Americans, or American people, are the citizens of the United States of America. The country is home to people of different national origins. As a result, Americans do not equate their nationality with ethnicity, but with citizenship. With the exception of the Native American population, nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated within the past five centuries.
Despite its multi-ethnic composition, the culture held in common by most Americans is referred to as mainstream American culture, a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of Western European immigrants. It also includes influences of African-American culture. Westward expansion integrated the Creoles and Cajuns of Louisiana and the Hispanos of the Southwest and brought close contact with the culture of Mexico. Large-scale immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from Southern and Eastern Europe introduced a variety of elements. Immigration from Asia, Africa, and Latin America has also had impact. A cultural melting pot, or pluralistic salad bowl, describes the way in which generations of Americans have celebrated and exchanged distinctive cultural characteristics.
In addition to the United States, Americans and people of American descent can be found internationally. As many as 4 million Americans are estimated to be living abroad.
Famous quotes containing the word americans:
“The English are polite by telling lies. The Americans are polite by telling the truth.”
—Malcolm Bradbury (b. 1932)
“As the Americans slaughter millions of turkeys every year for the celebration of their deliverance, the Indians, who should be celebrated as saviors, have long been slaughtered. There was even a time when a white man was paid a very decent price for every Indian scalp he could produce.”
—Friedrich Dürrenmatt (19211990)
“Americans are very friendly and very suspicious, that is
what Americans are and that is what always upsets the
foreigner, who deals with them, they are so friendly
how can they be so suspicious and they are so
suspicious how can they be so friendly but they just
are and that certainly has something to do with their
having tucked their capital, their capitals away.”
—Gertrude Stein (18741946)