In general, all societies have evolved from a background in which people were many and resources were few. Thus the creation of their ideas, values, and institutions needed to adjust to that reality. The unique history of the United States, however, makes it an exception. There people were few but resources were endless. Thus, American traditions, values, ideas, and institutions which were of European origin had to undergo major transformations. The reality of plenty is thus the key to understanding the uniqueness of American civilization.