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United States of America

Three Flags (1958) - Jasper Johns [Google Gallery]

Map of the world showing the area of the United States.

Culture: Beat generation - black music - African American - American censorship - American cinema - American comics - American culture - American erotica - American exploitation - American horror - American literature - American music - black music - civil rights - country music - Europe - Hollywood - underground press - Village Voice - West - Weathermen - world

Places: Baltimore - Berkeley - Chicago - Detroit - New Jersey - New York - Miami - Philadelphia

Definition

The United States of America, also referred to as the United States, U.S.A., U.S., America, or the States, is a federal republic in central North America, stretching from the Atlantic in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. It shares land borders with Canada in the north and Mexico in the south, shares a marine border with Russia, in the west, and has a collection of districts, territories, and possessions around the world. The country has fifty states, which have a level of local autonomy according to the system of federalism. A United States citizen is usually identified as an American.

The United States traces its national origin to the declaration by thirteen British colonies in 1776 that they were free and independent states. Since the mid-20th century, it has surpassed all other nations in contemporary economic, political, military and cultural influence. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA [Oct 2004]

European American

A European American is term for an American of European descent, who are usually referred as White or Caucasian. The term was constructed in an attempt to compare with similar terms such as Asian American and African American.

Supporters of the term claim that it allows "white" people to appreciate their heritage more, and that using "African American" and "white" at the same time is inconsistent and reeks of political correctness. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European-American [Nov 2004]

'World=USA'

The idea that 'Black'='US-Black' has the same excruciatingly gormless sort of arrogance found in other instances of word magic in post war American English. I am referring here to words like 'world', as in 'The World Trade Center', 'Miss World' or 'The World Bank' none of these three 'worlds' include the socialist 35% of the actual world's population or 'Trans World Airways' who fly neither to Irkutsk nor Maputo. The magic 'World=USA' notion recurs frequently in US-popular song, too, as in Dancing in the Street where the 'world's' cities are enumerated as Chicago, New York, L.A., New Orleans, Philadelphia and the 'Motor City', and in that recent aid singalong where the equals signs were most embarrassingly obvious: 'USA for Africa' (the group, the effort) ' was' 'the world', actually singing We Are The World. Using 'black' to denote people of African descent living in the USA and nowhere else seems to be yet another instance of 'World=USA'. It is as disrespectful to the cultural identity and integrity of all other Blacks (the majority) as the U.S. American meaning of 'world' is to the rest of us (also the majority). -- Philip Tagg, 1987

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