October 1, 2004 8:40 PM   Subscribe

What were other names considered before the name United States of America was decided upon?
posted by riffola to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
This interesting thing says old maps used to call America "Brazil." : >

The Declaration says: "We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States,..." so i guess they used that. I think the Declaration formalized "United States" as the term.
posted by amberglow at 9:08 PM on October 1, 2004

The name was decided officially in the Articles of Confederation, and then carried over under the constitution. I've never heard of another name being discussed. Had there been, it almost certainly would have been shot down. The individual states had an awful lot of power back then, and would have nixed anything that made one seem better than the other.

I imagine it was something like the design of the Euro - they ended up with something incredibly bland because no nation wanted another to seem more . . . significant.

Hence, we live in the United States of America rather than Hansonia, or whatever.

On a side note, I get really pissed when people talk about "America." There's no such place!! It was just an abstraction used to describe all the stuff Amerigo Vespucci stumbled upon.
posted by aladfar at 9:10 PM on October 1, 2004

amberglow, that Brazil article is fascinating. Thanks.
posted by weston at 10:20 PM on October 1, 2004

Thanks for the links amber and aladfar. I like the sound of United States of Codfishland. :)
posted by riffola at 9:19 AM on October 2, 2004

I get really pissed when people talk about "America." There's no such place!!

There's no such place as Mexico, then. It's the United States of Mexico to you, bub. No such place as Germany either. You really should be referring to it as the Federal Republic of Germany, or if you want to avoid the cultural chauvinism of referring to it by an English name, the Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Of course, nobody will know what the Hellas you're talking about (Hellas being the real name of Greece, of course).

No. That way lies madness. As shorthand for "the United States of America," "America" is a common, widely-understood, and perfectly fine way to refer to the country.
posted by kindall at 9:42 AM on October 2, 2004

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