American Culture Overview

What makes you an American?

The Development of America

Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 by accident. Many years later, in 1607, Jamestown became the first official European settlement. As the next few years passed by, more settlements were established, such as Williamsburg and Roanoke. Then the 13 colonies were born and many more came after only to be called states. To this day, there are 50 states and the capital of the United States is Washington D.C.

How does government work?

In the United States, the government is based on federalism. Instead of having one person in charge of everything, the U.S. has a three branch system. The executive branch is headed by the President and he carries out the laws. The legislative branch makes the laws. It is headed by the Congress, which is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The judicial branch, which is headed by the Supreme court, interprets the laws. They also decide cases that involve states' rights. Each person in the branches are not passed down from one family generation to the other; they are elected by the votes of the people.