Start with the idea that the United States can no longer really be regarded as a "new nation." There is no doubt that America is singularly lacking in ancient chateaux and schlossen…But this scarcely constitutes evidence of youth. The first settlers arrived when James I was on the throne and England was not yet Britain. Galileo was offered a chair at Harvard University, which was founded in 1636, before Charles I had his head cut off. The Declaration of Independence was signed a century before the unification of both German and Italy…Many of the traditions which define Britain as an old country in the minds of admiring Americans — the pomp and circumstance of empire, the rituals of Charles Dickens’s Christmas, Sherlock Holmes’s deer-stalker hat – were invented a century after the American constitution. "The youth of America is their oldest tradition," Oscar Wilde quipped more than a century ago.
At least I think it is true. That is from The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America, by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge. This book is the best introduction to the history of the so-called "American Right." It is a worthy successor to George Nash’s earlier tome.