Comparative and contrast between The United State Of America and Australia - Essay Example

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They are both former colonies of the United Kingdom, they both possess vast geographic areas and they both have democratically elected governments. These two nations share many…
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Comparative and contrast between The United State Of America and Australia
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The United s of America and Australia have several key elements of their culture in common. They are both former colonies of the United Kingdom, they both possess vast geographic areas and they both have democratically elected governments. These two nations share many more things in common, but that does not mean they are exactly the same. Despite their similarities, both nations have developed unique cultures.
One way America and Australia are similar is their geography. Both are large landmasses that are removed far from what is referred to as the “Old World”. This relative isolation allowed both nations to develop largely without constant interference from the established powers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Being left to sort out their own problems has led to an isolationist mindset for many Australians and Americans. It has also given both nations a strong feeling of independence and self-sufficiency. These ideals can be seen glamorized by stereotypes such as John Wayne and Crocodile Dundee in the American and Australian cinema. While these characters are stereotypes, they do give insight into virtues both Australians and Americans value, namely, toughness, resiliency and independence.
While geography can influence the character of a group of people, other things such as the history and the development of a national identity can be even greater determinants of character. This is one area where Americans and Australians differ greatly. Both were established as colonies by the United Kingdom. This gave them both their individual versions of the English language complete with accents. But that is where the similarities end. America’s impressive string of global achievements has caused Americans to be a very patriotic people. Symbols of the United States, such as the national flag, are very important and are treated with respect. Americans are very proud of their accomplishments as a nation and expect others to respect America as well . Australia, on the other hand, has less of a national fervor concerning patriotism Australians never moved inland from their coastal cities. Therefore, they view themselves more as individual regions than as a nation. Recent claims have been made that Australians are increasingly viewing themselves as patriotic, but in a very different way than Americans exhibit their patriotism.
A final similarity and difference between the two nations is their governmental and economic structures. Both Americans and Australians live in free democratic nations where basic human rights are guaranteed in the constitution. Both are also open market economies that import and export widely on the world stage. On the surface these systems appear to be very similar, but on closer inspection, differences are apparent. One huge difference is the percentage of GDP each nation is currently in debt. America currently owes a whopping 60% of its GDP due to borrowing by the government. Australia only owes 15% of it’ GDP. This is especially impressive because Australia offers more social services at the national level, such as healthcare, than they currently do in America. America’s willingness to engage in international conflict and to engage in deficit spending to stimulate their economy accounts for much of the difference in the debt ratios between the two countries.
On paper, Australia and America appear to be very similar. They have similar geographic locations, similar beginnings and similar governmental and economic structures. But when you look beyond the statistics and generalizations, you will find two very different nations indeed.
Work Cited
(2009, Oct. 18 ). In CIA World Factbook. (chap. Australia) Retrieved Oct. 26, 2009, from
(2009, Oct. 19 ). In CIA World Factbook. (chap. United States) Retrieved Oct. 26, 2009, from
Hess, B. B , & E. Markson, & P. Stein. (1988). Sociology. (Vol. 3rd Edition, Ed.). New York, New York: Macmillan Publishing.
Rowley, S.. (1998, Month. Day ). In Australian Cinema and National Identity. Retrieved Oct. 24, 2009, from Read More
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