In order to understand American culture, one must have knowledge of the history of our country. America is traditionally a country of immigrants. Very few people today have ancestors who were natives in this land. Even our founding fathers fled to America
many because of religious persecution, and a few who were just looking to start a new life on the exciting untouched frontier. During the hundreds of years to come, America was seen as a land of opportunity, and people from all over the world moved there; some in large groups, and some all by themselves. This history of immigration to America has greatly shaped our culture. Instead of having one basic set of customs and beliefs, our country has so many that there are no dominant viewpoints. We are like a melting pot in some ways, and a tossed salad in other ways. Each immigrant brings some of his homeland's culture with him, and some parts of his culture will melt with others, and some will stay intact (like all of the different pieces of a salad). I think this is why the French and English responses to individualism were different. In America an individualist is not afraid to have his own culture, and not mold himself to Pop culture which is a big factor on the lives of young Americans.
As I mentioned before, immigrants saw America as a land of opportunity, and in America we still hold onto the belief that no matter how poor a person is, they can always work to a higher position in life. It doesn't matter who you are, it only matters that you work hard, persistently, and efficiently. Efficiency is another important value to Americans, who have recently become obsessed with speed. We are a very fast paced culture who loves to have plenty of fast-food stores, quick internet shopping available and instant messenger.
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