Language in the U.S.

Essay by cwilkes822College, UndergraduateA, July 2011

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Language in The United States

Christine J. Wilkes


May 3, 2010

Claudia Barton

Did you know that the United States is just one of the major centers for trade and commerce? There are more the 750 million people in the United States that speak English as their main language or as a second language and alone there are more than 300 languages spoken every day. (Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1990 Table: "Language Spoken at Home and Ability to Speak English for Persons 5 Years and Over."). With so many diverse languages in United States there should be one universal language that all citizens and non-citizens need to learn. Generally, you would think that English would be the choice or the official language! According to the United States Constitution, English is the most spoken language and yet has still not been adopted as the official language.

English has always been an important part to building the language of the Nation, the essence of a nations culture is the language. "Language, in other words, is seen from the start as a potential and cultural unity among the citizens of the new republic" (Source: David Simpson, The Politics of American English, 1776-1850, 30 (1986)

In 1780 John Adams made a proposal to the Continental Congress stating that English be declared the official language. The proposal was deemed by Congress as being a threat to an individuals liberty also undemocratic ( In 1787 when the Constitution of the United States was presented as a legal landmark for the Federal Government on how the country was going to be run, no language was ever mentioned.

A specific language was never adapted and amendments have been introduced...