a former colony

superfeeling

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello!

What does " a former colony" in Obama's victory speech refer to? does it refer to one of the many colonies in norht America or does it refer the whole land which was to become the U.S?
context: Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. (Applause.)


 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Does the USA think of itself as a former colony? It's strictly inaccurate, as there were about 20 British colonies in North America, of which 14 declared independence and 13 of those formed a federation. Or is 'colony' used more vaguely than the strict political divisions? Terms like colonial period, colonial architecture and so on are non-committal about whether there was one or more.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Does the USA think of itself as a former colony? It's strictly inaccurate, as there were about 20 British colonies in North America, of which 14 declared independence and 13 of those formed a federation. Or is 'colony' used more vaguely than the strict political divisions?
    You are obviously correct that we were a collection of colonies (otherwise "Articles of Confederation" would be meaningless) ... but one cannot control popular usage among those whose knowledge of history is lacking (not uncommon among speechwriters) and you are also correct about the vague reference.
     

    Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    My thinking is that Americans use colony in the general sense...that the U.S. used to "belong" to Great Britain. We're often guilty of leaving out pertinent details. :eek:
     

    Yankee_NLPer

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    Most Americans know there were 13 founding colonies that banded together to break away from the rule of King George III. I think when we say "colonies" or "colonists" it's often all inclusive whether they were the original 13 or not. Most Americans don't realize those 13 colonies aren't a 1 to 1 correlation to US States. For instance 2 Canadian provinces were part of the original Massachusetts Bay Colony.
     

    Yankee_NLPer

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    A major focus of President Obama's speech was to unite all voters after a hard fought campaign. It was important for him to use general language rather than distinctive.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top