America’s Key Cultural Heritage

America’s Key Cultural Heritage
America has had an important influence on modern global culture thanks to its own unique cultural creations during the last 100 years of its development. Of course, its main contribution is the actual ideological core of the nation. No other country on earth pushes the boundaries of personal freedoms and equality as much as America.

This sense of freedom has directly influenced most of the cultural innovations that have shaped the US as we know it today. From jazz and blues music to the fantasies of Hollywood, without the government-sanctioned freedom to create, little of this could have been possible.

America’s contribution to modern music has been extraordinary, and most of it has come from the African-American community out of the ashes of slavery. Beginning with gospel church singing, music morphed into the genres of jazz and blues before finally ramping up into rock and roll. Essentially, jazz and blues are the foundations upon which all of the world’s modern music is based.

Without Hollywood, one wonders whether the world would have TV shows and movies as we know it. Tethered to the innate American concept of freedom and possibility, Hollywood manufactured dreams for the country to escape into. It single-handedly created the modern movie industry and continues to be the most popular form of entertainment around the globe.

Other creative sectors like fashion and the arts have also flourished in the US. New York City has spawned many of the world’s top fashion designers and clothing labels, as well as cutting edge artists like Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. Of course, Europe also has a rich heritage of art and fashion but America took both these forms and adapted them to the unique sense of freedom and exploration that dominated American underground society in the 1950s through the 1970s.

After WWII, the first group of bohemians emerged in New York City and later San Francisco in response to the ravages of global war. The Beat Generation, as it became known, spawned poets like Allen Ginsburg and writers like Jack Kerouac. These cool literary figures inspired the next wave of creativity in the 1960s, when drugs were added increasingly to the mix.

As a backlash to the Vietnam War, young Americans revolted en masse to promote peace though music, sexual freedom and drug use. This was an incredibly creative, and destructive, period in American culture when bands like the Doors and the Grateful Dead crossed paths with Civil Rights activists and rising feminists. Although America remains a conservative Christian society at heart, decades such as the 1960s have helped to open up American culture to more radical and liberal ideologies that have been exported to oppressed societies across the globe.