What Are the Obligations of an American Citizen?

Kevin Bond/CC-BY 2.0

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services lists several responsibilities that American citizens are expected to embrace, including the legal obligations to obey all state, federal and local laws and pay federal, state and local taxes both on time and fully. Citizens should also serve on a jury when legally called upon to do so.

Along with the legal obligations of citizenship comes a variety of expectations for all citizens. A citizen should support and defend the Constitution of the United States, even to the extent of physically defending the country itself if necessary. A citizen is also expected to participate in the democratic process, which includes keeping up with local and national issues that may affect the citizen or the community in which the individual resides. Citizens of the United States are also called upon to respect the rights of others in their communities, along with differing beliefs and opinions. A final responsibility put forth by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is to take part in the local community.

With the responsibilities of citizen also comes certain rights. These rights include the right to free expression and worship, the right to vote in elections as well as to run for elected office and the right to a speedy trial.