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The Powerful Influence of Americanism

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The powerful influence of Americanism

(Is the spread of American culture a danger to culture in the Czech Republic?)

To discuss Americanism as a term and as a present part of our existence in modern society, it is necessary to clearly understand what does this term tell about American culture in our native country, the Czech Republic. Americanism, a set of liberal ideas, which also covera adoption of new words, music and films has had a striking influence on Czech people ever since the formation of The First Republic in the 1918.

The formation is primarily connected with T.G. Masaryk, the first Czechoslovak president, however, it would had been impossible to achieve such success without active participation of Czech exiles and subsequently without American president Woodroo Wilson and his political program which gave shape to the Versaille conference and to the post-war Europe order. (Prof. PhDr. Josef Jařab, CSc., dr.h.c)

Considering this reality, there can be no doubt that the foundation of The First Republic and associated circumstances lavishly broaden out the passage way for the influence of Americanism in our native country. It is also important to emphasize that before the year 1918, America was a living potrayal of a land of opportunity and a new hope to a great number of Czech intelligence. As a result, many of these people left and never came back. Nevertheless, as mentioned above, many of these exiled people remained loyal to their nation and helped to open the eyes of Czech citizens in the following years while keeping the citizens informed and generally up to date. A living example of such loyal emigrant was for example Antonín Dvořák, whose records of personal experience, knowledge and inspiration helped to create a new sense of perception of America and American culture. (Prof. PhDr. Josef Jařab, CSc., dr.h.c.)

From that time on, the American culture was becoming an inseparable element leaking into our culture. This can be demonstrated by Masaryk's marriage to American woman and his work analysis of American democracy and culture. He was also a great supporter of work translation of many American authors. Yet, it was not only T.G. Masaryk who was interested in the rich western culture. Equaly important figures were E.F. Burian, Jaroslav Ježek, Voskovec and Werich, who opened the window to the American world of popular music and slapstick comedy. (Prof. PhDr. Josef Jařab, CSc., dr.h.c.)

Up to this point, there was nothing negative in propagating the richness of American culture, sadly, as the time went, together with the cultural richness came certain products and habbits, which happened to be rather harmful than helpful in the global scale.

Eventually, the United States became a powerful player in the field of world market and created monopols which more or less influenced people all over the world. In short, action movies, fast food restaurants, Coca-Cola, sitcoms, street style fashion, multiplexes and other American "wonders" became naturalized not only in the Czech Republic.

Broadly speaking, there is nothing harmful about these invention while they are handled with caution and most importantly with the use of common sense.

To understand the possible thread of above mentioned inventions, I will go through the most significant American inventions to come to a reasonable conclusion which should help to clarify whether the spread of American culture should be seen as a thread or not.

To begin with, the effect of action movies on kids can be quite alarming when it comes to subliminal perception. There can be no doubt that"as a society, we have deemed TV and videos our number one baby-sitter. It gives us a needed break, to hop in the shower, get dinner on the table, or just read the newspaper and unwind after a busy day. But if we don't know what that baby-sitter is spitting out at our kids, we are all, children, parents, and society, paying a huge price." (Dave Grossman,Gloria Degaetano, 1999)

Generally, without any bias, the above quotation talks about a serious issue which can be applied on almost every nation, every democratic society. To be more specific, not only Czech nation faces this problem as they let our kids watch action movies without supervising, since the problem is not the act of watching such movies but the absence of an adult's explanation that what is happening in the movie is not real and therefore should not become an object of children's mind or imagination.As a consequence,



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