The culture of California is closely tied to the culture of the United States as a whole. However, there are features that are unique to California. With roots in the culture of Spain, the culture of Mexico, and the culture of the eastern United States, California integrates foods, languages and traditions from all over the world.
Spain had explored the present state of California since the 1500s, although it did not colonize it and exert its cultural influence in earnest until the 18th century. By the 19th century, Spain had built missions throughout all the state and Californios owned huge land extensions (called "ranchos"). From that time to the present, Hispanic Californians have always been among the largest cultural groups in the state. Furthermore, Mexican immigration into California, has also resulted in a large share of cultural contributions.
The sexual revolution (also known as a time of "sexual liberation") was a social movement that challenged traditional codes of behavior related to sexuality and interpersonal relationships throughout the Western world from the 1960s to the 1980s. Sexual liberation included increased acceptance of sex outside of traditional heterosexual, monogamous relationships (primarily marriage). Contraception and the pill, public nudity, the normalization of premarital sex, homosexuality and alternative forms of sexuality, and the legalization of abortion all followed.
The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply the West, traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time. Prior to about 1800, the crest of the Appalachian Mountains was seen as the western frontier. Since then, the frontier moved further west and the Mississippi River was referenced as the easternmost possible boundary of the West.
The West mostly comprises arid to semi-arid plateaus and plains and forested mountains.
Northern America is the northernmost region of the Americas, and is part of the North American continent. It lies directly north of the region of Middle America; the land border between the two regions coincides with the border between the United States and Mexico. Geopolitically, according to the scheme of geographic regions and subregions used by the United Nations, Northern America consists of: Bermuda, Canada, Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and United States.