Brian B French Posted over 1 year ago I need help with a dilemma: What does it mean to be American? And Why does it work? Historically, America has succeeded because it started with a blank canvass, had considerable resources and created significant competitive economic advantages. A blank canvass meant founders could use reasoned self governing strategies in lieu of Monarchs who dominated the World for the previous 1,000 years. The North American continent were virgin lands and seas. Had incredible wealth stored within its natural resources. Add cheap slave labor you had huge economic advantage. Not having enemy armies within 3,000 miles created 200 plus years of social stability for human intellect and creativity to flourish. While imperfect, the rule of law created fairness for a large portion of the population. (or at least better than elsewhere) As you may have noticed many of these competitive advantages have faded. I have never really understood the whole "Freedom and Liberty" virtuous jawboning. As America freedom and liberty has seldom been seriously challenged in the last 230+ years. All that seems to have done is perpetuate constant fear and reckless military spending and meddling around the World. We have military bases in 2/3 of the countries in the World and we still fear for our liberty? CRAZY We killed nearly as many of our own citizens in the Civil War as all other US wars combined.