Talk About It

Work in small groups and choose one or more questions to discuss.

1. Americans believe strongly in self-reliance and the freedom and independence of the individual. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being very independent? Which is more important to you, pleasing your family or having the freedom to do what you want?

2. If Americans had to pick one aspect of their country that they are most proud of, over 90 percent would choose freedom. What aspect of your country are people most proud of? How does that quality affect life there?

3. Is it healthy for a person to want to compete? Which is more important in a society—competition or cooperation? Which do you value more? Why?

Improve Your Reading Skills: Scanning

Read the questions below. Scan the chapter to find the specific information you need to answer each question.

1. What three types of freedoms were the early settlers seeking?

2. What happened in 1776?

3. What does plight mean?

4. Who wrote The Values Divide: American Politics and Culture in Transition?

5. In what year was the Constitution of the United States written?

6. What do Americans mean by the word freedom?

7. Who said, “Americans still love their country and believe that they can accomplish almost anything”?

8. Why didn’t a hereditary aristocracy develop in the United States?

9. Who was James Madison and what did he say in the late 1700s?

10. Who said, “We. . . wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else”?

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