An interesting discussion I was having with a Briton on another forum. The British man argued that the nations of the United States are little more than "administrative zones" and lack their own culture and identity. Needless to say, I believe that the United States isn't a homogenous entity, but rather a federation of 50 states. I believe these states, while sharing many common themes and a federal political framework, are unique.
Those arguing that each United States state has it's own culture and identity can point to a number of examples. One of these examples is the fact that each state has it's own unique constitution, government, laws and political environment. While the United States is generally perceived as "two party system" by outsiders, many states have independent and third party representatives in their state legislatures; whereas some states (Nebraska) have banned political parties altogether. Another example is that each state has it's own unique history, which molds a collective identity for the people living in the state. Each state also has it's own state symbols, such as flags, coats of arms, state birds, state flowers, state fish, etc. Many states even have their own national holidays to celebrate their national identity. States also differ drastically from each other in other respects, for instance, my home state of Missouri is a rural agrarian state and the people here have vastly different views than those from "urban" states, such as the District of Columbia and most of New England.
Conversely, those arguing that states do not have their own cultures and identities can point to other examples. Members of this group claim that the United States is a "federation in name only," because the federal government regularly violates the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which results in states effectively losing their sovereignty. They also claim that there are little or no differences between the cultures of different states. They also claim that the borders of states were defined solely on administrative conveniences, rather than cultural, historical or ethnic grounds.
The question I pose to you is whether or not you believe the 51 nations comprising the United States have their own culture and/or identity? Or whether the United States is an entirely homogenous state and there are no cultural differences between the states? What has led you to the conclusions that you have drawn?