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Definition of "American" includes non-citizens[edit]

The definition of an American includes those who are not citizens, however, the first sentence of the article currently says, "Americans, or American people, are citizens of the United States of America." The scope of the article includes Americans who were not citizens. I am changing the first sentence so that the definition matches the scope of the article. Sparkie82 (tc) 21:18, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

I also changed the third sentence with [this edit] so that the statement more closely matches what the sources say. Petersen, et al says, "To be or to become an American, a person did not have to be of any particular national, linguistic, religious, or ethnic background. All he had to do was to commit himself to the political ideology centered on the abstract ideals of liberty, equality, and republicanism. Thus the universalist ideological character of American nationality meant that it was open to anyone who willed to become an American." I've also checked a couple of dictionaries that define the word American as a native or inhabitant of America. In addition to comtemporary usage, historically there were Americans before there was U.S. citizenship. Sparkie82 (tc) 22:21, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Change has never been agreed to by editors of this article Hmains (talk) 05:52, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
The lead sentence, and thus article scope was fine as is, and consensus does not appear to support the bold change suggested above. Thanks for attempting to improve this article, and I understand that the editor making the change means well, however for a radical change such as this, please discuss it first and see if there is a consensus for or against changing the scope of an article.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:05, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Please go ahead.... I made some points, discuss them. Sparkie82 (tc) 18:39, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
It has been two weeks without any response. If no discussion is forthcoming, I'm just going to make the edit. Sparkie82 (tc) 09:34, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
You will find it hard to make any changes....many problems with the definition...but even more problems with trying to bring it into line with modern terminologies and reality. You would need a good source about diaspora before anyone here thinks its possible....for some reason many believe its not possible because American is not an ethnicity....this is despite the article telling us its the 4th largest self declaration. -- Moxy (talk) 20:35, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
I remain Strongly Opposed to the change suggested by Sparkie82. There is no consensus for it, and there are sufficient reliable sources that verify the current definition.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:40, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

@RightCowLeftCoast:, I see that this is an emotional issue for you and that you have strong feelings about it. I just want the article to be the best that it can be, well sourced, and follow WP guidelines. At least we agree on one thing, there is no consensus on this issue. A search of the archives shows that it has been discussed since as early as 2010 with no concensus reached. Hopefully we can reach a consensus here.

Here are some of the previous discussions I have found:
  • Citizens or Denizens, 18 September 2010 - N2e (talk · contribs) and others disagreed with that narrow definition of Americans=citizens and the discussion came down to the definition of the word "citizen", which in the U.S. currently refers to a specific legal status (see:Citizenship in the United States) At other times and places the word "citizen" has referred to a non-military inhabitant of a country or place, however, today in the U.S. it has a much narrower meaning. If we use the word "denizen" or "inhabitant" it would be less ambiguous in the context of this article.
  • Accurate meaning of Americans, 23 October 2013] - Fareed30 (talk · contribs) disagreed with the narrow definition of Americans only being citizens and discussed the definition of citizen.
  • Definition of "Americans", 24 March 2013 - That discussion was mainly about the geographical scope of the definition, i.e., whether it refers only to those in the U.S. or to everyone in North and South America. In that discussion, RightCowLeftCoast (talk · contribs) said, "this article is about the people of the United States".
  • Too bent on ethnic diversity., 29 December 2013 - That discussion again was about the geography of the definition: only U.S. vs. all of North and South America.

@RightCowLeftCoast:, if your concern is that the scope of this article is only about the U.S. and not about all of North and South America, then I agree. However, the scope of this article is — and always has been — about the people of the United States, as you had stated in that previous discussion. The scope of the article is not limited only to people who have a legal status as a citizen of the U.S. The definition we decide to put in the lede should: 1) accurately reflect the scope of the article, and 2) accurately reflect what sources say the definition is. Both of those encompass the people of the U.S. and not just people who have the legal status of citizen. Sparkie82 (tc) 12:42, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I believe it is very hard to justify, with reliable sources, that the term Americans only refers to bonafide citizens of the US. In more global usage of the English language, and even in much of common usage within the US, the term Americans simply refers to those who live in the US.

Having said that, I suspect this will be a controversial issue and achieving consensus may be a slow and challenging process.

I suspect the first step might be for someone to have a discussion on only a limited subset of the total questions that might need answered. For example, a well-written proposal to simply assess the accuracy of the current article lede locution—where Americans are described only and explicitly as "citizens of the USA"—would be in order. Doing just that one step, and inviting a Request for Comment from a broad cross-section of the global editors of the English Wikipedia would be quite helpful.

Only after that (long and slow) process is done, we could discuss the proper detailed wording should the currently-used statement be found to not be quite correct. In other words, it will be a somewhat extended process to get all the elements of this hashed out, as it will no doubt cross a number of editors strongly-held views on national identity. But I think we are better off not trying to debate the detailed wording without first determining if the current and long-used locution is broadly acceptable. N2e (talk) 13:17, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

I did a little more searching on this topic. This article was originally titled, "People of the United States" but was moved in May 2011 to the current title, "Americans". It took two proposal attempts, but it was moved after the second attempt. It doesn't appear to me that there was a consensus for the move, but in any case it happened. Most (all?) of the articles that were titled "People of X" were moved in a similar fashion or redirects were set up to point to the common names for them, e.g., People of Germany redirects to Germans; People of Italy redirects to Italians, etc. I imagine that in the case of most countries, there is no issue, but because of the historical oddities of the word American, it manifests an issue here. With regard to the current lede locution, it appears that it is more of a result of tactical editing than to any deliberate consensus. In any case, I agree with the approach you've outlined above. I'm not familiar with the RFC process, but if you can get it started I'll certainly participate in the discussion. Sparkie82 (tc) 19:22, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)If we look at the history of this discussion page, there has been no consensus, and never has been a broad consensus for changing the scope of this article to "all of North and South America", furthermore the has never been a broad consensus to change the scope of the article to all people who just happen to be living in the United States (whether it is just the incorporated parts there of, or all territories (a present debate, and subject to mediation at that article)). If the change of scope is changed than even illegal aliens would fall within the scope, who hold no allegiance to the government or founding documents of the nation-state that is the United States.
There are several definitions of the word American, and covered in that article, but this article is about the people of the United States of America, the nation-state. If we, are to use one of the broader definitions of the word, than this article ceases to be about the people of the United States of America. But about anyone who happens to walk over a certain line in the ground or happens to be close enough to the shore of a piece of land that is part of the territory of the nation-state. So a merchant mariner (example), who is on an extended port call can meet the broad definition of "a person born, raised, or living in the U.S.", as the merchant mariner is living in the United States. Thus, having a more narrow definition, such as Noun #3 "a citizen of the United States" is practical. This definition is also very similar to the first noun definition found in the Oxford Dictionary "A native or citizen of the United States." --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 19:30, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
I think this question overall, is an unusual one (from the global perspective), as the definition of who is an American is very different than who is say Japanese. One can be a national or citizen of Japan, but never be Japanese person. Someone who is American need not self identify as someone in the American ethnicity. Therefore, nationality plays a large roll in the debate in this matter, thus why citizenship is an important question to this debate (interesting related reliable source here). There are special interest groups who would prefer a broad definition, there are other special interest groups who prefer a narrow definition, both of whom want to enact policy based on their definitions; we will surely see that here, if a RFC is opened; not a reason not to open one, but something to be expected. There are reliable sources that support either the broad or the narrow definition. What reliable sources we use will greatly impact this article, just as the ongoing debate at the United States article's mediation will have a great impact through out Wikipedia as well.
Also reading the past debates about the scope of this article, I have not seen any consensus to change it, there has been support by some, but no consensus for such a bold change, as what is (what has been) proposed.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:11, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
@RightCowLeftCoast:. Interesting. From what you say it might be that different editors here are concerned about rather different things. You said: "There are several definitions of the word American, and covered in that article, but this article is about the people of the United States of America."

I would tend to agree.

And as User:Sparkie82 just pointed out, this article used to be named exactly that. So, maybe, if you think it would help, you might propose to change the article title to People of the United States of America. That would clarify the scope, and eliminate the confusion about whether Americans might include other North Americans and South Americans. It would also be better than People of the United States, as there are definitely other "United States ..." countries around (e.g., Estados Unidos Mexicanos. If you think this might gain consensus, feel free to propose that. Cheers. N2e (talk) 21:06, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
@RightCowLeftCoast: I think there is agreement here as to the scope of the article: The people of the United States. This eliminates the question of N. & S. America. I don't think anyone believes (and there are likely no reliable sources that) say that "the people of the United States" only includes citizens (using the contemporary meaning of the word "citizen" as a legal status). The meaning of the word people in this context is in question. The example of a person who is temporarily living in the U.S. likely doesn't fit any definition of "American" — he is a person in the U.S. but not of the U.S., because he's here temporarily. This is why I used the word "denizen", becasue it implies people who have roots in the U.S., and excludes those living here temporarily. Although the term "denizen" may have some issues of interpretation in the worldwide view.
One possibility is to use a definition of "Americans" that encompasses the spectrum of (US-centric) definitions from reliable sources, and then have a section in the article that touches on the the word "American" (as a noun) with a {{Main}} link to American (word).
@N2e: When I first discovered that this article had been moved, I thought about proposing to move it back to "People of the United States", however, since all the other similar articles follow the same form (redirecting the "People of X" pages to the common name), I think it would be a futile process. Besides, we can handle the issue of alerting editors about the scope of the article by inserting an editors' note, or with the hatnote {{About|the people of the [[United States|United States of America]].
I think we can put the RFC on hold for now as both RightCowLeftCoast and I seem to be willing to move from our original positions on the issue.
My position has not changed. The People of the United States, as I said is based on nationality, not ethnicity. Therefore, only those who hold allegiance to the United States, not just anyone who happens to be within the territories of the United States. Thus my statement above.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:11, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Yup and that is the probblem ..this POV. Daniel Kanstroom (2012). Aftermath: Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora. Oxford University Press, USA. pp. 100–. ISBN 978-0-19-990883-7.  -- Moxy (talk) 22:39, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
The article already has multiple articles that verify that to be an American, in the context that is the subject of this article, that what defines being an American, is ones nationality, which is someone being a Citizen of the United States of America.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:21, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
Just to be clear here think no citizenship equals not America? So in other words thoses that relinquish U.S. Citizenship are not Americans? So your saying thoses that have had naturalization in a foreign state are not Americans by thios pages defination? Or thoses born to American parents simply are not American accoring to what you belive? -- Moxy (talk) 18:54, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what I believe, it is what is verified by reliable sources that define the subject. Multiple reliable sources verify that the definition of the subject Americans, are not a people defined by ethnicity, but by nationality, by citizenship. Therefore as one of the reliable sources say (paraphrasing), an American, is someone born within the United States of America (jus soli) or those naturalized by the government of the United States of America.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 19:48, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
ooooh ok I see the problem here....we are going by government definition/criteria (very narrow defenition) instead of social definitions (as in what people say). Let me readup more on this and post some sources soon. Lets see what we can do with new sources.. see if we can matchup the lead with the articles content. --
There are a plethera of sources that define the scope in the lead. As stated before, there are different meanings to the word American, the usage being used here is the usage I quoted earlier in this discussion. Furthermore, see this quote:

Black advocates employed a similar argument to attack the exclusion of Africans from American citizenship and to include them as part of the "American people". Instead of citizenship based on lineage they grounded citizenship in territory, emphasizing that all those born in America were by definition Americans.

Celeste Michelle Condit; John Louis Lucaites (15 May 1993). Crafting Equality: America's Anglo-African Word. University of Chicago Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-226-11465-1. 
To be included as part of the American people, African Americans needed to be citizens of the United States, and "black advocates" saw denial of citizenship as denying them membership in the American people.
Being American is directly tied to a persons nationality, by the definitions used in this article, in the third sentence of the lead paragraph.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:16, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
What about Lost Americans...are they not considered Americans? perhaps best if I explain ...If you were to look at the article Canadians you will see it covers ALL Canadians...including dispora and Lost this not an approch that would work better here. As the book you linked above states....they were Americans eventhough they did not have citezenship status at the time....this was the problem. What we are saying here is that "official citizens" is the only way you are an American....this sound wrong. Basicly we are saying if you loss your citizenship your are no longer an American...even if you were by birth. For exmaple ...Josephine Baker gave up her citizenship, but she still is an American by any normal definition...PS sorry for all the typos....not doing well today. -- Moxy (talk) 00:02, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
See American diaspora, even that article is about citizens of the United States overseas.
There is an article about the American ethnicity, many of whom are U.S. citizens or nationals. Most live in the United States and are American citizens. There are those who are descendants of Americans in foreign countries, and do not have U.S. citizenship, such as Amerasians (of multiple multiracial mixtures), but due to United States nationality law, not all are Americans.
In the quote above, although African Americans considered themselves to be Americans, the rest of society did not, as they did not have citizenship. Therefore, for them to be seen as part of the American people, to be seen by the society at large as Americans, citizenship had to be extended to them. This is the reason for the 14th amendment's Citizenship Clause.
There are those who want to use a different definition for American, such as the Define American crowd, theirs is not the generally accepted definition, and would fall under WP:FRINGE, IMHO, and to use their preferred definition would fall under WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 02:16, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
I think my point was lost here. The article is to narrow in its scope if we are just talking about legal definition in the lead. This is the parent article for all the others articles that you mentioned but that is not reflected in the lead/definition. We should be saying something like...."Americans are the people who are identified with the country the United States. This connection may be legal, historical, and/or cultural." This would include - those that give-up their citizenship and those born to legal Americans but dont have citizenship, but connect with the country be it culturally (like Lost Americans). As of now only one type of American is defined. (the legal one)...all the rest (we all know are real and very easy to source) are not represented here. The article uses the Citizenship in the United States definition over being the parent article with a broad scope. Not even an explanation of why there is mention of an American ethnicity in the article....yet the lead tells us its not possible. Its perplexing. To be blunt...the article has a an American legal POV problem. -- Moxy (talk) 03:13, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like original research, even if well meaning.
American ethnicity is related, but it isn't what defines the scope of the article.
I have provided an example where someone can live in the United States, and still not be an American.
There are also multiple reliable sources (in the article) that verify the scope presently used in the article.
Therefore, I am through. There is no consensus to use a definition not verified, or to change away from the present scope. Also, there does not appear to be a subject "Lost Americans" akin to Lost Canadians.
If we use the definition "This connection may be legal, historical, and/or cultural." than ever Filipino is an American by that definition, as every Filipino was a U.S. National until 1934, and all held allegiance to the United States, via the Commonwealth, until 1946 (thus all children of those former nationals have a historical and cultural connection to the United States). See how silly that is?
Again, I am done. No consensus to change scope of article, no reliable sources brought forth to change scope. Thanks for the debate.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 07:10, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
As explained before many sources can be found for all I have stated just need to look (education is key). Would be best to drop the stringent POV that the article has. Many many others have and do identify with the country despite not being citizens. I myself have grandparents that immigrated to Canada from the USA...but according to this article I have no ties to the country because I an not a citizen that pays taxes....right-wing POV for sure. Government criteria does not define a people ....its culture does. Time for the article to come-out of its rightwing American POV and join the rest of the world and define its people in a worldly view.....more to a people then what the government tells you. Time for me to move on.... no point in arguing if only the governments POV is being considered. This has come up so many times that you would think people here by now would have educated themselves on the topic. Peter J. Spiro Charles Weiner (2007). Beyond Citizenship : American Identity After Globalization:. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-972225-9.  -- Moxy (talk) 16:02, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

This discussion is continued below. Sparkie82 (tc) 20:49, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Main paragraph thingy[edit]

I have an objection on the main paragraph defining "Americans" as "citizens" per se. Mostly because of the status of American Samoans who are not citizens but are Americans. I think my revision is the most inclusive and Barek and Dustin V. S. seems to agree with me. The discussion above should be enough for change. One person shouldn't be enough to prevent the majority consensus. Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 06:28, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

(edit conflict)There is not majority consensus supporting a change as the above editor claims. The editors Barek and Dustin V.S. were only fixing errors in formatting caused by the initial change. Furthermore, the change did not match the reliable sources.
Please see the multitude of reliable sources that verify the sentence. The burden for changing the article's scope is on the editor wanting to make the change and achieving consensus that the scope should be changed to any of the multitude of different meanings of the word American.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:35, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Furthermore, American Samoans are Nationals, and although not all are citizens, some are.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:44, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Moxy, Sparkie82, and Fareed30 have compelling arguments but there is always this one person who keeps on objecting. I wonder who? Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 06:41, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

(edit conflict)Please look at the archive, I am not the only one who has defended the present scope of the article, the users mentioned are just the most recent individuals.
Furthermore, there is still the BURDEN aspect that the above user fails to address.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:44, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Moreover, direct the discussion at what reliable sources say, and not the editor. Please see WP:NPA Shhhhwwww!!.
Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement-en.svg
This is second rung arguing that does not help the matter.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:50, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
The United States Census] includes permanent residents and undocumented migrants as foreign-born "Americans" and includes them in the total population. Excluding them would make the numbers here inaccurate. Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 07:09, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
The census includes foreign-born undocumented “residents”. They might be included in a introductory sentence footnote: Proposed language.
Americans, or the American people, are primarily citizens and nationals who owe permanent allegiance to the United States of America. [note]: Non-citizen residents and expatriates can also claim an American identity.
TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:43, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Do you mean ex-patriots or expatriates? They don't mean the same thing. - BilCat (talk) 14:25, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Expatriates, thanks, I think my spell check got me. "Ex-patriot" is not what I meant to say at all, that would take away from what I am trying to do. I'm trying to embrace all the elements addressed in the discussion above in a concise statement, because I think that they each have merit in their own way. Thanks. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 14:52, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
However, that is not what is backed by the reliable sources presently in the lead paragraph. While there are different definitions of the word American in the Oxford (see noun definition #1) and Merriam-Webster (see definition #3) dictionaries, the first for a noun from Google is: "a native or citizen of the United States.", which is also the first in the Oxford dictionary is the one presently used.
While a note that in population counts the USCB counted all individuals residing in the United States during the last decennial census can be noted, it does not change the definition used in multiple reliable sources, which verify the scope of this article.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:14, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
We must be careful which of the multitude of definitions of the word American that is used, otherwise this article could devolve (as has been lobbied by some) as all people living the Americas, which this article surely is not about.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:16, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that the Oxford Dictionary nor Merriam-Webster should be given as much weight as the U.S. Census since they do not go into detail in their definitions as much as the Census does. And I don't think Google should be treated as a reliable source. Even if those definitions are considered there are still inconsistencies within them that need to be addressed. For example the meaning for American (adj.) in Oxford says "Of, relating to, or characteristic of the United States or its inhabitants:" while in Merriam-Webster it says ": a person born, raised, or living in the U.S." Both of these seemingly support my argument of including all inhabitants of the U.S.. I'm just gonna support the revision by TheVirginiaHistorian because it is the only one that tackles the different definitions. Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 04:24, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
@ RightCowLeftCoast. I think we are coming from the same basic position. “a native or citizen of the United States” includes citizens, nationals, and expatriates.
"The U.S. Census Bureau uses the terms native and native born to refer to anyone born in the United States, Puerto Rico, a U.S. Island Area (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands), or abroad of a U.S. citizen parent or parents" [1].
I trust that relegating “non-citizen residents and expatriates” to a footnote will not sidetrack the main thrust of the narrative for the reader that we agree on, which SHW has agreed to, and you allow "can be noted". TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:04, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
As mentioned above just need to read a few books to see the norm. The dictionary definition is not our purpose here at Wikipedia (WP:NOTNEWSPAPER). Its hard to change anything when people simply don't read the sources provided ..and then claim non have be provided thats why there is not change, Even some of the sources used now in the article mention all this. Source 7 I have provided.... Joseph Bessette; John Pitney (2013). American Government and Politics: Deliberation, Democracy, and Citizenship. Cengage Learning. p. 93. ISBN 1-285-62483-1.  -- Moxy (talk) 16:21, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
I like including non-citzen residents, both legal and illegal, in an introductory footnote as in Bessette’s description of “Modern Americans are a diverse people.” — and expanding upon their description in the body of the article because most of the U.S. immigrants seem to come here from “pull” impulses, attracted to the promise of America to make a life here for themselves and their families.
Those who are “pushed” here temporarily to find work here as single men to send money home are very much in the minority in my view. With more information in our descriptive narrative, we could exclude those temporary workers in our accounting, as they are less likely to adopt an American identity. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 16:51, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
7 sources?
There are six sources in the article, and two dictionary sources that I have provided in this section.
Christine Barbour; Gerald C Wright (15 January 2013). Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizenship in American Politics, 6th Edition The Essentials. CQ Press. pp. 31–33. ISBN 978-1-4522-4003-9. Retrieved 6 January 2015. Who Is An American? Native-born and naturalized citizens 
Shklar, Judith N. (1991). American Citizenship: The Quest for Inclusion. The Tanner Lectures on Human Values. Harvard University Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 9780674022164. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
Slotkin, Richard (2001). "Unit Pride: Ethnic Platoons and the Myths of American Nationality". American Literary History (Oxford University Press) 13 (3): 469–498. doi:10.1093/alh/13.3.469. Retrieved December 17, 2012. But it also expresses a myth of American nationality that remains vital in our political and cultural life: the idealized self-image of a multiethnic, multiracial democracy, hospitable to differences but united by a common sense of national belonging. 
Eder, Klaus; Giesen, Bernhard (2001). European Citizenship: Between National Legacies and Postnational Projects. Oxford University Press. pp. 25–26. ISBN 9780199241200. Retrieved February 1, 2013. In inter-state relations, the American nation state presents its members as a monistic political body-despite ethnic and national groups in the interior. 
Petersen, William; Novak, Michael; Gleason, Philip (1982). Concepts of Ethnicity. Harvard University Press. p. 62. ISBN 9780674157262. Retrieved February 1, 2013. To be or to become an American, a person did not have to be of any particular national, linguistic, religious, or ethnic background. All he had to do was to commit himself to the political ideology centered on the abstract ideals of liberty, equality, and republicanism. Thus the universalist ideological character of American nationality meant that it was open to anyone who willed to become an American. 
Charles Hirschman; Philip Kasinitz; Josh Dewind (4 November 1999). The Handbook of International Migration: The American Experience. Russell Sage Foundation. p. 300. ISBN 978-1-61044-289-3. 
David Halle (15 July 1987). America's Working Man: Work, Home, and Politics Among Blue Collar Property Owners. University of Chicago Press. p. 233. ISBN 978-0-226-31366-5. The first, and central, way involves the view that Americans are all those persons born within the boundries of the United States or admitted to citizenship by the government. 
Who are Americans? What definition of American is this article about, thus defining the scope of this article?
As I said before, there are multiple definitions of the word American. Yes, there are other definitions than the U.S. Citizen or native one. If we use that one, anyone living in the United States one, or anyone with a historical connection to the United States one; than stuck Filipino merchant mariners (LA Times, Philipine Daily Inquirer could have been defined as American; than every Filipino is an American due to it once being a U.S. territory/commonwealth.
To have a footnote about other definitions (which is why there is already a hatnote about there being other usages of the world American) is one thing. Changing the scope of this article to include non-U.S. Citizens (and possibly U.S. nationals) is definitely another all together, and not one that I would support (and not one supported by the reliable sources presently used in the lead paragraph).--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:42, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
@Moxy:, read the source above my most recent statement. No mention of citizenship, or including non-citizens, just a lot of demographic information and the concept of America at the time of the American Revolutionary War.
The book also further delineates the difference between the rest of the population: Joseph Bessette; John Pitney (1 January 2013). American Government and Politics: Deliberation, Democracy, and Citizenship - No Separate Policy Chapters. Cengage Learning. pp. 102–103. ISBN 1-285-62483-1. 
Moreover, the source backs my point that citizenship is central to who are Americans: Joseph Bessette; John Pitney (1 January 2013). American Government and Politics: Deliberation, Democracy, and Citizenship - No Separate Policy Chapters. Cengage Learning. p. 114. ISBN 1-285-62483-1. Americans have disagreed about the effects of racial, ethnic, religious and language differences on the American political community. Over time, the country has rejected all racial, ethnic, and nationality criteria for citizenship, requiring instead a commitment to the universal principles of freedom and democracy.  Emphasis added by me.
--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:59, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
This article is being hijacked by the slippery slope fallacy. No one is suggesting all inhabitants of the Americas be included. At the very least, this article should stick to the United States Census definition: Native-born Americans and Foreign-born "Americans"; with other references be used as supporting sources. Filipinos and Liberians obviously don't count because the ceased to be "American," if they ever were, when they "seceded". Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 23:11, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
May be best to have a RfC I am reading the same refs in a different light as are many. This notion that only citizenship equals Americanisms is the problem here from the the sources talk about in great detail. I cant say any more here...just cant believe the sources are being so white washed and miss read. All need to read boos has a whole not just snippets that back some dictionary definition.-- Moxy (talk) 00:50, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Both U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals owe "permanent allegiance to the United States", the Constitution of American Samoa (U.S. nationals and fewer U.S. citizens) includes a provision for all officials under its Constitution to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" and all American Samoan legislation must be consistent with U.S. law applying to American Samoa and U.S. treaties. --- The same cannot be said for Filipinos and Liberians in the modern era, they now belong to independent nations --- I think dual citizenship is now discouraged for both nations see Liberian nationality law, and at the U.S. Manila Embassy site, it explains, the United States does not favor dual nationality as a matter of policy, but does recognize its existence in individual cases [2] --- have I misread this?
Sample wording alternatives may be a help in an RfC. It might take a trial or two to hammer out two or three alternatives. ---
  • Proposed Alternative A: Americans, or American people, are citizens of the United States of America. (Existing)
  • Proposed Alternative B: Americans, or the American people, are primarily citizens and nationals who owe permanent allegiance to the United States of America. [note]: Dual citizens, non-citizen residents and expatriates may also claim an American identity. (TVH)
  • Proposed Alternative C: Americans, or the American people, are the inhabitants of the United States of America as counted in the cenusus which may or may not include citizens, non-citizen nationals like those in American Samoa, permanent residents, and undocumented migrants. [prior to 5:39, 17 January 2015]
  • Proposed Alternative D: Americans, or the American people, are citizens and nationals of the United States and legal aliens, such as refugees and permanent residents. (Compromise between A & B)
  • Proposed Alternative E: Americans, or the American people, are ... [Moxy?] [Shw?] [RCLC?]
I mean this as a trial before the call for an RfC. I'd like the opportunity to rework my language once I've seen the responses of Shhhhwwww, Moxy, RightCowLeftCoast at least. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 02:29, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Proposed Alternative B is the safest and would probably get the widest support. I've given my vote to that. Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 11:06, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

I've removed the unsourced material that stated that Americans are only citizens. The cited sources don't support the statement that American are only citizens. I've removed the material per WP:BURDEN which states, "The burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who adds or restores material, and is satisfied by providing a citation to a reliable source that directly supports the contribution." According to WP policy, until an editor can prove with reliable sources that Americans are only citizens, then the material can not be restored. Sparkie82 (tc) 13:38, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

The problem is you stripped out the first sentence, and then complained that the Lead didn't explain what country it was, as if you weren't the one who removed the explanation! That's sloppy. If you don't like what's tere, then at least restore an older version of the first line. - BilCat (talk) 14:10, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm reluctant to enter into an edit war to replace an incomplete definition of Americans just prior. But Sparkie82 at least owes us reverting to an older version or some alternative language.
It seems Sparkie82's overall point is correct, "Americans" are not only citizens, although predominantly so. The question posed on page 31 of the source for the introductory sentence at issue, Keeping the Republic [3] is, Who is an American? the answer on page 33 is, “American citizens are usually born, not made.” and “Many people who come to the United States do not come as legal permanent residents.” with further discussion concerning the desirability and numbers of naturalized citizenship.
The source does justify a narrative reporting that Americans are predominantly U.S. citizens. However, I would feel more comfortable with a scholarly source defining "Americans" rather than a textbook or dictionary, in search of a more permanent resolution to the dispute. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 14:31, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
@BilCat: The reason I made two edits was as a courtesy to clearly show what was being done. The first edit was to remove the unsourced material, the second was to make clear which country was referred to and expalain (not complain) what was being changed. Don't be such a prick next time and please change it back yourself so we don't get into an edit war. Sparkie82 (tc) 15:10, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Prior to the edit that made "Proposed Alternative C", the longstanding first sentence is that of "Proposed Alternative A". "Proposed Alternative A" is the one the most closely fits the references used to verify the third sentence of the lead paragraph. While I could concede to "Proposed Alternative B" if there were sufficient reliable sources to verify this definition is more widely used than the "Proposed Alternative A" definition, I stand by "Proposed Alternative A" definition at this time. I oppose outright Proposed Alternative C & D.
Other editors have placed original research or uncited/referenced definitions of American in the lead paragraph before. I am just maintaining the status quo of what is verified.
As I said before, there are plenty of definitions for the word American. The scope of this article is not about those other definitions, but the one verified by multiple reliable sources, some of which I have provided here, others that are presently used in the article itself. This is not the place to change the definition of this article to fit a definition which Define American wants because they don't like present United States nationality law. This is an encyclopedia. We use Americans because it is the common name most often used to refer to People of the United States. As stated the TVH Americans are people who hold a permanent allegiance to the United States of America. Who are those people? Why citizens, as verified by multiple reliable sources. Sure there are other definitions of the word American, and some may call themselves American, even though they are not citizens or hold permanent allegiance to the United States of America, but by they do not fit the definition verified by multiple reliable sources, therefore fall outside of the scope of this article (this is why a hatnote was added to this article some time ago). Know I would be open for a terminology section (just as there is in the article War on Terror) which describes the other definitions of the word American, but it should not be given undue weight or change the scope of this article.
There is no point in having an RfC. Use the definition most often used by the majority of reliable sources. I have proven that it is the definition presently used in the article, defining its scope, that of Americans being U.S. Citizens.
Also Shhhhwwww!!, the Philippines didn't seceded, it was granted independence. That was insulting.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:37, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
The Philippines kinda did secede but like the previous one, it wasn't successful. It did have a different outcome. As I said before, "Proposed Alternative B" is the most acceptable compromise to both the Native-born crew and to the Define American people. The U.S. Census counts everyone in the U.S. together. Foreign-borns are separated from Native-borns but Foreign-borns include both citizens and non-citizens. If non-citizens are excluded then the population counts for Asians and Hispanic & Latinos must be revised because they form the bulk of the undocumenteds and that could lead to racism issues. Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 10:39, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Lets have an RfC ....others will see the ref and make a different conclusion for sure. -- Moxy (talk) 11:46, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
The Philippines was part of the Spanish East Indies annexed by the United States via the Treaty of Paris. A rebellion for independence led by a dictatorial government ( Cornélis De Witt Willcox; Edwin Roy Stuart (1916). International Military Digest. Cumulative Digest Corporation. p. 311.  )( Benjamin R. Beede (21 August 2013). The War of 1898 and U.S. Interventions, 1898T1934: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 419. ISBN 978-1-136-74690-1.  ), was already on going before the U.S. entered the picture.
The census counts population, not just Americans.
And while ILLEGAL aliens are counted in the census, just residing in the United States doesn't make someone American, regardless of what some fringe activists think. A note about the naturalization percentage of populations would be understandable. And yes, there are non-citizen European and African populations in the United States, so excluding those populations brings up a racial issue. What? All "undocumenteds" are Hispanic & Latino or Asian? --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 02:51, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Name-calling is completely unacceptable as you have pointed-out. Calling immigration reform activists as "fringe" is completely unhelpful. Are you saying that the Pulitzer Prize, The Sidney Award, and the Freedom to Write Award completely lack credibility because they gave awards to Jose Antonio Vargas partly because of his advocacy? Liberal commentators, such as Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher, and Jon Stewart have acknowledged in past statements that undocumented children living in the U.S. for most of their lives are "American". A third of the country, led by Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, can't be fringe.
If the numbers from the U.S. Census includes "non-Americans" then the population totals must be removed because they are wrong and inaccurate which will basically end up in removing a quarter of the article.
Hispanics & Latinos disproportionately compose the undocumented population just like like African-Americans disproportionately compose the slave population. This is a race issue. Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 12:24, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I simply don't understand why the lead is about citizenship when we have any article about that. This article is about a people....not what it takes to be a citizen. Loss of nationality by native-born does not mean they don't have a connection to being American anymore. Simply false rightwing POV to say only those with a piece of paper are Americans by default. The fact cultural connection is being demised is very dissapoting to say the lest. There has to be a way to fix this fact. People who may have inadvertently lost their citizenship are still Americans by any normal social defenition.. Goverment POV over social criteria is not what we are looking for in an encyclopedia. US citizen that lose his or her US citizenship are still considered American by any normal social criteria. I dont know what more ...or how many more sources I could provied..but an RfC is in order. -- Moxy (talk) 23:24, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Just because someone claims to be an American doesn't make that person one. Just because someone has a cultural connection to the United States doesn't make someone American. So yes, I am saying that the idea is fringe, or at least are a minority (Town Hall, Rasmussen, Breitbart, Center for Immigration Studies, Gallup, etc.). Therefore, while it is a minority opinion, it should not be given undue weight and define the scope of this article.
Again, just someone has a cultural connect to the United States doesn't make them American. I can argue that Jackie Chan has a cultural connection to the United States, and every Filipino person in the Philippines has a cultural connection to the United States, but none are American. Again, there are multiple definitions for the word American, however the references presently used, and the weight of references do not lend themselves to use a definition other than what is being used presently.
As I said before: While I could concede to "Proposed Alternative B" if there were sufficient reliable sources to verify this definition is more widely used than the "Proposed Alternative A" definition, I stand by "Proposed Alternative A" definition at this time. I oppose outright Proposed Alternative C & D.
--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:27, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Furthermore, while related the definitions for the related, but separate articles, are similar, they are different articles with different scopes. Therefore, within their own sections the population estimates correctly summarizes that article. The definitions most often used on those articles are that created by the US Office of Management and Budget, the same used by the USCB. They have been given the most weight by other reliable sources. As we can see in the source from the USCB, which quote:

The U.S. Census Bureau collects race and Hispanic origin information following the guidance of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) 1997 Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity.

The USCB does not define who an American is, nor does it define who an American is in the source in this extension of my reply. It is there to count population.
Therefore, the USCB, should not be used to define the scope of this article.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:35, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Those of us that are a bit older remember this type of POV..."Show me your papers" step millions killed. Is this the light people should see Americans..I think not. J. M. Bumsted (2003). Canada's Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook. ABC-CLIO. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-57607-672-9.  source #8 -- Moxy (talk) 12:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I’m sorry, I don’t see the connection between the Holocaust and distinguishing “Americans" from temporary workers here just to send money back home. Rather, the national impulse is to find a pathway to citizenship for all who wish to live here permanently; the U.S. admits more legal immigrants each year than the rest of the world combined. This is not Nazi Germany, employers violate national laws to employ temporary workers, they do not turn their "un-American" workers over to death camps. Let's try to be civil with one another.
I remain sympathetic to a wider definition for “American" than citizenship only, because most immigrants with families want to remain with their native-born children to make a life here together. But the preponderance of Americans remain citizens. An RfC now on alternative proposals sounds right, rather than further characterizing one another's views. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 12:55, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
@User:TheVirginiaHistorian The point was that a piece of paper does not determine your heritage. I dont think people are getting the point that others are let look at a few examples James Abegglen, William Ash (writer), James Carney (American priest) and Wayne Brabender (all born in the USA) according to this article can no longer claim American heritage...nor can their offspring because they relinquished their citizenship. This POV is simply not how heritage works. This is an article about a people not a legal definition that already has its own article. Its not a piece of paper that determines ones heritage..... "Cultural Studies" does not define a people in this manner. No one considers the first true Americans those that have a piece of paper saying so...simply not how its done. On the flip side... In Canada as with many other countries this POV would mean that before independents there was no connection to the birth country. A Canadian eg. John A. Macdonald first Prime Minister of Canada by anyone is considered a Canadian who was born in Scotland. At the time all Canadians were "British subjects" since we had no independent nationality laws in the beginning of the countries formation as is true for all most all nations. Like the USA some were included and some were not included in the national eye in the beginning...but today culturally we understand they all did have a connection and thus say so. This articles scope is way off - looks like its written by non experts. Looks like someone found a definition and does not have academic knowledge of how we define a people. -- Moxy (talk) 00:44, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

"""Comment""" Germans are German citizens. Americans living in Germany are not "German" they are Americans living in Germany, as they are immigrants, not citizens. More to the point with American Samoans, do Greenlanders consider themselves Danish, or Greenlanders? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Hello pls see the definition at Germans ..again its not just a piece of paper that links a people as that has its own article German nationality law just like this article does. -- Moxy (talk) 00:59, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
As I stated before, yes there are other definitions of the word American, no one is arguing that. But the preponderance of reliable sources verify that the definition most commonly used for Americans, is the one where citizenship is central to whom are Americans. I understand that we disagree, but no one here is a Nazi. -sarcasm- Thanks for bringing in Godwin's law. That was exactly what this discussion needed. -/sarcasm-
And while it may be seen as a government-POV, each nation is allowed to choose who their citizens are, so obviously it is a government-POV. Otherwise, if anyone can claim any citizenship they want, than no nation would be sovereign.
The question here is the scope of the article. I have proposed a compromise, where the different definitions, other than the one used as the scope defining definition is discussed, in a terminology section. However, those should be written neutrally, well sourced with reliable sources and should not be given undue weight, or change the scope of the article. Otherwise, let us begin counting each Filipino as American, as each Filipino has a historical and cultural connection to the United States; while we're at it, let us count each person who is a decedent of a United Empire Loyalist as an American, and not call them Canadian either; furthermore, we can count each person in Liberia who traces their heritage to a former slave who lived in the United States, as an American.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:35, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
This is the whole problem ...the approach ....the article should be about the people not a government or nation. As the sources have stated over and over.....can people not see them? Its upsetting non experts can push such an uneducated POV. Defining American. The article is contradictory as has been stated by many. Statments like United Empire Loyalist were not American leads me to believe history is not a topic you have a formal education in. O well off to the next topic...not much can be done if all the source provided are not being read.-- Moxy (talk) 11:45, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree that Moxy is wrong in using Godwin's Law. A better analogy would be is to compare Native-born Americans to Hutus and Foreign-borns (both authorized and unauthorzed) to Tutsis.
The problem in using the narrowest definition vis-a-vis the United States Census is that the population totals must be edited in order to remove 22.5 million Foreign-born non-citizens counted with citizens. And while the Foreign-born non-citizens are defined in comparison with the overall population, they are not with regards to each individual racial or ethnic group. This makes the article inaccurate, particularly the population for Hispanics & Latinos. Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 06:08, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
@ Moxy, I agree with including those with an American identity, “cultural” Americans as you say, that’s why I think it important to have them footnoted in the introduction, with their own sections using Cultural Studies sources. I think this is also important because most illegals with families want to be U.S. citizens.
@ RightCowLeftCoast. I agree that the preponderance of “Americans” are citizens, and what is held in common by citizens is what makes it possible for members of so many diverse cultures to prosper here, Pakistanis and Indians, etc., ... --- so can't the scope of the article include "cultural Americans" as appropriately sourced, those with a family history or aspirations to become U.S. citizens? It seems to me to be in the spirit of WP as an encyclopedia to expand knowledge of subject areas, and the cultural aspect is one way to explain the world-wide attraction of the U.S., leading it to admit more legal immigrants each year than all other nations combined. You can keep your family traditions in a free society, where Protestant and Catholic Christians, Shia and Sunni Muslims are not bombed during religious services, for instance. The American Dream is more than just getting rich.
@ Shhhhwwww!!. I agree that the most convenient way of numbering Americans is to use the U.S. Census. But the source report total should be footnoted that temporary immigrant workers may have no American identity nor a desire for U.S. citizenship. Perhaps that fact can be elaborated one of the Cultural Americans sections. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:36, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
@TheVirginiaHistorian:, this goes along with the terminology section addition compromise that I was speaking of. That some use the word American to describe those who are not Americans. Perhaps a summary of relevant parts of the American (word) article? Than why have the hatnotes (added on 2JAN2014, last modified on 2JUL2013) at the top of the article? It can be given some weight, but shouldn't be given undue weight, nor should it change the scope of the article. Additionally, this section should not advocate that these individuals who see themselves as Americans, but do not fit the definition of Americans as provided by reliable sources with a "Government POV" as stated by another editor, are or should be legal U.S. Citizens.
Also, I would not be opposed to including a footnote on the percentage of non-citizens are in each ethnic and racial section, this is demographic information relevant to each population; this should be done for all ethnicities and races, as each have a non-citizen population that fall within their individual scopes (again this should not change the scope of the article). For instance the scope of Asian Americans and the scope of this article are similar but different and distinct, and each ethnicity and race section when added was a summary of each of those individual articles. Therefore, one can be an Asian American but not a U.S. Citizen or an American and reside within the United States.
@Moxy:, please see WP:AVOIDYOU.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 19:49, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
This debate is turning into the origins of Hutu and Tutsi: "For practical purposes, the groups are virtually indistinguishable, without reference to external factors such as identity documents."
@TheVirginiaHistorian, I agree with your efforts to mediate here. I have already conceded to "Proposed Alternative B" and the other two more or less have. I just don't know why it hasn't been implemented yet? Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 20:40, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but not everyone who resides in the United States is an American, as defined by reliable sources that define this scope, that is people who are U.S. Citizens.
Including in the body of the article, context about different definitions for Americans is one thing, but altering the scope of this article is another thing all together. Leave the lead as is, lets have a new section about terminology and different views of the usage of the word Americans, as I suggested. This is not the place to advance the POV of certain special interest. This is an encyclopedia. Are there more reliable sources, such as the one used in the lead, that use an alternate definition? Sure they are out there, but from what I have seen more reliable sources use the definition used in the lead, than other more inclusive definitions when defining who are Americans. Why even use Illegal Alien/undocumented immigrant/etc. if those individuals are already American? There'd be no need; thus those persons are not Americans. Thus why citizenship was so important to former slaves, and the reason for the 14th Amendment; because without citizenship, those former slaves were not Americans.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:55, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
You keep saying the same thing over and over.....about sources ..can you not see all the sources provided thus far?? You are right on some point but miss the ball when it come to how we define a people academically. We really need some people here that have an education on this topic...thus a RfC I will make next week. To say former slaves were not American is missing the whole point of the 14th Amendment. The Amendment addresses many aspects of citizenship and the rights of citizens.,,,,but NO one from any academic POV would say they were not Americans before hand (common sense here not even needing a source) To think (or even have the nerve to say) that only citizens have a connection the the country is an uneducated POV that needs to be addressed in the article. I suggest all start with the basics and we can move on from there..... Gaynor Bagnall; Greg Smith; Elaine Baldwin (2008). Introducing Cultural Studies. Pearson/Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-5843-4. . -- Moxy (talk) 21:26, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Again, shooting the messenger. I have cited a reliable source before where citizenship was central for former slaves to be included as full Americans. This article is not Culture of the United States, this is an article about the people of the United States, whose definition is "not equate their nationality with ethnicity, but with citizenship." (as verified by multiple reliable source).
Otherwise, why limit it to only people who live in the United States, or with a historical connection to the United States. There have been charges of jingoism and racism before that the scope is the way it is, that it is not about all people of the Americas. Or we can go the exact other route, and this article should only redirect to American ethnicity. I repeat what I state, because what I state has not been refuted and is backed by reliable sources. Again, there are multiple definitions of the word American; we are not using those other definitions here. Let there be other articles about those other definitions, please; leave this article's scope as it is. There have been several compromises proposed, but the scope of this article should remain as is; the other definitions can be included as a summary and a link to those other articles about those other definitions can be included here.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 07:18, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
@Shhhhwwww!!:. I was awaiting the RfC, --- so far its just you and me for Alternate B, with RCLC giving only qualified support. All the elements of Alternate B are addressed in the Congressional Quarterly reference now used, Christine Barbour; Gerald C Wright (15 January 2013). Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizenship in American Politics, 6th Edition The Essentials. CQ Press. pp. 31–33 -- the diversity beyond citizens lies in the answer to the question Who are Americans? section heading is found under the second sub-section heading on page 33 [4]. I've begun a search to see if I can't find something else by the Congressional Research Service or GAO, but the Congressional Quarterly source is important for encyclopedic purposes for the general reader, without losing sight of the main fact that the preponderance of Americans are citizens as described in the first subsection of the reference. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 13:10, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── WP:WEIGHT: The number of foreign-born residents in the United States (2013) is at its highest level in U.S. history, reaching 41.3 million, (13.1% of the U.S. population); the unauthorized resident alien population leveled off at 11.3 million (3.6% of the U.S. population). Summary, Congressional Research Service. [5]. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 13:55, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Conversion of note[edit]

Not to get into an edit war, a note which was what the compromise being offered by TVH initially, has been changed by another editor into a direct part of the lead paragraph. I do not agree with it not being a note, as it emphasizes something that the majority of the references don't verify. However, this is something I can work with.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:16, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

April 2015[edit]

Per WP:BRD, I have reverted the WP:BOLD change made by Sparkie82. It goes against the consensus created in the above conversation. Please Sparkie82, WP:DROPTHESTICK & WP:JUSTDROPIT.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:27, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion includes a post by Shhhhwwww!!, which says, "Moxy, Sparkie82, and Fareed30 have compelling arguments but there is always this one person who keeps on objecting. I wonder who?"
@RightCowLeftCoast Nobody owns this article, however you have a long history of tendentiously reverting this article back to a very old version that you alone agree with. If there is any consensus at all, it's that "Americans" includes non-citizens, as evidenced by the above discussions. That's what the reliable sources say and that's what most editors feel should be in the article. If you continue to block improvements to this article, I will escalate this to the wider WP community. Sparkie82 (tc) 20:46, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, there were others, who did not agree with the above editor. Whom Sparkie82 did not list.
Do not threaten me. It also shows bad faith, thus not abiding WP:AGF. Therefore, beware of WP:BOOMERANG.
There are many sources that also verify the version not supported by Sparkie82. The version of the lead has consensus, even though the consensus is not favored by Sparkie82. The POV that non-citizens may claim an American identity was added during the compromise developed in the consensus earlier this year. This is why the following sentence is in the lead

Although citizens make up the majority of Americans, non-citizen residents, dual citizens, and expatriates may also claim an American identity.

Therefore, please stop. Do not begin tedious editing on the article and please walk away. The lead paragraph is very well sourced with a multitude of reliable sources that very the content, including the POV which Sparkie82 supports.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 08:59, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
I'll walk away if you do. Sparkie82 (tc) 13:49, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
it is odd the articles lead is so exclusionary...but as people read the article they can see for themselves the state of affairs with links to articles with more info. The problem is that some dont see the difference between a legal definition (that has an article at Citizenship in the United States) vs a cultural anthropology approach. According to the lead here Americans dont have any ancestry or cultural legacy...just a piece of paper is what defines an American here. To put it simply...dont have a piece of paper you cant claim you have an American connection - sorry Geronimo and people born in the colonies before the Naturalization Act of 1790... from here on out as per Wikipedia your not Americans...have an ancestor from the USA...your also out of luck as Americans are only defined by a piece of have no heritage.... LOL. -- Moxy (talk) 21:00, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Geronimo was born in Mexico. Is he still Mexican? - BilCat (talk) 21:31, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
@Moxy: Why ignore the last sentence of the lead paragraph? Why ignore all the citations verifying the lead sentence?
Both view points are given weight in the lead. Nothing is being ignored. There are footnotes noting those non-citizens who may or may not claim an American identity counted by the Untied States Census Bureau. And once again, the Census Bureau does not define who are Americans.
One source, I wish I had more access too: Peter J. Spiro Charles Weiner Professor of International Law Temple University--Beasley School of Law (31 December 2007). Beyond Citizenship : American Identity After Globalization: American Identity After Globalization. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-972225-9. . It appears to give all view points of the definition of who are Americans. That is just on a glance.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:58, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Also see Names for United States citizens#Development of the term "American". Where I have as of this post made zero edits, and whose section is well cited. There are other usages of the word American, no one is denying that. This article's scope just happens not to be about those other usages.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:19, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── RC, would adding a qualifier such as "primarily", or similar in the first sentence be acceptable? It would read, "Americans, or American people, are primarily citizens of the United States of America." - BilCat (talk) 22:13, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

"Primarily citizens" seems to allow for other definitions editors want to include, while asserting the overwhelming numbers of citizens among those who may be classified as "Americans" in the common English usage of the term, those related to the United States of America. As Bessette notes “the American ideal that a commitment to common principles ties together a large and diverse population” -- that certainly centers the scope on citizens, even though they may not actively be participating in voting, petitioning the government, or writing letters to a newspaper.
But it allows for consideration of those who are resident and not intending to return home as up to 50% of previous 20th century immigration waves did. In the 19th century, one could gain citizenship and voting rights in states before U.S. citizenship as an inducement to immigrants to push inland to the western frontier. We see an echo of that impulse in some states issuing drivers licenses before citizenship. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 07:13, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
It is covered by the American Identity passage in the lead paragraph; non-citizens may claim an American Identity. IMHO it's rather an inclusive statement--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 21:51, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
You are correct on the substance. The others seem to be concerned about the stylistic tenor or tone, since they read "citizen" as somehow exclusionary as it is phrased in your proposal. (Some few 55,000 non-citizens are American Samoans, U.S. nationals, "native born" Americans as the Census defines them.) Of course "citizen" for the U.S. is not concretely exclusionary over time, which you have pointed out; each year, the U.S. legally naturalizes more people than the rest of the world's countries combined. (Is it Switzerland which requires both father and mother to be Swiss in order to gain Swiss citizenship?) But for the sake of collegiality, I like "primarily citizens" as BilCat suggests, I do not think it waters down your main point excessively. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:56, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
How about Citizens and Nationals. This is an article about a group of people based on nationality after all.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 04:55, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I wish you could see your way clear to live with “primarily citizens”. The American nationality is exceptionally in the world an ideal commitment to common principles which extends beyond the actual, concrete enumeration of those with proper birth certificates to actually embrace a worldwide diversity. It actually attains multi-cultural diversity at an international scale as a destination for families from Pakistan and India, Shia and Sunni. Those who would not necessarily get along in their native land come here to get along with everyone for the sake of the common commitment to principles of individual liberty and community security.

I do not mean to include illegals if that gives offense, but consider those non-citizens counted by the census department as resident aliens. Rather than single men returning home after a few years labor, newcomers often now raise their families here and become naturalized in a way that previous waves of immigration did not. I do not see the present tide of immigration as threatening to America, I see it as another success story to include in the "Americans". TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:18, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't matter what I believe, or TVH believes. It matters what can be verified. The reliable sources give significantly more weight that Americans are citizens of the United States. Who are American, but those who have American nationality. Sure there are aliens who claim American identity, but that usage has less weight than that of the more common usage, regardless of what advocates for "immigration reform" want. The lead section gives both views weight, but does not give undue weight to the less common view that Americans are just anyone who happens to reside in the United States. The USCB does not determine who Americans are, that is not within their mandate, and to construed that it does is WP:SYNTH at best.

a native or citizen of the United States.

"...see your way..."? Sorry, nope. Not supported by reliable sources, either dictionary definition or otherwise. Otherwise, this article might as well be about all people who reside in the Americas (as some have advocated). That is not what this article is about. There are two articles about those who don't have American nationality who reside in the United States: Illegal immigrant population of the United States, Permanent residence (United States). Perhaps the latter article can use expansion by including demographics of those lawful aliens; I would very much support that.
Rather than change the scope of this article, work on improving those articles.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:10, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
To follow your lead, I think that the top hat discussion that the reader first encounters might have an additional lede first say,
See also Permanent residence (United States) and Illegal immigrant population of the United States. For other uses, see US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation).
I didn't mean to imply altering the scope of the article to include all the Americas. I only am concerned with permanent residents who embrace a commitment to the common principles found in Declaration of Independence and an intention to follow the oath of U.S. citizenship: to renounce any foreign allegiance, to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States faithfully and to serve the U.S.G. as required by law [6]. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:33, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
IMHO the hatnote at the top is fine. IMHO it is best instead as separate wikilinks within the See also section at the bottom. While those two articles are related to this one, they have definitely different in scope. It would like placing a hatnote on the top of World War II with a see also to World War I/The Great War; or placing a hatnote on the top of Border War (1910–19) to Mexican-American War.
There is a reason why we have a See also section at the bottom of the article.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 16:34, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Failed verification[edit]

I am moving some references to the talk page because they failed verification:

  • This reference[1] does not explicitly contain the the cited phrase. The words cited are actually a heading and subheading within a chapter as follows:
Chapter 2: American Citizens and Political Culture
Level 1 subhead: Who is an American?
Level 2 subhead: Native-born and Naturalized Citizens
Level 2 subhead: American Citizenship
Level 2 subhead: Nonimmigrants
Level 2 subhead: U.S. Immigration Policy
Level 2 subhead: Whom to admit

Also, the book appears to have been written for a middle school or high school audience because the language is simple and the pages are laid out like a brochure with cartoonish-like graphics and fonts in various sizes and colors. It is defininately not an academic treatment of the topic.

  • This reference[2] does not address the claim; it contains no definition of "American" on the cited page. Sparkie82 (tc) 16:07, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • This reference[3] refers to what blue-collar workers believe an American is, not what academia says it is. Here is the cited statement in a more complete context:
This chapter, then, considers the meaning these blue-collar workers attach to the concept of an American, the American people, and America.
Concept of an American
The Modern Nation State
Imperium workers use the related concepts of an American, the American people, and Americans in three ways. The first, and central, way involves the view that Americans are all those persons born within the boundries of the United States or admitted to citizenship by the government. Consider these examples...

Whichever editor added that Halle reference to the article, carefully edited the citation so that it omitted that fact that the statement was talking about the perceptions blue-collar workers and presented it as if it were a definitive statement. As such, the cite does not support the claim, however, the reference could be used to support a statement about the perceptions of blue-collar workers. Sparkie82 (tc) 16:47, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

This is good work, Sparkie82. However, though not my work, the Congressional Quarterly publication was of some value establishing sourced description of "Americans" as being broader than just U.S. citizens. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 18:24, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
it's good to see others also saw some problems with the references in the article... but this exclusionary tone of the article is a problem. Teaching people that someone like Geronimo wasn't American is simply wrong by all means. will word a nice neutral rfc later this week. --Moxy (talk) 12:07, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. Geronimo was certainly geographically an American in the same way all North and South American residents are. Was he a U.S. national in Arizona? territory, or is that a 20th century classification for Native-American populations? Interesting to explore. We have a political aspect to "Americans" usage, a cultural aspect, and a geographical aspect. Can we fit a discussion along all those perimeters into one RfC? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 14:33, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Just because the language is not targeted at academics does not make it invalid as a reliable source. As shown by the source the first source to admit, the entire content of the chapter is that citizenship is central to who are Americans. For the second source, please re-read it; it goes into the openness of American citizenship, as compared to ethnic citizenship, underpinning what is stated in Wikipedian voice in the article. For the third removed source, again not only Academia determins who Americans are, it does verify what is stated in Wikipedia voice. Therefore, I am reverting the removal per WP:BRD.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:09, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
As part of the content that was reverted was verified by a reliable source I re-added it as a footnote, see diff.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:28, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
O well not much can be done here...sources are not being read...Joseph Bessette; John Pitney; Lyle Brown; Joyce A. Langenegger, Sonia Garcia (2011). American Government and Politics: Deliberation, Democracy and Citizenship, Texas Edition. Cengage Learning. p. 98. ISBN 0-495-90588-7. This The motto “E pluribus unum” implies that being an American is something more than just a legal status  source #9 I have provided. I Will have the Rfc done by tommrow...see if we can get this uneducated rightwing POV fixed. -- Moxy (talk) 19:15, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Hopefully it will overturn the over-"educated" left-wing bias as well, and just be neutral per reliable sources. - BilCat (talk) 19:09, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
What? Nice use of WP:LABEL and Straw man.
There are different definitions of the word American. This article just happens to use a definition that does not have a "rightwing POV", but one that basis itself on reliable sources, and chooses a limited scope.
Why not create other articles about those other definitions than radically alter the scope of this one?
If this is the case, that the scope is what is wanted to be changed, why not change this article to all people of the Americas, as has been advocated in the past by other editors? Otherwise, it could be argued that the scope is still to limited to only be about the United States, which does not represent a worldwide view of the word.
Also look at the source posted by Moxy above. Citizenship is central to being "full-fledged members of a political community,". It further verifies what is stated in the lead paragraph article, in showing that being American isn't based on "racial, ethnic, gender, or economic groups,". The section which the source provided by Moxy is about citizens being involved in civil affairs, because as the article states "American is something more than just a legal status.". Therefore, if we were to use this single source as the basis of the article's scope than American would mean something similar to Americans are only those who are engaged in civil affairs in the United States.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 19:20, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

References failing verification[edit]

  1. ^ Christine Barbour; Gerald C Wright (15 January 2013). Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizenship in American Politics, 6th Edition The Essentials. CQ Press. pp. 31–33. ISBN 978-1-4522-4003-9. Retrieved 6 January 2015. Who Is An American? Native-born and naturalized citizens 
  2. ^ Charles Hirschman; Philip Kasinitz; Josh Dewind (4 November 1999). The Handbook of International Migration: The American Experience. Russell Sage Foundation. p. 300. ISBN 978-1-61044-289-3. 
  3. ^ David Halle (15 July 1987). America's Working Man: Work, Home, and Politics Among Blue Collar Property Owners. University of Chicago Press. p. 233. ISBN 978-0-226-31366-5. The first, and central, way involves the view that Americans are all those persons born within the boundries of the United States or admitted to citizenship by the government. 

Tidy up[edit]

Hi, I tried changing the infobox and tried to make it neater in style and layout than what it currently is. I feel the images at the moment are not neat at all and jumbled up which makes it hard to make it neat using its current layout. I proposed this layout but it was reverted as there was no consensus before hand. Just give your views please and even your own examples of what you think looks better.

Population by ancestry group[1][2]
Rank Ancestry group Percentage
of total est. population
Pop. estimates
John Steinbeck 1962.jpg
John F. Kennedy, White House photo portrait, looking up.jpg
Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington.jpg
Frank Sinatra (1960).jpg
Frank Sinatra (Italian)
Martha Stewart 2011 Shankbone.JPG
J S Copley - Paul Revere.jpg
Paul Revere (French)
Thomas Flintoff - Sam Houston - Google Art Project.jpg
Sam Houston (Scottish)
Thomas Edison2.jpg
Marilyn Monroe - publicity.JPG
Marilyn Monroe (Norwegian)
Meredith Viera (Portuguese)
1 German 16.50% 47,911,129
2 Irish 11.50% 35,186,074
3 English 9.00% 26,349,212
4 American 6.75% 20,875,080
5 Italian 5.65% 17,488,984
6 Polish 3.12% 9,660,864
7 French (except Basque) 2.87% 8,891,224
8 Scottish 1.79% 5,562,022
9 Dutch 1.51% 4,687,636
10 Norwegian 1.45% 4,491,712
White and European American (total) 231,040,398
2010 United States Census[3]
2009–2011 American Community Survey
Cesar chavez crop2.jpg
Cesar chavez (Mexican)
Anita Page Argentinean Magazine AD.jpg
Anita Page (Salvadorian)
Admiral Farragut2.jpg
David Farragut (Spanish)
Hilda Solis Secrétaire au travail.jpg
Hilda Solis (Mexican/Nicaraguan)
Governor NewMexico.jpg
Susana Martinez (Mexican)
Sonia Sotomayor in SCOTUS robe.jpg
Sonia Sotomayor (Puerto Rican)
A-Rod2 adjusted.jpg
Alex Rodriguez (Dominican)
Ted Cruz, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Ted Cruz (Cuban)
Raquel Welch (Bolivian)
Marco Rubio, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Marco Rubio (Cuban)

Puertorico1 (talk)

I do not agree, the infoboxes provide one individual per ethnicity or ancestry corresponding for the largest population within that categorization. The White and European infobox proposed above includes individuals whose ancestry are not from the largest populations per the most recent census count, therefore give those groups undue weight. The infobox for Hispanics and Latinos includes more than a single person from a single national origin. While, the infobox does do a good job of making the sizes all uniform, it presents the individuals in a smaller size thus making the details harder to distinguish.
That being said, although George Washington and JFK are highly notable individuals, it might be best to replace them with non-politicians due to neutrality concerns.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 19:18, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi, I didnt make myself clear enough on why I propose this style change only ... I wasn't proposing that you use every person used in the gallery infact they are going to be changed most likely anyway ... I was only talking about the info box style compared to what it is like at the moment a bit of a mess in the article. I wasn't proposing using these people or ethnicities. Puertorico1 (talk)

Is there a way of integrating it all into a single infobox as it is now?--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:37, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Perhaps like this but I don't know how to make the gallery float in the center unless its filled with just 5 more people but maybe that's not necessary. Puertorico1 (talk)

Is there a way to use an image gallery that allows the editor to stack the images in the format which they want to. Different populations have different number of portraits.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Table 52. Population by Selected Ancestry Group and Region: 2009" (PDF). 2009 American Community Survey. United States Census Bureau. January 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ "B04006, People Reporting Ancestry". 2009-2011 American Community Survey. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference TWP2010 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Definition of "American" includes the whole continent[edit]

Accidental revert[edit] and Puertorico1: I didn't mean to make this revert. Must have accidentally clicked the rollback button or something. Apologies, please carry on.--Cúchullain t/c 12:54, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

No worries, I used to do the same thing with my rollbacks when editing on a tablet. My rollback rights have since been revoked for unrelated, and unjustified, reasons, so it doesn't happen anymore. :) - BilCat (talk) 19:28, 9 April 2015 (UTC)


Should the infobox include the most recent estimate, or the last full count of the 2010 Census? I see it was boldly changed by Mr.Bob.298, and was not reverted by BilCat. Some articles include both estimate and last accurate count, others only include one. Furthermore, it is not a total population of Americans, just the population of the United States. Let us get consensus on this matter.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 21:03, 22 May 2015 (UTC)