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The U.S. borders both the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans and is bordered by Canada and Mexico. It is the third largest country in the world by area and has a varied topography. The eastern regions consist of hills and low mountains while the central interior is a vast plain (called the Great Plains region) and the west has high rugged mountain ranges (some of which are volcanic in the Pacific Northwest). Alaska also features rugged mountains as well as river valleys. Hawaii's landscape varies but is dominated by volcanic topography.
Like its topography, the climate of the U.S. also varies depending on location. It is considered mostly temperate but is tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the plains west of the Mississippi River and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest.
American culture encompasses the customs and traditions of the United States. "Culture encompasses religion, food, what we wear, how we wear it, our language, marriage, music, what we believe is right or wrong, how we sit at the table, how we greet visitors, how we behave with loved ones, and a million other things," said Cristina De Rossi, an anthropologist at Barnet and Southgate College in London.
In addition to Native Americans who were already living on the continent, the population of the United States was built on immigration from other countries. Despite recent moves to close the U.S. borders to new immigrants and refugees, a new immigrant moves to the United States every 33 seconds, according to the Census Bureau.
Because of this, the United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Nearly every region of the world has influenced American culture, most notably the English who colonized the country beginning in the early 1600s. U.S. culture has also been shaped by the cultures of Native Americans, Latin Americans, Africans and Asians.
The United States is sometimes described as a "melting pot" in which different cultures have contributed their own distinct "flavors" to American culture. Just as cultures from around the world have influenced American culture, today American culture influences the world. The term Western culture often refers broadly to the cultures of the United States and Europe.
The Northeast, South, Midwest, Southeast and Western regions of the United States all have distinct traditions and customs.
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United States of America
United States of America
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