Americans


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Americans

 

(1) The self-designation of the inhabitants of the USA; the nation (natsiia; nation in the historical sense) representing the major proportion of the population of the USA. Americans also live in US possessions and dependencies. There are approximately 200,000,000 Americans (1967), of whom 22 million are Negroes and mulattoes who are subjected to discrimination and segregation. Since the beginning of the 17th century the main body of the nation has been composed of English, Scots, Irish, and a smaller number of Dutch, Danes, French, Spanish, and others who emigrated

Table 1. Basic financial and economic data on AT&T and Western Electric for 1966 (in millions of dollars)
 AssetsIntrinsic capitalTurnoverGross profit*Ratio of gross profit (in %)Net profitNumber of employees (in thousands)
     to Intrinsic capitalto turnover  
* Gross profit and its ratio to intrinsic capital and turnover based on 1965 data
AT&T ...............35,21820,77612,1384,39122.239.71,979650
Western Electric . . . .2,4981,5853,62335023.310.4173168

from Europe to the English colony of North America. Indians and Africans also took part in the formation of the American nation. The Africans were brought to the North American colonies as slaves beginning in the 17th century. The American nation was basically formed before and during the War of Independence in North America of 1775–83. But subsequently the representatives of various ethnic groups emigrating to the USA continued to merge into the American nation. In assimilating, they influenced the formation of the physical aspects, language, and culture of the Americans. In the middle of the 19th century, before the American Civil War (1861–65), substantial groups of Irish and Germans settled in the country. In addition to immigrants from Western Europe the flow of settlers from Eastern and Southern Europe as well as from Asia increased, at the end of the 19th century, leading to a still greater ethnic variety, although assimilation of these immigrants was impeded more powerfully than before by racist prejudices. During World War I (1914–18) the number of immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries grew. The flow of immigrants from Europe, very high at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, sharply decreased after World War I as a result of legislative restrictions and numbered about 300,000 people a year in the mid-1960’s. All immigrants, to a degree, were and still are subjected to discrimination in various spheres of life.

The Americans are a comparatively young nation, and its processes of ethnic consolidation are not yet complete. Many national groups (Poles, Italians, and others) retain, although in modified form and to varying degrees, cultural elements of their countries of origin.

Americans speak English, the official language of the USA. American English, however, has certain distinctive peculiarities. In the USA there are approximately 260 Christian denominations, religious doctrines, and sects. The most widespread are the Protestant churches (Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians), which account for approximately 55 percent of the believers. About 37 percent of the people are Catholics, the descendants of Irish, Italian, and Polish immigrants, and there are more than 5.5 million Jews.

(2) The peoples of all the countries of the American continent are sometimes called Americans.

REFERENCES

Narody Ameriki, vol. I. Moscow, 1959 (bibliography).

M. IA. BERZINA

References in classic literature ?
Meg was grateful to see that Miss Kate, though twenty, was dressed with a simplicity which American girls would do well to imitate, and who was much flattered by Mr.
It is an American tune this time, one which they have picked up on the streets; all seem to know the words of it--or, at any rate, the first line of it, which they hum to themselves, over and over again without rest: "In the good old summertime--in the good old summertime
Linnaeus said long ago, "Nescio quae facies laeta, glabra plantis Americanis" (I know not what there is of joyous and smooth in the aspect of American plants); and I think that in this country there are no, or at most very few, Africanae bestiae, African beasts, as the Romans called them, and that in this respect also it is peculiarly fitted for the habitation of man.
Once I wished to examine some of the swords, but an American student said, "It would not be quite polite; these now in the windows all have red hilts or blue; they will bring in some with white hilts presently, and those you can handle freely.
This meeting with William and Dora was fortunate from the point of view of my studies; for that very night, as I dined with them en pension, I found that providence, with his usual foresight, had placed me next to a very charming American girl of the type that I was particularly wishful to study.
They say that when good Americans die they go to Paris," chuckled Sir Thomas, who had a large wardrobe of Humour's cast-off clothes.
Eleven years later the first cable established an instantaneous sign-language between Americans and Europeans; and in 1876 there came the perfect distance-talking of the telephone.
This new world has already enriched the lives of MILLIONS of Americans who are able to compete and win in it.
that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.
But the English lawyers had decided that Parliament was omnipotent--and Parliament, in its omnipotence, instead of trial by jury and the Habeas Corpus, enacted admiralty courts in England to try Americans for offences charged against them as committed in America; instead of the privileges of Magna Charta, nullified the charter itself of Massachusetts Bay; shut up the port of Boston; sent armies and navies to keep the peace and teach the colonies that John Hampden was a rebel and Algernon Sidney a traitor.
IT IS not a new observation that the people of any country (if, like the Americans, intelligent and wellinformed) seldom adopt and steadily persevere for many years in an erroneous opinion respecting their interests.
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

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