The name "United States of America" is a descriptor (used while awaiting to choose a name) which became de facto the only official name for the country.
In the 1800s, it quickly became the dream of the united colonies to eventually have all the other colonies of the continent(s) - North and South America...
Best answer: The name "United States of America" is a descriptor (used while awaiting to choose a name) which became de facto the only official name for the country.
In the 1800s, it quickly became the dream of the united colonies to eventually have all the other colonies of the continent(s) - North and South America - liberate themselves from their European domination and join the union of free colonies.
You can find lots of papers and articles on that, but the two dominant documents (at least, the two used in introduction-level university classes on the topic) are the Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine.
The first says something like: It is God's wish that White Protestant lead the new world. The second insists that no new European colonies will be tolerated by the USA on the New World (the Americas) - going to the point that if a newly-freed colony defaulted on its payments, the USA would pay the bill (and therefore, own the country).
Thus, around that time, began the unofficial use of the name "America" for the USA, to express this Destiny of uniting the entire continent in one happy country (with its capital in Mexico !!!). This is the time when United-Statiens** were spreading the fake news that Catholic countries (read: Spanish and French colonies) should not be allowed to run themselves as it was "well known" that Catholics could not run things; therefore these newly freed colonies would be run by the good white Protestants from the USA.
Another thing that proved these Catholics ruined everything: they were banning slavery in their colonies. The US economy could not survive without slaves (and, today, without immigrants, whether they are legal or not).
The plan of unifying the entire continent hit a snag when the first non-English colony freed itself: Haiti. In its revolution, the newly-freed colony had banned slavery and was run by French-speaking blacks. Not very attractive to the USA.
Also, when the USA was in the grips of a Civil War, Mexico defaulted on paying its debt and the European countries (whose money was involved) decided that France should take over running the Mexican country - against the "wishes" of the USA (thus showing that the Monroe Doctrine was not enforceable).
One other country uses the name of the continent in its name:
USA = Union Sud-Africaine (what we call South Africa).
So, even the label "USA" is not unique.
**In Spanish culture, "American" simply meant someone (a Spaniard, for example) born on the American continent.
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