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Citizenship in the United States

Citizenship refers to one’s status as a citizen or, in other words, a member of a political community. Being a citizen of the United States means having a relationship with the state that provides its members with rights and protection and implies duties and responsibilities. Therefore, being an American citizen involves enjoying the country’s resources and privileges, obeying the law, and is committed to the nation’s ideals. In particular, equality, liberty, and freedom are the core values that all Americans must support to build a better society.

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US citizens are guaranteed the freedom of speech and religion. Furthermore, citizenship in the United States provides a person with the right to vote in elections, apply for federal employment that requires American citizenship, and run for elected office (Spiro, 2019). At the same time, citizenship in the United States involves such responsibilities as obeying the law, respecting others’ rights, opinions and beliefs, paying taxes honestly and timely, voting, and serving on a jury (Spiro, 2019). Selective service registration is another duty that requires citizens to defend the country in case of a national emergency.

All American citizens’ rights are protected by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, as well as state and national laws. The US society is based on the principle of individual freedom. Therefore, every citizen can exercise their rights fully as long as they do not interfere with others’ rights.

If some people were barred from exercising their full citizenship rights based on their membership in a social group not of their choosing, it would mean that discrimination and violation of human rights would take place. For instance, particular social groups can be defined by gender, color, kinship, social or economic status, and other characteristics.


Spiro, P. J. (2019). Citizenship: What everyone needs to know. Oxford University Press.

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