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Thread: What makes Europeans similar between each others, as opposed to Americans

  1. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by hope View Post
    Seriously, how yes no 2, you think Europe is more sympathetic than America. What about all our revolutions, the murdering of our Royal families of Russia and France. What about how we dealt with the Jews, the Huguenots etc.
    well, what about mass killing of native Americans or giving them blankets infected with heavy diseases, or about ghettos for Japanese during WW2, or throwing atomic bombs on Japan even though the was close to an end without it, or about black people being slaves for centuries and low worth caste till 60s, or about murders of presidents in USA... or about strategical economic wars for resources disguised as a struggle for democracy, what about manipulation with public opinion in order to justify such wars....what about average american having close to zero knowledge about (and no interest for) the world outside America and whether their country is in some war currently and whether that war makes sense...

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    Slavery was bad My family owned slaves and fought for the confederacy and lost everything after the Souths defeat.Slavery was also a European thing including White slavery. The nuclear bombs dropped on Japan saved a lot of Lives Japanese included. Casualties estimates for a ground invasion of Japan was like 100,000 . Your views of America are wrong but you are entitled to your opinion. America gives more relief world wide than any country on Earth .By the way Dutch Americans got their hands dirty just like everyone else clearing Indians out. We could also discuss some more recent events from 70 years ago in your country. And South Africa but I won't. May he who has not sinned cast the first stone.
    Last edited by L.D.Brousse; 20-03-12 at 10:29.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by how yes no 3 View Post
    well, what about mass killing of native Americans or giving them blankets infected with heavy diseases, or about ghettos for Japanese during WW2, or throwing atomic bombs on Japan even though the was close to an end without it, or about black people being slaves for centuries and low worth caste till 60s, or about murders of presidents in USA... or about strategical economic wars for resources disguised as a struggle for democracy, what about manipulation with public opinion in order to justify such wars....what about average american having close to zero knowledge about (and no interest for) the world outside America and whether their country is in some war currently and whether that war makes sense...
    With respect how no yes 3, a lot of what you say only adds weight to what I said. For example you speak of the murder of the idigenous people in America and diseased "blankets", but it was the Europeans that did that. Look at the great Inca and Aztec empires, destroyed by Europeans. The slave trade did`nt carry on in America only, a lot of Europeans got very wealthy from the slave trade, look at the Gold Coast alone , Dutch, English, Swedish and Portuguese were involved in that under permits granted via Lisbon,again Europeans.
    As for the atomic bomb, well Einstein got wind that the Germans were trying something similar in the first place, took his findings to President Roosevelt and thats what kicked off The Manhatten Project, and it was Canadians ,Americans, along with British and ex Germans worked on that one.
    As for governments lying, all governments lie, it`s naive to think they don`t. Britain went to war with Iraq because of the mass weapons Iraq had, and of course, as we all know, no such weapons existed.
    To speak of ghettos, they are not exclusive to America, there are places in every European country where living conditions could be likened to ghettos, run done at least to say the best.
    No, I stick to what I said, I agree with you on the long history of Europe but have to say that the more able European countries have at some time trampled over and destroyed many less able countries, at different times in history. :)

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    I agree with hope that's it's difficult to maintain that "European culture has... more sympathy for fellow man" than American culture, historically and in modern terms. I think they're at comparable levels, and the two have certainly influenced one another.

    A note on smallpox blankets: Although the tactic was employed famously during the Siege of Fort Pitt, it's more properly understood as a (nasty and condemnable) biological warfare tactic than a policy of genocide, as evidenced by the fact that it was only employed against "enemy" tribes. It's also a myth that it was ever employed by the US Army in a post-Revolutionary context.

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    My poinion is that looking at past events with today's eyes is a mistake. The mindset in the past (recent and afar) was very different, and things that were deemed as acceptable, like slavery, are no more today. As for slavery, for example, many families today in the port cities of Bordeaux and Nantes, in France, inherited their fortune from the slave trade. Nantes has done a lot of work analysing and documenting its role as a major slave trade marketplace, where in Bordeaux, things tend to be very much confidential. Other times, other creeds...

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    Curious that Europeans try to imitate the bad of America, Americans try to imitate the good of Europe. =)

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    I lived , both in Europe and in the USA. I believe people are the same everywhere.
    There are a lot of things that impact somebodies character and most of them are universal for developed world.
    First of all, we need to see what is common for the Europeans?
    In your own country, people differ from each other depending on where did they grew up, big or small city, education…
    The same way people differ according to their country of origin, ethnicity, religion….

    The same goes for the Americans, since they came from different sides and backgrounds.

    My personal impression is, its hard to stereotype, and people simply cannot be judged by where are they from.
    What you can judge is social environment people are raised in, since that shapes their social interaction, but not their personalities.

    That’s why Americans swim in trunks, and Europeans in Speedos!

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    These replies are rather cliche in places. I have to disagree somewhat with the gushing praise about Europeans and our supposed enlightened, urbane and culturally refined reputation. We shit like any other people and there are vast amounts of ill-educated, parochial Europeans. Not all of us speak five languages, vote socialist or keep up to date with international news (obviously a forum such as this is a skewed representation). We Europeans tend to have these self-delusions, but it was not two generations ago that we fought each other in the mud like animals, peasants still shat in outhouses and nationalism ravaged our continent. Don't forget it so easily and wave a lazy hand at America and accusing it of being blood-thirsty and stupid.

    Personally, I find it very refreshing, the fact that Americans are confident enough in themselves, for example, to continue playing their own sports instead of football. For all their past and present problems with say, race in society, I can say with a degree of assurance that in fifty years, the USA will be a more adjusted and self-accepting nation than its counterparts over here. They may be brash and air their problems loudly and in the open, but I think that it's a healthier approach than the European preference of only whispering about the problems in our society until they evolve into something worse.

    But referring to the thread question, I think that it is actually quite difficult to point out 'European' similarities beyond the pure trite. I don't quite know how to word it, but I think that European nations, the cities, countryside, everywhere really, has somewhat of a more natural or organic feel than the USA. Most probably because we are old nations; when I am in America, it is unescapable that the country is something of an 'experiment'; you can't identify the undercurrents and essence of a location as easily as you can in Europe. This is possibly why many Europeans may feel more at home in other European countries, even if they do not speak the language, than in America.
    Also, it is a bizarre point, but the question of physical contact is something that Europeans share more as opposed to Americans. Over here, between friends of either gender, it is more acceptable to touch (obviously not sexually) one another. In America, there is a reaction of 'that's gay' if two men kiss in greeting, or shake with two hands very warmly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Windows

    There are major differences between European countries when it comes to the way windows open.

    In France, Belgium and Germany, most windows are the "tilt and turn" type (some only turn, without tilting). They almost always open towards the inside.

    In the Netherlands and Britain, turn windows typically open both towards the inside and outside, or sometimes just outwards.

    In the UK and in most English-speaking countries, sash windows are the most common.This can be single-hung or double-hung sash windows, or even horizontal sliding sash windows.

    Privacy

    I noticed a few stuff in American movies and series that are clearly different from what I know in Europe. However, this may not be typically American. It may also be used on TV for reasons of convenience regarding the plot rather than because it is extremely common.

    Example 1 : answering machines

    In American movies, most people seem to have an answering machine at home, and you can always hear the person's message loud in the room. I have never seen that here. Answering machines are usually silent, like on mobile phones. A light, ring or text message indicates that there is a message left, but you can't actually hear the person speaking if you are next to the phone when he/she leaves the message. I think it would be annoying if you are busy or resting while you get a message. It's also not good for privacy if you have guests at home and don't bother to answer the phone, then everyone can listen to the message being left.

    Example 2 : neighours and front doors

    In American movies/series, neighours tend to know each other well, chat with each others, and even spy on each others. It seems common to enter in a neighbour's house to ask to borrow something, ask a favour, or just pop in for a chat. What is more, doors seem to be left unlocked most of the time, and front doors often have windows.

    All this is completely different from what I have seen in all the European countries where I have lived or travelled. People greet their neighbours, and may occasionally chat with them, but most people tend to mind their own business and value a lot their privacy. That is why most Europeans never leave their outside door open when they are not inside the house (or at any time in cities). That is also why people do not try entering without knocking or ringing the bell, even if they have seen somebody inside. Only close family members could do that. In general, in countries like Belgium or France, it is rude to drop by unannounced or unexpectedly at someone's house.

    Front doors very rarely have windows (except in Britain and the Netherlands), because this allows anybody to peep inside, which is a total intrusion of privacy. In many countries (notably Belgium, France, Italy...), the ground floor of townhouses tend to be elevated from the street in order to prevent passerby's from looking through the windows.

    Overall, the cultural difference between Europe an the USA here is that Europeans are not big on neighbours' watch, almpst never have a gun at home, but almost always lock their doors and tend to have good security systems, stone/brick rather than wooden walls, thick (anti-theft) glazing on windows, and heavy and secure outside doors. Reasonably well-off people often have good alarm systems and surveillance cameras. In Spain, bars on windows are common. In France and Italy, it is shutters. In other words, burglary prevention is based on house equipment and "fortification" rather than relying on the human factor, such as neighbours' vigilance or self-protection with guns.
    A few comments from an American; as someone who has lived on the east and west coast you can also see the differences in construction practices, remember 50 states 50 rules on doing things, Califorina windows don't work the same as Maryland windows or have the same shape. I have a glass windowed front, side and back door and haven't had a peeper yet. Insurance protects my home when I'm away and a Glock 26 while I'm home. I also own multiple guns and shoot about once a month. While I know my neighors by first name I've never been in there homes and we usually just wave at each other. My answering machine is quite. I don't lock my front door or cars during the day. While I drive a mini cooper s I also own one of those big trucks, I round it out with a toyota highlander hybrid. Been to Europe many times UK, Germany and Spain feel most at home in Germany even though I don't speak German.

  10. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by how yes no 3 View Post
    well, what about mass killing of native Americans or giving them blankets infected with heavy diseasesp
    Europeans did this. Also, Europeans used to throw corpses into cities in order to poison the populace, including plague bodies.

    , or about ghettos for Japanese during WW2
    How about the ghettos of the Jews for 500+ years?

    , or throwing atomic bombs on Japan even though the was close to an end without it
    How about the carpet bombing of Dresden or the rape of millions of German women by the Soviet Union? Also: The rape of most Eastern European women by the same? Or how about all the German and Italian atrocities?

    , or about black people being slaves for centuries and low worth caste till 60s
    First: Slavery wasn't invented by Americans. Second: Europeans had black slaves for centuries and BEGAN the practice. Third: The US didn't have as many slaves as Brazil or the West Indies, which were under control of EUROPEAN countries. Four: The most prolific slave owning culture in history was Ancient Rome, which is the paragon of all European civilization.

    , or about murders of presidents in USA...
    Must we list the assassinated members of European government?

    or about strategical economic wars for resources disguised as a struggle for democracy
    ,

    Didn't Europeans define "living space"? I seem to remember colonization for the purpose of civilizing the savage, too...Oh, and participation of European powers in these democracy wars the US runs and gains no material benefits from but trillions lost.

    what about manipulation with public opinion in order to justify such wars....
    Propaganda was perfected in Europe.

    what about average american having close to zero knowledge about (and no interest for) the world outside America and whether their country is in some war currently and whether that war makes sense...
    This is just a silly stereotype. Go ask your countrymen how "wonderfully educated" they are.
    Last edited by JFWR; 17-07-12 at 05:39.

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    Quote Originally Posted by how yes no 3 View Post
    well, what about mass killing of native Americans or giving them blankets infected with heavy diseases, or about ghettos for Japanese during WW2, or throwing atomic bombs on Japan even though the was close to an end without it, or about black people being slaves for centuries and low worth caste till 60s, or about murders of presidents in USA... or about strategical economic wars for resources disguised as a struggle for democracy, what about manipulation with public opinion in order to justify such wars....what about average american having close to zero knowledge about (and no interest for) the world outside America and whether their country is in some war currently and whether that war makes sense...
    Don't be a hater, get out more and enjoy life.

    The only Americans are the native Americans who were not dissussing, the rest of us are English, German, Italian, Spanish, etc etc etc. My father was born in Essen and my grandmother in Dublin I just happen to be born and raised here and I'm as glad of that as you are to be born in your country.

    Those same people who provided early American Indians diseased blankets we're immigrants from Europe who wanted what the Indians had. It's happen that way for thousands of years, the more powerfully overcome the weaker. On WWII I've seen the interment camp in Califorina and know how the American Japanies lost everything but it wasn't like the Jews in Germany. If you knew how the Japanies wouldn't give up on all the islands leading to Japan you would know they would have fought us every inch for Japan. I wish the bomb had never been invented, I think the world would be better without it, but it was and we used it. I'm just happy my country has never used it again after seeing what it did. On the subject of Nukes, Russia is back to sending bombers up to our borders Probing our defencies.

    If I gave you a quiz on American states, capitals, cities and history you would do as we'll as an American on Europe, why is it a big issue for you? I'm the only one in my family to work in Germany, Spain and England and have traveled from Oslo to Athens. I even own a mini cooper along with my big American truck . Can't we just get along?

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    People of course have similarities in any culture, and being that the U.S. is primarily derived from European (especially west Euro) countries, there's going to be further similarities. But each kind of have their own way of dealing with certain things. Americans have that exceptionalism they developed over time that separates them. Being a melting pot, their definitions of citizenship and ethnicity and so on may differ from places like Germany that are more homogenous overall. And yeah the privacy thing between neighbors may be true at times too. Americans are stereotyped as liking big things all the time, especially out west like in Texas, while Europeans are more content with smaller cars and amounts of food without going overboard.

    Parts of the U.S. do remind me of Australia more, and they there kind of look up to America as a better model than Britain, which they don't like too much lol.

    I guess slavery is one thing that deeply affected America's history, and it's consequences can still be felt today in society.

    Other than that, Europe is just much older in terms of culture, and each country there kind of has their own unique ethnic culture they've developed over centuries, while America's is a bit more elusive, holding on to things like freedom, the outdoors, barbecue, apple pie, baseball, etc lol, but that doesn't even apply to every region, as local cultures developed in say the South, the west, the northeast, etc. I guess American football is another unique thing that they're proud of. Wish they were more into soccer.

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    Low voter turnout

    One theory behind the lower voter turn out in the US is that elections are held every other year as opposed to every 3 to 5 years. Also Americans tend to work more and have less time to worry about politics outside of election season.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    Patriotism doesn't equate to Nationalism

    People in Europe tend to think patriotism and nationalism are the same thing. In American schools, at least in Nevada and California, we teach the idea that nationalism means the person is racist, there country is better than all the rest and wan't to invade and colonize others. Patriotism to Americans means pride in our country. Patriots are willing to defend it. That doesn't mean that we want to invade the planet like Hitler did. Also many people dislike interventionism and want to let the world be. Also we get offended when criticized by Europeans because that seems to be the only thing you do when talking about the US. Granted I know this isn't always true, but some don't realize that some Europeans have good things to say about the US.

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    Neighborhoods

    Doors having large windows usually is a sign that the neighborhood is "good" and not prone to have crime. Also neighbors aren't nosy like they are on TV. We know each other and talk from time to time, but we don't spy on each other. Those that do are seen as unneighborly. Don't think that unneighborly is a proper word, but it fits. Also, in the West our homes are designed to ride out 7.0 earthquakes. This means that you would have to drive a truck through the wall to break in. This also means that our windows are hard to break and they lock. Another thing is we don't all have guns for home defense. The gun in my home is for target shooting and couldn't effectively be used for home defense if I needed it because there is a trigger lock that is hard to open. The ammo is kept in a separate location as well.

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    When people from England or Scotland say they are from the UK it confuses us Americans because we generally refer to England and Scotland separately. Also, when referring to both we say Britain. Also our history books reinforce this because the books refer to independence from England/Great Britain not the United Kingdom. Another thing is, most of us don't watch BBC America.

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    The blanket tactic was started by the English and the government destroyed the image of the Native Americans to justify that is the eyes of the American people. The government did reimburse and apologize to the Japanese for the internment. Also we dropped the bombs on Japan to convince them to surrender. We project 1 million Allied casualties if there was an invasion of Japan. We have also given blood to end slavery and segregation. Another thing about segregation is people moved away to escape it. If we don't like where we live, we can move to a different state without having to contact immigration services. Also people obsess over slavery so much that we ignore the rest of the world or ANY other American contribution to the world. After learning about the founding of the country we learn how bad we were to black people and minorities and it doesn't matter if you were a member of one of the white minorities that got the shaft. We also use the two world wars to justify farther why Europeans/White Americans are bad. We don't even teach the fact that the Soviet Union collapsed because we spend so much time bashing ourselves in our history classes.

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    I grew up in a very European/American house hold, and have lived in both countries. Im very aware of the differences. A lot of people are saying America is more religious than Europe. I don't completely agree with this. culturally the south is very Christian at least in name. However I have to say that even though Europe is quite secular, the secularism that is in America is much stonger. Also every European country is quite different but, I would still say that Europe still associates its self with Christianity and there still are a lot of strong Christians in Europe. Also religious holidays are highly celebrated in Europe as compared to America where only Christmas and Easter are celebrated. One of the hugest differences between the two, are the fact that life in America is very competitive, right down to the way people act. Everybody is in completion with eachother. In Europe people are more social, and less competitive. In the u.s there is an attitude even though nobody mentions it, that someone is a loser or a winner. This isn't so strong in Europe. Life also revolves around work in the U.S whereas in Europe people work to live. I also noticed in Europe that when people have a disagreement or even get quite loud or violent, its not so serious and people will easly be friends afterwards. In the u.s when people have a disagreement they usually end up hating eachother for a very long time, sometimes for ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by how yes no 3 View Post
    well, what about mass killing of native Americans or giving them blankets infected with heavy diseases, or about ghettos for Japanese during WW2, or throwing atomic bombs on Japan even though the was close to an end without it, or about black people being slaves for centuries and low worth caste till 60s, or about murders of presidents in USA... or about strategical economic wars for resources disguised as a struggle for democracy, what about manipulation with public opinion in order to justify such wars....what about average american having close to zero knowledge about (and no interest for) the world outside America and whether their country is in some war currently and whether that war makes sense...
    Point taken but not every American is a bunch of crooks, as my 8th grade history teacher once said "texts books make students less knowlegable about history" yet the average schools have textbooks but not all.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by silkyslovanbojkovsky View Post
    I grew up in a very European/American house hold, and have lived in both countries. Im very aware of the differences. A lot of people are saying America is more religious than Europe. I don't completely agree with this. culturally the south is very Christian at least in name. However I have to say that even though Europe is quite secular, the secularism that is in America is much stonger. Also every European country is quite different but, I would still say that Europe still associates its self with Christianity and there still are a lot of strong Christians in Europe. Also religious holidays are highly celebrated in Europe as compared to America where only Christmas and Easter are celebrated. One of the hugest differences between the two, are the fact that life in America is very competitive, right down to the way people act. Everybody is in completion with eachother. In Europe people are more social, and less competitive. In the u.s there is an attitude even though nobody mentions it, that someone is a loser or a winner. This isn't so strong in Europe. Life also revolves around work in the U.S whereas in Europe people work to live. I also noticed in Europe that when people have a disagreement or even get quite loud or violent, its not so serious and people will easly be friends afterwards. In the u.s when people have a disagreement they usually end up hating eachother for a very long time, sometimes for ever.
    You probably comparing big US city, where you live, to mostly rural or small town Slovakia. Religion and even economy between US states varies as much as between European countries. Compare New York to Utah, or San Francisco to New Orlean, if not the language it would seem like living in different country. Then compare Sweden to Albania, or Holland to Ukraine.
    It seems to me that you are trying to put all US and all Europe to one bag, but it is not going to work.
    I would say that New York and San Francisco is closer, culturally and economically, to London or Berlin, than London and Berlin to Kiev or Athens. Although they are all in one Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    You probably comparing big US city, where you live, to mostly rural or small town Slovakia. Religion and even economy between US states varies as much as between European countries. Compare New York to Utah, or San Francisco to New Orlean, if not the language it would seem like living in different country. Then compare Sweden to Albania, or Holland to Ukraine.
    It seems to me that you are trying to put all US and all Europe to one bag, but it is not going to work.
    I would say that New York and San Francisco is closer, culturally and economically, to London or Berlin, than London and Berlin to Kiev or Athens. Although they are all in one Europe.
    That's the whole point of this thread to try and compare Europe to the U.S of course its not going to be perfect but there are similarities and differences as a whole. Ive lived all over the U.S in small towns and big cities, in the south and the north. yes New York city is more European, but not exactly. All of Slovakia is religious, I have lived in very rural Slovakia, but Ive also lived in Bratislava and its still very religious. If you go to weekday mass in Bratislava is quite packed, and on sunday the churches are full. I lived in Vienna also for a year, and though church attendance is less, religion is still very much a part of the culture. There are so many religious holidays that I had off from work, where all the shops are closed, Growing up in rural south we never had that. Life in the U.S is vary competitive and very work orientated, im not the first one to say this. In Europe life is far less work orientated. Don't get me wrong I noticed I listed a lot of negative things about the U.S, which doesn't complete show the whole picture. The U.S has much better manners than continental Europeans, who can be extremely rude. I would say my judgments as a whole are very accurate, because Ive had a lot of experience with Europeans from all over Europe and Americans from all over America.

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