Detailed discussions which led to the current consensus can be found in the archives of Talk:United States. Several topical talk archives are identified in the infobox to the right. A complete list of talk archives can be found at the top of the Talk:United States page.
Q2. Why is the article's name "United States" and not "United States of America"?
This has been discussed many times. Please review the summary points below and the discussion archived at the Talk:United States/Name page. The most recent major discussion showed a lack of consensus to either change the name or leave it as the same, so the name was kept as "United States".
If, after reading the following summary points and all the discussion, you wish to ask a question or contribute your opinion to the discussion, then please do so at Talk:United States. The only way that we can be sure of ongoing consensus is if people contribute.
Reasons and counterpoints for the article title of "United States":
"United States" is in compliance with the Wikipedia "Naming conventions (common names)" guideline portion of the Wikipedia naming conventions policy. The guideline expresses a preference for the most commonly used name, and "United States" is the most commonly used name for the country in television programs (particularly news), newspapers, magazines, books, and legal documents, including the Constitution of the United States.
Exceptions to guidelines are allowed.
If we used "United States of America", then to be consistent we would have to rename all similar articles. For example, rename "United Kingdom" to "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" or Mexico to "United Mexican States".
Exceptions to guidelines are allowed. Articles are independent from one another. No rule says articles have to copy-cat each other.
This argument would be valid only if "United States of America" was a particularly uncommon name for the country.
The Macropaedia version of Britannica uses "United States of America" for its article title.
With the reliability, legitimacy, and reputation of all Wikimedia Foundation projects under constant attack, Wikipedia should not hand a weapon to its critics by deviating from the "common name" policy traditionally used by encyclopedias in the English-speaking world.
Wikipedia is supposed to be more than just another encyclopedia.
Reasons and counterpoints for the article title of "United States of America":
It is the country's official name.
The country's name is not explicitly defined as such in the Constitution or in the law. The words "United States of America" only appear three times in the Constitution. "United States" appears 51 times by itself, including in the presidential oath or affirmation. The phrase "of America" is arguably just a prepositional phrase that describes the location of the United States and is not actually part of the country's name.
The whole purpose of the common naming convention is to ease access to the articles through search engines. For this purpose the article name "United States of America" is advantageous over "United States" because it contains the strings "United States of America" and "United States." In this regard, "The United States of America" would be even better as it contains the strings "United States," The United States," "United States of America," and "The United States of America."
The purpose of containing more strings is to increase exposure to Wikipedia articles by increasing search rank for more terms. Although "The United States of America" would give you four times more commonly used terms for the United States, the United States article on Wikipedia is already the first result in queries for United States of America, The United States of America, The United States, and of course United States.
Q3. Is the United States really the oldest constitutional republic in the world?
Yes, but not continuously. The first "constitution" within Switzerland is believed to be the Federal Charter of 1291 and most of modern Switzerland was republican by 1600. After Napoleon and a later civil war, the current constitution was adopted in 1848.
Many people in the United States are told it is the oldest republic and has the oldest constitution, however one must use a narrow definition of constitution. Within Wikipedia articles it may be appropriate to add a modifier such as "oldest continuous, federal ..." however it is more useful to explain the strength and influence of the US constitution and political system both domestically and globally. One must also be careful using the word "democratic" due to the limited franchise in early US history and better explain the pioneering expansion of the democractic system and subsequent influence.
The component states of the Swiss confederation were mostly oligarchies in the eighteenth century, however, much tighter than most of the United States, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Connecticut excepted.
Q4. Isn't St. Augustine, Florida the first European settlement in the United States?
Technically, yes. However, Florida was not one of the original 13 colonies that formed the United States and thus the article mentions Jamestown and not St. Augustine.
This decision has been disputed and no explicit consensus has ever been formed on this question.
If you wish to challenge this decision, please do so on the Talk:United States page.
Q5. Why are the Speaker of the House and Chief Justice listed as leaders in the infobox? Shouldn't it just be the President and Vice President?
The President, Vice President, Speaker of The House of Representatives, and Chief Justice are stated within the United States Constitution as leaders of their respective branches of government. As the three branches of government are equal, all four leaders get mentioned under the "Government" heading in the infobox.
Q6. Why are the President's, Vice President's, and Speaker's parties listed, but not the Chief Justice's?
Though the Chief Justice of the United States may belong to a political party, his or her office is a judicial appointment, not an elected office. Therefore, the Chief Justice's party is not included when referencing him or her. (E.g. John Roberts is a Republican, but he is not referenced as John Roberts (R).)
Q7. What is the motto of the United States?
There was no de jure motto of the United States until 1956, when "In God We Trust" was made such. Various other unofficial mottos existed before that, most notably "E Pluribus Unum". The debate continues on what "E Pluribus Unum"'s current status is (de facto motto, traditional motto, etc.) but it has been determined that it never was an official motto of the United States.
Q8. Is the U.S. really the world's largest economy?
Yes. The United States has been the world's largest national economy since the Gilded Age and the world's largest economy since 2014, when it surpassed the European Union.
Q9. Isn't it incorrect to refer to it as "America" or its people as "American"?
In English, America (when not preceded by "North", "Central", or "South") almost always refers to the United States. The large super-continent is called the Americas.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Countries, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of countries on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject North America, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of North America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
This article is substantially duplicated by a piece in an external publication. Please do not flag this article as a copyright violation of the following sources:
Surhone, L. M., Timpledon, M. T., & Marseken, S. F. (2010), Orson Scott Card: United States, author, critic, public speaking, activism, genre, Betascript PublishingCS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
Miller, F. P., Vandome, A. F., & McBrewster, J. (2009), Biosphere 2: Biosphere 2, closed ecological system, Oracle, Arizona, Arizona, United States, Biome, space colonization, Biosphere, rainforest, Ed Bass, BIOS-3, Eden project, AlphascriptCS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
Miller, F. P., Vandome, A. F., & McBrewster, J. (2010), Military journalism: Combatant commander, psychological warfare, United States, public affairs (military), propaganda, journalist, Civil-military operations, Alphascript PublishingCS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
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Hello. I was involved in that debate in November and December about changing the sentence that says, "Within American political culture, the center-right Republican Party is considered 'conservative' and the center-left Democratic Party is considered 'liberal.'" (See "Parties and Elections" under "Government and Politics.") I was arguing that it should be changed, because the Republicans have moved to the right and have become a far-right party. I promised that I would get back to the debate this week. I didn't. Sorry. I am a graduate student. My grades last semester were pretty lousy, and my teachers are telling me that I need to work harder. So I definitely don't have time for Wikipedia debates. This semester ends at the end of May. Maybe I'll return to this debate then.
But I hope that in the meantime, someone else takes up the debate. The Republicans are a far-right party, not a center-right party. I mean, come on, they deny the existence of man-made global warming. I'm a grad student studying atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and I can assure you that global warming is real and that it is indeed caused by humans. So the Republicans are denying indisputable science, which is really unacceptable. They are not a center-right party. Center-right parties don't deny science. Thegoldenconciseencyclopediaofmammals (talk) 05:55, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
No single person gets to determine what is exactly is far-right, especially if one issue is being used as evidence. For example, a party that favours a government-owned pension system and a fairly sizeable welfare state would be considered left-wing by many. Their opinion, however, does not matter. In the current zeitgeist of the United States, that party is considered centre-right. Its policies fall within the nation's Overton Window, meaning that they are not viewed as extremist. Zach Vega (talk to me) 14:26, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Typo in the "Science and technology" section.
"This in turn led to the establishment of many new technology companies and regions around the county such as Silicon Valley in California."
Should probably be:
This in turn led to the establishment of many new technology companies and regions around the country such as Silicon Valley in California.
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In footnote a in the Info box, please change "English is the official language of 32 states" to "English is the official language of 28 states" to match the current status of the source provided at Official language of the United States. (i.e. ). -- 188.8.131.52 (talk) 20:38, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
That is an outdated list from English First (with "copyright 2011" clearly shown at the bottom of the source, which should provide an ample clue that it's anything but "current status"). In 2016, West Virginia became the 32nd state to adopt English as an official language, and a source article from the other main US monitoring organization, US English, corroborates this; it was added to the article "United States." The "Official language of the United States" WP article is the one needing a more current status. It hasn't been touched in quite a while. Mason.Jones (talk) 00:38, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
"Whether the United States or China is larger has been disputed." Like, what?????
Even if you don't count Taiwan, China is bigger. The figures in reference are from the CIA, counting coastal and territorial waters for the US - but NOT for China. This cannot seriously be a debate. You might aswell count the Oceans, and the Middle East, and Canada and... the South China Sea for China? BTW, my dick is 108cm (length of leg included). Wikipedia, what the heck... EnTerbury (talk) 05:54, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Protip: Don't insult the people you're trying to convince. There might be a good discussion to be had here, but you went out of your way to sour it. [also, my condolences on your micropenis] --Golbez (talk) 14:43, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Wow. If you read that again, I did not insult anybody, so you out of the blue being offended by that, I must assume you are the one with a problem down below?
All I did was making a stupid example applying the same flawed logic we should actually be dealing with here, so that everybody can understand the issue, including you. There was no insult intended at all, if you thought somehow I was referring to your size specifically, I can assure to you, I wasn't. Neither did I refer to the Donald. I didn't even take the time to measure the length of my leg. So instead of arguing my point, you start to insult me with no ground whatsoever. And then my so-called "insult" somehow also diminishes the need for discussion? So here's my protip: Don't make yourself sound like a retard. Yes, that's an insult. EnTerbury (talk) 11:04, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
You come in out of nowhere (having never interacted on this talk page) and tell people who have debated this for years that it can't possibly be a serious debate and that you have all the answers, then go through to thoroughly mock the consensus that we have; perhaps you'll someday figure out why that's a very poor way to try to make a point. Was I too sensitive? Maybe. (also, "I must assume you are the one with a problem down below" are you accusing me of sockpuppetry?) --Golbez (talk) 16:03, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't understand how this is a matter of arbitration. Your bottomline, as I understand, is that there is no common consensus. This, however, is related to the figures including coastal and territorial waters, which are not counted for any other country in the same list. So the argument essentially is, every country is listed by this standard, but we're not sure about these two countries with another standard applied, let's agree to a tie maybe? We may have another list with a tie, but not here. So please, specify your viewpoint, tell me where I'm wrong, and if you don't care and I don't hear argument against my case I will go ahead and correct the page. All I want is Wikipedia to state the truth. EnTerbury (talk) 11:04, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Please review WP:NPOV, WP:V, and WP:NOR. Under those policies, when there is no consensus among sources, Wikipedia simply reports that and leaves it at that. Also, review WP:CIVILITY. --Coolcaesar (talk) 06:29, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Slightly unrelated, but the lead part of the article ('fourth largest by total area and fourth largest by land area') doesn't match the text in the geography section ('third or fourth by total area and third largest by land area'). Personally not entirely sure which is right. It seems Canada is behind the us in land area according to the body but not the lead. And the lead also doesn't seem to account for the us-vs-China uncertainty detailed here. AgnosticAphidtalk 08:03, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
I think, for the sake of consistency, the lead should be changed to reflect what's in the geography section (third or fourth largest). As for the "us-vs-China uncertainty", a footnote is already cited in the lead, which I believe clarifies what needs to clarified. -- ChamithN(talk) 09:52, 16 February 2017 (UTC)