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What is an American? The American of today would disagree with Crevecoeur's definition of an American because he suggests that money and fortune comes easy for anyone living in America, but everyone knows it's not true. In "Letters from and American Farmer", Jean de Crevecoeur suggests that America is a country with absolute equality. He expresses this, in the paragraph "It is not composed, as in Europe of great lords who possess everything, and a herd of people who have nothing." This statement is not true. In modern day America, there are many "great lords" who do possess everything they want. These "great lords" are the owners of great and successful companies like Bill Gates of Microsoft or Vince Hoffman of Lockheed Martin, and through their power and money they can obtain almost everything they want whether it is business related or personal. At the same time, the absence of the "herd of people who have nothing" from America is also not true. There are thousands of people who have to live on the streets in America. They have to struggle to find food from day to day, and that is an everyday fact, which we hear in the media. In his article, Crevecoeur also suggests that "Here, individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world." We surely can't deny the diversity of the American society, however there can be doubt about the fact that Americans' "labor and posterity" will one day cause major changes in the world. Since knowledge means power and power gives you the ability to change or create new things, it can be deducted that in order to create a great change in the world (as Crevecoeur suggests), the majority of America's population needs to have basic general knowledge. However it has been proven through large scale experiments that the overall knowledge level of the majority of Americans is below average, when compared to many other countries. For example, according to the findings drawn from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), eighth grade mathematics classes in the U.S. are not as advanced and not as focused as those in Japan and Germany. Also topics taught in U.S. eighth grade mathematics classrooms are at a seventh grade level by international standards. The TIMSS results place America's students on a below average scale of knowledge. Therefore, by looking at the facts, knowledge is necessary in order to make a great change or be successful in whatever you do. But since the overall standard of American students is below average, it is hard to believe that Americans will make any substantial changes in the near future. Jean de Crevecoeur also makes an interesting point when he writes that Americans can work without worrying that any part of their labor will be taken away by "a despotic prince ... or a mighty lord." Yes it is an interesting point, and from a pilgrim's point of view it could be right. However a modern day American, as we well know, is burdened by taxes on everything, from things he buys at the superstore to the salary he gets at the end of the month. And since taxes are a method of taking away part of one's labor, Crevecoeur's fact is obviously not true, as long as the "state" that collects the tax

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