Individualism in American History

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The Struggle to Be Unique Do you stand alone as a unique and special individual? Since the beginning of American history there have been struggles for individualism. The American Revolution, the American Civil War, and the separation from family life are all examples of individualism in American history. Individualism is an American paradigm designed by the modern societal structure that is an altered idea of the foundation by immigrants. In today’s society the struggle for individualism is more personal and represents how American values have shifted since the beginning of American history. Individualism in today’s society is the “belief that each person is unique, special, and a ‘basic unit of nature’.” The individualism concept puts an “emphasis on individual initiative” where people act independently of others and use self-motivation to prosper. The individualists “value privacy” over community the individual thrives to move ahead in life (U S Values). Today’s idea of individualism was derived from the progressive idea that separating from a one’s home country to a new country would make life better. Economic and religious reasons sparked the push for colonization in the New World. Decades after Columbus’ discovery of America in 1492, people finally began moving to the New World. In 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh founded the Roanoke colony, the first colony in the New World, which, as documented in history, “disappeared without a trace” (American Colonies). During the colonization of America, individualism was the main push for starting new colonies. After the discovery of “the New World,” new colonies were started for many different religious purposes. The Plymouth colony was founded in 1620 as a way to get “[r]eligious freedom fo... ... middle of paper ... to financial stability. As the economy has begun to improve, more people are able to leave their parents’ house and create their own life as individuals. Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to become individuals and stand out as unique beings. During the foundation of the colonies, individuals were focused on preserving their religious beliefs. As slavery became more predominant, the Civil War era fought to give black people their identity back. In the 1800s and 1900s, the individual initiative shifted from giving a group of people identity to individuals fighting for their own personal beliefs. In today’s society, individualism has been diminished by the collapse of the economy, forcing people to live with their parents for longer periods of time. As the economy continues to grow again individualism is making strides in a positive direction.

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