The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a resolution honoring country music for its contributions to America. The resolution was introduced by U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Republican from Ocala, Fla. "Country music traces its roots to the folk tradition of the British Isles and the Celts of central and western Europe," Stearns said. "However, here in the United States, early immigrants, as well as African slaves, contributed to a new, distinct style of music that continued to develop through the 18th and 19th centuries. The history of country music is the history of our country." Added Stearns, "Subgenres such as bluegrass, folk and gospel have combined the unique instrumentation of country with powerful vocals to create one-of-a-kind sounds. Today, the influence of American country music is worldwide, with large fan bases in Canada and Australia, as well."