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Cultural Differences between United States and Italy Essay

All societies provide for certain broad areas of social living. Wissler (2000:99) identified these as universal patterns of culture, such as speech, material traits, art, mythology and scientific knowledge, religious practice, family and social systems, property, government, and war. Even within these broad areas of social living are a number of common elements. Moreover, cultures between countries differ because of the great variety of solutions people in different societies evolve in solving life problems.

Amongst the important factors which give rise to cultural differences are the kind of environment within which the society lives, the human and natural resources available within this environment, the extent and intensity of exposure the society has to other people from which they can borrow ideas, and their cultural heritage. This paper intent to figure out the differences between the United States of America and Italy in terms of history, languages, Ethnical diversity, culture, superstitions and religions. II. Discussion A.

United States of America The United States developed and grew from 13 English colonies on the Atlantic coast into an independent republic that eventually extended to the Pacific, with Alaska and Hawaii among its states. Although the original 13 colonies were British, several other nations took part in the discovery, exploration and settlement of the territory that became the United States. Both France and Spain once controlled more of North America than did Great Britain. Dutch and Swedish colonies existed temporarily on the Atlantic coast.

Thus the beginnings of the United States, like its later development as a nation, involved contributions by people from many lands (see Graff, H. America: the Glorious Republic (2 volumes; Houghton Mifflin, 2001). North America was inhabited by Indians and Eskimos long before the first Europeans arrived. White men came into contact with the Indians from the very beginning, but the Eskimos were not greatly influenced by the white man’s civilization until the 20th century (see Link, A. S. , and others. American Epoch: a History of the United States since 1900, 9th edition (2 volumes: Knopf, 1999).

There are various religions existing in the United States such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Unitarian Universalism and Hinduism while others claimed that they don’t have a religion. Amongst the religions mentioned, Christianity has the greatest number as surveyed in 2001. On the other hand, English is the de facto national language of the United States. Spanish language has also been taught as “non-English second language” (see Boorstin, D. J. and R. F. The Landmark History of the American People, revised edition (2 volumes; Random House, 1999). B. Italy

Italy is a country in the southern Europe. Jutting southward from the Alps into the Mediterranean Sea, Italy consists mainly of a slender boot-shaped peninsula and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Ital is bordered by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Yugoslavia, and the Adriatic, Ionian, Tyrrhenian, and Ligurian seas. It completely encircles two tiny, independent states: San Marino, east of Florence, and Vatican City, in Rome. The name Italy was first used by the Greeks for the southern tip of the peninsula, where they established colonies as early as the eighth century B.

C. Gradually, as the peninsula came under Roman rule, the name was applied to everything south of the Alps (see Coppa, F. J. , editor. Dictionary of Modern Italian History (Greenwood Press, 2000). Italy has contributed greatly to western civilization. For hundreds of years it was the center of the far-flung Roman Empire. It was in Italy that Christianity first flourished in Europe and became powerful force. Rome has long been the seat of the papacy and the world center of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Renaissance, the period of enlightenment that ended medieval times, began in Italy and during this period Italians contributed greatly to the intellectual and artistic development of the Western world. Italy still preserves much of its noble past in its cities, museums, and ruins, attracting more foreign visitors than any other country in the world (see Guicciardini, Francesco. The History of Italy (Princeton University, 1999). The Italians, an Indo-European people, were settled in theItalian peninsula by 1000 B. C. In the eighth century B. C. the Etruscans (or Tyrrhenians), who came probably from Asia Minor, founded Etruria on the west.

To the south was Latium, established by the Latins, an Italian tribe, with Rome as its strongest city. Farther south were Greek colonies (see Guicciardini, Francesco. The History of Italy (Princeton University, 1999). By the middle of the sixth century B. C. the Etruscans dominated central Italy, including Rome. Greeks and Romans cooperated in driving back the Etruscans. Raids by Gauls, who had crossed the Alps and settled in the Po Valley, helped weaken Etruria, and it rapidly declined (see Coppa, F. J. , editor. Dictionary of Modern Italian History (Greenwood Press, 2000).

In the fourth century B. C. the Greeks made several attempts to conquer the Italians, but in the third century the Greek colonies fell to Rome. From that time until the collapse of the Roman Empire, the history of Italy coincides with the history of Rome (see Coppa, F. J. , editor. Dictionary of Modern Italian History (Greenwood Press, 2000). III. Conclusion United States and Italy has many differences in terms of culture and history.

However, these two countries were able to experienced invasion from other countries that tried to colonize them. References: 1. Coppa, F. J. , editor. Dictionary of Modern Italian History (Greenwood Press, 2000). 2. Guicciardini, Francesco. The History of Italy (Princeton University, 1999. 3. Graff, H. America: the Glorious Republic (2 volumes; Houghton Mifflin, 2001. 4. Link, A. S. , and others. American Epoch: a History of the United States since 1900, 9th edition (2 volumes: Knopf, 1999. 5. Boorstin, D. J. and R. F. The Landmark History of the American People, revised edition (2 volumes; Random House, 1999.


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