What Is Freedom?

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People across history cite a better life as their reasoning for immigrating to the United States. In searching for a better life, the idea of freedom is born. For example, the Protestants ran from persecution for their religion. They whole-heartedly believed they would discover a better life filled with freedom in the new world. As history continues through the 19th and 20th centuries, more immigrants from around the world travel to America searching for the sought after freedom. For instance, Irish immigrants dreamed America as the place to escape the potato famine and English Oppression during the mid-1800s (Irish Immigrants in America During the 19th Century).Leading into the early 20th century, waves of Southern and Eastern European immigrants crashed towards the United States (Immigration to the United States). As history progresses to the present, people still dream of freedom, now Mexicans seek it. Everyone hunts freedom, but what is it? In “Becoming American,” Dinesh D’Souza depicts freedom as the ability to “determine [your identity and your fate] for yourself” (D’Souza, p. 345). With this definition, D’Souza establishes his reasoning why America draws in immigrants: not for money, but actually, the choices that the country offers.

Instead of D’Souza’s approach to immigration, many critics believe immigrants travel to America in search of riches. As D’Souza states, “What the immigrant cannot help noticing is that America is a country where the poor live comparatively well” (D’Souza, p. 340). In comparison to third world countries, the people of America are spoiled. The poor do not need to gather water from rivers or die of infection because they lack money to the basic aspects of American society, such as running water...

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... him to break free of the constraints that have held him captive, so that the future becomes a landscape of his own choosing” (D’Souza, p. 345). In America, no longer will an immigrant be forced to live based off where he comes from, but instead who he becomes. This is the true freedom that millions of people, in history and present time, need and would risk everything to find.

Works Cited

D'Souza, Dinesh. "Becoming American." The Blair Reader: Exploring Issues and Ideas. By Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011. 339-45. Print.

"Immigration to the United States." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2011. .

"Irish Immigrants in America during the 19th Century." Kinsella Page. 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2011. .
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