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Freedom Page

"The land of the free and the home of the brave"

spread eagle.jpg (36727 bytes)1 Why did people come here to form The American Colonies in the first place and why are they still arriving? What made these settlers give their lives during the American Revolution? Why did the People of France give the American People the Statue of Liberty? What is it about this great Nation that is found to be so attractive? In one word: Freedom. Like The American Eagle, the human spirit wants to be free. The United States of America is the greatest experiment known to man built around a total culture of Freedom, Equality and Self-Reliance. Through study of our own American History, we understand the basis for the Freedom we have today. Armed with this knowledge, we are then able to pass this on to our children to ensure the survival of this great Nation tomorrow. The American Revolution started a phenomenon of independent and self-reliant people on this planet. In the 1830's Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat, visited this new Nation to understand what made it special.      

But what most especially distinguished them [the Americans] was the aim of their undertaking. They had not been obliged by necessity to leave their country; the social position they abandoned was one to be regretted, and their means of subsistence were certain. Nor did they cross the Atlantic to improve their situation or to increase their wealth; the call which summoned them from the comforts of their homes was purely intellectual; and in facing the inevitable sufferings of exile their object was the triumph of an idea.2

3Those who were born here tend to take "The American Dream" for granted, while those who arrive here from other Nations seek the refuge of a free society where personal views can be expressed without fear of persecution and a person can live their life as they please. The Statue of Liberty remains a welcome sight for many immigrants to this day. Our Nation is continuously changing where laws are written daily that interpret the words of our Founding Fathers written into The Declaration of Independence, The American Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

Where issues of unfairness arise between Americans, some might interpret this as a failure of this "Freedom Experiment".  The fact is, the mechanisms to resolve issues of unfairness are built into our American Constitution. These issues will not, however, resolve themselves. It takes people of action to work with the system until a satisfactory resolution is achieved. The long term key is in Family members understanding the principles on which this great nation was founded and the responsibilities we all have if we want to preserve our way of life. These principles must be more than words, they must be a way of life. Our Customs, Traditions and Rituals must all be in "synch" with these Principles for this to remain "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave". 

Family Tradition 

Thomas Jefferson once said: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." President George W. Bush at his inauguration echoed this sentiment: "America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American." The story of Freedom in our Country must be told and retold. It must be reviewed on National Holidays and at Celebrations. Parents must tell the story of Freedom to their Children and Grandchildren. Our Schools and our Institutions must share the lessons and share the philosophy of this Great Nation. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

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coverVisit our Shopping Mall to buy a copy of Toqueville on American Character. American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Ledeen has focused on applying the wisdom forged in earlier times to current issues, as in Machiavelli on Modern Leadership (1999). Here, his subject is Tocqueville and, in particular, the Frenchman's recognition of ways the United States' revolutionary society reconciled seeming opposites. These paradoxes are evident in Ledeen's chapter titles: "Dynamic People Driven by Internal Conflicts," "Religious Faith Anchored by Secular Institutions," "Rugged Individualists with a Genius for Cooperation," "Isolationists Called to International Leadership," and "Apostles of Freedom Tempted by Luxurious Tyranny." For Ledeen, Tocqueville sounded an essential alarm; his "nightmare vision," the author suggests, was that citizens of the U.S. would "devote all [their] energies to the pursuit of personal enrichment and satisfaction, abandoning the free associations that have thus far protected [them] from a powerful central government, and asking [their] rulers to assume new responsibilities and to exert new powers." Count Ledeen as a partisan in the camp where he places Tocqueville: supporters of a small federal government and an active civil society. Mary Carroll
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved.

Visit our Shopping Mall to buy a copy of Don't Know Much About History. Finally, someone who tells American History like it was, without the old textbook gloss that's put so many students into premature naptime and misinformed the few who stayed awake. Davis corrects the myths and misconceptions from Columbus up through the Clinton administration, and shows that truth is more entertaining than propaganda.

This Web page links to Customs, Traditions and Rituals practiced by American Families. They are listed at right; click on the desired Tradition to view. Our Family and American Culture Web Pages have additional Traditions. If you would like to share with us a Custom, Tradition or Ritual that you find important, please visit our Traditions page.

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1 Courtesy of The United States Fish & Wildlife Service. http://www.fws.gov/
2 Toqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America. Volume I. Henry Reeve, translator. E-Text by David Reed. 1971-2000 Gutenberg Project. http://promo.net/pg/ 
3 Courtesy of The United States National Park Service. National Park Service


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This Web Site is the intellectual property of American Family Traditions. Some of the information provided is general knowledge and some is the original work of American Family Traditions. Permission must be requested to use or reproduce any of its contents to ensure fairness. Footnotes have been provided where appropriate to give credit to the work of others and to ensure you get permission from those sources.
Copyright   2000-2001 American Family Traditions. All Rights Reserved.
Last updated March 8, 2001
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