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ERIC Number: EJ775443
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
An Idea Called America
Hartoonian, Michael; Van Scotter, Richard; White, William E.
Social Education, v71 n5 p243-247 Sep 2007
America evolved out of the principles of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, suggesting that individuals could govern themselves and that people were "endowed" with "unalienable rights" such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these principles, Americans would continue to work on forming a more perfect Union, by establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing liberty into the future. Thus, "U.S. citizenship" means embracing these principles, which when taken together, they are called America. Further, the authors believe that the idea of America must be sustained through debate. The debate or argument is over whether or not a dynamic and diverse republic can be developed and sustained on a grand scale. At a deeper level, however, the debate, launched at the time of the American Revolution, and carried into the present citizens' civic discourse is over four sets of "value tensions." Here, the authors discuss these tensions that encompass the fundamental idea of America: (1) law vs. ethics; (2) private wealth vs. common wealth; (3) freedom vs. equality; and (4) unity vs. diversity. (Contains 8 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A