One of the topics that often gets forgotten in the US course is federalism – a great topic but one that causes some consternation. The crux of many problems is that students see the USA as one country with one identity; this is simply not true. In many respects the 50 states could better be likened to the EU – each with their own customs but sharing a common government. This is evident in driving laws, age of marriage, marijuana legislation and so on.
This video from the BBC, a comedic look at accents in the USA, goes some way to showing how passionate some areas/states of America are about their own individual identity. This could help inform an essay on why tensions between federal government and state governments exist in the US.