of Independence'

"envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion..." -- 'Self reliance'--> R.W. Emerson

2.) Rights

Rights can never be taken away from you.

"unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness..."--'Declaration of Independence'

3.) Government

The Government functoions to help the people deriving its powers from the ones being governed.

"it must have the sanction and consent of the governed." -- 'Resistance to Civil Government'---> HD Thoreau

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consen of the Governed... it is the right of the peopleto alter or to abolish it [if they so desire]"--- 'Decleration of Independence'


Do you guys have any more things to add? Any suggestions? If I post my essay here later, can you guys look through it?

Thanks a lot,


  • AP English -

    A suggestion - what about "have American values changed since the Constitution was written." What do we value today? Are these contraditory to what was valued at the inception of our country? To me, that brings all sorts of interesting possibilities.

    AND - YES! by all means we will be happy to proof your essay and make suggestions if needed.

  • AP English -

    Thanks GuruBlue

    My teacher also mentioned this question in class!

  • AP English -

    This article might also be helpful:


    I hope this helps a little more. Thanks for asking.

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