Talk:United States/Archive 29

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Name =

Probably not the first to suggest so, but... shouldn't the article be called "United States of America", with a disambiguation for "United States", since technically that's also the name of The United Mexican States? Just a suggestion.

The United Mexican States is different; if it was called The United States of Mexico, we'd have an ambiguous situation on our hands. I do, however, believe that a discussion might be in order. Our constitution actually names the USA as the 'United States'. Nicholas SL Smith (talk) 04:05, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Apparently this has been a topic of conversation for a while -- check out [Should this article be moved to United States of America?], although, I don't know if there was a consensus reached there. To tell you the truth - after a search for discussion about this, I don't see that a consensus has ever been reached. I'm worried that a consensus will be very very difficult to reach, and may not be worth everyone's time for something which is handled through redirects. We can try though. I'm going to ping a few editors who have been a part of past discussions to see what I can dig up first. Nicholas SL Smith (talk) 04:16, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
If you bothered to scroll down on this page, you'd see that this topic was debated again just a few weeks ago and again ended up with no consensus. Please do not reopen this can of worms again. You must have a slow computer or something! --Coolcaesar (talk) 07:38, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Wow - thanks Coolcaesar! But, I must warn you - you must remain civil. Please read Wikipedia:Civility. Disrespect for others is not tolerated in Wikipedia. Id consensus has not been reached, a discussion should be reopened. Nicholas SL Smith (talk) 22:19, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Article length

I was charting the growth of the article over the last couple of weeks using User talk:Dr pda/prosesize.js and thought I'd share the results:

Current$ (150k)

  • Prose size (text only): 63 kB (9992 words)

From the end of the most recent FAC: (133k)

  • Prose size (text only): 57 kB (9110 words)

From the start of the FAC process: (114k)

  • Prose size (text only): 48 kB (7779 words)

It's worth noting that there are a fair number of template:main articles linked here that require a fair bit of cleanup or that don't contain many of the points that are new to this article. The pre-FAC/mid-May suggestion that the article be broken up isn't viable, as those articles do already exist. That said, it might help us try to get back to a more effective article length to go through and take the scissors to the article, carefully cutting few dozen sentences after moving their key points and references to the main articles. MrZaiustalk 18:59, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

The reference section of this article takes up alot of space. Isn't there a method/way of shrinking it? Or at least having it in a way that allows it to be contractable and expandable? Londium 21:45, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
See further discussion of this topic below. --Evb-wiki 00:17, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Spanish will become the main language of the US in fifty years time

According to one of the sources used in the Spanish language article it will. Looks like POV to me.


It's plausible. But please use a reputable source that is easier to identify. Signaturebrendel 02:02, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I totally agree. It's the Spanish language page editors that don't.

It's not so pov, it's a reality. --Tones benefit 12:24, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think a prediction of the future can be considered reality. --Golbez 20:46, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Wiki is not a "Crystal Ball" that can predict the future; therefore this information is not appropriate at this time anyways. KyuuA4 17:26, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
We can't really predict this. Also, America is a big place. Spanish may be the most commonly-used language in the states bordering Mexico, and they may very well eventually constitute the majority of Americans, but that doesn't by any means that Spanish will be the main language in the U.S., there will still be many parts of America where the majority still speak English, and their congressional appointments will speak English. -- R'son-W (speak to me/breathe)
Have a read of WP:NOT: Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. Unless we have a 100% reliable source that guarantees its going to happen, it's either OR, POV, or violation of NOT. Matt/TheFearow (Talk) (Contribs) (Bot) 07:44, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

The most that any of this implies is that if current demographic trends continue, then that would lead to Spanish being the majority language in that length of time. However, that is plenty of time for the trends to change entirely. Spanish-speaking people could stop immigrating, there could be waves of speakers of Croatian starting to arrive instead, Spanish-speakers in the US could start using English as their primary language so that their descendants don't even know Spanish, birth and/or death rates can change dramatically... lots of stuff can happen. We're not a crystal ball. *Dan T.* 18:04, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I realize that you're agreeing with the "not a crystal ball" point, but I'd like to expand on this with a quasi-rhetorical question: At what point will 200% of the population speak Spanish if current demographic trends continue? Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 18:12, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
It is impossible for 200% of the population to speak Spanish, as the overall size of a population is limited to 100%. There may a 200% increase the use of the Spanish language. It is not possible to predict when such an increase will happen. What social scientists can gurantee you is that there will always be a wide variety of languages spoken in the U.S. Signaturebrendel 19:52, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
That was exactly my point. The "quasi-rhetorical" part didn't give it away? ;) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 20:13, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
  1. It's in a google cache, and will dissapear whenever google clears that cache.
  2. It's a personal webpage. The owner of the account where the paper at some point in the past did reside ( describes himself as a Professor of Spanish Linguistics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, (see ), but that lends no credibility to the cited paper which makes no claim to have been written by the owner of that account.
  • The paper itself relies on "Some statistical data" (which it mentions but does not cite) to back up its assertion that this purported statistical data shows that, "In 50 years the Spanish will be the first language of the population of the United States;"
  • If this assertion did come from a citeable reliable source which had some credibility in the field of linguistics, reporting that this source had made such a claim would be acceptable. That would not constitute WP predicting the future, that would be WP reporting the verifiable fact that a credible source had made such a projection. However, that is notthecase with this source.
-- Boracay Bill 00:19, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Thoughts and suggestions

Someone should add Tiger Woods to the famous athletes in the sports section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:51, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I came here mostly to look at the coverage of culture, but I read through the entire article and was very impressed. I also looked through the recent edit history to get a sense of what's been going on. I have to say, I find it very odd, this resistance against coverage of America's major current war. I've restored the essential data about how much it has cost and how many Americans have given their lives to it--this seems to me very basic information that the average reader would hope and expect to find in this article. Of course there are all sorts of minute details that belong in the specific article on the war and not here, but to claim that these fundamental data points about one of the most important actions of the country at present are in some way not "relevant" is just stupid, and, I suspect, ideologically motivated.

A few other things I think need to be covered:

  • I see someone, perhaps rather awkwardly, tried to address Andrew Johnson's impeachment. That effort was reverted, I guess understandably. But really, shouldn't both Johnson's impeachment and Clinton's be mentioned? The unprecedented peacetime economic expansion of the Clinton years also belongs here--couldn't all of Clinton be done in a single sentence?
  • It just seems weird that you can read this whole article and not learn what the country's leading industry is. Is there no source for what three or five industries recorded the greatest income or profits in the most recent year?
  • Agriculture? I'm not sure exactly where this would go, but the U.S. is one of--if not the--greatest agricultrual powers in the world. What are the leading crops/animals? How dominant is the country?
  • Philosophy. Very important. The transcendentalism of Emerson. The pragmatism of James and Dewey. The U.S. has made major contributions to the philosophical discipline. This can't be left out.

Alright, I'll dismount from my high horse. I'm happy to discuss/debate any and all of these matters. Just don't say that an accounting of the U.S. citizens who are currently dying in the U.S.'s war doesn't belong in the U.S. article.--DocKino 07:05, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Since we have several extensive articles on the war, I don't see why any more than a howdy-do and a link to the article on the war is required. It's not very basic information for an article on the country. War, yes, country, no. --Golbez 07:10, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, there are several extensive articles on many of the topics covered in the country article--it's hard to understand what point you think you're making here. The number of people who have died in a very recent or ongoing war isn't just basic information about a country, it's crucial.
Another thought on culture--Music: Elvis is inarguable, but I'm not sure about the empahsis on celebrities (Michael Jackson, Madonna) rather than on true popular musical innovators like Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, and James Brown.--DocKino 15:43, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Agreed on the Iraq war data point. The other argument offered for cutting it--"We don't mention the costs of any of the other wars, nor should we"--is equally nonsensical. The "other wars" are not current. We mention many current data points--the population, the distribution of power in the Congress, the military budget, the winner and loser of the most recent presidential elections, and a host of others--without supplying that data for every, or even any, comparable point in the past. I would like to call that "common sense," but, sadly, it doesn't quite seem to be common; let's call it "good sense." Dr. K (are you a secret Dwight Gooden fan?), your other suggestions are all sound, though we are under some pressure not to expand but rather to trim the size of the article (there's a thread on that in the recently archived discussion). Perhaps you'd like to make a counterargument on that. Specifically, I've looked for the kind of industry data you mention online and have been unable to find it. My next trip to the library, I intend to check out the recent almanacs, which generally do carry such data. Best, Dan.—DCGeist 22:39, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
If you want current information on the war, by all means, go to the war article. It has no place in the country article. DocKino, you have yet to justify your statement that it is "crucial" information for this article. Would you suggest we include each state's death toll in every state article? Every city's? If not, then why here? --Golbez 22:45, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually mentioning the current death toll from our current "military engagement" makes sense. I see your point, Golbez, it makes sense but I would argue that our wars are fought on a national level. Therefore, it makes sense to menion the death toll on the nation's article, but not that of towns, counties or statiods. Dc. K. also has a point in stating that we don't mention the death toll of other wars; so why mention this? Becuase it's current - as Dan said above.
As for the inclusion of ag data, true the U.S. is an ag-power. But the U.S. is a every-thing-power. Becuase the U.S. has by far the largest pop of any post-indstr. country, it has/is pretty much the largest everything (be it military spending or soy crops). Yet, agriculture is only a tiny component of the current American economy - our present day economy is characterized by the service sector and that is what we should focus in this article. Regards, Signaturebrendel 23:11, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

In the last sentence under Sports the claim is made that "Several American athletes have become world famous, in particular baseball player Babe Ruth, boxer Muhammad Ali, and basketball player Michael Jordan.". Tiger Woods was just removed from that list by someone claiming he isn't famous enough, but Babe Ruth remains, even though Baseball is nowhere near as popular anywhere else in the world as it is in the US. As a European I can say that in my experience Tiger Woods is a household name over here, while no-one ever mentions Babe Ruth. I'd believe the claim if there was any source for it, but there isn't, so it looks like speculation to me.

From Australia: seconded. I have to think hard to recall even that Ruth was a baseballer, whereas Woods is a household name. 05:53, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

US air force jets

i don't believe the source states that the oil fields being flown over by the air force jets in the picture are kuwaiti... they may very well be iraqi, and the kuwaiti reference should probably be replaced — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

True, the source doesn't identify the location of the pictures oil fields. It doesn't mention whether they're in Iraq or Kuwait. Unfortunately I'm not a war-buff and don't know enough about Gulf War I to critique this pic's cap. I do, however, agree that unless the oil fields can be idenified as Kuwaiti they pic cap shouldn't speculate on the oirl fields location. Regards, Signaturebrendel 23:18, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

yea, that's definately kuwati oil fields set on fire by the retreating iraqis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:00, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Government Section

Why has senate majority leader been placed in the government section? It is not a constitutional position and truthfully holds no power other than what it is granted by the members of the majority party. Also, I noticed that ever since Nancy Pelosi became speaker there has been a battle to keep her in the government section (this was never even considered when Dennis Hasteret was speaker). It seems that someone just wants to flaunt the fact that the democrats have control of congress by adding every position they can think of or someone is just getting to wrapped up in being fair. In my opinion it should either have only the president (the constitutional head of state) or the leaders of all three branches of government (president, vice-president, speaker, and chief justice) and thats it. In any event majority leader should not be included because it is not a constitutional office. President pro temp. of the senate has a more legitimate claim because it is a constitutional office and third in line to the presidency, majority leader is neither of these. And since I cannot remove it, can someone else?

Quite right. Senate maj. leader was recently added and per your argument should be removed. Done.—DCGeist 16:31, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Someone keeps remoing my information about New Zealand and the ANZUS Treaty from under military and foreign relations, even though the information is encyclopedic verifiable and comes straight from this very website.... why is that?? Murchy 16:46, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

The government section states that the United States is the oldest federation in the world. This should either be changed to something like the oldest continuous federation in the world (as recommended by the FAQ page) or removed, since Switzerland was declared a federation in the year 1291. See: Federal Charter of 1291. — —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:49, 30 August 2007(UTC)


I have added two new sections to the FAQ. Tell me if you think that they are proper additions. (As the FAQ section is meant to be anonymous, I request that you do not add {{unsigned}} to this comment.

I think you are missing the point of why you are not supposed to sign the FAQ. It is not to make it anonomous, as a view of the history will reveal who you are. It is done for the same reason as no one signs additions to articles, it would be distracting to add it. 23:20, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Bingo! (sign flash, jack-pot-sound) Signaturebrendel 00:26, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh. My mistake.


Why does this article lack a subdivisions section, or a template to guide readers to the 50 states and overseas holdings of the United States? I believe more readers would come to a "United States" article seeking pointers to Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, Arizona and Kentucky than, for example, the number of dead and wounded from a current engagement overseas. Is this article not overseen by the WikiProject on Countries? Should it not then follow its guidance? The relevant guideline suggests that these articles give a "Quick overview of the administrative subdivisions of the country. Name the section after the first level of subdivisions (e.g. provinces, states, departments, etc.) and give the English name. Also include overseas possessions. Link to "(subdivisions) of X". This section could also include an overview map of the country." As a side note, this article is still terribly bloated. Have you considered making more effective use of summary style, specifically in the "Income and social class", "History", and "Crime and punishment" sections? I'm sure that there aren't to many who would fault you for implementing trims in those sections. Geuiwogbil 13:55, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

That's a good point, there used the be a template in the middle of the article about the states, but it would appear to have been removed some time ago... --Golbez 13:59, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Because it was something like 400px, and illegible below that - struck as part of the recent attempt at a FAC cleanup. Note that Territorial evolution of the United States is still linked to as a main article from the Geo section, and every state is listed therein. That said, it wouldn't hurt to have a two sentence summary of that article in the Geo section to explain the link being there. MrZaiustalk 14:06, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
That's a really bad article to direct people to for a list of the states. =p --Golbez 14:16, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
It might be a little clunky, but it works. Looks like there isn't much else we can use other than the cat. However, I wonder if they'd look kindly on a 5 column list of states in the Geo main article, eliminating the need to summarize and link to territorial evolution there. MrZaiustalk 14:43, 12 July 2007 (UTC) - Posted two clicks too soon - Can replace the main link with U.S. state w/o changing a word. Works better, too. MrZaiustalk 14:44, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Of course, I say that, and neglect to state that that would overlook the territories and D.C. What would you say to breaking that list out of U.S. states, moving it to List of U.S. states and territories, and adding the territories and D.C. with a new lead reading something like "This list of U.S. states and territories lists the 50 states that have made up the United States since 1959 and its territories and the District of Columbia, which, though neither state nor territory, is home to the federal government of the United States." Enough of the states and territories are listed in geography to link to that as a main w/o qualms. MrZaiustalk 15:39, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
We have a Political divisions of the United States, I don't think all of that article juggling is needed. --Golbez 23:58, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that's less apt, both to the geo section, and as answer to Geuiwogbil, as it discusses considerably more than the geographical distinctions. A straight up list of states and territories might be a simpler approach, and may actually be a welcome change to the U.S. state article, given the degree to which the lengthy list detracts from the article as a whole. MrZaiustalk 00:38, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Postwar superpower

The first chapter of the "Postwar superpower" section equated the United States and Soviet Union in a misleading way. It downplayed the significance of US allies such as the UK and France, which had their own military doctrines and nuclear weapons unlike any of the Soviet allies. It stated that both supported dictatorships as if the countries had a similar view on democracy. It equated American anti-communists such as McCarthy with communists by stating that they attempted to suppress opposition like the Communist Party in communist countries. McCarthy never imprisoned and tortured members of the Democratic Party like communists did with their opposition. Moreover, there wasn't just one Communist Party in each Eastern Bloc country. In East Germany, for instance, there were several parties. Nazi activity was suppressed in several West European countries after WWII. Does that mean political opposition was suppressed like in communist countries? No. The chapter had to be rewritten to more accurately reflect actual history.--Kelstonian 17:25, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

You're right about the tone of the later part of the section, but your edits to the first part introduced a couple of oddly worded phrases that decreased readability, and, more importantly, downplayed the importance of the superpowers. Reverted the first part to the stronger and more correct wording, left the positive edits to the anti-communist section. Note that we discuss the role of NATO and select member states elsewhere in the article, as well. MrZaiustalk 17:40, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree about the readiblity issue and also about including the Korean war as it is now. However, it's misleading to talk of the Cold War as US and SU jockeying for power the way, for instance, Britain and France were in their colonial wars. The Cold War was mostly an ideological war in which success was measured by the political and economic system that each country ended up with; power was only a tool to achieve these goals. The SU was trying to spread communism and the US was trying to prevent it.--Kelstonian 20:11, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Not just prevent it, but actively promote western economic and political ideals. Jockeying for power isn't all that far off the mark, but it would be a little closer to say something along the lines of "using their political, economic, and military strength to promote the dueling ideals of Stalinist communism and capitalist democracy" - Probably ought to stress all three to avoid glossing over the non-military aspects of the Cold War MrZaiustalk 20:32, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

This is unrelated to the discussion above, but why does this section mention Bush and the Axis of Evil? As I remember his speech, it mentioned the Axis of Evil only shortly, however, it was quite some time ago. It seems to me that, when one is compacting so much history into such a small section (albeit, the section has many links, but let's just say that the average lazy internet bum isn't going to play around with those links), wouldn't it be more efficient to remove said Axis of Evil speech and simply say,

"In late 2002, the Bush administration pressed for regime change in Iraq on controversial grounds, and, in 2003, a Coalition of the Willing invaded Iraq, removing President Saddam Hussein. Although facing both external[36] and internal[37] pressure to withdraw, the United States maintains its military presence in Iraq at this time."

I suggest that "at this time" be added, for the reason that the US Congress is, at this time, requesting that a withdrawl be performed, and a sizable portion of the population is as well. I'm not Democrat or anything (in fact, just the opposite), but it just seems...better. Also, perhaps a link could be added after 'time'. It really shouldn't be that hard to find some evidence that the US is still in Iraq :P. Cronos2546 00:07, 16 July 2007 (UTC)Cronos2546

Dissent in Congress has been noted, although more up to date sources would be valuable - that and the use of the present tense is adequage. That said, the Axis of Evil ref isn't all that terribly relevant, in retrospect (although it did have a considerable social impact, regardless of the brevity of its use by Bush). MrZaiustalk 00:14, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Name of article

Two United States: Mexico and USA?!

--Jolo Buki Original 14:52, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Please see the FAQ for further information on why this article is called "United States" instead of "United States of America." Thank you, Signaturebrendel 22:36, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

The FAQ says (in part): "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." Therefore it is appropriate for Jolo Buki Original to give his opinion here(this being Talk:United States), and for me to give mine. I believe the article would be better named United States of America; it's not an overly long name, its meaning is clearer, and it is generally accepted as the correct name. Thank you. 20:01, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Never said it wan't appropriate for him to voice his concerns regarding the article here - but simply urged him to look at the FAQ so he could gain more insight into why this article is called United States. Signaturebrendel 00:47, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


I think the opening paragraphs need to be reconsidered for NPOV. There's alot of emotive language in there and I can see why it could be hard to leave that out when most of the editors are likely American, but it's unnecessary. I think it could be altered to be more objective is all :) Sean 23:38, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Okay, but could you give us an example. To me the intro reads NPOV. Regards, Signaturebrendel 23:42, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Aside from "rebellious states" (which is, at the very least, accurate), and the final sentence which seems warranted, given the subject, I don't see any really strong examples of POV in the lead. The excessively colorful prose of a few months ago is largely gone from that section, although some has creeped back in to the expanded culture section. MrZaiustalk 01:04, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I've reread the lead and I can't find a single passage that qualifies as "emotive language." Everything in the lead appears well supported by high-quality citations where appropriate and abundant historical evidence in general. As requested above, please give an example of what you perceive as "emotive language."—DCGeist 02:01, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
As a non-American, I think I can see some grounds for the statement about emotive language. Examples:
  • At over 3.7 million square miles (over 9.6 million km²) and with more than 300 million people (The "over" and "more than" are not necessary, these are rounded numbers)
  • most ethnically and socially diverse (ethnically yes, socially experienced as rather uniform, likely to be more uniform than some countries with tribal or caste systems)
  • rebellious (why not the less emotive "seceding")
  • first successful colonial war of independence (not quite; that would have been when the indians had expelled the colonisers)
  • World War I confirmed the nation's status as a great power (why not "World War I confirmed the nation's military power")
  • dominant economic, political, military, and cultural force (first three yes, but the latter only from a western viewpoint)
Woodstone 08:19, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
1)Well, unless we give exact figures for land area and population (which would require continually updating), using "more than" and "over" is fine. 2) According to the article, it is one of the worlds most diverse, not the mos diverse. 3) we call them Rebellious because they rebelled (Secession doesn't necessarily mean a war was fought). 5) They were a great power after WWI because of diplomatic, economic, and military strength. 6) That last statement is sourced. New England (C) (H) 12:53, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
1) Because the numbers are rounded, it is not relevant if the actual number is (just) above or below.
2) From the outside, the USA makes a very uniform impression, more so than many other countries with more variation in culture.
3) Since the war is already mentioned, the word rebellious is superfluously emotive
5) The word "great" power is judgmental. They are "powerful"
6) The impact of USA culture is not very deep in most of Asia (a large fraction of the world's population)
Woodstone 20:28, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

That's all debatable, but I forgot to talk about the colonial revolt thing. The term "colonial war of independence" implies that colonists rebelled against the colonizing country. Indians were not colonists. New England (C) (H) 20:35, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

RE Woodstone:

  1. "From the outside, the USA makes a very uniform impression, more so than many other countries with more variation in culture." - That's one hell of a wrong impression! The U.S. is indeed very diverse. Even if -and doubts this is the case- most non-Americans had the misperception that the U.S. is homogenous, we'd need to bust that myth right in the intro.
  2. "Because the numbers are rounded, it is not relevant if the actual number is (just) above or below." Ture, but it is customary to hint the reader whether or not the population is "above or below."
  3. The impact of USA culture is not very deep in most of Asia (a large fraction of the world's population)" Yes-and-no, U.S. culture has affected much of the world including Asia.
  4. The word "great" power is judgmental. They are "powerful" True, we could lose the word "great." There is one problem, however. There are several powerful countries in the world (Germany, China, etc...) - yet the U.S. is especially powerful. How else can we convey that the U.S. is powerful to an extent greater than that of other powerful countries?

Thanks for giving exmaples. Regards, Signaturebrendel 21:02, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

6) I would argue that the impact of USA culture on Asia is far more than most of their leaders would like. We have had a significant cultural impact on Korea, Vietnam, Japan, China, and India, just to name a few. Whether that impact is positive or negative is obviously POV, but I cannot imagine that you would argue it's not significant. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 20:45, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I do maintain USA's cultural impact on India (and China) is minimal.
A won colonial war of independence is one where the original population regains power over the newcomers. Not so in the USA. So it cannot be said the have won the first of them.
Cultural diversity is difficult to measure, but I cannot see how USA would be more diverse than many others.
The essence of these points is only partly their truth, but more their boastfulness. Toning down would help.
Woodstone 21:34, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Exhibit A. ;) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 21:46, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Indeed - all of "Bollywood" can serve as exhibit - just for fun: Exhbiti B. Signaturebrendel 22:08, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, I do maintain USA's cultural impact on India (and China) is minimal. What are your sources?
  • A won colonial war of independence is one where the original population regains power over the newcomers. Not so in the USA. So it cannot be said the have won the first of them. - This contradicts most history books.
  • Cultural diversity is difficult to measure, but I cannot see how USA would be more diverse than many others. Most any sociology or anthropology text describes the U.S. as one of the most diverse nations on earth. Stating that the U.S. isn't especially diverse contradicts current consensus among social scientists and, therefore, our sources. Quite frankly, I find it hard how anyone could even see the U.S. as homogenous. The U.S. consists of 300 million persons (the larger the group, the more diverse), most of whom the descendents of immigrants that came from all corners of the globe (no ancestry group makes up more than 16%). The sheer number of ethnic groups, languages and beleives that characterise more than 1 million people within the U.S. is amazing - not mention the variety of ideologies, tastes and socio-economic differences. But you don't have to take my word for it - take that of our sources and the majority of social scientists for it. Regards, Signaturebrendel 21:59, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I think the examples given above are good, it wasn't that any particular examples jumped out at me but the general feel of the opening paragraphs was of admiration and a slightly romanticized history. For example it states "the U.S. is one of the world's most ethnically and socially diverse nations" which is a subjective matter of opinion, and shouldn't be in the opening sections of an objective encyclopedia. Also, the facts and statements that have been chosen for the opening section are all positive, "america is a great power", "america has the largest economy" etc may be fact but are they appropriate? Other points of emotive language such as "rebellious states" reads as states that are rebellious in nature, rather than states that rebelled. Figures stating ethnic diversity and land mass are fine but do we need phrases like "from almost every corner of the globe" and "with more than 300million people..."? Note that the modern globe doens't actually have corners ;) I just think the widely read introduction to an important article on the English Wikipedia (where many readers and editors are from the USA) needs to be scrutinized for objectivity and relevance. Sean 00:10, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

I notice the intro says "The American Civil War ended slavery in the United States," which is untrue. Slavery existed for several months after the Civil War, it was ended by the 13th Amendment after the Civil War. The artle also goes on to say that the North abolished slavery by 1804, when the truth is Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, West Virginia, Washington D.C. had slavery during the Civil War. New Jersey kept slaves over a certain age as "apprentices for life" until the 13th Amendment. -- "Dominant economic, political, military, and cultural force": There needs to be a lot more explicit evidence to claim that USA is a dominant cultural force, which is far from obvious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:45, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree with this slavery discrepancy. Several northern states, particularly New York, had slavery until the 1830s (not 1804 as stated in the article). It is also true that slavery existed after the Civil War until the 13th Amendment, at least in non-Confederate States. Thus, the 13th Amendment ended slavery, not the Civil War. This needs to be addressed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:07, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Okay, on slavery again--no matter how many times it has been edited, people keep changing it to an incorrect statement. Now it reads, "The North's victory prevented a split and ended slavery." Again this is only half true. The North's victory ended slavery in the South (it could be argued this way, since the CSA didn't see Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation as legitimate thus defeat legitimized it) but did nothing to Slavery in the North, in DC, or the Border States. This needs to read the 13th Amendment ended slavery in order maintain historical accuracy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Theboondocksaint (talkcontribs) 08:04, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

":::5) The word "great" power is judgmental. They are "powerful" " - The term great power has a specific meaning which is warranted. Captain Crush 00:37, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Use of a scroll template

Obviously, I'm sure this issue has already come up before. I'm justing wondering why a scroll template isn't neccessary in the reference section when there's nearly 200 reference links? I can't seem to find the "warning on the scoll template page" anywhere, and I'm not going to scroll through all 28 archive pages to find the discussion about it. 16:24, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

He was referring to Template:Scroll box. The real problem isn't one of necessity or readability, it's about basic accessibility - using overflow tags and the template that does the same breaks the printable layout of this page, rendering obscured content permanently obscured to readers of the printed page and, potentially, users of screen-readers reliant upon said layout. MrZaiustalk 16:51, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Also, as the editor that put it in this time appears to have been a heavier editor of the zh wiki, please keep in mind that the above applies equally to all wikis on Wikimedia and, presumably, all other installs of MediaWiki. MrZaiustalk 17:37, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

US economy

I've changed the sentence that said that the US economy is the largest in the world. I've added the sentence: "second if the EU's economy is counted.". I think that is a fact that should be in it, it just makes the picture complete. Whether people do want to count in the EU or not, that is up to them, but it is a fact that the EU's economy is slightly larger than that of the US. --Robster1983 20:24, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree it's interesting, but perhaps as a parenthetical? It currently sounds a little awkward to my ears. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 20:26, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
If it's minor or unrelated enough in the sentence at hand that it is stronger in parentheses, it doesn't belong in the LEAD. That said, Robster's correct that it is worth pointing out. Replaced with similar statement in Economy section that also has added benefit of giving perspective to GDP compared to other nations that was previously lacking, implicit instead on the GWP statement. MrZaiustalk 20:31, 21 July 2007 (UTC) PS: Adding it to the lead without rewriting the sentence (which is strong as it stands - I'd advise against it) adds an implicit label of "nation" to the EU.
Well, does that mean that the article as it is, stays the same? Th section of the US economy is saying that the EU's economy is larger. So the article contradicts itself then. To find a compromis (which is correct at the same time): what if the lead would say that the US economy is one of the largest of the world? It won't contradict itself, and in the section of economy, people can read more about the US economy, and whether or not it can be identified as the largest economy of the world. --Robster1983 20:51, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
That means that the relative size of the GDP is perfectly clear in the lead already. Also, read the whole sentence. Once again, by adding mention of the EU in the way you did you added an implicit statement that the EU is a nation and not an IGO. This edit was intended to resolve your concerns stated above without necessitating a rewrite of the concise, correct, and well written sentence currently in the lead. It is in no way contradictory, as the lead is clearly talking about "national economies" while the Economy section only compares the GDP of the United States to that of the EU, containing no other comparative text dealing with the total GDP. MrZaius<fontcolor="Blue">talk 21:18, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
First of all: the EU is not an IGO. The European Community could be seen as such, but the EU is more than that, for the EC is the first of three pillars of the EU. The EU itself can be seen as a supranational and/ or a intergovernmental body. It is not (yet) seen as a country, but it is also accepted as something more than an IGO (for no other other International Organisation has integrated facts like laws (the EU laws are the highest laws in each EU-state, the national laws are 'beneath' them), currency (Euro) and a central bank, nor does it have a parliament). So saying that the EU is an IGO, is in fact just not correct. However, the rest you are saying, I must agree with. The lead indeed says 'national economy', and the EU's economy is supranational. So I cannot do anything else, than to agree with you on that one. --Robster1983 21:41, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
On a side note, there seems to be some room for debate as to whether or not the EU can be classified as an IGO, noted in the EU article here and elsewhere. MrZaiustalk 21:59, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

True, the EU economy is larger than that of the U.S., but the U.S. economy is the largest national economy in the world. The article did not state the U.S. to have the world's largest economy (such a statement is disputable) - it only states the U.S. to have the world's largest national economy - a statement which is indisputable. Regards, Signaturebrendel 00:41, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Welcome to the repetitious repetition party, no with 20% more repetition than the original 100% ;) MrZaiustalk 00:43, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Yup! That's why I added this question to the FAQs. Signaturebrendel 02:27, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

The US economy section was horribly unbalanced against the US (yet again). I took the appropriate steps and made it (somewhat) better. --Rotten 05:14, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Uh, what you changed definitely wasn't 'unbalanced'. Octane [improve me] 22.07.07 0517 (UTC)
I reverted your edits. There is no reason to remove the median household income figures for other developed countries. They give readers a reference point by which to judge the U.S. median household income. How is showing the UK's median household income which is lower than that of the U.S. showing the U.S. in a bad light? It isn't! This removal of referenced and relevant information is completely counter-productive. Signaturebrendel 05:25, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
It has since been edited by someone to say that the US has a higher GDP then th EU however isn't that incorrected? If so it should be corrected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Joeking16 (talkcontribs) 10:25, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Party affiliation diagram

I've removed the party affiliation diagram. States like Texas don't register party membership, and the sampling of states that do is not representative of the whole United States. --Davidstrauss 22:30, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. The diagram is based on reputable polls. The publishers and researchers do beleive that their poll are representative of the country and on Wikipedia we need to take their word for it, as long as they their research has been adopted by reputable instutitions. Fruthermore, the chart reflects the total number of registered members with each party, information which is known to both parties. It is not a poll of political orientation, which is differs from partisanships. I re-inserted the chart as it is informative and not in any way misleading - it simply shows registered partisan membership. Signaturebrendel 05:18, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

America follows in the way of the Wu Tang. Cash rules everything around me CREAM get the money, dolla dolla bill ya'll. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Coolguyforshore (talkcontribs) 15:51, 6 November 2007 (UTC)


Golbez has removed the partisan membership chart becuase he/she thinks that Independent implies third party membership. It does not. "Independent" simply means that a person is not a part of either the Republican nor Democratic Party. Please see the source used for further information. There absolutely nothing desceptive about this chart. It merely shows the size of America's two big parties. Regards, Signaturebrendel 18:36, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

"Independent" is an official registration in many states, so this is giving undue weight to that. I don't see any added value from this pie chart unless it shows all registrations. There's more than two parties in this country, y'know. --Golbez 18:47, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes there are, but generally speaking social scientists refer to the U.S. as a two-party system. Perhaps the term "independent" is used in a slightly ambigous manner. If I changed "Independent" to "Other" would that solve the problem? Signaturebrendel 19:03, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
It will fix the problem of me removing it; it will not fix the problem of its relevance, since such a simplistic chart can be handled in text. --Golbez 19:05, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, it's good to know that wording will improve the chart and "fix the problem." As for relevance: True, the info can, is being handeled in the text. But charts tend to be better at conveying info to readers - they allow our readers to visualize the info. Signaturebrendel 19:12, 26 July 2007 (UTC)


There's still a lot here in the relatively polished History and Culture sections that aren't in the slightly messy B-class articles at History of the United States and Culture of the United States. I'm of half a mind to take our History section and use that as the basis for a rewrite of the History article, although I haven't had time to get started on it. Merge back the other article into our section and split that into a new article, and it'd be starting out with a ton of strong sources, etc. Will hopefully start over the weekend. MrZaiustalk 12:23, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

The article is way too long. It needs to be shortened some how. There is no need for such great detail in one article. I would like to help in such a shortening process, but cannot promise anything. The article's excessive length and onerous amount of detail was a significant aspect of the recent failed WP:FAC. --Merbabu 14:18, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I estimate that the article is about 25 percent shorter than the Encyclopedia Britannica's comparable Micropedia article. Remember, that's their summary article. The Macropedia version is much, much longer. Go to and see how long their full-length and student versions of United States are (288 and 177 online pages respectively, if you're feelin' lazy). To call the amount of detail in our article "onerous" is gross hyperbole.—DCGeist 17:12, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't call it "onerous" either, but it was somewhat disheartening to see the article grow by 20-30% during the FAC. The split mentioned above, however, would take as back to pre-FAC4 levels, if not lower still. Just as importantly, it would give us well written articles that we could create real summaries for - As it stands, what we have is a slightly shorter rewrite, not a summary, of those two sections' main articles. MrZaiustalk 18:19, 27 July 2007 (UTC) PS: Using Britannica as grounds for comparison doesn't really work, as what we keep in separate articles they just consider pages within their US article, including the history and culture pages mentioned above and most of the pages in our little "See also" navbox
Whether or not the aritcle is of excessive length varies greatly with section. While the history section may be 2/3 the length of its main, the economy section isn't. Consider that we have 2 GAs, and 1 B-class article dealing with nothing but income, that is not to count other articles on issues such as class (2 GAs, 1 B-class), wealth, homeownership, and poverty (1 B-class each). Overall there are over half a dozen "full-size" articles discussing the U.S. economy alone. The same can be said for the politics section. Before we devise a strategy to shorten the article, we need to identify those section who arn't limited to giving summaries of their main article(s). While we should be able to get the article down to about 100kb/110kb/120kb, it is going to remain long. I agree w/ MrZaius, that the post-FA growth rate is a bit worrisome yet would like to stress that this is going to be one of the longest high-quality article on WP. Regards, Signaturebrendel 21:37, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't part of the length due to the references section, which stands at 4102 words, or around 28 kilobytes? In which case, the actual size is somewhere around 123 kilobytes. —Viriditas | Talk 22:57, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely. References are a huge part of this article - the infobox and wiki links also add to the article's length considerably. The actual article, that is prose, is much smaller than the ~ 140kb you see listed at the top of the page while you edit. Signaturebrendel 00:11, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the last few comments, I'm talking about length of prose, not the size of the article (including references) measured in kb. It's a better than it was before its last FAC, but there is still work to do. I'm not sure why this article must be longer than FA quality country articles, particularly the history section. Much of that extra detail should go into the sub-articles. --Merbabu 00:38, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Exactly: I'm not arguing that the history section is poorly written or overly verbose, I'm saying it's better written and more thouroughly sourced than History of the United States, and, merged back, it would make a great start towards GA/FA there, and allow us to cut 10k of prose and 20k of source right off the top. Same applies to the Culture section. Here's the current stats on the article:

  • Prose size (HTML): 142 kB
  • References (HTML): 115 kB
  • Wiki text: 152.0 KiB (21570 words)
  • Prose size (text only): 65 kB (10360 words)
  • References (text only): 27 kB

As you can see, even the prose is something like 30k over what WP:LENGTH recommends. When I break a copy of the history section out into a sandbox, I get the following stats for it:

  • Prose size (HTML): 30 kB
  • References (HTML): 1 kB
  • Wiki text: 2.9 KiB (421 words)
  • Prose size (text only): 14 kB (2174 words)
  • References (text only): 0 kB

Compared to History of the United States:

  1. Prose size (HTML): 30 kB
  2. References (HTML): 8 kB
  3. Wiki text: 2.9 KiB (421 words)
  4. Prose size (text only): 14 kB (2175 words)
  5. References (text only): 3 kB

As you can tell, the neglected parent for the history section is only twice as long as the prose of the current history section. Almost entirely unsourced, I'm awfully tempted to take the significant ideas in that article not already covered in our History section, introduce them into it, and then move it back over the pre-existing article at History of the United States. Won't be simple or happen overnight, but it does seem warranted. Doing that alone would allow us to cut the history section here in half, shooting for ~7k of prose, so that it reads more like summary of the main article. Note that there's also a number of similarly detailed sections here that are better written and more thouroughly sourced than their parent articles. Rinse, wash, repeat, and we can get this article pared down to the point that it is both strong and concise enough to survive its Nth FAC. MrZaiustalk 01:19, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the article is too long. It should however be shortened, not splitup. The article treats the History elaborately, not briefly, while there's an article already treating the history of US. The Government and politics refers to 4 main articles – isn't that an indication that "Government and politics of US" should be an article in itself? While some very brief text about Government and politics can remain in this article. Maybe same for Foreign relations and military later? Economy and Demographics maybe have more than something in common, and may be merged, shortened and it's content lifted over to a new article? Same for Culture. As regards comparisons to Encyclopedia Britannica – Wikipedia is too different to be compared. That aside, I think classical encyclopediae are much overrated, and shouldn't be used for citations, like Wikipedia shouldn't. Said: Rursus 10:41, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

NPOV: Criticism of the United States

I don't seem to see much criticism in this article. Won't this be an NPOV problem? Kleinbell 02:52, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

What would be an appropriate amount of criticism? :-) Or, a better question would perhaps be, what specific criticisms are missing in your opinion? --Merbabu 03:03, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
There's a fair bit openly discussed, and a fair bit insinuated by tone - the phrase proxy war is nowhere a glowing acclamation. Criticism should be directed at specific policies, as there seem to be rather few sane people who would criticize the US simply for existing. It and most other details should be covered primarily in the articles covering those policies and, in the case of the more controversial ones (those resulting in the world's leading incarceration rate, those leading up to the Iraq war, etc), the criticism is at least hinted at, and in several cases openly discussed in the article. MrZaiustalk 03:22, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
We should not simply look for criticisms to 'balance' the article as if there should be equal weight on a set of NPOV scales. On the other hand, omission (either by mistake or intent) of any significant and relevant 'negative facts' is indeed a POV problem, and there is no reason in principal why they can't be placed in this article. I guess we wait to see if Kleinbell does have anything specific in mind. --Merbabu 03:34, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Doesn't NPOV mean that there shouldn't be any kind of criticism OR praise? My earlier complaints about NPOV in this article were about the positive emotive language rather than a lack of negativity Sean 17:39, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Criticism of US? What? Criticizing it's geography, it's DNA pool (including of course fauna and flora) or it's weather? Criticism of US politics I can understand, but that goes to Politics of the United States. Besides, NPOV requires circa: the kind of criticism, the group of critics vindicating that criticism, and arguments of defense from US or allied. Said: Rursus 10:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

My Commonwealth Fact

Whilst I am aware that being commonwealths is merely to have a different name, I do feel that the fact that 4 of the "states" are techincally not states but commonwealths (and are merely considered to be states for the sake of simplicity and convenience) should be mentioned at least somewhere in the article, with a link to the Commonwealth (United States) article. I have attempted to put it in to instructions of various users who revert my previous attempts to put it in, but other users seem to disagree and revert it still. Anyway, what do people think about this? ChaosSorcerer91 09:24, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

It looks like you're a relatively new Wikipedia editor. If you trace the article history and the history of this talk page, you'll notice the article has undergone several major revisions over the past four years and the general consensus has been to shift minor details to other articles as much as possible.
You have to keep mind that everyone has their own "sacred cow" notions of what should be covered, but we all have to compromise as to the level of detail for such a huge subject. Otherwise this article will turn into a book-length document, which violates the Manual of Style as well as common sense. For example, I have about 20 things I think should be in this article, but for the sake of conciseness, I have whittled my own personal list down to two (the Internet and Law of the United States).
In my opinion, the commonwealth issue should not be dealt with in this article. It's a minor trivial issue that is best introduced in the U.S. state article (as it already is). --Coolcaesar 10:02, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok, fair enough. Thanks, I just wished someone would have told me that when my edits were being reversed! Anyway, thanks for explaining. --ChaosSorcerer91 10:06, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Caucasion vs. white

I noticed that there was a change from "white" to "Caucasian" and back recently, yet neither party has mentioned their rationale on the talk page. Personally, I prefer the term Caucasian. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 22:20, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I believe the census bureau only recognizes the term 'white', since it would be weird to be both caucasian and hispanic. --Golbez 00:15, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Hispanic culture originates from Spain, a European nation. Therefore, it would make perfect sense to be caucasian, or white, Hispanic. (talk) 03:00, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
It bothered me a lot as a teenager because I, though "white", was darker than some of my "black" friends, and I suppose I still haven't completely gotten over it. Still, in looking into that Caucasian article more, I see that there are reasons not to use it, as well. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 00:22, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
The U.S. Census Bureau uses the term White, so we should use that term as well. Remember that races are social constructs and are, therefore, arbitrarily defined. Look in the article White American for the currently "official" definition. Signaturebrendel 01:49, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, to users from Russia and Esatern Europe, the term "Caucasian" or "Kavkazian" would be confusing. In russian, "Caucasian"/"Kavkazian" refers to people who are from the Caucasus mountains, and who are anything but white... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Either way using the term white is rather quite odd since we don't call 'black' people black, but rather african American. If were going to do that than 'white' people should now on be refered to as European Americans. I think it sounds rather dumb but so does african Americans, being white people can also come from africa. I'd very much like it if someone changed either african American to 'black' or changed 'white' to European American. I've yet to figure this editing thing out...--SimaZao 19:29, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

I believe that the terms "white" and "black" seem somewhat outdated since they were conceived during the slave trade, and there is really no such thing as white or black skin. "Caucasian" and "Subsaharan" seem more appropriate in identifying both physical appearance and ethnic identity. Furthermore, terms such as "European American" and "African American" should refer to national ancestry regardless of ethnic background, seeing as how there are both Caucasian Africans and Subsaharan Europeans. Unfortunately, "white" and "black," as both physical and ethnic labels, seem far too established into the American lexicon so it may be quite some time before they are superceded by any other less color-oriented terms. M5891 21:48, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Since we use the Census Bureau terms and not personal opinions of editors, I'm not sure what this thread will accomplish. Want it changed? Write your congressman. --Golbez 21:59, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
That is correct. The current American consensus uses "white" to describe people of Caucasian European ethnicity. As flawed as some people may find this, it is what the majority currently agrees with. Only a change in public opinion can produce a change in ethnic labels. M5891 23:11, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Not really; the Census Bureau can change whatever it wants, it's more a from-high decree than a 'consensus' issue. After all, most police departments, I think, use the term 'caucasian'. --Golbez 00:05, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

What do you call someone from the USA?

Canada has "Canadian", Mexico has "Mexican" but for some reason there is a generalization to call someone from the USA, "American", is there a specific name for someone from the USA?

Not really. American is commonly enough to clearly identify someone from the US; thus, this article uses the term American most often. Regards, Signaturebrendel 02:21, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

There is at least one other discussion of this that has some alternatives somewhere in the archives. I really do not want to dig through them right now (almost 11pm), so I'll leave it to someone else, preferably the asker. — Jaxad0127 04:46, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

See American (word) or Alternative words for American or Alternative adjectives for U.S. citizens, kthx. — RVJ 22:33, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

If "Mexican is a legitimate name for people from the United States of Mexico (thats its full title), then "American" seems fine for people from United States of America.

Actually, its name is technically the United Mexican States. If you think that's pedantic, then imagine if someone called this the United American States. No one does. And so no one should call Mexico the United States of Mexico. --Golbez 18:01, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

well, maybe something like- The US guy, The US computer, etc, because if you say American you are talking about America. It's not wrong, but you're not specifying if it's from US, mexico, bolvia, etc.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:09, August 25, 2007 (UTC)

An American from the US is a US American. 17:17, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

not to Canadians or Mexicans. that's a very Europe specific term. pschemp | talk 23:31, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Just to be clear, there is a "specific name for someone from the USA." That name is "American." Is the term exclusive to U.S. nationals? Technically, no. Anyone from North, Central, or South America could arguably be referred to as an "American," but that's not how the word is used in the English language.—DCGeist 23:43, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

You are almost correct. The USA is the only country name that has the word America in it. Therefore, when people are talking about countries, the USA can be the only one this referred to when the term America or American is used. When talking about continents, the other meaning is used (and this is common in English.) Language assumes that people are smart enough to use context to decide what meaning of the word is being referring to, and this happens all the time with lots of words. So, in context, when talking about nationality, the term US American is plainly redundant. Don't let's forget about Native Americans too, but they don't have one united country name, so again, context will pretty much give away the meaning. pschemp | talk 03:27, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

It is true, unfurtunatly, that the word American is currently used in the English laguage for the U.S. citizens, or yankee. This comes from a time where Europe was the cultural and economic center of the world and many immigrant, wanting to come to the new world, usually came to the U.S. since it was close to Europe. This resulted in Europeans calling U.S. Citizens, Americans. It is technically incorrect and offensive to many other people that live in other parts of North and South America. There are better ways to call Americans and the fact that the U.S. is the only country with the world america in it doesn't mean aything. If you wan to be technical, then then you would notice the name states United States Of America. Meaning that the U.S. is in America, not the whole america, so anyone living in America, using the correct wordly term, is called American, and not only U.S. citizens. As for a shorter and nicer way to call Americans, would be Yankee, It's short and looks cool since it has two e's. As for the southern people that could get angry at that, then just make up the word United Statian which at least three major laguages in the world alreaddy have (Spanish, French, and Portuguese). I cannot accept the fact that the Engligh laguage is so poor that they don't even have a word for an United States Citizens that is politically correct. 20:08 08 September 2007 —Preceding Daniel4swcomment added by Daniel4sw (talkcontribs) 00:07, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

As with any dictionary or encyclopedia our job is to describe, not proscribe. How it should be used is therefore not relevant to this article. How it is used is only relevant to the degree that we're using it per normal English usage (since this is the English version of Wikipedia). Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 00:18, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
We are not here to be 'politically correct.' We are here to be factually correct. In the English language, as used today, citizens of the United States of America are known as Americans. Should this change in the future, so will this article. Until it does, American is the term that should be used in this article. Sageofwisdom 13:29, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Yankee refers to only people from the northeast, and even that is rare. it mostly refers to the Baseball team. some people from the south would take TREMENDOUS offense to being called a Yankee as its historically associated with northern forces in the civil war. and people from Boston would probably drown themselves before they let the whole world call them Yankees(har har) Gailim 22:03, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I would like to make two points:

1st) I believe it should put in the article that there is an informal movement at the other American countries (already adopted by some press organs) to change the U.S.A. people and U.S.A.-related things to "North-American", "Anglo-American" and "estadunidense" (Portuguese) and "estadounidense" (Spanish), both meaning "United-Stater" or "United-Statean";

2nd) And, as a non-"United-Stater" (I'm Brazilian), I should agree with the ones complaining about the "American" word use. It is offensive for anyone outside U.S.A.(even Canadians), as the term "Yankees" is offensive for the U.S. citizens. At least "US American" could be used, since it's short and precise. --Ivan Linares 18:55, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

  1. Yankee isn't really offensive to most US citizens, even those from the South. It's mainly confusing. Yankee has several meanings. For Limeys it means anyone from the US, whereas for Southerners it means those from north of the Mason Dixon line, and some of those people use it to refer solely to those from New England, and then there's the baseball team.
  2. "US American" is a fine term to use for personal use, and is even appropriate as an additional denonym. However, we would be doing a disservice to the readers if we pretended that American is not used almost exclusively in the English language to refer to those from the US. Hopefully in time that will change out of deference to our South American brethren who feel insulted by that usage. Until it does, however, we shouldn't pretend that it already has changed. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:07, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I hope they do change it. I see myself as not just a Canadian, but an American too. But I do not call myself an American, because people would think I am from the USA (which I am definately not). I would like to someday be able to call myself an American and not have anyone even think for a moment that I mean I am from the United States of America (but not rule this out as a possibility, as they too are Americans). Someone start a petition? lol (talk) 01:36, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Why American? Just say "North American" and no one will mind. It's not like people from Germany call themselves "Eurasian", do they? --Golbez (talk) 01:39, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

What has Germany got to do with Asia? What do your passports read? Thank you! --Camaeron (talk) 19:51, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that people who are offended by people from the US calling themselves Americans have thought the issue through entirely. If refering to your nationality you would still use the term Canadian or Mexican. And if you wanted to say that you were from North America you would still have to say North American because their are two American continants. People call themselves after the name of their country, peolple from Canada call themselves Canadian, people from Mexico call themselves Mexican, people from Brazil call themselves Brazilian. So I think people from America should be able to call themselves American after all the reference is clear. If you were from Canada and wanted to say you were from North America you wouldn't say you were American any way so I don't see a problem. Please don't get angry. Just think about what I've said and consider it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:52, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

"American" can be both a national and continental term. An American in the national sense would be a native of the United States of America, and in the continental sense would be a native of either one of the American continents. Still, the U.S.A. is the only nation with "America" in its name and only natives of the U.S.A. generally refer to themselves as Americans, as does most of the international community. A similar comparison would be New York City to New York state. "New Yorker" could be applied either to a native of the state or, more specifically, a resident of the city. Yet whenever someone speaks or hears of "New York," he or she is most often referring to or imagining the city rather than the entire state. This is the same situation with the American nation over the American continents. M5891 22:36, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

NPOV: Crime and Punishment

The Crime portion of the Crime and Punishment section concentrates almost exclusively on Homicide and portrays the sole cause as lax gun controls. Property crime is given a single sentence with no numbers and an incorrect statement. The source shows about a 50% greater incidence in burglary in the England. Apwvt 16:41, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

The negative tone seems warranted, given the incarceration rate that goes with it, but yeah - it would be great to get those replaced with two generic stats: one on violent crime and one on non-violent crime. Would be better summary-style content. MrZaiustalk 18:13, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The best way to summarize is by stating that "porperty crime is moderately low, violent crime moderately high compared to other developed countries, with the homoicide rate being the highest in the developed world." The homicide rate in the U.S. does need to be mentioned becuase it inproportionally high. Property and other violent crime rates are fit the mold of other develop countries, it is only our homicide rate (ca. 5X the developed world average) that "sticks out" - and yes, most experts (sociologists, criminologists, anthropologists...) blame easy access to guns. Also please remember that any crime section is going to sound negative - we're discussing crime. Regards, Signaturebrendel 18:52, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

New Article Idea: "American People (United States)"

I wasn't sure where else to post this, but this seemed like the best place. I've noticed several times that when American, as in American person, is used in Wikipedia that it links to this article. Since there are many good editors involved in this project, I thought I would propose an idea for a separate article entitled American People (United States) with the "(United States)" part included to distinguish it from the current American people disambiguation page.

This article would be different from the current Demography of the United States article, which is almost entirely about reporting statistics. I was thinking the proposed article would be more literary in style, using those statistics but commenting on them as well. The United States is one of the most diverse countries on Earth, and the way in which people use the word "American" varies greatly both inside the country and out. To begin with, there is the history of immigration and sense of past identity. Many places in the Northeast and West coast will self-identify by ethnicity, calling themselves "Irish" or "Italian" even if they are U.S. born. In my own travels, these people are usually not regarded as "Irish" or "Italians" in Ireland or Italy, but as Americans, plain and simple. That is only one of the differences. There is also the interesting trend in the census that many white Southerners self-identify as "American," without any mention of their ethnicity. Is this because of a stronger sense of past association with the land? Does it have something to do with the dense population of African-Americans in that area as well? And while we're on the topic of race, that plays an important role in how an "American" views him or herself also, as does religion.

I think it would be a fascinating topic. I would start it myself if I could, but I know for a fact I won't be able to write it myself. What I wrote above is based mostly on observation, but I'm sure that there are studies that we can cite to this extent also. If other people are interested in doing this, I'll do my part to get the ball rolling. SpiderMMB 02:59, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Your proposal is good. Except that I think that parts of demographics should belong to there playing a subordinate role in that article. And I also think that most of the culture text in this article belongs to there. Said: Rursus 10:58, 7 August 2007 (UTC)


There appears to be a mistake under etymology. The name America was not, as many people think derived from Amerigo Vespucci, but from Richard Ameryk, who was the cheif investor in one of the voyages of Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), who arrived several years before Vespucci. citation: The Book of General Ignorance, Faber 2006 16:04, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

    I removed the last sentence of the etymology page:

"The prevailing use of American as synonymous with U.S. citizen has aroused controversy, particularly in Latin America, where Spanish and Portuguese speakers refer to themselves as americanos and use estadounidense to describe a person from the United States.

I happen to speak Spanish and have done a good bit of work with Central Americans and Mexicanos. They call people from the US Americanos not themselves. While the soursed word 'estadounidense' does appear to exist it is not common usage. The reference cited does nothing to verify the alleged controversy this has aroused. If there is a controversy somewhere about the commonyuse of the term American and Americano to refer to the citizens of the United States I'd be curios to read about it. Query 06:33, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Good point. I didn't see that sentence. It's true, I only have been learning Spanish for about 1 year, and I've heard my Spanish teacher tell us that Americans are callled americanos. --Iluvmesodou 07:57, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

In fact... In spanish you have to say Estadounidenses. It's commonly said also Yankies or Gringos. You will also hear Americano and Norte Americano but that is an error. It's somehow like hearing saying Chinos to people from Japan. You will hear unendlessley Americano as "American" (US) but officially it's Estadounidense.

  I'm from Argentina  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:13, August 25, 2007 (UTC) 
It's all a rather useless point. But in any case, you're correct. In Spanish, the word americano is too ambiguous, but it's not in English, because we don't have a word for estadounidense or (for that matter) norteamericano. It was used as a word because it's far too difficult to say "United States of American" or something like that. It's easier to create this word in Spanish. The Evil Spartan 23:06, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Not entirely true. The term "United Statian" is technically correct and is (very?) rarely used. The term is there - it's just that nobody knows it.Shapu 15:36, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I am Latin American and I happen to say that America is a continent, not a country (as people from all other countries do). The word "americanos" in Portuguese and Spanish refer mainly to people in the continent America (there is no other word in any of these languages to refer to people in such continent) and sometimes, by an anglicist influence, it may also refer to people who live in the USA. However, for this case there is also the term "estadounidense". So, in order to avoid any misunderstandings, in Portuguese and Spanish people tend to use "americano" in association with the continent and "estadounidense" when talking about the country. The term "the Americas" in reference to the continent seems to be coloquial. In all other languages the name of the western continent is "America". I think calling the country USA by the name "America" is not correct because that is not its official name, but it is the name of the continent. It is a linguistic feature but it is incorrect and should be avoided. It would be same as calling people from Spain by the term "castellanos", when everybody knows that Castela is just one region of Spain. This is a very simple problem to solve. America is a continent and American is a person living in this continent. The United States of America constitute one country in the American continent and people from this country are "U.S. citizens", who carry "U.S passports", granted by the "U.S. Department of State", and so on. I hope this might help, and eventually solve the 'problem'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

leading cash crop marijuana?

thats a bizzare claim. Has great irony, yes, but Im not sure its appropriate for an encyclopedic article. I dont think that illegal supstances are frequently even considered as candidates for cash crops of a country; typically the concept is used only in relation to legal farming. Its simply outside the normal use of the concept of a cash crop. Its particularly problematic by being in the 'economy' section of the article, since it reffers to a part of the black market economy, while common economic indicators naturally focus on the legal sectory of the economy, so its incongruent. The article on Afganistan for instance does not mention poppy as its 'leading cash crop', but in the 'history' section as one of the problems it stuggles with while being rebuild. Only a single article is referenced for this unusual claim, and given that it reports data from a drug reform advocate, in an article clearly focused on the ironic value of this claim, perhaps it would be better to find more official pronouncement of 'leading cash crops' for inclusion of such bizzare a conclusion, as per "exceptional claims require exceptional sources" principle of wikipedia. For these reasons, Id suggest that sentence be removed. Id also suggest the article be moved from "United States" to "United States of America" and be titled by that full title, since thats the correct name of the country, and "united states" is a generic term - meaning simply some (any) states that are united, and has no characteristics of a proper name in any, even shortened, form (except if its considered from a US-centric perspective, but that would also be a problem for an international encyclopedia). -- 13:13, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

As for the name, no. See the FAQ linked at the top of this page. --Golbez 13:54, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah, sorry, didnt notice that. Is there a link that states "united states" is the most common name used for the USA in media across the world somewhere in the discussion of this? Ive encountered, but not that frequently the use of this name or its translations in the news here in Croatia, using translation of the abbreviation 'USA' is far more common here. Perhaps in other parts of the world the connection of 'united states' and USA is comparably weak? I do think its far more generic than 'mexico' or even 'united kingdom', which are rather specific and just seem a short form of a long name. In any case, nevermind. better ignore I mentioned this, if its a commonly debated topic, its unlikely Ill bring anything particularly original to it. Apologies for not looking at the FAQ first as instructed. It was just a comment in passing; I hope the objection to the 'leading cash crop' will be accepted-- 15:42, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't see what difference it makes if it's legal or not. It's the most valuable crop produced. It's a huge part of the economy. We're supposed to pretend that that part of the economy doesn't exist? Operation Spooner 05:31, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
If it is indeed the most valuable crop produced, this should not be based simply on an assertion of a drug reform advocate, but on a more official source. My foremost objection is on the source used for including this in wikipedia. But more generally arguing this point, as I said, One would be hard-pressed to find another country that produces wast quantities of some certain drug to have it explained as its 'most valuable cash crop' in its article. And I do think that it makes a difference if its legal or not, since underground economy is not typically measured in many other economic data, and since no other part of the underground economy, either in US or in articles on other countries, is so analysed. Theres surely a lot of cash in many other parts of underground economy, perhaps one could find it justified to say that for instance, dominant industry of some poor country is say smuggling weapons, or trade in sexual slaves, or smuggling people across a border to some more fortunate country etc (just imaginary examples). Yet this is not the info we find in wikipedia articles on economies of countries, nor in official facts about these economies in various reputable sources. To include only this information on underground economy, and only in this article would be grave inconsistency-- 15:41, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I think both points you make are completely valid - especially the part about requiring a more substantial source than a drug reform advocate. It's very hard to believe that it could be both (a) the largest cash crop, and (b) not documented as such by a more neutral source. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 21:32, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't see any reason why it would have to be a "neutral source." The author of the study as a PhD in public policy and regional economic development and it was published a peer reviewed journal called The Bulletin of Cannabis Reform. [1] Here is the actual text of the study: [2] Operation Spooner 21:52, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
If no neutral source has written about marijuana being the "largest cash crop", then it seems the only logical conclusions remaining are that either (a) it's not true, or (b) there's a conspiracy to cover it up. I don't believe such a conspiracy would be possible. (I'm not trying to create a "false choice" here, so if you see another option, let me know.) I'm no expert at all in the field (hence the reason I'm arguing and not editing wrt this issue), so it's entirely possible that there is a neutral source making exactly this point. If so, such a source would go a long way to alleviating concerns that would naturally arise not just among editors but also among readers. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 22:11, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there's any such thing as a "neutral source." What would be a neutral source? Operation Spooner 00:34, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
How about the Department of Agriculture? — Jaxad0127 15:34, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
It's certainly plausable. As Jaxad has pointed out above, government data is the best sources. If not the USDA, than another gov dep. will likely have data on the issue, try the DEA perhaps. Signaturebrendel 19:56, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
The USDA or DEA would both be relatively neutral sources. I agree that no source will ever be completely neutral, but what I'm really asking for is a source that does not have such a blatantly obvious vested interest. Again, that vested interest does not necessarily mean the point is wrong, but it does raise suspicions. If the statement is true, I assume you could find similar statements among people who are actively anti-drug - such sources rarely try to downplay the quantity of drugs being used. Although this would not be "neutral", I'm much less likely to be skeptical when I see similar arguments from "both" sides of an issue. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 20:07, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand why anyone would consider the government to be a neutral source. I would think it to be heavily biased and/or dishonest by political motivations. Nevertheless, have you looked at the study? It gets its figures from government data. Operation Spooner 20:20, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
On Wikipedia (and in general) the government is one of the best possible sources. Unlike think tanks, most gov statistical agencies are not like to have any distinct and coherent bias (though certain branches do; e.g. Pentagon) - the goal of the US Census Bureau is to be "fair & balanced." Government statisical bureaus, such as the Census Bureau or Bureau of Labor Statistics do not intentionally support an agenda, but are simply geared towards revealing data. While it is inevitable that author bias finds its way into a document, the government is home to more than 2 million employees from all walks of life with all possible opinions; it is the most diverse and democratic institution we have. The government is home to more layers of quality control, management and editorial review than most other organizations. As a result of its size, diversity and intended neutrality, government serves as one of the best sources. Other top sources would include college textbooks, which undergo extensive review and are based on a wide selection of reputable sources and articles in top-tier publications, e.g. NY Times.
Considering how controversial the statement in question is government data would be best, as it is the most likely to be neutral. Since you have claimed that the study in question uses government data, I will take a closer look at it later on. Signaturebrendel 23:43, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the study:
  1. I don't consider the journal The Bulletin of Cannabis Reform to be a reputable peer-reviewed journal any more than I would a journal from the CEI or AEI to be reputable.
  2. The figure of 10,000 metric tons of domestic marijuana is supported up by page 30 of this government publication.
  3. The value associated with corn is now drastically out of date, although it was accurate in 2005. The cash value of corn went from $22.2 billion in 2005 to $33.8 billion in 2006 (as opposed to the calculated $35.8 billion reported in this study for marijuana). I'm guessing corn ethanol might be responsible, but that's purely speculative on my part. (These are from the USDA's numbers, which I unfortunately cannot provide a hard link to. However, from this starting point you should be able to find these values easily enough.)
  4. From the 10,000 mt value cited by the government, the study then goes to 22.3 million pounds somehow gaining in both precision and size (10,000 mt = 22.046 million pounds neglecting precision).
  5. I'm assuming the price they associate with marijuana per pound ($2,783) is correct, as actually retrieving that data is difficult.
  6. Then a miracle occurs: "The producer index was calculated at 58.75% of retail value." — I have no idea where they got this from.
  7. If you assume that value (and the price per pound) are correct, you will find that marijuana currently narrowly beats out corn as a cash crop. It seems doubtful that this will be true in 2007, unless there was something special about 2006 that won't repeat in 2007, but that argument is not really relevant here. (I.e., "Wikipedia is not a crystal ball", so my argument here is irrelevant.)
I leave it to others to discuss from here. The only questionable point (of significance) at all in the study (IMO) is the 58.75% figure. I don't know any ways near enough to know if this is a reasonable value and/or pulled out of thin air. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 18:41, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not relevant whether the source is corrrect or not. That's not the standard for inclusion in Wikipedia. Operation Spooner 18:56, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
If it's not reliable (and as I said from the outset, I don't consider the journal The Bulletin of Cannabis Reform to be a reputable peer-reviewed journal), it had better be correct. Perhaps you're right, however. Whether or not it's correct, this particular source should not be used. If a reliable source has the information, then it meets the standard for inclusion in Wikipedia. Would you accept a "peer-reviewed" journal published by CEI or AEI (for example) as reliable? What if Rush Limbaugh started a "peer-reviewed" journal? My point is that it's not enough to be "peer-reviewed" (that's a mighty low bar) - it also has to be reliable. Another way of looking at my analysis is that I was trying to determine whether this journal which prima facie does not appear reliable, might in fact be reliable. I (seriously) assumed you would welcome my analysis as it was far more favorable than I would have guessed before I actually read the article (judging from the "journal" title). Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:07, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
There is no reason that it shouldn't be used. Just because the source has a political position doesn't mean that the source can't be used. If you're so convinced that government is the only standard of neutrality or reliability, note that government cites that very study on a government webstite: Operation Spooner 19:11, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
And yes I'd accept studies from the CEI or AEI. or anyone else. The author of every study is going to have a POV. There are no neutral sources. Operation Spooner 19:17, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I would not accept studies from CEI, AEI, or Rush Limbaugh as evidence of anything other than their particular viewpoint. (I.e., such studies might be relevant on articles about CEI, AEI, or Rush Limbaugh.) To accept these studies is to violate Wikipedia's stance on reliability. I believe your comment about "no neutral sources" is covered by the FAQ on no such thing as objectivity. That said, the fact that the state of California cites this particular study does increase its perceived reliability in my mind. I still wish we had a study that seemed more neutral. Believe it or not, I don't have any issues with the results of this study, but I do have issues with the perceived reliability and accuracy of Wikipedia. Please have a look at my other "contributions". I think you'll find that I'm not who you might think I am. (Or, at least, who I think you think I am.) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:27, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I see where you're coming from. I just don't see a Wikipedia policy that would say the source is unreliable. It says in Wikipedia:Verifiability: "Academic and peer-reviewed publications are highly valued and usually the most reliable sources in areas where they are available..." It's an academic peer-reviewed publication. Operation Spooner 19:36, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely laughable. I thought it was vandalism until I saw it was "sourced". Not only does the sentence in question seem "tacked on" at the end of that paragraph, with no explanation why, It's listed as part of the nation's economy? The source in question mentions a frivolous study--- I beg you if you have one shred of common sense to remove the sentence in question until more sources are found from the USDA. Sneakernets 04:28, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Marijuana isn't under the under the purview of the USDA. The study is not "frivolous." The sentences is not simply "tacked on." It follows a sentence saying about agriculture. Marijuana happens to be our most valuable crop. The study cites government figures, if you trust the government. Operation Spooner 05:17, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
While Ben Hocking has raised a very good question about how the producer index was set at "58.75% of retail value," the crucial issues seem clear: the source passes the bar of WP:V and the information is significant. The fact may be unusual (I don't know if it is or not), it undoubtedly makes some of us uncomfortable, but the country's largest cash crop is this illegal herb and that does seem like the sort of basic and representative economic datum worthy of inclusion in the article.—DCGeist 05:34, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it passes the bar of WP:REDFLAG, however. (I had previously linked to that same section in my "reliability" part, but it seems they changed the section name.) I agree that if we had additional, less biased sources, that it would be significant (or notable). Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 21:36, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Just to be clear, Ben, you're saying this falls under the red flag category of "Surprising or apparently important claims that are not widely known"? I'd say it's a borderline call on that. More importantly, we already do have two sources that we agree pass WP:V. The second, ABC News, is obviously a top-of-the-line news organ; it treats the first source we provide as fully reliable. It also includes this official response: "Garrison Courtney, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Agency, says groups that advocate its taxation sometimes paint too rosy a picture. 'It's still a drug,' Courtney says. 'Just because it's a good cash crop doesn't mean you should legalize and tax it.'" Given that, I think our sourcing does adequately deal with the red flag issue.—DCGeist 02:02, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

From what I can tell, Marijuana hasn't been included in any of the economic indicators cited within this section. In the interest of consistency, the singular study should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:25, August 28, 2007 (UTC)

Basic business information

A while back, I suggested that some more basic information on America's largest business sectors/ industries be added. I've located all the information I was referring to in the Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States 2007. You can check it out online--here's the link for the business section:

Anyway here are the stats that strike me as most significant--they could be added to the opening part of the Economy section of the article or, perhaps, to the section's infobox. I know there are concerns about the length of the article, so I wanted to raise these items here and see if people agree that some or all belong in this article or only in the Economy of the United States article. Here goes (with the most recent available figures):

Largest business sectors (2003), by gross business receipts: Wholesale and retail trade ($6,384 billion) by net income: Finance and insurance ($425 billion) by employment: Health care and social assistance: (15.47 million people)

Leading manufacturing field (2005), by contribution to GDP: Chemical products ($186 billion)

Leading international trade commodities (2005), by export value: Electrical machinery ($74.29 million) by import value: Vehicles ($195.93 million)

I'd be very interested to hear what people think.DocKino 20:01, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

It wouldn't hurt to make one (or maybe two) sentences of prose out of the above and insert it, but what seems more important at present is shoring up the split Econ, History, Culture, and Politics articles to let this article consist of stronger, more compact summaries of quality articles. Is the topic covered in Economy of the United States? MrZaiustalk 21:45, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
My initial thought is that, yes, this info is worthy and basic enough to be in this main article--except I'm not sure how informative the dollar figures are in this context. I'd save those for the full Economy article. But yes, biggest business sectors, biggest "industry," and biggest trade items seems reasonable. As one or two people have noted, we already do have biggest cash crop.—DCGeist 01:15, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

"Defeated Britain?

Before I say anything, it should be noted that I'm American (from Massachusetts). Even in what people consider the "yankee" states of New England, it's generally taught that the colonies pretty much lucked out. If it had been just a simple deal of Britain vs. Colonies with no outside complications, the colonies wouldn't have stood a chance. So do we really want to use the word "defeated" to describe the outcome of the American Revolutionary War? 21:29, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I agree with your point on how we won the was (without Spain, Netherlands, and France we might not have) but do you have a better term to use? New England Review Me!/Go Red Sox! 21:39, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
While your case is not unreasonable, I'd say this in response: The British were inarguably defeated at Yorktown. It is generally recognized that this defeat led to Britain's withdrawal from combat with the colonials and their eventual ceding of their claims to what is now U.S. territory.—DCGeist 21:42, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
The word defeated just means Britain lost. True, Britain wouldn't have been defeated w/o French, etc... support of the colonies. Discussing why and how Britain was defeated, however, goes beyond simply stating whether or not Britain was defeated. Signaturebrendel 22:36, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
"Lucked out" simply isn't accurate. After Yorktown, it became clear to the politicians in London that they could not win the war at a cost (human and treasure) they and the nation found acceptable. That is how most wars end. This is also how the end of the conflict is usually summarized in UK-originating textbooks.

Djwardell 05:16, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Article Layout

I recently improved the layout and picture selection of the article only to find it being reverted for reasons of "restore consensus image selection and layout". Firstly is there really a consensus on picture selection and article layout? And if so this "consensus" is between who exactly? I find it very hard to believe there would be an exact consensus between all those who have ever edited this article on picture selection and article layout. Besides my improvements were only minor and anyone with any commonsense would realize these improvements improve the article as a whole and would have no need to undo them. I hope other editors can respect the improvements I have made and see them for what they are. Signsolid 10:03, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

They were not improvements, I'm afraid. They reduced the quality of the article. (And if the changes were only "minor," as you say, you shouldn't feel particularly protective of them, right?) Let's take them in turn:
(1) The picture of the Model T assembly line substituting for the image of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. This is the closest call. The innovation of the assembly line was undoubtedly of great importance, but the wave of immigration illustrated by the previous image had an even broader impact. I'd be interested to hear your argument to the contrary.
(2) The picture of the Empire State Building substituting for the picture of the Dust Bowl. An inferior substitution for several reasons. The image is present-day, not historical like the Dust Bowl image (this is the History section, after all). It is, obviously, less illustrative of what it purports to illustrate--the Dust Bowl image actually shows the physical nature of the Dust Bowl; the glory shot of the ESB only gives "testimony" to something else. And the weight of the relevant section (and of historiography in general) properly leans toward the Depression and its elements and not the post-WWI boom.
(3) Added B-2 Stealth bomber photo. Now excessive number of images in section. We have an image of U.S. military planes above (in History). We have an illustration of superpowerful and expensive U.S. military hardware directly above: the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.
(4) The added images of Wall Street and the John Hancock Center are not terribly informative and don't really fit in with the structure and content of the Economy section. They are also redundant of each other. There is a point that the first three subsections of the Economy infobox do belong in the Income subsection, but the final two definitely belong in the lede of the Economy section. The Wall Street image might conceivably fit in there as well, if the stock market was discussed. You might suggest how it could be here on the Talk page.
(5) Added space shuttle photo. Exceesive in section; conceptually redundant.
Finally, regarding your comment about your "hard work" in the edit summary. That's an understandable sentiment, but please keep in mind that many people put in very hard work over an extended period to produce the article you saw and now see again before you.—DCGeist 15:15, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Putting in my two bits as a third party to this dispute: I have reviewed Signsolid's version and compared it against the current version. I agree that Signsolid's version is inferior to the status quo and I concur with DCGeist's revert of Signsolid's edits. --Coolcaesar 18:46, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
IMHO, the Model-T picture should stay since the section its in is called "Civil War and industrialization". I also like the B2 picture with the layout SignSolid chose (3 pics on the right). I wouldn't mind having the Wall Street picture in the economy section either, since there are none right now, and I believe it is the only section without a picture. With the Aldrin picture there already, we don't need the space shuttle one (and it gets bumped down to the wrong section), and the dust bowl picture should stay. And on another note, the Pro Bowl pic under sports should be replaced (no one actually watches the pro bowl). New England Review Me!/Go Red Sox! 19:18, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
In turn:
(1) In addition to the point I made above, Ford's assembly line innovation is not discussed in the History subsection where SignSolid wanted to substitute it for the immigration image. It is discussed in Science, technology, and transportation. Placing that image in the History subsec is thus quite awkward form.
(2) I suspect most involved editors will agree that for most appropriate size, emphasis, and style, Foreign affairs and military should take two images and that they should alternate sides. The B-2 picture is fine, but (a) given our picture of Air Force jets in History, the aircraft carrier picture gives us greater variety and (b) to date, aircraft carriers have been far more central to the prosecution of U.S. military force than has the B-2.
(3) No problem with including Wall St. picture, provided we (a) split the Economy infobox as I described above and (b) include a sentence on the stock market in the relevant text.
(4) Agreed on Pro Bowl picture. I've always been charmed that someone thought of this to represent U.S. sports, but we probably should replace it with a free image of (a) the World Series, (b) the Super Bowl, or (c) America's most famous and successful sports team, the g@*#&!n f%&?#@g Yankees.—DCGeist 20:21, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay I understand your point about the B2. I also find it weird that "Civil war and industrialization" doesn't mention industrialization at all, and perhaps that should be renamed to "Civil War and Expansion", but the Model T shouldn't be there as currently written. The Model T picture could be added to the Science/Tech/Transport section, but that might clutter the section. If there is consensus to do so, I think we can easily fit a brief description of the Stock Market into the Econ section, and split the infobox appropriately. As for the sports pic, I'd go with something from the Super Bowl (preferably a recent one) since that is the most-watched sporting event in the US. New England Review Me!/Go Red Sox! 20:44, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Well I did try to improve this article but it's become clear that a few will resist any change to the article including any improvements that could be made. I'm not sure whether this resisting of changes and improvements is down to certain editors who feel their say over this article is more important than all others and so are exercising a dominance over the article or whether it's just plain arrogance seeking an argument with others for the sake of it or perhaps a general anti-US sentiment which presents itself in the form of trying to stifle the article.

Either way the fact that as soon as the changes and improvements were made they were instantly swept away without any consideration as to whether the changes or some of the changes actually improved the article only goes to demonstrate how this article maybe be being stifled for any one of these reasons.

It's a shame that improving this article has now become as difficult as it is and it's the article which really loses out from a lack of improvements. There also seems to be a slight anti-US slant on this article which is a shame in itself and is a disgrace really when considering most of the editors of this article are themselves American. Signsolid 21:13, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, if you engaged and refuted other editors' arguments on the merits before resorting to clumsy ad hominem attacks, you might actually get somewhere. None of your three paragraphs above responds directly to any of the critiques raised by myself, DCGeist, or New England. Your use of irrelevant tangents in turn supports the reasonable inference that you did so because you have no legitimate direct response or refutation to offer. And in turn, that inference supports the conclusion that your edits were just plain bad to begin with. So you need to learn to engage arguments on the merits if you're going to get anything done on Wikipedia. --Coolcaesar 03:29, 3 September 2007 (UTC)


What do you all think of adding an international rankings section/table such as the one in the Canada article? Please discuss this possibility. I know that there are different ranking references throughout the article, but adding a table would provide a quick overview of where the US stands in comparison. Here is what the Canada table looks like:

Organization Survey Ranking
United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index 6 out of 177
A.T. Kearney/Foreign Policy Magazine Globalization Index 2005 6 out of 111
IMD International World Competitiveness Yearbook 2007 10 out of 60
The Economist The World in 2005 - Worldwide quality-of-life index, 2005 14 out of 111
Yale University/Columbia University Environmental Sustainability Index, 2005 (pdf) 6 out of 146
Reporters Without Borders World-wide Press Freedom Index 2006 16 out of 168
Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2005 14 out of 159
Heritage Foundation/The Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom, 2007 10 out of 161
The Economist Global Peace Index 8 out of 121
Fund for Peace/ Failed States Index, 2007 168 out of 177[1]


  1. ^ larger number indicates sustainability

Thanks for considering!!! Modelun88

I'm of mixed mind on this at the moment. One thing I'd note: We've long included the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rating (not listed above), as well as the UNDP's HDI ranking in the lede infobox. I recently added the Reporters w/o Borders' Press Freedom ranking as well as UNICEF's Child Well-Being in Rich Countries (not listed above). If we have a rankings section/table, would we then eliminate all such references in the main text to avoid duplication? Or is it more like our lede infobox, which contains data that is repeated below? (like, for instance, the HDI, probably the most widely recognized such ranking).—DCGeist 04:39, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind repeating rankings already stated. The purpose for a rankings table would be to summarize. Is a rankings table used in other major countries? we should look if they include one, and if not then maybe we shouldn't. I'll check on that in the next couple of days and see what's up with other countries.
Sounds like a good idea to me. — DIV ( 09:17, 17 September 2007 (UTC))
I have the same concern as Dan, plus the fact that such a table will only add to an already long article. How about we create a seperate artifcle w/ U.S. rankings. In such an article will could also take the time to explain what each of the rankings takes into account. A seperate article will save this article from becoming longer, more repetitive and provides an opportunity to provide an explanation. Signaturebrendel 18:30, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
That sounds great--having a page that consolidates all the rankings along with summary explanations of each would be an excellent resource.—DCGeist 19:27, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Great! I created the article, but since I'm busy in real life at the time, I'm counting on my fellow Wikipedians to expand it. I've left some suggestions on the talk page of the new article, feel free to edit and rearrange it as you see fit. Signaturebrendel 00:00, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Edit warring over 'lead'

How much longer is this war gonna last? Are we gonna follow the guidelines at Wikipedia: Lead, or not? Will someone block the disruptor, before the article gets 'protected'. GoodDay 21:57, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

The article won't be protected before the user is blocked. He's been reported for his 10 reverts in 24 hrs at WP:AN3. We just have to wait 'till an admin looks at the case, which, I think, should be pretty open and shut. --G2bambino 22:05, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Apologies ... I got a little carried away. Abtract 16:25, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

The Great Seal

I've seen only the OVERSE side of the Great Seal of the U.S. in the infobox. How about someone show the overse AND the REVERSE seals as well? Elwin Blaine Coldiron 02:00, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

There's only room for the more common one, but the other is available in Great Seal of the United States. MrZaiustalk 08:44, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Is the U.S. a representative democracy where all its citizens may vote in executive and legislative national elections?

The Government and Politics section affirms that: "It is both a representative democracy and a constitutional republic, 'in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law.'"

However, regardless of how the representative aspects (proportionality or not) is managed, there is relative consensus that a necessary condition for a democracy to exist is that the countries citizens are eligible to vote in the elections that select their national government (in this case, executive and legislative branch). Nonetheless, in the case of the United States, there are more than four million U.S. citizens that are excluded from participating in U.S. elections.

So, under that scenario, the U.S. is not a representative democracy in which the "constitutional republic" is created to temper the rights of all minorities. since there are more than four million U.S. citizens that are not enfranchised and whose right to participate in the national government that holds sovereignty over them is not protected by law.


Does the U.S. aspire to be a "democracy" as part of its de jure or de facto public policy?

Hypathia 02:35, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

The 4.7 million Americans who don't have the right to vote that you're referring to are convicted felons. Not a set race or social group that the Government is actively suppressing, but a group of people that have broken federal law and were convicted in a court of law. Second, this isn't a national thing...its a States Rights issue really. Each state has it's own Board of Elections that controls this issue. For example in most states the loss of voting doesn't last forever, in Mane or Vermont you don't even lose it at all! You're trying to make a very complex issue a little too simple. They broke the law, this is part of their punishment. -_- 04:09, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Are bear attacks really relevant in this broad overview of an article?

I'm sorry, but it seems that the mention under "US History: Superpower" of black bear attacks as similar to terrorism is absurd. I too enjoy a little Jon Stewart on occasion, but Wikipedia has its rules for a reason: we're trying to be an encyclopedia, no? Anyways, if someone would remove the bear blurb and the citation, I would be happy. Be silly somewhere else please, not somewhere where foreigners might form their first and maybe only impression of the US. Not to mention all of those students who get all of their info from wikipedia. Thanks, Jasper124c41 04:12, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Hullo there, don't be sorry - you haven't done anything wrong! Now I would urge caution before you or anyone else goes deleting sections of an article. I too thought the bear attacks sounded absurd, but on closer inspection it is certainly verifiable and notable, and a few editors seem to have looked it over. I checked the citation and it is real, perhaps it would be better to reference the original Reuters article instead of a newspaper's reprint of it though. As for the placement of the information, I do not feel it is saying bear attacks are similar to terrorism, except in that they both cause fear. Perhaps it is implying that while the terrorist threat consumes much attention, other threats still occur and are relevant even in a superpower. There is nothing silly about bear attacks, would you be saying such things if your home had been invaded by a huge hungry beast? We should be asking ourselves why these animals, brought up in the wilderness, are now behaving with such hostility to American citizens. Is this the price of environmental degradation and urban sprawl? Or an unprovoked attack that calls for overwhelming retaliation?

P.S. Who is little John Stewart? (I am from Finland, but I have spent much time studying and traveling in the great USA without encountering little John) Aleksi Peltola 04:51, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm treating this bear attacks business as glaringly obvious trolling. As such, my only further participation in dealing with it will be summarily deleting it if it pops up again.—DCGeist 05:13, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Umm, instead of declaring anything you don't like as trolling, why don't you look at how the article can be improved? I see this aint the first time you have made an arbitrary decision to change this article without discussion. As for the paragraph concerned, I think it needs a more NPOV. While it is factually correct, it may be misinterpreted - maybe say some schools and certain neighboorhoods are locked down, where sightings have occurred (it's not as if everyone in the western US is under lockdown). Humanproject 05:19, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
A look at user contribution pages of "editors" Tazchook ([3]), Humanproject ([4]), and Wen Hsing ([5]) makes it quite obvious that this a trolling/vandalistic assault on the article. Real editors, please do not engage in pointless discussion with "them."—DCGeist 05:33, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me, while I haven't examined everyone else's edit history, I am certainly no vandal. Before making such accusations why don't you look at your own behavior - I have zero tolerance of vandalism whatever form it takes, and that includes unilateral deletions without discussionHumanproject 05:51, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I concur this thing about bear attacks, while funny, is trolling and vandalism in violation of all core Wikipedia policies. Any admins out there, please block all those accounts referenced by DCGeist. --Coolcaesar 18:30, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree the initial addition was vandalism, but Humanproject does not appear to be a troll or vandal to me. He (or she) is just someone who is unaware of Stephen Colbert (yes, such people exist) and was fooled into believing this was legitimate. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 18:39, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Similarly, Wen Hsing also does not appear to be a vandal/troll. Tazchook is the vandal here. The other two are more or less unwitting victims. Also, even he does not yet appear to be an active enough vandal to resort to blocking. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 18:45, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I can't agree with your assessment, Ben. Please note that Tazchook's vandalistic edit was his first Wikipedia edit in three months. Now what are the odds that Wen Hsing's first Wikipedia edit also in three months would be to restore that same vandalistic edit? And then what are the odds that Humanproject's first edit in five months would be to work on that very same vandalistic edit? Reading a few of the older edits of each of these "characters" further confirms what already seems very evident: for Humanproject, see, for instance [6]; for Wen Hsing, see, for instance, [7]. The sense of humor, expressed in exaggerated faux offense, is obviously of the same ilk.—DCGeist 18:58, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
OK, you make a convincing argument. I hadn't thought about the possibility of puppetry. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:03, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I've submitted a Request for Checkuser. --Richard 19:26, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Aleksi Peltola: Jon Stewart is a comedian, and Stephen Colbert is a spin-off show that makes a big deal about the threat of bears and editing Wikipedia. They're both hilarious, vandalism to Wikipedia notwithstanding. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 18:41, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Ben. In light of the coincidences mentioned above I must agree that at least Tazchook is a vandal. The others should be warned or even blocked. I really can't understand what drives such pathetic people to waste time doing this. Aleksi Peltola 07:59, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I undertake to make the official complaint toward Mr DCGeist for output defamatory inaccuracies in allegation to me.Wen Hsing 13:18, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, yeah. Real editors, please note, I've just realized this cretin has a fourth trolling alias, IamYossarian, who has a remarkable interest in Adolf "Shitler" ([8]) and whose first edit in three months--yes, once again--was to work on the vandalistic black bear edit ([9]).—DCGeist 17:00, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

the first successful colonial war of independence

I see there is a footnote for this, although I don't have the book, I'm reluctant to question the statement. However... Can anyone think of an earlier "successful colonial war of independence"? My knowledge of empire is sadly lacking in these areas. Rich Farmbrough, 10:31 25 September 2007 (GMT).

Composition of the country

The intro presently reads that the United States comprises "fifty states, one federal district, and fourteen territories." This may sound pedantic, but my understanding is that only the states and incorportated territories are actually part of the United States; the rest are possessions. A state or incorporated territory is considered to be a permanent part of the United States; all of the territories, save Palmyra Atoll, are unincorporated. A similar thing can be looked at the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland is *part* of the United Kingdom, whereas the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are only *possessions* of it. Most lists of area and population do not include the territories, nor do most maps. The territories, I think, should be listed separately, along the lines of, "The United States comprises fifty states and one federal district, and has fourteen territories around the globe." or what not. (I don't think Palmyra Atoll is important enough to be listed separately in the intro) --Golbez 23:59, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Looking at various official U.S. government websites and the Encyclopedia Brittanica (in print!), I'm inclined to agree. Your rewording seems good; perhaps "...and possesses fourteen territories..."?—DCGeist 00:43, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Given that the opening graf is not long, mention of the territories could also possibly be reserved for its final sentence, thus: "The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and one federal district.... The United States possesses fourteen territories, or insular areas, scattered around the Caribbean and Pacific."—DCGeist 17:10, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes to DCGeist's 2nd point, but alter as follows: 'The United States also possesses ...' Quizimodo 17:12, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

They're territories that, in several cases, have exercised their right to self-determination via referenda and decided to stay US territories. "Possesses" is a bit harsh and imperial. Is it the most appropriate verb to use? MrZaiustalk 17:21, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

I would say an imperial verb matches well, but they are commonly referred to as 'possessions', among other names. --Golbez 17:26, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

In the Wiki on CUba there is a whol section on human rights violations. Surely there should be a separate section for this on the USA wiki. Abbu Ghraib and any topic on US terrorism covered in the documentary "The War on Democracy" could be included. Meraloma 21:27, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Move to "United States of America"

"United States of America" is the proper name, and "United States" can refer to several other former or proposed nations. 01:00, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Please see the link to the Frequently Asked Questions page at the top of this talk page. That question has been exhaustively and furiously debated at least seven times (if memory serves me correctly) and the consensus has always been to keep "United States." As indicated in the huge archives for this talk page, the Wikipedia editors who monitor this article have already raised the dozens of major arguments on both sides, including that one. Please review the FAQ first. Thank you for your attention. --Coolcaesar 01:22, 7 October 2007 (UTC)


Question- The article says the United States is mostly in the Western Hemisphere. Understandably the territories such as Guam are in the Eastern Hemisphere, but I've never heard that parts of Alaska are Eastern. Can anyone find a valid source for this, to save me editing it and looking foolish? Darkage7 07:06, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Just look up Aleutian Islands - several cross 180 W, though none are on the other side of the dateline. --Golbez 07:18, 7 October 2007 (UTC)


Was there a indigenous name for America given by its aboriginal people? was it a name for the entire nation or were there just provincial names? and if so should it be included in the article in some detail in the etymology section and then in further detail in the Native American articles? just a asking out of curiosity, thank you, Maikeli MB 23:22, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Since there were many hundreds of native peoples, most of whom never interacted with one another, I don't think there was a unified name. --Golbez 23:45, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
The concept of nationhood was not the same in many indigenous American cultures as in European (Western) culture. As far as I know (though I am not an expert on Native American studies) many tribes refered to the sourrounding land by its features (mountains, lakes, rock colorations, vegetation, etc...). Signaturebrendel 22:44, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Recent Reverts by DCGeist

Several days ago I added information in the section on Crime and Punishment. The section said that the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. I clarified that we have the highest documented incarceration rate, and provided figures to compare the US's rate with that of China. This information was reverted away by DCGeist with no discussion. There was also a section that said how "scholars" claimed the US's high homicide rate was related to its rates of gun ownership. This was funny, as it was right next to a graph showing the US's homicide rate compared to that of Canada, France, Germany, and Russia, with Russia's homicide rate being shown as four times higher than that of the US. I added a sentence saying that Russia's homicide rate is higher than that of the US, dispite Russia's stricter gun laws, and said that the issue was more complicated than a simple comparison of gun laws. This information was also reverted away without discussion by DCGeist. Finally, a section I added (with cite, from another wiki article) saying that the US's overall crime rate was comparable to that of Canada's was removed by DCGeist. I doubt he has issue with that cite in the other article I took it from, so why did it need to be removed from this one? I'd rather not get into an edit war, so I'm putting this here instead of just adding the information back in. I see no reason why it shouldn't be in the section, though. Any thoughts? -CumbiaDude 21:35, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

The information you added detailing Russian and Chinese crime rates seems to me clearly inappropriate for an overview article on the United States. The fundamental point about "documented" incarceration rate is well-taken and, expressed concisely as it is now, is an improvement to the article. Your statement that the issue of gun homicide rates is "more complicated than a simple comparison of gun laws" is inarguably true but irrelevant to the content of the article and to common sense. In other words, it is a strawman. The article does not get into a "simple comparison of gun laws." It notes that scholars connect the high homicide rates in the U.S. with its permissive gun laws--the context is that the U.S. is sociopolitically and culturally similar to nations such as Canada, France, and Germany that have more restrictive gun ownership laws, much lower gun ownership rates, and much lower homicide rates. Russia--characterized by an authoritarian regime and a culture of brigandage--has far higher homicide rates, indeed demonstrating that restrictive gun ownership laws are ineffective when the society itself is so diseased. These are important points to make, but this is not the article in which to make them. As for the point about the overall crime rate relative to Canada's, this doesn't really tell us much more than the existing comparison of property crime rates with which the paragraph currently ends. It thus strikes me as conceptually redundant and superfluous in this context. As you hint at, it appears appropriately in the more detailed article Crime in the United States.—DCGeist 21:52, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I can understand that this article might not be the best place to mention China's rate of incarceration, but I didn't want to just modify what it said without backing it up (instead of just saying the US wasn't necessarily the highest, I put in a good candidate for somewhere with a higher incarceration rate). Your point about Russia being sociopolitically and culturally different from the United States makes sense, but then in the opposite direction I could say that Switzerland is just as similar to the United States as is Germany, and yet many people there have fully automatic military rifles stored in their homes while in the military without a huge surge in homicide rates. Switzerland has only 1.32 total homicides per 100k population, while about 27% of the population had acces to firearms as of 1994. I could also bring up Northern Ireland which had a homicide rate of 6.09, while only 8.4% of the population had access to firearms as of 1994. I agree that this section shouldn't be a comparison of gun laws (we already have articles for just that), but it compares the crime rate of the US with "similar" nations with more restrictive laws. That is a comparison of gun laws and their effect on crime, is it not? Finally, I think it would be better to have just the comparison between America's and Canada's overall crime rates instead of the property crime cite. Why look at just a piece instead of the whole picture? -CumbiaDude 06:49, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
If we had a good source that gave us a comparison of overall crime rates for multiple nations, I'd support substituting that for the well-sourced multinational comparison of burglary rates we have now. The sole comparison to Canada, I believe, is a bit weaker than what we currently have.—DCGeist 07:23, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
As we are identifying top rates in the article text, I do agree on reflection that referring to the debatable nature of the matter is valid, certainly in the notes. I've expanded the latter citation in the relevant sentence to include the Straight Dope source you provided.—DCGeist 07:36, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
At the moment I have found some statistics comparing total numbers of crimes in various Western European countries and the US, but it doesn't give the rates per 100k of population. I could do the math, but the numbers seem off to me (about 4,000 crimes per 100k in the US, about 7,200 crimes per 100k in the UK, and about 7,200 crimes per 100k in Canada). The source is here down below using the downloaded pdf file. It's down in Table 1, Crimes recorded by the police. The way I did it was I took the total number of crimes, divided by the total population (for these estimates here I just used the 2006 estimates for population, instead of going back to the 2001 population, but we could do that for the actual numbers if we put them in the article), then I multiplied that by 100,000 to give me the number of crimes per 100k population. We could also use the information in Table 2, Victimization Risk. This gives percentages for overall crime, Contact Crime, theft of a car, and burglary. The US's given percentages are near or below the averages for all four categories. Take a look and let me know what you think. -CumbiaDude 18:37, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I have edited the article to include the study I found. -CumbiaDude 23:57, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, good for Dan - he was right to revert your edits. Scholars do say (the vast, vast majority) that America's lax gun laws cause it to have the developed world's highest homicide rate, despite having a relatively property crime and aggrevated assualt rate. Wether or not you agree with these scholars or beleive their research is faulty is irrelevant. As for Russia and China - these are not quite comparable to the U.S. Indeed Mexico and Russia have stricter gun control laws but are unable to enforce them... (see Dan's comments above) Comparing law enforcement efforts in developing countries such as Russia and the U.S. is truly comparing Apples and Oranges. The only reason I put Russia in the text is to provide another reference point, aside from similar countries (i.e. other developed high income countries). Fact is that "scholars connect the high homicide rates in the U.S. with its permissive gun laws" - if you would like to voice your disagreement with their studies I recommend communicating with them via publishing your research in a scholarly journal, but not Wikipedia. Wikipedia is supposed to represent dominant opinion in acadmia - the version of this article that is in disagreement with your opinion does exactely that. Regards, Signaturebrendel 05:05, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't dispute that there are many scholars who believe that the gun laws of the United States are responsible for its higher homicide rate, but I would hardly say it was the "vast, vast majority". I could find many studies saying just the opposite. I commented on the comparability (or lack thereof) between the US and Russia/China above, so I won't repeat it here. I would like to repeat what I said above about Northern Ireland's homicide rate (6.09 in 1994 vs 5.7 for the US) despite their much lower access to guns. Also, why is it the case that Mexico and Russia have higher homicide rates because of ineffective law enforcement, while the US has a high (although still lower) homicide rate due to lax gun laws? If the United States made new, much more restrictive laws, without a corresponding drop in homicide rates, would the laws still be too lax or would it then be a matter of ineffective enforcement? In fact, Washington, D.C. has had very restrictive gun laws (owning of handguns was prohibited, for example) without affecting the homicide rate (35.7 per 100k people in 2004, much higher than the U.S. average). D.C. residents were able to go to neighboring states and purchase handguns, then (illegally) bring them back into D.C., they were able to (illegally) buy them from other D.C. residents, etc. The fact that they were illegal didn't stop people from using them in crimes. I say this shows that the U.S. actually has a problem of ineffective enforcement of current laws, like you said about Mexico and Russia, rather than a need for more restrictive laws. -CumbiaDude 06:49, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
That is an interesting take on things and you might want to publish it in a newspaper editorial. It does, however, represent Orignial Reasearch, which accroding to WP:OR cannot be included in WP articles. Nonetheless just some food for thought: gun control laws only work at the federal level (a person in DC can easily buy a gun in VA) - and yes, if stricter laws were past w/o results it would most likely speak of ineffective enfrocement. Obviously laws need enforcement to be effective. North Ireland is not comparable to the U.S. - it suffered from quasi civil war in the 1990s. But that's all OR. Regards, Signaturebrendel 22:26, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Image caption

U.S. Air Force F-16s flying above the remnants of Kuwaiti oil fields in the Gulf War, 1991

I have two issues with this image, present in the Superpower section of this article.

  1. The image actually shows three F-15 aircraft and two F-16 aircraft.
  2. The caption can be taken as suggesting an unstated implication that the aircraft shown, or the U.S. superpower which operates them, caused the devastation which the image shows. I suggest that the image be replaced or recaptioned. -- Boracay Bill 01:50, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. I was concerned that the recent change to the caption identifying (or attempting to identify) the specific type of aircraft might be incorrect. I've restored the inarguable noun (and concise description) "jets."

It had never occurred to me that the image might be misinterpreted in the way you describe, and I continue to believe it's not a serious concern. Let's see if anyone else has thoughts on the matter.—DCGeist 02:24, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Actually, we could keep the caption satisfatorily short while clarifying it thus: "U.S. Air Force jets flying above Kuwaiti oil fields destroyed by Iraq in the Gulf War, 1991." What do you think?—DCGeist 02:27, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I'll go for that. It isn't very long and it avoids misinterpretation. — Jaxad0127 13:00, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Very Negative View Of The United States?

When reading this article the whole article generally has a negative view of the United States. The article is full of comparisons of how poorly the United States compares to other countries. Where are the comparisons showing where the United States performs better than others? That's because none are shown. In reality the United States excels in most areas yet none of these have been included into the article, only a mass of criticizing material has been included. The whole article reads in a very critical way of the United States pushing a point of view that the United States is a bad and finished country. I would have thought this article being one of the most popular articles on Wikipedia plus Wikipedia's neutral point of view policies should have made anti-US sentiment impossible. I suggest an administrator or a reliable editor(s) reviews the content of the article and removes any material which may breach WP:NPOV. It's much appreciated if anyone can help on this. 13:37, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Right. I suppose this is one of the joys of being a Wikipedia editor: a couple of weeks ago we were accused of offering an overly optemistic description of the U.S. and now were are being accused of offering a view that is too pessimistic. The way I see it this means we've writtten a well balanced article! BTW: The article states emphasizes that the U.S. is highly divrse, powerful and affluent. The content of the article is well balanced, as evident in the contradictor complaints. Signaturebrendel 22:18, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

its nt negetive its nuetral —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:00, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

article size: difficult to read or edit

At 163 KB, this article is difficult to bring up to read or edit. On my high speed internet lines, connections and computer, it takes about a minute to load. Far too long for even the patient reader. Could there be a reasonable discussion on moving more text into sub-articles? Thanks Hmains 03:36, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it's way too long and has been discussed as such. But no action. It needs to be cut by almost half. Other country articles can do it. Get rid of all the extra details. --Merbabu 10:36, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
The size is getting a little ridiculous - it's grown by ~40k from when we last pushed it as a FAC, when it probably should in fact have shrunk, given the comments in that and every other FAC attempt. That said, nearly all of the information in the article is reliably and well sourced. It would likely have made FA if it just happened to be half the length, while preserving the all important POV. What I would suggest, per twice repeated suggestions by some other editors in the most recent FAC, is that we take the history and culture sections and use those as the basis for a rewrite of the duplicate sections in History of the United States and Culture of the United States - there is a tendency to cover it here independently rather than summarize those main articles, so most of the good writing and the strong references stay here. Culture contains a fair number, but many sections are devoid of references, so it would greatly benefit from this treatment. Replacing those sections with summaries of better written and adequately sourced main articles would cut the size of the article by easily 40K. Mentioned something like this a while back, but got promoted about the same time and moved to nights, so I didn't really have much time to play with it, but I might bite it off sometime later this week, now that I'm back to working reasonable hours. If anyone wants to Wikipedia:Be bold and beat me to it, though, it would be much appreciated. Remember to use a sandbox to avoid ticking off the main editors on Culture and History until we really have something to show 'em. MrZaiustalk 14:00, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay. I was on the fence here, because I think this really is an excellent article, but it takes way too long for it to open. (And I've got quite a few hamsters in my little black box.) It needs a few well-honed pruning shears to go to work on it. --Evb-wiki 00:11, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
ps - Did anyone notice this was proposed back in June 2007? --Evb-wiki 00:16, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I suggest editors frequenting this page are most likely American and/or very familiar with the material here. But, they need to put themselves in the positions of readers you don't have this familiarity (these readers are, afterall, why we are here). These readers may know very little and don't really want to know all this detail - at least not in one reading. For me, it's not about loading of kb, but pure readability.
The history section needs to be slashed by 50% and sub-headings removed. There is no excuse for this length. THe same for the economy and demographics section. Just no need for it - other country articles manage and are no less complex than the US (arguably more so, in fact) - look at India and Indonesia - these are both feature articles and like the United States are among world's 4 largest countries. --Merbabu 08:51, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Friend, you'd make your case a lot more effectively if you didn't feel the need to indulge in hyperbole like "There is no excuse." Come on. There are lots of "excuses" (i.e., very good reasons for the inclusion of every particular point--at least on a point-by-point basis). Instead of waxing rhetorical, give a couple examples of parts of the article you think are particularly effective and a few examples of detail you find unedifying, with explanations, if possible, of why. Thanks.—DCGeist 09:08, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
As a major contributor to this article, you should not be so quick to take offence, rather actually consider instead of ignoring suggestions for improvement. Let me repeat - it's too long a read, too much to take in on a first read. Once again, I suggest shortening history by 50% and removing sub-headings. The same for Economics and Demographics. Further, I provided example feature articles (FAC has failed at least once because of length concerns). Why does it need to be so long? You allude to good reasons it is so long - what are they?
If considered on that "point by point" basis, one can probably justify making the article five times longer. But as a reader largely unfamiliar with the material, i find it overly daunting and unnecessary - much info needs to go summary pages. Do you really need a "transport" section? Create a link to it in the economy sectin. --Merbabu 10:50, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Looking through this talk page this length issue has come up a few times, with no major objections. The quality of the info is excellent as are refs, but i just don't think the level of detail is required in many parts. Anyway, I've made two edits pushing details into the footnotes. maybe we could use the notation system seen in Australia for further small details? --Merbabu 12:01, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

I didn't take offence. There's general agreement that the article is too long--what we need to focus on at this point are the specific details and types of details that can be cut (so long as they are covered in the relevant topical article). Your recent emendation to the Income... section is entirely reasonable--I think you identified the sort of detail that can be cut from the main text without detracting from its quality. However, you'll note that the edits actually increased the throwweight of the article, as Evb-wiki observes. I'm not sure where others stand, but like Evb-wiki, in my view the size issue doesn't reflect a serious problem with readability (our article is shorter by many factors than the online Encyclopedia Britannica "United States" entry), but rather upload time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DCGeist (talkcontribs) 15:45, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, moving text from the body to the footnotes does not reduce the byte size of the article, which is where my concern lies. I think some sub-articles is probably the way to go. --Evb-wiki 12:09, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Just mentioning a few points from WP:SS
  • Wikipedia entries tend to grow in a way which lends itself to the natural creation of new entries. The text of any entry consists of a sequence of related but distinct subtopics. When there is enough text in a given subtopic to merit its own entry, that text can be excised from the present entry and replaced by a link.
  • "Summary style" is an excellent technique to give more structure to very long lists of references: for example the "World War II" summary style article portrayed above could have a reference list of sources that treat the history of World War II as a whole, while the sub-articles are provided with references that treat the specifics of each of these subtopics, e.g. books on World War II in the Pacific region are used as reference in the Pacific War article. There is no need to repeat all the references for the subtopics in the main "Summary style" article, unless they are required to support a specific point.<
  • Summary style is accomplished by not overwhelming the reader with too much text up front by summarizing main points and going into more detail on particular points (sub-topics) in separate articles. What constitutes 'too long' is largely based on the topic, but generally 30KB of prose is the starting point where articles may be considered too long. Articles that go above this have a burden of proof that extra text is needed to efficiently cover its topic and that the extra reading time is justified.
  • Summary style is based on the premise that information about a topic should not all be contained in a single article since different readers have different needs;
  • many readers need just a quick summary of the topic's most important points (lead section),
  • others need a moderate amount of info on the topic's more important points (a set of multi-paragraph sections), and
  • some readers need a lot of detail on one or more aspects of the topic (links to full-sized separate articles).
  • The top or survey article should have general summary information and the more detailed summaries of each subtopic should be in daughter articles and in articles on specific subjects.
  • Articles over a certain size may not cover their topic in a way that's readable and easy to navigate. Opinions vary as to what counts as an ideal length; judging the appropriate size depends on the topic and whether it easily lends itself to being split up. -- Boracay Bill 12:25, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

As pointed out above, please keep in mind that the sub-articles and splits already exist and have for several years. What we have here is a basis for a rewrite of those largely antiquated and unsourced articles. MrZaiustalk 13:13, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

"Tear down that" photo

Conceptually, I'm 100% in favor of Happyme22's addition of the image of Reagan's Berlin Wall speech. Crucial president, crucial historical event. But I don't feel the particular photo itself is really of encyclopedic quality. Do we have any free-image hounds here who might possibly locate a shot that shows the man doing his thing a bit more visibly? (Image-hunting wise, I'm a free-use maven, so I'm just not the guy for this task.) Come through and you will get a barnstar.—DCGeist 08:06, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Government and politics

I trimed this section of some details I believe are well-covered elsewhere, particularly the Bill of Rights, Bush v. Gore and United States presidential election, 2004. If I've been too bold, feel free to revert and start over. --Evb-wiki 16:17, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Wow, this is tough. For it's size, it's pretty tight. A quick read though did not find much to trim. There are already a lot of forks, but unless we want to have sections with only redirects, combining sections covered by the forks may be necessary. --Evb-wiki 16:33, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Demonym of United States people

The demonym of the United States people is currently best know to be "Americans". But since this can be misleading, many people use different demonyms to describe the United States people. One of the most popular ones is "United Statians". This word was also published in Urban Dictonary's word of the day. See []'s word of the day for the 4th of July, 2007. Currently it is located at [10]. The word's definition can be directly accessed at [11].

Definition 1 makes this argument. "All people born in North and South America, which are continents, are "Americans" - United Statians would be better suited to describe someone born in the United States."

If you do a Yahoo! Search for exact phrase "United Statian" with URL [] you will come up with a link to United Statians which has different content, yet the same URL. Perhaps it's slightly different. But definition 1 there has this to say.

" Most NON-English speaking countries, specially in Latin America and Europe, refer to people from the USA as "Estadounidenses&quo t;, "Etats-Uniens", etc. (United Statian) which is the right way to call them, because anyone who's born in the American Contienent, it's an American.

It's like if there was a country in Europe, named United States of Europe, and they auto call themselves "Europeans", anyone how lived in Europe would be an European, not just people from that country; in the same way, anyone who lives in America(s) is an American not just people from the USA.

Todos somos Americanos, desde Canada hasta Argentina, y los Estadounidences no tienen derecho de tomar nuestro nombre.

Where are all Americans, from Canada to Argentina, and the United Statians have no right to take our name. "

Therefore, I think this is a valid demonym to add to the United States of America Wikipedia page. How do I go about getting this passed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Please see discussion of this issue above. It is not an encyclopedia's job to assess what should be, but to describe what is. In English, a U.S. citizen is called an "American"; "United Statian" has gained no traction at all.—DCGeist 23:51, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Exactely. Moreover, the urbandictionary is not exactely a reputable source. Signaturebrendel 23:57, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

In response to the original poster, you will not get this past because this has to be done by consensus, majority rule, and even if the majority are wrong, their decision stands. "American" as a demonym of the US is a fallacy, but vehemently upheld by US citizens and forced into public usage, whereas "American" does, in fact, refer to the people of the Americas, north and south. There are grumblings from various American (from the Americas, not just the US) anthropologists to change this fallacy but the reaction has been akin to that of the journalist covering the story of the outbreak of war with Canada in the South Park movie; "Naturally, we're not listening"... Tough break champ, you have a valid point, but good luck getting it through. 14:51, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

And, before people start getting angry about sources, here is a quote from anthropologist Marcelo Saavedra:

I am part of your virtual march. However, the body of your message needs to be more sensitive to all the Americans that live in the Americas. You use the term Americans to refer to US citizens. I must remind you that the term Americans refer to all of us that live either in North America (including and not solely the US), Central America or South America.

I have resent the message about the March to my contacts; I have a few thousand of them all over the Americas, changing "Americans" for "US citizens". Although I share your campaign, support it and spread the word, I think you should take this bit of criticism constructively and name things by their proper name. I am an American but I am not a US citizen and I fell quite annoyed when US citizens assume either consciously or unconsciously that 'America' is the US. I referred to the Monroe Doctrine by which US expansionism began by the motto "America for the Americans". We have to deconstruct this misinterpretation of history and recognize other Americans beyond your boundaries.

In solidarity, always!


The original can be found here:

Marcelo Saavedra is a representative of the Andean Council of Indigenous Peoples (CANO), President of the Support Group for the the Peoples of the Americas (GAPA) as well as representative in North America of the Boliviain Permanent Assembly of Human Rights (APDHB) and a leading expert in the field of the rights of Indigenous People. TTFN 15:06, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Minor Edit War

OK, checking the page history Avargasm and DCGeist are on the fringes of an edit war, please sort out your differences over a discussion on this talk page, you must be respected wikipedians to be able to edit the article so please act like you are. Thank you. Rick-Levitt Talk Contribs 08:53, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

United Statian can also refer to the people of mexico since there countrys full name is "The united states of mexico" & i been to mexico & brazil with people refering me as an americano so i disagree with the notion that the word "united statian" is popular in latin america —Preceding unsigned comment added by ChesterTheWorm (talkcontribs) 17:49, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
You would be incorrect, since Mexico is called the United Mexican States, not the United States of Mexico. If you think the difference is trivial, think of how weird it would be to call the country in this article the United American States. --Golbez 18:19, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Me Again

Why can I not edit this article. The lock clearly is not working as it is still being vandalised but I cannot revert it! Rick-Levitt Talk Contribs 20:44, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

The article is only semi-protected, so if you're logged in, you should be able to edit it. However, you have to be patient - as this is a very long article, it can take a long time to load the edit page and save changes. Terraxos 03:50, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I am logged in and there is no edit tab. Rick-Levitt Talk Contribs 11:23, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
The edit tab should always be there (to at least look at the source). I'm using a different skin and the edit link is plainly visible (if not immediately due to all the categories/translations). — Jaxad0127 12:16, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I haven't been a member for four days so I will try again when that time comes. Thanks for help. Rick-LevittContribs 17:42, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I have unprotected the article. It was protected for 2 consecutive months. Superm401 - Talk 19:45, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I predict reprotection within 48 hours. --Golbez (talk) 22:25, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
You, sir, are optimistic. :-) --DevinCook (talk) 22:33, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, so maybe it was closer to 4 hours. That was getting unmanageable, we'd already lost an entire section of text and no one noticed. --Golbez (talk) 00:07, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Etymology / Ones who do not agree with the "America" and "American" terms

I believe the "Etymology" section should have a paragraph saying the terms "America" (for the country) and "American" (for U.S.-related things and people) are openly contested by every other non-U.S.A. American countries. The way it is, the article seems to say everybody accept them as they are. It would be next to reality and would show that the terms are not universally accepted, as well show at least part of the foreign opinion about the terms.

Thank you for your attention. --Ivan Linares 19:04, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

The article is in need of shortening rather than lengthening although if other users deem it appropriate then go ahead and add although the length should be an issue against adding the info. Rick-LevittContribs 19:08, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Rick's point is well-taken. In addition, Ivan, as this is the English-language Wikipedia, focus on the English-language usage of the word "American" must be paramount. I am not aware, for instance, that the use of the word "American" for U.S. citizens is "openly contested" by a significant plurality of English-speaking Canadians. I have no doubt that there are those who live in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in the Americas who prefer "estadounidense" to "americano" for U.S. citizens. Again, for an overview article on the United States in the English-language Wikipedia, that doesn't seem highly relevant. As for a sweeping movement that encompasses "every other non-U.S.A. American country," that might well be worthy of note if it is true. Can you provide a quality source for this assertion where it may be verified according to general Wikipedia standards and the specific quality of this article's sourcing? Thanks.—DCGeist 19:16, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I think it might not be a bad idea to mention that it's contested, but as DCGeist has pointed out, you've definitely over-stated how contested it is, Ivan. Also, we'd want a source, if you have one. I do believe it should be somewhere (as many US Americans are completely unaware of it), but possibly not in this particular article. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:19, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
In fact it does appear in the lede of American (word), to which our article's Etymology section bluelinks (via American). I think that's the appropriate place for it.—DCGeist 19:24, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I would say that after viewing American it does not need to be mentioned at all here. Rick-LevittContribs 19:30, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

And I concur. The issue is thoroughly and exhaustively covered in minute detail in that separate article, and does NOT need to be dealt with in the main United States article, which is far too long. --Coolcaesar 22:00, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

"American" as a demonym of the US is a fallacy, but vehemently upheld by US citizens and forced into public usage, whereas "American" does, in fact, refer to the people of the Americas, north and south. There are grumblings from various American (from the Americas, not just the US) anthropologists to change this fallacy but the reaction has been akin to that of the journalist covering the story of the outbreak of war with Canada in the South Park movie; "Naturally, we're not listening"... Tough break champ, you have a valid point, but good luck getting it through. 14:51, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

And, before people start getting angry about sources, here is a quote from anthropologist Marcelo Saavedra:

I am part of your virtual march. However, the body of your message needs to be more sensitive to all the Americans that live in the Americas. You use the term Americans to refer to US citizens. I must remind you that the term Americans refer to all of us that live either in North America (including and not solely the US), Central America or South America. I have resent the message about the March to my contacts; I have a few thousand of them all over the Americas, changing "Americans" for "US citizens". Although I share your campaign, support it and spread the word, I think you should take this bit of criticism constructively and name things by their proper name. I am an American but I am not a US citizen and I fell quite annoyed when US citizens assume either consciously or unconsciously that 'America' is the US. I referred to the Monroe Doctrine by which US expansionism began by the motto "America for the Americans". We have to deconstruct this misinterpretation of history and recognize other Americans beyond your boundaries. In solidarity, always! Marcelo

The original can be found here:

Marcelo Saavedra is a representative of the Andean Council of Indigenous Peoples (CANO), President of the Support Group for the the Peoples of the Americas (GAPA) as well as representative in North America of the Boliviain Permanent Assembly of Human Rights (APDHB) and a leading expert in the field of the rights of Indigenous People. TTFN 15:06, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Also, stuff about Frank Lloyd Wright on demonyms for the citizen of the US:

A search for "USonians" or "United Statians" will show that these terms are entering into common usage as people become more aware of the fallacy of the demonym for US citizens being "American" whereas it is the demonym of the continent as a whole. In the same way as individual nations within Europe and Africa have country names and demonyms therein, they also have a continental name and a continental demonym. Residents of Germany are German, of England they are English, France - French etc. but when it comes to Europe, they are European. Kenya has Kenyans, Morocco has Moroccans, Africa has Africans. The US has USonians or United Statians, Canada has Canadians, Mexico has Mexicans, the Americas have Americans. 15:30, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Please see the advisory at the top of this page:
This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the United States article.
This is not a forum for general discussion about the article's subject.
Whatever the virtues of "United Statians" or "USonians" (really) as terms, the fact is they are not "entering into common usage" in the English language. If and when they do, the article will properly reflect that. Check back here in forty years.—DCGeist 17:18, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

The term "US Citizen" is a term used to describe citizens of the United States by people who also inhabit the Americas, as well as by a large proportion of the civilised world. "American" is a demonym used by inhabitants of the United States to describe themselves, while failing to recognise either that there are other nations on the same continent (comprising over 440 million individuals) or while failing to realise a world exists outside their borders (yes, it does happen). It is also used by European English speakers who have been somewhat dulled by the predominance of US culture in Europe and, thus, also adopt the term. Now, although this is a page on the US, mainly edited by citizens of the US, and often vetoing anything considered "Un-American", perhaps it is time for a change of attitude and some sort of new "Golden Age of Rennaissance" whereby facts and truths are not only accepted, but supported and upheld. Or perhaps this is an opportunity to watch ignorance flex its beefy, hairy, malcoordinated arm once more. (talk) 16:50, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

As regards the discussion, the use of "American" in this context could easily be construed as racist, and has been, thus my proposal to change "American" to "US citizen" is an improvement. (talk) 16:53, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Brief more about current history

Hi. I'm just wondering why my version of the page was removed (by a bot no less). The page was lacking some much-needed info about the current history of America. It mentioned nothing about the economic troubles we faced in the late '70s, as well as the Iran hostage crisis of 1979. The only thing it said about Ronald Reagan was that he influenced American politics. Ok, but that didn't even capture the full effect of his presidency, during which some major world-changing events occured. I cited all "controversial" statements. There was nothing wrong with the edit, and a bot removed it! Happyme22 04:32, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

That's very suspicious bot behavior. The edit summary says it did something completely different from what it actually did. I think you should try re-adding your edits, and keep an eye on them. Additionally, as a first step you should contact the creator of the bot, and let them know that it's gone black ops. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 12:26, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree, especially considering it was several edits after you added that and after that bot had already edited once. I just looked and it's first edit wasn't described correctly either (it has the same summary), and it made some mistakes too. — Jaxad0127 12:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
I put a comment on both the User talk:KocjoBot page as well as on the owner's talk page. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:01, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, and I've readded the material. Happyme22 13:56, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

1970s-1980s history

While the bot's behavior is inexcusable, I'm partially reverting for the general reason detailed in extensive discussion above--we need to be looking at shrinking the article, not growing. The history section is generall seens as the leading candidate for such shrinkage, as we already have a fine article on the History of the United States. More specifically,

  • Nixon: The langauge about his resignation was fine--and "allegations of impeachment" is not English, I'm afraid.
  • Carter: Historically, stagflation appears more significant than the hostage crisis. (I've cut the cite--this straightforward history sentence is not likely to be challenged. If it is, we can always restore it.) Again, it's not that the hostage crisis is insignificant; just that we really have to control length here.
  • Reagan: Similarly, trimmed foreign policy addition--given our size pressures, we cover that adequately via both the following sentence and the nearby photo and caption.

By the same token, having added Carter, we really do have to at least briefly mention the first President Bush, which I have done.—DCGeist 17:18, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

I think it looks good. It least it now has some info about our moden presidents, but what abour Gerald Ford? How about (shown here in bold): "As a result of the Watergate scandal, in 1974 Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign, rather than be impeached on charges including obstruction of justice and abuse of power; he was succeeded by Gerald Ford." That way, we mention all the recent presidents starting w/ Nixon in the last two paras. Happyme22 23:21, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Given our length pressures, I don't think we need to mention the brief tenure of the unelected Ford. Anyone else have an opinion on this?—DCGeist 07:41, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't think he should be added either. The most significant thing about his presidency was that he followed a resignation that was almost an impeachment. — Jaxad0127 12:40, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I think the 6 words suggested by Happyme22 aren't unreasonable. Sure, he didn't serve a whole term, but it's not even a whole sentence... Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:30, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree. The added length is negligible. He should not be the only one not mentioned. --Evb-wiki 13:56, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
3–2 so far. Ford may finally be winning a national election!—DCGeist 16:36, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Haha! Poor Jerry. Happyme22 23:35, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Add an external link

I think that this page should be added to the external links section. It provides a very well laid out collection of direct links associated with the topic. The time and work put into building this page is very evident and I believe that it could be a very useful resource for academic study on the United States especially in conjunction with this Wikipedia article.

It is:

Please don't. It's a commercial site, violating WP:EL and WP:COI (since it's appears that you created the page). OhNoitsJamie Talk 20:53, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Not a commercial site. I didn't create the page, actually I Quality Controlled the page in order to ensure that the sites linked to weren't spammy, inappropriate or unusable. Travis Oberlander 21:58, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Not a commercial site? According to this article, it plans to raise revenue by eventually selling ads. While Mahalo may be a link directory, Wikipedia is not. New content is preferred to links. OhNoitsJamie Talk 22:14, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Link suggestion

I think that this link should be added to the external links section. It will provide this article will personal opinions and stories specifically relating to the subject. This will add a more personnel outlet if the viewer feels inclined to follow the link.

Here is the link:

I don't think this is an appropriate link. Please familiarize yourself with our guideline: Wikipedia:External links.—DCGeist 23:49, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Oppose - As with the links at Australia and Mexico, I cannot support the inclusion of this link as per WP:EL - Links normally to be avoided (no. 13): "open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors". But thanks for seeking consensus. --SRHamilton 07:42, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Demographics section

Editors, please keep an eye on edits by M5891, who has edit warred in this section in the past (see article revision history for October 8–10). This user, who never leaves an edit summary or participates in Talk, aims to do several things, specifically concerning the discussion of Hispanic Americans:

  • Replace the standard, widely used phrase "ethnic minority" with "ethnic group," less informative and less representative of general discourse in this context
  • Add a detailed infobox breakdown of the Hispanic American population--clearly inappropriate for this overview article, especially given our size pressures and the existence of the well-flagged Demography of the United States article
  • Add redundant, unnecessary, and (in one case) substandard citations

DCGeist 00:09, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

In addition, nearly all of M5891 (talk · contribs)'s other edits are similarly pov. --Evb-wiki 02:57, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

This is the first talk page I've come across so I will now explain my actions.

Hispanicity concerns ethnicity and should therefore be independent from racial categories, which is why I've been placing it at the bottom of the infobox containing "Race and Ethnicity" to signify that it encompasses all of the aforementioned racial groups.

As far as Hispanics being labeled an "ethnic minority," I suppose that you would have to consider European Americans as the "ethnic majority." However, Europe has been the destination for African, Asian, and Latin American immigrants in recent years and now encompass different racial and non-European ancestral groups.

Spanish Americans would have to be included in both categories (Hispanic and European).

The category "Hispanic or Latino" would also have to include descendants of Lusitanic and Francophone nations such as Brazil and Haiti, respectively, since they are Latino as well.

Hispanic is a broad term for people descended from Spain or its Spanish-influenced former territories, as well as current Spanish citizens, and itself encompasses various racial and ancestral groups. The same can be said about the terms Anglo (British-descended or influenced), Francophone (French-descended or influenced), and Lusitanic (Portuguese-descended or influenced), which can be found all throughout the world encompassing different racial and ancestral groups. These other ethnic groups are present in the United States as well as Hispanics, so why aren't they also officially considered minorites? —Preceding unsigned comment added by M5891 (talkcontribs) 18:28, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

If you can find reliable sources for the terms being used as you describe, you might have a point there. Can you? --John 18:50, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
As one of our fellow editors has noted elsewhere on this page, our job is to describe, not proscribe. Several of your arguments are well-founded logically; however, they do not serve us in our encyclopedic mission of description. The fact is--for various complex reasons involving cultural traditions, political history, race, and language--Hispanic Americans are widely considered as constituting a distinct "minority" in the United States, as they are in the authoritative sources we cite. As one of our U.S. State Dept. sources says concerning the broader issue, "Future Americans may come to view the very concept of minority groups as a thing of the past." However, that is simply not yet the case.
In terms of the arrangement of the infobox, while I think it tends to be more informative to place the Hispanic line in rank order, in fact our source does place it after the racial designations, so I'll support the change. Double-checking against our U.S. Census Bureau source, I also see that our percentages have not reflected the data there, and I have changed them accordingly.—DCGeist 18:55, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm glad to see that my words have had at least some impact. Perhaps sooner than later Hispanic Americans will be fully accepted and integrated both socially and demographically, eliminating the practic of separate ethnic categorization. I just wish I knew about this discussion page sooner. M5891 21:01, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Requested move

Summary of the requested move discussion:

  • Nicolaususry requested that this article be moved to "United States of America".
  • After the customary five days for discussion, Dekimasu closed the poll and move request.
  • The result of the proposal was no consensus.
  • If you think anybody raised a point not in the FAQ, then please add it.

JonathanFreed 21:48, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

For the record, I agree with Dekimasu's decisions to close the following poll and to state that the result was "no consensus". However, I am opposed to anybody closing a poll with anything more than clearly-NPOV statements. Providing additional commentary, as did Dekimasu, is effectively an attempt to get in the last word, which was briefly the first word because it appeared at the top of the discussion.
In case you're wondering, Dekimasu's specific phrase that I object to is "the names of articles aren't based on official names". I have not been able to verify that statement; it is not found in any of the following:

Actually, all of those pages state that official names are preferable at times.
JonathanFreed 21:48, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move the page, per the discussion below. There is disagreement as to whether "United States of America" is the official name of the entity or not, but it is only tangential to the main question, because the names of articles aren't based on official names.[citation needed] There is little evidence (other than evidence of the anecdotal sort) that the country is most commonly referred to as "United States of America". The ambiguity of the title is minimal and unlikely to confuse, and even after a move United States (the most common form in running encyclopedia text) would remain a primary topic redirect to the new name, so a move wouldn't save any users a click. Dekimasuよ! 03:56, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I propose that the page on the "United States" be moved to the "United States of America" since that is its official name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nicolaususry (talkcontribs) 14:31, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


The FAQ notes the improbabilty of reaching consensus on such a proposal as well as the fact that "United States of America" is not actually the county'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. Also, please provide a link to the discussion when creating a listing at Wikipedia:Requested moves. Thanks! Dekimasuよ! 14:54, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, even if the USA constitution can't define a proper name, Wikipedia can. Keeping this article at United States is like having Italian Republic at Republic. Update: I provided a link at WP:RM to this section here. -- Matthead discuß!     O       15:07, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
I was only responding to the rationale given, regarding the "official" name. Dekimasuよ! 02:40, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Um, you might want to check your links first. "Italian Republic" is a redirect to the countries common English name of Italy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TJ Spyke (talkcontribs) 01:25, 26 October 2007
I know that very well. My point is that even though the Romans coined "la:Res Publica" and the Italians call their state "it:Repubblica Italiana", nobody would redirect Republic to Italy (or vice versa), and push aside all other meanings to Republic (disambiguation), as it is done with United States and United States (disambiguation). As far as I can tell, the The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America pretty much shows, in large letters, what those guys had in mind in 1776. And what is written in even larger letters on Air Force One? A shorter name may be more convenient, but laziness is hardly an excuse for the hijacking of a general description such as united states (as in confederation) by one country, especially when those rejecting "of America" still claim to be proud to be an American anyway. -- Matthead discuß!     O       11:53, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Of course, the prepositional phrase "of America" might arguably be considered archaic and inaccurate, since one of the united states, i.e., Hawaii, is not geographically located in the Americas, but in the Central Pacific. --Evb-wiki 18:54, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
"United" is not meant to mean that they are literally connected. Rather, it is meant to say that they are united as one. TJ Spyke 23:25, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Er, I think Evb-wiki is arguing that Hawaii is not part of the Americas. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:13, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Sorry for the "digression". I did not mean to suggest that the adjective "united" was in any way archaic or inaccurate. --Evb-wiki 00:36, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I am sorry to bring about such a controversial topic on this page. I would like to mention more of my rationale I have towards this page move request though.
Please note: I was not looking at this page as the "History of the United States" Please view for this. I was looking at this from a current day view of the United States of America. That said I do not see why jokes of the Articles of Confederation are being made in this discussion. Also...
A. I go to, not
B. The official seal of the USA has "United States of America", not "United States".
You can see the seal of the USA at Image:Hp Flag Right.jpg , or at the seal is located prominently on the upper right hand side.
C. The United States of America Department of State's seal shows that the name of the country it represents as the "United States of America", not the "United States".
This is the seal used with foreign affairs and relations by the Secretary of State. In my opinion, this means that it is expected that other countries refer to the USA by this name, and not the "United States". See:
D. My federal identification papers (aka my passport) shows the country I am a citizen of to be the "United States of America", not the "United States". See here if you do not have a USA passport for a picture of one:
E. "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled" – The Patriot Act.
F. We signed the Treaty of Versailles as the "United States of America", not the "United States".
G. Please consider the Charter of the United Nations (I have made "United States of America" bold):
"Article 110
1. The present Charter shall be ratified by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.
2. The ratifications shall be deposited with the Government of the United States of America, which shall notify all the signatory states of each deposit as well as the Secretary-General of the Organization when he has been appointed.
3. The present Charter shall come into force upon the deposit of ratifications by the Republic of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America, and by a majority of the other signatory states. A protocol of the ratifications deposited shall thereupon be drawn up by the Government of the United States of America which shall communicate copies thereof to all the signatory states.
4. The states signatory to the present Charter which ratify it after it has come into force will become original Members of the United Nations on the date of the deposit of their respective ratifications.
Article 111
The present Charter, of which the Chinese, French, Russian, English, and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the United States of America. Duly certified copies thereof shall be transmitted by that Government to the Governments of the other signatory states.
IN FAITH WHEREOF the representatives of the Governments of the United Nations have signed the present Charter.
DONE at the city of San Francisco the twenty-sixth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and forty-five.
(Nicolaususry 05:07, 29 October 2007 (UTC))
Sorry to be blunt again, but you're also missing the point (although in a slightly different way than Matthead). All of the points you just made are directed towards showing that the term "United States of America" is the official legal name of the entity, which isn't really the issue here. The issue is what is the common name because that's the convention traditionally followed by encyclopedias, as noted in the FAQ. Legal name and common name are not exactly the same thing. For example, there is a legal entity with the name of International Business Machine Corporation, which is much better known by its common name, IBM. --Coolcaesar 07:49, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Coolcaesar, I would argue that their should be a major restructure of the IBM article and the Lenovo articles to reflect the purchase of part of IBM's divisions by Lenovo, and that redirects should be reconsidered repsectively. I also suggest that you see: International Business Machines Encarta and International Business Machines Britannica. Also, I agree with Golbez on not renaming countries to their formal names. That in my opinion is dumb. We would never find anything. My issue is not the moving of this article from its common name, but to its common name. I would have no problem with moving the "United States" to USA. We could then have redirects from both the "United States" and the "United States of America" if we wanted to go by acronyms (other encyclopedias do not seem to do this though as referenced above). From what I have seen from living in the USA all my life (except for a few visits abroad), the USA commonly goes by the USA/United States of America, not US/United States formally as well as informally. Lastly, I would just like to mention your comment under Woodstone. Please see international english encyclopedias and compare them to Wikipedia's so we can compare apples to apples. You can try these links: United States of America - Microsoft Encarta (AU) United States of America - Microsoft Encarta (UK) (Nicolaususry 14:38, 29 October 2007 (UTC))


  • No, Wikipedia cannot define a proper name; only the community of English speakers can do that. Strong oppose per WP:UE and WP:COMMONNAME. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:41, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose this move request has been shot down many times (see Talk:United States/Name). WP uses the most commone name. The country is usually called the United States. TJ Spyke 23:22, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per TJ Spyke and the arguments in archive. Signaturebrendel 03:25, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. --Evb-wiki 03:31, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose move, because "United States of America" is not the official name by law, unless the relevant part of the Articles of Confederation is still in effect (anybody know?), and in any case, it is not used first-and-foremost by the country's branches of government. See:
JonathanFreed 03:36, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
For comparison, while the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany clearly defines the full name of Germany as Bundesrepublik Deutschland, it is not used first-and-foremost by the country's branches of government. See:
So, according to this logic, Wikipedia should move Germany to Federal Republic or Bundesrepublik.-- Matthead discuß!     O       12:23, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose Thanks, JonathanFreed. I was neutral on this, but your well-sourced argument has convinced me to pick sides.—DCGeist 04:53, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
  • The retort to JonathanFreed's argument is irrelevant. There is no weighing of "Germany" vs. "Federal Republic" or "Bundesrepublik"; it is inarguable what the standard English-language name for the country is. Aside from this, note that the survey of U.S. institutions gives us a consistent result; the survey of German institutions does not.—DCGeist 19:28, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose just to pile on. Also cf. South Korea or Soviet Union. — AjaxSmack 06:21, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Support as per the The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, the large letters "United States of America" written on Air Force One, "The United States of America" on dollar bills, and the "Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Republic of Germany"[12] in the "United States of America - Mission"[13] in Berlin. The shortened US may be handy and ubiquitous, yet I find it hard to believe that some people deny that the full USofA is the official name. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second. -- Matthead discuß!     O       12:27, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Support "United States" is as common and known as "United States of America". The former may be used a little bit more than the latter just for the sake of simplicity, but hey the most simple and frequent way people use to refer to this country is "the U.S." (and yet that is not the current name of this article). Since "United States" is entirely extracted from "United States of America", perhaps the full name would provide a better, more accurate form. Furthermore, some examples mentioned above are unrelated to this situation, as "South Korea" and "Soviet Union" are alternative names for the "Republic of Korea" and "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics", respectively, but not shorter forms of these names, as "United States" is of "United States of America". Húsönd 23:39, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Often times, we (referring to residents of the US) mean "United States of America" when we say "United States". We just shorten it. Not to mention, we are referred to (both in country and out) as Americans, implying the "of America". Foreign countries often refer to our country as America, more often actually than United States. And, common chants for American teams or as a sign of patriotism is "USA! USA! USA!," referring to the United States of America. We don't have to have it appear often in our Constitution for the article to be located at United States of America. United States of America is our common name, which sometimes just gets shortened to United States, but the "of America" is always implied. Anakinjmt 16:47, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Support I am American because I live in the United States of America. It makes no sense to leave this important part off. When somebody talks about America they are talking about the "United States" so it only makes sense to add, "of America".--Southern Texas 17:05, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Ignore all rules and change the name to U-S-and-A. Maybe that will be a compromise. Reginmund 17:22, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose for all the reasons I and others have already thoroughly articulated in the past (for all editors who did not participate in the previous discussions, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read the archives before you make yourself look like an idiot by repeating arguments already proposed and refuted). The strongest reason, of course, is the common name policy adhered to by Wikipedia and all other encyclopedias (as already explained at Talk:United States/Frequently asked questions). As it appears that User:Nicolaususry has initiated this requested move without reading Talk:United States/Frequently asked questions or WP:COMMONNAME, and has not provided any reasons in favor of this move (let alone any reasons that have not already been discussed and refuted), I strongly suspect Nicolaususry may be trolling in violation of WP:TROLL, and should be closely monitored. --Coolcaesar 18:25, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose; the official name is United States of America, but the short name is United States, and that is unambiguous, as no other United States exist in the world today. --Golbez 18:34, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
You might want to look at United States (disambiguation) -- Matthead discuß!     O       22:43, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
And you might want to actually read that article before you point editors to it. Only ONE of the entities listed there actually exists at the moment, and the common name of that entity in the English language is clearly Mexico. And yes, I've been there. Twice. Have you? --Coolcaesar 05:20, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, Mexico's name is "United Mexican States", not "United States of Mexico". To call it the latter would be as erroneous was calling this country the United American States - something no one does. I did specify "today". --Golbez 15:30, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Golbez said that United States ... is unambiguous, and I pointed to the article United States (disambiguation). What has that to do with me or you travelling anywhere?-- Matthead discuß!     O       12:50, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
It is unambiguous as far as correct usage is concerned. --Golbez 15:30, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I concur. The reason I raised the travel issue is that people who travel tend to be more sophisticated. That is, if Matthead had actually been to Mexico, he'd notice that the people there are proud to be in the "United MEXICAN States," not the "United States." That's why there's a section in the Mexican Constitution making it difficult for foreigners to own Mexican land so Americans can't take over any more of their country (keep in mind what happened in 1849). And I should point out that Matthead simply repeated above his pointing to the disambiguation article without actually replying to the merits of my reply regarding the content of that article. --Coolcaesar 18:54, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Support the move. The name United States is fine for use by internal institutions in the USA, as all those governmental links near the beginning of this survey show. It is not a proper name for use in an international forum like wikipedia, since it is a generic name, lacking information about its location. −Woodstone 18:38, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
    You mean, is there also a United States of Europe?? Georgia guy 19:07, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
There is United States of Europe, a political concept for a single European state.-- Matthead discuß!     O       22:43, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
It's called European Union, perhaps you would care to rename the article to Union? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Woodstone (talkcontribs) 00:51, 28 October 2007
Also, there's no way the EU is going to become the United States of Europe at any time in the foreseeable future after the collapse of the proposed constitution in 2005. Looks like Matthead (or should I say Meathead) hasn't been keeping up with his Europolitics lately. The Lisbon Treaty is cute, but it ain't no federal constitution! Also, Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not says that Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. Wikipedia deals with what is, not what we want to be, and what exists right now is that there is one, and only one "United States." The other so-called United States is always translated into English with the word Mexican in the middle. --Coolcaesar 05:20, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
What exists right now is that there is one article called United States of Europe, a fact which was missed by User:Georgia guy. Coolcaesar (or should I say Foolcaesar) making a personal attack on me for giving that hint is not acceptable. -- Matthead discuß!     O       12:43, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Duly noted, and I apologize for the pun. But the reason I'm so irritated is because you clearly haven't bothered to spend the time to read the archives or FAQ, and you're wasting everyone's time, yours included, by forcing everyone to retread arguments that have already been thoroughly discussed and analyzed in exhaustive detail. And you're really missing the point. I'm not sure if that's inadvertent or if you're trolling. It's clear you haven't read the common name convention, for whatever reason (if you care enough about this issue you should be paying attention to the relevant policies, guidelines, and conventions which have already been pointed out to you ad nauseum). The United States of Europe is a "speculative scenario" (in the WP article's own words) which essentially exists only in the minds of a small number of political scientists, Eurocrats, and science-fiction fanboys (much like the North American Union). The United States of America, commonly known as the United States, has been around for a couple of hundred years now and has universal name recognition among all fluent English speakers. That's a HUGE difference. I can walk into a restaurant in Stresa or Puerto Vallarta (guess who took those photos for those articles?), strike up a conversation with the closest English speaker, and if I say I'm from the "United States," or the "U.S.", they're not going to say, "Oh? You mean the United States of Europe?" They will know that I mean the United States located between Canada and Mexico, because that is what is commonly meant in English by the term "United States." That's what the common name convention is all about.
Also, if you wish to actually change anyone's mind (not that you have much of a chance at this point since this issue has been so thoroughly explored), you need to respond, on point, to the concerns already discussed on the Frequently Asked Questions page, which already summarizes well the respective positions of both sides that have been thrashed out in the past. For me and many others, probably one of the most significant is the issue of Wikipedia becoming even more of the laughingstock of the encyclopedia world by deviating from the common name policy adhered to by other encyclopedias. All other major English-language encyclopedias (and I and others have personally verified this against the hard copy versions) with the sole exception of the Britannica Macropaedia use "United States" as the title of the relevant article because they adhere to a common name policy for article titles. That is, common name trumps official name. This is true not only for the U.S. but nearly every other subject in such encyclopedias.--Coolcaesar 18:54, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
"common name trumps official name"? Common names are often incomplete (as here, does adding "of America" hurt so much?), inaccurate or plain wrong, as in the case of West Germany. Some insist on a "common name" from the Cold War era and refuse to call the country by its official name, Federal Republic of Germany. They even apply {{Infobox Former Country}} to an article covering its history before October 1990, claiming West Germany has ceased to exist, just like the GDR. If that would be true, then the United States of America would have been founded when Hawaii and Alaska acceded in 1959. Same for German sports team, different "common names" are applied for the same team, just because "common" has changed, but "official" has not. No matter how common a name may be, and how many supporters it has, when its wrong, it's wrong. -- Matthead discuß!     O       18:18, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Support move. The proposed title is freer of ambiguity. Brisvegas 08:07, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose for all the reasons given previously ad nauseam. 1) There is no real ambiguity involved (as in there is zero chance that anyone will honestly be confused or surprised at arriving at the current article); 2) It is by far the most common form of the name for referring to the country; 3) Wikipedia style prefers common names over the official or formal names for the title of articles. olderwiser 13:13, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I would support moving East Germany to German Democratic Republic, and West Germany to Federal Republic of Germany (1949-1990), as the current naming according to "common name" is misleading.-- Matthead discuß!     O       18:18, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Not only is it the official name it is also a quite common term for the US (or USA) in the English language (unlike the examples given by Golbez above). However, United States should clearly redirect to this new name and not to the disambiguation page, per the disambiguation guidelines. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 18:44, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Support it shows where the term American comes from. 19:17, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Support - USA seems to be the name most commonly used outside the USA. --DAJF 00:17, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

New "States" section

Now that our major debate over the article name and our mini-debate concerning the Demographics section have been resolved, I'd like to turn to this section--really a table--that was recently added by DevinCook. Let me first say that I really admire the care with which DevinCook created this states table/section--if everyone was this conscientious about the quality of their work, Wikipedia would be a much better place for it. Regretfully, therefore, I oppose its inclusion in the article. Given our extensively discussed size concerns; given the fact that we link to the relevant detailed article, U.S. state, both in the very first sentence of the article and as a highlighted link at the top of the Government and politics section; and given my belief that—if a consensus emerges that this level of detail needs to be included—a readable political map of the country would better serve our readers (a related, but separate, debate), I believe the section should be deleted from the article.—DCGeist 06:56, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your kind words. I, as well, wasn't completely satisfied with the length of the two tables. The article is quite long - which is not surprising given a huge topic such as the United States. However, I do think that information is vital to have on the page. First, the 50 states should be easy for users to find. Second, it is important to emphasize that the United States is a federal union of 50 states. This, however, might simply be patriotism speaking rather than academics. :) The information on the tables could be reorganized into 3 or 4 columns rather than the current two. This would decrease the overall length from 26 rows (25+title) to 20 (for 3 columns) or 14 (4 columns). To make it fit horizontally, the capitol column should be removed. The style should also be changed from "wikitable sortable" to "wikitable". I agree that a clickable political map would be a great alternative - given that is is featured early in the article. What does everyone think? -DevinCook 08:48, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
EDIT: For a better discussion, I created the 4-column version of the tables and put it on my User Page. Take a look and let me know what you think.-DevinCook 12:52, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I think the five-column version looks even better, and definitely enhances readability. Would you mind substituting it for the two-column version in the article? Or, I certainly can. However, the primary size issue with the article is not so much length/readability (your first version of the table was fine on that score) but KB size and download time. The table is about 6.4 KB in size, a big chunk--that's the main concern (and yes, I realize that a substitute map might well raise a similar concern).—DCGeist 21:01, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I updated the table on the article. I didn't realize that article size, in KB, was the primary concern - rather, I thought, it was length of the article. Sorry about that. We could link the flags to the articles on each of them, but that increase the byte count quite a bit!--DevinCook 21:44, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Golbez's intelligent expansion of the introduction to the section has, ironically, further clarified an additional problem with it. It strikes me as out of place at the end of the article—if it is going to exist in its current form, thematic sense suggests that it be placed at one of several possible points earlier in the article; the most logical, I think, would be between the History and Government and politics sections. But then, do we really want this large table whose substantive content is almost purely links in the middle of the article? A quandary. As a secondary point, the material added to its intro--which, again, was intelligently drafted to give the section satisfactory substance--of necessity contains material that is either (a) redundant of material already present elsewhere in the article or (b) of a level of detail not vital to this overview article.

Here is my proposal, offered for debate: That the section be eliminated and a mini-version of Image:Map of USA with state names.svg be placed in the existing Government and politics section (much as we have the mini-versions of Image:US states by date of statehood3.gif and Image:U.S. Territorial Acquisitions.png in the Independence and expansion subsection).—DCGeist 05:19, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the kind words. As for having a section purely of links in the middle of an article, virtually every country article does that - this one has been the odd man out. In almost every article, you'll find an 'administrative division' section describing and then listing and linking all of the primary divisions of the country. --Golbez 22:51, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I also suggest we change this section to 'States and Territories', as, for example, at present, the article lacks any mention of the Virgin Islands, and mentions Samoa and the CNMI only in the languages section. --Golbez 22:57, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Neutrality/factual accuracy/outside sources?

"(a british invention but built and tested on american land)" (regarding the Manhattan project) "Controversy has arisen about the matter of America claiming too much glory for the war even though they only jjoined half way through and suffered the least casualties out of the competing countrys. This has led too much xophobia especially in britain and russia who fought for the whole six years and suffered hundreds of thousands/millions (in the case of russia) This has also led to the British getting upset over Americans claiming to have "saved britain" during the war." - Self Explanatory.

These two quotes are located in the section discussing world war two. Due to the fact that in the past few years of editing wikipedia I have not registered an account I am unable to revert the page. Can anyone else edit the page, or, at the very least, correct the above quotes' author's spelling (and grammar, if needed)? 12:11, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

The inappropriate material has been eliminated.—DCGeist 16:50, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Add another catagory: inventors

I'm talking about american citizens who are from here or became citizens here make sure to add alexander graham bell to that list —Preceding unsigned comment added by ChesterTheWorm (talkcontribs) 17:40, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Please see our section on Science and technology and the many topical articles in that field. Nothing more needs to be added to this national overview article on this topic.—DCGeist 20:09, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

In the transportation catagory.....

Why are we being compared with europe as if its a country? why not compare us with japan? LoL i'd like an awnser to this and or if you dont have one take those comparisons off —Preceding unsigned comment added by ChesterTheWorm (talkcontribs) 18:50, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

No, actually we'll leave those useful comparisons in. LOL!!!—DCGeist 20:10, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Because the U.S. is roughly the size of Europe (acutally Europe as a whole is a little bit bigger but the EU is roughly the same). Obviously we can't compare the U.S. with Germany or France alone due to the difference in size. Comparing it to China isn't quite as useful due to larger differences in economic development. Signaturebrendel 00:44, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


When I looked up "fascism" in Wikipedia, I was redirected to the page on the "United States." Is anyone else having this problem? --Armaetin 00:28, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Nevermind, it's been fixed. --Armaetin 00:35, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Archive bot?

Someone needs to fix the archive bot - it's time to archive this page. I would do so myself manually if it wasn't for the automated bot. Could someone with more know-how on WP bots please activate or notify the bot to archive this page. Thank you, Signaturebrendel 00:42, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

National language

As the USA has no de jure national language, should the infobox reflect the states the have several de facto languages? --Neon white 17:56, 7 November 2007 (UTC) does. In the infobox note.—DCGeist 17:58, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Lance Armstrong

At the end of the Sports section, several athletes are mentioned as world famous. Lance Armstrong is an extremely noteworthy American athlete and should be added to this list. Andrew Davis Price 07:13, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Jesse Owens? John McEnroe? Chris Evert? Jack Nicklaus? I'm beginning to wonder if our little list is wise.—DCGeist 07:23, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I like the four names we have now (Ruth, Ali, Jordan, Woods) as they are from four different sports and eras, and I think they do come close to rounding out the top tier of "fame" in the field as such. Interestingly, there is one way in which the group is not diverse, but I'm not sure it's relevant. --Dhartung | Talk 02:45, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
It certainly is relevant. And when I wrote down the great Chris Evert, I was really thinking of the even greater Martina Navratilova, who--in my POV--would also cover us on the diversity point of "immigrant."—DCGeist 07:11, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Possibly. The thing is, are we representing U.S. diversity here, or are we really listing the four or so most "world famous" American athletes? If it's diversity, it shouldn't be all men and it shouldn't be 3/4 black (or 2 black and 1 Cablinasian....). But if it's most famous I'm not sure who else to add. --Dhartung | Talk 19:16, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree. My point--I think this was my point--is that if we were to expand beyond the four names we have now, then diversity would make sense as a factor, since unquestionable fame would no longer be the standard. Anyway...yes, let's keep it as is.—DCGeist 19:37, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Palmyra atoll

Please edit:

The end of this article states that the only "integral" parts of US territory other than the states is DC and Palmyra Atoll. A 12 square mile uninhabited island? How about we replace that with Puerto Rico?

-- 04:45, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Puerto Rico is not part of the United States. Palmyra Atoll is. --Golbez 04:53, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Dear .191, how about we please crack open our dictionary. "Integral" does not mean the same thing as "important," as you apparently imagined it means.—DCGeist 08:24, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
That tone is a bit unhelpful, please don't bite the newbies. --Golbez (talk) 22:31, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


I have a suggestion to make. The article United States should be split into several articles. My computer is slow whenever I load the page United States, and the article is getting closer to 200 kilobytes. NHRHS2010 talk 18:48, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

It's a known issue, I posted on the tech village pump about it. It's not so much the size of the article, as the processing needed for the numerous templates in it. We do need to fix it, but splitting is not necessarily the solution. --Golbez (talk) 22:21, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Especially considering that the article is already split - depending on section there are up to three or four main articles (many with further "daughter" articles). Fixing the size of templates is a good idea, unfortunately I'm not enough of a computer expert. Regards, Signaturebrendel 02:53, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Just tested the download time while monitoring my inbound traffic. There is definitely a significant pause there, but it appears to be on the Wikimedia Foundation end. Once the download starts, it's just as fast as any other Wikipedia page. I agree it's the high number of complex templates to be processed on the server side, not the file size or the complexity of the HTML, that's causing the article to appear slowly.
Furthermore, everyone, especially User:NHRHS2010, please keep in mind that every attempt to pare down this article and transfer content out to other articles has resulted in messing with a huge number of various interest groups' sacred cows and a lot of edit wars which cause the article to promptly explode right back up to 200K. For example, the link to Law of the United States in the Government section has been deleted no less than four times in major revisions. In fact, I just had to reinsert it again because some clown deleted it again during the last six months since I bothered to look closely at this article. The mention of the U.S. role in creating the Internet has been deleted twice during such revisions.
The only way I could see this article effectively reduced in size is if someone bothered to re-research and re-write the article from scratch, in such a way as to produce a balanced, elegant treatment of the subject that makes almost everyone happy. That was what I did for Lawyer, which stabilized the article and brought most of the edit wars under control. But I don't see that happening for United States because all the social sciences/humanities people with sufficient research and writing skills to pull off that monumental task, myself included, are too busy with other Wikipedia articles or with personal projects to deal with that right now. --Coolcaesar (talk) 05:26, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree that pruning this article is very difficult, but beleive that a one-person re-write would be impossible. While it may within the capacity of several editors to write a balanced and informative summary of the U.S., once such a re-write would be complete hundreds of editos would immediately point to various "inexcusable" omissions while others would charge that the article isn't balanced afterall. For a subject with of such a high-profile and complexity, the current article seems to have struck a fine balance. Regards, Signaturebrendel 04:04, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

American vs US-American

I have noticed many wikipedia article about people claim their nationality is American. Is this an actual nationality? I was under the impresson Canadians etc could refer to themselves as American too (rather like the term European). I have looked on the German site and they always state US-American as a nationality. Moreover I have found wikipedia to be harbouring quite a few mistakes. Many Britons are referred to as English which in reality hasnt been a nationality for over 300 yrs. Thank you for any information. --Camaeron (talk) 21:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

A lot of Englishmen will take offense to that. The relationship between the constituent countries (that is how they are termed) of the United Kingdom is rather complex. And whether or not Canadians use that term (never heard one to, as that would lump them in with what the US calls itself, and Canada has its own identity) or Germans use that term, people from the United States call themselves Americans, regardless of possible international attempts to change that, and the English-speaking world recognizes "American" to mean someone from the United States. --Golbez (talk) 22:30, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
In Spanish they use "estadounidense", which basically translates to United States-ian. "Estados Unidos" is United States in Spanish, and "-ense" is a suffix denoting nationality. Natalie (talk) 01:38, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Which probably makes linguistic sense in Spanish but not in English, the same reason we didn't call people Soviet Unioners or United Kingdomites. --Golbez (talk) 05:46, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Its not really a question of taking offence. Anyone who takes offence at their own nationality must be a fool. I am a Briton but would be an Englishman if there should be such a thing. I think I shall continue to use the term US-Americans as there is no term for the continent otherwise. The UK did have a similiar problem. One can live outside of Britain (Northerd Ireland doesnt belong to Britain, though it does belong to the UK) and yet ones nationality is still British. A question to Natalie: Is United Kingdom-ian used also? Thanks for your answers. --Camaeron (talk) 13:36, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

No term for the continent otherwise? "North American" would work perfectly well. Or Central American, or South American. --Golbez (talk) 14:10, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Please see the archives for a lengthy discussion of this very topic. In short, we describe usage, we don't proscribe it. In the English language, the word American is used to refer to people of US citizenship. (Of course, just like many words in the English language, the word American can be used in other ways, too.) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 14:25, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Also see American (word). And there are hundreds of organizations and corporations that use America as synonymous with the United States of America. I had a list of them in American (word) at one point but then got into an edit war as some people thought it was original research. For example, the Parking Company of America clearly is specific to the United States (see their logo in the photograph I took for the article on standard form contracts).--Coolcaesar (talk) 04:00, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Fascist nation?

Is it true? I think it is at least not far from it. (I have never been there, but I have read about the situation and seen it on television) See this: [14]. It is not directly a good source, BUT what he is saying can be proved (induvidually) by other sources (I think). Helpsloose (talk) 04:28, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Almost all countries are fascist in some degree, it's just the way it is. The United States is not special in this regard, except that outwardly it pretends to be otherwise. In other words, I don't see why this needs mentioning in the article. --Golbez (talk) 05:41, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I think all countries have some similarities to fascism (even if they might be very, very small). But most are not fascist, because it is a small similarity. But I think this country are so fascist it is right to mention. See other proofs here: [15], here: [16] and here: [17]! Helpsloose (talk) 06:48, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there can be any amount of youtube videos or partisan websites to offset the vast scholarship against relabeling the country "fascist". Wikipedia does not use the term du jour. --Golbez (talk) 07:00, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it looks accurate, and other countries have been called things like fascism, dictatorships etc with less proofs. But I think there are so many from that nation here, so they will probably not let it in to the article. Helpsloose (talk) 18:53, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
That's because those nations are considered fascist and dictatorships by a wide selection of scholars and works, rather than three youtube videos. Do you see the difference? --Golbez (talk) 19:07, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
It is a lot more than three YouTube-videos. Some smart peoples support this theory, but this was the only thing I found, I did not had much time. And you will also see the informative web-site I found. Helpsloose (talk) 19:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
That is what everybody says......The term "Fascist" is not the United States of America, the last time I check my government. The use is used to spread the hate of the United States of America.We invaded iraq was for WMD (which are not really) but also to help the iraq people against saddam but no body stops to think about that. Supergodzilla2090 06:00, 21 November 2007 (CST)
"Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests subordinate to the interests of the state. Fascists seek to forge a type of national unity, usually based on (but not limited to) ethnic, cultural, racial, religious attributes." - from Wikipedia's article on Fascism. With this, if we accept it as a correct definition; the United States is about as far from Fascism as a nation can be. Think of our country's struggle for civil rights, right of religious freedom, right of free speech, due process requirements guaranteed to its citizens through the constitution in multiple locations. This country is ground breaking in the field of civil rights, and its citizens are constantly testing the bounds of individual protections through the court, legislative, and media systems. When potentially repugnant legislation is passed, such as the Patriot act, a firestorm of criticism and close scrutiny is applied by the public. The United States is in no way a Fascist state. The sheer fact that those of us who are citizens of the USA are allowed to openly discuss this on a public talk page attests to this. I can say that the USA is a gigantic Purple People Eater and make a bunch of you tube videos showing how parts of it are purple, people eat here, and we have tons of people -- but just as is true about the definition of Fascism, the definition does not fit. -- Nicholas SL Smith (talk) 01:30, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

The fact remains, the article will not be changed, this is therefore an unhelpful topic and should be closed. --Golbez (talk) 01:34, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

The Youtube videos are based on studies and the like, they are not just people stating that the united states is fascist with out support. My argument to Nicholas's is that this country does show signs of religion in the government, racial supremecy, and a sense of cultural supremacy. We swear our leaders in on bibles, our country is still very seperated by class ethnically, and we frown upon countries of opposing cultural beliefs. Take the French for example, we went so far as to rename french fries as freedom fries. Also, that we do not believe this will change the page, we should still bring it to attention. It seemed unpractical for people to resist the nazis, but do we scoul on those who did it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:47, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

States section

Building on my suggestion of a few weeks ago, and having considered the issues raised by other editors, I'm making a major edit for editors' consideration: removing the in-article table presenting the fifty states by name accompanied by their flags and substituting a fully Wikilinked template version of Image:Map of USA with state names.svg, specifically Template:USA midsize imagemap with state names. This will reduce our KB weight (by almost 5 KB) while increasing the amount of information delivered in a similar amount of space. While I understand that external templates have some hidden effect on download time, the net result, if not a significant time savings, should at least be close to zero (if someone technically knowledgeable could check this, that would be great). Let me know what you think; if you concur with the substitution, one question is the size of the templated map. I attempted to set it at the smallest size where the state names could be read without undue strain. Best, Dan.—DCGeist (talk) 19:48, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Anecdotally, the page is downloading faster onto my system since the substitution.—DCGeist (talk) 21:13, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I know my comment is a little late, but the only thing I would say is that the section is not cited. My guess is that you are working on this, so I'm sorry if I'm intruding. --Happyme22 (talk) 03:35, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
You're not intruding at all, but I don't see anything in the section that calls for citation. Simply because something constitutes a section or a paragraph or any other such block of text does not mean that it requires citations, as I'm sure you know. We cite quotations, we cite specific data, we cite things that have been challenged or likely to be challenged. This section evidently does not call for citations, and I'm sure you agree we shouldn't apply superfluous ones simply for the sake of appearance. Best, Dan.—DCGeist 05:57, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Just nitpicking that the assertion "Apart from the temporary secessions of the southern states during the Civil War, the number of states has never shrunk." is technically incorrect, at that's my understanding. The U.S. Supreme Court held in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869), that that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were "absolutely null". -- Boracay Bill 05:39, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
That's a good nitpick--and, in fact, the sentence is hardly necessary in any form in the context of this overview article. I'll cut it. Best, D.—DCGeist 05:57, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Etymology issue

The last line of the "Etymology" Section contains this line "American is rarely used in English to refer to people not connected to the United States.". This is not only completely false, but is rather racist. Please remove it. Either that or change it. Something like "American is rarely used by Americans to refer to people not connected to the United States" or "American is a fallacious demonym used, due to a lack of imagination during the founding years of the United States, by US citizens unaware of their neighbouring countries, as well as their own history and culture, which features not only the annihilation of the "Native" American people (also often referring, falsely, to the indigenous people of North America, whereas native Americans were first encountered by Europeans in the Southern Americas) but also various military forays and operations into the lands of other American nations, most notably during the drug wars during the latter part of the 20th century" Happy Editing! (talk) 17:03, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Racist or not, how is it completely false? Other speakers of English besides those in the United States also use American to refer almost exclusively to people connected to the United States. You don't have to like it for it to be true. Our job is to describe usage, not to prescribe it. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 17:27, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Define "almost exclusively". It's not that I don't like it, you people have some NPOV thing going on here that I am more than happy to abide by, but it is false. Okay, it may be correct on the assumption that it refers to anyone connected to the United States vis a vis their residence on the same continent, but "American" also refers to the many indigenous peoples of South America (those of the northern americas now virtually extinct) as well as inhabitants of the (entire) Americas, North, South and Central. English is one of the world's most widely spoken languages (and not just by US or UK citizens), and merely because the majority of those who edit this article say "American" (and probably are "American") means US related, it is not "in fact" so, unless you refer to the fact that anyone that can, could be or is referred to as American shares, as previously stipulated, the same landmass. If you want to describe usage, why not investigate how those outside the US use the word, not just those inside the US. Otherwise you are prescribing usage, and not describing usage. (talk) 17:37, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Please give us some cites from reputable English-language sources based in major English-speaking countries like Canada or India or South Africa or Ireland or the United Kingdom or Australia or New Zealand that support your assertion that English speakers outside the U.S. use the word "American" as a demonym for people other than U.S. citizens. I believe your assertion is false. I would love to be proven wrong.—DCGeist (talk) 20:02, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Hello DC, I took you up on your request and went one better, I provided some citations from reputable English language sources based in the USA; most notably the US Government. Please see some links below. The last one is particularly interesting; it is the US Constitution; you may find many a mention of the citizen of the United States, and not one “American”. Many of the rest are sites that describe US Citizens without the continental demonym. The mistake is easy to make; the US is on the continent of America, thus all inhabitants of the continent are American. Just as all inhabitants of Europe are European. However, just because the English speak English they don’t tell the world they’re Europeans, that their country is called Europe and that their citizens are called European, because they aren't, they are English. The Official name for a citizen of the US, even, apparently, according to the US administration, is a US Citizen; American being the demonym of the continent America, not the nation the USA. “American” is a colloquialism that has caught on in US culture. The US administration appears to regard “US Citizen” as the official version.

All the best. 62 72 110 11. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

No, you completely ducked the challenge. Of course, there are other ways of referring to Americans. We were not arguing that point. You made a claim about the use of the word "American." You asserted that the sentence "American is rarely used in English to refer to people not connected to the United States" is "completely false." I asked you to defend your assertion. I asked you to provide reputable citations for the use of the word "American" as a demonym for people other than U.S. citizens. You have entirely failed to do so. The current wording of the article stands.—DCGeist (talk) 07:08, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Fine, I proved the wrong point, it was one I was discussing, and being ignored over, earlier. Anyhow, you're behaving like a child, even if I'm behaving like an asshole. Native American, South American, Central American; three terms that refer to Americans who have nothing to do with the US. Or you can prove me wrong by denying these places don't exist (combined, they have a greater population than the US, maybe two times greater if the Yanquis hadn't tried to kill everything that moved). Just because YOU refuse to acknowledge a world outside your borders, doesn't mean there isn't one. My comments on the page were fair, non NPOV, made by a man (Marcelo Saveedra, anthropologist) with an education, a career and a life (even if my comments to you, you loathsome cur, were not). I tried to keep a fair, two sided view on just that one line, but you damn yanks just have to have it your own way. I can't wait for your economy to crash. Have a nice day! (talk) 14:18, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

I will, thanks. You too, sunshine.—DCGeist (talk) 14:23, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Just as an exercise, try this google search.

Ignore the results which, despite the domain exclusion restrictions on the search, are clearly of US-based origin. The point of the exercise is to illustrate that non-US-based usage of the term "American" to mean "U.S." is not uncommon. -- Boracay Bill 23:42, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

This entire issue is already discussed exhaustively and fairly at American (word), as I noted above. Our anonymous IP visitor from is obviously ignorant of the history of the article United States (namely, the need to keep such minor details out of it), as well as Wikipedia official policies like Verifiability, What Wikipedia is not, No original research, and Neutral point of view. Not too bright. --Coolcaesar 20:22, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Ah, so now I'm a moron because I haven't spent my life learning wikipedia (the FREE) encyclopedia's pages of policy and laws, as well as meticulously picking through each pithy discussion on this page? As opposed to rationally discussing the issue, informing me of prior discussions on the subject (let alone welcoming me) I was treated like some kind of scum, and I reacted badly. I think the American vs US citizen is an issue to be considered more carefully (even if the result stays the same). How can you promote consensus when you spend your time telling everyone who comments on the issue that they are wrong and telling you to shut up, and how you are a moron. Perhaps if this community was a little more tolerant and willing to discuss, I wouldn't have acted like an asshole. However, the irritating way in which anyone who isn't a member of the "ruling elite" (the most frequent of editors on the accursed uncyclopedia, as it has become)as it were is instantly wrong, and not even worth listening to is just disgusting; you create a an unpleasant environment in which to contribute and give the project as a whole a bad name.

I would apologise for being a retard if your criteria for being such revolved around anything more than not spending 18 hours a day editing Wikipedia. Your patronising points of view are more sickening than my lack of patience with people like you. 14:12, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Archive 28 Archive 29 Archive 30

THE most diverse, or one of the most diverse nations?

Is the US not the most diverse nation in the world? Virtually, people have come from every corner of the world..which is not seen in any other countries. Rotinajeht (talk) 06:31, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps, but how do you objectively quantify that? --Golbez (talk) 16:32, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Easily. Just do an origin study of the population. Look at Census data from all countries and see. This study has likely been done somewhere already but I couldn't provide a link off the top of my head. You would have to compare the majority with the minorities percentage wise and judge the data accordingly. Danman111111 (talk) 10:44, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Or we could just not be so ridiculously cerebral about it and use "One of" like now? Saying we are "The most diverse" comes off as some kind of nationalist rant. (talk) 00:34, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Its definitely not. Look at India. They don't even have a majority ethnic group. A few important minorities is does not make it the most diverse. Saimdusan Talk|Contribs 02:34, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
What about the UK? What about Canada? Howabout you drop it unless you actually have statistics? Good boy. (talk) 22:52, 18 March 2008 (UTC)