The USA: a few definitions
► The American Dream: a dream of liberty and justice for all, a dream of equal opportunities in the pursuit of happiness. Faith in economic opportunity, attachment to individual freedom and stress on the work ethic bring success.
► The Deep South: the states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana in the South East, which formed the heartland of the Confederacy defeated in the Civil War (la guerre de Sécession).
► The Frontier: the borderline between the settled territories (les territoires colonisés) and the Indian territories. It often refers to the territorial expansion of America.
► Inner cities: the poorest districts of the big cities.
► The Ivy League: a group of long established eastern universities of high academic and social prestige including Harvard, Princeton and Yale.
► Mainstream America: the dominant ideas and customs shared by Americans in general and rooted in American history.
► The Melting Pot: the image of America as a crucible (un creuset) in which the European nationalities would be transformed into a new “race”, the wasp (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant), “homo americanus”. It has become a myth and been replaced by the notion of ethnic pluralism.
► Native Americans: the new words to name the Indians.
► The Pilgrim Fathers: a group of Christians who broke away from the Church of England and decided to emigrate to the New World. They landed in 1620 in what has since become Massachusetts.
► The Pioneers: the early settlers of the West.
► The Protestant Work Ethic: working is a way to serve God. Hard work brings big rewards (de grandes récompenses).