There are four primary categories of legal traditions which are the common tradition, the civil tradition, the religious/philosophical tradition, and the hybrid tradition. Common law and civil law are the two legal tradition categories under which the US falls. However, the religious/philosophical law tradition could still work in the US. A religious/philosophical law tradition is one that is based on philosophy and religion. The elements of cultural and substantive components of law can be used to support why the religious/philosophical legal tradition can work in America. The substantive part is concerned with where laws come from and how they are defined while the cultural component is concerned with the effects that culture has on legal traditions.
Religion had a significant influence on the formation and expansion of Colonial America. Most of the thirteen colonies in America were founded on the basis of religion. For example, Maryland was founded on Catholicism, Massachusetts was founded on Puritan principles, and Plymouth was founded by Pilgrims, who wanted to separate from the Church of England. Pennsylvania and Rhode Island were based on liberalism and religious freedom. The constitutions and governments in the colonies were heavily based on the religious convictions of the people. Such states are still in existence in the current day US, and it is expected that they still hold on to their traditions.
Different European powers each colonised the present-day United States with different philosophies. The thirteen states that formed Colonial America were colonised by the British, and it is expected that British philosophy and culture had a significant influence on their laws. Similarly, it is anticipated that French and culture philosophy had a major impact on the legislation of the Louisiana Territory. The territory was colonized by the French, who sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase deal of 1803. The US also purchased the land constituting the states of Arizona and New Mexico from Mexico in 1854 under the Gadsden Purchase. Mexico was under the Spanish rule, and it is expected that Spanish philosophy and culture had a significant impact on the laws of the two states.
The United States has continuously welcomed immigrants from different parts of the world. In fact, it is common to find some areas and regions exclusively inhabited by people from a particular part of the outside world. For example, Chinatowns which are exclusively inhabited by the Chinese is very frequent in the main cities across the country. Immigrants bring their different cultural backgrounds to America, and it is, therefore, expected that they have different interpretations of legal matters.
The religious/philosophical legal tradition can work in the US in the place of common and civil legal traditions. Its workability is supported by various substantive and cultural characteristics unique to the US, both historical and current. Historically, the formation and expansion of Colonial America was based on religion. Religion had a significant influence on the laws and governments of the colonies. The current day US was colonized by different European powers such as the British, the French, and the Spanish, all who had different philosophies and cultures. They, therefore, had different impacts on the laws of the country. Lastly, the country welcomes immigrants from various parts of the world. Their diverse cultural backgrounds mean that they have different interpretations of legal matters.