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WikiProject United States (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
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WikiProject Ethnic groups (Rated C-class, High-importance)
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Total Population of Americans[edit]

You show that the total population of Americans is 308,745,538 in the Infobox. I understand that you are measuring using the Census, but then you state that the US has 318,201,000 Americans. Obviously, those numbers are off by 10 million. To make matters worse, your initial estimate does not include the number of Americans living abroad.

If you include the number living abroad, the correct number of Americans would be 321,264,045 - 322,305,738, assuming my math is right. Can you at least please explain the reasoning behind using the Census for 2010 when that only measures reporting American residents in the US, and not true "Americans" necessarily - illegal immigrants who do not self-identify as Americans, nor hold American citizenship.

I'd be interested in the recount aspect. Thanks. (A random anon who like wikis, but mostly Wikia) (talk) 03:01, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

I am going to add one more comment - your disambiguation line states that this page is about citizens of the United States of America. That furthers my questioning of your use of the Census, and just the whole issue. Also, I have no response so I am hoping commenting again brings some discussion up. (Some anon) (talk) 03:34, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

The problem is that the best thing we could do would be to have the 322 million number, then subtract 12 million for illegals to get 310 million. Though we would also probably have to subtract another 10 million for legal immigrants and have only 300 million. We really don't know how many illegals there are exactly because there aren't really any official numbers on it. (talk) 13:22, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Infobox images[edit]

I see that the majority of edits have been changing the images in the lead section infobox. Rather than all these constant edits, let us come to a consensus on what should be in that infobox. Back when I use to be a more active editor, it was just the American flag, due to the civil but constant editing that we see today. What are the goals of the Wikipedians in all this editing? This article is not List of Americans, this is about all people of the United States. Rather than multiple single individuals, is it possible to have multiple pictures of group images, perhaps one per century, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st, each being representative of the subject of this article and the History of the United States?--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 12:33, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

I think deleting it would be ideal. British people does not do this, and pictures are only displayed for smaller groups with in the country (ex. Scottish people, British Asians). Also the fact that not even half of the images are of women is pathetic. The people pictured are notable Americans, but they definitely aren't a representative group of American people. Considering how diverse the country is, the page as it is shouldn't really look like this. Secondplanet (talk) 23:24, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, then. Perhaps we should take a poll to determine consensus as to whether there is support of removing the multiple individual portraits in the main info box of this article in the lead section.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:26, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
American mosaic.jpg
The problem here is the number of images - 36 persons are overweight and the viewer is lost in images. The standard number must be 20-27 people (max.30). It is a mosaic of 25 significant and popular Americans, arranged chronologically by date of birth. 5x5 and 5x6 options are the best and are used in many articles as Dutch people, Bulgarians, Brazilians, Germans, Italians, Serbs, etc. Other variant is 27 images in 3x9 as in French people or 16 images in 4x4 as in Norwegians.--Stolichanin (talk) 10:10, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Eh, it seems impossible to agree upon even 30 people to represent Americans. The picture you made certainly doesn't do a good job, at least in my opinion. Secondplanet (talk) 15:23, 30 August 2014 (UTC)


Please sign your name using four tildes (~~~~) under the position you support, and please add a (hopefully brief and well thought out) comment.

  • Remove infobox images
I would also like to point out that this article is about American people. Famous figures are hardly relavent to the article topic, yet some seem to see it as a criteria for image inclusion on this page. There isn't a reason popularity or notability should be considered if images are included. Secondplanet (talk) 03:26, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
    • RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:15, 3 September 2014 (UTC) Back when I was a more active editor on this article, I believed it sufficient to have images in the infobox of each of the Racial and ethnic group sections of the article. Each section can have an individual of each of the ethnicities within that racial group, as determined by consensus. Although I like the idea of group images for each of the different centuries that the United States has been around (18th, 19th, 20th, & 21st), failing that removing images from the primary infobox might stop these edit wars from re-occurring. However, I would like to remind the poll creator of WP:!VOTE; perhaps a notification to relevant Wikiprojects is in order to show consensus for or against removing the primary infobox individual portraits.
    • Omit: A perpetual source of dispute and contention. Some of the current choices are indefensible, most notably the inclusion of a contemporary Louisiana politician. Both 20th century scientists are known primarily for textbooks and television. Of the 36 in the current page, three are women. At first glance, none are Jewish, one is Asian-American -- and Inouye is otherwise arguably not among the 25 most significant senators in US history. Conservative politicians are grotesquely over-represented. We have lots of athletes and entertainers, but no winners of the Nobel Prize (besides Hemingway), no great physicians, no great engineers (besides Ford, and his anti-semitism rather taints him as a role model). This will never be settled will always be a source of tension and controversy, and is entirely extraneous to the project goals.MarkBernstein (talk) 20:52, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Added more diverse people with more occupations. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 21:45, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
No you didn't. There is still only four women on a image wall full of men. The concept isn't that difficult to understand. Secondplanet (talk) 03:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Technically, he made it 5 women (I'm guessing that's still not enough), w/someone removing 1 of them. Blaylockjam10 (talk) 06:48, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Keep infobox images
    • --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 02:13, 3 September 2014 (UTC) I go both ways to be honest. Although I think we should keep the images, but add a small note saying editors not to the change pictures. Plus if a mosaic is to be used for the future it should have these people in it. Then again most of the edits are on the images. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 02:13, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
    • Blaylockjam10 (talk) 07:21, 4 September 2014 (UTC) I'd keep the images, but 1 suggestion I have is replacing Robin Williams w/an Asian American. It appears Williams was added after his death. He's notable, but I'm not sure he's notable enough. I don't see any Asian Americans in the infobox images. If there aren't any, 1 should be added. I agree w/adding a small note asking editors not to change the pictures.
The current 36 images are undue weight. Obviously their number must be reduced. I made a few adjustments and used people from the current image, but cut the number to 24, as you can see now. There are several problems with current images:
1. When the images are more than 30 the viewer is lost in the image.
2. We must to add at least one American, who was born after 1974 (under 40 years). One general rule in the images in infobox is to describe people from different generations and historical periods. Many nations have least one person, born after 1974. For example - Italians has Valentino Rossi, Serbs - Novak Djokovic, Bulgarians - Grigor Dimitrov and Nina Dobrev, Brazilians - Neymar and Adriana Lima, Norwegians - Lisa-Mari Moen Jünge, etc. The youngest American in current images is Michael Jordan, who is 51 years old (1963). I added Angelina Jolie, who was born in 1975. Actually, if we compared to the other articles, she is on the border (Grigor Dimitrov and Neymar are born in 1990s). But she is world popular as a whole. Other people who can to replaced or to be added in images - Michael Phelps, Beyonce, somebody who you want.
3. The majority of the faces must be Americans, who are popular outside of United States. For example - Merilyn Monroe and Hemingway are world famous, while Oprah Winfrey and Edgar Allan Poe are almost unknown for non-Americans (which do not minimize their significance). But it's not so important.--Stolichanin (talk) 19:11, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
@Stolichanin: I didn't have a problem getting lost in the 36 pictures. I get lost in part of your mosaic due to the entire 2nd row being black & white photos. Quite a few of the people you chose don't seem to follow your 3rd rule. I had to click the George Gershwin link to know who he is. Blaylockjam10 (talk) 01:51, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I like the mosaic and support it being the official Americans image. Perhaps replacing Gershwin, who is a composer, with international known composers such as John Williams or Leonard Bernstein. Keep the other people. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 22:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)--TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 22:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, George Gershwin is very well known outside the US. He is a far more important musician than John Williams and, importantly for this application, he is widely considered a quintessentially American composer. Outside the US, "American music" means, more than anything else, jazz. No one wrote more jazz standards than George Gershwin. MarkBernstein (talk) 15:29, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The most important criteria for the list of Americans in the infobox should be diversity & identifiability to Americans. International renown is important, but not as important as those 2 criteria. Blaylockjam10 (talk) 06:48, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
We should use infobox images but we need anouther poll to decide the persons. There are lot of people that can be represented in infobox. kazekagetr 13:46, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
The previous consensus was that portraits should not be used in the infobox, see the discussion below. Consensus can change, however we would need to open a discussion on that to find out if it has, and presently I don't believe the slow moving edit war helps this article when it comes to lead infobox portrait usage.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 01:02, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

In the name of reason I smite your silly PC nonsense[edit]

Why is Geronimo on there? I understand that it's PC to add an American Indian, but I'm pretty sure Geronimo spent his time fighting the American army and trying to keep his people from being conquered, so he would most likely take offense to being grouped together with the conquerors of his nation. There should be a different guy on there, an American Indian who also clearly considers themselves an American (that means no Russell Means). (talk) 13:25, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

I think either are fine, but I think the question is is there a consensus that Native Americans are not Americans? If it is a a question of citizenship, then pre-1924 Native Americans might be excluded, as the Indian Citizenship Act didn't extend U.S. citizenship to those with tribal citizenship until then; and possibly not until 1940 when Jus soli came into effect with the Nationality Act of 1940. Of course individual Native Americans were citizens prior to 1924, however that is whether one requires citizenship to be considered American, and whether U.S. Nationals are Americans (which IMHO they are).--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 00:09, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps a good place to look is this article's section: Native American civil rights#Voting. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 00:12, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

No good can come of this. If we exclude non-citizens, then inclusion of colonial Americans like Franklin and Americans born as slaves, like Frederick Douglass, becomes problematic. I think Geronimo is fine, and I'd be very tempted to add Tecumseh. For a native American in the arts, one might consider Nampeyo. The mosaic is a continual source of mischief, and I continue to believe it would be better omitted entirely.MarkBernstein (talk) 16:12, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

It is not clear to me whether including early Indians or excluding them is the current PC choice, but I favor keeping them. I also feel that the mosaic should be a constantly rotating event, one month politicians, another all artists, musicians, black history month, immigrants, women, athletes, serial killers, etc. Not sure if this would make the current squabbling better or worse but at least it would be different. Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 18:17, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree with MarkBernstein, the infobox editing has become a slow moving edit conflict that may never be stable. I think the infoboxes for the different races and ethnicities adequately provides for representatives of those individual subjects for this article, therefore making the portraits in the infobox unnecessary IMHO.
That being said, Benjamin Franklin and other founding fathers would be included as the Constitution extended them citizenship upon ratification explicitly. Same can be said about the Fourteenth Amendment for African American former slaves. As for Native Americans, I don't see why citizenship need be required for inclusion in this article, but was making my statements based on one potential position, not that I agreed with it; if anything they are the first Americans, IMHO--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 21:19, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
On the infobox photos edit war, as the one who restored the photo section a number of months back, I'm sorry.that is has never been stable, and I now agree that it probably never will be. But if we do remove it I'm afraid that at this point the edit warriors will just move on to the race sections, as they're used to adding faves and removing hates. But I'm willing to give it a try. - BilCat (talk) 21:31, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
In a large part, I added the infoboxes portraits to the race sections, doing so based on the different ethnicity and ancestry population sizes within each subject. They have remained relatively stable due to this. The largest change has been to the White/European/Caucasian section, which IMHO should changed back to by order of population, but that's a different discussion for a different time.
If the portraits in the primary infobox is kept, a strong consensus of whom should be there, and why should be formed, and once consensus for whom should be in the infobox has been established, it should be defended vigorously, with the onus on the attempting editor to show that consensus has changed drastically.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:05, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Okay so in "laymans terms" I think Sitting Bull is a better replacement for Geronimo if it is to be done. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 01:35, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Geronimo or Sitting Bull? How to choose? Why not Tecumseh? Sacagawea? Nampeyo? It's difficult to see how to arrive at a principled selection. MarkBernstein (talk) 20:24, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
If there is consensus not to have any portraits in the primary infobox in the lead section it is a moot point.
If we are seeking a consensus, I say we do straw poll. Get nominations (say a week or two nominating period), followed by a voting period (say three weeks). Majority support gets placed in infobox.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:01, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
I also reacted when I saw Geronimo, but I guess one could argue that native american is a kind of american. Personally, I´d like to see Eisenhower and Robert E Lee in there. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:43, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Multiracial American portraits[edit]

Perhaps the Multiracial American portraits should be reviewed, it is politically one sided (a single Democrat politician), and may over represent some sub-groups.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:09, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Who would you add or remove, and why? Which groups are "over-represented"? It's easy to make vague criticisms, but specifics would be more helpful. - BilCat (talk) 09:25, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Look at the article Multiracial American, and it does a decent job of listing the multiple interracial categories that are statistically observed. From a quick look, the images that are on this article do not represent all the categories that are represented on that page, and there is still the political unbalance in that infobox and here (that I had previously mentioned).--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 13:24, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't answer my question: which groups are overrepresented here, and which political faction? Are you counting only politicians, or reading every bio to see which way a person leans? I'm not reading every bio on each person to determine which races are overrepresented, but I assume you did, so which is it? And have you taken into account which groups tended to mix more than others? - BilCat (talk) 14:09, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Politicians (of which there is but one Democrat politician)
Just looking at the identities listed in the Multiracial American article, there is a section about Whites, section about Black/African American, section about European & Native American, section about African and Native American, section about Pacific Islander, section of Euroasian, a section of Afro-Asian, and a section of Hispanic and Latino.
Article has Black/White (Politican), White only (Jobs was removed from Multiracial article in October 2014), European & Native American, Hispanic, EuroAsian, Black/White, and White/Black & Native American. I already see missing identities.
If we go base on demographics, even in the race sections above this section in the article space, each group, regardless of population size only receive one representative (if they have suffignificant population within that category).
White/"Some other race"=1.7m
Black/"Some other race"=314k
(Table 2 info)
(Table 7 info)
Therefore, based on either format, the portraits in the section in question should be changed or rebalanced.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 17:03, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have boldly changed the gallery to a sectional infobox similar to the ones used in other race sections. I have left out representatives for "Some Other Race" combinations due to the ambiguaty of the term, just as how American ethnicity is left out in the White and European Americans section.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:15, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Getting rid of the infobox mosaic for good[edit]

I posted a poll about this earlier on the talk page, but nothing became of it. Here I am just going to list the reasons why the infobox mosaic is silly, feel free to add on reasons.

1. It is difficult to capture the diversity of the country in a limited space.

2. The images have caused endless conflict on this page, and it impossible to have "consensus" on the correct images for the page.

3. Images of famous Americans are barely relevant to the topic of American people.

4. Personal biases are inherent in the selection of any group of people to represent "Americans."

5. The mosaic consistently remains incredibly slanted towards a white male perspective. Women have never been equally represented in the images despite the fact that they comprise half the population. (This is seems to be a side-effect of how out-of-touch with reality many editors are. This shouldn't even be a problem.)

6. Other culturally diverse nations do not have infobox mosaics. See British people, for example. Instead of displaying a massive wall of images of all sorts of British people, images are reserved for more specific pages, such as British Asian or Welsh people.

7. The infobox mosaic distracts from the content of the page and provides little additional information to readers of the page. If someone read this page genuinely interested in learning about Americans, these images would be very ineffective in illustrating the topic of the article.

8. The issue of removing the infobox images has been brought up several times, yet there has never been consensus. The discussion has been for the most part ignored by participants in the edit war, and very few attempts to actually refute this change have been made.

Secondplanet (talk) 04:09, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

As their primary supporter of the mosaic in the main infobox, I am sad to admit that it has proven unworkable, one of the reasons it has failed is this misguided attempt to "reflect diversity"! "Famous people" are famous usually because they were leaders of some sort, especially politically, and historically those have been white males. George Washington was the commanding general of the Revolutionary War, and the first president of the US under the Constitution. We can't change who he was ethnically, or his accomplishments. The first 43 presidents of the US were "white" males, even though their ethnic backgrounds differ considerably, with several being from ethnic groups that were marginalized historically, notably JFK being of Irish descent. The 44th president is still half "white", regardless of how he choses to self-identify. Other famous or infamous leaders and pioneers of industry, art, etc. were also "white" males. Simply looking at a mosaic and saying things like "The mosaic consistently remains incredibly slanted towards a white male perspective" is just plain silly. Have women and minorities played a significant role in US history and culture? Of course they have. But that doesn't change who has been historically significant. Also, looking at people solely though the lens of color and gender minimizes the great accomplishments of people who are derided simply because they are "white males". The US is a nation of immigrants, and many of the historically significant white males had ancestors who came from European countries were they were marginalized because of class and ethnicity, were poor, and without any hope of achieving anything significant in their own countries because of those factors. Many were ethnic minorities, or were oppressed by an ethnic minorty, such as the Irish by the English. The great thing about America has been that it doesn't matter where you are from or what you look like, you can come to the US and have a chance to succeed that you would never have had in your own country, or at least see your children or grandchildren succeed, in whatever their own definition of success is. In the over 200 years of American history, we have seen an expansion of the ethnicities that have become part of the mainstream of America. Some had to fight for it, and many "white males" died to free other who did not look like them in the Civil War and other conflicts. Martin Luther King led a peaceful march on Washington to redeem the promissory note made in the Declaration of Independence, that all "men" are created equal. And we've expanded that to include women. It hasn't been easy, but it had happened, and many of the people who made it happen were white males.
It makes me sick to hear Americans, usually white males themselves, judge people solely on their gender and the color of their skin, as if they are so much more enlightened than the rest of us "white males" who genuinely try to judge people "on the content of their character, not the color of their skin." This has always been why I have supported having a mosaic of significant, famous, or even infamous people in the main infobox, rather than having them be segregated by race or color into separate sections throughout the article. So yes, my attempt has been a failure, because now we have users holding up British people as an example of how to segregate their own people in the name of diversity. It's shameful. I had honestly hoped for better for this page. - User:BilCat|BilCat]] (talk) 08:57, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
If it´s more trouble than it´s worth, get rid of it. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:39, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
On that point, I do agree with you, as much as I would like to keep it in some form. For the record, most ocf the edit warring over the photos has been done by drive-by users who usually don't participate in the discussions at all, many of whom are simply editing to be disruptive. If an alternative single-file mosaic could be made that could be edited by admins, in case the mosaics creator i s not available, I would support that, even a later date. - 09:46, 15 November 2014 (UTC) Belated signature BilCat (talk) 04:58, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
This was tried; it's still impractical. In many ways, it's worse because it locks arbitrary judgments and places them beyond discussion. There's no likelihood that we can achieve a reasoned consensus on whether, for example, Beyonce is more significant than Robert E. Lee, or which of John Philip Sousa, Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Grace Hopper, Tecumseh, or Ronald Reagan deserve the 64th slot. MarkBernstein (talk) 15:57, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Gråbergs Gråa Sång, are you saying that white men just happen to be the most notable figures in history? Because there are plenty of women or minorities that are considered undeniably historically notable and easily included in the mosaic. In fact there are plenty of "leaders" who are not white males. Also, do you really think diversity is a form of segregation, or that it is "shameful"?
I'm glad you at least see this is more trouble than its worth, but you it did not address why the inclusion of "notable" Americans is relevant to an article that is not about notable Americans.
Lastly, if you genuinely believe that people are "derided simply because they are white males," then I refer you again to point 5 on my list) 04:20, 17 November 2014 (UTC)Secondplanet (talk)
Sorry for the confusion, I (BilCat) must have mistyped my signature. No, I am saying many of the notable leaders in American history were white men, nothing else. I gave you some specific examples of notable men in US history, presidents. Many of these men were significant and major leaders in US history. I love diversity, I just chose not to restrict my definition of it to only gender and color. Lincoln was the son of backwoods settlers in Illinois, who rose to become the President. Only narrowminded people see diversity only through the lens of color and gender. It is your definition of diversity that is shameful, not diversity itself. You look at at the mosiac and see only color and gender; I see people from all walks of life, class, backgrounds, children of immigrants, farmers , singers, trademens, etc, some white, some black, some in between, some male, some female. Most article on WP include people who are notable in such mosaics, even the articles that you hold up as examples to follow. We shoild include unknowns who aren't notable at all?? Nonsense. - BilCat (talk) 04:52, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I didn't realize that there were two separate comments there. (Sorry Gråbergs Gråa Sång for addressing you.) I am arguing for removal of the infobox images entirely from this page, but yes featuring "unknowns" would be better than "notable" people. Subjectivity would play less of a role, there would be less arguing about who is most fit to represent Americans, and it would be more relevant to the content of the article.
You are correct in saying that diversity goes far beyond gender and ethnicity - I agree with this. Gender and ethnicity are simply components of diversity. However, the content of Wikipedia has consistently under-represented women and minorities, an issue which can be important both from the perspective of accuracy and of acknowledgement of these groups. This, and many similar articles feature more men than women. In fact, there are very few similar articles that portray more women than men, which leads me to believe that there is a prevalent bias towards male representation. If these images were truly representative of diversity (on multiple levels), I would think that men and women share roughly 50% of representation each. This is rarely the case. The people currently shown are diverse in some aspects, but there is capacity to do a whole lot better. This may seem like a trivial argument, but I think that making these kinds of changes to Wikipedia could at least help dampen toxicity in the site's culture and prevent the discouragement of potential readers and editors. The current edit war on this page is certainly not healthy.
Regarding the example pages I posted: I simply wanted to make the point that the illustration of a group of people makes more sense in the context of a specific, smaller group rather than a massive one like this. The actual content of the infoboxes is still problematic. Secondplanet (talk) 06:51, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
The mixup on the posts was my fault, as my sig originally didn't show. We could go back to just having the large American flag, but somehow I think someone will object to that too as not representing diversity, and that will have to be removed too. - BilCat (talk) 07:49, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Eh, I don't think anyone will reject the flag, its pretty uncontroversial It's worth a try at least. Secondplanet (talk) 07:52, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't like the flag idea. The article is about the people, so any image should be people. Carptrash (talk) 17:48, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
All I did was increase the size of the flag that was already there, as it was in the years when we didn't have a mosaic. It hepls to fill out the white space better. - BilCat (talk) 18:20, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The flag is inclusive, the lead section infobox portraits lead to slow moving civil editing disputes, due to differing editors opinions on prominence, balance, etc. To not have that, creates a more stable article. I myself have suggested in the past of using representative group images from each century of the nation's history, but that view has never gained much momentum.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:22, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I like the group idea much better than the flag because the flag is not them (Americans) and will probably replace the flag when I find/take the picture I'd like to see there. Won't be notable Americans, be sure of that. Carptrash (talk) 05:18, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I made a proposal somewhere above that the mosaic not attempt to capture the 36 (or whatever) most notable Americnas but rather be an ever changing vignette of the American people. One whole "sheet" of Presidents, another of soldiers, then scientists, musicians, actors, African Americans, Asian Americans, Icelandic Americans, North Dakotins (?) etc. and that they need not all be notables either. However, given that I am not an editor who dabbles in mosaics, once this plan of mine has been jeered off the table, I'll likely support removing it, using the Matt:18 rule, "If your eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you." einar aka Carptrash (talk) 17:01, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

What could be neat is a bot that displays random images from Category:American people. Don't know how feasible this is though. Secondplanet (talk) 04:29, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

On another note, I am in full support of an image like this being used instead of a mosaic: "" (See discussion at the top of this talk page.)Secondplanet (talk) 04:23, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

As long as it has the proper proportion ofvrace and gender, you mean. I assume you've already counted to be sure? - BilCat (talk)
lol no I haven't counted. You can if you like though. Secondplanet (talk) 20:53, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Why didn't you? Aren't you concerned with over- or under-representing certain groups, or enforcing a white male bias? You counted the people in the mosaic, why not this pic too? - BilCat (talk) 19:53, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
It didn't seem necessary. Secondplanet (talk) 02:21, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm also one who doesn't like the flag here. I think it would be better not to have any image. Nothing says that there needs to be an image in the infobox. --Musdan77 (talk) 00:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Mosaic alternatives[edit]

OK, so if the infobox does abandon the mosaic format, then everyone should voice their opinion on what should be in the infobox. In overview, the requirements are:

  • does not provoke edit war
  • clearly related to the article

And the alternatives people have proposed, so far:

  • American flag
  • no image
  • a crowd/large group of Americans
  • groups of Americans from various time periods

What are the pros and cons of these options? Are there better solutions? Secondplanet (talk) 23:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Replace Sam Houston[edit]

Can we replace Sam Houston in the Scottish ancestry section with Ronald Reagan, since Reagan was more recent and readers would know who he was without clicking to view his article. Reagan was scots by his mother side. Just a suggestion and if you don't agree I completely understand :) . --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 01:05, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

I would not object to it, but Sam Houston can be argued to be more historic, being seen as the George Washington of Texas; also I believe Reagan is seen more related to his Irish ancestry than his Scottish one.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:09, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

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)

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)

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. --Moxy (talk) 12:07, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

  • 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.
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.