The cultural and political connections between Europe and the Americas have been strong since the earliest European settlements. This is understandable since it was largely Europeans that colonized both North and South America between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Until the nineteenth century, the Spanish Empire included territory across South America, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, much of what is now the US West, as well as the entire northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas. From earliest contact, Spanish explorers, priests, and conquistadors spread European architecture, religion, language, political systems, and even foods across the lands they conquered.
Likewise, in North America, especially in the areas along the Atlantic coast, the English, Dutch and French settlers brought their languages and traditions with them when they arrived. Over time, the English came to dominate much of North America, but evidence of the Dutch and French participation still remains. The French language is still widely spoken as a first language Quebec Canada. There are many cities across parts of the US that still have their Dutch names: Batavia, NY; Hoboken, NJ; Amsterdam, NY; and many others. The evidence of English influence is obvious across North America in the language people speak, the architecture used, the legal system, and the political system.
Take a look at the images in the Media Gallery to learn more about European influence and culture in the United States.