America, and in 1959 when Alaska and Hawaii became states the geographical size remained the same but the population grew to over 323 million inhabitants. This is why today most people feel far removed from the national government and their elected representatives. Racial and Ethnic Composition Diverse: Historically and currently (today, almost 15 % of Americans can be classified as immigrants)Western Europeans in the 1600s to the 1700sSlaves in the mid to late 1700s
Chinese laborers in 1848Irish Catholics in the 1850sNorthern and eastern Europeans from the 1880s to the 1910sAnd most recently south and southeast Asians, Cubans, and Mexicans AgingAt the time of founding, life expectancy: 35yrs; currently: around 80yrsStudies show that whites aged 45 to 54 have experience a 22 % increase in death rates.Previously, a younger country; currently, an aging countryIt was a younger country because the # of people under the age of 20 greatly outnumbered those 65 and older. But now that young country has aged is part of the group of people 65 and older.Older people place a higher drain on the countries resourcesImpose a financial burden on working Americans the this change could potentially pit younger people against older people and result in drastic cuts in benefits to the elderly and increased taxes for younger workers.Baby boomers (born btwn 1946-1964); birth rates; fertility rates; immigration: all impact countryReligious BeliefsDiverseoRecords exist of early Jewish and Muslim colonists were brought to the new world but the # of early Americans practicing these religions was small in comparison to Christian settlers thus Christian values permeate American social and political systems.oThis is why many citizens view the US as a Christian nation however a great # of religious groups (Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims) have established roots in this country.Regional Growth and ExpansionRegional sectionalism emerged almost immediately in the US.North versus SouthoThe south continues to lag behind the rest of the nation in supporting civil rights while they favor returning the power to the states and downsizing the national government.East versus WestoThe west was originally populated by those seeking free land and then by people chasing dreams of gold. The wet was often characterized as “wild”. People moved there to avoid city life and have an anti-government bias, and some moved there because the abundant sunshine and natural resources.Urban versus ruraloPeople who live in rural areas are much more conservative. Democratic candidates have carried almost every large city while republicans have carried most rural voters as well as most of America’s heartland.Family and Family SizePast: Gender roles defined (women inside working, men outside working); families largePresent: no gender role; smaller families; institution of marriage not needed; NO SET STANDARDoPartially due to the industrialization and knowledge of birth control methods.