Traditional American Values and Beliefs

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence (1776)


Preview Vocabulary

A. Here are some key AWL words in this chapter. Look at their definitions. Put a check next to the words you already know.

1. individual one person, considered separately from the group

2. achieve to succeed in getting the result you wanted

3. benefit something that gives advantages or improves life in some way

4. reliant being dependent on someone

5. constitution a set of basic laws and principles that a democratic country is governed by

6. ethical relating to principles of what is right and wrong

7. resources a country’s land, minerals, or natural energy that can be used to increase its wealth

___ 8. status social or professional rank or position in relation to others

___ 9. welfare money paid by the government to people who are very poor,

sick, not working, etc.

___ 10. foundation a basic idea or principle

B. Work with a partner. Complete each question with a word from the preceding list. Then answer the questions.

1. Why would the_________________ of a country forbid titles of nobility?

(titles such as “princess” or “sir”)

2. If there are no titles of nobility, how does a society recognize people with

high social_________________ ?

3. Which do you think is more important to Americans, the well-being of the

group or the________________ ?

4. What do immigrants have to do to__________________ success in their new


5. What are some of the natural _________________ found on the North

American continent?

6. What________________ does a person get from being self-

_______________ ?

7. When would it not be_________________ to compete with someone?

8. What country provided the language and the__________________ for the

political and economic systems of the United States?

9. What problems might cause a person to need__________________ ?

C. Read the quotation from the Declaration of Independence at the beginning of the chapter, and find the words with the following meanings. Write each word next to its meaning.

_______________ 1. the act of trying to achieve something in a determined way

_______________ 2. easily noticed or understood; obvious

_______________ 3. that cannot be taken away from you

_______________ 4. given a good quality

Updated: 18th July 2015 — 3:16 pm