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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American(s) may refer to:





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Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to United States article)

From Wikiquote

This article is for quotes about the United States of America, also known as the USA and the U.S.


By native Americans

  • "America - a conservative country without any conservative ideology-appears now before the world a naked and arbitrary power, as, in the name of realism, its men of decision enforce their often crackpot definitions upon world reality. The second-rate mind is in command of the ponderously spoken platitude. In the liberal rhetoric, vagueness, and in the conservative mood, irrationality, are raised to principle. Public relations and the official secret, the trivializing campaign and the terrible fact clumsily accomplished, are replacing the reasoned debate of political ideas in the privately incorporated economy, the military ascendancy, and the political vacuum of modern America.
  • "In the United States… a handful of corporations centralize decisions and responsibilities that are relevant for military and political as well as economic developments of global significance. For nowadays the military and the political cannot be separated from economic considerations of power. We now live not in an economic order or a political order, but in a political economy that is closely linked with military institutions and decisions. This is obvious in the repeated “oil crisis” in the Middle East, or in the relevance of Southeast Asia and African resources for the Western powers…"
  • The American elite does not have any real image of peace — other than as an uneasy interlude existing precariously by virtue of the balance of mutual fright. The only seriously accepted plan for peace is the full loaded pistol. In short, war or a high state of war-preparedness is felt to be the normal and seemingly permanent condition of the United States.
  • "Ours is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea."
    • John Gunther
  • "If you take advantage of everything America has to offer, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish."
    • Geraldine Ferraro
  • "Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world. "
  • "This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."
  • "When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."
  • "Without Jefferson the new nation might have lost its soul. Without Hamilton it would assuredly have been killed in body.""
    • James Truslow Adams, Jeffersonian Principles and Hamiltonian Principles p. xvii. (1932)
  • "It’s pathetic. It really is pathetic. It’s sad. We’re living in the dark ages in America"
  • "Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country."
  • "Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong!"
    • Steven Decatur
  • "America, the country where the vast majority of the pathetically stupid, embarrassingly white, and disgustingly rich men live"
  • "Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS…"
  • "We are now finally no better than a backwater banana republic"
  • "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
    • The Pledge Of Allegiance
  • "Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be."
    • John Wayne
  • "I shall know but one country. The ends I aim at shall be my country’s, my God’s and Truth’s. I was born an American; I live an American; I shall die an American."
  • "Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood -- the virtues that made America."
  • "There are two Americas. One is the America of Lincoln and Adlai Stevenson; the other is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and the modern superpatriots. One is generous and humane, the other narrowly egotistical; one is self-critical, the other self-righteous; one is sensible, the other romantic; one is good-humored, the other solemn; one is inquiring, the other pontificating; one is moderate, the other filled with passionate intensity; one is judicious and the other arrogant in the use of great power."
  • "We are now in a budding police state formerly known as the US of A"
  • "The character of our enemies testifies to America's greatness."
  • "We do not consider ourselves threatening. Puzzled when vilified, we assume our accusers must be demented."
  • "Other countries may boast of this and that, but nobody can touch the United States for poisonous snakes. We have about twenty species, most of them deadly, and Europe has only five or six, none of them much good. We have fifteen kinds of Rattlesnakes alone and nobody else has even one." [Footnote: "There is a specie and South America, but it probably came from here."]
  • "Blood that has soaked into the sands of a beach is all of one color. America stands unique in the world: the only country not founded on race but on a way, an ideal. Not in spite of but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world. That is the American way."
    • Ronald Reagan on August 10, 1988, while signing the Bill Providing Restitution for the Wartime Internment of Japanese-American Civilians, quoting himself at the funeral of Kazuo Masuda in December 1945
  • "If you're a real American that is, an American Indian you're lucky to be alive. For whether he really believed it or not, the white man has acted on the principle that "The only good Indian is a dead one". This was certainly one of the foundation stones upon which the white European invaders of North America and their descendants established and built the republic of the U.S.A."
    • Stetson Kennedy , Jim Crow Guide: The Way it Was, Ch.1 - No Room For Redskins, 1955
  • "Most of the American laws defining race are not to be compared with those once enforced by Nazi Germany, the latter being relatively more liberal. In the view of the Nazis, persons having less than one fourth Jewish blood could qualify as Aryans, whereas many of the American laws specify that persons having one-eighth, one-sixteenth, or 44 any ascertainable" Negro blood are Negroes in the eyes of the law and subject to all restrictions governing the conduct of Negroes."
    • Stetson Kennedy , Jim Crow Guide: The Way it Was, Ch.4 - Who is Colored Where , 1955

By naturalized Americans

  • "Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves"
  • "I wasn't born in America, but I got here as fast as I could."
    • Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, 2008 Think Tank interview
  • "Whoever is fortunate enough to be an American citizen came into the greatest inheritance man has ever enjoyed. He has had the benefit of every heroic and intellectual effort men have made for many thousands of years, realized at last. If Americans should now turn back, submit again to slavery, it would be a betrayal so base the human race might better perish."
  • "The trouble with these people is that their cities have never been bombed and their mothers have never been told to shut up."
  • "America is the land of the uncommon man. It is the land where man is free to develop his genius -- and to get its just rewards."

By non-Americans

  • The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer
  • Thus the American presents a strange picture: a European with Negro behaviour and an Indian soul
    • Carl Jung, Civilization in Transition, tr. R. F. C. Hull, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964, p.46
  • We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.
  • America has everything; why should they want us?
  • I found America the friendliest, most forgiving, and most generous nation I had ever visited. We South Americans tend to think of things in terms of convenience, whereas people in the United States approach things ethically. This — amateur Protestant that I am — I admired above all. It even helped me overlook skyscrapers, paper bags, television, plastics, and the unholy jungle of gadgets.
  • America is a mistake, admittedly a gigantic mistake, but a mistake nevertheless.
  • Every Muslim, from the moment they realize the distinction in their hearts, hates Americans, hates Jews and hates Christians. For as long as I can remember, I have felt tormented and at war, and have felt hatred and animosity for Americans.
    • Osama bin Laden As quoted in Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden (2005) by Bruce Lawrence ISBN 1844670457
  • "Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism, and a battle hymn for the people's unity against the great enemy of mankind: the United States of America"
  • "While envisaging the destruction of imperialism, it is necessary to identify its head, which is no other than the United States of America"
  • "I believe the United States is a truly monstrous force in the world"
  • "The United States is now a country against its own people and against the people of the world. It is anti-democratic"
  • "The United States of America is a threat to world peace"
  • "There is no doubt that the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like"
  • "The U.S. is really beyond reason now. It is beyond our imagining to know what they are going to do next and what they are prepared to do. There is only one comparison: Nazi Germany"
  • "There is only one possible route of action, Greenhouse gases have to be radically reduced and it has to happen worldwide. Until now, the US has kept its eyes shut to this emergency. (Americans) make up a mere 4 percent of the population, but are responsible for close to a quarter of emissions."
  • "The gigantic North American State, with the enormous resources of its virgin soil, is much more invulnerable than the encircled German Reich. Should a day come when the die which will finally decide the destinies of the nations will have to be cast in that country, England would be doomed if she stood alone."
  • "God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America."
  • "Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations...In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others."
  • "The people reign in the American political world as the Deity does in the universe. They are the cause and the aim of all things; everything comes from them, and everything is absorbed in them."
    • Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  • "In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America; and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth."
    • Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  • "I've got nothing against any individual American, except that there aren't any. They're always Irish-American, African-American - there's never an American-American you can blame!"
  • The American loses no opportunity to acquire wealth. Gain is the subject of all his conversations, and the motive for all his actions. Thus, there is perhaps no civilized nation in the world where there is less generosity in the sentiments, less elevation of soul and of mind, less of those pleasant and glittering illusions that constitute the charm or the consolation of life. Here, everything is weighed, calculated and sacrificed to self-interest.
    • Chevalier de Beaujour
  • In this country, more than any other, esteem is based on wealth. Talent is trampled underfoot. How much is this man worth? they ask. Not much? He is despised. One hundred thousand crowns? The knees flex, the incense burns, and the once-bankrupt merchant is revered like a god.
    • the Baron de Montlezun
  • They are escaped convicts. His Majesty is fortunate to be rid of such rabble. Their true God is power.
    • Oliver Sharpin, The American Rebels, 1804.
  • In the five centuries since Columbus discovered the New World, savagery has been part of American life. There has been the violence of conquest and resistance, the violence of racial difference, the violence of civil war, the violence of bandits and gangsters, the violence of lynch law, all set against the violence of the wilderness and the city.
    • Andrew Sinclair, the Sunday Times, 1967

See also

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to An American article)

From Wikisource

An American
by Rudyard Kipling
First published in The Seven Seas (1896).

The American Speaks:

If the Led Striker call it a strike,
       Or the papers call it a war,
They know not much what I am like,
       Nor what he is, My Avatar.

Through many roads, by me possessed,
       He shambles forth in cosmic guise;
He is the Jester and the Jest,
       And he the Text himself applies.

The Celt is in his heart and hand,
       The Gaul is in his brain and nerve;
Where, cosmopolitanly planned,
       He guards the Redskin's dry reserve

His easy unswept hearth he lends
       From Labrador to Guadeloupe;
Till, elbowed out by sloven friends,
       He camps, at sufferance, on the stoop.

Calm-eyed he scoffs at Sword and Crown,
       Or, panic-blinded, stabs and slays:
Blatant he bids the world bow down,
       Or cringing begs a crust of praise;

Or, sombre-drunk, at mine and mart,
       He dubs his dreary brethren Kings.
His hands are black with blood—his heart
       Leaps, as a babe's, at little things.

But, through the shift of mood and mood,
       Mine ancient humour saves him whole—
The cynic devil in his blood
       That bids him mock his hurrying soul;

That bids him flout the Law he makes,
       That bids him make the Law he flouts,
Till, dazed by many doubts, he wakes
       The drumming guns that—have no doubts;

That checks him foolish-hot and fond,
       That chuckles through his deepest ire,
That gilds the slough of his despond
       But dims the goal of his desire;

Inopportune, shrill-accented,
       The acrid Asiatic mirth
That leaves him, careless 'mid his dead,
       The scandal of the elder earth.

How shall he clear himself, how reach
       Your bar or weighed defence prefer—
A brother hedged with alien speech
       And lacking all interpreter?

Which knowledge vexes him a space;
       But, while Reproof around him rings,
He turns a keen untroubled face
       Home, to the instant need of things.

Enslaved, illogical, elate,
       He greets the embarrassed Gods, nor fears
To shake the iron hand of Fate
       Or match with Destiny for beers.

Lo, imperturbable he rules,
       Unkempt, desreputable, vast—
And, in the teeth of all the schools,
       I—I shall save him at the last!

PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has articles on:


See also american, and Američan




  • America +‎ -an, or via Modified Latin Americanus with the same etymology.





American (plural Americans)

  1. A person born in, or a citizen or inhabitant of, the United States of America.
    She went from Mexico to the USA before she gave birth, so her child would be an American.
  2. An inhabitant of the Americas. More often this is specified as either North American, Central American or South American.

Derived terms


Proper noun




  1. The English language as spoken in the USA; American English.
    • 1942, We sat down in the central square and drank coffee and a man came up and spoke to us in American. — Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Canongate 2006, p. 756)



American (comparative more American, superlative most American)


more American

most American

  1. Of, from, or pertaining to the United States of America, its people or its culture.
    Thanksgiving is an American tradition.
    He married an American woman in order to get an American passport.
  2. Of or pertaining to the Americas. More often this is specified as either "North American" or "South American."


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


Derived terms

Look at pages starting with American.



Simple English

The word American is used to mean a person or a thing from any country in any of the Americas - North America, Central America, or South America. In English, the most common use of this word is to mean a person or a thing from the United States.

Even though the islands in the Caribbean Sea are close to the Americas, people who speak English do not usually use the word "American" for people or things from these islands.

A Native American is someone who is mostly descended from the people who lived in the Americas before the Europeans arrived. Native Americans are also called First Nations and Indians.

There is no language "American". Some important languages used in the Americas are English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. Some people still use the Native American languages.

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