Introduction About American's Culture

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TOPIC: American values at the crossroads: the United State in 21st century

OUTLINE

I. Overview of traditional American values and beliefs

I.1- Individual freedom and self- reliance

I.2- Equality of opportunity and competition

I.3- Material wealth and hard working

II. American values at the crossroads: the United State in 21st century

II.1- factors that affect American history

II.2- 20th century challenges to American values

II.3- The war in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal

II.3.1- The war in Vietnam

II.3.1.1- Consequences of the war in Vietnam

II.3.1.2- The Attitude toward the war of Vietnam and United State

II.3.2- The Watergate scandal

II.4- The need for new national values

II.4.1- The conservation of natural resources

II.4.2- National cooperation

II.5- the United State: the first universal nation?

III. Comparisons with Vietnam

CONTENTS:

I. Overview of traditional American values and beliefs

I.1- Individual freedom and self-reliance

It is expressed that the desire and right of all individuals to control their own destiny without outside interference ( government, ruling noble class, the church,…)

Self-reliance is rooted in the belief that everybody should stand on their own feet. Relying on someone or any organization or charity means losing one’s independence

I.2- Equality of opportunity and competition

Equality of opportunity means that everyone has equal chance to enter the race for success. It is rooted in early immigrant’s belief that everyone has a chance to succeed in America and many proved their dreams were fulfilled

Competition makes Americans are urged to match their energy, intelligence and creativity with their neighbors. They honor winners but despise losers

I.3- Material wealth and hard work

Material wealth is the indicator of one’s social status in society. Material wealth is different from materialism. For Americans, material wealth has a religious value rooted in Puritanism viewing material success as God’s love. So to succeed is the life goal of most Americans

Americans have paid a price for their material wealth: hard work. The North American continent was rich in natural resources, only by hard work could these natural resources to be converted into material possessions, allowing a more comfortable standard of living. Hard working has been both necessary and rewarding for most Americans through their history.

II. American values at the crossroads: the United State in the 21st century

II.1- Factors that affect American history
There are several factors that affect American history.
First, the United States has always had a racially and ethnically diverse population. Sometimes these people get along well together and sometimes they do not. At times there has been great suspicion and even hatred between people of different races and national origins. But even in the darkest times, there have always been individuals who held up the ideals stated in the Declaration of Independence: “ We hold the truth to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain undeniable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Government are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” Second, although Americans have traditionally had a strong distrust of their government, they have also had a strong faith in its design. Over a period of more than 200 years, they have amended the United States constitution only 26 times. The first 10 amendments, the Bill of Rights, were added two years after the Constitution itself, and the last amendment was in 1971, lowing the voting age from 21 to 18. The framework of the political system was designed to protect the freedom the individual rights of the...
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