Using the Word "American"

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This really is one of the stupidest debates I've seen in a long time.

The USA is the United States Of America. They are states of the American continent that chose to unite. That is LITERALLY what it means. It's not just an arbitrary name.
It's the same exact deal as if people got butthurt about being called "Norwegian" instead of "European" because Norway's not a part of the EU. The EU is the European Union. A Union of European states. The common usage for the parlance isn't nearly the same for this to be a perfect example but, fundamentally, that's exactly how stupid this argument is.

Calling Americans "Statesians", "Staters" or any of the other names I've seen suggested in this thread are purely moronic. "Statesian" is a completely meaningless demonym. It could just as easily apply to ANY state ANYWHERE. It does nothing to narrow it down to meaning citizens of the United States.

If you call a Texan a Yankee, you better be prepared for the good possibility of finding yourself with a face full of knuckles. Same goes for using the term basically anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line. A Yankee is a Northerner. Southerners (or, to use what would be the equivalent term for a Southerner, "Confederates") have a fair tendency to get pissed off at being called Yankees. It's sort of a matter of immortal Southern pride. Calling a Southerner a Yankee is basically like calling them a wuss.
For Texans it's a bit different. We're technically Southerners, but the whole Southern pride here is a peripheral issue to pure Texas pride. We used to be our own country. We're Texans first and second, Southerners/Americans third. Maybe it's not readily apparent to people elsewhere, but while the South has it's whole "The South Will Rise Again" notion of pride that the South could and should stand on its own separate from the USA, Texas goes beyond that since it is fully secure in the knowledge that Texas is the only State genuinely capable of surviving completely on its own. We've done it before and we can do it again. We're even the only state with our own military force, and the only state allowed to fly its State Flag at the same height as the American Flag. It's not hard to find Texans who will tell you they're from "The Republic Of Texas".
Honestly you're MORE likely to get punched in the mouth in Southern States other than Texas. They take it more as a direct insult to their primary point of patriotism.
Obviously, levels of patriotism vary wildly and a lot of people don't actually give a damn, but you DO run a fair risk of finding you've seriously pissed some people off.

And along this same basic train of logic, why the hell would Canadians or Mexicans WANT to be called "Americans" if they're supposedly so offended by the place? Shouldn't they, likewise, be proud to be called what they are (e.g. Canadians and Mexicans)?

And on yet ANOTHER level, "America" is a catch-all term for formerly independent political entities on the North American continent that opted to join the Union. Mexico did not. If they join they can be "Americans". Same goes for Canada and Canadians. Since they obviously have no interest in joining, they've obviously opted to have specific names for their countries that are not mostly generic to the continent on which the union of states in question is located.
Mexicans and Canadians don't have any NEED to be called "Americans".
Indeed, this entire thread is further frivolous in the fact that the continent IS NOT ACTUALLY CALLED "AMERICA". No, this continent is called "NORTH AMERICA", and no one, anywhere, debates that Mexicans and Canadians are "North Americans". That's just understood, because THAT is logical.

So yea, by all LOGICAL thought, the only relatively simple demonym that should be applied to the citizens of the United States Of America is "American". And if, for some stupid reason, you feel that this fact still offends you, your next best option is referring to them by their State-specific demonym (e.g. "Texan", "New Yorker", "Floridian", "Mississippian", "Hoosier", "Nutmegger", "Wisconsinite", etc, etc, etc), but good luck remembering them all.

Legiondude:

Spanishax:
A lot of Yankees getting butt-hurt over my earlier post... Sheesh!
Alright, if you REALLY want to be technical, North and South America ARE different. Thank you for... getting upset? I guess? Well, whatever, you made your point, and I'll try to refrain from just generalizing North and South America as one America (people got pissed at me for mentioning that in a YouTube comment, as well. I never said I was a geography teacher, people).

As I've said repeatedly, this is because of how continents are defined in modern societies education systems. It's not all standard from one nation to another

But, I'm sorry, Canadians and Mexicans do count as Americans.

And in the modern context do they WANT this?

Whether you defined the name for your own convenience, arrogance (let's face it, SOME Yankees are like that), or because you couldn't do anything else with the name "United States of America" is irrelevant.

Oh really?

For those asking who the United Statesians, "stole" - as I may have mistyped - the word America from, I was referring to everyone else on the continent. Even Canadians have a meltdown when you call them Americans - especially when they are making fun of Yankees at the time.

MAY have mistyped? Get over yourself

And you're undermining your own point. If Canadians should be considered Americans of the same continent and they get pissed for being called the label due to modern context, why should the Canadians want the label at all?

And finally, Canadians to define people from Canada; Mexicans, to define people from Mexico. Both are used to describe people from COUNTRIES. AMERICANS is used to define people from America, a CONTINENT.

Who besides you talks like this?

It's the same reason why Indians are ALSO Asian (continent of Asia, just to clarify)... -_- Someone didn't seem to understand that this is what I meant.

No it's not. At least not the way you tie the native tribes to the people of India. I think I get what you're trying to convey but it seems you're taking it in from the wrong angle

Are... Are you a REAL person? Please don't talk to me anymore.

The thread was about why PEOPLE on the internet (believe it or not, there ARE Canadians and Mexicans on the internet). Therefore, Canadians/Mexicans getting upset at being called American is also wrong. I'm not hating on the United States of America; though you're making it hard not to. I'm hating on everyone who gets uptight about being American (whether you want to be one or not).

Treblaine:

Lono Shrugged:
Stop calling us all Europeans and we'll stop calling you all American

How the hell does that work?

"Stop calling me Treblaine and I'll stop calling you Lono Shrugged"

Is there anything to be ashamed of being (called) either? Nope. Is there any ambiguity about either? Nope.

There is nothing to this. It's like people who don't understand the LITERAL meaning of the term sarcasm and think it proves anything by reciting it.

Please read my following post for context. Kinda pointing out how stupid I think the whold thing is.

Ieyke:

Calling a Southerner a Yankee is basically like calling them a wuss.

Cause Yanks are wusses :-p (jk my northern Americans)

Ieyke:

Maybe it's not readily apparent to people elsewhere, but while the South has it's whole "The South Will Rise Again" notion of pride that the South could and should stand on its own separate from the USA, Texas goes beyond that since it is fully secure in the knowledge that Texas is the only State genuinely capable of surviving completely on its own. We've done it before and we can do it again. We're even the only state with our own military force, and the only state allowed to fly its State Flag at the same height as the American Flag. It's not hard to find Texans who will tell you they're from "The Republic Of Texas".

You...I...okay look first off having a flag flying the same or higher as the flag of the United States is ILLEGAL! I was in the Marines and am studying Criminal Justice, and that's one of the first things taught for both. Texas was also only it's own republic for a brief time, then accepted statehood due to the inability to properly defend itself. Not really "the only state genuinely capable of surviving completely on its own." And what military force are you talking about? There isn't a Texan Army. If you're referring to the National Guard and State guard those are still under the United States military. They like to pretend they're separate, like if you say they take orders from the Governor, but he takes orders from the military first. Your ignorance of your own state is staggering.

Volf:
[...] Why would you speak the language of the oppressor?[...]

Do you realize how ironic it is that you're using English to say that?

Kaleion:
Because when you say Americans it sounds like you are referring to the people of the entire continent and the people in at least México don't like to get associated with the gringos as we call them, we'll refute North American too since that includes Canada and México[1], it's for a lot of historical reasons, here in México the USA is very resented[2] for the fact that about half of that country used to be México and there is still a lot of hatred because in the USA Pancho Villa is recorded in history as a terrorist even though he is a hero here, doesn't help that the name of that country doesn't allow for a unique way of calling the people living in it since it's called United States of America, though the formal way that we call the inhabitants of that country is "Estadounidenses" which translates to Unitedstateians which sounds just weird, anyway it's mostly to do with the fact that people don't like to get associated with that country, I think, for what I've seen anyway.

.
Hm... Then where lies the border between N. America and S. America? What about Latin America? That is to say Panama to Mexico along with the other minor republics. (Guatemala, Costa Rico, El Salvador, etc.) I'm confused here.

[1] Don't believe me? Look it up México is part of the North American region of the continent.
[2] By the people not the politicians and merchants they love the USA.

I've never seen anybody get upset at the word American. Seriously, that this is a thing surprises me. Canadian, Mexican, American; those are the North American nationalities. What else would you call someone from the U.S.?

Tanakh:

Vohn_exel:
Sure, we believe Santa Anna was a badguy and the Alamo was full of heroes, but war is all perspective anyway.

Well, Santa Anna is a badguy everywhere; and I understand the illegal immigrants of the XIX century that did the war of independence, the central goverment was too far, too incompentent, too strange to their illegal alien culture; but... i am always hesitant to see it as an heroic war, especially since one of the main reasons for it was to preserve slavery.

It was a different time then. To them it wasn't so super wrong, and they would find our views on it just as strange as we find theirs. I believe with or without it, the war for our independence would've still taken place. It was a big deal then, so it was a big part of their lives. The world has matured since then, it just took a while.

Kaleion:
Because when you say Americans it sounds like you are referring to the people of the entire continent and the people in at least México don't like to get associated with the gringos as we call them, we'll refute North American too since that includes Canada and México[1], it's for a lot of historical reasons, here in México the USA is very resented[2] for the fact that about half of that country used to be México and there is still a lot of hatred because in the USA Pancho Villa is recorded in history as a terrorist even though he is a hero here, doesn't help that the name of that country doesn't allow for a unique way of calling the people living in it since it's called United States of America, though the formal way that we call the inhabitants of that country is "Estadounidenses" which translates to Unitedstateians which sounds just weird, anyway it's mostly to do with the fact that people don't like to get associated with that country, I think, for what I've seen anyway.

YES they hate America sooo much ! thats why so many try to illegally come here !

[1] Don't believe me? Look it up México is part of the North American region of the continent.
[2] By the people not the politicians and merchants they love the USA.

Xangba:

Ieyke:

Calling a Southerner a Yankee is basically like calling them a wuss.

Cause Yanks are wusses :-p (jk my northern Americans)

Ieyke:

Maybe it's not readily apparent to people elsewhere, but while the South has it's whole "The South Will Rise Again" notion of pride that the South could and should stand on its own separate from the USA, Texas goes beyond that since it is fully secure in the knowledge that Texas is the only State genuinely capable of surviving completely on its own. We've done it before and we can do it again. We're even the only state with our own military force, and the only state allowed to fly its State Flag at the same height as the American Flag. It's not hard to find Texans who will tell you they're from "The Republic Of Texas".

You...I...okay look first off having a flag flying the same or higher as the flag of the United States is ILLEGAL! I was in the Marines and am studying Criminal Justice, and that's one of the first things taught for both.

You were apparently taught wrong. You can drive down the street here and easily see that. You know, either that or no one here gives a damn and does it anyways, but they'll tell you the same thing I did.

Xangba:
Texas was also only it's own republic for a brief time, then accepted statehood due to the inability to properly defend itself. Not really "the only state genuinely capable of surviving completely on its own."

No. It joined the US because it had incurred a massive debt in war and the US offered to pay it off in exchange for becoming a state.

Xangba:
And what military force are you talking about? There isn't a Texan Army. If you're referring to the National Guard and State guard those are still under the United States military. They like to pretend they're separate, like if you say they take orders from the Governor, but he takes orders from the military first.

The Texas State Guard is a military force controlled solely by Texas and DOES NOT take orders from the US military (neither does the Governor). Whether or not they routinely cooperate with the US Military is a moot point, as it does not change what their actual chain of command is.

dcdude171:

Kaleion:
Because when you say Americans it sounds like you are referring to the people of the entire continent and the people in at least México don't like to get associated with the gringos as we call them, we'll refute North American too since that includes Canada and México[1], it's for a lot of historical reasons, here in México the USA is very resented[2] for the fact that about half of that country used to be México and there is still a lot of hatred because in the USA Pancho Villa is recorded in history as a terrorist even though he is a hero here, doesn't help that the name of that country doesn't allow for a unique way of calling the people living in it since it's called United States of America, though the formal way that we call the inhabitants of that country is "Estadounidenses" which translates to Unitedstateians which sounds just weird, anyway it's mostly to do with the fact that people don't like to get associated with that country, I think, for what I've seen anyway.

YES they hate America sooo much ! thats why so many try to illegally come here !

Go back though the thread for a response to your response.

[1] Don't believe me? Look it up México is part of the North American region of the continent.
[2] By the people not the politicians and merchants they love the USA.

Ieyke:
snip

The only "military" any state has is a state sponsored militia. And yes, the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas State Guard DO take orders from the U.S. military, your belief they don't is because they can act independently with orders from the Governor. If the military sends orders down, they do it. That is the part your seem to be missing. The "actual chain of command" is orders from the military > orders from the state.

And yes it IS against the United States flag code to fly any flag on U.S. soil at the same height or higher than the American flag. It is not penalized, which is why ignorant Texans do it, thinking they have special rights. Technically anyone can do it and get away with it, but most people actually realize what the flag code is. It's an embarrassment to put your state at the same level as the United States.

And hey, glad you know about your war debt too. But yes, it was also due to the inability to guard your own borders. Texas very poorly managed itself.

StarCecil:

I've also seen, on this site and elsewhere, people insist on using the phrase "USican" or "USian" and even "USAers".

In my experience, those words are used for the sake of clarity, so it's clear they are talking about people living in the USA, as 'American' could mean people living on the continent, as the word is sometimes used. Especially if the speaker is American, but not USican, Canadian, for example.

It is sort of annoying, because of the confusion.

Lalo Lomeli:
So, when you call yourselves "Americans" and leave out everything else is like we don't exist, or more like you are the only people that count.

NO ONE in this country calls themselves an "American" because they think they're better than everyone else on the continent, we call ourselves "Americans" because that's a common name of our country. Let me break it down for you:

People's Republic of China = China
Commonwealth of Australia = Australia (which, again, is ALSO the name of the whole continent)
Russian Federation = Russia
Federal Republic of Germany = Germany
French Republic = France
Italian Republic = Italy
United Mexican States = Mexico
United States of America = America

Consistency.

Lieju:

StarCecil:

I've also seen, on this site and elsewhere, people insist on using the phrase "USican" or "USian" and even "USAers".

In my experience, those words are used for the sake of clarity, so it's clear they are talking about people living in the USA, as 'American' could mean people living on the continent, as the word is sometimes used. Especially if the speaker is American, but not USican, Canadian, for example.

It is sort of annoying, because of the confusion.

Okay, really? Maybe it's just a North American thing, but in my experience online, I've never met ANYONE who didn't know what country I was referring to when I said "America." Unless the person you're talking to is intentionally being pretentious, they should be familiar with the common usage.

dcdude171:

Kaleion:
-Snip-

YES they hate America sooo much ! thats why so many try to illegally come here !

I don't get it, what's the point of this argument?
First off it's blatantly obvious that I'm not talking on behalf of every single person in México nor have I said the everybody in México hates the USA, I just stated some reasons why some people in México dislike or hate the USA, so again what does the illegal immigrant thing has to do with anything I've said?
Also explaining the reasons for illegal immigrants would be rather complicated given that every person has they're reasons but I can tell you this, not everyone that goes there does so because they want to or because they would like to, again comes back to each individual person.
So the lesson is please don't generalize there are no absolutes here so really there's no point to debunking my argument by saying pointless stuff like this, and I'm really getting sick of getting this in my inbox, seriously people think of what you've typed before you hit post.

Because people LOVE to get pissed off about semantics.

You can literally argue for days and get absolutely nowhere.

Hazy992:
Do they? I've never heard someone get upset at simply the word 'American'

^This. I mean I get the "US is one thing, America/North America are another", but it's just so widely used, I've never seen anyone have a problem with it.

Lono Shrugged:
Stop calling us all Europeans and we'll stop calling you all American

When you say someone is European, you're saying they're from Europe, that's the only definition. When you say someone is American, the "correct" usage would mean they could come from anywhere from both North and South America, but it's most widely used for the people from the US. So... completely different. People aren't annoyed about the generalisation, they're (allegedly) annoyed at the misuse of it.

Dense_Electric:

Okay, really? Maybe it's just a North American thing, but in my experience online, I've never met ANYONE who didn't know what country I was referring to when I said "America." Unless the person you're talking to is intentionally being pretentious, they should be familiar with the common usage.

Generally, when someone is called 'American', or the word 'America' is used, it's at least assumed it means USA. Although not always, but usually the context will make it clear what it's about.

But in a discussion where there is a lot of referring to the continents and countries, it might be useful to make sure people know what you mean with 'American' in this context. If you, for example, have a discussion about, lets say immigration around the world, and it's both referred to continents and countries. I have been a part of discussions where there was confusion over such things.

"In Americas, on the other hand, both Americans and Canadians think this, while most South-American countries have disagreed with America"

Personally, I just think it sounds silly (although I generally use 'American' and 'America' to refer to USA). South America is not a part of America?

And I know I'd be upset, if say, Germany would insist to be called 'Europe', but the America thing is so commonly used...

I don't like that word. It's like calling German people "Europeans" and French people "Frenchmen".

this is like the third fucking thread on this subject!

just call people what everyone else calls them! we figured this shit out already!

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM!?!?!?

Xangba:

Ieyke:
snip

The only "military" any state has is a state sponsored militia. And yes, the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas State Guard DO take orders from the U.S. military, your belief they don't is because they can act independently with orders from the Governor. If the military sends orders down, they do it. That is the part your seem to be missing. The "actual chain of command" is orders from the military > orders from the state.

Uh...no.

Xangba:
And yes it IS against the United States flag code to fly any flag on U.S. soil at the same height or higher than the American flag.

Also, no.
"When flown with flags of states, communities or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor-to its own right. The other flags may be the same size but none may be larger.
No other flag should be placed above it. The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation in time of peace."
Technically ANY flag can be flown at the same height.

Xangba:
And hey, glad you know about your war debt too. But yes, it was also due to the inability to guard your own borders. Texas very poorly managed itself.

Uh...no. Unless you think the US itself was threatening invasion, that doesn't begin to make sense. The enemy was Mexico, which we defeated. They weren't going to be coming back quicker than we could handle them. The debt was the actual problem and the USA just offered a convenient way to deal with it.

My brother, sister and a group of my friends spent a summer at an orphanage in Guyana and were surprised to find that they all referred to the u.s. simply as America.

Lieju:

Dense_Electric:

Okay, really? Maybe it's just a North American thing, but in my experience online, I've never met ANYONE who didn't know what country I was referring to when I said "America." Unless the person you're talking to is intentionally being pretentious, they should be familiar with the common usage.

Generally, when someone is called 'American', or the word 'America' is used, it's at least assumed it means USA. Although not always, but usually the context will make it clear what it's about.

But in a discussion where there is a lot of referring to the continents and countries, it might be useful to make sure people know what you mean with 'American' in this context. If you, for example, have a discussion about, lets say immigration around the world, and it's both referred to continents and countries. I have been a part of discussions where there was confusion over such things.

"In Americas, on the other hand, both Americans and Canadians think this, while most South-American countries have disagreed with America"

Personally, I just think it sounds silly (although I generally use 'American' and 'America' to refer to USA). South America is not a part of America?

And I know I'd be upset, if say, Germany would insist to be called 'Europe', but the America thing is so commonly used...

Alright, fair enough, though usually when speaking on an international scale I'd go more by region than strictly by continent (Canada and the US, for example, compose "North America," while Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, etc., are in "Central America"). If I were referring to the whole super-continent, I'd probably use the phrase "the Americas."

"America" (a shortening of "United states Of America") - The United States Of America

"North America" (a continent) - The USA, Canada, Mexico, Greenland, the Caribbean islands

"Latin America" (a cultural region) - Central America, South America, and the Caribbean islands.

"Central America" (geographic region) - Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

"Middle America" (region) - Everything from Mexico to Colombia and Venezuela.

"South America" (a continent) - Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Argentina, etc etc etc etc.

"The Americas" (super continent) - All of North America and all of South America together (and thereby including "Latin America", "Central America", "Middle America", and "America" by extension)

It's dead simple to figure out which one "American" would apply to, because it's not "North American", "Latin American", South American", "Middle American", or "Central American".

I often refer to myself as an American even though I live in Toronto, Canada. This annoys people around me in my daily life. It just happens.

I guess its for many reasons, one we live in North America and I can barely see much of a difference between the two culturally wise.

Number two, I have this weird thing were accent wise I always feel more american, this is because I live in Toronto which is in Southern Ontario. Which is like the most american place in canada in my opinion. I mean if you live in Toronto and you go to any other part in Canada, they sound so Canadian, where as most people living in Toronto sound more american. So accent wise I sound more american then canadian. Toronto people are still proud of being canadian and all that blah blah blah

Number three, I hate when people *In this case canadians/torontonians* are comparing two singers or actors, lets say one american and the other canadian, there both great singers, but most canadians would have much more respect and support for the canadian singer, even to the extent of liking them more. I am also always told if im listening to a song with someone I kinda know, they'll be like "Man these guys are great, and there even canadian!" and they'll say it like, "Holy shit, since there canadian this makes them that much more cooool". uhguh

Number four! Wait what was this topic even about again? I forgot, fuck.

I always got the impression it was because America includes two continents which is many more countries than the US

aba1:
I always got the impression it was because America includes two continents which is many more countries than the US

Nope. That's "The Americas".
There is formally no such thing as "America". Informally, "America" is a short-form term for "The United States Of America".

Ieyke:

aba1:
I always got the impression it was because America includes two continents which is many more countries than the US

Nope. That's "The Americas".
There is formally no such thing as "America". Informally, "America" is a short-form term for "The United States Of America".

Sure but being American means you live on one of those two continents so when people refer to American's it is confusing as to whether they mean the people who live in the US or the people who live on the entire continent

Let's be honest, the word American, is used exclusively from those who feel that are the rulers of the American continent. If the Brazilians, or the Argentinians had the same influence in the world they would probably use the word American for themselves and leave to the Northerns the noun Anglosaxonic America, or whatever.

aba1:

Ieyke:

aba1:
I always got the impression it was because America includes two continents which is many more countries than the US

Nope. That's "The Americas".
There is formally no such thing as "America". Informally, "America" is a short-form term for "The United States Of America".

Sure but being American means you live on one of those two continents so when people refer to American's it is confusing as to whether they mean the people who live in the US or the people who live on the entire continent

It'd be easier if you just said North American and South American. I mean we don't need one word to use for, say, both Europeans and Africans do we?

Xangba:

And yes it IS against the United States flag code to fly any flag on U.S. soil at the same height or higher than the American flag. It is not penalized, which is why ignorant Texans do it, thinking they have special rights. Technically anyone can do it and get away with it, but most people actually realize what the flag code is. It's an embarrassment to put your state at the same level as the United States.

Hey just fyi, if you look at Texas government code, Title 11, section3100.055, it states that "If the state flag and the flag of the United States are displayed on flagpoles or flagstaffs at the same location:

(1) the flags should be displayed on flagpoles or flagstaffs of the same height;"

Here is the link.

Dense_Electric:

Lalo Lomeli:
So, when you call yourselves "Americans" and leave out everything else is like we don't exist, or more like you are the only people that count.

NO ONE in this country calls themselves an "American" because they think they're better than everyone else on the continent, we call ourselves "Americans" because that's a common name of our country. Let me break it down for you:

People's Republic of China = China
Commonwealth of Australia = Australia (which, again, is ALSO the name of the whole continent)
Russian Federation = Russia
Federal Republic of Germany = Germany
French Republic = France
Italian Republic = Italy
United Mexican States = Mexico
United States of America = America

Consistency.

Sadly I don't think that anyone will read this and understand it, they want to be butthurt so they will ignore it.

Mortai Gravesend:

aba1:

Ieyke:
Nope. That's "The Americas".
There is formally no such thing as "America". Informally, "America" is a short-form term for "The United States Of America".

Sure but being American means you live on one of those two continents so when people refer to American's it is confusing as to whether they mean the people who live in the US or the people who live on the entire continent

It'd be easier if you just said North American and South American. I mean we don't need one word to use for, say, both Europeans and Africans do we?

Sure but North America includes Canada USA and Mexico so it still isn't very clear.

Rheinmetall:
Let's be honest, the word American, is used exclusively from those who feel that are the rulers of the American continent. If the Brazilians, or the Argentinians had the same influence in the world they would probably use the word American for themselves and leave to the Northerns the noun Anglosaxonic America, or whatever.

That's a really...twisted view.

You have to look at it this way. Ignore the idea that the USA are a single entity.just ignore the term USA for a minute completely and regard the 50 states as countries in their own right.
That's what people aren't getting here, and what people in general just fail to realize.
States did NOT join "Eaglelandia" with the intention of becoming subsumed into a single massive entity known only as "Eaglelandia". They were not agreeing to simply bow down to an existing country and become part of it.
The States were individual entities(actually British colonies) that were mostly not powerful enough to have their own say on the world stage. They wanted to be heard and they wanted to do things their way. They were tired of being run by European empires.
In order to claim the sway, the power to be heard, and be recognized by other world powers as a legitimate force to be respected, these colonies had to figure out how to operate on a scale beyond their own means.
So, what they did was work together. They formed an alliance between them. The separate governments began to work together to create a legal framework shared between all the colonies so that the various colonies could operate on equal footing.
The colonies were still separate entities with separate laws and customs and traditions, but they did have a set of laws developed from that legal framework that they agreed to use between all the allied colonies to make sure everyone was equal.
They went through various phases of solidarity until they finally used their combined might to declare their independence from the British, thereby no longer being "colonies" and now instead being confederated "states".

These were now basically 13 separate countries acting together with the intent on being unified in their objectives.
What would you call a bunch of separate North American political states that unified together to wield the same power as a single massive political entity? You'd call them something like "united states of North America", and so that's basically what they became known as.
When the phrase "These United States" was first used, it likely was not intended to be a proper noun forever labeling a single homogeneous political entity. Had they been looking to do that, they'd probably named it after George Washington or something. No, they weren't shooting for the idea of all the states being subsumed into a single monolithic entity.

If you want a modern version of the exact same story, look at the European Union. You don't think of the whole thing as "The European Union". No, you think of it as Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, etc etc etc.
That's how you have to think of the United States Of America if you want to understand why the naming developed to work the way that it works.
You call the people of the EU "Europeans" just as you call the people of the USA "Americans".

"Americans" is a catch-all term that includes Texans, Californians, New Yorkers, Virginians, Hoosiers, etc etc etc.
You don't use it to refer to Mexicans because Mexicans have their own name specific to them.
You call people from Norway "Norwegians" and I'll bet they won't really notice if people stop calling them Europeans when the term "European becomes widely associated with meaning "citizens of EU countries", but, if they do notice and care, they still have a far more legitimate complaint as to why the term "Europeans" should apply to them too. Their continent is actually CALLED Europe. The same logic applied between Mexico/Canada/etc and the USA doesn't hold up. Our continent IS NOT simply called "America". It's "North America".
Honestly, the USA ALREADY uses a modified form of the continent name to avoid confusion.
If it was called "The United States Of North America" and its citizens were referred to as "North Americans" and THAT annoyed people from Mexico/Canada/etc, THEN they would have a complaint somewhat worth making.

I know that nowadays most people have lost track almost entirely of what the United States were/are actually meant to be, but that's what the whole damn Civil War was about. That's what all this never ending business delineating and battling over the difference between Federal Rights and State's Rights has been all about.

So no, it's not a matter of "We're the rulers of the American continent", it's a matter of "Our name has derived from a phrase describing the nature of our states and the location they happen to occupy".

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