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Culture of the United States

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**Historical and Cultural Development**:
– European roots of the United States from English and Spanish settlers.
– Contributions of English, German, Scotch-Irish immigrants to American culture.
– Influence of Protestantism and Catholicism on religious outlook.
– Evolution of American culture through Jeffersonian democracy.
– Impact of successive waves of immigration on cultural enrichment.

**Regional Diversity**:
– Distinct cultural regions in the U.S. like New England, Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest, Southwest, etc.
– Unique customs, beliefs, and knowledge from various ethnic groups.
– Influence of history, geography, and migrations on regional cultures.
– Eleven cultural areas identified by Colin Woodward.
– Specific cultures in U.S. regions like New England, Southern U.S., Midwest, Western U.S., and Appalachian culture.

**Cultural Values and Impact**:
– Influence of American Revolution and Enlightenment on cultural values.
– Strong emphasis on liberty, individualism, and limited government.
– Protection of free speech under the First Amendment.
– American culture’s global influence as a cultural superpower.
– Contributions to music genres and sports like American football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey.

**Language and Cuisine**:
– English as the national language with diverse cultural expressions.
– Presence of over 300 languages in the U.S., including Spanish and Indigenous languages.
– Cuisine diversity influenced by immigrant cuisines and regional preferences.
– Representative American foods like Thanksgiving dinner, New England chowder, and Southern fried chicken.
– Fast food industry’s dominance and impact on American eating habits.

**Social Structures and Practices**:
– Family structures reflecting contemporary society with diverse arrangements.
– Impact of changing roles of women and increased divorce rates on families.
– Trends in youth dependence and housing patterns in the U.S.
– American attitudes towards volunteerism and community service.
– Evolution of American attitudes towards drugs and alcohol, including trends in legalization and usage statistics.

The culture of the United States of America, also referred to as American culture, encompasses various social behaviors, institutions, and norms in the United States, including forms of speech, literature, music, visual arts, performing arts, food, sports, religion, law, technology as well as other customs, beliefs, and forms of knowledge. American culture has been shaped by the history of the United States, its geography, and various internal and external forces and migrations.

Its Western foundations are primarily English-influenced, with prominent German, Italian, Spanish, Asian, African, Polish, Jewish, Indigenous, French, and Scandinavian regional influences. Since the United States was established in 1776, its culture has been influenced by successive waves of immigrants, and the resulting "melting pot" of cultures has been a distinguishing feature of its society. Americans pioneered or made great strides in musical genres such as heavy metal, rhythm and blues, jazz, gospel, country, hip hop, and rock 'n' roll. The "big four sports" are American football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey. In terms of religion, the vast majority of Americans are Protestant, Catholic, or irreligious. American cuisine includes popular tastes such as hot dogs, milkshakes, and barbecue, as well as many other class and regional preferences. The national language is English. Distinct cultural regions include New England, Mid-Atlantic, the South, Midwest, Southwest, Mountain West, and Pacific Northwest.

Politically, the country takes its values from the American Revolution and American Enlightenment, with an emphasis on liberty, individualism, and limited government, as well as the Bill of Rights and Reconstruction Amendments. Under the First Amendment, the United States has the strongest protections of free speech of any country. American popular opinion is also the most supportive of free expression and the right to use the Internet. The large majority of the United States has a legal system that is based upon English common law. According to the Inglehart–Welzel cultural map, it leans greatly towards "self-expression values", while also uniquely blending aspects of "secular-rational" (with a strong emphasis on human rights, the individual, and anti-authoritarianism) and "traditional" (with high fertility rates, religiosity, and patriotism) values together. Its culture can vary by factors such as region, race and ethnicity, age, religion, socio-economic status, or population density, among others. Different aspects of American culture can be thought of as low culture or high culture, or belonging to any of a variety of subcultures. The United States exerts major cultural influence on a global scale and is considered a cultural superpower.

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