American Creed

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The American Creed is a statement of the defining element of American identity, first formulated by Thomas Jefferson and elaborated by many others,[1] that includes liberty, equality, individualism, populism, and laissez faire.[2] The creed is an element of American exceptionalism, with English writer G. K. Chesterton claiming "America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed."[3]

The creed has historically been violated by group based discrimination, such as that against African Americans, and it has been challenged by group based attempts to correct the resulting inequalities, such as affirmative action.[2]

The American's Creed (Resolution)[edit]

"The American's Creed" hung in Butler University's Jordan Hall

"The American's Creed" is the title of a resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on April 3, 1918. It is a statement written in 1917 by William Tyler Page as an entry into a patriotic contest.

I believe in the United States of America, as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon these principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.

— William Tyler Page, The American's Creed[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huntington, Samuel (2004). Who are we?: The challenges to America's national identity. Simon & Schuster. p. xv. ISBN 0-684-87053-3. 
  2. ^ a b Lipset, Seymour (1992). "Affirmative Action and the American Creed". The Wilson Quarterly (1976-). Wilson Quarterly. 16 (1): 52–62. 
  3. ^ Chesterton, G.K. (1922). What I saw in America. Hodder and Stoughton. p. 7. 
  4. ^ The American's Creed at USHistory.org

Further reading[edit]