- United States,
- the States,
- the Great Satan,
It is the country in the middle of North America, south of Canada and north of Mexico. It has good roads, good music and the largest military in history. It is the largest Western country.
Although the word “America” can mean the continents of North and South America seen as one, in English it is almost always short for the “United States of America”.
It is the land of the white star. Its war machines have a white star. Its flag has 50 white stars for each of the 50 states, like Florida, Texas and California. Each state is an America in the small.
America was built on the red man’s land with black slave labour using white Enlightenment philosophy. The racism from those days lives on, still screwing up the country, creating a culture of fear and a wasting of human capital.
America is mostly English-speaking and Christian. But unlike many other countries, it is less a creature of language and religion and more a system of laws and political beliefs based on the philosophy of John Locke and Adam Smith.
As The Economist once put it, America could become completely Mexican and it would still be America, not Mexico.
There are only two countries larger than America: India and China. They are much poorer, so America remains on top. For now. India and China each turn out far more engineers every year than America, so America’s days on top are numbered.
The government was set up in the late 1700s with all the latest Western ideas. Even so, it was founded by and for rich white men – and to this day still works best for them. Most Black and Native Americans were not citizens. Women could not vote, nor could at least 80% of white men. Slavery remained.
The government is divided into three branches, each with limited, separate and balanced powers:
- The President rules America, not a king. The country votes for a new president every four years. He (not yet a she) has the power of the state, but he does not have the right to change laws, break them or even interpret them. He commands the military but cannot declare war.
- Congress is made up of two houses, Senate and the House of Representatives. It makes the laws, declares war, raises and spends taxes.
- The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. It interprets the law but cannot make it. Some of its rulings, however, have the effect of making new laws and so some say it is becoming too powerful.
Its huge weakness is its terrible protection of minority rights, whether of race or region, as later events proved (civil war, civil rights).
Since the late 1800s the government has more or less done the bidding of big banks and big business, with just enough reforms and government handouts to prevent outright revolution.
- British Empire
- white people
- How White America got rich
- American Empire
- Where most Americans come from:
- The ideas that shape it:
- Jennifer Smith – the completely average American