Culture of the United States

American culture includes both conservative and liberal elements, scientific and religious competitiveness, political structures, risk taking and free expression, materialist and moral elements. Despite certain consistent ideological principles (e.g. individualism, egalitarianism, and faith in freedom and democracy), American culture has a variety of expressions due to its geographical scale and demographic diversity. The flexibility of U.S. culture and its highly symbolic nature lead some researchers to categorize American culture as a mythic identity; others see it as American exceptionalism.
According to Fischer, the foundation of American culture was formed from four mass migrations from four different regions of the British Isles by four distinct socio-religious groups. New England's earliest settlement period occurred between 1629 and 1640 when Puritans, mostly from East Anglia in England, settled there, forming the New England regional culture. The next mass migration was of southern English cavaliers and their working class English domestic servants to the Chesapeake Bay region between 1640 and 1675. This facilitated the development of the Southern American culture.
Architecture in the United States is regionally diverse and has been shaped by many external forces, not only English. U.S. architecture can therefore be said to be eclectic, something unsurprising in such a multicultural society. In the absence of a single large-scale architectural influence from indigenous peoples such as those in Mexico or Peru, generations of designers have incorporated influences from around the world. Currently, the overriding theme of American Architecture is modernity, as manifest in the skyscrapers of the 20th century, with domestic and residential architecture greatly varying according to local tastes and climate.
Later groups also brought new ideas that were completely unknown in aristocratic courts of Europe, Irish immigrants brought with them their Irish step dancing which required lots of hopping and tapping of the feet, Eastern Europeans brought the polka, and Spanish speakers from the Caribbean brought dances that required much closer contact and twirling of the female with shaking of the hips. In time, this would give birth to dances like the jitterbug, tap dance, the Charleston, and rumba.
Education in the United States is and has historically been provided mainly by government. Control and funding come from three levels: federal, state, and local. School attendance is mandatory and nearly universal at the elementary and high school levels (often known outside the United States as the primary and secondary levels).