The Many Ways to Be a Good Citizen

From the Revolutionary Era to Today, "Doing Your Part” Has Meant Different Things for Different Americans

The Constitution tells us what makes a citizen of the United States, legally speaking. But over the decades, American citizenship—and the ingredients that make a good citizen in a modern Republic—has been a subject of debate. Voting and serving in the armed forces are part of the equation to be sure. But for some women, minorities, and others, who haven’t always been allowed to participate in elections or to fight, good citizenship has meant engaging in protest and agitating for the privilege of full participation in civic life. For …

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Richard Nixon Considered Optimism His Patriotic Duty

The Naturally Gloomy President Thought It More American to Be 'Joyful’ and ‘Serene’

Richard Nixon saw himself as a true patriot, and he considered it his patriotic duty to strive to overcome his darker impulses and moods to exude an upbeat, optimistic outlook—an …