Unity: The Second Most Important Characteristic of America

American Heritage Education Foundation 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. The second is UNITY.


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 in 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 America’s 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.”

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