Mexico And Its Relationship With The United States

1871 words - 7 pages

Western Culture In Relationship To Others

Overview
Was Columbus a saint or a sinner? Was his discovery of the New World in 1492 a blessing to us all or, more importantly, is that curse still with us? Did he bring joy, happiness and progress or did he light the flame of oppression? Today he is considered responsible, at least to a great degree, of bringing the Western (then Spanish) culture to the American continent - North and South. So, even now, 500 years after his voyage of discovery across the Atlantic with a crew of sailors yearning for adventure and riches, the debate is still going on. Did he do good, or should he have stayed home and never sailed out from Spain? Did Western (and then Spanish) culture serve a higher purpose... or not?
The spread of a particular culture due to economic or military dominance is not a new concept. So the fact that Latin America has been tremendously influenced, first by Spain (the dominant country in the 16th century) and now by the United States is just a continuation of something that is well established. Throughout history, the dominant economic and military power of the time has spread its culture to the weaker nations. In other words, culture has followed the economy.
The reason for that is simple. If country A has a stronger economy than country B, country A is selling more goods and services to country B than importing them from country B. So, country A now has the upper hand and is in a strong position to impose it’s language, rules, currency etc… on country B. People from country A now travel and relocate to country B to ensure the flow of trade. They bring their customs and habits to country B. Soon enough, country B starts to look more and more like country A as they adapt to the “ruling” country.

Culture
But first, what do we mean by “culture”? We need to define this in a manner we can understand. Do we mean refined art and literature? Do we mean language? Do we mean music and visual arts, such as movies and TV? Do we mean clothing and food? Do we mean habits and customs? Do we mean the way we think about serious topics such as religion, death, friends, family? What exactly do we mean when we talk about this “cultural dominance”?
Here are some dictionary definitions of culture from various sources:
• The beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time
• A particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.
• A way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business) the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time
• A particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.
• A way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business) the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time
• A particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.
• A way of thinking, behaving, or...

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