American citizenship for everyone is the result of centuries of struggle.
Particular responsibilities to each other and to the nation—such as voting, paying taxes, and other civic duties—are a part of social citizenship. The government protects the rights of citizens to equality in participating in these activities. Contributing to the common good is not a legal requirement of citizenship but it has often been a social criteria for determining who deserves rights and protections. In other ways, citizenship is about what an individual needs in order to belong—such things as an income, family and friends, and certain personal freedoms.
Under the Constitution, Americans have certain inalienable rights. At various times, groups have felt compelled to create their own Bill of Rights, laying out both grievances and expectations.
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