National Identity and the People Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

During the attacks of 9/11, the people of the United States once more shared a unified identity, a wholesome approach. This unified approach is what many call "patriotism" (Huntington 330). Since the very start of the country, "American's have been a flag-oriented people" (Huntington, 330), meaning the country prides itself on its sense of unity an identity. It is important that people identify themselves as being American, because doing anything else would suggest the person was not patriotic. It is important ethnic, racial and "gender identities" as outlined in the Bedford Reader (p.331) are acknowledged, but they must not become more important than the national identity. If they do, the United States may be at risk for internal strife. People may lose their sense of loyalty to the country, and this historically has led to civil wars and other disasters. The United States and the people living within have no reason to fight each other. They should stand in support of unified goals which include "freedom for all" as stated in the Constitution (Newman 9). Rhea notes that often it takes "heroism" or deeds one may consider heroic before people "approve of a national identity" (Rhea 10). Because this country was founded on heroism, many believe in hero's and hail individuals willing to step up to the plate and put their life at risk for a common cause (Rhea, 1997). When people fail to do this, they present opportunities for risk, for violence, for disunity and terrorism to leach into the happy world in which they once lived.

The Bedford Reader quotes Maya Angelou, who provided more than twenty seven different ethnic and cultural groups within the United States, suggesting that the rise in violence can always be associated with "cynicism of peoples living in a country" in this case the United States (Angelou, A14; Hunington, 333). This notion is echoed by many others including Spencer (1999) who notes the lack of unity prevalent during various times in American history has always lead to "violence" or dis-union among the American people (p.4). "Politics" according to Spencer, have always influenced the identity or lack thereof in the United States (p.55). Never before have so many people for example, expressed racist sentiment at the idea of an "African-American" or woman as president of this nation (Spencer, 56). This is because far too often people forget that the United States is not about identity, it is about unity. The very name of this country is founded on this concept; the American people live in the "United" states, not the "divided" ones (Spencer, 1999). Part of the problem in politics is the habit of federal agents relying on statistics that often classify people "by race and color" or by ethnicity rather than as "Americans" (Spender, 55). This feeling is shared by many including Wilson (1998) who notes it is common for politics to interfere with "national identity" because in politics people too often fail to recognize the need for a single unifying force, and far too often work in their own best interests rather than for the best interests of the people living in this country, regardless of their race or ethnicity (p. 20).


The national identity people have in the United States is far more important than any other identity they may ascribe to. The "American" is someone that values core beliefs, including unity, freedom and justice for all. The national identity is something that will save the people of this country from internal strife, civil war, and danger from terrorists or other people that might try to harm the people living in this country. Perhaps Martin (2003) said it best: the people of the United States "must see America first" not other ethnicities or cultures except that of America when they come to visit this great nation (p.36). The national identity of the United States and the American people is far more important than any other identity, and has been since the early 1880s (Martin, 2003). The American people are most protected when they are fighting together under a single cause and a unifying identity. The American people must above all else, remember they are "American" before anything else. Only then will they collaborate and cooperate with one another to help glorify this nation. Being an "American" is something to be proud of, if people remember what the meaning of "American" is and cherish it from now to eternity.


Angelou, Maya. "On the Pulse of Morning," New York Times, January 21, 1993, p. A14.

Huntington, Samuel. "The Crisis of National Identity." in, the Brief Bedford Reader, pp.330-35, by X.J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Jane E. Aaron. 2004

Korostelina, Karina. "The Impact of National Identity on Conflict Behavior: Comparative

Analysis of Two Ethnic Minorities in Crimea." International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 45.3-4, 2003: p.213.

Martin, Scott C. "See America First: Tourism and National Identity 1880-1940." The Journal of Social History, 36.4, 2003: p.36.

Newman, Rachel, "The Day the World Changed, I Did Too," Newsweek, 1 October 2001, p.9.

Rhea, Joseph T. Race, Pride and the American Identity, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997, pp.8-9.

Spencer, Rainier.…[continue]


  • National Identity and Culture Is

    These examples show how clothing and fashion generate and support the social construction of a particular reality in a certain historical period. The uniform of the Chinese people in the Maoist period was a factor in enforcing ideological perceptions in much the same way as the Japanese aristocracy promoted the idea of social status and class through fashion and appearance. The Maoist uniform was effective as a means of

  • National Cinema A Film Exploration

    Having unleashed Demon, the Song is now welcomed into the gang and begins sporting the traditional "black suit" of the gang members. Here, again, it is important to remark on the deviation from stereotype to contemporary national image that wardrobe and props bring to the film. There are no robes of silk, no long, silky geisha looking women waiting on men in the community baths. Rather, Landlady, one of

  • Canadian National Identity and Canadian Hockey the

    Canadian National Identity and Canadian Hockey The Canadian administrative system in place has endorsed the national identity of Canada with hockey. Back in 90s, when the then Prime Minister of Canada, Chretien, started trade diplomacy with other countries, he always declared every participant as part of the Canadian Team. In the tenure of the same Prime Minister, an ex-National Hockey League player and icon, Frank Mahovlich was chosen as a senator.

  • Americans National Identity Rests Largely Upon Ethnic

    Americans' national identity rests largely upon ethnic kinshi common language. shared political ideals. religion. federal law. The American ideal of equality promotes the idea that all citizens should be equal in their standard of living. is fully consistent with individualism. does not include the idea that everyone is entitled to fair treatment under the law. has helped minority groups to achieve their goals. has always been fully implemented in U.S. history. The American political culture includes all of the following ideals except liberty. equality. self-government. individualism. economic

  • Cultural and National Identity in the Midst

    Cultural and National Identity In the midst of globalization, cultures are coming together unlike ever before. As a result, refugees and immigrants are faced with challenging circumstances that threaten to weaken their national or cultural identity. This essay will explore two examples of how individuals strive to maintain their identity in this new and changing world. In Cyberspace in Diaspora, we learn about the Eritrean Diaspora and how they are using

  • Identity Development Is a Topic That Has

    Identity development is a topic that has been studied for some time. There are two main ways to address it: as young children who are just developing an identity and as adults who are changing or developing an identity they never created or did not like as a child. Each person, as he or she grows, develops a distinct and separate identity from other people (Willemsen & Waterman, 1991). While

  • Identity Social Identity Is a Means to

    Identity Social identity is a means to an end, the end being the maintenance of a community with flexible but strong boundaries. Ultimate objectives of social identity therefore include mutual protection against perceived threats, and strategic sharing of resources. This is why social identity often transcends geographic boundaries; in a globalized world, geo-political boundaries are actually less significant than social identity. The concept of social identity therefore becomes strongly connected with

Cite This Paper:

"National Identity And The People" (2007, December 03) Retrieved October 20, 2016, from

"National Identity And The People" 03 December 2007. Web.20 October. 2016. <>

"National Identity And The People", 03 December 2007, Accessed.20 October. 2016,

Leave a Comment

Register now or post as guest, members login to their existing accounts to post comment.

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved