The United States of AMERICA is the birthplace of truth, liberty and explosions.
You may have heard of AMERICA. It's the 3rd largest country with the 3rd largest population with the
3rd 1st 2nd largest army. China's in first, but is it strong?
Holy shit, nevermind.
Like Britney Spears, AMERICA started off beautiful with the body of a busty 18 year old. Every other nation was jealous of her, especially that plain chubby girl who lived with her mother: Canada. No one ever wanted her. But the world wanted AMERICA bad, to be her best friend, and for a time she enjoyed worldwide popularity. But as time went on, like Britney, AMERICA got worn out and pudgy and did a lot of things that were pretty questionable...like shaving off all her hair.
What? No one remembers this?
But AMERICA'S still awesome. In fact, it's so awesome and cool that, when you type in "united", it's the first search recommendation on Wikipedia:
We know you are.
To show you, the reader, the greatness of AMERICA and why it deserves this awesomely long article - we at Cracked will give you a magical and PATRIOTIC! time-travelling tour of AMERICA'S rise, greater rise, even greater rise, minor fall then rise...all the way to the present day starting with:
A little known fact is that AMERICA wasn't created from a volcano from the combined might of the Founding Fathers and a fiery bald eagle carrying the AMERICAN flag.
Alas, this is but a myth.
AMERICA actually started off as the humble Thirteen Colonies that was controlled by Mama Britain, also known as the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Kingdom, in a particularly British fashion, had invested much into exploring the Americas at the expense of everyone living there (Americas isn't in bold because we are talking about the continents not AMERICA which is an awesome country). But it wasn't just Britain that was interested in
screwing over the natives the Americas. Spain was obsessed with it, conquering nearly all of it to the point where it wasn't even financially capable anymore, forcing it to go horribly, horribly bankrupt twice - dropping from a rich superpower to a depressed alcoholic as quickly as it rose. France too explored the Americas, especially the northeastern half of Canada. But Britain happened to be exploring the same areas as them and the two engaged in many battles (read: slapfights). Then the Seven Years War happened, leaving Britain to finally defeat the French to no ones surprise and take control of most of their colonies. Many men died in the war, leaving both countries to wonder if Canada was worth it (no).
But this isn't about Canada, or that mysterious land of sombreros and tequila down south known as Mexico (pronounced Me-hee-koh). This is about AMERICA!!!
The colonists of the, well, Thirteen Colonies were pissed at the British for the ridiculous acts they passed: such as the mandatory law that practically anything with paper and words on it required stamps, or restricting trade between the colonies and Britain. Then there was the Tea Act and the AMERICAN ragefest that followed known as the Boston Tea Party. To the modern man, these are boring things that lack explosions and a last minute saving of the hot girl but they were also AMERICAN things and thusly the AMERICAN part outweighs the boring part making them awesome (or dare I say awesomely AMERICAN) things. Some other reasons for the hatred of the British concerned the lack of representation in the Parliament and Adam Smith's argument in his work: The Wealth of Nations, where he explained that the British didn't let go of the colonies because they had a trade monopoly over it. Also he wrote this:
"To propose that Great Britain should voluntarily give up all authority over her colonies, and leave them to elect their own magistrates, to enact their own laws, and to make peace and war as they might think proper, would be to propose such a measure as never was, and never will be adopted, by any nation in the world. No nation ever voluntarily gave up the dominion of any province, how troublesome soever it might be to govern it, and how small soever the revenue which it afforded might be in proportion to the expence which it occasioned. Such sacrifices, though they might frequently be agreeable to the interest, are always mortifying to the pride of every nation, and what is perhaps of still greater consequence, they are always contrary to the private interest of the governing part of it."
But to Britain, complaints from the colonies could be easily countered by simply putting its hands over its ears and screaming really loud over them.
So the colonists finally had it and they decided to go to WAR!!!
Well technically, the war was started when a British regiment was hunting down revolutionaries and a group of minutemen encountered them at Concord, Massachusetts. Shots were fired, the minutemen attacked at full-force, the British retreated, then brought reinforcements and they had another battle called the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
But fighting the British wasn't enough. The colonists needed to tick them off badly so the Founding Fathers wrote, or should I say, forged the Declaration of Independence which not only rejected allegiance to the monarchy but claimed sovereignty.
To say the British were tiffed is an understatement.
Battle after battle, the colonists valiantly defied all laws of logic and managed to turn the British army on its head. It was almost like Star Wars actually: with AMERICA playing the role of the Rebels and the British as the Empire. The movies were even accurate enough to portray the latter with a variety of British accents. Even more astonishingly, the British army was filled with terrible marksmen - firing much like the Stormtroopers if the Stormtroopers were all blind and had no hands. The man himself, General George Washington, was often a target of the redcoats but could never be shot. His horse was shot a couple of times but Washington seemed to have some kind of force field around him. Or he could control metal with his mind.
It's a possibility...
The British were always at a disadvantage in the war however. Because of distance, manpower could take quite a while to reach the shores of AMERICA not to mention communication between the military in AMERICA and the military in Britain were always dated. The French, seeing the war as a way to troll the British, aided the AMERICANS. Of course, the AMERICANS did most of the work since well...this is the French we're talking about.
The war ended in 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris between the congress of the confederation, France, Spain, the Dutch Republic and the King of Great Britain with AMERICA being recognized as a sovereign nation six years after Morocco did it. And so AMERICA was free and proceeded to rub it in the face of every European nation since.
Around the time the French launched an invasion into Russia and severely mistook how ball-shrinkingly cold it is up there - AMERICA was already at war with Britain again. The AMERICANS accused the British of restricting trade between them and France (remember - the two are still friends in this era), forcing captured AMERICANS to recruit into the Royal Navy and abusing three AMERICAN Royal Navy deserters in the infamous Chesapeake-Leopard Affair of 1807. The British and the Canadians accused the AMERICANS of trying to invade Canada leaving many AMERICANS to wonder what use could Canada possibly have to them in the first place (none).
Still, Canadians to this day feel the AMERICANS tried to invade their land - an emotion possibly formed from the fact that aside from their southern neighbor, the most dangerous enemy to ever step foot on their soil are beavers.
The Beaver is the Canadian's natural predator.
The war ended with the Treaty of Ghent in 1814 (damn this is a short war). Nobody lost or gained anything. In fact, not much changed politically. This bland outcome is the result of status quo ante bellum which means the state in which things were before the war. As such, the war is a bit of a footnote to the average AMERICAN as it clearly isn't awesome enough to be remembered. But the war did give the AMERICANS of the 19th century a good sense of national pride and security - finally feeling established as an international power which is awesome enough in our book.
The rest of the 19th century involved AMERICA expanding its territory in the west, annexing Texas and buying Alaska (what a cashcow that turned out to be). Then there was the Civil War...
No not that one.
...which devastated the balance of the nation, dividing it into the North and South, turning brother against brother. This war is clearly too depressing to write about. If you want to know about it watch Ken Burns's The Civil War. Be sure to bring a box of Kleenex.
The first half of the 1900s was a hallmark to the innovation and optimistic integrity that was the AMERICAN spirit. While Europe was busy slowly coming towards a horrifying war that all started over an ill-fated sandwich, AMERICA was making the world better: George Eastman invents the first portable camera for the public, 1900-1910 brought out education reforms with teachers now earning $325 annually and the Association of AMERICAN Universities was born aimed to create better college institutions. The economy booms through oil and steel.
AMERICA decided to mock the French by building the Panama Canal and not have 22,000 men die of disease in the process. The Wright Brothers successfully fly at Kitty Hawk with the first workable airplane.
The Jim Crow laws segregated blacks and whites The Nickelodeon theatre is opened with thousands flocking to see what these new-fangled movies were. Henry Ford invents the Model T automobile in 1908.
What was going on in the rest of the world? Well ping-pong was popular...
Then came two wars that tested AMERICA'S strength as a world power: The first was the "War to End all Wars" which was a total lie since there was a sequel with more explosions a little more than 20 years later. In 1917, AMERICA got involved in European affairs after decades of practicing isolationism and hoping that the Europeans would just kill each other and end the war already. The Germans were winning pretty easily but decided to just fuck it all by ignoring all international laws and invade AMERICA'S ocean borders to attack their ships. They also wanted to persuade Mexico to invade AMERICA, forgetting the two countries are right next to each other. Needless to say when AMERICA found out, she was pissed and with the aid of her allies unleashed an ass-kicking so devastating it caused Germany to develop a violent personality of non-German hatred that inevitably led to their rise as an Aryan nation that nearly destroyed the world.
"Bummer. Didn't see that one coming."
Following the Great European War (or World War I), AMERICA'S economy rose to the point where they literally didn't know how to use their newfound wealth. The Federal Reserve was incompetent and struggling to work with the nation's unregulated banking. Businesses overexpanded. World War I devastated Europe in all kinds of ways (2.6% of Germany's total population died) and combined with an odd AMERICAN monetary policy lead to some severe political tension between her and her allies. Something bad was going to happen but don't worry! AMERICA would get over it quickly!
Now Cracked has covered this war in extensive detail through two, count em, two topics. And we hear there's a third topic coming in the name of World War Two. All that's left is the open topic of WWII to cover all the name bases. We believe it is in the best interest of everyone for writers to fight to the death over that one in a battle like the one between Kirk and Spock.
And the info on TV Tropes ain't too shabby either...though why they'd be covering WWII in the first place on a tropes site is beyond us.
So it'd be redundant of us to tell you of AMERICA'S great triumph in this war that made everybody love them
and the worldwide focus on its later military campaigns that made the world hate them again.
AMERICA is so strong it could horribly contort Hitler into a swastika just by break-dancing right next to him.
With Britain and other allies fight by her side, AMERICA manages to turn the tide in the war against Nazi Germany. The allies win and the world celebrates by having fervent nationalistic arguments on who actually won the war on Xbox Live while playing Call of Duty.
Of course, while all the allies contributed significantly to winning the war it seems that its only the AMERICANS and the British that argue over who did the most. Just go on google and search "Who won World War Two" or watch any YouTube video about the war. Go on. We'll wait.
Oh, you're back. It's depressing, isn't it?
However, while people allover argue over who won military-wise, economists tend to look at the war (and all wars in general) and see who could and did contribute the most economically. Concerning World War Two, many economists analyze the amount of money spent in the war vs. amount of money the nation has vs. the nation's production possibility curve (which includes the classic "guns vs. butter" model) the answer becomes pretty clear:
In contrast to the stresses of the Cold War and the fear that
Communism Socialism...Stalinism(?)...whatever the Soviet Union had for a political philosophy was going to control AMERICA, the 90s were actually a pretty peaceful time. Friends was popular. A womanizing jazz-player who married some blonde dude was the president and the economy was good (which is expected when your country is the 3rd largest exporter).
But then something happened. Like being pushed from its throne in Valhalla and plummeting wildly to the earth disgraced, AMERICA suddenly became hated in 2001 and portrayed by foreign media with all kinds of harsh stereotypes. The country's military was despised, the people too all because of foreign policy. Shitty musicians wrote shitty anti-war songs, Oliver Stone made another goddamn movie, and Republicans and Democrats started to froth at the mouth whenever they heard one other. AMERICA was in a state of social chaos because of one man...
To be fair, George W. Bush isn't exactly responsible for AMERICA'S bad image since well...people of different nationalities were never nice to each other. He is a pretty controversial president who led a pretty controversial war who probably shouldn't deserve that title of Worst President yet when you've got Harding, Buchanan, that pussy Pierce and Johnson all being embarrassments.
During Bush's presidency, anti-americanism was and still is incredibly rampant - even more so than pre-2001 where it was normal for AMERICANS to pretend they were Canadian while travelling to different countries, leaving many AMERICANS to wonder why...
Is it Dane Cook? Do you hate AMERICA because of Dane Cook?
Europe hates AMERICA - in particular Britain and Turkey. Turkey hates everyone however and we're assuming Britain's just miserable. Although to everyone's surprise, many Brits actually find relations between their country and AMERICA'S to be favorably close. Even more than their fellow European nations (suck on that, other nations of Europe!). However, Britain has snuck in rather vicious jabs at their ally on television. Vicious British jabs. Take Top Gear for instance: with host Jeremy Clarkson giving lovely commentary on AMERICAN culture throughout not just one, but many episodes - and even in interviews. We're starting to wonder whether or not the show is about cars or British people bitching about AMERICA.
We don't care that you hate AMERICA! Just talk about fucking cars!
France seems to interact with AMERICA the same way Newman interacts with Seinfeld. But the Germans might have an obsession over hating them.
Oh that Germany...
Certain countries in the Middle East get a hard on whenever they hear of anything anti-AMERICAN. Their hatred is due to the Iraq War and past AMERICAN activity in the region in relation to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel. They even have a particularly thorough way of portraying AMERICA as almost a comical villain that twirls its moustache around everytime they do something particularly EVIL.
Australians even hate them. According to a Reader's Digest poll of 1000 Australians, 15% said they were anti-AMERICAN and 67% had a neutral view towards it. 71% percent said they would not live in AMERICA. Australians...not wanting to live in a country that won't kill them with a grab-bag of poisonous, psychotic monsters. But not even us expected them to, on their
shitty Onion ripoff "satirical" "comedy program" CNNN, be like the British and mock the AMERICANS for the enjoyment of a nation-wide audience.
Why Australia? Why? Remember what they taught you in school?! Don't be a follower!
Korea (North and South) hates them. Central America hates them. Even Canada. Of course, Canada was always the grumpy upstairs neighbor that got angry whenever AMERICA threw a party and didn't invite them.
Japan might hate them the most. Granted, when two cities in you're country suddenly burst into flames, you might be angry too. But Japan decided to put their hatred of AMERICA into something else besides blatant propaganda. Something subtle and on television and could be distributed to the country it hates: Anime. Now, AMERICA's race demographic (in 2008) is made up of 81% white (includes hispanics), 14% black and 5% asian. And in terms of ethnicity, well, it's pretty freakin diverse. Religious wise 51% is Protestant (of various denominations), 23% Catholic, 1.7% Jewish, 16.1% unaffiliated and others below 1%. So naturally, this diversity, combined with Japan's bewilderment to AMERICA'S gun laws has made their various shows portray AMERICANS as white, hyper-religious, gun-loving rednecks who are usually blonde for some reason who harrass the perfectly innocent citizens of Japan. Don't worry though, Japan does the same thing to the Chinese and the Koreans. Anywho, here are a some portrayals of AMERICANS:
We'd add Lt. Surge from Pokemon but damn, he was just so cool.
Just be glad that AMERICAN'S are at least portrayed as white in most shows.
Really, be glad.
The internet also has a particular attitude towards AMERICANS with people all around the world acting like little douchebags.
Even Cracked does it occassionally. Even Cracked users do it a lot. Even in certain topics.
Related, the search recommendations on Google have proven yet again that humanity is a massive dick to each other:
Seriously, they just insulted your mom. And AMERICAN-born Jessica Alba. And we'll be damned if we let them get away with that...
Here's a few examples from YouTube with the names censored just so we don't get sued or something (we know you'll still try and hunt them down). Now we know YouTube was always filled with bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings. Still, these people exist. Not exist as in "there are people who are willing to let everyone know that the Jonas Brothers is liek teh best band eva!" No. We mean exist as in people who say really stupid things and think they're right. Like this fucker:
Suddenly, NASA throws its hands in the air and says "Fuck it! We're going to the moon again!"
We put some of the best together because a screen cap of comments filled with "lols" and "firsts!" would fill up this entire page.
Rammstein-Amerika: Rather complain about Rammstein not knowing how to spell AMERICA correctly (a federal crime in the U.S.) or the fact that they're a shitty band you get these:
Notice how no one actually comments on the video. This is why we disable comments people!
And this is from a Robin Williams act where he pokes fun at the French like the eccentric little monkey that he is:
Oh dear, do you see what you did?
AMERICA is hurt by your mean words
Now, the first three are from the same person and he appears to be British too - so he's obviously not one of the people who enjoys Britain's close relationship with AMERICA. And that's terrible. But of course not everyone is insane:
Her username however is pretty disturbing.
Often these atitudes are displayed through or founded from some kind of stereotype. Stereotypes themselves, while not all bad (comedians like Russell Peters use it in all kinds of great ways) can be used to justify practically any kind of prejudice or ignorance because surely you and only you know what you're talking about when it comes to those people. Stereotypes can also be founded from how some members of a group acts. And by members of a group we mean the crazy ones. It's common for people to use the weirdest and most insane aspects of any member of a group, not matter how small, no matter how wrong, and use it to generalize the entire group no matter how large. That crazy Christian lady on Wife Swap that screamed "SHE'S NOT A CHRISTIAN-AH!"? Oh, all Christians are like that. Bunch of Muslim fanatics fly two planes into the World Trade Center? All Muslims are evil. A Jew picks up a penny on the street? They're all greedy and cheap. Black guy steals something? All blacks are criminals.
Irish man gets drunk? All the Irish are alcoholics even the babies. Germany had a man with a funny little moustache kill millions a long time ago? All Germans are Nazis. France surrenders for the 100th time? They're all pussies. And it goes on and on because God forbid you go on Wikipedia for 5 minutes to learn a thing or two. Hell, this is how Fox News survives because they tell you what you want to hear.
(Note from staff: Less morals more funny)
So what are the AMERICAN stereotypes then? Well, if they're AMERICAN they have to be awesome right? Right?
They're Fat: Nevermind that the Body Mass Index has been criticized constantly for mistaking even the healthiest, fit person to be a giant lump of fat, the stereotype that AMERICANS are fat has been around for a while. It's true that 30.6% of AMERICANS are obese (though again, that percentage might be off due to earlier criticisms) but from what you hear in Hollywood, the news, and the internet you'd think all of them weighed around the same as a Hummer. Even if the 30.6% is accurate, and if it is then yeah it's a serious problem since it'd equal around 91,800,000 of it's total population, it's still not a majority to even say that "all AMERICANS are fat". Do you know how many people are in AMERICA? 300 million. And the obesity accusation ignores how obese people got to where they are in the first place. Was it a bad diet, lifestyle, genetics, illness? It could be anything other than "fast food makes AMERICA fat lol".
Not to mention that the United Kingdom's obesity rate is 23% from a country of around 61,000,000. That's also pretty bad.
Lay off the biscuits U.K.
AMERICAN tourists are arrogant, rude, etc.: While the stereotype of fat AMERICANS has only gained ground recently, the idea of the "ignorant, uncultured" AMERICAN has existed since the 1700s where a Dutch guy named de Pauw claimed that AMERICANS were monstrous and that the "weakest European could crush them with ease" (not anymore! Muhahahaha!). So it might come to a surprise that according to a recent Expedia Survey, AMERICA was ranked 11th out of 21 countries on who were the best tourists. The survey claimed that AMERICANS were the most generous and "willing to absorb the local culture" (which makes sense since AMERICA is a tad crazy with the whole tolerance, multiculturalism, and 'let's all be bwesest fwends!' attitude). Along with Britain, who was once the "world's worst tourists" in 2002, the two were considered to be the noisiest and AMERICA had the worst fashion sense.
A lot of complaints towards AMERICAN tourists could be because of cultural differences or, since there's 300 million people in the country, not everyone's going to be nice.
But that attack on their fashion sense is just low.
Ignorant AMERICAN: This is related to the tourist one. While geography has been AMERICA'S downfall on some occassions, the idea that most AMERICANS are woefully ignorant of the rest of the world is again due to the idea that they're uncultured (just scroll up to the YouTube comments). If you go on YouTube again and type in Ignorant AMERICAN you'd find a little less than 2,000 videos dedicated to it. Typing in Stupid American will get you 17,700 videos. The commenters add their little inputs and build up one behemoth of a stereotype that'll be their only picture of what the average AMERICAN is.
But, the AMERICANS have numerous Study Abroad programs to let college students learn about the rest of world. And concerning everyone else, again, not all 300 million people passed geography. When you have such a large population do you honestly expect everyone to be a genius? Every country has stupid people (of course, since stupidity is subjective...). And since AMERICA is the center of attention most of the time, their problems will be the most watched and criticized. Think of what happens to celebrities like Britney Spears. You never hear anything good about her. And people love that. They love accentuating the negative and bitching - especially when it comes to people they don't like. The entire problem with these stereotypes, or any stereotype for that matter, is largely dependent on how people interact with each other. And well, if the fate of the entire world was dependent on people being all nice and lovey-dovey, they'd be royally fucked.
But it's not like knowing all of this will change how people are going to act around them. No. AMERICA will still be the unpopular kid that no one wants to hang out with.
"Why doesn't anybody like me?"
And we're sure some of you reading this right now will still think that AMERICANS are the worst kind of people on the planet because you know better. But that's fine! It's okay to generalize 300 million people to make them seem inferior to you or your nation! Hitler did it too!
Theodore Roosevelt once wrote an essay called "The AMERICAN Boy" that discussed what kind of good AMERICAN a man should be.
Now to some AMERICANS being a good AMERICAN or a good patriot is waving a flag around or wearing the flag on your shirt which is funny because the U.S. Flag Code specifically states that the flag should not be used for "wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery".
Not patriotic. He's just an asshole.
But all that flag-loving and nationalism don't mean shit when you don't know the Preamble of the Constitution or hell, anything related to what the country is about symbolically.
To Ole Teddy, a good AMERICAN is someone who is courageous and works hard. Someone who has responsibilties and obligations. To "Hit the line hard; don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the line hard!".
So if you see some guy, whether it be some country-singer or a politician or anyone for that matter, talking about what's "unAMERICAN" or "what's wrong with AMERICA" or scapegoating people or trying to escape responsibilities or basically being a relentless douchebag, you kick their ass. You kick their ass until they don't have an ass anymore. You kick their ass so hard your foot becomes lodged in their colon with a fiery patriotic might of ass-kicking justice. Because being an AMERICAN isn't about bullshitting around and sitting on your ass all day complaining about what's wrong with the country and doing nothing about it. Being an AMERICAN is being a leader like
Nixon Bush Carter Hoover Pierce Washington or Lincoln or that beautiful man T.R. - because they were strong spiritually and had an unbreakable integrity. And if they made a mistake they'd face the consequences head on and admit they're wrongs. They believed in the AMERICAN WAY without a second thought. In the immortal words of Captain AMERICA:
"Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world - 'No, you move.'"
So be an AMERICAN with a STAR-SPANGLED HEART OF JUSTICE-SPEWING FLAMES OF JUSTICE!
There is one more thing we all have to do:
Even Canada's Kate Beaton thinks AMERICA is awesome
Let us gaze into the AMERICAN flag with honor.
It's okay if you get an erection from this picture. It's an AMERICAN erection - completely normal. Though if it's French so help us...