Section 1: Introduction

The Statue of Liberty

Figure 1. The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of free people all over the world. The statue was a gift from France. The Statue of Liberty stands in New York Harbor. It was dedicated in 1886. (National Park Service)

A nation is a large group of people in an area who are organized under one government. A government is the group of people who makes rules for the nation. Members of a nation are called citizens.

In order to be a citizen of North Dakota, one must first be a citizen of the United States. U.S. citizenship may be obtained in one of two ways—either as a natural citizen or a naturalized citizen.

Any person born in the United States is a natural citizen. Someone born in another country is also a natural citizen of the United States if his or her parents are both U.S. citizens.

A naturalized citizen is a person who was born in another country but became a citizen after moving to the United States. Certain requirements must be met in order to become a naturalized citizen. Generally, the individual must be at least 18 years of age; have lived in the United States for at least five years; know simple English; pass a test showing basic knowledge of U.S. history and government; and take an oath promising to give allegiance, or loyalty, to the United States.

Statue of Liberty

inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty by Emma Lazarus

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest‑tossed, to me:

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

(from the New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty)