Economics Index and Qualifications
By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics
Former Instructor St. John's University, New York City

Why One Country in the Americas is America

When the United States of America named itself, thereby claiming the names America and Americans, it was the only independent nation in the Americas. The Americans won their independence from the European colonial powers first, and therefore were able to claim these names. This is not jingoism, or imperialism, it is first come, first served. American did not take these names away from anyone else because the USA was the only independent country in the Americas that could claim the name.

So the basis of America the country being America and its citizens being Americas is history, because that is the way language works. I am writing this on a personal computer. I use this computer for many things, computing is one, but not a particularly important one. We use computers for many things but historically their early uses were various forms of computing so we call them computers.

Similarly, you are likely to be reading this on a smart phone. You use your smart phone as a phone, but that is only one of many ways you use it. But because smart phones developed out of cell phones, and cell phones were used principally as phones, you call the device a smart phone.

Another obvious example of the influence of history on language is the fact that native Americas are still called Indians. Christopher Columbus thought he had discovered a route to Asia, so he called the natives Indians. Even though we figured out his mistake half a millenium ago we still call them Indians.

Americans are guilty of many crimes but our use of the terms America and Americans are not on that list.


Here is an index to my other pages on economics, and a short review of my qualifications in this field.

Tell me what you think. Here is my contact information..

A major rewrite was posted July 27, 2018