Freedom, Unity, Progress, Responsibility
The Formula for America’s Success
American cultural and socio-economic progress over the last 230+ years
has been the greatest in history
AHEF believes that a simple yet distinct formula exists in American culture and society to explain America’s unparalleled success. This ingenious system of self-government, designed by the American Founders, has worked incredibly well to help millions of citizens live and work with dignity, peace, and happiness. This formula consists of four key historical characteristics or themes:
- Freedom – The most important characteristic of America is freedom. The early Americans and Founders of our nation believed that their freedom came not from their position in society–most were commoners–or from any man, ruler, or government. Rather, it came from a Creator who endows all human beings, by virtue of their humanity, with unalienable or unremovable rights including life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Armed with this belief that their freedom was a gift from God–not a privilege that could be granted or taken away by a man–the early American patriots sought national independence over subjection to England. They committed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to this cause. In this sense, American historically has been a God-loving nation. Though citizens are free to believe in or not believe in God, the American philosophy is based on the idea that God is the source of man’s rights and freedoms.
- Unity – The second most important characteristic of America is unity. After gaining their independence during the American Revolution, America’s original thirteen colonies formed a new nation together. The diverse colonies and citizens found it very difficult to agree on how to govern themselves in this new nation. Yet, despite their differences, they united under a Constitution that affirmed the ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence. This unity is expressed in the opening words of the Constitution: “We the People…” It is also expressed the United States’ national motto, “E Pluribus Unum” or “From Many, One,” adopted in 1776. Though Americans have always been diverse and appreciative of their diversity, the early Americans’ emphasis on unity strengthened their nation and held it together. An unbalanced emphasis on diversity, as often stressed in education today, often neglects the necessity of unity among the American people and weakens national identity. A 2008 study by the Bradley Foundation called E Pluribus Unum observes that “America is enriched by diversity. It is preserved by unity. Today, the opposite idea seems to be taking hold–every group is encouraged to retain its separate identity…and too often, students…are taught more about America’s failings than its successes.” See www.bradleyfdn.org.
- Progress – The third most important characteristic of America is progress. After America achieved freedom and unified itself under the principles of the Declaration of Independence which were then codified in the U. S. Constitution, the result was unequaled socio-economic progress throughout all America. America’s socio-economic advances in the areas of science, engineering, inventions, healthcare, communications, transportation, goods and services, and more are unparalleled in history. Progress benefits not only America but countries worldwide. Several factors determine a country’s rate of economic progress: freedom, capital investment, energy, and education. These factors increase productivity, output of goods and services, and living standards. Without them, progress is adversely impacted.a. Freedom – Freedom unleashes human ingenuity and creativity to find new, better ways to improve socio-economic living standards for human beings. In fact, the combining of freedom and unity in America has resulted in unprecedented socio-economic growth benefitting more people than ever before. Freedom is maintained through minimal intrusion of government.
b. Capital Investment – A reasonable, sensible business climate encourages people and investors to take risks and invest, increasing productivity. Capital investment is maintained through a modest, reasonable tax structure.
c. Energy – Once Freedom and Capital Investment create new, improved products and services, abundant and affordable sources of energy are needed to power these advances. Energy is necessary to provide increased productivity and better living conditions.
d. Education– An educated and skilled workforce is needed to operate and maintain new advances, products and services. Education is necessary to sustain our economy and quality of life.
What do Americans do with their unparalleled prosperity from Progress? Americans help their fellow man in this nation and worldwide with acts of generosity and volunteer initiatives. An astonishing 46-48% of Americans donate and/or volunteer to support various causes and to help others less fortunate in America and around the world. This level of voluntary giving is unprecedented in world history, far exceeding that of any other country in history. This characteristic to help one’s fellow man comes from the American Bible-based view of love or charity and of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.
- Responsibility – The fourth most important characteristic of the United States is Responsibility. In a Constitutional Republic such as the United States, the people hold a lot of responsibility to govern the nation. Citizens have the moral responsibility to be civilly educated and involved, elect moral leaders, create just laws, seek the common good, and practice restrained government. As such, the Founders repeatedly emphasized that this republic requires virtuous citizens in order to function successfully. Further, they believed that good religion is the most effective way for people to gain virtue. For this reason, they greatly valued and encouraged virtuous religion in a free republic. Founder John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Despite America’s great achievements, many schools, colleges, and universities routinely criticize the American system and way of life as being irredeemably flawed. While understanding America’s imperfections is important for improvement, students and citizens must also learn to appreciate America’s successes and contributions. FUPR™, America’s formula for success, when combined with its love for fellow man, reflects America’s great Judeo-Christian heritage. Each generation must learn anew this heritage in order to appreciate and maintain it for future generations. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “If a nation expects to remain ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
FUPR: The Formula for the American Experiment (PDF)
Historic & Contemporary Quotes on American Principles (PDF)
FUPR ™ is SUPR™!