American

Discussion in 'History & Geography' started by Ken Anderson, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    How did it ever come to be that people from the United States are considered to be "Americans," while those from Canada are "Canadian" and those from Mexico are "Mexican," when Canada and Mexico are both part of North America.

    In fact, the US seems to have appropriated the term for itself. When it's necessary to differentiate between people from South America and Central America, you might see references to North Americans, but largely, people from the United States are referred to as Americans.

    Is it because using a derivate of United States to refer to its people would be clumsy? Would we be United Statesians or United States of Americans? Neither of these work well so we claimed the whole thing for ourselves.
     
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  2. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    I always thought Canadians were North Americans due to it's geographical position... but I was taken severely to task by someone on a forum when I referred to them as North American....stating they are ''Canadian'' NOT North American... . I still don't get it!!o_O
     
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  3. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    I think the term "American" goes back to before there were Canadians or Mexicans. I believe it was used from the time shortly after the American Revolution to emphasize that we were no longer part of Britain. Canada was still a colony then, as was Mexico. The term just stuck. Brazil is "the United States of Brazil" and Mexico sometimes refers to itself in that way as well. The South Americans refer to "Norte Americanos" in an attempt to emphasize that they are "Americans" as well. Some African folks refer to "African-Americans" as "White People", since they resent that term.
     
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  4. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Just a little off topic.. perhaps I should put this in the racist thread (move it Ken if so)) ...but why do Black Americans refer to themselves as African Americans...aren't they all simply Americans?.. Is it because they are proud of their African heritage or has it been something they've been labelled with by Non African Americans?

    I genuinely would like to know, because that expression simply doesn't exist in the UK.. not one Black Brit would refer to themselves as an African Brit, they are British, ( if they were born here plain and simple) or if they prefer, they might say they're Jamaican or African, but never would they put the 2 nationalities together to describe themselves ..
     
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  5. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    I think it is an attempt to unite them into some kind of block. It is the Blacks themselves who want to be called by that term, not the non-Blacks. I find the term silly myself, as Whites never refer to themselves as Euro-Americans, although some call themselves, Italian-Americans or Greek-Americans. I think all those terms are silly unless they are just being used to refer to a group discussing heritage. Teddy Roosevelt made fun of "hyphenated Americans" at the turn of the 20th century.
     
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  6. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Yes, Canada and Mexico are both part of the North American Continent.

    We have always called ourselves Americans, while the other two countries call themselves Canadians and Mexicans.

    Let's leave it that way!

    Hal
     
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  7. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Well-Known Member
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    Woodrow Wilson shared Roosevelt's beliefs on hyphenated Americans.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Very Well-Known Member
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    Mexican American Africian American
    and other nationalities using American on the end... I thought meant.- They are a different race but were born in America or have become citizen of America but use their nationality as a seperation from other races.
    :rolleyes:
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Most often, when large groups of people came here from another country, they were hyphenated for a while. At one time, my family were known as Swedish-Americans, and Italian-Americans were hyphenated for quite a while, I think. But usually, by the second generation in America, the hyphen goes away. That doesn't seem to be the case for African-Americans or Mexican-Americans and, at least as it pertains to African-Americans, they are considered so even when neither they, their parents, or their grandparents have ever been to Africa.

    Perhaps African-Americans were hyphenated by people who didn't want to include them among the larger group of Americans. Once they had to give up the N-word, they needed another way of pointing out that they were not truly Americans. I don't think that's the case anymore, but it may have begun that way.

    When it comes to Mexican-Americans, I think it has more to do with their own refusal to assimilate into the larger population. Many of them generally drop the "American" part and refer to themselves as Mexicans, despite the fact that they, and their parents, were born here.

    For the most part, people in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas didn't refer to themselves as Mexican-Americans unless they were born in Mexico and have since received citizenship in the United States, and they certainly wouldn't call themselves Mexicans if they weren't Mexicans. Then again, they didn't really have to refer to themselves in any particular way because they were the majority. I was "the white guy."
     
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