Talk to any American bout what is “American culture” and you’ll get a different response every time. Perhaps the most common response is “is there really ONE American culture?” Another response might even be ”is there really an American culture at all?”
The region one lives in – Eastern, Western, Deep South, or Midwestern, seem to have unique political and cultural qualities more or less melded into an overall “American culture”, so it’s , often s hard to pin down what exactly the American culture is — there seems to be so many of them, and they often appear to be in conflict with each other.
The term we use today is “multiculturalism”. Wikipedia defines it as “… the cultural diversity of communities within a given society and the policies that promote this diversity. As a descriptive term, multiculturalism is the simple fact of “cultural diversity. “
Why the USA has so many “cultures” is because of its history. The United States started as 13 primarily English, or English speaking colonies that shared one cultural heritage. But as it grew and expanded, it began to incorporate other cultures: Spanish, German, European, and eventually freed African slaves and “Native American” culture – the term itself reflects the effort to meld many diverse cultures into one overall culture.
All became “American”; but still their own heritage and cultures remained, melded into the American “melting pot”, and our political and social actions are influenced by that “mix”.
The American States are unique entities: semi-independent cultural “havens” that have enormous impact on American society nationwide. It’s the States that are primarily responsible for American “multiculturalism”, as well as the tensions that multiculturalism produces culturally and politically.
Both the social benefits and the conflicts American’s have faced are the result of that multiculturalism. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.