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Defining Who and What an American Was in the Early 20th Century

When the United States became a superpower at the beginning of the 1900s, both domestic and international forces pressured the locals to devise ways of redefining the exact meaning of an American. During the reconstruction period, the 14th constitutional amendment used national terms to define citizenship and the definition captured all the people living in the new territories acquired across the globe. Several people from other countries have migrated to the great continent, and others are still flocking to the country.

The Ku Klux Klan celebrated its tenth anniversary recently. In ten years, the clan has made tremendous unique achievements in the great nation’s history (Evans). The number of clan members has risen significantly from thousands to millions. The clan has made an effort to alleviate poverty and amass wealth. It has risen from obscurity to an influential position, overcoming leadership inequalities to great ranks in American society. The vital thing is that the clan has exhibited the ability to reform and perform self-cleansing. It can transform basic instincts into constructive thought and suitable action. Ku Klux Clan has adapted to changing conditions without despair (Evans). It has shown the ability to speak and lead ordinary people in America with minimal friction. The clan has been upholding high levels of patriotism and success in public life and has been undertaking.

Patriotism was once described as the absence of scoundrels. An interested party recently asserted that when Dr Johnson provided this description, he was ignorant of the many possibilities presented by reforms (Roosevelt). The definitions of patriotism were tailored for those individuals who use noble identities to belittle others. Any person who does not perceive the love of one’s country as an element of patriotism does not provide a full definition of the term. Scoundrels are selfish and abusive in all aspects. That statesman who wishes to reform the selfish and abusive tendencies of scoundrels is an enemy of patriotism. They unconsciously encourage abuse and greed among some people in the name of Americanism. The first document is positive about the achievements made by the Ku Klux Clan. In contrast, in the second document, the author laments how demagogues and hypocrites use Americanism to promote inequality.

The elements of patriotism are the same for Americanism. Several scoundrels are trying to frustrate reform movements and encourage the existing social inequities to achieve Americanism. However, the fact remains that Americanism applies to those great men who make an effort to see the country prosper. Those who perpetuate inequality due to Americanism or reforms belong to a small group of demagogues and hypocrites. Members of this group use some righteous terms with the aim of evil doing. The strongest and most loyal American is the one who does not entertain those people invoking the spirit of Americanism to set obstacles to the pursuance of reforms.

The two documents present some parallel ideologies. The first explores patriotism as the love for one’s country and engaging in those deeds meant to bring societal equality. The Ku Klux Clan are ideal examples of patriots, and they have been living harmoniously as they pursue equality in wealth, representation and numbers. However, the second document presents patriotism to be synonymous with Americanism. Demagogues apply the term Americanism to perpetuate social inequity and other vicious activities meant to frustrate efforts made for reforms. In summary, the Ku Klux Clan embraces real patriotism while the hypocrites and demagogues use Americanism to fight reforms in the great country.

Work Cited

Evans, Hiram. The Klan’s Fight for Americanism. 1 Mar. 1996.

Roosevelt, Theodore. “True Americanism.” Apr. 1984.


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