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Enviado el: jueves, 28 de marzo de 2002 11:02 Listmembers, This is a good thread. Let me start by saying that people in the British colonies did not call themselves "Americans," but "British." Later in the colonial period they started calling themselves "Virginians," "Marylanders," etc. Still British identity was stronger. By the time of independence patriotism took hold but mostly on regional identities. The effort to create a homogeneous, supra-identity during the early national period was challenged by the still stronger regional identities. Just prior to the Civil War people in the United States did not call themselves "Americans" so much, but still "Virginians," "Georgians," etc. The term "Americans" was there, and it was used whenever a supra-identity was intended, but it was not as strong as the regional identity. It was not until the Civil War that homogeneity became the norm. The end of the Civil War was a victory for a stronger federal government and a homogenous identity. What actually cemented the term "Americans" to identify people living in the United States was Europe’s response. Europeans (except Iberians) answered to this newfound identity by calling all "estadounidenses," "Americans." This reflected the fact that for Europe at this time (after the US Civil War) the only thing that matter in the Western Hemisphere was the United States. The former Spanish Colonies were in constant turmoil and under the British commercial hegemony and there was no pressing need to make any reference to their existence. The term “estadounidense” is used in most of the Spanish-speaking world (not so much on the British America. British tend to refer to Spanish Americans as “South Americans,” even to those living in Central America) as referring to people living in the United States. It is the most accurate term I can think of, but the United Statians don’t think that way. I think that it is because there is some kind of power involved on it. This is a very sensitive point among Latin Americans because it basically ignore them and relegate them to a second place. So, I see Tom’s effort to discuss and reform the use of terms as a positive and necessary one. William Paterson Belize