Thursday, 28 November 2013

The American Dream in Ragged Dick.

"The basic American promise that if you work hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college." - Barack Obama

This contemporary statement uses the idea of the American Dream in regards to the notion that hard work will pay off. As long as you work hard, you will be rewarded.

In Ragged Dick it could be argued that Dick himself embodies this, in that although he is a boy on the streets, it is his hard work and determination that enable him to slowly move up in life. However, there is also the fact that some people manage to see promise in Dick, and it could be argued that if it wasn't for them, then Dick would not have managed to achieve as much as he has.

This statement is also in keeping with the idea of individual success, in this case having a job that you can aspire to be successful in. This idea matches that of the notion of success in Ragged Dick, for example, thanks to his wit and street-smarts Dick is able to overcome many of his problems, and save money that he has gathered from his hard work and wit. Although, many argue that it Dick's luck alone which allows him to succeed. However, if Dick had not had to survive by working, then he wouldn't know how to act in order to help himself get further, and it is his experiences which have helped him be able to use his determination and hard work to help him succeed. 

In order for Dick to have a successful life, he needed to work hard, and this statement highlights the message, by telling American's that hard work will lead to an enjoyable and full life. And that even if you come from poverty, or are not well-off you can become comfortable in the future if you only work hard.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

American Dream & Ragged Dick

The notion of the 'American dream' is shown by those today, who although had lived a poor and troubled past have become highly successful through their pure determination and hard work, such as Dick's perserverance to become 'spectable' in 'Ragged Dick'. An example of someone who had developed from 'rag to riches' was John D. Rockefeller who started off in poverty yet through his hard work he became the first 'business superstar' by creating the standard oil company which dominated the oil industry.

Rockefeller was raised single handedly by his mother who had taught him the value of hard work, such as Fosdick teaches Dick. In 'Ragged Dick' Dick was street smart which allowed him to flourish and Rockefeller's analytical skills led to his success. In addition, such as 'Ragged Dick' Rockefeller's story can also be considered as 'rags to respectability' and not 'rags to riches' as the wealth which Rockefeller had created was largely given out to charities. He said 'Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money and still more and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.' This shows that in both cases, the idea of the 'American Dream' was not merely to increase their wealth, rather the hard work which they endured  was to achieve a better life for themselves.

Rockefeller also had the luck of others to guide him. He states that without his wife 'I would be a poor man.' Such as Dick would have been if he had no one willing to educate him.  

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Pro or Anti Gun Control?

This article reveals that according to FBI statistics from the beginning of 2012, approximately 25 people are murdered every day in shootings in the USA. This number is aggressively high, with around 9125 deaths per year and a sharp rise in massacres such as the one that happened at Sandy Hook many people are advocating higher regulations on gun control. But there are still people who lobby for more relaxed weapon regulations. Many people blame popular culture for the rise in gun crime but if you look at the statistics they show little to no correlation between violent scenes in video games and gun crime. It may also be poignant to mention that the united states has the most lenient weapons regulations out of the countries on this table.

In this review of the documentary, ‘Assaulted: Civil Rights under Fire’, by Kris Koenig, the New York Times is showing a side of the argument that is rarely popularised. Something that is often heard is the argument that if a burglar came into somebody's house, that somebody should be allowed to open fire. But the documentary takes on a much more complex question as it asks if women, homosexuals and those with disabilities should be able to carry weapons as self-defence from hate crimes, it argues that these people are vulnerable and guns are reasonable protection. But surely if these so called "vulnerable" people are allowed to be carrying weapons, then their assailants are more likely to be as well. The documentary even goes as far as to state that Pro-Gun Control laws are akin to the tyranny of dictators such as Hitler or Stalin. This shows how passionate and serious American citizens are about their second amendment rights and this could be seen as a reason that they should not be armed.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Pro and Anti Gun Control in America

Pro Gun Control
This Web page is in favour of controlling the use of guns in America. It has many articles featuring news of recent shootings, as well as containing presidential and legislation updates. For example the site advertises Brady’s Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, as well as featuring facts and statistics about Gun Violence. The website is as of recently, promoting background checks on anyone who wishes to own a gun.

There are many articles featuring Obama, and they are of varying opinion. President Obama has been a driving force behind stricter laws, especially after the shooting in Newtown. He announced plans for stricter gun laws in early 2013, such as proposing to pass a new ban on assault weapons and limiting the amount of magazines. However, he is a controversial point on both sides of the argument, because he was expected to renew the Firearms act that had recently expired, but never did.

Anti-Gun Control
The NRA-ILA webpage is a website which is very clearly pro-guns in America. It was established in 1975, and the Institute for Legislative Action is is known as the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association. The website promotes gun ownership and is against the idea of stricter gun control being enforced. The NRA is well known for their Anti-Gun Control views, and teamed together with the ILA, are able to make a clearer argument as the ILA is involved in any issue that directly or indirectly affects firearms ownership and use. The site features news and opinions, all to related to gun ownership and use, and Obama is often referenced to as meeting with officials about gun control laws. An article from this year, explains how gun related accidents have dramatically fallen, arguing their case that guns are not harmful, and "the odds are more than a million to one, against a child in the U.S. dying in a firearm accident."

I myself, happen to be pro gun control, especially when it comes to children and all the horrifying statistics. It is incomprehensible to me how easy it can be for anyone to buy, carry or own a gun. Although, it is obviously because of my environment, and how rare this kind of thing is in Britain.To counter the American view, I'm sure the majority of British people have never even touched a real gun. However, I do understand this view, as it is far more a part of their culture and seen as "American" in practice. Hunting is obviously a very popular activity and if it has been enjoyed for their entire lives, one can see why they might perhaps want to continue.

Pro and Anti Gun Control

Pro Gun Control:

The website above is for a think tank called Centre for American Progress (CAP), which whilst describing themselves as non partisan is regarded by most to be a liberal think tank which promotes all liberal ideals, which includes strict gun control laws. They provide a section of their website to articles about guns and gun laws and all are looking at the issue from a negative perspective. Many articles show the negative impact of guns on America and look at how the government can get rid of the second Amendment. Some include promotion for anti gun activists while others talk about the weak gun law states, such as Florida, which has the 'stand your ground' law.

Anti Gun control:

The Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA) is an organisation that was set up in 1919 which promotes gun ownership in Texas. They support and sponsor shooting matches and teams from Texas, as well as supporting anti gun control measures. Its slogan 'Protecting Texas Gun Rights Since 1919' is a clear statement of support for gun ownership. It also proudly states it is a friend of the National Rifle Association on its homepage. Its mission statement contains three simple missions; to champion and support the rights of Texans to own and enjoy firearms; to protect and defend the inalienable rights of the individual Texan to acquire, possess, transport, carry, transfer ownership and enjoy firearms; to support junior education and rifle teams in Texas.

Both websites promote their beliefs either obviously like the TSRA website does or more subtly like CAP's does. Whilst CAP doesn't endorse political figures the TSRA has its own Political Action Committee which promotes candidates that support gun rights. However the websites wouldn't usually be viewed by people who are of opposing views to the websites, so you could argue the beliefs they promote are not likely to change minds.        

Pro and Anti Gun Control

Anti-gun control:

As 'Guns and Ammo' is the most popular shooting magazine in the United States, it is obvious that they don't support gun control. Their magazine and online magazine focus on the idea of shooting as a hobby and of collecting guns as a hobby. There are sections such as the 'Guns and Ammo Holiday Gift Guide' and the promotion of buying guns like they are normal gifts is a shocking concept to British audiences, particularly as we hold the Firearms Act which bans the free ownership of guns but requires them to be registered; a law that 'Guns and Ammo' readers would find shocking. They were coincidentally outraged when Jim Bequette ('Guns and Ammo' editor) wrote an article vying for gun control saying that it wouldn't impede on the Second Amendment, only to be met with magazine boycott threats and his firing from the magazine. This demonstrates how much Americans value guns in their everyday lives, especially considering that the magazine tends to promote gun use like an innocent sport.
There is also a 'Caption Contest' section which is perhaps the most difficult to articulate as it makes gun handling seem humorous and joke worthy. For example, the fact that there are pictures of foxes and cats yielding guns along side a man holding probably an eight foot long gun show just how carelessly and inappropriate some Americans can be towards gun ownership, and how their agreement with gun control is still very absent.

I support gun control because I believe that the free ownership of guns causes more problems than it does protection. For example, in America more than half of all murders begin from arguments with friends, family or lovers and more Americans are killed by guns each week than each year in all of Western Europe. However, I can see how the freedom to carry guns provides the feeling of protection and therefore power and that shooting can be an innocent sport to give a sense of camaraderie amongst friends, but the evidence seems to show that the idea of gun control should be taken more seriously than it is.

Pro-gun control:

The 'Brady Campaign for Gun Control' was founded in 1974 (under a different name) in the attempt to control handguns after Dr. Mark Borinsky was robbed and nearly killed at gunpoint. All of the people involved in the organisation have had an experience with gun violence, whether it be being shot themselves or knowing somebody, and this helps the organisation's appeal to support due to the reality of gun violence.
The 'Brady Campaign' fights for sensible gun laws that address gun violence at the federal and state level. Supporters of the 'Brady Campaign' are the American public and electing officials and they show their support for gun control through various demonstrations, the education of people about gun violence and gun safety, the honouring of gun violence victims and the receiving of donations towards their campaign for gun control.
The 'Brady Campaign' is a very relatable approach to the reality of gun violence and its reputation in America. It is a worthy cause and is a movement in the right direction towards the making of gun control normality.

Pro and anti gun control

Pro Gun control:

The 'Coalition to stop gun violence' believes that all Americans have a right to live in a community free from gun violence and thus seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through many strategies to keep guns away from violent individuals.
The CSGV consists of 48 organizations and the website appears to be very convincing as it includes news articles, facts and figures to back up its arguments. For example, the website states that 40% of gun sales are made without any background checks which therefore gives convicted felons, the  mentally ill etc, unchecked access to firearms and therefore a background check is deemed necessary. For example, they aim to prohibit individuals who are on the government watch list from purchasing guns. However a problem with this is that it although an individual may have a clean background, they still may purchase a firearm with bad intentions in the future.  Or despite their violent past, some may wish to purchase a gun in self defence yet would not be able to do so.

Anti gun control:

This website states that 'Guns don't kill people, gun control laws kill people'
It states that gun control laws are not necessarily putting an end to gun violence in the U.S, stating that "Gun-free" zones are actually "Free killing" zones as gun control laws prohibit the people from protecting themselves. I think the websites arguments are convincing as for example, it states that the perpetrator is aware that he is entering a gun free zone and therefore acknowledges that the victims have no way to protect themselves. Thus, the constitution believes it is in each man and woman's right  to serve as self defenders and to be adequately armed in order to protect themselves.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

American Progress by John Gast (circa 1872)

This painting, ‘American Progress’ by John Gast is a representation of the so called 'new west'. It represents the modernised east taking over the more archaic west, bringing technology and education (represented by the book).
The woman in the Centre is known as Colombia, she is a common personification of the United States in poetry and fiction in the early. She is seen to be leading the 'new' America into the west. This is shown with her being followed by trains and also by the fact that she is hanging telephone cables as she goes. Manifest Destiny is shown by both Columbia's leading on the modernised America into the dark west and also the fact that she is chasing Native American Indians away. To a 19th century audience this could be read as an allegory for "out with the old, in with the new". But to modern eyes and interpretations, this could be perceived as an example of America being unwelcoming of things that will not conform, the Native Americans wanted to retain their culture and traditions so they were cast out. The east has large undulating hills and bright sunlight whereas the west has treacherous mountains and storm clouds but Colombia seems to be leading the light into the west, pushing out the darkness as she pushes out the Native people.

Great Salt Lake, Utah

This print from Currier & Ives of Great Salt Lake in Utah shows the extent of which modernisation occurred. Although the print does not have a date on it, it is clear that Utah is a prime example of the type of towns that were created through this process. As it is on the West Coast, Utah would have been one of the last states to be modernised, although the forest and mountainous surroundings demonstrate how some remnants of the simplistic past were there as reminders as to where they have come from; both literally (due to their movement West) and mentally (from how it was before the modernisation).

The sheer number of houses in the town compared to the small scattering that would have been there previously, demonstrates the reason for modernisation that took place across America. The reason for modernisation was to create a powerful country full of opportunity and many Americans flocked across the country following the modernisation, in order to give themselves more opportunities and a new lifestyle that provided work and wealth. This new America was the foundation of the power that it would contribute to the world.

Oregon City on the Willamette River by John Mix Stanley

John Mix Stanley (1814–1872), Oregon City on the Willamette River, ca. 1850, Oil on canvas, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, 1979.17

This picture of Oregon City by John Mix Stanley was painted around 1850 when the town was fairly established having been founded in 1845. It had around 300 inhabitants and 100 houses, two churches and its own newspaper. It was one of the more prominent and successful frontier towns with a thriving fishing and lumber industry. However it had displaced the Native American tribes and also severely changed the landscape of the area.

                The image itself depicts an idyllic town bathed in sunshine it shows the houses, churches, and mills all set out along the main street adjacent to the Willamette River surrounded by hills and trees. It is an image that would appeal to an American from the east who believed the west to be the land of plenty. In the foreground we have two Indians with their backs turned toward the village one leaning against his gun with an almost resigned posture. The other is sitting down like she has given up trying to fight it. They are sat high above the town near some felled trees which shows that their landscape is being changed for the worse. Also they seem to be in the shadows or darkness, whereas the village itself is in the light showing that they are being pushed out. Without the presence of the two Indians the image would have a total different feel and meaning to it.

                The presence of the Willamette Indians means that this image depicts the ‘Manifest Destiny’ because it shows them resigned to their fate. Like they can do nothing to stop the habitation of their land, like it is already written. The fact that they are in the foreground may suggest that the artist, who was well known for painting Willamette Indians, shouldn’t be forgotten in the image of the West that the East of America so often sees.

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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

'Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way' by Emanuel Leutze

This was painted by Emanuel Leutze in 1861, and it portrays the idea of Manifest Destiny. The border includes portraits of William Clark who opened the way for the Western settlement; and Daniel Boone, who explored Kentucky. This could represent how successful the pilgrims have been so far. The pilgrimage in the picture depicts the pioneer men and women and workers who have conquered the Natives land. The bleak valleys in the distance represents the difficulties in which the pioneers had to face in the past. For example, there is a burial in the painting with indicates that they have been grieving and have suffered terrible losses throughout their conquest.

 On the right of the valley a Native American is illustrated with a hopeless facial expression as there is nothing he can do to stop the Pilgrims from invading their territory. He is further back in the painting and has no importance as the pilgrims do not pay him any attention.

One of the men is pointing towards the distance at the valley, which implies that they are envisioning a future in which the rest of the valley becomes US territory, known as the 'promised land', as now they are struggling in the dark valley. It is their destiny to pursue the land as it represents the peace which the pilgrims can reach once they have worked hard.

Furthermore, the border includes a bald eagle, which is Americas national symbol. It is situated at the top of the border to suggest that liberty is under its wings.
There is a woman kissing her baby in the picture. She appears to be shedding tears of joy because of the hope of a better life that Manifest Destiny brings them.
In the margin below there is the Golden Gate, entrance to San Francisco bay which is what the pioneers are gazing at, offering them a sense of hope due its serene and peacefulness.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Obama Campaign Ad 2012 - Bill Clinton

 This campaign advertisement from the 2012 elections, is from the viewpoint of Bill Clinton, and how he thinks Obama's "got it right". The ad goes on to emphasize all the positive changes Obama will make during his next 4 years if he is re-elected president.

Additionally Clinton goes on to comment that all of Obama's ideas are essential if changes are to be made. Clinton states "Sound familiar?", because he had originally proposed some of these same ideas. Clinton endorsing Obama for president, would mean that any previous voters for Clinton could be more likely to vote for Obama. In opposition to this, Clinton was the second President to be impeached, and the controversy surrounding this could turn voters away from Obama.

However, the ideas Obama has about supporting the middle classes, and making the wealthy pay more succeeds to draw in many people who believe this to be a serious issue, although it may alienate the wealthy, upper class voter. In addition to this, no mention is given to those of lower classes, which could also be a problem. This however does help in explaining how the problem would be solved, rather than just stating the problem. Romney, in the same election campaign, proposed cutting the taxes of the wealthy, in the same way, alienating everyone else.

The ad starts with the idea of Obama being criticized and how Clinton himself was criticized by the same people, who believed his ideas were going to destroy jobs, he goes on to say how they were proved wrong when they created millions of new jobs. This implies that "they" are also wrong about Obama, effectively asking Americans to ignore any negative messages on Obama. 

Many Presidential campaign ads follow the same line, in that they are always promoting change, and tackling huge problems, yet when they fail to follow through, they're criticized for it. Topics such as education and healthcare are reoccurring issues, which Obama also claims to want to change for the better, and other ads for Obama in 2012 highlight all the changes that have occurred in the previous 4 years that Obama was president, such as his reform on the student loans system, making college more affordable.

Mitt Romney campaign ad 2012

Mitt Romney's ad for 'Too many Americans' seems to be designed in order to restore confidence  to Americans that he cares about America. As previously he had claimed that 47% of Americans fail to take their own responsibility of their lives and are dependent government aid, thus, he tries to reconnect with low income and middle class voters. He claims that only his policies will lead to economic growth.
Yet he removes himself from association with Americans as he refers to the middle class Americans as 'them'. He states 'President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families. The differences is my policies will make things better for them.' However, the way he stares straight into the camera appeals to voters in a more personal way over their economic concerns.

His states that he plans to create 12 million new jobs in order help 'lift families out of poverty and strengthening the middle class.  However, could this really have been accomplished? as he doesn't state a single policy which will strengthen the middle class.  He visions for a better America yet this has been a recurring theme throughout  presidential  elections.

Obama 2012 Campaign Ad

In his campaign for the renewal of his Presidency in 2012, Obama focuses on American ideals that are central to the country. For example, his plan to create more jobs, particularly in the industrial and educational sectors relate back to the American ideals of hard work and how securing themselves with a strong background can help to keep America as strong as it is today for the next generation. The idea of encouraging students into education by reducing fees and expanding student aid is a key concept of Obama's that reinforces the importance of the growing generation.
He also states that he wants to reduce deficit by $4 trillion dollars, meaning that the government will therefore be able to 'rebuild' America as he later says because they will be spending less; a factor which is important when considering that it is the great superpower of the world (hence his decision to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, as this is often a controversial topic). The Afghan war is a subject that remains at the forefront of politics and the suggestion that all troops will be withdrawn by the end of 2014 demonstrates Obama's knowledge of the importance of having a clean slate as a country by limiting the controversy surrounding them as a nation.
Factors such as education, work and international issues are always at the forefront of politics, particularly American politics, as they are always striving to be the best and their belief in the power of hard work is highly evident and the fact that high-powered politicians are striving to make people the best that they can is no new idea when discussing American politics.

Ronald Reagan 1984

This is an advert for Ronald Reagan from the 1984 presidential race against Walter Mondale in which Reagan won 49 of 50 states, the largest majority in America's history. This advert is one of the most famous political adverts of all time, originally titled 'Prouder, Stronger, Better' it has become known simply as "Its morning again in America."
Almost all political campaigns talk about a new era or new beginning and this is no different, however it is odd that at this time things are going well in America but it still talks about 'morning in America' which is a metaphor for renewal. Since Reagan was the incumbent President, to talk of renewal or a new era could be seen as an odd message to give out. The main issues at this time were high inflation, the economy, the soviet union/arms race and less government interference. These are all issues that we are dealing with today, in one way or another, so it would be easier to say instead of new era's, the politics of America is a cycle in which the same issues come back around.
The message the advert is sending is that people are working in America, life is good because; people are getting married and buying new homes and that you needn't be worried, you can be confident in America. The voice over is by Hal Raney, who also wrote the advert, his voice is very calming and reassured which helps with the overall theme that everything is fine. The images shown are of people happy, care free, calm and confident, again this helps to send out the message that America is fine.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Something which immediately set America aside as a new and innovative society was their lack of an inbuilt upper class. The people who became more wealthy and powerful worked for their privilege as opposed to being born into it as the royal or otherwise moneyed people in Europe often were. This brought into the forefront of people’s consciousness the idea that working hard was a thing that was to be valued and respected.

“Americans work to live while Europeans live to work”

This proverb is one which could be applied to the early settlers of the Americas and could still be used to describe the outlook of people today. De Crevecoeur displays to us, through his glorification of labour, that it is an honourable thing to work for a living. This contrasts with the more
European viewpoint in which pale skin and delicacy was venerated because the less a person was out in the sun labouring the more money they were likely to have because they had other people to do those most strenuous tasks.

I think that De Crevecoeur was portraying this innovative opinion of the American work ethic as positive, the European view is, and was, a less industrious and more leisure focussed one and this could be construed the upper classes separating themselves from the more work focussed, more American, lower classes.
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Sunday, 3 November 2013

The New American

"Are not these blacks thy children as well as we?"

De Crevecoeur had the idea that, upon arriving in America, a European would no longer be European, but a new man, an American.

This idea of immigration to America, and then throwing away all ties to your previous country, is still prevalent today, and Crevecoeur assumes, why would you want to be ties to your old country, when you had nothing. 

"The indulgent laws, protect them as they arrive, stamping on them they symbol of adoption", implying that you become an American through adoption. You become a new person, and can start fresh a new life. The reason I chose this image, was because I believe this embodies the idea of a new American, or in some cases, a new second generation American. The Pledge of Allegiance is said in most schools in America, and all children, no matter race or religion, share the common factor that they are American. Which is no wonder america is referred to as a 'melting pot'.

However, Crevecoeur's idea that the new american leaves his past behind, could be argued to be not as true, as American's tend to be proud of their ancestry and heritage, no matter where from.

Additionally, the blacks who were once slaves, are now considered American, despite their beginnings as slaves in america. De Crevecoeur, in "Letters from an American Farmer", clearly wonders why blacks can't also become this New American,  "Are not these blacks thy children as well as we?", and wishes them to be put out of their misery, yet is left at a loss. The society of America today, is far more equal, but still has a way to go.

However, the New American, as proposed by Crevecoeur, is still surviving today, as this image proves.

Religion in America and De Crevecoeur

The idea of religion in America is one that makes it stand out as an exceptional country. It has the power to create unification, similarity and a sense of community amongst Americans and the strength of the countrys religion is one that can be admired throughout the world.
De Crevecoeur notes the flowing and easy nature of religion by saying '[The] lord religion demands but little of him; a small voluntary salary to the minister, and gratitude to God; can he refuse these?' and I believe that this still reflects the contemporary American view of religion, in that they think nothing of their 'small' devotion to God, but to an outsider, their devotion may be seen as somewhat extreme and consuming.
He also notices how America stands out as one of the remaining countrys to practise their religion throughly as 'the strict modes of Christianity as practised in Europe are lost also', providing a stark contrast between America and its neighbours.
The picture above shows the normality of religion and its prescence in the American everyday life. The word 'worship' is relevant in the sense that they literally do worship God to a big extent. Religion is not only a small part of the community as it is, particularly in England (and even then, there are few church communities) but in America, they have communities because of religion and it builds a fundamental and recognisable part of their representation to the rest of the world.
Their devotion to God is always present whether it be in political demonstrations, films, songs and because of this it has become apparent that one of the reasons as to why America can be labelled as exceptional, and even new, is because of it's huge devotion to God and the sense of community that is provided because of this is something that can be admired by other countrys. The way that America can be called 'new' is because of its idea surrounding religion and how it is one of the few countrys to take religion so seriously and perhaps this is the new way of thinking, in the way that it creates such a strong community.

De Crevecoeur

One important concept which De Crevecoeur discusses is the fact that an American is
'Neither an European, nor the descendent of an European...' He states that an American leaves behind his 'Antient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds.'
 This was evident during the 18th century as there was a 'Mixture of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Germans and Swedes.'
However in this day of age it is evident that the vision of America can be considered as flourishing even more than before.
For example, the picture above shows Obama's diverse coalition of supporters in the new, emerging America. It states under the photograph that 'Blacks and Hispanics and other minority voters can no longer be ignored.' Therefore this shows that America has progressed since De Crevecouer's time.
As during his time, slavery was a dominant feature in their way of life. He states 'They are branded like cattle, and then driven to toil, to starve, and to languish, for a few years, on the different plantations of these citizens. And for whom must they work? For persons they know not, and who have no other power over them than that of violence.'
However, now they are no longer dehumanised but treated as equal. This is evident through the source which portrays the image of a diverse nation coming together in celebration of the first black president. Thus, now there is a sense of 'national pride' which De Crevecoeur discusses, yet now it it has brought more nationalities together.