America, which survived a gory civil war among political and geographical factions, has become so far one of history's few exceptions. The ultimate rationale of America's unique Constitution led Americans eventually to define themselves by their shared values, not by their inconsequential appearances. Eventually, most who were willing to give up their prior identities and assume a new American persona were accepted as Americans. The United States has always cherished its universally applicable melting-pot ethos of e pluribus unum—of blending diverse peoples into one through assimilation, integration, and inter-marriage in the manner that diverse colonies united to become one nation.
-Victor Davis Hanson: The Dying Citizen