Shortcut - Q&A: Myth and Facts about the USA

question mark Here are some questions people asked about the USA on the internet. Below each question is an answer from Josie Taylor, a high school student from Seattle.

Was it Christopher Columbus who discovered America? – Felix, Austria
Hi Felix! No, the Vikings came to America 500 years before Columbus. But the Native Americans were here many thousand years before the Vikings came.

Have there always been 50 states? – Luis, Argentina
Hi Luis! You know, in the 1600s there were 13 British colonies on the east coast. They became the first 13 states of the USA.

Is the USA the world’s only superpower? – Jane, New Zealand
Hi Jane! Yes, today the USA is the world’s only superpower. There is no other country that has more money or more soldiers.

Do all Americans dream of getting rich? Do all Americans own fast cars? – Ingvild, Norway
Hi Ingvild! No, most Americans say that having “a good life for my family” is their biggest dream. But we do love our cars! They don’t have to cost very much either. Even poor families usually have a car.

Is freedom still important to Americans? – Chen, Taiwan
Hello Chen! Yes, freedom has always been very important to Americans. It was important for the first Europeans who came here. And today people still fight for their personal freedom, such as the freedom to own a gun.

I’ve heard that the USA is called a “melting pot”. Is this true? – Sergej, Russia
Hello Sergej! Well, we thought that this was true. Today we see that many immigrants try to keep their old traditions. It is almost like a giant pizza. We all share the same pizza crust, but we put different toppings on the pizza.

Is church-going less important in the USA today? – Tammy, Wales
Hi Tammy! You know, church still plays a big role for many Americans. It is a place where we can be social and where we can help each other. Usually the atmosphere in American churches is very relaxed.

Does the American Dream still exist? – Jason, Australia
Hi Jason! The American Dream is that people can become whatever they want if they just work hard. This dream still exists today. But many Americans lost their job because of the economic crisis. Some are quite poor today, but they still dream of a better future!