Top 10 of the most bizarre facts about the United States.
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The United States advertises itself as the land of the free and the home of the brave. Aside from that line taken from its national anthem, the history of the US is as rich and colorful as any nation on the planet. Born from revolution in the 18th century, the United States began life as the underdog, facing off against Britain, the most powerful nation in the world. Years of uncertainty and war were followed by the Civil War, the mid-19th century episode that turned Northerner against Southerner – brothers against each other – as the young nation tried to sort out its identity and future. Heading into the 20th century, America was a growing power but, by no means the strongest. Two World Wars and a Cold War later, the US emerged as the most powerful nation on the face of the earth, politically, economically and militarily.
Today, despite the fear mongering and naysayers, the US continues to be, by far, the most powerful militarily in the world. Sure it has a ton of debt but it’s still a financial powerhouse. Its political system is also a gridlocked mess which can’t seem to get anything done anymore – but it’s still better than much of the World’s political system. The United States may not quite be that beacon on the hill that it was throughout the 20th century but it still has a lot to offer. It’s one of the few nations with the political and military reach to help anyone anywhere on earth. It’s also the country many nations look to when they are being threatened in one way or another.
Opinions concerning the United States are divided depending on who you talk to. For those outside the US, you could hear two very different stories about this super power. First, a common view is that the United States and its people are loud, rude, obnoxious, spoiled, obese -and the whole system is decadent. On the other hand, you can find just as many people who will tell you that the US and its citizens are caring, generous, friendly, outgoing and concerned with the welfare of their friends – whether individuals or nations. Of course, everyone has their own opinion based on their own experiences.
Regardless of where you stand, a trip to the United States will present you with a culture that is no doubt different from where you came. From state to state, the people and atmosphere can change quite a bit. That said, there are some things that remain relatively common across the entire country. These are things that are considered very ‘American’ and often associated with that country by visitors, tourists and outsiders. Certain cultural phenomena, whether they be related to food, nationalism, crime, sports or education, seem to stand out and scream “I am American.”
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