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英美文化背景知识

2006-05-09 14:49

  Education in Britain and The US

  In Britain all children have to go to school between the ages of 5 and 16. In the US children must go to school from the age of 6 to between the ages of 14 and 16, depending on the state they live in.

  Subject

  In England and Wales the subjects taught in schools are laid down by the National Curriculum(课程), which was introduced in 1988 and sets out(制定) in detail the subjects that children should study and the levels of achievement they should reach by the ages of 7, 11, 14 and 16, when they are tested. The National Curriculum does not apply in Scotland, where each school decides what subjects it will teach.

  In the US the subjects taught are decided by national and local governments. Whereas British schools usually have prayers(祈祷) and religious(宗教的) instruction, American schools are not allowed to include prayers or to teach particular religious beliefs(信仰).

  Examinations

  At 16 students in England and Wales take GCSE examinations. These examinations are taken by students of all levels of ability in any of a range of subjects and may involve a final examination, an assessment(评价) of work done during the two year course, or both of these things. At 18 some students taken A-level examinations, usually in not more than 3 subjects. It is necessary to have A-levels in order to go to a university or polytechnic(综合技术大学).

  In Scotland students take the SCE examinations. A year later, they can take examinations called HIGHS, after which they can either go straight to a university or spend a further year at school and take the Certificate(证书) of Sixth Year Studies. In Scotland the university system is different to that in England and Wales. Courses usually last four years rather than three and students study a larger number of subjects as part of their degree.

  In the US school examinations are not as important as they are in Britain. Students in High Schools do have exams at the end of their last two years, but these final exams are considered along with the work that the students have done during the school years.

  Social Events and Ceremonies(仪式)

  In American high schools there is a formal ceremony for Graduation (=completion of high school). Students wear a special cap and gown and receive a diploma(文凭) from the head of the school. Students often buy a class ring to ear, and a yearbook, containing pictures of their friends and teachers. There are also special social events at American schools. Sports events are popular, and cheer leaders lead the school in supporting the school team and singing the school song. At the end of their junior year, at age 17 or 18, students held in the evening. The girls wear long evening dresses and the boys wear TUXEDOS.

  In Britain, there are no formal dances or social occasions(场合) associated(和……有关) with school life. Some schools have SPEECH DAY at the end of the school year when prizes are given to the best students and speeches are made by the head teacher and sometimes an invited guest. However, in many British schools students and teachers organize(组织) informal dances for the older students.

  Government in Britain and the US

  Government in Britain

  National government

  The center of government in Britain is PARLIAMENT(国会), which makes all the important laws for the country about crimes and punishment, taxation(犯罪), etc. Parliament is made up of the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the monarch(贵族). The Houses of Parliament are in Westminster in London and sometimes “Westminster” itself is used to mean Parliament.

  The House of commons (or the Commons) is the lower but more powerful of the two Houses. It has 650 elected members, called Members of Parliament or MPs, each representing people in a particular area or constituency. The House of Lords (the Lords) is the higher but less powerful of the two Houses. It has over 1,000 members, none of whom is elected. These members include: people who have titles like Lord or Viscount(子爵) which have been passed down to them on the death of their father (hereditary peers(世袭贵族)); people who are given titles as a reward for their long service in public life, but whose children do not INHERIT(继承) their title (life peers); and some important leaders of the Church of England (Archbishops(大主教) and Bishops(主教)).

  The government brings BILL (=suggested laws) to the House of Commons, which are discussed by MPs. The bills then go to the House of Lords to be discussed. The House of Lords can suggest changes to a bill, but does not have the power to reject it (=refuse permission for it to be passed). When bills come back to the Commons, MPs vote on them and if they are passed they are signed by the monarch and become Acts of Parliament

  At present England, Scotland, Wales, and N Ireland are all governed by Parliament in Westminster. In N Ireland the political parties are different but their MPs still go to the House of Commons. In Scotland there is a lot of discussion about whether Scotland should have some separate or partly separate form of government. The same is true in Wales

  Local government

  Local government is Britain, also known as Councils, can make small laws (bylaws) which only apply in their area, but these are usually about small, local matters. For instance, they may be about fines that will be made for people who park in certain streets.

  Councils are paid for by local taxes and also by an amount of money given to them each year by the national government. Their main job is the organizing and providing of local services, e.g. hospitals, school, libraries, public transport, street-cleaning, etc. They are also responsible for setting the amount of local tax that people must pay and for collecting this tax.

  Local councils(议会) are elected by people within each town, city, or country area. The people who are elected, known as councilors, usually represent one of the national political parties, but are often elected because of their policies on local issues(问题) rather than the national policies of their party.

  Government in the US

  All levels of government in the US (federal(联邦), state, and local) are elected by the people of the country.

  Federal government

  The constitution of the US specifically limits the power of the federal (=national) government mainly to defence(国防), foreign affairs, printing money, controlling trade and relations between the states, and protecting human rights. The federal government is make up of the CONGRESS(国会), the President, and the Supreme Count(最高法院).

  Congress

  Congress, the central law-making body in the US, is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives is the lower but more important of the two houses of Congress. It has 435 members, called Representatives or Congressmen/Congresswomen elected by their state. The member of Representative(代表) for each state depends on the size of the population of the state, with each state having at least one Representative. The Senate is the higher but less powerful of the two houses of Congress. It has 100 members, called Senators(参议院), elected by their state. Each state has two Senators.

  Congress decides whether a BILL (suggested law) becomes law. If the Senate and the House of Representative both agree to a bill, the President is asked to agree.

  The President can veto(=say no to) the bill(议案), but Congress can still make it a law if 2/3 of the members of each house agree to it.

  State government

  State government has the greatest influence in people‘s daily lives. Each state has its own written Constitution(宪法) (set of fixed law), and among the state there are sometimes great differences in law on matters such as property, crime, health, and education. The highest elected official of each state is the Governor. Each state also has one or two elected lawmaking bodies (state Legislature) whose members represent the various parts of the state.

  Local government

  Local government concerns laws made at the town, city or county level. These laws are usually limited to a small area and concern such thing as traffic, where and when alcoholic drinks can be sold, or keeping animals. The highest elected official of a town or city Council.

  Every law at every level of government must be in agreement with(一致) the United States constitution. Any citizen who thinks he or she has not been given their rights under the law may argue their case through all the courts up to the Supreme Court (the final Court of Appeal in the US) if necessary, and any law which is found not in agreement with the constitution (unconstitutional) cannot be kept in force.

  Newspapers in Britain and the US

  Newspapers in Britain

  National and local papers

  In Britain there are 11 national daily newspapers and most people read one of them every day. There are two kinds of newspaper. One is large in size and has many detailed articles about national and international events. These newspapers are called the serious papers or the quality papers. The other kind, called the tabloids is smaller in size, have more pictures, often in colour, and shorter articles, often about less important events or about the private lives of well-know people. Although some people disapprove(反对) of the tabloids(小报), more people buy them than buy the serious newspaper. The Sun, for example, which is a tabloid, is the biggest-selling newspaper in Britain. People who disapprove of the tabloids very strongly sometimes call them the Gutter Press.

  There are daily or weekly newspapers in all parts of Britain which cover local news as well as some national and international stories. Local papers give information about films, concerts, and other things that are happening in the local neighborhood, including, for example, information about local people who have been married or died recently. National papers generally give information about film, concerts and other events happening in London, In Scotland, many people read the Glasgow Herald or the Scotsman and there are Scottish Editions of the tabloids.

  There also many free local newspapers which are delivered to people‘s homes whether they ask for them or not. These contain a lot of advertisements(广告) and also some news.

  Politics

  Most national newspapers in Britain express a political opinion and people choose the newspaper that they read according to their own political beliefs. Most of the newspapers are right-wing. These are the Daily Telegraph(serious newspaper), the Daily express, Daily Mail, Daily Star, the Sun and Today(all tabloids). Of the other serious newspapers, The Times, the oldest newspaper in Britain, did not formerly have one strong political view but it is now more right-wing. The Guardian is slightly left-wing, the Independent is centre and the Financial(金融) with political issues, but reports on business and financial news. The Daily Mirror(tabloid) is left-wing.

  Daily and Sunday newspapers

  Daily newspapers are published on every day of the week except Sunday. Sunday newspapers are larger than daily newspapers, often having 2 or 3 sections. There is also other a magazine, called the colour supplement(增刊). All the Sunday newspapers are national Serious newspapers include the Observer(which is slightly left-wing), the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph and the Independent on Sunday, the Sunday Mirror, the Sunday Express, the News of the World and the Sunday Sport which is considered to lack much serious information.

  Newspapers in The US

  National and local newspapers

  There are more than 1500 daily newspapers in the US. Each one is usually sold only in one part of the country, e.g. in a city, but they cover national and international news. In larger cities there is often more than one newspaper and the different ones express different political opinions. Some newspapers are sold in nearly all parts of the US. E.g. USA today and the National edition of the New York Times. Two other newspapers, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post are know and respected all over the US but cannot be bought everywhere. Other important newspapers are: the Boston Globe, sold in New England, the Chicago Tribune, sold in the Midwest, the Christian Science Monitor and USA Today, both sold nationally, and the Washington Post on the East Coast.

  There are also weekly newspapers in all parts of the US which cover local news, such as what is happening in the local neighborhood(地方). Fewer people read these than read the daily newspapers.

  Daily and Sunday newspapers

  Daily newspapers are published on every day of the week except Sunday. Sunday newspapers are very big, often having several separate parts. They contain many longer articles and a lot of advertisements. Each section deals with a different subject. E.g. national and international news, sport, travel, etc. One section, the classifieds(分类广告) has advertisements for jobs and things for sale. Another section is called the funnies. There is often also a magazine which is in color.

  Alternative newspapers

  In the 1960s a group of newspapers began to appear that were later called in “alternative press”. They expressed extreme(极端的) political opinions, especially left-wing opinion. Many of the newspapers which were part of this movement, such as the Village Voice in New York or the Reader in Chicago, are less extreme today and more widely read.

  Law in Britain and the US

  In both Britain and the US, when a person is accused of a rime it must be shown that they are guilty "beyond reasonable doubt". A person is always innocent(无罪) in the eyes of the law until they have been proved to be guilty by a court they can sometimes ask for permission to APPEAL(上诉) to a higher court in the hope that it will change this decision.

  Criminal law in England and Wales

  When someone is arrested (ARREST) by the police, a MAGISTRATE (=an official who judges cases in some types of courts) decides whether there is enough EVIDENCE(证据) against the person for the case to go to court. If there is enough evidence and the case is a serious one, the person accused(控告) of the crime (called 'the accused(被告)') is sent to a CROWN COURT for a TRIAL with a JUDGE and JURY (=12 members of the public who have to decide if the accused is guilty(有罪的), then the judge decides the SENTENCE(判决) (2) (=punishment). If there is enough evidence against the accused but the crime is not a serious one (for example a traffic offence) then the case is heard in a MAGISTRATES COURT.

  If found guilty in the Crown Court the accused may apply to(请求) the COURT OF APPEAL (Criminal Division) where he or she will be heard by a judge. Sometimes a HIGH COURT judge from the Queen's Bench Division assists in dealing with criminal matters in the Court of Appeal or Crown Court.

  Criminal law in Northern Ireland

  In Northern Ireland, as in England and Wales, someone accused of a crime may be tried in a Magistrates' Court or a Crown Court depending on how serious the crime is. Appeals from the Crown Court are heard in the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.

  Criminal law in Scotland

  Scotland has a separate court system. After a person is arrested by the police, an official called the PROCURATOR FISCAL is in charge of deciding whether there is enough evidence against the accused for a trial. If there is enough evidence and the crime is a very serious one, the accused is sent to the HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY where there is a judge and jury(陪审团) (in Scotland there are 15 people on a jury). If there is enough evidence but the crime is a less serious one, the case is heard in a SHERIFF COURT (The sheriff is a trained lawyer who acts as a judge). Appeals from the Sheriff Court go to the High Court of Justiciary.

  Criminal law in the US

  The US has tow separate court systems. In general terms STATE COURTS are used when someone has done something against the laws of CONSTITUTION of a particular State. FEDERAL COURTS deal with cases to do with the laws and Constitution of the United States as whole. Federal courts also hear cases where the US Government is one of the sides involved(介入). Cases for crimes which are not serious are likely to be heard in state courts. Serious crimes may be tried in wither state courts of federal courts depending on the situation, for example cases where a crime has taken place in another state are often heard in federal courts.

  After a person has been arrested a magistrate(地方官员), or in some cases a GRAND JURY made up of between 16 and 23 citizens, decides whether they should go to trial. If there is enough evidence for a trial the accused goes to court and has to state whether he/she is guilty or not guilty of the crime. If they say they are not guilty they are sent to trial with a judge and jury (of 16 or 20 citizens) in either a State or COUNTY COURT or, in federal cases, a DISTRICT COURT. If the accused is found guilty they may have the fight to appeal to a higher court, as shown below.

  The final court of appeal in the US federal system and for some cases in the state courts is the US SUPREME COURT. It is made up of a CHIEF JUSTICE and eight ASSOCIATES. The accused does not have the fight to be heard by the Supremes Court, but the Supreme Court decides which cases it will hear.

  Holiday in Britain and the US

  Paid Holiday

  People in the US get 2 weeks a year paid vacation (holiday) form their job. Most British people have four or five weeks paid holiday a year. Americans often complain that tow weeks is not enough holiday, especially when they hear about the longer holidays that Europeans get. In addition, there are 8 days in each country, which are public holidays (the British call Bank Holiday) and many of these fall on a Monday giving people a long weekend. In Britain, so many people drive to another part of the country, especially the coast, on Bank Holiday weekends that there are serious traffic jams, which may stretch(长达) for many miles.

  Popular Holiday Places

  With the US, outdoor vacations are popular, for example at the Grand Canyon or Yosemite or Yellowstone or the national parks or forests. Yong people may go walking or camping in the mountains. Many people have capers or small trailer(拖车) in which to travel, or if they are in a car, they may stay at Motels on the journey Disneyland and Disneyworld are also popular and people can to skiing in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.

  It is also very common to use vacations to visit relatives who may live in states a long distance away. Some children go to summer camp for a holiday during the summer vacation form school, where they do special activities, such as sports or crafts.

  When Americans want a holiday for sun and rest, they usually go to Florida, Hawaii, Mexico or the Caribbean. They may go to Europe for culture, for example, to see art, plays, and places of historic interest.

  In Britain, many people like to go to the seaside for holidays. There are places near the sea, such as Blackpool, Scarborough and Bournemouth, where there is plenty to do even if it rains. In a traditional British seaside holiday, the children can watch a Punch and Judy Show, eat candy floss and rock (=sweet) and make sandcastles, while older people can hire a deckchair to sit on the beach. People also like to go to go the country, especially to walk, in places like Scotland, Wales and the Lake District.

  When the British go abroad they usually want to go somewhere warm. Spain and 'Spanish islands of Majorca and Ibiza are popular as are other places in southern Europe. For skiing, people often go to the Alps.

  Medicine in Britain and American

  Medicine in Britain

  In Britain there is a National Health Service (NHS) which is paid for by taxes and National Insurance(保险), and in general people do not have to pay for medical treatment. Every person is registered with a doctor in their local area, know as general practitioner or GP. This means that their name is on the GP's list, and they may make an appointment to see the doctor or may call the doctor out to visit them if they are ill. People do sometimes have to pay part of the cost of drugs that the doctor prescribes(开处方). GPs are trained in general medicine but are not specialists in any particular subject. If a patient needs to see a specialist doctor, they must first go to their GP and then the GP will make an appointment(预约) for the patient to see a specialist at a hospital or clinic.

  Although everyone in Britain can have free treatment under the National Health Service. It is also possible to have treatment done privately, for which one has to pay, Some people have private health insurance to help them pay for private treatment. Under the NHS, people who need to go to hospital may have to wait for a long time on a waiting list for their treatment. If they pay for the treatment, they will probably get it quickly.

  Anyone who is very ill can call an ambulance(救护车) and get taken to hospital for free urgent medical treatment. Ambulances are a free service in Britain.

  Medicine in the US

  Unlike Britain, the US does not have a national health care service. The government does help pay for some medical care for people who are on low incomes and for old, but most people buy insurance to help pay for medical care. Some people cannot afford insurance but not poor enough to get government help. The cost of medical insurance and the problems of those who can not afford it are an important political subject.

  When people are ill, they usually go first to a general practitioner or internist. Unlike in Britain, however, people sometimes go straight to a specialist, without seeing their general practitioner first. Children are usually taken to a pediatrician (a doctor who is a specialist in the treatment of children). As in Britain, if a patient needs to see a specialist doctor, their general doctor will usually give them the name of one.

  Doctors don not go to people's homes when they are ill. People always make appointments to see the doctor in the doctor's office. In emergencies(急诊), people call for an ambulance. Hospital must treat all emergency patients, even if the patient does not have medical insurance. The government would then help pay for some of the cost of the medical care.

  Social Class in Britain

  British society is considered to be divided into three main groups of classes - the Upper Class, the Middle Class, and the Lower or Working Class. This is known as the Class system and it is important to know something about it if you want to understand British people and society. Most British people grow up with a deep knowledge and understanding of the class system even if they are not very conscious(意识到) of it. Most people know which class they belong to by the way they speak, their clothes, their interests or even the type of food they eat.

  Social class is not only about behavior and attitudes, For example, although many upper class people are rich and may own a lot of land, having a lot of money does not make a person upper class. It is also important to come from a particular kind of family, have friends who are considered suitable, have been to a certain type of private school and speak with the right kind of accent. There are people who are poor but who do not think of themselves as working class because their family background, education, political opinions, etc. are different to those of most working-class people. Many people do not like the class system but it is impossible to pretend that these differences do not exist or that British people do not sometimes form opinions in this way.

  Pubs in Britain

  Pubs are an important part of British life. Even very small villages nearly always have a pub. People especially men, will often go to the pub for a drink in the evening and at weekends. A man will usually go to the same pub, one which is closed by and which is called the local: I'm just nipping down to the local for a print. Women now go to pubs more than they used to, but usually don not like to go to a pub on their own. Children under 16 are not usually allowed into pubs, although some pubs have a children's room or a garden where children can sit.

  Until 1988, pubs were only allowed to be open from 12:00 am to 2:00 pm alcoholic drink can be sold in a public place are called the licensing laws. Even though the law was changed so that alcohol can now be sold all day, many pubs still only pen at lunchtime and in the evening. When it is nearly time for the pub to close, the landlord or landlady shouts "last orders" and then "time".

  Pubs often sell food or snacks as well as drinks. Food that is considered typical pub food is scampi (kind of shellfish) and chips (fried potatoes), pie and chips, chicken and chips, and ploughman's lunch (bread with cheese).

  Pubs have names, e.g. The Angel, The Black Swan, The Crown, The King's Arms, The Red Lion, The White Horse, etc. and people usually refer to the pub by its name: Turn left at the Rose and Crown. There is often a sing outside the pub showing the name with a picture.

  Many pubs have two or more different bars. The public bar is usually plainly furnished and often has a pool table and dartboard. It is the bar usually used by the local people. The saloon bar is comfortable and well-furnished(装修很好的) and is the bar that is usually used by men and woman drinking together

  Sports in Britain and the US

  Football in Britain and America

  Football(soccer AmE) is a very popular sport in Britain, played between August and May (the football season) Many people, esp. men, support a particular team and may go to watch the games that their team plays. Professional football is controlled by two organizations, the Football League and the Football Association (the FA). In England and Wales, there 93 teams in the League, organized into four divisions(区). In Scotland, there are 38 teams in the League, organized into three divisions. Teams play regularly against the other teams in their league or division according to a fixed programme. At the end of the season the team in the Premier League (or the Premier Division in Scotland) with the most points is the League Champion. This competition is called the League Championship.

  The other important competition is the FA Cup, often just called the cup.This is open to all armature football teams that belong to the FA as well as the 93 professional(专业) teams. The teams play against each other in a Knockout competition which starts in August and ends in May. The two teams left in the competition play in the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in London. This is a very important national sporting occasion, watched by millions of people in television.

  Team names usu. include the name of the town or city where the team is based, e.g. Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday, Wolverhamptom Wanderers (Wolves), Dundee United, etc.

  Football(American football BrE) is a very popular sport in the US. Many people, esp. men, support a particular team and watch the game that their team plays. Each team has a name, which usually includes the name of the town or city that the team is associated with, Some examples of names are: New York Jets, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, and Green Bay Packers.

  The season starts in early autumn and ends at the end of January with the Super Bowl, which is the NFL championship game. The two teams that play in the Super Bowl are determined by games within the divisions and conferences. The Super Bowl is only one game and at the end of the game, they have a sudden-death play-off, in which the first team to gain points wins the game. Professional football games are organized in the US in the following way: National Football League are divided into two conferences: One is National Football Conference(国家足协) and the other is American Football Conference. Both of them have 14 teams and three divisions.

  Basket Ball and Base Ball in The U.S

  Basketball is a very popular sport in the US. Many people, esp., men support a particular team and watch the games that their team plays.

  Each team has a name, which usually includes the name of the town or city that the team is associated (有关)with. Some examples of names are: Boston Cetics, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Lakers.

  The plying season runs from autumn to late spring. Teams with each division play against each other, and against teams from the other divisions within the conferences. The best teams from each other (the NBA Championship). The first team to win four of these games is the NBA champion. Professional basketball games are organized in the US in the following way: National Basketball Association (NBA) has two conferences, Eastern conference and Western conference. The Eastern conference has two divisions, Atlantic division with 6 teams and Central division with 7 teams and Western conference has two divisions, Midwest division with 7 teams and Pacific division with 7 teams.

  Baseball is a very popular sport in the US where it is often called the National pastime(消遣). Many people, esp., men support a particular team and watch the games that their team plays.

  Each team has a name, which usually includes the name of the town or city that the team is associated with. Some examples of names are: Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros.

  The two leagues together are know as the major leagues. The plying season runs from late spring to October. The winning team in each league is called the pennant champion. In October, the two pennant champions play against each other in seven games call the world series. The team that wins four games is the champion. Professional baseball games are organized in the US in the following way. There are two leagues, National League with 12 teams and American League with 14 teams. National League has Eastern division and Western division and American League also has Eastern division and Western division.

  Cricket(板球) and Rugby(橄榄球) in Britain

  Cricket is a very popular sport in Britain, played mainly in the summer. Professional cricket is controlled by the MCC(the Marylebone Cricket Club). The main competition is the county championship, in which the 18 county cricket clubs play against one another during the season. Each match takes 3-4 days to complete.

  The other form of cricket is called Limited overs (or one-day) cricket. in which matches are completed in a day. There is a limited-overs championship, played on Sundays. There are also two knockout competitions(淘汰赛), the finals(决赛) of which are played at the Lord's Cricket ground in London.

  International matches are called test matches( or tests) and can takes 5 days to complete. They are played between the following teams: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South African, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies. When England and Australia play test matches against one another, they are said to be playing for the ashes.

  Many people consider cricket to be England's national game and to be typical of a style of behavior thought to be very English which includes above all a sense of honor and fairness. It is traditionally played by men and boys and although there are some women's teams, including a national one, the most important cricket club in England (the MCC) voted in 1991 not to accept women members.

  There are two forms of rugby football played in Britain, rugby union and rugby league. rugby union is played by amateurs (业余爱好者)(they are not paid). There are 15 players on each team. Rugby union is played internationally between many countries including Australia, Fiji, France, south Africa, Argentina, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and New Zealand. In Britain it is played especially in public schools.

  Rugby league is a professional game, played mainly in England and Australia). There are 13 players on each team, and the rules are slightly different from rugby union. It is thought to be a rough, hard game.

  Why American Culture is Unique

  American culture is unique because it is nurtured, formed and developed under certain conditions, which are characteristically(特性)American. The major factors contributing to the making of this new nation and the forming of a new culture are the hard environment, ethnic diversity(多民族) and plural religion, which is quite different from other nations in the world. What is more, these elements are still influencing the American culture.

  1. Rough Environment

  The early immigrants who were English Puritans settled down in northeast part of American. The environment there was very rough but they believed the poor land could purify their mind so they chose the place along the coast. From 1607 to 1892, frontiers were pushed further west. The American frontier consisted of the relatively unsettled regions of the United States, usually found in the western part of the country. The frontiersmen looked for a land of rich resources and a land of promise, opportunity and freedom. Actually they looked for a better life. So individualism, self-reliance, and equality of opportunity have perhaps been the values most closely associated with the frontier heritage(遗产) of American.

  2. Ethnic Diversity

  The population of the United States includes a large variety of ethnic groups coming from many races, nationalities, and religions. People refer to the United States as "melting pot "and the dominant people are British. American is made up of WASP+MM, that is, White, Anglo Saxon, Protestants plus Middle Class and Male. In history, people from different countries in the world rushed to American three times. They brought their own culture to American and later on different cultures were mixed together. Thus the unique American culture is formed, a common cultural life with commonly shared values.

  3. Plural religion

  The fundamental American belief in individual freedom and the right of individuals to practice their own religion is at the center of religious experience in the United States. The great diversity of ethnic backgrounds has produced religious pluralism; almost all of the religions of the world are now practiced in the United States. Christianity(基督教) is the dominant religion in American and Protestant (新教)is predominate(主导). Any individuals are equal before God and they believe they can communicate directly to God so they can share the same idea. Under the protestant, many new ones are formed and different explanations produce different sect of religion. Churches are independent and American religion is no longer religion seculars. The institution permits the practice of religion and the political power is separate form religion. So there are more religions in American than in other countries.

  4. Current influence:

  Nowadays, we can see the continual influence of the three elements in the current American society. American family is typically parents and their unmarried children. Middle-aged and elderly people generally do not live with their married children. Many Americans live in mobile homes whose homes are built with wheels. They can be moved. The people in American have a very strong desire to start a new life in a new place. Quite a number of people change residences(住所) every year. The average American moves fourteen times in his lifetime. The courage to try something new has been an American characteristic. American democracy means majority rule, but it also means protection of minority rights. There are certain freedom which the United States promises to all its citizens and members of minority group cannot be denied these rights by a vote of the majority. Americans also like to be involved in many challenge activities and sports to show their adventurous spirits. All of these are affected by the heritage of the American history.

  From the facts above, we can see American culture is unique which was cultivated, formed and developed by the main three factors, rough environment, ethnic diversity and plural religion and still is affected and determined by them now.

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英语零起点 郭俊霞 30课时 试听 150元/门 购买
综艺乐园 ------ 13课时 试听 100元/门 购买
边玩边学 ------ 10课时 试听 60元/门 购买
情景喜剧 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
欢乐课堂 ------ 35课时 试听 150元/门 购买
基础英语辅导课程
郭俊霞 北京语言大学毕业,专业英语八级,国内某知名中学英语教研组组长,教学标兵……详情>>
郭俊霞:零基础英语网上辅导名师

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