Americans value the ideals of individual liberty, individualism, self-sufficiency, altruism, equality, Judeo-Christian morals, free markets, a republican form of government, democracy, populism, pluralism, feminism, and patriotism. The individual pursuit of self-interest leads to the best result both for the individual and for society as a whole is believed to be a successful formula for both economic success and optimal political function. This has been the historical culture of the United States.

The United States culture is a Western culture based primarily based upon European models prior to the Declaration of Independence mixed with Native American, African American, and other influences that immigration from peoples around the world have provided throughout the nations history. Primarily our culture sprung up from the enlightenment period of philosophy with its emphasis on natural law. The Declaration's mission statement about securing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; French revolution's ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity; and the national motto of E pluribus Unum ("From many, one") reflect the country's values and social development.