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Culture of the United States


The culture of the United States of America is a Western culture, having been originally influenced by European cultures. It has been developing since long before the United States became a country with its own unique social and cultural characteristics such as dialect, music, arts, social habits, cuisine, and folklore. Today the United States of America is an ethnically and racially diverse country as result of large-scale immigration from many different countries throughout its history.


Its chief early influences came from English and Irish settlers of colonial [url=]America[/url]. British culture, due to colonial ties with Britain that spread the English language, legal system and other cultural inheritances, had a formative influence. Other important influences came from other parts of western Europe, especially Germany, France, and Italy.

Original elements also play a strong role, such as the invention of Jeffersonian Democracy. Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia was perhaps the first influential domestic cultural critique by an American and a reactionary piece to the prevailing European consensus that[url=] America[/url]'s domestic originality was degenerate. Prevalent ideas and ideals which evolved domestically such as national holidays, uniquely American sports, military tradition, and innovations in the arts and entertainment give a strong sense of national pride among the population as a whole.

American culture includes both conservative and liberal elements, military and scientific competitiveness, political structures, risk taking and free expression, materialist and moral elements. Despite certain consistent ideological principles (e.g. individualism, egalitarianism, and faith in freedom and democracy), American culture has a variety of expressions due to its geographical scale and demographic diversity. The flexibility of U.S. culture and its highly symbolic nature lead some researchers to categorize American culture as a mythic identity; others see it as American exceptionalism.

It also includes elements which evolved from Native Americans, and other ethnic subcultures; most prominently the culture of African American and different cultures from Latin America. Many cultural elements, especially popular culture have been exported across the globe through modern mass media.

The [url=]United States[/url] has often been thought of as a melting pot, but recent developments tend towards cultural diversity, pluralism and the image of a salad bowl rather than a melting pot. Due to the extent of American culture there are many integrated but unique social subcultures within the United States. The cultural affiliations an individual in the United States may have commonly depend on social class, political orientation and a multitude of demographic characteristics such as religious background, occupation and ethnic group membership.

Cultural features of the United States

Death is a taboo. Youth is worshipped. - Energy; dynamism, good health
Patriotism - the community feeling - America is also the land of affluence. - Capitalism and money


The Puritan heritage: a deep interest in religious matters and the Bible - Individualism - Hard work, (the work ethic) - Guilt feeling - A sense of duty - America as a utopia


Features or attitudes inherited from the frontier

Hard work, dynamism, energy - Mobility, restlessness - Optimism, the belief in an infinite series of second chances, equality of opportunities: in frontier times, natural resources seemed to be inexhaustible. America the land of plenty, abundance, affluence. Ingenuity, know-how, can-do spirit, initiative. - Belief in progress. - Democracy - Individualism - Enterprise - Violence


The American Dream

To raise oneself to the top by hard work and ingenuity, from rags to riches. Individual success - competition with others.


Belief in Social Darwinism

The struggle for life, the survival of the fittest, competition with others


Other trends

The pursuit of happiness - Free enterprise - Pragmatism - American genius for devising and employing machines - A car dependent suburban lifestyle

Comfort and cleanliness: concern with and emphasis on material things; material welfare; physical comfort and material well being…


Ethnicity: Assimilation - integration - acculturation - mainstream America - Afrocentrism - Eurocentrism - ethnicity - separatism - multiculturalism - …