United States citizenship brings with it certain duties and responsibilities. Duties are things we must do because they are required by law. Americans have four basic duties:
- Obey the law
- Pay taxes
- Service on juries
- Defend the nation
Our responsibilities are not demanded by law. Responsibilities are things we should do to safeguard our rights and freedoms.
Perhaps your most important responsibility as a citizen will be to vote when you reach the age of 18. Each Election Day, citizens have a change to shape the future of our communities, states, and the nation by voting. Thoughtful voters study the candidates and issues before heading to the polls.
Another voluntary responsibility of citizens is to show concern for others. They are willing to give time, effort, and even sometimes money to improve community life for all. Members of a community must be actively concerned with promoting the health and welfare of others so that everyone can contribute to the common good, or the things that benefit all members of the community.
Follow the links below to explore the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, as well as read articles about citizenship and community service.