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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It's one thing to say something but another to look at the facts. France has not yet decriminalised even tiny possessions of cannabis, and it still has some of the most repressive laws (worse than Texas !) against cannabis production, even for personal use, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of twenty years' imprisonment or a fine of up to 7.5 million € (see Article 222-35 of the French Penal Code).
    Which means that consumers take heavy risks but smoke nonetheless

    Lifetime prevalence of cannabis use among all adults (aged 15 to 64 years old

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    Well I am European (Italian) and I am currently living in Australia, very similar to America from a cultural point of view. So I answer basing on my experience.
    1. Europeans in my opinion seem to have more class and to give a different values to things. Australians/Americans tend to be more consumistic.
    2. Europeans are divided in countries basing on their ethnicities while American society is multicultural. What I don't like of mutlicultural society is that you never know a country for what it really is, but for stereotypes, basing on things that people from that country have brought in their new land. Often it is just a shop window that doesn't catch the real essence of that country. For example, going in a French restaurant in France is totally different that going in a French restaurant in Melbourne.
    3. European seem to me more religious and more attached to the history of their own country.
    4. Europeans, in the way to do and behave, seem more serious and rigid.
    5. Europeans seem to me more intollerant.
    6. Although it may sound a bit stereotyping, European men are more romantic and gallant, Europeans in general are thiner due to totally different food habits and in general they have an higher culture.

    I definitely prefer Europe and will come back very soon.

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Lebrok and Sparkey, thanks for your welcome.

    Sparkey I actually agree with your nits and picks. Americans are conservative but "liberal and conservative" mean completely different things to Americans than to Europeans. I agree that liberalism has a important place in American history. The point that I was trying to make, apparently not too well, was that Americans have been self governing for 400 years. This is the way we have always done it and is actually very liberal. An American conservative, who wants to perserve our liberties, would hold very divergent opinions say that of a conservative British monarchist. American liberal philosophy was responsible for some our great steps forward such as ending slavery and civil right violations, ending child labor and pushing universal suffage. However, liberals are now often castigated for wanting to institute socialism to increase control over people's lives. Of course, other conservatives could push a world view that we all should be obedient to the president as the "commander in chief" and as I indicated many liberals push that we all should have the fullest control of our own lives and be treated with the utmost respect by the government. Basically, we are all over the place.

    I think a good way to explain this is that during our Civil War the governments of many European nations such as England and France wanted to see the slave holding Confederacy win, because they realized that a self governing nation of equals, which the Union represented, would eventually spell the doom of the nobility and monarchy. Lincoln worked to "conserve" the Union against the states that were fighting for their freedom to hold slaves. He was both conservative in regards to the government and liberal in regards to human rights. Hopefully I didn't muddy the waters even more. Let me know what you think.


    Maciamo - I wanted to clarify a points of disagreement.
    1) I tried to explain the difference between European and American views of liberalism and conservatism above. Hopefully I made some salient points.

    2) While most TV shows are made in New York and California, Americans as a whole do not think that the trends are set there. Of course Europeans can't help but think otherwise because that is what they see on TV. That is not to deny that many Californians and New Yorkers think they are cutting edge. However, most people in the other states will not agree with them. This conflicting view actually goes back to the founding of our nation. When our founding fathers were writing our constitution the large states wanted congressional representation by population. The small states wanted to have equal congressional representation for each state. The great compromise was that we would have both: a House of Representatives determined by each state's population and a Senate with 2 senators for each state. Any law must be passed by both houses. This has worked quite well in practice. This is also why we Americans have a rather convoluted way to elect a president. We actually don't have a national election for president. We have 50 seperate elections, one in each state. That way the population in a state elects by majority its choice for president. Then all that state's electoral votes goes towards the state's winning candidate (with one exception). In this way, New York and California and Texas are very important because they have a lot of electoral votes, but a small state may actually be the deciding state. A few elections ago, Michigan with its 18 or so electoral votes was up in the air. I have to tell you that I got so sick of seeing the presidental candidates. They were alway blocking traffic. But I did feel important.


    3) As far as our constitution, I should have added "oldest existing and continuous written constitution." Of course many nations in the past had or now have written constitution. I may be wrong and please correct if I am, but I understood that the U.S. constitution is the oldest existing and working constitution.

    4) You are correct that the 13 colonies had seperate governments and that the adoption of the U.S Constitution was a big change. However, it was a natural development. After the French and Indian War (your Seven Years War), the English parliment started to pull in the reigns to force the colonies to pay off the debt from the war and to pay for defense against the Native Americans. They instituted new taxes such as the Stamp Act. The 13 colonies started to meet together to counter the perceived English threat to their liberties. The "Continental Congress" which declared independence was actually the second such Continental Congress. During the Revolution, Congress drafted our first constitution, the Articles of Confederation. These were so weak, that many leaders realized that to survive, the new nation had to have a stronger national government and put togther a constitution convention to write a new constitution to submit to the states for approval. Luckily Washington consented to be the chair of the convention. His stamp of approval made a great difference in smoothing over people's fears. My point was that there was a natural evolution in our government that many European did not have. This is not to blame the Europeans. The Americans were very blessed to essentially always be self governing. The Europeans had a long way to go once they threw off their nobility and monarchs. The terrors that occurred in Russia and France were almost to be expected. We were also very lucky to have a Washington and the other founding fathers like Jefferson and Franklin. Unfortunately, Europe got stuck with the likes of Napoleon and Lenin. Individuals do make a huge difference in world history. As an aside, each state writes it own constitution. The main requirement in the U.S. Constitution is that a state must have a republican form (as in res publica, not the political party) of government.

    5) Someone indicated that U.S. universal suffage did not come about until 1965. I think there is some confusion here with the Civil rights movement. Actually universal male suffage came about after our Civil War (1865). However, many of the former slave holding states which secceeded from the Union instituted what is called Jim Crow laws which on a practical level discouraged blacks from voting because of poll taxes and literacy tests. The civil right movement of the mid 1960s worked to ban these essentially illegal practices.


    Thanks so much all of you. I am enjoying the conversation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sybilla View Post
    Well I am European (Italian) and I am currently living in Australia, very similar to America from a cultural point of view. So I answer basing on my experience.
    1. Europeans in my opinion seem to have more class and to give a different values to things. Australians/Americans tend to be more consumistic.
    2. Europeans are divided in countries basing on their ethnicities while American society is multicultural. What I don't like of mutlicultural society is that you never know a country for what it really is, but for stereotypes, basing on things that people from that country have brought in their new land. Often it is just a shop window that doesn't catch the real essence of that country. For example, going in a French restaurant in France is totally different that going in a French restaurant in Melbourne.
    3. European seem to me more religious and more attached to the history of their own country.
    4. Europeans, in the way to do and behave, seem more serious and rigid.
    5. Europeans seem to me more intollerant.
    6. Although it may sound a bit stereotyping, European men are more romantic and gallant, Europeans in general are thiner due to totally different food habits and in general they have an higher culture.

    I definitely prefer Europe and will come back very soon.
    I have lived in Australia and been to the USA, and IMHO Australia is much more similar to the UK than to the US. The only things that Australians and Americans have in common is that they were uprooted from their historical culture and have become rather oblivious of the rest of the world. The Australian outback can also remind of places like Texas, but that only concerns a minority of Australians.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Red View Post
    Sparkey I actually agree with your nits and picks. Americans are conservative but "liberal and conservative" mean completely different things to Americans than to Europeans. I agree that liberalism has a important place in American history. The point that I was trying to make, apparently not too well, was that Americans have been self governing for 400 years. This is the way we have always done it and is actually very liberal. An American conservative, who wants to perserve our liberties, would hold very divergent opinions say that of a conservative British monarchist. American liberal philosophy was responsible for some our great steps forward such as ending slavery and civil right violations, ending child labor and pushing universal suffage. However, liberals are now often castigated for wanting to institute socialism to increase control over people's lives. Of course, other conservatives could push a world view that we all should be obedient to the president as the "commander in chief" and as I indicated many liberals push that we all should have the fullest control of our own lives and be treated with the utmost respect by the government. Basically, we are all over the place.

    I think a good way to explain this is that during our Civil War the governments of many European nations such as England and France wanted to see the slave holding Confederacy win, because they realized that a self governing nation of equals, which the Union represented, would eventually spell the doom of the nobility and monarchy. Lincoln worked to "conserve" the Union against the states that were fighting for their freedom to hold slaves. He was both conservative in regards to the government and liberal in regards to human rights. Hopefully I didn't muddy the waters even more. Let me know what you think.
    My goodness ! You have been so deeply indoctrinated ! It feels like you are reciting prayers !

    2) While most TV shows are made in New York and California, Americans as a whole do not think that the trends are set there. Of course Europeans can't help but think otherwise because that is what they see on TV. That is not to deny that many Californians and New Yorkers think they are cutting edge.
    So you basically disagree that most of the new economic and lifestyle trends start in California or New York, or more generally speaking in the West Coast and Northeast corner of the USA ?

    However, most people in the other states will not agree with them. This conflicting view actually goes back to the founding of our nation. When our founding fathers were writing our constitution the large states wanted congressional representation by population. The small states wanted to have equal congressional representation for each state. The great compromise was that we would have both: a House of Representatives determined by each state's population and a Senate with 2 senators for each state. Any law must be passed by both houses. This has worked quite well in practice. This is also why we Americans have a rather convoluted way to elect a president. We actually don't have a national election for president. We have 50 seperate elections, one in each state. That way the population in a state elects by majority its choice for president. Then all that state's electoral votes goes towards the state's winning candidate (with one exception). In this way, New York and California and Texas are very important because they have a lot of electoral votes, but a small state may actually be the deciding state. A few elections ago, Michigan with its 18 or so electoral votes was up in the air. I have to tell you that I got so sick of seeing the presidental candidates. They were alway blocking traffic. But I did feel important.
    Why are you telling me all this ? That's common knowledge, even in Europe. You really seem to think that Europeans know as little about the USA as you do about Europe.


    3) As far as our constitution, I should have added "oldest existing and continuous written constitution." Of course many nations in the past had or now have written constitution. I may be wrong and please correct if I am, but I understood that the U.S. constitution is the oldest existing and working constitution.
    The US Constitution has been amended 27 times. It is not the same constitution as in 1787 any more. The Netherlands and Sweden also changed parts of their constitution, but the countries are still the same (unlike say ancient Rome which doesn't exist any more).

    4) You are correct that the 13 colonies had seperate governments and that the adoption of the U.S Constitution was a big change. However, it was a natural development. After the French and Indian War (your Seven Years War), the English parliment started to pull in the reigns to force the colonies to pay off the debt from the war and to pay for defense against the Native Americans. They instituted new taxes such as the Stamp Act. The 13 colonies started to meet together to counter the perceived English threat to their liberties. The "Continental Congress" which declared independence was actually the second such Continental Congress. During the Revolution, Congress drafted our first constitution, the Articles of Confederation. These were so weak, that many leaders realized that to survive, the new nation had to have a stronger national government and put togther a constitution convention to write a new constitution to submit to the states for approval. Luckily Washington consented to be the chair of the convention. His stamp of approval made a great difference in smoothing over people's fears. My point was that there was a natural evolution in our government that many European did not have. This is not to blame the Europeans.
    You are reciting again, but I don't see the point of your argument. It's not even an argument, nor even a justification.

    The Americans were very blessed to essentially always be self governing. The Europeans had a long way to go once they threw off their nobility and monarchs.
    Switzerland and the Netherlands became republics long before the USA (although the Netherlands democratically chose to become a constitutional monarchy afterwards). Even England had a brief Republican period under Cromwell, but that didn't work out too well. There are still many monarchies in Europe, and they usually have higher living standards than the USA (notably Scandinavian countries).

    We were also very lucky to have a Washington and the other founding fathers like Jefferson and Franklin.
    Your ancestors were so lucky ? I thought you said your father and grandparents came from Slovakia. They had nothing to do with the American Revolution ! You sound like you have been brainwashed so much that you forget about your own origins.

    Unfortunately, Europe got stuck with the likes of Napoleon and Lenin.
    Why Napoleon ? It surely did more for humanity than George Washington. Check my article What the world owes to Napoleon. There are quite a lot of Americans who view Napoleon as a tyrant like Hitler. He was surely much closer to his contemporaries, the Founding Fathers of the USA. He was a man of the Enlightenment and was loved by the French people, and still is highly regarded in France and some other European countries. There are new biographies written all the time about Napoleon still nowadays. The latest to be published was written by former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin in 2009.


    5) Someone indicated that U.S. universal suffage did not come about until 1965. I think there is some confusion here with the Civil rights movement. Actually universal male suffage came about after our Civil War (1865). However, many of the former slave holding states which secceeded from the Union instituted what is called Jim Crow laws which on a practical level discouraged blacks from voting because of poll taxes and literacy tests. The civil right movement of the mid 1960s worked to ban these essentially illegal practices.
    Why do you say "someone indicated" when you are replying to me personally ? Universal suffrage is not the same as universal male suffrage, and even that was not achieved in the USA until 1965 because this is when African Americans obtained the right to vote. Anyway, even if we omit African Americans, the US only granted the vote to women in 1920, after many European countries. So much for America being the world's first modern democracy.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 16-12-11 at 16:40.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Red View Post
    Sparkey I actually agree with your nits and picks. Americans are conservative but "liberal and conservative" mean completely different things to Americans than to Europeans.
    Right, I like to be specific with terms, and find that the European usage tends to be more specific. I think that's a byproduct of Europe having more political parties, hence the need for more than just two identifiers in common usage. Of course, there is just as much diversity of opinion in America, which has led to our somewhat divergent use of terms like "libertarian" as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Red View Post
    This is the way we have always done it and is actually very liberal. An American conservative, who wants to perserve our liberties, would hold very divergent opinions say that of a conservative British monarchist. American liberal philosophy was responsible for some our great steps forward such as ending slavery and civil right violations, ending child labor and pushing universal suffage. However, liberals are now often castigated for wanting to institute socialism to increase control over people's lives.
    You're using different definitions of "liberal" here. Like I said, I like to be very specific.

    Try something like this for greater precision: America's Founding Fathers, although holding a large diversity of opinion themselves, founded a country that was largely based on the Western liberalism of the time. American conservatives hold to the right-leaning (by modern standards) implications of that, and hence can be thought of as Western conservative liberals. Modern American liberalism does not have as direct a connection to American classical liberalism, instead being rooted in the progressive movement, which has more left-wing tendencies.

    You also sound a bit like you're framing here, with your portrayal of conservatives ("perserve our liberties") vs. liberals ("increase control over people's lives"). Would you mind telling us where you fit in the political spectrum for full disclosure? To me, it's a bit odd to frame American conservatives as those who "preserves our liberties," considering that historically, they've done things like taken away our right to grow hemp, increased the surveillance state, fought against pornography... And this is those who fall under the common definition of "American conservative," not fascists or others like you, rightly, say might also fall under that label.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Red View Post
    I think a good way to explain this is that during our Civil War the governments of many European nations such as England and France wanted to see the slave holding Confederacy win, because they realized that a self governing nation of equals, which the Union represented, would eventually spell the doom of the nobility and monarchy.
    LOLwut. That wasn't the reason that other countries would have wanted the Confederacy to win, that would have only been about the balance of power. I mean, this point doesn't even make sense, considering the common opinions about slavery in the UK at the time, and the opinions about equality in France at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Red View Post
    Lincoln worked to "conserve" the Union against the states that were fighting for their freedom to hold slaves. He was both conservative in regards to the government and liberal in regards to human rights. Hopefully I didn't muddy the waters even more. Let me know what you think.
    Yes, I do agree that Lincoln was a conservative in some ways and a liberal in others, and I think you've got it the right direction. The common Unionist opinion, which I would argue has continuity with the New England Puritan folkway described by Fischer, held a more conservative view of government power, but a more liberal view of human rights. The common Confederate opinion, more continuous with Fischer's Virginia Cavalier folkway, held a liberal view of government power, but a conservative view of human rights. (Note that there was a shift in the view of government power within the Cavalier folkway... as they were the Royalists in the English Civil War!)

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    European culture has built in more history, more sympathy for fellow man, less money orientation and less cowboy style of obtaining money... it is more sophisticated.....Americans are perhaps a bit megalomaniacs... big roads, big cars, big state, big plans, big dreams....

    it doesnot mean all Americans are alike or all Europeans are alike... just averages allow us to speak of American and European cultures

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    The on thing i noticed is christmass celebrating. st Clauss is very important in usa, actually only one i see, while in many european countries, particulary Slovenia, Croatia and catholics in Bosnia it is st. Nikolai who brings gifts to kids, doing it in start of december. Also in many countries it is little Jesus who brings gifts at christmas, some countries have legacy from communist times, calling him grandpa winter, he brings gifts at new year.
    Ofcourse santa claus is almost everywhere, but still there are additional 'old kind guys', many celebrating three, many gifts for children that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by how yes no 2 View Post
    European culture has built in more history, more sympathy for fellow man, less money orientation and less cowboy style of obtaining money... it is more sophisticated.....Americans are perhaps a bit megalomaniacs... big roads, big cars, big state, big plans, big dreams....

    it doesnot mean all Americans are alike or all Europeans are alike... just averages allow us to speak of American and European cultures
    Americans oening big cars probably is because Gasoline is cheaper in America than in Europe so extra space for passengers/cargo is preferable (except in crowded cities where parking a large auto can be a problem).
    Big states, well it's most likely the result of geography and demographics. Some EU provinces/states like Germany or Italy are fairly large also (a lot more densely populatee). If you want even larger just look at Canada.
    Not all US states`are large.

    big plans, big dreams.... I'm not sure about it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Your ancestors were so lucky ? I thought you said your father and grandparents came from Slovakia. They had nothing to do with the American Revolution ! You sound like you have been brainwashed so much that you forget about your own origins.
    Seems to me a reference to present day Americans being lucky at having such men found the country

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    “Why are you telling me all this ? That's common knowledge, even in Europe. You really seem to think that Europeans know as little about the USA as you do about Europe.”
    True, Europe being newer, is a less well known about country in the US.



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Why Napoleon ? It surely did more for humanity than George Washington. Check my article xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. There are quite a lot of Americans who view Napoleon as a tyrant like Hitler. He was surely much closer to his contemporaries, the Founding Fathers of the USA. He was a man of the Enlightenment and was loved by the French people, and still is highly regarded in France and some other European countries. There are new biographies written all the time about Napoleon still nowadays. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx was written by former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin in 2009.
    Well G Washington satisfied himself w being president of the US and refuse to run for more than 2 terms lest he be like a king, whereas Napoleon continually was expanding an empire w himself as supreme ruler.
    “was loved by the French people” Yea, especially in Brittany or la vendee, try looking up contemporary Spanis opinion of Buonaparte.





    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Why do you say "someone indicated" when you are replying to me personally ? Universal suffrage is not the same as universal male suffrage, and even that was not achieved in the USA until 1965 because this is when African Americans obtained the right to vote. Anyway, even if we omit African Americans, the US only granted the vote to women in 1920, after many European countries. So much for America being the world's first modern democracy.
    1920, so about tje same time as many European countries. Before Belgium, France, te Swiss, I might add

    As far as some S US states blocking blacks from voting well look at France’s treatment of Algerians when it was part of France or UK finally getting fair voting in N Ireland circa 1968. Europeans have a lot to teach us

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sybilla View Post
    Well I am European (Italian) and I am currently living in Australia, very similar to America from a cultural point of view. So I answer basing on my experience.
    1. Europeans in my opinion seem to have more class and to give a different values to things. Australians/Americans tend to be more consumistic.
    2. Europeans are divided in countries basing on their ethnicities while American society is multicultural. What I don't like of mutlicultural society is that you never know a country for what it really is, but for stereotypes, basing on things that people from that country have brought in their new land. Often it is just a shop window that doesn't catch the real essence of that country. For example, going in a French restaurant in France is totally different that going in a French restaurant in Melbourne.
    3. European seem to me more religious and more attached to the history of their own country.
    4. Europeans, in the way to do and behave, seem more serious and rigid.
    5. Europeans seem to me more intollerant.
    6. Although it may sound a bit stereotyping, European men are more romantic and gallant, Europeans in general are thiner due to totally different food habits and in general they have an higher culture.

    I definitely prefer Europe and will come back very soon.
    “Europeans in my opinion seem to have more class “
    I’m not even sure how to answer this, maybe I ought to point out the Italians I worked w some years back were prone to acts of violence far in excess of typical Americans. Maybe I ought also to point out the loudmouth people of Italian descent in places like Queens, Bensonurst, Jersey shore etc. act about the lowest on the totem pole in terms of class, as far as Americans go. Think scumbag Soprano types
    2. Yes it’s true most white people are from various backgrounds, unlike Italy’s African colonies where multicultural meant Italians or black subuman servants
    I’ve been to American restaurants in foreign countries maybe you couldn’t tell a difference, I could
    3. first part is arguable part 2 It's often surprising at how little Euro’s know about their own history (but seem often to be “experts” on the US)
    4. You’ll have to elaborate because most Euro’s aren’t from my quick interpretation of that
    (but your version of Euro’s may not include Euro’s from places I’ve known)
    5. Elaborate
    6. I cannot speak for Oz folk so I won’t, Most Euros are thinner than Americans is probably true, but the region where I come from is thinner than UK people, at least, according to gov stats

    “I definitely prefer Europe and will come back very soon”
    I’m sure the Oz folk will hol the door open for you so it won’t hit you in your brain

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    In regard to the statement that European countries have greater voter turnout than the USA... My wife and I vote in every election, however, we really feel that national and state elections are an exercise in futility. The big banks and corporations have spent such great amounts of money on lobbying congress and the executive branch that the people, who have no lobbyists working for them have no representation at a national level except in name. Our governing bodies are corrupted, if we didn't vote at all, everything would probably remain at the status quo. I am being pessimistic, but I feel the facts lend justification to my pessimism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by himagain View Post
    In regard to the statement that European countries have greater voter turnout than the USA... My wife and I vote in every election, however, we really feel that national and state elections are an exercise in futility. The big banks and corporations have spent such great amounts of money on lobbying congress and the executive branch that the people, who have no lobbyists working for them have no representation at a national level except in name. Our governing bodies are corrupted, if we didn't vote at all, everything would probably remain at the status quo. I am being pessimistic, but I feel the facts lend justification to my pessimism.
    I am increasingly feeling the same way, even in Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by how yes no 2 View Post
    European culture has built in more history, more sympathy for fellow man, less money orientation and less cowboy style of obtaining money... it is more sophisticated.....Americans are perhaps a bit megalomaniacs... big roads, big cars, big state, big plans, big dreams....

    it doesnot mean all Americans are alike or all Europeans are alike... just averages allow us to speak of American and European cultures
    Yes, this was my impression too. Australians for me are like Americans in their megalomany and consumism.


    Quote Originally Posted by JKU View Post
    “Europeans in my opinion seem to have more class “
    I’m not even sure how to answer this, maybe I ought to point out the Italians I worked w some years back were prone to acts of violence far in excess of typical Americans. Maybe I ought also to point out the loudmouth people of Italian descent in places like Queens, Bensonurst, Jersey shore etc. act about the lowest on the totem pole in terms of class, as far as Americans go. Think scumbag Soprano types
    2. Yes it’s true most white people are from various backgrounds, unlike Italy’s African colonies where multicultural meant Italians or black subuman servants
    I’ve been to American restaurants in foreign countries maybe you couldn’t tell a difference, I could
    3. first part is arguable part 2 It's often surprising at how little Euro’s know about their own history (but seem often to be “experts” on the US)
    4. You’ll have to elaborate because most Euro’s aren’t from my quick interpretation of that
    (but your version of Euro’s may not include Euro’s from places I’ve known)
    5. Elaborate
    6. I cannot speak for Oz folk so I won’t, Most Euros are thinner than Americans is probably true, but the region where I come from is thinner than UK people, at least, according to gov stats

    “I definitely prefer Europe and will come back very soon”
    I’m sure the Oz folk will hol the door open for you so it won’t hit you in your brain
    I am sorry but are you speaking of Italians or of Italian-Americans? Italian-Americans are American, nothing to do with us. It's your folk not our.
    American society is the violent one, not the Italian one. The proof is that the total amount of murders in Italy in one year is the same of all the murders in New York in a month. So....

    When I say that Europeans in my opinion have more class, I mean that they seem to me less megalomanic than Americans, more balanced. A lot of young Europeans - i don't speak only of teachers or elders - like history, visiting museums and other, while Americans, in my opinion, think more to technical and practical things, therefore are also less romantic. Also in the way to wear, Americans seem to me more eccentric, especially if compared to Italians and the French.
    It's just my opinion anyway. You are free to think differently.

    About the 4th point, that Europeans are in general thinner, this of course depends. In my case, while staying in Australia, I have been shocked and impressed at the same time of the quantity of food that you find there. I mean, every 2 meters there was a restraurant, and it was full! Maybe it is just because most Anglo Saxons have this culture to eat out of their houses, while Italians cook at home and of course, usually eat less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKU View Post
    try looking up contemporary Spanis opinion of Buonaparte.
    Believe it or not, Bonaparte have a relatively good image here. He's a man of lights and shadows neither hated nor loved. Because the Peninsular War is a conflict extremely complex and the key to understanding contemporary Spain. It is not as simple as "Napoleon invaded us, that's just... like... uh... BAAAAAD"

    Even so, you can still hear a lot of anti-french jokes referencing that period :P
    Last edited by Sanzot; 24-01-12 at 19:01.

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    It is their history and culture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    My goodness ! You have been so deeply indoctrinated ! It feels like you are reciting prayers !

    This is supposing the present race of kings in the world to have had an honorable origin; whereas it is more than probable, that could we take off the dark covering of antiquity, and trace them to their first rise, we should find the first of them nothing better than the principal ruffian of some restless gang, whose savage manners, or pre-eminence in subtilty obtained for him the title of chief among plunderers; (Common Sense by Thomas Paine)

    Maciamo

    Well I finally have gotten around to answering you. I am not indoctrinated. I have just been well taught by my maternal grandfather, my father and uncles to love the United States and the great things it did for the world. This is huge difference which perhaps as a European you have difficulty understanding. My maternal grandfather was able to get out of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and avoid the bloodbath (WW I) caused by that inbred European gangster family (Hapsburg, Hollenzollern, Hanover/Windsor, Romanov) which subjugated the poor people of Europe and used their sons as cannon fodder. My father got back to Europe as an occupying soldier just as the WWII ended and stood as a free man on the soil of Germany to make sure that the evil that came from the wonderful European philosphy called National Socialism would be foreover banished from the earth. Unfortunately, his mother (my paternal grandmother) never was able to make the trip to America from Czecholslovkia and lived the remainder of her life under that other great European philosophy called Communism. Besides these philosophies, Europe gave the world a hosts of gangsters kings and dictators, Napoleon I and III, Kaiser Wilhelm, Lenin, Stalin, Franco, Mussolini and the list goes on and one. I would maintain that you perhaps should look at your own indoctrination. From an American prospective it is simple knee jerk fault finding on everything American.

    So you basically disagree that most of the new economic and lifestyle trends start in California or New York, or more generally speaking in the West Coast and Northeast corner of the USA ?

    I tried to explain to you that there is a real tension between the coasts and what we would call the "Heartland" of America. Whereas many trends may originate on the coasts and may have media backing does not necessarily mean they will be adopted, in spite of the hype. I think a good point of this is the religious nature of Americans. While Hollywood may continually push a secular worldview, the majority of Americans ignore it or work against it.


    Why are you telling me all this ? That's common knowledge, even in Europe. You really seem to think that Europeans know as little about the USA as you do about Europe.

    You are stereotyping Americans that we know little of Europe. Remember many of us are only one or two generations from Europe. On the other hand, I have certainly not got the sense from the posts of Europeans on this thread that there is any real understanding of American history or culture. Because one may have seen a lot of American fantasy TV and films doesn't mean that one has any understanding of America. You need to visit and even live here for a while. Someone made a remark about how we leave our doors unlocked. They do on "Desperate Houswives" but nowhere else. I hear a constant refrain from Europeans about how "sophisicated" Europeans are. I have had many European teachers and contacts with Europeans from work and my hometown. It is certainly my opinion that Europeans are not really all that sophisicated. The history of Europe certainly seems to bear this out. Isn't this a natural and universal feeling though. People of different cultures believe that their culture is the only way of doing things. I admit I do, but that doesn't negate what is true and good.


    The US Constitution has been amended 27 times. It is not the same constitution as in 1787 any more. The Netherlands and Sweden also changed parts of their constitution, but the countries are still the same (unlike say ancient Rome which doesn't exist any more).

    Check your facts. The constitution is the same. In 1787, the need for amendments was recognized and built into the constitution. Again, our constitution is the oldest existing continuing written constitution on earth. Many constitutions such as the Swiss constitution are modeled on it. Is it perfect? Of course not. But it gave the lie to the gangster families who ran Europe who held that a large nation needed a gangster king to run it and people needed to give up their freedom for security. As the reverse of our national seal says, Novus Ordo Saeculorum" - a new order for the ages.


    You are reciting again, but I don't see the point of your argument. It's not even an argument, nor even a justification.

    That's your opinion. How about if I recite a prayer for you?


    Switzerland and the Netherlands became republics long before the USA (although the Netherlands democratically chose to become a constitutional monarchy afterwards). Even England had a brief Republican period under Cromwell, but that didn't work out too well. There are still many monarchies in Europe, and they usually have higher living standards than the USA (notably Scandinavian countries).

    Again, check your facts. The Swiss constitution is modeled on the US Constitution. England was never a republic. It was called a commonwealth and Cromwell more or less was appointed a dictator who tried to pass his power on to his son. If England had had an actual republic under Cromwell, it would not have called back another gangster to rule it. Again, this is why we American revere George Washington. He could have went the way of a Cromwell, but decided instead to go back home to Mt. Vernon (twice), once at the end of the revolution and once at the end of his second term as president. By the way, Scandanavia ain't all it cracked up to be. SAAB is going through bankrupacy and they have real immigrant problems, which make ours look namby pamby by comparison.


    Your ancestors were so lucky ? I thought you said your father and grandparents came from Slovakia. They had nothing to do with the American Revolution ! You sound like you have been brainwashed so much that you forget about your own origins.

    Again, I suggest you look who is actually speaking cogently. Your remark about forgetting my origins is actually very bizarre from an American prospective. Mosts Americans are a hypen. I am an Slovak - American. I live next door to an Arab - American and across the street from a Polish- American. Next to them are Bosnian- Americans. On the other side are Phillipino - Americans. We are all Americans and proud to be Americans, but we are also proud of where our roots lie. Many of us belong to associations to perserve our heritage. Far from being in conflict, it is something that is expected and encouarged. The only caveat is that we are all Americans first. But this choice makes us heirs to the founding of our nation.

    As an aside, many ethnic groups actually had a great deal to do with the founding of the American nation and perserving it. Jamestown, the first succesful english colony in what is now the U.S. had Polish glass blowers and Slavic bricklayers (Slovaks claim that "Slavic" refers to us). Thaddeus Koscuizscko, the great Polish hero, was also a hero in our revolution. His work on fortifying the American position at the battle of Saratoga essentially won the battle. Winning this battle convinced the French to recognize the new United States and to supply military support, which utimately won the war for independence. The Irish were a huge segment of soldiers who fought for the union in our civil war. Jewish immigrants like Albert Einstein and other immigrants like Enrico Fermi (Italian) and Teller (Hungarian) were instrumental in developing the atom bomb. German immigrants put us on the moon. The list goes on and on. Heck, my wife is Polish. When the kids were little, a Polish heritage group my wife belongs to kept sending us coloring books of Polish American heros of the revolution. This is a natural thing in the US.


    Why Napoleon ? It surely did more for humanity than George Washington. Check my article. There are quite a lot of Americans who view Napoleon as a tyrant like Hitler. He was surely much closer to his contemporaries, the Founding Fathers of the USA. He was a man of the Enlightenment and was loved by the French people, and still is highly regarded in France and some other European countries. There are new biographies written all the time about Napoleon still nowadays. The latest to be published was written by former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin in 2009.


    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha Napoleon was the biggest gangster of them all. His biggest acheivement was the graves of the hundred of thousands (maybe millions) of people he killed off. I included Thomas Paine's quote from "Common Sense" especially for the likes of Napoleon. His butchery included both his French people and nearly every nation around him. Napoleon did nothing for anyone except himself. As he said, the French crown was in the gutter waiting to be picked up. Washington was so popular he probably could have been acclaimed a king if he had pushed for it. Instead, he was horrified by the thought. He gave up years of life to lead the fight for a new independent republic and nearly impoverished himself for it. Then it was his personal prestige, which was the only thing that convinced the states to form a new nation under our still existing constitution. They say that Napoleon was a great general and maybe he was. But who was the better man? Who achieved their goals. Napoleon wanted to be a great emperor over a conquered Europe. In the end he lost everything and at such a cost to so many. Washington just wanted to go back home and be a farmer, yet in the end he won the esteem of the entire world and founded one of the greatest nations in history. A nation founded on democratic principles and freedom. I hope I was sufficiently prayerful for you.



    Why do you say "someone indicated" when you are replying to me personally ? Universal suffrage is not the same as universal male suffrage, and even that was not achieved in the USA until 1965 because this is when African Americans obtained the right to vote. Anyway, even if we omit African Americans, the US only granted the vote to women in 1920, after many European countries. So much for America being the world's first modern democracy.
    Qualification for voting is actually the domain of each states. Some states of the union out west allowed women to vote in the ninteenth century. I agree, we should have given the vote to women earlier. Again, the U.S. is actually a very conservative country. This conservatism has helped preserve our freedoms.

    It was only in a few states in the south in which African Americans were "discouraged" from voting. They legally could vote but the laws of these states made it difficult to vote.

    I never said that America was the world's first democracy. It was the world's first large democracy. Prior to the the founding of the US, democracies were small (like Switzerland). The US was first nation to establish a large republic. It showed the rest of the world that freedom actually provides a more stable government for a large continental nation than a king, who is essentially a gangster.

    I think you would really benefit from reading that great sociologiocal study of the US by Alexis de Tocqueville. This was written by a Frenchman in the 1830s who traveled all over the US. He pulled no punches, but really explained very well how the US and European cultures and systems differ. It is one incredible book. Even now, close to 200 years later, his views are very insightful. In one section he even predicts that America and Russia will vie for sway in the world, one for freedom and one for despotism. He really explains well the difference between American and European views of religion. If you haven't read it you should.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Red View Post
    Qualification for voting is actually the domain of each states. Some states of the union out west allowed women to vote in the ninteenth century. I agree, we should have given the vote to women earlier. Again, the U.S. is actually a very conservative country. This conservatism has helped preserve our freedoms.
    So you are saying that limiting freedom (e.g. right to vote helps preserve freedoms ? It's hard to make less sense than that.

    It was only in a few states in the south in which African Americans were "discouraged" from voting. They legally could vote but the laws of these states made it difficult to vote.

    I never said that America was the world's first democracy. It was the world's first large democracy. Prior to the the founding of the US, democracies were small (like Switzerland). The US was first nation to establish a large republic. It showed the rest of the world that freedom actually provides a more stable government for a large continental nation than a king, who is essentially a gangster.
    Again, the world's first large republic was Rome, not the USA. When the USA became independent it wasn't the huge country it is today. The 13 colonies only had a population of 2.8 million in 1780, over 100 times less than today. In comparison France had 28 million inhabitants in 1790, 10x more than the young USA. So you could say that the first major modern republic was France at the time of the French Revolution, not the USA. Switzerland had about 1.6 million people in the late 18th century, so not very different from the 13 colonies. Both were minor countries.

    Obviously you have been brainwashed by American society to believe that your country is the best and first for everything, even when it is blatantly not true. Unfortunately this is the typical attitude of the majority of Americans today, who think what the government want them to think rather than independently. You are a textbook case.

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    I personally think what makes the US so special is that it's a massive patchwork of ethnics (German, Irish, English, Swedish, you name it...) that actually managed to live together and build a common identity, finding the most common denominator (freedom?) instead of focusing on their differences. Hence the importance of patriotism now. In contrast, Europe seems to be a massive mix-up of nationalities taking up the first excuse to roar about other nationalities, languages, religions, politics, ideologies,... threatening their own identity. The current crisis is only underlining all that separates us Europeans instead of what should be a vector of cooperation. What makes me sad is that, on account of the blood shed in wars over the centuries, nationalism and patriotism are now considered a threat to democracy. Being part of any European's identity, patriotism should be a source of pride like it is in the US, and not dubbed the source of all evil...

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cimmerianbloke View Post
    I personally think what makes the US so special is that it's a massive patchwork of ethnics (German, Irish, English, Swedish, you name it...) that actually managed to live together and build a common identity, finding the most common denominator (freedom?) instead of focusing on their differences. Hence the importance of patriotism now. In contrast, Europe seems to be a massive mix-up of nationalities taking up the first excuse to roar about other nationalities, languages, religions, politics, ideologies,... threatening their own identity. The current crisis is only underlining all that separates us Europeans instead of what should be a vector of cooperation. What makes me sad is that, on account of the blood shed in wars over the centuries, nationalism and patriotism are now considered a threat to democracy. Being part of any European's identity, patriotism should be a source of pride like it is in the US, and not dubbed the source of all evil...
    Europeans feel stronger differences between each others because of cultural differences emanating from the different wiring of the brain associated with each language. Americans don't have this problem (anymore) because they all speak English (and often only English, unless they are recent immigrants). Furthermore, strong regional and local identities still exist in Europe due to the strong influence of local history and traditions. But this is only true of the country side. In big cities, especially national capitals, people from every regions have mixed up just like in the USA and set their (regional) differences aside and adopted the new (mostly 20th-century) national culture instead. From a purely ethnic and genetic point of view, many European countries are melting pots like the USA, although they generally have had more time to uniformise the gene pool. France in particular is extremely mixed ethnically. Not only has it very different regional ethnicities (Bretons, Alsatians, Auvergnats, Basques, Corsicans...), France has welcomed more immigrants from Europe and Africa than any other European country in the last 100 years (Poles, Armenians, Iberians, Italians, Maghrebans, West Africans).

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    Actually, I had never look at Europe from that particular socio-linguistic point of view. Even though I have studied and experienced first-hand the mindset associated to the different European languages, applying it to politics and into an historical background never came to my mind. What puzzles me now is knowing that you are well aware of that national/reginal/traditional issue at state level, you still push for further EU integration. I, for once, would only push for more economic integration and consolidation before entering the common political integration. By the way, where is Lady Ashton since the beginning of the so-called "Arab Spring". I thought she was the one in charge of the foreign policies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimmerianbloke View Post
    Actually, I had never look at Europe from that particular socio-linguistic point of view. Even though I have studied and experienced first-hand the mindset associated to the different European languages, applying it to politics and into an historical background never came to my mind. What puzzles me now is knowing that you are well aware of that national/reginal/traditional issue at state level, you still push for further EU integration. I, for once, would only push for more economic integration and consolidation before entering the common political integration. By the way, where is Lady Ashton since the beginning of the so-called "Arab Spring". I thought she was the one in charge of the foreign policies...
    Economic and political integration go hand in hand, as the euro crisis has demonstrated. The EU was founded on the common market, and has had a strong political basis since 1992, when the EU citizenship was created, and even more since 1995 when the Schengen visa zone came into force.

    Cultural and linguistic differences at the local, regional or national level don't matter much with regards to the economic and political union of EU member states. As I explained, strong divergences already exist within large countries like France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK and these countries manage to work well with an integrated system for all the regions. You never hear Alsatians or Provençals complain that they want to leave France because their local culture is different from the one in Paris. There are exceptions, like the Basques and Catalans in Spain, but that's mostly because they don't want to share their taxes with poorer regions.

    My ideal EU is one that gives as much autonomy as possible to regions in matters of culture, language and education, but integrate economic policies as much as necessary in an open, global, capitalist market. Cultural differences shouldn't prevent people from making business with one another.

    Political integration in Europe is essential for foreign, defence, immigration, economic, financial and fiscal policies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    So you are saying that limiting freedom (e.g. right to vote helps preserve freedoms ? It's hard to make less sense than that.

    It was only in a few states in the south in which African Americans were "discouraged" from voting. They legally could vote but the laws of these states made it difficult to vote.



    Again, the world's first large republic was Rome, not the USA. When the USA became independent it wasn't the huge country it is today. The 13 colonies only had a population of 2.8 million in 1790, over 100 times less than today. In comparison France had 28 million inhabitants in 1790, 10x more than the young USA. So you could say that the first major modern republic was France at the time of the French Revolution, not the USA. Switzerland had about 1.6 million people in the late 18th century, so not very different from the 13 colonies. Both were minor countries.

    Obviously you have been brainwashed by American society to believe that your country is the best and first for everything, even when it is blatantly not true. Unfortunately this is the typical attitude of the majority of Americans today, who think what the government want them to think rather than independently. You are a textbook case.
    Maciamo

    Please read what I am saying. You are so brainwashed by your eurocentrism that you cannot perceive that the gangsters who lead Europe for centuries into one blood bath after another did great damage to the cause of humanity and that a bunch of low class people and peasants who fled the insanity that was Europe could have been responsible for being a beacon of light and freedom to the world. The millions (like my relatives) who left everything to come to our shores certainly understood that America was a new order in the world: "Novus Ordo Saeculorum." As I said it was not some textbook which taught me patriotism, it was my immigrant relatives. In fact, there is considerable criticism of American history textbooks in schools as not being accurate because they don't tell the real story of what the U.S. brought to the world.

    As far as France being the first big republic. This obvious is false. First its revolution came after the American Revolution and attempted to copy it. Second its revolution was a total failure. To be honest, in America we study the French Revolution but we never really consider it was ever an actual republic. It slipped very quickly into chaos, the Directorate, the Reign of Terror, and evetually Napoleon. Americans at that time were very disgusted by the French Revolution. While some supported it, most Americans understood it for what it was: a giant step backward. While France at that time had a much larger population than the new United States it was a fraction of the size of the new United States in area (the present land east of the Mississippi River). Americans understood that the rule of law must always be perserved if freedom and the people were to flourish. The chaos of the French revolution would preclude it being an actual republic.

    Maciamo, it is difficult to discuss things with you because of your knee jerk reaction and your somewhat limited understanding of world history and total lack of any knowledge of American history. Take for instance, your point that Rome was a large republic before the United States. Rome was a republic as a city state only. However its subjugated peoples outside Rome were not members of the republic and could not vote as was eventually granted to the only plebian class of Rome and this only after a great struggle. When the Republic collapsed in 44 AD, it installed an emperor and SPQR was now only retained as an empty symbol on walls. Certainly a few persons were granted Roman citizenship, like St. Paul, but this was limited and did not really reflect governance. By the time Marcus Aurelius extended Roman citizenship to everyone in the empire, even the empire was collapsing.


    As far as voting rights for African Americans my point was that America is a conservative country and that sometimes its political change is slow. It is conservative because its people always governed themselves from its founding. Being conservative protected the people's freedoms and not some gangster king or emperor as it did in Europe. Unfortunately, Americans should have moved much quicker in extending full rights to African American and women. It did not because the nation is not use to quick and drastic political changes. I was not justifying merely explaining.

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    First of all the question doesn't make sense in English. It should be "What makes Europeans similar to each other", between each other doesn't make sense.

    To put it in the smallest nutshell, continental Europeans seem to be very similar, especially to their neighbouring countries i.e. Scandinavia, Former Yugoslavia, Spain/Portugal.

    The UK/Ireland is a different story of course. Historically the UK has had much more to do with and much more in common with other English speaking countries. Nowadays I think the UK is becoming ever so slightly more European, even though people don't really realise. However I don't think the people of the UK will ever feel 'European' the way the continentals do, simply because we have bigger ties and connections with the rest of the English speaking world. Language is always the bottom line, I would imagine that if the French or Germans had equivalent countries out there (USA, Canada, Oz, NZ) they would probably feel the same, but of course no other European countries do, with the exception of Spain, who strangely seems to want very little to do with Latin American countries, possibly to do with the fact that for the most part, most of them aren't white.

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    Quote Originally Posted by how yes no 2 View Post
    European culture has built in more history, more sympathy for fellow man, less money orientation and less cowboy style of obtaining money... it is more sophisticated.....Americans are perhaps a bit megalomaniacs... big roads, big cars, big state, big plans, big dreams....

    it doesn't mean all Americans are alike or all Europeans are alike... just averages allow us to speak of American and European cultures
    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.
    As for having big dreams in America, well at least they run with an idea, big or small, it usually gets the financial backing to come to fruition. Try taking an idea somewhere in Britain..forget it!
    But I will agree with you on the history, we do have a lot of that. :)

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