Americana is a collective term for artifacts related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States of America. It is generally defined as any collection of materials and things concerning or characteristic of the United States or of the American people; in its broadest sense, Americana is representative or even stereotypical of American culture as a whole.
What is and is not considered Americana is heavily influenced by national identity, historical context, patriotism and nostalgia. The ethos or guiding beliefs or ideals which have come to characterize America, such as The American Dream, are central to the idea. American historian Hampton Sides wrote in Americana: Dispatches from the New Frontier:
The United States of America is such as glorious mess of contradiction, such a crazy quilt of competing themes, such a fecund mishmash of people and ideas, that defining us is pretty much pointless. There is, of course, a kind of faded notion of "Americana", one that concerns Route 66, diners, freak rock formations, and the like—but even in it's halcyon days this "roadside attraction" version of America was never an accurate or nuanced distillation of our massively complicated culture.
There are scenes and places, wattages and personages, that belong—inextricably, unmistakably—to this country alone. There is an American quality, a tone, an energy ... instantly recognizable ..."
Many kinds of cultural artifacts fall within the definition of Americana: the things involved need not be old, but are usually associated with some quintessential element of the American experience. Each period of United States history is reflected by the advertising and marketing of the time, and the various types of antiques, collectibles, memorabilia and vintage items from these time periods are typical of what is popularly considered Americana. The Atlantic described the term as "slang for the comforting, middle-class ephemera at your average antique store—things like needle-pointed pillows, Civil War daguerreotypes, and engraved silverware sets". Americana encompasses not only material objects but also people, places, concepts and historical eras which are popularly identified with American culture.
The name "Americana" also refers to Americana music, a genre of contemporary music which incorporates elements of various American music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound.
From the mid to late 20th century, Americana was largely conceptualized as a nostalgia for an idealized life in small towns and cities in the United States around the turn of the century, roughly in the period between 1880 and the First World War, popularly considered "The Good Old Days". It was believed that much of the structure of 20th-century American life and culture had been cemented in that time and place. American author Henry Seidel Canby wrote:
"It is the small town, the small city, that is our heritage. We have made twentieth-century America from it, and some account of these communities as they were ... we owe our children and grandchildren."
The nostalgia for this period was based on a remembrance of confidence in American life that had emerged during the period due to such factors as a sense that the frontier had finally been "conquered", with the U.S. Census Bureau's declaration that it was "closed" in 1890, as well as the recent victory in the Spanish–American War. By 1912, the contiguous United States was at last fully politically incorporated, and the idea of the nation as a single, solid unity could begin to take hold.
As Canby put it,
Americans at this time "really believed all they heard on the Fourth of July or read in school readers. They set on one plane of time, and that the present, the Declaration of Independence, the manifest destiny of America, the new plumbing, the growth of the factory system, the morning paper, and the church sociable. It was all there at once, better than elsewhere, their own, and permanent. ... They had just the country they wanted...and they believed it would be the same, except for more bathtubs and faster trains, forever ... for the last time in living memory everyone knew exactly what it meant to be an American."
"It’s no accident that my first novel was called Americana. This was a private declaration of independence, a statement of my intention to use the whole picture, the whole culture. America was and is the immigrant's dream, and as the son of two immigrants I was attracted by the sense of possibility that had drawn my grandparents and parents." (from Conversations With Don DeLillo)
The zeitgeist of this idealized period is captured in the Disneyland theme park's Main Street, U.S.A. section (which was inspired by both Walt Disney's hometown of Marceline, Missouri and Harper Goff's childhood home of Fort Collins, Colorado), as well as the musical and movie The Music Man and Thornton Wilder's stage play Our Town. Especially revered in nostalgic Americana are small-town institutions like the barber shop, drug store, soda fountain and ice cream parlor; some of these were eventually resurrected by mid-twentieth century nostalgia for the time period in businesses like the Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour chain, with its 1890s theme.
Americana aside, people like white picket fences for a couple of practical reasons.
The American marten or American pine marten (Martes americana) is a North American member of the family Mustelidae, sometimes referred to as the pine marten. The name "pine marten" is derived from the common but distinct Eurasian species of Martes. It differs from the fisher (Pekania pennanti) in that it is smaller in size and lighter in colour.Americana, São Paulo
Americana (Portuguese pronunciation: [ameɾiˈkɐnɐ]) is a municipality (município) located in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. It is part of the Metropolitan Region of Campinas. The population is 229,322 (2015 est.) in an area of 133.91 km². The original settlement developed around the local railway station, founded in 1875, and the development of a cotton weaving factory in a nearby farm.
After 1866, several former Confederate citizens from the American Civil War settled in the region. Following the Civil War, slavery was abolished in the United States. In Brazil, however, slavery was still legal, making it a particularly attractive location to former Confederates, among whom was a former member of the Alabama State Senate, William Hutchinson Norris.Around three hundred of the Confederados are members of the Fraternidade Descendência Americana (Fraternity of American Descendants). They meet quarterly at the Campo Cemetery.The city was known as Vila dos Americanos ("Village of the Americans") until 1904, when it belonged to the city of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste. It became a district in 1924 and a municipality in 1953.
Americana has several museums and tourist attractions, including the Pedagogic Historical Museum and the Contemporary Art Museum.
Rio Branco Esporte Clube, founded in 1913, is the football (soccer) club of the city. The team plays their home matches at Estádio Décio Vitta, which has a maximum capacity of 15,000 people.Americana (music)
Americana is an amalgam of American music formed by the confluence of the shared and varied traditions that make up the musical ethos of the United States, specifically those sounds that are merged from folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, gospel, and other external influences. Americana, as defined by the Americana Music Association (AMA), is "contemporary music that incorporates elements of various mostly acoustic American roots music styles, including country, roots rock, folk, gospel and bluegrass resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw. While acoustic instruments are often present and vital, Americana also often uses a full electric band."Avocado
The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree, long thought to have originated in South Central Mexico, classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. The fruit of the plant, also called an avocado (or avocado pear or alligator pear), is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed.Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, they ripen after harvesting. Avocado trees are partially self-pollinating and are often propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.Bass (fish)
Bass () is a name shared by many species of fish. The term encompasses both freshwater and marine species, all belonging to the large order Perciformes, or perch-like fishes. The word bass comes from Middle English bars, meaning "perch".Copa América
CONMEBOL Copa América (CONMEBOL America Cup), known until 1975 as the South American Football Championship (Campeonato Sudamericano de Fútbol in Spanish and Campeonato Sul-americano de Futebol (Portugal) ou Copa Sul-Americana de Futebol (Brazil) in Portuguese), is a men's international football tournament contested between national teams from CONMEBOL. It is the oldest international continental football competition. The competition determines the continental champion of South America. Since the 1990s, teams from North America and Asia have also been invited to participate.
Since 1993, the tournament has generally featured 12 teams – all 10 CONMEBOL teams and two additional teams from other confederations. Mexico has participated in every tournament since 1993, with one additional team drawn from CONCACAF, except for 1999, when AFC team Japan filled out the 12-team roster. The 2016 version of the event, Copa América Centenario, featured sixteen teams, with six teams from CONCACAF in addition to the 10 from CONMEBOL. Mexico's two runner-up finishes are the highest for a non-CONMEBOL side.
Eight of the ten CONMEBOL national teams have won the tournament at least once in its 45 stagings since the event's inauguration in 1916, with only Ecuador and Venezuela yet to win. Uruguay has the most championships in the tournament's history, with 15 cups, while the current champion, Chile, has two cups. Argentina, which hosted the inaugural edition in 1916, has hosted the tournament the most times (nine). The United States is the only non-CONMEBOL country to host, having hosted the event in 2016. On three occasions (in 1975, 1979, and 1983), the tournament was held in multiple South American countries.
The highest finishing member of CONMEBOL has the right to participate in the next edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup, but is not obliged to do so.Copa Sudamericana
The CONMEBOL Sudamericana, named as Copa Sudamericana (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkopa suðameɾiˈkana]; Portuguese: Copa Sul-Americana [ˈkɔpɐ ˈsuw ɐmeɾiˈkɐnɐ]) is an annual international club football competition organized by the CONMEBOL since 2002. It is the second-most prestigious club competition in South American football. CONCACAF clubs were invited between 2004 and 2008. The CONMEBOL Sudamericana began in 2002, replacing the separate competitions Copa Merconorte and Copa Mercosur (that before replaced Copa CONMEBOL) by a single competition. Since its introduction, the competition has been a pure elimination tournament with the number of rounds and teams varying from year to year.
The CONMEBOL Sudamericana is considered a merger of defunct tournaments such as the Copa CONMEBOL, Copa Mercosur and Copa Merconorte. The winner of the Copa Sudamericana becomes eligible to play in the Recopa Sudamericana. They gain entry onto the next edition of the Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club competition, and also contest the Suruga Bank Championship.
The reigning champion of the competition is Brazilian club Athletico Paranaense, who defeated Colombian club Junior in the most recent final.
Argentine clubs have accumulated the most victories with eight while containing the largest number of different winning teams, with a total of six clubs having won the title. The cup has been won by 15 different clubs. Argentine clubs Boca Juniors and Independiente are the most successful clubs in the cup's history, having won the tournament twice, with Boca Juniors being the only one to achieve it back-to-back, in 2004 and 2005.Encyclopedia Americana
Encyclopedia Americana is one of the largest general encyclopedias in the English language. Following the acquisition of Grolier in 2000, the encyclopedia has been produced by Scholastic.
The encyclopedia has more than 45,000 articles, most of them more than 500 words and many running to considerable length (the "United States" article is over 300,000 words). The work's coverage of American and Canadian geography and history has been a traditional strength. Written by 6,500 contributors, the Encyclopedia Americana includes over 9,000 bibliographies, 150,000 cross-references, 1,000+ tables, 1,200 maps, and almost 4,500 black-and-white line art and color images. It also has 680 factboxes. Most articles are signed by their contributors.
Long available as a 30-volume print set, the Encyclopedia Americana is now marketed as an online encyclopedia requiring a subscription. In March 2008, Scholastic said that print sales remained good but that the company was still deciding on the future of the print edition. The company did not produce an edition in 2007, a change from its previous approach of releasing a revised print edition each year. The most recent print edition of the Encyclopedia Americana was published in 2006.
The online version of the Encyclopedia Americana, first introduced in 1997, continues to be updated and sold. This work, like the print set from which it is derived, is designed for high school and first-year college students along with public library users. It is available to libraries as one of the options in the Grolier Online reference service, which also includes the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, intended for middle and high school students, and The New Book of Knowledge, an encyclopedia for elementary and middle school students. Grolier Online is not available to individual subscribers.Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen is a plant that has leaves throughout the year that are always green. This is true even if the plant retains its foliage only in warm climates, and contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season. There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs. Evergreens include:
most species of conifers (e.g., pine, hemlock, blue spruce, and red cedar), but not all (e.g., larch)
live oak, holly, and "ancient" gymnosperms such as cycads
most angiosperms from frost-free climates, such as eucalypts and rainforest trees
clubmosses and relativesThe Latin binomial term sempervirens, meaning "always green", refers to the evergreen nature of the plant, for instance
Cupressus sempervirens (a cypress)
Lonicera sempervirens (a honeysuckle)
Sequoia sempervirens (a sequoia)Leaf persistence in evergreen plants varies from a few months to several decades (over thirty years in the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine).Gale (publisher)
Gale is an educational publishing company based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, west of Detroit. Since 2007 it has been a division of Cengage Learning.
The company, formerly known as Gale Research and the Gale Group, is active in research and educational publishing for public, academic, and school libraries, and businesses. The company is known for its full-text magazine and newspaper databases, InfoTrac, and other online databases subscribed by libraries, as well as multi-volume reference works, especially in the areas of religion, history, and social science.
Founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1954 by Frederick Gale Ruffner, the company was acquired by the Thomson Corporation (as a part of the Thomson Learning division) in 1985 before its 2007 sale to Cengage.Guaratinguetá Futebol
Guaratinguetá Futebol Ltda., usually known simply as Guaratinguetá, is a Brazilian football club from Guaratinguetá, São Paulo state.Massachusetts Bay
Massachusetts Bay is a bay on the Atlantic Ocean that forms part of the central coastline of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.Patron saint
A patron saint, patroness saint, patron hallow or heavenly protector is a saint who in Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism or Eastern Orthodoxy, is regarded as the heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family or person.Pax Americana
Pax Americana (Latin for "American Peace", modeled after Pax Romana, Pax Britannica, and Pax Mongolica) is a term applied to the concept of relative peace in the Western Hemisphere and later the world beginning around the middle of the 20th century, thought to be caused by the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States. Although the term finds its primary utility in the latter half of the 20th century, it has been used with different meanings and eras, such as the post-Civil War era in North America, and regionally in the Americas at the start of the 20th century.
Pax Americana is primarily used in its modern connotations to refer to the peace among great powers established after the end of World War II in 1945, also called the Long Peace. In this modern sense, it has come to indicate the military and economic position of the United States in relation to other nations. For example, the Marshall Plan, which spent $13 billion to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, has been seen as "the launching of the pax americana".The Latin term derives from Pax Romana of the Roman Empire. The term is most notably associated with Pax Britannica (1815–1914) under the British Empire, which served as the global hegemon and constabulary from the late 18th century until the early 20th century.Plebs
The plebs were, in ancient Rome, the general body of free Roman citizens who were not patricians, as determined by the census. The precise origins of the group and the term are unclear, though it may be that they began as a limited political movement in opposition to the elite (patricians) which became more widely applied.Pronghorn
The pronghorn (UK: , US: ) (Antilocapra americana) is a species of artiodactyl mammal indigenous to interior western and central North America. Though not an antelope, it is often known colloquially in North America as the American antelope, prong buck, pronghorn antelope, prairie antelope, or simply antelope because it closely resembles the true antelopes of the Old World and fills a similar ecological niche due to parallel evolution.It is the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae. During the Pleistocene epoch, about 12 antilocaprid species existed in North America. Three other genera (Capromeryx, Stockoceros and Tetrameryx) existed when humans entered North America but are now extinct.
As a member of the superfamily Giraffoidea, the pronghorn's closest living relatives are the giraffes and okapi. The Giraffoidea are in turn members of the infraorder Pecora, making pronghorns more distant relatives of the Cervidae (deer) and Bovidae (cattle, goats, sheep, antelopes, and gazelles), among others.Seminary
Seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, and divinity school are educational institutions for educating students (sometimes called seminarians) in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to server as clergy, in academics, or in Christian ministry. The English word is taken from the Latin seminarium, translated as seed-bed, an image taken from the Council of Trent document Cum adolescentium aetas which called for the first modern seminaries. In the West, the term now refers to Catholic educational institutes and has widened to include other Christian denominations and American Jewish institutions.In the USA, the term is currently used for graduate level institutions, but in history it has been used for high schools.Ulmus americana
Ulmus americana, generally known as the American elm or, less commonly, as the white elm or water elm, is a species native to eastern North America, naturally occurring from Nova Scotia west to Alberta and Montana, and south to Florida and central Texas. The American elm is an extremely hardy tree that can withstand winter temperatures as low as −42 °C (−44 °F). Trees in areas unaffected by Dutch elm disease can live for several hundred years. A prime example of the species was the Sauble Elm, which grew beside the banks of the Sauble River in Ontario, Canada, to a height of 43 m (140 ft), with a d.b.h of 196 cm (6.43 ft) before succumbing to Dutch elm disease; when it was felled in 1968, a tree-ring count established that it had germinated in 1701.
For over 80 years, U. americana had been identified as a tetraploid, i.e. having double the usual number of chromosomes, making it unique within the genus. However, a study published in 2011 by the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA revealed that about 20% of wild American elms are diploid and may even constitute another species. Moreover, several triploid trees known only in cultivation, such as 'Jefferson', are possessed of a high degree of resistance to Dutch elm disease, which ravaged American elms in the 20th century. This suggests that the diploid parent trees, which have markedly smaller cells than the tetraploid, may too be highly resistant to the disease.Ulmus americana 'Moline'
The American Elm cultivar Ulmus americana 'Moline' was cloned from a wild seedling transplanted to Moline in 1903 and propagated from 1916 by the Klehm Nurseries, Arlington Heights, IL. Some authorities regard the tree as identical to 'Minneapolis Park'.
United States articles