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Off the Usual Path

What is an American?

Addicted to?
Tall Cactus

In the beginning, God Blessed America.

The motto of all emigrants, used to be  'Ubi panis ibi patria'  Where there is bread, there is one's fatherland.
The poor and downtrodden have always yearned to come to America.  They dream of freedom.  Most of them had no real country.  They just happened to be born elsewhere.  Why are they asked, or why do they state, the country from which they came?  Why are they listed as an ??/American?  Why? 
The first emigrants did not call themselves ??/American, they were known as Americans.  They truly understood the meaning of what America stood for.
They were proud to be a part of the building of this new country, where all would be free, and they proudly called themselves Americans.
Did they love their home country?  No.  The only ties with the country are the family members they must leave behind, and they speak the language.
In their original country, they wandered in search of work and food for their children.  They were not landowners, and came here because their families were  hungry.  The laws were so severe, it was impossible to live.  They worked in their home countries for nothing, being basically slaves.  They lived the same type of life that the majority of black slaves lived in America. 
Everything was for the ruler/prince of the country, or the rich landowner, who 'allowed' the family to live on 'his' land to work his fields, and received not quite enough to last the year.  If they became ill, or died, the family was kicked out or jailed for debt to the landowner.  America eventually freed the black slaves, and therein lies the difference.
If they failed to worship the way the  'government' decreed, they were in danger of being killed, or worse. How can they love a country that punishes, kills, or jails a person for disagreeing with the government?  How can they love a country that allows their children to starve?  A country where they wandered in search of food, and shelter, and were imprisoned for lack of the same?
Here, in America, they can work hard, and keep their wages.  They are free to own land, to educate themselves and their children.  They are free to worship in any way they choose.  Religion is not required.  Rewards are received for their hard work.  A man can take root and flourish.
They are counted as citizens in America.  Freemen.  From where do these advantages come?  From our government.  From the Americans who dreamed and fought to have a free country.  A really free country.
What loyalty can an emigrant have for a country where he had nothing?  His country is the one which gives him land, protection, and food.  Everyone in America  is  European, or the descendant of one. Or American Indian, Mexican, wherever he is from. Being unable to feed his family or to live as a human being should be able to live, he comes to America.  Legally and illegally.  They are willing to risk death to come here. 
America holds a new race of men.  He leaves behind his ancient prejudices and manners, and receives new ones from his new mode of  life.  He obeys his new government, respects it and is glad to follow its laws.  It's laws are not grievous, or cruel.  They are easy for an honest man to keep.
Any American ought to love this country much more than the one he or his ancestors came from.  Here, the rewards of his labor follow into his own hands.  He will develop new ideas, new opinions. It doesn't matter if he was born rich or poor, he is in equal status with all. 
In America, a man is limited only by his imagination.
and may God continue to bless America.

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