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What are some of the characteristics that you would associate with the American people

and their society? Why?

When talking about the American people and society, everybody is aware of the most important
characteristic, meaning the diversity of people. The American nation is a mixture of different
people from all over the globe.
These people form the pawns of a great nation, whose citizens claim to fulfill the
American dream and to have a distinctive mission in the world, although this characteristic may
illustrate a sort of isolationism (Isolationism refers to America's longstanding reluctance to
become involved in European alliances and wars. Isolationists held the view that America's
perspective on the world was different from that of European societies and that America could
advance the cause of freedom and democracy by means other than war.)
The historical social background with its factors created the modern American society,
forming nowadays three maj or cultures in the USA: the ethnic culture (focused on Native-
American civilizations, European colonial settlement, African-American slavery and immigration
movements), the political-legal culture (centered on individualism, constitutionalism and the
respect for the law) and the economic culture (driven by corporate and individual competition
which encourages profit ant the consumption of goods and services).
From the ethnic point of view, US is a multi-nation. Largely composed of the British,
Europeans and the Native-American communities, Protestant dominant culture, the American
nation promoted new political, social, constitutional and religious institutions who set the
hallmarks of American identity, based on democracy, grass-roots sovereignty, individualism and
the rule of the law. Nowadays, America is the land of many Asian immigrants, and the largest
minority immigrant population is Latino. Therefore we may say that one of the characteristics of
the American society is historically defined by the background of colonial settlement, large-scale
immigration, slavery and Native-American experience and provides the USA with a distinct,
ethnically based identity.
Regrettably, America is also the land of racism and intolerant nativism. This term is
defined by the US History Encyclopedia as the fear of loathing and hostility toward immigrants
or other perceived "aliens," has run through American history ever since the European settlement

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of this continent. Though technically it refers to a person's place of birth, nativism is not simply
xenophobia; it may be (and has been) directed toward nativeborn Americans whom nativists view
as "un-American." The targets and the rhetoric of nativism shift over time, making difficult a
single detailed description of it. However, all the disparate forms of nativism include a hostility
toward those perceived as "outsiders," whether ethnic, religious, or political, and an emphasis on
the purported moral, economic, and/or political dangers those people pose to America.
Many Americans believe in minimal government, especially at the federal level, placing
in the central position of their lives the Constitution and the law. Frequently, US politics are
based on local (regional or state) interests than national matters and this reflects the federal nature
of the US government.
The economy of the United States is pointed toward consumerism, by delivering a range
of consumer goods and services demanded by the market. This characteristic also points towards
individualism, a social feature that can also give rise to the exploitation of others. From now on
the social scale is already set because of the competitive nature of American life and influences
the social inequalities and life opportunities.
From the behavioral point of view, American people are divided: some believe in
pragmatism, escape from restraints, change, action, mobility, quest for new experiences, and self-
improvement and on the other hand, many Americans want to achieve stability in their lives and
their institutions.
The idea of describing the American society has been pondered by many in the past.
Some consider an American to simply be anyone that has U.S. Citizenship, but in truth it is much
more than this. A true and idealistic American has many characteristics that distinguish him from
other people around the world. He is prideful in everything he possesses or accomplishes. He
full-heartedly believes in a free-market system. The true American is very hardworking and
competitive in everything he does, but is also respectful of others and their beliefs while keeping
himself informed about important issues and events. These qualities constitute the ideal American
and a model American citizen to others.