There are many stereotypes about the United States that most people share. However, there are myths that should not be believed. We presented 15 facts about America, which it is time to stop believing.
1. Americans are selfish. Americans have a reputation as the latest egoists, but this opinion is wrong. Statistics, according to an index called the World Giving Index, show that in volunteering and donations, Americans are one of the most “generous” nations.
Americans are of the opinion that private donations are a more efficient method of distribution than paying taxes.
2. America is a democracy. People often confuse democracy with the republic: some aspects of power in the United States do relate to democracy, but citizens do not exercise power directly, as it would in a fully democratic society, but entrust their rights to elected representatives. To be precise, the United States is a republic.
3. Was the “Wild West” wild? Most of us have heard the beautiful myth of the Wild West – how settlers moved from the first colonies to the west, and this was accompanied by gunfights, robberies and other barbaric crimes unchecked.
However, rumors of barbarism in the Wild West were in many ways part of the propaganda of the authorities who tried to introduce government regulation. It has been established that in terms of crime, the Wild West was safer than many American cities today.
4. Americans are religious fanatics. The largest religious community in the United States is Protestant: they make up about 38% of the population. The next largest are Catholics, accounting for 23%. The third largest community is not religious people, agnostics and atheists. 2% of the population are Jews, 6% – “other religions”.
Of course, extremists and local fanatic groups exist, but most Americans are kind, compassionate people, and it does not matter what religion they belong to.
5. Americans are rude. Those people who consider Americans to be ignorant and boorish people simply never talked with them!
Yes, many Americans adhere to the informal style of communication, but for the most part they are friendly and welcoming.
6. Lincoln freed slaves for altruistic reasons. It was by the will of President Abraham Lincoln that the slaves were emancipated (liberated) in the United States. Sometimes Lincoln is treated as a tolerant president, ahead of his time, but this opinion is wrong.
In fact, Lincoln was a racist, believed that a white man should be higher in status than a black man, and freed slaves only to destabilize the Confederation during the Civil War.
7. Americans are uneducated and ignorant. It is a mistake to assume that the level of education and erudition of American society is different from the rest of the world.
There is no doubt that there is a minority of people who are limited, who do not want to learn new things and are suspicious of non-white people who do not profess the Christian faith, individuals, but it is a mistake to judge them: there are plenty of smart, educated and thoughtful people.
8. All Americans have weapons. Some Americans are obsessed with weapons, others are armed illegally for illegal purposes, but most of the population has no weapons. The myth that all Americans are obsessed with weapons is associated with the common idea that the government should not completely entrust the defense of their lives.
9. Americans do not respect power. This opinion is wrong. Many Americans find power comfortable while she works for them. Here there is a difference in the attitude of adherents of various political lines: a conservative, seeing how a person is fined for smoking in a public place, will say “if this clown collaborated with the authorities, nothing would have happened”, while the liberal will notice that this person committed no crime, and therefore his needs also need to be taken into account.
10. Americans are terrible travelers. One of the most common and unflattering stereotypes about Americans is the image of a fat middle-aged man in a Hawaiian shirt screaming in a foreign country at a cook in a restaurant where the signature dish seemed to his wife too spicy, or a taxi driver whose English is not good enough.
In fact, not all Americans are like that (and many non-American travelers also tend to neglect other people’s customs and traditions): most of the travelers are modest, open to everything new and thankful for any impressions.
11. America is a free country! The United States occupies a very worthy place for the freedoms of citizens in the world ranking of countries, but over the years these freedoms become more limited. The ban on narcotic substances, restrictions on business, licensing in most areas, constantly increasing taxes, police chaos on the ground – all this is modern America.
Of course, many would agree that completely without restrictions the life of people in the state will turn into a real nightmare, but the frightening tendencies may well put an end to the myth of a “free country.”
12. America is the fattest country in the world. In the US, a lot of people are overweight. It is estimated that almost 66% of adults in America are obese. However, among the “fat” countries, the United States ranks only 27th in the world!
13. United States began with religious freedom. Most people believe that one of the fundamental freedoms in the United States has always been freedom of religion. In fact, among the first settlers in the Americas were puritans who had fled from religious persecution in England.
Initially, they tried to migrate to the Netherlands, but the tolerant Dutch society, where by that time Jews, Catholics and even atheists felt comfortable, did not suit them. On the new continent, they created completely intolerable communities in which everything that did not meet Puritan standards was banned.
14. All Americans are either Republicans or Democrats. For more than a hundred years, these two parties have dominated American politics, but far from all US citizens support either one or the other. Many vote for what they consider the “lesser of two evils”, others vote for smaller sectoral parties.
Social and fiscal conservatism of Republicans and modern liberalism of democrats are not suitable for everyone: in America there are people to the right of Republicans, people to the left of democrats, communists, anarchists, etc. But the political system does not always reflect these deviations.
15. Americans like war. This myth originated from the propaganda of cruelty by the film industry and the video game industry before finding America too far from the centers of conflict in the other hemisphere to feel safe and to accept war as the same “video game.”
However, most Americans hate war and fear for the fate of the world in connection with the international conflicts of our day. This is especially true for families of veterans and soldiers, but they believe that their contribution is a sufficient sacrifice to try to stop the war.