Talk:United States

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Former good articleUnited States was one of the Geography and places good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Did You KnowOn this day... Article milestones
December 15, 2005Good article nomineeListed
May 7, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
May 8, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
May 18, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
July 3, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
September 21, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
October 19, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
June 19, 2007Featured article candidateNot promoted
July 9, 2008Good article reassessmentKept
June 27, 2009Featured article candidateNot promoted
September 6, 2009Peer reviewReviewed
January 19, 2011Peer reviewReviewed
March 18, 2012Good article reassessmentDelisted
August 10, 2012Good article nomineeNot listed
January 21, 2015Good article nomineeListed
February 22, 2020Good article reassessmentDelisted
December 19, 2020Peer reviewReviewed
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on February 3, 2015.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that the United States accounts for 37% of all global military spending?
On this day... A fact from this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on July 4, 2008.
Current status: Delisted good article

"America" should not redirect to the United States[edit]

In the disambiguation page for America[1], it is specified that "America is a short-form name for the United States of America". However, the United States aren't known officially as the "United States of America", instead they are just the "United States". The name of the article is United States, and not United States of America. The nation is called "United States" and "of America" is only an unofficial addition to distinguish with other nations that go by United States. This is useless nowadays, considering that when "United States" is mentioned it is always referring to the one in America, unless said otherwise. Furthermore, America is a common name for much more than just the US, and nowadays it is much more common to see "America" being used to refer to the continent rather than the nation. 2804:14D:5C50:889E:6913:F93D:EA87:874C (talk) 01:02, 21 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

In the English language, America is usually used to refer to the United States, such that it is the overwhelmingly primary topic for that word. This is not limited to usage within the United States but is the common meaning of the word in reliable sources globally, such as Indian Express, Le Monde, Japan Times, The Guardian, etc. It is true that in many languages America does not necessarily refer to the United States, but the English Wikipedia reflects English-language usage, which does support America redirecting here. - Aoidh (talk) 01:19, 21 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Aoidh In Le Monde, the International section is divided into Americas and in that section is the United States. Looking up 'America' in Le Monde itself doesn't show any US-related articles using the term to refer to the US.
The same goes for The Guardian 2804:14D:5C50:80D8:E97D:ED:8CD6:4B91 (talk) 01:28, 21 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The examples I gave directly and unambiguously use America to refer specifically and exclusively to the United States. The international section of Le Monde using "Americas" reinforces the idea that in the English language, Americas is used to refer to the landmass called Americas in contrast to America, which is overwhelmingly used to refer to the United States. I'm not sure what you're searching to not find any results, but when searching through Le Monde it is very easy to find English-language articles that use America to describe the United States, this example is from a couple of days ago. The Guardian has an entire section called America's dirty divide that it describes as A series examining the country's vast environmental inequalities and how climate change will make things worse (emphasis added). When English-language reliable sources use America, it almost always is used to refer to the United States. - Aoidh (talk) 01:42, 21 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The purpose of re-directs is that readers are taken to the article they are searching for. My guess is that over 95% of readers who type in America are looking for this article. If you have evidence that they are looking for another article, please tell me what it is. TFD (talk) 01:59, 21 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The United States of America is the official name, and is for example used in international relations, as for example titles of ambassadors. For usage in Congress see Rjensen (talk)
That doesn't matter. The official name of Mexico is "The United States of Mexico", but if you look up "United States" it directs to here. This is not a conversation worth entertaining, plenty of RFCs have been conducted and the consensus has been to keep things as they are. You're welcome to try to change consensus, but it will almost certainly fail. --RockstoneSend me a message! 00:31, 22 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It is true that redirects should take you where you want to land. But i guess most (90% or so) people wo type America search for the continent America not the country USA. At least this was the case when i searched america and was confusied why it redirects me here. America = contient, USA = country in America. You also don't expect a redirect from europe to the article European_Union, despite the EU having the a much larger portion of Europe than the USA has of America, or do you? (talk) 11:50, 20 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
America is not a continent though. North America is a continent. South America is a continent. (talk) 21:44, 28 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Problematic changes made to United States-Indigenous Peoples articles[edit]

There's recently been a massive, radical restructuring of articles surrounding relations between the indigenous peoples of the Americas and the United States. Generally in the form of calling events that were previously predominately labeled as "ethnic cleansing", "mass atrocities", and "forced population transfers" and referring to the events as "genocidal" instead. This is despite the fact that this viewpoint is a small minority among historians, political scientists, and anthropologists.

The titles for these articles in of themselves are problematic:

According to Jeffrey Ostler — who holds perhaps one of the most "negative maximalist" viewpoints of American actions among mainstream scholars — this is a small minority viewpoint among those working in the field:

This is not because there is a consensus behind the “pro-genocide” position. In fact, although few scholars in the fields of American Indian and western U.S. history have systematically addressed the question of genocide, for many, perhaps most, scholars in these fields, an overarching indictment of genocide seems too extreme. Some might label specific events and cases, such as the Sand Creek massacre of 1864 or widespread settler violence against Indians during the California Gold Rush, as genocidal, but they would not see U.S. policies and settler actions as consistently so. Others would resist arguments for even limited genocide in U.S. history, citing definitions of genocide that would appear to require a federal government policy to physically destroy all (or most) Indians and observing that federal policies were intended to prevent physical disappearance by promoting assimilation. Some scholars would propose ethnic cleansing as an appropriate alternative to genocide. Others might consider assimilation to be a form of cultural genocide but would insist on a strong distinction between this policy and physical elimination.


Since 1992, the argument for a total, relentless, and pervasive genocide in the Americas has become accepted in some areas of Indigenous studies and genocide studies. For the most part, however, this argument has had little impact on mainstream scholarship in U.S. history or American Indian history. Scholars are more inclined than they once were to gesture to particular actions, events, impulses, and effects as genocidal, but genocide has not become a key concept in scholarship in these fields.

Note that I support keeping the contents for the article but renaming the page.

The California genocide article is also problematic. It has been changed from:

  • California Indian Catastrophe -> California genocide ("California Indian Catastrophe" is used more in WP: RS's; as of 2023, mainstream scholars are divided between ethnic cleansing and genocide.)

Other articles such as:

Have similarly been rewritten to imply that this is an overwhelming consensus. Tagging @ShirtNShoesPls:, @Mason.Jones:, @Moxy:, @FMSky:, @Rambling Rambler:, and @Rockstone35:.

Many editors seem to be classifying all ethnic cleansing/population transfers, atrocities, et al. as inherently genocidal, which isn't accepted by a majority of scholars.

This is probably a discussion that needs to be had. Since I can't imagine that any version of these pages aren't going to generate controversy. KlayCax (talk) 02:24, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

My two cents would be any discussion of "genocide" should be kept out of the lead and any discussion in the body of text must be extremely well-sourced given the controversial nature of it. Seems to be too much "I've already decided it was genocide, here's the first result that came up on google as my source". Rambling Rambler (talk) 14:44, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Klay -- in this article, it's not "many editors"; it's one editor (who has already been warned about aggressive POV-pushing and edit-warring). I agree with Rambling above: unsuitable for the lede, mentioned in history section with reliable sources (not ideological academic treatises). Mason.Jones (talk) 17:54, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Mason.Jones, on that editor there's an open ANI post about their conduct. If you'd like to contribute to it you can do here. Rambling Rambler (talk) 18:26, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
ShirtNShoesPls is definitely one problematic user. However, many of these changes were made by others.
I responded on the ANI, btw. KlayCax (talk) 23:12, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Genocide is one of the more serious labels, so the sourcing had better be impeccable and unanimous before applying it in wikivoice. It is a powerfully condemnatory word, and thus represents a major prize for anyone who can successfully brand their opponents with it. Unfortunately, the political value of the word creates an incentive to creep the definition wider, to capture more rhetorical ground. This semantic dilution threatens to make word unencyclopedic to use at all. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 22:18, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Came here from the 2024 United States presidential election article. This is exactly what is happening, @Barnards.tar.gz:. There's no consensus that the events were genocide... A fact stated in the California genocide article itself! Could you remove it? I don't usually edit on here and apparently it locks me off from editing. HickTheStick (talk) 10:59, 11 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@KlayCax Genocide is a word that needs to be used seriously and with strong sourcing. However, the discussion so far mis-states the fields that should be considered in deciding on its use. Fields of national history are one area, but so too are scholarship on the target groups (in this case, Native American Studies) and comparative scholarship on genocide itself (Genocide Studies). Formal official statements of responsibility are relevant as well. The key issue becomes describing and attributing these multiple literatures. Ostler's quote describes one of these fields, not all.
To take two examples, the Trail of Tears and the violence preceding it is the central example in a major genocide studies text (Wolfe, "Settler colonialism and the elimination of the Native") while the American history literature on Andrew Jackson is voluminous and skeptical on such a label. Wikipedia should refer to both, whether discussing Cherokee history, the Trail of Tears itself, and Jackson in particular. Separately, the publication of two scholarly monographs (around 10 years ago) on the California genocide by historians, and their reception, should influence our use of the word on that situation.
Carwil (talk) 12:46, 1 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Let's focus on content:

Indeed it was more than five years ago that an RfC on the California genocide determined language that should be used in that section. Oddly, the words California genocide do not appear in the article despite that consensus, and all the sources have been deleted from the article. Can someone point to a more recent RfC consensus or should we reinstate the language and sources decided upon in September 2018? -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 18:30, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

As it turns out, it was @KlayCax: on 1 October 2023 who removed the reference to the California Genocide which had been in the article since the 2018 RfC with no edit summary. No consensus was sought on the talk page for this change. (Looking back, I see that I started this discussion which did not yield a consensus to overturn the previous RfC.) -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 19:56, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I've reinstated the content per the 2018 RfC. A new RfC can be started if there is reason to debate this content which was in the article from 2018-2023. -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 20:09, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As @Barnards.tar.gz: states above: Genocide is one of the more serious labels, so the sourcing had better be impeccable and unanimous before applying it in wikivoice. It is a powerfully condemnatory word, and thus represents a major prize for anyone who can successfully brand their opponents with it.. There's no consensus (and it's a minority viewpoint) that the events in California were genocide. (See Ostler, 2015; Magliari, 2023) Thus, Wikipedia shouldn't state so in Wikivoice. Consensus can also change. I'll start a RFC if necessary, but words such as genocide should be avoided unless there's a historical consensus. Adding it into the article otherwise presents significant WP: NPOV concerns. KlayCax (talk) 23:09, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
KlayCax, citing an article on scalp bounties while removing a paragraph on genocide isn't really... well it's not OK. Drmies (talk) 23:16, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Many historians don't consider the events in California a genocide, instead referring to it as ethnic cleansing, mass murder, atrocity, et al. See what Michael F. Magliari writes about the matter in the article: In the often contentious and acrimonious debates over whether the Golden State’s Indigenous peoples were targeted for genocide by white Euro-Americans between 1846 and 1873. That's why it shouldn't be in the article. The WP: ONUS would be on including this.
They're both horrendous. However, they're different things. KlayCax (talk) 23:21, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
KlayCax, wait. I'm telling you that your edit summary makes no sense in relation to the actual edit, and your response is to repeat the same irrelevant citation, this time with a quote which also totally doesn't make your point. Drmies (talk) 00:53, 26 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The problem is that implies that there's a consensus the events constitute a genocide. Both sources make it clear that there's no agreement among historians on the matter.
It's also odd to focus specifically on the events in California. (And leave out the broader American-Indian wars that occurred after the conclusion of the Civil War.) KlayCax (talk) 02:55, 26 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Btw @Drmies: I agree that the events in California were likely a genocide. However, there's been a general consensus and precedent on Wikipedia that a country's articles shouldn't include the terms "ethnic cleansing" or "genocide" unless there's an overwhelming academic consensus on the matter. (See above.)
* For instance, the USSR's article doesn't refer to the Holodomor as a genocide
* Neither does China's refer to the Uyghur genocide
* Neither does Japan or the Empire of Japan's pages use the terms "ethnic cleansing" or "genocide" on their articles.
And so on and so forth. The reason is simply: there's no consensus on the matter. (And even among historians who affirm it, most would place the blame on settlers or the state government, rather than the national government.)
Jeffery Ostler is clear that this is a minority position (at the very least) in the literature. I get the urge to WP: RIGHTGREATWRONGS but we can't state it in Wikivoice. KlayCax (talk) 23:42, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

You say that consensus can change. However, no consensus has developed for your deletion of this content in the months that you've been deleting it. I noticed in the California genocide article that Magliari's view is not what you would have us believe. These are the final words of his review of the Yale University source you deleted: Madley’s case for genocide is overwhelming and compelling in many specific instances. As his evidence makes plain, deliberately exterminatory campaigns devastated at least eighteen California tribes, including the Achumawi, Karuk, Lassik, Nisenan, Nongatl, Owens Valley Paiute, Pomo, Shasta, Sinkyone, Tolowa, Wailaki, Wappo, Whilkut, Wintu, Wiyot, Yana, Yuki, and Yurok. Beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt (and by the standards of any reasonable definition), genocide did in fact play a significant role in the US conquest and subjugation of Native California. (source accessible here via Wikipedia Library (Duke))

I'm not sure why you're so adamant about overturning this prior consensus when the scholar you are citing quite clearly disagrees with you. -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 00:18, 26 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

User:SashiRolls it feels like I'm on Facebook. Drmies (talk) 00:54, 26 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
And I'm going back to bed. :) -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 01:07, 26 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm aware of Michael F. Magliari's and Jeffrey Ostler's views. I cited them specifically because of the fact that they hold a "genocidal/maximalist" view on the issue. (Yet also state there's widespread debate within the literature.)
  • The first part of the articles is how he views the current academic consensus within the field. This aspect of the article is the part I'm citing.
  • The conclusion is his view on the matter.
There's been a longtime precedent to not use the word "genocide" in articles unless there's a consensus it happened for the reason Barnards.tar.gz mentioned. (Which is why I cite the Japan, Brazil, China, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada pages, none of which mention genocide. Even Belgium's page - which ran the Congo Free State - specifically and intentionally excludes mention of the word.)
It would also be weird if we focus specifically on this and not the broader American-Indian Wars that occurred after the Civil War.
I'd be okay with "forced population transfer/ethnic cleansing" being used. "Genocide" is far more contentious and not anywhere near close enough to a consensus to include. KlayCax (talk) 03:11, 26 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
How do you know "genocide" in Belgium is "specifically and intentionally" excluded? There's nothing on the talk page or in the talk page archives. Maybe that article should be updated. And China does mention the Uyghur genocide. Should I look at the others too? Drmies (talk) 15:18, 26 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • The first talk page discussion on the matter can be found here. The Congo Free State genocide question is the article. However, multiple Wikipedia administrators (including Wav) repeatedly removed any mention of "genocide" in Wikivoice from the article, and this has been ongoing over the past twenty years. Belgium's article never brings up genocide once. (Also per talk page discussion.) I agree that it does seem wrong. (Japan's article never uses ethnic cleansing or genocide, either.)
  • The China wording was recently added. However, it keeps getting reverted by multiple editors (both on the Uyghur genocide and China pages), and never uses the term "genocide" to describe it with Wikivoice.
  • Australia's, Canada's, and New Zealand's pages — which are probably the closest analogies to the American treatment of its native populations — also don't mention the word genocide anywhere in their articles: despite many scholars saying so.
If it is replaced with "ethnic cleansing" and "forced population transfers" — and further expounding on the genocide debate in the respective articles — then the text would be completely alright with me. There's a clear historical consensus that the events would be classified today as war crimes — whether from "minimalists" who hold a narrow definition of "genocide" like Guenter Lewy to "maximalists" like David Stannard and Jeffrey Ostler who emphasize the utter devastation it caused on native cultures/peoples. Not sure what the right answer to #3 is (and it's a good question. I'll raise the issue on talk within the next week). Does replacing the word with "ethnic cleansing" work?
It's a clear historical consensus among essentially every mainstream scholar that ethnic cleansing occurred, which is a war crime, and it avoids the terminology game on what "genocide" means. KlayCax (talk) 03:56, 28 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It's just one deflection after another. You say in Belgium it's explicitly excluded, but there's no proof of it on the talk page of that article. You can't even cite a diff. You said China doesn't mention it--it does. You suggest I should look at other articles because they're more similar--sure. You say "does replacing the word with 'ethnic cleansing' work?" Well, I think you not editing these articles should work much better. Drmies (talk) 04:12, 2 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
There is no generalized statement about genocide in the lede of the article "United States". There's one reference under "History" to the California genocide, which has a WP link and sourced article. For you to oppose its mere mention (and linking) is baffling. True, King Leopold's genocidal crimes in Congo should appear in the "Belgium" article, and its editors might have conspired to squelch any mention of it. That's a major flaw of Wikipedia's libertarian "open encyclopedia" model: there's no procedure in place to stop "patriotic editing" of country articles. Mason.Jones (talk) 16:41, 28 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Don't get me wrong. I don't mean in a WP: OTHERSTUFF sense. Rather, longstanding WP: PRECEDENT. As for the Belgium, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USSR articles, I similarly oppose mentioning genocide on their pages, for the reasons Barnards.tar.gz expounded upon. "Ethnic cleansing" is consensus in the literature. So if other editors use it to describe the "American-Indian Wars" I'd wholeheartedly support. KlayCax (talk) 12:16, 1 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

It is interesting to note that @KlayCax: has removed about 5K of sourced material from another entry based on an alleged consensus that seems rather opposed to what I'm reading above. (diff) -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 15:36, 29 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

There has been a series of changes made by KlayCax, sometimes with inaccurate summaries, pushing for what they believe should be added or removed. Senorangel (talk) 05:57, 1 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
None of my edit summaries have been "inaccurate". (Such as?) We obviously have our disagreements. But that should be expected on articles surrounding politically contentious topics. KlayCax (talk) 12:09, 1 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Drmies: mentioned the article California. I restored (to the History section) the sole link to California genocide after KlayCax removed not just the section on CA genocide, but all links to that article [2]. If the positions are split 50-50 as claimed, why did their edit retain more on the position against genocide? I did not restore another link in the lead, only for SashiRolls to point out later that there actually was a reason for it to be there, before KlayCax removed it. They also said [3] there was "general agreement" to remove the Trinity atomic bomb/nuclear test picture from this article United States. But the discussion [4] did not agree on removing it. I think KlayCax wants to push through editorial changes such as these. Senorangel (talk) 04:05, 2 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Bring it up on ANI for a topic ban, Senorangel. Who wants to deal with this? Drmies (talk) 04:12, 2 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't say consensus, @SashiRolls:. I said that other editors believe that it should be removed. You can see this here from UnitedStatesian. Gavin Newsom explicitly labeled it genocide in 2019, and the debate between historians is between ethnic cleansing and genocide (both of which are war crimes), instead of saying that the events didn't occur. The citation used to source the notion is weak. Is there a notable historical denialist movement that denies what happened? KlayCax (talk) 12:07, 1 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Seems anti-American editors have an axe that want to grind, @KlayCax:. Could you remove it? It's obviously being inserted into the article as a form of propaganda. HickTheStick (talk) 11:00, 11 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia is WP:NOTCENSORED, just because you feel it is "anti-American" doesn't give you the grounds to delete whatever you think is "propaganda." PersusjCP (talk) 18:29, 11 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • KlayCax brought up at least nine or ten different articles but didn't tag anyone that was involved in those discussions on the various talk pages. This is not the proper place to discuss issues you may have with other articles, only this article. --ARoseWolf 13:47, 11 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Agreed. This is not an appropriate location to launch a widespread discussion about many different articles. If you want to suggest a change to one article, say California genocide, then take that conversation up on Talk:California genocide. Yuchitown (talk) 14:23, 11 March 2024 (UTC)Yuchitown[reply]
    I agree with this too, this is not the place to discuss many other articles. It needs to be discussed before unilaterally removing sourced content willy-nilly. PersusjCP (talk) 18:28, 11 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think we should make a broad, Wikipedia-spanning topic on what events should be classified as genocide in Wikivoice. (See the article on genocide definitions) KlayCax (talk) 16:56, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    While I don't necessarily disagree I will reiterate that this talk page is about United States and how best to improve this article. --ARoseWolf 17:12, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I know. I was just bringing it up since it's tangent to the conversation. The current article titles are widely inconsistent with one another:
    For instance:
    This is definitely a subject in which a unified consensus and WP: PRECEDENT between articles is needed. I'm under the opinion that anything not covered under Yehuda Bauer's definition of Holocaust shouldn't be referred to in Wikivoice as genocide: [Holocaust is] the planned physical annihilation, for ideological or pseudo-religious reasons, of all the members of a national, ethnic, or racial group. Anything else is highly subjective and prone to inconsistency.
    The Holocaust, Rwandan Genocide, and the like? I think the criteria is indisputably met by any scholar.
    The Holodomor, European colonization of the Americas, and the Chinese treatment of the Uyghurs? I can see well-intentioned people legitimately disagreeing on that. KlayCax (talk) 17:18, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    You want us to change possibly hundreds of articles on your opinion alone? I'm telling you that isn't going to happen. Start discussions on the respective article talk pages and start RFC's for the community to comment and build consensus or this is a waste of time. Native American genocide in the United States is a title of an article that simply says the subject is notable and then sets out to describe and summarize that based on what is found in reliable sources about the subject. If there is content you disagree with then discuss it there. Same for the other articles. This isn't a hard process to follow. --ARoseWolf 18:04, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Nothing would have to be changed. The RFC would be on what events should be definitely classified as "genocide" in Wikivoice v. "historians X take this view" and "historians Y take this view". KlayCax (talk) 18:13, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 10 March 2024[edit]

574 Native American tribes are recognized in the United States. Add this information to the demographics section

Source: (talk) 22:31, 10 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

 Question: where is it supposed to be added and how would you formulate it? M.Bitton (talk) 14:37, 11 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
 Done Antrotherkus 18:55, 5 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 10 March 2024 (2)[edit]

169 Native American languages are spoken in the United States. Add this information to languages section.

Source: (talk) 22:35, 10 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

 Done Antrotherkus 18:55, 5 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Genocide in California[edit]

Prominent historians have rebutted the idea that the California Indian Wars constituted genocide.

Benjamin Madley, for his part, has been almost single-handedly responsible for re-branding the conflicts previously known as the “California Indian Wars” as the California Genocide. It is worth remembering that these are conflicts that just over 20 years ago, the authors of the Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas saw fit to detail without a single reference to the term “genocide.” Madley himself resorts to describing this as a genocide “hidden in plain sight”—i.e. a “genocide” that generations of historians before him had simply failed to notice. With a relentless focus on violent killing, and a reluctance to contextualize the big picture for the purpose of exaggerating an impression of unending massacre, Madley’s account has convinced many a reader that American officials in California were responsible for something in the neighbourhood of 150,000 violent deaths—a number which is likely 10x higher than the true death toll (including war casualties). For example, Madley’s text prompted a professor at UC Hastings named John Briscoe to write an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle asserting that: “After 1834… when the native population plummeted from 150,000 to 18,000… Indian hunting was sport for the mostly white gold-seekers and settlers. Indian-hunting raids nearly annihilated the population.” In reality, Madley’s own figures show that “Indian-hunting raids” likely claimed something less than 5% of the 132,000 casualties that Hastings implies in his widely quoted op-ed. Many of the other “missing” Indians might never have existed (i.e. they might be the result of exaggerated population estimates, on which more below). In addition, large numbers will have emigrated to Mexico when the missions were disbanded or when the territory was handed over to the United States, and still others will have assimilated into the US population in various ways. One thing is certain: the nature of our sources requires a caution that the sensationalists singularly lack.

May someone note this on the page? HickTheStick (talk) 12:18, 11 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

NB the "prominent historian" in question originally published this op-ed (outside his area of expertise, medieval Spanish economics) in The Spectator. (§) -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 01:42, 12 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You're responding to a single purpose account, @SashiRolls:. Look at the edit history. (I agree that Jeff Fynn-Paul is not a reliable source here.) KlayCax (talk) 14:43, 12 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
(Update: It was a sockpuppet.) KlayCax (talk) 18:05, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Academic debate on genocide[edit]

I'm going to have to get this out of the way, aren't I? The tragic, cruel oppression of the American Indian was truly despicable, and the atrocities committed by European colonizers sicken anyone with a conscience. No sane person does or should deny this.

The article completely ignores the fact that 90% of American Indians were accidentally wiped out by the completely unintentional introduction of Old World diseases. When the European colonizers first landed, they had no way of knowing how diseases spread. They thought it was caused by the "evil eye" or "the Devil." (Epidemiology as a science doesn't come about until the 1830s or 1840s.) Sneezing on somebody or their crops 300+ years before anyone knew that causes bad things does not make someone the equivalent of Hitler. Furthermore, the UN definition of genocide says that there has to be a deliberate policy of extermination (e.g. the Holocaust as perpetrated by Nazi Germany.) California was arguably a genocide because there was a deliberate policy of extermination and said policy was enacted with that goal in mind. The rest of the country? Nope. There has never been any federal policy ordering or implying the desirability of the extermination of the Indians. No order from President Grant or General Sherman/General Sheridan, no Act of Congress, nothing. No evidence is offered by this article to the contrary.

The recent added sentences on "genocide" needs to be deleted because of this issue. I'd make a footnote called: "Debate over Terminology," something to that effect. I'd also include legitimate sources (NOT Michael Medved or the repulsive Stefan Molyneux) that dispute whether or not the term "genocide" is applicable.

Scholars generally see American actions as failing to meet the criteria for genocide (in the vast majority of circumstances). That's just the case. It's also interesting that the citation used to claim it never uses the word "genocide". InvaderMichael (talk) 18:20, 11 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I may have missed it so could you point me to where it says encyclopedia content is based upon the UN's definition or directives versus providing reliable sources and gaining consensus through discussion? Thanks. --ARoseWolf 11:12, 12 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
"No synthesis" means that you would need a reliable source that makes that argument. The UN definition incidentally does not use the term "deliberate policy of extermination." Instead, it says to destroy in whole or in part. Apparently that can include a policy of assimilation, TFD (talk) 15:08, 12 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
He's right, @The Four Deuces:. Jeffrey Ostler (who is probably the most prominent historian to argue that several American actions were) states that it's a small minority position within the literature: For the most part, however, this argument has had little impact on mainstream scholarship in U.S. history or American Indian history. Scholars are more inclined than they once were to gesture to particular actions, events, impulses, and effects as genocidal, but genocide has not become a key concept in scholarship in these fields. The only plausible case of this, as he mentioned above, to me is California. As their first governor Peter Hardeman Burnett's stated:

That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected.

For the Trail of Tears, Stony Brook University states: Scholars generally agree that the Trail of Tears was not genocide but instead ethnic cleansing: “rendering an area ethnically homogenous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group.”. The Pulitzer Prize–winning book What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 also states that "ethnic cleansing" rather than "genocide" is an accurate description for the California Indian Wars/Genocide and Trial of Tears. We don't (and shouldn't) label the Holodomor and similar events as genocide in Wikivoice for the same reason as @Barnards.tar.gz: mentioned above.
Even many historians who take a far more critical view of American history do not label (at least the vast majority of) American actions as genocidal. They instead describe it as settler colonialist or ethnic cleansing.
Today, both would be considered war crimes, but the word genocide generally carries an "internationally exterminationist" connotation that the other two words lack. KlayCax (talk) 18:07, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@KlayCax: wrote: The Pulitzer Prize–winning book What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 also states that "ethnic cleansing" rather than "genocide" is an accurate description for the California Indian Wars/Genocide and Trial of Tears. This is false, at least as far as the text of the book goes. In the book, it is true that one finds the sentence Today Americans deplore the expropriation and expulsion of racial minorities, a practice now called "ethnic cleansing". (source) At no point does the author indicate that the white supremacy he talks about repeatedly never added up to genocide as KlayCax suggests. He simply doesn't use the term, as he is not talking about deaths, but about displacements and property rights /white speculation on expropriated Indian territory. -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 20:34, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I spoke to him during an undergraduate history course of mine. (Which is why I know about the book in the first place.) He stated the Trial of Tears and California genocide/Indian Wars were best described as ethnic cleansing rather than genocide. While personal correspondence is not a reliable source, it's important to note that he personally describes the events as ethnic cleansing in the book, and never describes it as genocide.
A reliable source that does talk about the view of mainstream historians is here; it states that Scholars generally agree that the Trail of Tears was not genocide but instead ethnic cleansing: “rendering an area ethnically homogenous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group.”. Ostler comments are brought up below so don't want to fork the conversation. KlayCax (talk) 20:53, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You are absolutely right: what you claim to have understood in a private conversation is not an RS. That you say the book speaks of the California Indian Wars (when it does not) as not being genocide is telling... given that the book's subject matter ends in 1848 with the following resumé: The most bloody conflicts, however, derived from the domination and exploitation of the North American continent by the white people of the United States and their government. If a primary driving force can be identified in American history for this period, this was it. (source) I will note with some dismay that this is at least the third time that I've read sources you've given that do not say what you say they do (on several different articles).-- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 21:01, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
What do you mean by it being telling? The most bloody conflicts, however, derived from the domination and exploitation of the North American continent by the white people of the United States and their government. If a primary driving force can be identified in American history for this period, this was it. Even people who characterize the events as ethnic cleansing affirm this. I will note with some dismay that this is at least the third time that I've read sources you've given that do not say what you say they do It says exactly what I stated. He characterizes the Trail of Tears and (at least until 1848) American-Indian contact in California as a form of ethnic cleansing. (Never mentioning genocide at all in his book.) I suppose you could argue that he may implicitly see it as both genocide and ethnic cleansing. But it would be remarkably strange (to the point of absurdity) for him to just leave it out of the book entirely if he believed that.
Other sources on the Trail of Tears predominantly describe it as "ethnic cleansing" rather than "genocide" as well.
Again, no one's denying the "domination and exploitation of the North American continent by the white people of the United States and their government". No one. Ethnic cleansing is categorized today as a crime against humanity. Saying that the United States inflicted policies, including massacres and forced population transfers (including ethnic cleansing), that ultimately had catastrophic effects on native populations is by no means a glowing historiography.
Genocide also carries connotations of extermination in the popular imagination. So any reference to it would have be extensively detailed and contained within the article. There's no way to properly summarize it in that time.
We'd need overwhelming consensus (see below with what TFD wrote: which I agree with) to include it in the article. KlayCax (talk) 23:56, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Lest there be any confusion: the book does not "state that "ethnic cleansing" rather than "genocide" is an accurate description for the California Indian Wars/Genocide and Trial of Tears." His book ends prior to the former and he only says with regard to part of the latter issue that it fit what people "now called" expropriation and explusion of racial minorities seventeen years ago. -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 08:21, 14 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Again, you are making these arguments on the article talk page for United States which is what Wikipedia expressly states should not happen. If you have an issue with Trail of Tears or Holodomor or any of the other articles you listed we should be having those conversations on those respective article talk pages. If there are ten articles we should be having ten individual discussions, period. --ARoseWolf 18:18, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm talking about the recent edit by DivineReality, @ARoseWolf:. KlayCax (talk) 18:34, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think for the most part these issues are being discussed and consensus is being gathered. The issue is when editors choose to ignore consensus because they don't like the conclusion. --ARoseWolf 19:15, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
There's no consensus among historians that the Holodomor, Trial of Tears, Gaza, Xinjiang, or the Russian invasion of Ukraine comprises a genocide.
Perhaps one could make the argument that there's a consensus that all of those things are war crimes/grave moral atrocities. But where is the consensus you're referring to? The previous version of the Trail of Tears implied that there was unanimous consensus among historians that the events were genocidal. Yet the PBS citation makes no mention of genocide and among historians it's a small, minority viewpoint that the Trial of Tears was such.
"Grave moral wrongs/horrendously evil actions/mass murder" ≠ genocide. It would be wrong for us to state in Wikivoice that any of these things are as such. KlayCax (talk) 20:10, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You keep quoting a source that says it is a minority viewpoint but offer no specific numbers proving your point. A google scholar search revealed 279,000 instances of genocide related to "Native American" and "genocide". It is not a small viewpoint among historians, scholars, academia and reliable authorship. You may quote the authors you wish and, in their voice, describe them as saying it is a minority view but we shouldn't say it in Wiki-voice without an in-depth analysis. We state in Wikivoice that some historians describe it as genocidal acts. Why are you so dead set on stating it as a minority viewpoint using those terms exactly and quoting one source that states that as the ultimate authority on the matter? We have a good compromise solution already laid out without the need to diminish a significant viewpoint because some historians disagree. --ARoseWolf 20:24, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
What do you mean by "specific numbers"? Paul Kelton, Jeffrey Ostler, and many, many, many others clearly state that it is a minority viewpoint. Are you talking like a poll that aggregates the views of historians? Because few polls like that exist at all. We do however have people like Paul Kelton and Jeffrey Ostler who have spoken about the present views of historians. For Ostler, who is definitely isn't a whitewasher of American history, and is an openly revisionist historian who challenges many of the traditional (positive) accounts of it, he states that it is a minority viewpoint. (Outside of California at least.)
it is not a small viewpoint among historians, scholars, academia and reliable authorship... quoting one source that states that as the ultimate authority on the matter. Outside of California, it certainly is, and multiple sources state this. No one here is denying the utter destruction that American actions had on native populations. It's just that the vast majority of this is classified as "ethnic cleansing" or "settler colonialism" rather than genocide.
Why are you so dead set on stating it as a minority viewpoint Because the previous version of the article implied that it was a consensus viewpoint of historians. I'm okay with ethnic cleansing, settler colonialism, and forced displacement, that's pretty uncontroversial with many mainstream historian, but outside of California "genocide" is a small minority viewpoint in the literature. KlayCax (talk) 20:46, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Our article on genocide says "Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people[a] in whole or in part." If one settler or a group of settlers worked to eliminate all or most native Americans from the land they were taking, it seems to pretty well fit that definition. It doesn't have to be official government policy. HiLo48 (talk) 23:05, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That's generally classified as ethnic cleansing, not genocide.
Both are classified as crimes against humanity. However, they're generally regarded as two different forms of it, even if many scholars view the processes as interconnected in at least some ways.
(For instance, Jeffrey Ostler argues that the threat of genocide was used to compel ethnic cleansing, which I think is undeniable if anyone reads the primary sources.) KlayCax (talk) 23:35, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Looks like you'd better get over and fix our article on Genocide. HiLo48 (talk) 03:29, 14 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Ostler expounds upon this when discussing his book, Surviving Genocide [5], when he said, “Wherever we live in America, I believe any of us is well served to learn the history of the land’s original inhabitants, and to acknowledge the extremes of violence in our own history by calling it what is was: genocide.”[6] He goes on the state when describing this debate, "Given the history of the American genocide debate, however, it is doubtful that a consensus will emerge. It is safe to say the debate will continue." He tried to avoid the question of genocide altogether but he said he found he couldn't escape the sense that genocide is an integral part of the history he's written about. He resolves that genocide did not exist all the time but very much was a repeatable theme of the whole interaction of Natives with European/American's.
Another historian, Bernard Bailyn, who takes the approach that both sides in this debate committed savagery, summed it up like this "Well, the Indians were not genocidal, not on the whole. Their effort was not to wipe Europeans off the face of the map. It was the English who write these letters 'wipe them off the map'."[7] This debate is not small and no consensus exists among scholars or historians. We shouldn't present this position as minority in Wikivoice using that term exactly, any more than I would use such weight laden words as "growing" or "expanding". I think the wording on Trail of Tears aptly defines this debate, presenting ethnic cleansing first and genocide second and both describing the fact that some very respected historians and scholars believe either term or both terms are the best description of what happened but that there is no consensus. By applying "some" to both terms we admit in Wikivoice this is not a settled debate by any stretch. That is the most NPOV approach to this debate because it reflects the sources and leaves it to our readers to decide. --ARoseWolf 11:58, 15 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If "no consensus exists" then we shouldn't include it in Wikivoice within article. We've already renamed the Uyghur genocide Persecution of Uyghurs in China.
We don't mention it on the Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Ireland pages, either.
And of course I don't oppose mentioning it in the specific articles. KlayCax (talk) 14:54, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

TFD conversation (forked in order to prevent multiple topics in same conversation)[edit]

The term genocide is currently being used a lot for colonial history and even for current events including Xinjiang, Ukraine, and Gaza. There should be a guideline, because there are a lot of issues when using the term. TFD (talk) 19:10, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

To give a rough sketch of the situation, I definitely agree there should be a consistent guideline between articles on the matter. Having different standards on different articles simply doesn't make sense and the word is clearly being used inconsistently between articles. The most simple solution to me is ignoring the classic debate on what "genocide" actually means and basing it on whether an overwhelming majority of mainstream historians categorize the events as genocide with near-unanimous/or greater support.
That would place:
  • Events such as the Holocaust and Rwandan genocide would continue to be categorized as genocide in Wikivoice.
  • Events such as the Holodomor, Uyghur persuections, Trail of Tears, Gaza, California Indian Wars/Genocide, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine would not categorized as genocide in Wikivoice.
I think we're going to be spinning around in circles otherwise. Do you think that's a good solution, @The Four Deuces:? Or do you have a better idea? Some form of standardization between articles is needed. KlayCax (talk) 23:27, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Not sure where this discussion would fit best but it's definitely needed.
The increasing usage of "genocide" in Wikivoice of articles — when scholars are either mixed/generally opposed to the usage — is concerning. KlayCax (talk) 23:30, 13 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
How about the usage of "genocide" in Genocide? HiLo48 (talk) 05:39, 14 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Generally agree. Since the concept of genocide was created to describe the Holocaust, the Holocaust falls within all the definitions provided. A number of other incidents meet some definitions but not others.
Other than the Holocaust and a few other cases, normally if the term is used I would expect to see who used it and what they meant.
There's also the issue of using a term to describe events long before the term was created. Frequently reliable sources will not address the issue. TFD (talk) 03:54, 14 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
For those interested in origins, those who have studied Lemkin's notes suggest that he found the Holocaust (a term he apparently never used) to be a case of genocide, but certainly did not consider it the first genocide, nor even a prototype (according to the authors). Both the Armenian genocide and the genocides in the Americas predated it. I would suggest reading "Raphael Lemkin as historian of genocide in the Americas" (2005) (source available via Wikipedia Library). This allows one to see that Lemkin's research model for genocide studies very definitely included colonialism / imperialism in the Americas (particularly Spanish America). His notes concerning "16. Genocide against the American Indians" are apparently incompletely preserved. sample citation: "If Lemkin's definition of genocide as colonial has been studiously ignored by the literature, Australian, German, and English scholars interested in imperial history have now begun to implement it in their research on the destructive dimensions of colonialism." -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 20:52, 14 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The reason Lemkin never used the term Holocaust is that it came into usage after he died. Anyway, while he coined the term genocide, his definition was altered when adopted by the UN and there was no recognition of genocides by Turkey, the United States or the Soviet Union. The only agreement on using the term was for the Holocaust, which is what led to the adoption of the Convention on Genocide.
Concepts often come to be used differently from originally meant, such as Adam Smith's "invisible hand." In that case, telling libertarians that is not what Smith actually meant is an etymological fallacy and unlikely to be persuasive. TFD (talk) 13:32, 15 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Removal on 3 April 2024[edit]

I'm removing it from the article for the time being, @The Four Deuces:. If there's "no consensus" on how Indian removal policies are classified then we shouldn't say so in Wikivoice. KlayCax (talk) 14:55, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Given that there has already been an RFC the correct thing to do is leave it in the article and start a new RfC if you think there is a pressing need to remove it. -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 21:07, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • RFC's are matters of last resort.
  • The RFC in question is half a decade old, malformed, and offered a false dichotomy between a heavily biased and nationalist POV and In 1869, a new Peace Policy nominally promised to protect Native-Americans from abuses, avoid further war, and secure their eventual U.S. citizenship. Nonetheless, conflicts and state-sanctioned murder, including the California Genocide, continued throughout the West into the 1900s. Neither is great.
  • It also appears to not even be a proper RFC. I can't find a tag for it.
  • The RFC wording is not presently in the article. A different phrasing was created by you a month ago. Several editors, including TFD, InvaderMichael, me, and others all objected to the wording. However, I was alright with it remaining in the article if a source saying that a consensus was established could be found. It hasn't. Regardless, as the wording is not in the RFC, it can not be said to fall under the bounds of what the RFC determined.
Is there a consensus that the United States committed genocide, @SashiRolls:? An honest observer knows that the matter is significantly contentious. It at least shouldn't be put in Wikivoice. KlayCax (talk) 17:37, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I disagree that "no consensus" means that you can remove it. No consensus means it should not be touched until we gain consensus. No changes to how Indian removal policies are described should be changed on any article until consensus is gathered either way. This is a highly contentious topic and all these edits to fit your point of view will potentially lead to edit warring and further disruption. It has been explained to you the proper way forward. On articles where there is not a current RFC discussing the matter you should open one. On articles where there is a current RFC you may join the process. There is no rush to form a conclusion on the matter as it is not a BLPVIO issue. I recommend opening discussions on the respective article talk pages or at the appropriate venue to allow the community to comment before arbitrarily making any edits on this specific matter. --ARoseWolf 11:32, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
This is a highly contentious topic If it is, as you said, a highly contentious topic, then why should the claim remain in Wikivoice? I'll note that the wording was recently readded by SashiRolls around a month ago.
I, TFD, and others left it in to try and have editor's establish the claim as having consensus in the historical literature, which, even then, seemed doubtful. The sources provided (including Ostler) only seem to further give credence to the idea that it's a minority view within the literature. Ostler notes that: But specialists have [generally] not argued that the policy is genocidal. and that Interestingly, however, most recent scholarship on Indian removal, while supporting the view that the policy was vicious and inhuman, has not addressed the question of genocide. The problem with citing only one historian is that so much has been written about the history of the United States that you can selectively pick books and quotations from reputable historians to bolster any narrative that you want. (From the "god-like American Founding Fathers" to "the genocidal, settler-colonialist, enslavers on lands now known as the United States".)
My opinion is that the majority of the events were predominantly ethnic cleansing and forced population transfers rather than genocide. (With a few possible exceptions.) It's also the widespread opinion of many scholars. I'm failing to see why you think it should cited as such in Wikivoice when you yourself have stated that there's "no consensus" on the matter and that it's a "highly contentious topic" in American history. KlayCax (talk) 17:30, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The reason it should stay is that discussion is ongoing. To change it in the middle of discussion, whether the discussion has been going for five seconds or two years, is disruptive to the process. I would say that no matter what language was used except in the case of a BLP violation, as I stated. It hurts the collaborative effort for an editor to arbitrarily decide, once the attempt has been made to gather consensus or issues are raised, to then decide they don't like the terminology based on their interpretation of sources to remove it from the article. --ARoseWolf 17:40, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Once discussion is concluded and the community has spoken, you can have at it. But if there is no consensus that genocide belongs there is also no consensus that it should be solely classified as ethnic cleansing. No consensus is no consensus so get consensus. --ARoseWolf 17:43, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
And on Ostler, it should be noted that he has on numerous occasions stated that he believes some acts, including the Trail of Tears, was genocidal. He agrees there is no consensus on the terminology among scholars but that goes for other terms as well. --ARoseWolf 17:47, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That's exactly why I cited him, @ARoseWolf:. Unlike conservative/traditionalist scholars, who would have the motivation to make the "genocide" position seem more fringe than it is, a revisionist scholar would have the opposite incentive. Ostler directly says that it is a (small?) minority position. If there is no consensus among scholars — which I think is indisputable at the very least — then why should the article make a determination that it is in Wikivoice?
I'm fine with ethnic cleansing. But there's at least 4+ editors now who oppose [the] [phrasing] SashiRolls [is supporting] (Note: Later word change for greater clarity per request). KlayCax (talk) 17:57, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Please redact my username from this statement, @KlayCax:. As you are very well aware, the long-standing "phrasing" that you deleted on 1 October 2023 long predates my first contribution to this article on 18 February 2023, at which time the exact phrasing I recently restored had been in the article for four years, when someone slightly modified the original wording from Sept 2018 added after the RfC. Trying to personalize the discussion diverts attention from the fact that it was *you* who deleted long-standing content and supporting references on 1 October 2023. Moreover, the phrasing you deleted on 3 April 2024 is not "my" phrasing either, as the 2019 formulation was modified by somebody else on 25 February 2024, the day after I had restored it. Distorting my role leads me to want to chew on the WP:BAIT 🐟 , but upon reflection I think I'll just post the diffs...

Also, feel free to ping the four editors you claim oppose the content that was in the article from Sept 2018 – October 2023 and from 24 Feb 2024 – 3 April 2024. Additionally, I'm not sure why you're talking about Indian removal in general and about the Trail of Tears when the content you are allegedly disputing refers to neither. This is becoming, as others have said, a timesink.-- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 00:57, 6 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

We all know you are fine with ethnic cleansing but you have yet to open a RFC on any article to ask for community consensus as has been suggested to you many times. You cherry pick statements just like you accuse others of doing to prove your point. If there is no consensus that these acts were genocidal then there is no consensus that these acts were ethnic cleansing. When there is no consensus among scholarship then there is no consensus among scholarship. But that isn't my issue. My issue is you wanting to change the articles while discussion is ongoing. And my warning is that it may lead to an edit war. No one wins in edit wars. --ARoseWolf 18:12, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
RFC's are matters of last resort.
If there is no consensus that these acts were genocidal then there is no consensus that these acts were ethnic cleansing. When there is no consensus among scholarship then there is no consensus among scholarship. There's a consensus in the literature that the United States ethnically cleansed Native Americans. There isn't a consensus on the question of genocide. It's very possible for one to be true but not the other.
Again, all I'm asking is: if there isn't a consensus that the United States committed genocide. Why should it be referred to in Wikivoice as genocide? @ARoseWolf:? KlayCax (talk) 18:16, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't understand what your objection is. If there's no objections to us 4's proposed changes then the discussion can be concluded. KlayCax (talk) 18:18, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I read TFD's comments and I don't see that they necessarily agree with you. I don't see any proposed wording or changes other than you don't like the word genocide in Wikivoice when it comes to Native American treatment by the US. Your opinion is that because there is no agreement in scholarship to call it genocide we should not state it in Wikivoice and that it should be called ethnic cleansing, also not agreed on by scholarship, or crimes against humanity (patronizing) based solely on your opinion and interpretation. I see that, on one article talk page, you are trying to force some standardization on all articles that discuss genocide when you have been told by several editors that it needs to be separate discussions or if you can find the appropriate community venue to make sure this decision gets the wider community discussion. We shouldn't be trying to form Wikipedia policy on an article talk page. --ARoseWolf 18:31, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I object to having this discussion on this article talk page which is supposed to be only about improvements to this article specifically. I hope that clarifies my objection though I'm not sure why that was so hard to decipher because I said as much in several of my responses. --ARoseWolf 18:38, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The broad genocide discussion would go elsewhere. This conversation is narrowly about this article.
I'm asking whether this page should state that the United States committed genocide in Wikivoice? Yes or no? KlayCax (talk) 18:50, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If there is reason enough to state it as ethnic cleansing so definitively with Wikivoice I think there is cause to state it as genocide, as has been done on other articles about Native American's treatment by the US. --ARoseWolf 18:53, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
In regards to United States, I believe the article is very neutrally worded, making mention of genocide once and only as a wikilink to an article with the same title about this subject. It calls the Trail of Tears a forced removal, which I think is very generous. Before that it states in one sentence about the policies of Indian removal and assimilation that many, not most, many being more than one or two, respected scholars, both Native and non-Native, classify as genocidal acts in part or in whole. --ARoseWolf 19:06, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If there's not a consensus than we shouldn't take a position either way. Particularly if it's a minority position within the literature.
Trail of Tears isn't even mentioned in the article. The current phrasing in the article is about so-called "Indian Removal" in general. KlayCax (talk) 23:55, 5 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
1.) I already explained the 2018 RFC above. 1.) RFC's are matters of last resort. 2.) The RFC in question is half a decade old, was malformed, and offered a false dichotomy between a heavily biased and nationalist POV and "In 1869, a new Peace Policy nominally promised to protect Native-Americans from abuses, avoid further war, and secure their eventual U.S. citizenship. Nonetheless, conflicts and state-sanctioned murder, including the California Genocide, continued throughout the West into the 1900s." Neither option was great. Heck, the only part of the statement still in the article is "genocide". Therefore, I can't see it as still WP: PRECEDENT.
2.) I've never reported anyone to an administrator on here and my statements weren't WP: BAIT. I was simply responding to the phrasing you reinstated. Editors with the best of intentions can disagree with one another on how articles should be written. That's entirely normal and should be expected. I apologize if something I said was taken the wrong way. It wasn't my intention.
3.) There's a lot more than 4 who have objected. @The Four Deuces:, @Barnards.tar.gz:, @InvaderMichael:, @Cmguy777: @Dhtwiki:, me, etc. have all opposed the wording (at least in Wikivoice) over the past year for the simple reason that there's no current historical consensus on the matter. (And even worse: a lot of this appears to be a minority within the literature.) A note explaining the historiography and leaving it an open question would be far superior. (Or not mentioning it at all.) KlayCax (talk) 01:44, 6 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
4.) Because there was proposals to also list the Trail of Tears or Indian Removal (in general) as genocidal as well. There were two conversations going on at once.
5.) Without getting more bogged down in the weeds: 1.) There's no consensus in the literature. Additionally, many of these claims are minority positions within it. 2.) Therefore, Wikipedia shouldn't state it in Wikivoice.
Is there a consensus on any of this? If not, how can it remain in the article's voice? KlayCax (talk) 01:44, 6 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

The fact that you ignored my request to redact the misleading attribution is noted. I look forward to reading the folks you pinged to see if anyone supports your removal. -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 02:21, 6 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

The only thing I said was But there's at least 4+ editors now who oppose the SashiRolls [preferred] phrasing as is. (I'll add [preferred]) The context was obviously about how the phrasing that you're in favor of (I didn't say it was yours; I only brought your name up in context due to the fact that ) is different from the RFC version. So citing the (incredible malformed and false dichotomy-induced) RFC that is now half a decade old doesn't have much weight.
My question is: if there's no consensus, why promote one view over the other? We've already renamed the Uyghur genocide to Persecution of the Uyghurs in China. KlayCax (talk) 02:43, 6 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for acknowledging that the wording is not mine. I do indeed prefer some wording to no wording (your preference). I am not opposed to including both the terms ethnic cleansing and genocide, if you prefer. My thought is that using summary style is to be preferred and linking to the daughter article (California genocide) is simpler than splitting hairs in this article.
I haven't supported or opposed any particular wording. I left my view that genocide is a serious label that requires the highest standard of sourcing. I haven't looked into the sourcing of this particular subject in any great detail, but I can make a few generic comments:
1) If there's a problem with the title of the article on California genocide then Talk:California genocide is the place to discuss it.
2) I'm not sure any further site-wide guideline on use of this term is necessary or helpful. It should always come down to what sources say, so it's perfectly possible for articles on, say, China and Ukraine to be inconsistent on their use of the term, as long as they both reflect what their respective sources say.
3) If there is not clear consensus amongst sources, then we cannot pick one POV's preferred label and present it in wikivoice - and the more inflammatory the label, the clearer that consensus needs to be.
4) The United States is a vast subject. Almost everything in this article should be written in summary style. The section titled Revolution and expansion (1776–1861) is headed Further information: History of the United States (1776–1789), History of the United States (1789–1815), and History of the United States (1815–1849), so logically the section should summarise what those articles say, with due weight. None of them use the word genocide as far as I can see. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 12:47, 6 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Surprisingly, this was not even covered in the 1849-1865 page, but I have fixed that oversight. As you can see, I have no problem with using both the terms ethnic cleansing and genocide, since both are frequently seen in the scholarship, and en.wp represents all major viewpoints. If it is thought that Yale University press and University of Nebraska press books and the California governor are fringe sources, someone could open a thread at the Fringe theories noticeboard (WP:FTN) to get opinions there... -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 14:02, 6 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As an addendum, when I noticed KlayCax deleting the California genocide from Historical negationism a couple months ago (due to his post in an earlier section of this page), I learned that textbook editors were unwilling to refer to the events as "genocide" and pressured their authors not to use the term if they wanted to be published: "In spite of a wealth of sources, the California Department of Education denies the genocide of its first people, and publishers and authors of social studies texts almost entirely ignore the killing thousands of Indians and enslavement of thousands of others (California State Board of Education, 2000)." (source available through Wikipedia Library)
Times changed in 2019 with the governor's apology. Today, new accounts are being created to help KlayCax remove the longstanding text from that entry. -- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 20:34, 6 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]


Why was the description explaining how the USA "is a leading political, military and cultural power" removed? Was this consensus approved? NocturnalDef (talk) 14:43, 14 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

There are many other accolades already, in addition to the mentions of superpower which implies all of that. CurryCity (talk) 19:18, 15 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No, it does NOT imply all of that. Being a superpower only implies military status; not political and cultural. I've read the UK description and there is clear indication that THEY enjoy cultural influence and yet OUR cultural influence is greater; so I ask again; why was it removed? NocturnalDef (talk) 21:54, 15 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't see any argument on here to downgrade America's accolade. Seems to me that you're all pushing some isolationist agenda as you have done years prior. I'll give you some time to change it back before I am forced to step in. Let's not do this again. NocturnalDef (talk) 20:34, 16 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I see that the proper changes have been made. I am currently satisfied and pray that we keep it thay way. NocturnalDef (talk) 22:07, 20 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]


Why was the description explaining how the USA "is a leading political, military and cultural power" removed? Was this consensus approved? NocturnalDef (talk) 21:51, 15 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Opening a new topic doesn't change anything. But if you want the description to go back, make sure to provide some sources for the US'S political military and cultural power in your reasoning. ✨ΩmegaMantis✨blather 22:17, 15 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The sources have been provided for the past 2 decades. Ya'll keep deleting it regardless! May I ask (WHERE IS YOURS) for removing it? NocturnalDef (talk) 20:30, 16 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Are you implying that US political, military, cultural and soft power is no longer relevant because YOU deleted it without any sources? Because YOU say so? So then the UK is the leading cultural force in the world now, is THAT what you are implying because their description hasn't been deleted yet! NocturnalDef (talk) 20:38, 16 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I did not delete it, as you can see with the history tab. Please don't make these snap judgements.
Sources usually aren't in the lede section, so it's unlikely there are sources in the section. There might have been sources corresponding to what it said in the body, but it's your responsibility to find them if you want to convince @CurryCity and me.
And no, I am not implying US power is no longer relevant. The lede doesn't not imply it either: the description of the US as a superpower means that the US is an important force. (In the Superpower Wikipedia article itself it states that a superpower is not just military power [contrary to what you have stated] but also political, cultural, and soft, what you want in the lede.) The lede wasn't changed to remove such power, it was changed to not be redundant. Hopefully we can come to an agreement on this. 🤝 ✨ΩmegaMantis✨blather 21:29, 16 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No, being a superpower refers to hard-power: political and cultural significance is whats known as softpower; PLEASE know what you are talking about before you say it. And yes, it wasn't "you" that removed it; it was Mason. I have already scoured the archive to no surprise as he was the same culprit years prior-It's just you and those like you have a bad habit of enabling his actions without a proper consensus. If this is the route that you all chose to take then once again I am going to step in and i will provide all the sources to prove my claim (as i did before) but if you all decide to fight me toothe and nail (as you did before); there will be conflict. Please don't let it come to that again. Wikipedia is NOT the place to push a political agenda. It is about contemporary FACT and nothing more. I implore that you and your isolationist friends do not engage me as I make the proper changes as you fought me in the past as I WILL revise the article if it comes down to that. Let's keep it civil. NocturnalDef (talk) 21:00, 17 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Was it just you and Currycity who revised it or was it Mason alone as I presumed? He was the last one who initiated the change before I intervened it to its proper form. Why do I need to convice you and currycity ONLY? Who else is in on this? NocturnalDef (talk) 21:05, 17 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm sorry if I've gotten off on the wrong foot with you, NocturnalDef. But I simply think that it's not a political agenda to prevent redundancy in the lede, with superpower already encompassing political, military, and cultural power (which you wanted to stay in the lede) (sources: The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy, Professor June Teufel Dreyer, and others [all accessible on the Wikipedia page about superpowers.]) And it seems that you are the only one to disagree, with nobody else seeming to have an issue with it and other editors (User:CurryCity and Mason) supporting or making the change in the first place. Some sources that superpower does not refer to cultural power would provide more of a reason to change the lede, but since you have not provided such sources, it should probably stay as is. ✨ΩmegaMantis✨blather 21:27, 17 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@NocturnalDef -- No, I always supported the original sentence: "a major political, military, economic and cultural force worldwide". That eventually became "the major etc. etc. force worldwide". Without sources, that seems hyperbolic for any country article. I think "the only [remaining] superpower" covers it fine, unless there is discussion later. But I've had nothing to do with the development of this wording over time. Mason.Jones (talk) 21:47, 18 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I approve of the revisionned article so long as it isn't reverted back to prior status before current satisfaction. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. 🙏 NocturnalDef (talk) 22:05, 20 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I had nothing to do with making anything more "isolationist". Superpower is actually a better description in my view because it includes all dimensions in one word. I do think there are more than enough accolades already, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt too much to add a few more words about American culture, maybe along the lines of how self-absorbed it can be sometimes? CurryCity (talk) 15:16, 19 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It matters not anymore. The issue has been resolved without conflict and both parties seem satisfied so long as the newly revised article is not tampered with. I thank you all for your cooperation. 🙏 NocturnalDef (talk) 21:49, 20 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I am currently satisfied with the revisions made. As long as the changes remain, I have no problem with the overall consensus. I call for peace. 🙏 NocturnalDef (talk) 22:01, 20 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Resident vs. apportionment population[edit]

Should we be using resident population or apportionment population for states? Per the U.S. census bureau:[1]

The 2020 Census apportionment population includes the resident population of the 50 states, plus a count of the U.S. military personnel and federal civilian employees living outside the United States (and their dependents living with them) who can be allocated to a home state.

I see Arkansas is currently using the apportionment population in its infobox. Kk.urban (talk) 16:31, 19 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

No, resident populations are the official numbers. Unfortunately, in December each year, new state population estimates are announced with their apportionment stats first (which are used to give the proper number of that state's seats in the House of Representatives). Then some WP editors jump the gun and insert those numbers in state articles when they shouldn't. Arkansas should be changed. Mason.Jones (talk) 22:41, 19 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Mason.Jones Okay, I will change them to the 2020 Census resident population. But I thought apportionment only happened once per decade, after the census? Kk.urban (talk) 22:47, 19 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Apologies -- yes, once every 10 years, right after the decennial census. That's when I've noticed editors citing the wrong column of numbers from the U.S. Census website. The population should be resident only. Mason.Jones (talk) 00:06, 20 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]


Kk.urban (talk) 16:30, 19 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Wikification of third paragraph[edit]


The U.S. national government is a presidential constitutional republic and liberal democracy with three separate branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. It has a bicameral national legislature composed of the House of Representatives, a lower house based on population; and the Senate, an upper house based on equal representation for each state. Substantial autonomy is given to states and several territories, with a political culture that emphasizes liberty, equality under the law, individualism, and limited government.

  • First of all, the first sentence is an uninterrupted sea of blue links, which makes it really hard to know where to click to find info on our particular type of government! Would it be possible to include commas between the bluelinked words and/or consolidate some adjacent links into one link toward a more general article?
  • Also, the links in the last sentence seems weird to my eye—the section about states' autonomy should link to States' rights or Federalism in the United States instead of an article on each state's individual policies. BhamBoi (talk) 06:02, 21 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

The Lead[edit]

I checked back here for the first time in a while. It's really nice to see that it's been shortened so much! Good job all. -- RockstoneSend me a message! 05:46, 23 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

It definitely reads better but it's a giant sea of blue. ...... It's been used as an example of what not to do lately in discussions about accessibility for readers.Moxy🍁 19:10, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]


The fact that the US has the strongest military in the world is not mentioned anywhere in the article. Why is this? Man-Man122 (talk) 21:54, 26 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

"Strongest" might be tricky to precisely define, but the article clearly states "The United States spent $877 billion on its military in 2022, which is by far the largest amount of any country, making up 39% of global military spending...The United States has the third-largest combined armed forces in the world". CMD (talk) 01:28, 27 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
All good. I was just a little curious because the page for the US armed forces describe it as the strongest, so I thought that would be mentioned here. Man-Man122 (talk) 20:31, 27 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Should the United States be called North Columbia?[edit]

Originally, the United States was planned to be called Columbia named after Columbus who landed in North America. And plus, the government officials officially planned to name the United States, Columbia but unfortunately, the South American republic of Columbia already took the name too early so the US had to settle with its current name.

So, should the United States been called Columbia before the South Americans got ahold of the name or no? DarJoOu (talk) 13:14, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Columbia was a name often used to refer to the United States, see Columbia (personification). This fell out of fashion in the 20th century, although evidence remains in names such as the District of Columbia. Article talk pages are generally used to article development specifically, if you have general questions in the future they may be better addressed at the Wikipedia:Reference desk. Best, CMD (talk) 02:36, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The United States was named before the country of Colombia, and its original name was actually United Colonies. Randy Kryn (talk) 03:07, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah I know Randy, but should the US change it's name from the United States of America onto the United States of Columbia and why you may ask? For Americans ahem I mean North Columbians to be proud of the founding fathers and their history. DarJoOu (talk) 05:42, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Columbus was hardly a founding father of the USA. He never set foot on the land that is now the USA, and persisted to his death in believing that he had made it to Asia. And he's hardly a fine example of what you want to name your country after. He had two sons, one by his wife and one by his mistress. He called the local people he found Los Indios (Indians), a name that still creates confusion today. Columbus once punished a man found guilty of stealing corn by having his ears and nose cut off and then selling him into slavery. There are strong suggestions he was rather brutal in a lot more of his treatment of the natives. His name in his native Genoese language was Cristoffa Corombo, so maybe the country could be called Corombia. Alternatively, use the Spanish version of his name, Cristóbal Colón, and call it Colonland. HiLo48 (talk) 06:34, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't meant Columbus was a founding father, I meant the some founding fathers and many other major individuals involved in the United States' founding wanted to change the name of the United States to Columbia but Colonland probably is a mighty option. I agree I guess DarJoOu (talk) 02:06, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Suggestions from AI[edit]

Condensed by a human:

  • The number of Indian reservations is mentioned as 326. This number can vary due to changes in federal recognition and the establishment of new reservations. It's essential to verify the current number for accuracy.
    • 326 wasn't mentioned in the main body, now added.
  • The population number and global rank are correct as of the last update, but these are dynamic figures that change annually. It’s useful to note the year these numbers were reported for current context.
  • The discussion on the health care system, particularly the Affordable Care Act, may need an update to reflect any recent changes or impacts on insurance coverage and healthcare access.
  • briefly mentions the Civil War's impact on slavery but could elaborate on its profound effects on American society, including the Reconstruction era, the civil rights movement, and ongoing discussions around racial equity.
  • While discussing the economy, more emphasis could be placed on the shift towards technology and service industries over the past few decades, reflecting the current economic landscape.
  • The cultural section could benefit from a discussion on the influence of immigrant cultures on American cuisine, music, and festivals, highlighting the diversity of American cultural practices.
  • Geography mentions physical features but could discuss environmental challenges the US faces, such as climate change impacts on different regions, conservation efforts, and sustainability initiatives.
  • A brief explanation of the Electoral College system could provide readers with a clearer understanding of the presidential election process.
  • Mentions the popularity of American football, basketball, and baseball but could acknowledge the growing interest in soccer, both at a professional level and grassroots participation, reflecting changing sports preferences.

Tom B (talk) 09:15, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Incorrect claim “highest median income of a non-microstate”[edit]

Factual error. I’d like to adjust it, but the page is protected. Several average sized countries such as Norway, Switzerland and a couple more have higher median income.

Correct: US has a high median income. (Though not the highest.)

Would someone with editing rights please correct. Thanks. (talk) 17:48, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

According to OECD, the United States has a higher median income than Norway or Switzerland. A few microstates surpass it. However, that's already specified. KlayCax (talk) 18:03, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Request for edit on type of government.[edit]

I've noticed that there's been a change in the type of government on the page. Before it was "federal presidential constitutional republic", now "constitutional" was taken out which is a bad edit. The United States's rule of law is the constitution. To say we aren't constitutional anymore is taking away the true meaning behind the form of government. It's fundamental to our rule of law. I'm not sure if it was a mistake or intentional but putting "constitutional" back in is needed. (talk) 01:00, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

The redirect EE. UU. has been listed at redirects for discussion to determine whether its use and function meets the redirect guidelines. Readers of this page are welcome to comment on this redirect at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2024 April 9 § EE. UU. until a consensus is reached. Utopes (talk / cont) 21:14, 9 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]