American and European Values

Understanding and assessing values is very essential when it comes to persuading the conduct of a country’s affairs.  Even between cultures that share a bulk of their standards, such as the US and the of Western Europe nations, there might be differences of viewpoint concerning the relative significance of specific values. This paper will focus on differences and similarities between American and Western Europe values.  American values are different from the Western Europeans values in numerous ways. Most conspicuously, Americans are known to adopt an individualistic culture as opposed to a collectivist culture adopted by most of the Western countries such as Britain, France, Germany and Spain. A number of issues will be presented to ascertain the study including evidence from twenty-three nation research conducted by Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project along with other studies.

Use of Military Force

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The Pew research Center study (2012) indicated that about seventy-five percent of American people agreed that it is at times necessary to utilize military force to preserve order in the planet; similarly, seven in every ten people in Britain and smaller numbers in France and Spain about 62% in each nation share this opinion. Germans are equally divided, with half the divide stating the application of force is occasionally necessary and the other half saying it is not. This shows that a majority of Americans favor se of military force than al European nations.

In regards to the question of UN approval prior to application of military force: With about forty-five percent stating that, U.S. should acquire UN approval whereas forty-four percent stating that this move would make it extremely hard to combat threats. This is in contrast, to huge majorities in the Western European countries surveyed; counting about seventy-four percent Spaniards  and seventy-six percent Germany state that their nations ought to acquire UN approval prior to taking military action. Again, the Americans seem to view their nation as superior and that it could independently make military action without any international approval.

Views on International Engagement and Political beliefs

The individualistic culture is manifested in Americans views towards other nations compared to the four European nations. According to List Verse study (2007) a narrow thirty-nine percent of Americans stated that their nation should assist other nations deal with their troubles, whilst a majority fifty-two percent stated that the U.S. has to deal with its internal troubles and permit other nations deal with their tribulations in their own ways. This indicates a close statistic in this issue, forty-three percent of respondents in France suppose their nation should assist other states and a majority fifty-seven percent indicated their nation has to focus on internal problems.

The Britons are almost squarely divided; forty-five percent stating that  their state should aid other states deal with their troubles whereas an equal forty-eight percent  suppose Britain ought to deal with its internal problems. Germany exceptionally is the only nation where majorities support intercontinental engagement: with fifty-five percent supporting international assistance and fifty-four percent taking the segregation view.


Cultural Superiority

The Leader Values (2013) shows that Americans and Germans perceive their cultures to be superior compared to other nations’ cultures. Close to half the Americans (forty-eight percent) and Germans forty-seven percent concurred with the statement. Forty-four percent of Spaniards agree to the cultural superiority view.  Further away Britons and French, thirty-two and twenty seven percent, respectively perceive their culture being superior to others. It has been observed that whilst issue of cultural superiority has remained constant in Europe, Americans view has overtime decreased with less numbers taking their culture to be supreme. Presently, fewer Americans perceive their culture as superior.

Religion’s Role

Research shows that a huge fifty percent of Americans deem religion is vitally important, distinguishing their nation from the Western Europeans on views regarding the essentiality of religion (The Economist, 2003). Small numbers of twenty-two percent in Spain, twenty-one percent in Germany, seventeen in Britain and even smaller thirteen in France regard religion less important. Furthermore, Americans state that it is necessary to believe in God to be moral and own good values than Western Europeans; fifty-three percent is the U.S. thirty-three in Germany, twenty percent in Britain, nineteen percent in Spain and fifteen percent in France share this view.


According to Durska (2001), over fifty percent of all respondents in all nations indicated acceptance for homosexuality with the highest numbers in the Spaniards stating that homosexuality ought to be embraced by society. A large ninety-one percent in Spain embraces homosexuality, followed by eighty-seven percent Germans, eight-six percent French, eight-one percent Britons and a small sixty percent Americans.  However, the numbers supporting homosexuality has increased overtime in the US. Today, many Americans recognize homosexuality than rejecting it by a twenty-seven percent point margin.

In conclusion, the society nowadays, depending on a person’s background, faith, and race there are certainly different civilizing backgrounds and ideals, still having to survive together in this world. Culture and civilization backgrounds have been found to be a methodical way of sharing way of life, beliefs and behaviors. Individual communities use dissimilar ways and things to survive in the planet. The American and the Western Europe individuals clearly confirm this ideology.


Durska, M. (2001). American versus “European” Values. Retrieved July 7, from

The Economist. (2003). American values: Living with a superpower | The Economist. Retrieved July 7, from

Leader Values. (2013). Leader Values. Retrieved July 7, from

List Verse. (2007). Top 10 differences between Europe and America – Listverse. Retrieved July 7, from

Pew Global. (2012). The American-Western European Values Gap | Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. Retrieved July 7, from


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