About United States Essay Research Paper United — страница 3

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fauna but sparsely populated. In reality, they found their way to a landmass that was thickly settled. But soon after the Europeans’ arrival, the population of the Americas plummeted, largely because Native Americans lacked immunity to smallpox, influenza, and other infectious diseases that the Europeans brought with them. Europeans mostly by choice and Africans almost entirely by coercion came to the western hemisphere. However, the number of people living in what is today the continental United States did not regain the population level before European contact (estimated to be 8 million to 10 million indigenous people) until the 1840s. How did the population of the United States grow to today’s 270 million the third largest in the world? The article United States (People)

traces this growth. It is closely connected with the first theme of E pluribus unum and the second theme of striving for greater democracy. The article details the diversity of the U.S. population as it grew from natural increase and from immigration. More than that of any other country in the world, the population of the United States has increased through repeated waves of immigration. Immigration gives the United States its distinctive character, and each wave of immigration changed the ethnic, racial, and religious composition of U.S. society. This diversity provided a rich mingling of cultures, but it has also been a source of tension and conflict, clouding the American promise of equality, freedom, and justice, and impeding the pursuit of E pluribus unum. The article also

shows how the population of the United States has changed. The fertility rate, for example, has fallen steadily over the past two centuries. In the colonial era, the average American woman gave birth to eight children; in the 1990s, she had two children. This profound revolution in the biological history of the nation connects with another major change in U.S. society women working outside the home. The connection between changing birthrates and the shifting composition of the labor force is very powerful. Or consider life expectancy. People live much longer than they did in the early years of the United States, raising questions about how to maintain the social security system and provide care for the elderly. This is just one example of how the people, the economy, and the

government are bound together. United States Culture The American people, like all peoples, create a culture a word that used most broadly includes everything related to a people organized in a society. The United States (Culture) article discusses how Americans live the communities they build, the buildings they construct, the food they eat, the clothes they wear, their sports and recreation, celebrations, and holidays. The article then turns to the life of the mind and the spirit education in the United States and American arts and letters. American culture has been influenced by the goal of E pluribus unum and by the democratization of American society. The people who came to the United States brought their culture with them and once here, they borrowed from each other. As the

United States became the favored destination of people leaving their homelands in search of a new country, American culture became a rich and complex blending of cultures from around the world. Generation by generation, decade by decade, American culture has received infusions of new elements from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. African Americans, for instance, brought forth the improvisational music and rhythms of blues and jazz that became the nation’s most globally popular cultural form. An American can savor the flavors and foods of many parts of the world and can hardly read a novel that does not partake of regional culture or immigrant backgrounds. Democracy has also influenced American culture, as indicated by the gradual merging of elite and popular cultures.

Nowhere has this merging had greater importance than in education. Before World War II, only a minority of Americans completed high school, and very few graduated from college. Today, graduation from high school is nearly universal, and a majority of young Americans intend to go to college. With the dramatic increase in the amount of education they receive, Americans have become enormous consumers of books, museums, and concerts. Never have so many people known so much about literature and the arts. At the end of the 20th century, an elite no longer controls cultural expression in the United States. Artists of various kinds argue that formal boundaries between fine art and popular art have always been artificial, and they have dismantled older, European-based traditions in