The Melting Pot
Is The United States of America the “melting pot” of the world? A melting pot is “a place where races, theories, etc., are mixed.” (The Oxford Dictionary) Many immigrants come to the United States for the same basic reason: A better way of life.
These same immigrants envision their dreams of success, freedom and happiness coming true. Without different cultures coming together learning from one another, many of today’s modern marvels would not exist.
A good example of this is Marco Polo finding the different wonders like Gunpowder and exotic spices from his expeditions. Without the blending and discovers of the great people that came before us our world would not be as it is now especially America. Immigrants brings part of their homeland’s culture with them which, in time melts into other cultures. The basis of the U. S. was built on diversity, and is supported by statistic such as “Ten percent of America’s 281 million residents were born in other countries. (Swerdlow 12) Our country was founded and established under the principle that one man being different is yet equal by the same right. All of these cultures coming together are unique in their own ways but yet compatible. Many immigrants have enhanced the United States by their contributions as educators, authors, scientists, politicians. Alexander Graham Bell, scientist; Albert Einstein, scientist; and James Baldwin, author are examples, to name a few.
It was not uncommon in the early 1900’s to find Ethnic individuals living all together in a community in some of the large metropolitan cities of the nation, but now while visiting any city in America you can often find dozens of different sets of people all living together in a community which allows individuals of our era tosee many different backgrounds, cultures, races, or people that may be the same as yourself or entirely different. I look at my own home as a result of the melting pot theory.
My husband is Puerto Rican/Italian and I am German/English, and we both brought a lot of differences to the home from our cultures and beliefs. If we move on to the children we have with each other, but there are also blends of African American, and Jamaican. Having Stepchildren I find that through the social interaction of all the children in my home there is an ever evolving melting pot affect here due to the children learning from both sets of parents and then bring this lessons, ideas, and cultural information back and share it with the other children.
Also, in our schools we have a multicultural mix of educators and students. During my time at Harrisburg Area Community College, I have met people from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Germany and Africa all here blending their heritage into our own. It was not so long ago in our nation’s history that there was a time where this evidence of the melting pot theory did not exist, and a good example with segregated schools. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson, signed the Civil Rights Act which, one part of this comprehensive bill, allowed the integration of races in American schools.
It was one of the largest changes in this nation’s history that brought two different cultures and ideas into the living room of all homes in the nation which contributed largely to the melting pot theory in America. We all have a common bond; we all want to educate ourselves to attain careers in which we can better sustain our families and ourselves. Part of this endeavor is the American dream to be successful. I have also been privileged to have Amish friends. They are of German decent and are not much different from us, what they call “English” people.
This can be an example of the melting pot theory, because the Amish have a completely different set of values and lifestyle. They have yet to introduce their lifestyle on the “English” people here in Lancaster County, but the citizens of Lancaster County have greatly impacted their way of life. They conform to the modern world just like other cultures, and while conforming they have adapted to the use of common items of convenience such as cell phones, and electricity in their barns or homes.
There is even Order of the Amish that live the same as you, and only dress in Amish attire for Church making this order the most prominent example of the Amish falling in the melting pot. They work hard to attain there goals, to be productive people and have freedom of religion. Isn’t this part of the American dream also? We are all in the “melting pot” because we are all blended with our family’s ancestry, ideas, beliefs, and cultures.
Throughout the history of the world many nations have risen and fallen. All great nations such as Julius Cesar’s Roman Empire, Alexander’s Greek Empire, Genghis Kahn Asian Empire were all notorious for conquering the other nations of their time. With this in mind it is obviously assumed that all of these nations had one thing in common regardless of how they were founded, and that is they all had new culture and belief’s come into their nation which in turn blended into their own ideologies.
In every aspect of our society in the United States we are not so different from past great nations, and becoming a melting pot was destined to happen. All the cultures, and the beliefs of all the citizens have been melted together to form new variants of the original cultures. This melting effect had affected our way life from education to careers to home. No matter if you are first generation Immigrant or a naturalized citizen of this nation we all share the dream of success.