English American

English American

Infobox Ethnic group
group = English American

caption = Notable English Americans: George Washington·Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.·Francis Scott Key James Dean·Joseph Smith·Katharine Hepburn
poptime =English 28,290,369 Americans
9.4% of the US population (2006)"'
[ [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ADPTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-_lang=en&-_caller=geoselect&-format= Census 2006 ACS Ancestry estimates] ]
popplace = Throughout the Entire United States
langs = American English
rels = Episcopalian, Methodist, other Protestant, and to a lesser extent Roman Catholic
related = English people, English Canadians, Britons, British Americans ("Scottish Americans,Scots-Irish Americans,Welsh Americans")

English Americans (occasionally known as Anglo-Americans, although this may have a wider cultural meaning) are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England. According to 2000 U.S census data, Americans claiming English descent form the third largest European ancestry group, after German Americans and Irish Americans. However this is regarded by demographers as a massive undercount, as the index of inconsistency is high and people from English stock have a tendency to identify simply as Americans [Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did It Tell Us?', "Demography", Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.] [Stanley Lieberson and Lawrence Santi, 'The Use of Nativity Data to Estimate Ethnic Characteristics and Patterns', "Social Science Research", Vol. 14, No. 1 (1985), pp. 44-6.] [Stanley Lieberson and Mary C. Waters, 'Ethnic Groups in Flux: The Changing Ethnic Responses of American Whites', "Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science", Vol. 487, No. 79 (September 1986), pp. 82-86.] or, if of mixed European ancestry, nominate a more recent and differentiated ethnic group. [Mary C. Waters, "Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America" (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 36.]

The earliest English settlers in America inhabited the Protestant Colony and Dominion of Virginia, founded by the Tudors. The Catholic Province of Maryland was founded by the Stuarts, in between the two halves of Virginia. The later Quaker Province of Pennsylvania was founded for the professed purpose of Christian friendship, influential under the Hanoverians.

As with most immigrant groups, the English later sought economic prosperity and began migrating in large numbers without state support, particularly in the nineteenth century. [ [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAEengland.htm English Emigration] ] Americans reporting English ancestry make up an estimated 8.7% of the total U.S. population, but the English language is spoken by 82% of the U.S. population as their only language (with 96% of the population speaking it fluently/ very well to well).

Number of English Americans

Census data

1790 census

The ancestry of the 3.9 million population in 1790 has been estimated by various sources by sampling last names in the very first United States official census and assigning them a country of origin. From the results we can see that English people were about 54% of the total United States population.

2000 census

In the 2000 Census, 24.5 million Americans reported English ancestry, 8.7% of the total U.S. population. This estimate is a serious undercount by 30+ million given the fact in the 1980 census 50 million claimed to be of English ancestry. 23,748,772 Americans claimed wholly English ancestry and another 25,849,263 claimed English along with another ethnic ancestry. [ World Culture Encyclopedia [http://www.everyculture.com/North-America/European-Americans-Bibliography.html] ] 80 million people in the 2000 census were listed under 'other ancestries' and 20 million as 'American.' In 1860 an estimated 11 million or almost 35% of the population of the United States was wholly or partly of English ancestry. The population has increased by almost ten times the numbers in 1860. As with any ethnicity, Americans of English descent may choose to identify themselves as American if their ancestry has been in America for many generations, or for the same reason may be unaware of their lineage.

English expatriates

In total there are some 678,000 , with the majority of these being English. Modern England is an increasingly diverse nation, and a significant minority are not indigenous White British. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/in_depth/brits_abroad/html/default.stm Brits Abroad] ] By American definition there are around 540,000 White English people of any race in the US, 40,000 Asian English, 20,000 Black English people (see ) and approximately 10,000 people of a mixed background. [ [http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=14238 English Ethnicity 2005] ]


English Americans are found in large numbers throughout America, particularly in the Northeast and West. According to the [http://www.euroamericans.net/ 2000 US census] , the 10 states with the largest populations of English Americans are

*California (2,521,355 - 7.4% of state population)
*Florida (1,468,576 - 9.2%)
*Texas (1,462,984 - 7%)
*New York (1,140,036 - 6%)
*Ohio (1,046,671 - 9.2%)
*Pennsylvania (966,253 - 7.9%)
*Michigan (988,625 - 9.9%)
*Illinois (831,820 - 6.7)
*Virginia (788,849 - 11.1)
*North Carolina (767,749 - 9.5%)

The 10 States with the highest percentages of self reported English ancestry are:

*Utah (29.0%)
*Maine (21.5%)
*Vermont (18.4%)
*Idaho (18.1%)
*New Hampshire (18.0%)
*Wyoming (15.9%)
*Oregon (13.2%)
*Montana (12.7)
*Delaware (12.1)
*Colorado, Rhode Island, Washington (12.0% each)

English was the highest reported European ancestry in the States of Maine, Utah, and Vermont, and was joint highest along with German in North and South Carolina.


On the left, a map showing the population density of Americans who declared English ancestry in the census. Dark blue and purple colours indicate a higher density: highest in the east and west (see also Maps of American ancestries). Center, a map showing the population of English Americans by state. On the right, a map showing the percentages of English Americans by state.


Early settlement and colonization

English settlement in America began with Jamestown in the Virginia Colony in 1607. With the permission of James I, three ships (the "Susan Constant, The Discovery", and "The God Speed") sailed from England and landed at Cape Henry in April, under the captainship of Christopher Newport, [ [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAEengland.htm English Emigration] ] who had been hired by the London Company to lead expeditions to what is now America. [ [http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0835458.html Christopher Newport at Infoplease] ]

The second successful colony was Roanoke Colony, founded in 1620 by people who would later become known as the Pilgrims. Fleeing religious persecution in the East Midlands in England, they first went to Holland, but feared losing their English identity [ [http://www.bassetlawmuseum.org.uk/projects/bassetlaw.asp?page=pilgrimfathers&mwsquery=%7Btopic%7D=%7Bpilgrim%7D&filename=words.mdf Bassetlaw Museum] ] . Because of this, they chose to relocate to the New World, with their voyage being financed by English investors. [ [http://www.holidays.net/thanksgiving/pilgrims.htm Thanksgiving on the Net] ] In September 1620, 102 passengers set sail aboard the "Mayflower", eventually settling at Plymouth Colony in November. [ [http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/magazine/magazine_pilgrims_home.html Pilgrims - Learn English] ] This story has become a central theme in the United States cultural identity.

A number of English colonies were established under a system of proprietary governors, who were appointed under mercantile charters to English joint stock companies to found and run settlements.

England also took over the Dutch colony of New Netherland (including the New Amsterdam settlement), renaming it the Province of New York in 1664 [ [http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=682 Digital History] ] . With New Netherland, the English came to control the former New Sweden (in what is now Delaware), which the Dutch had conquered from Sweden earlier [ [http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h595.html US History - New Seden] ] . This became part of Pennsylvania.

English immigration after 1776

An estimated 3.5 million English emigrated to the USA after 1776. English settlers provided a steady and substantial influx throughout the nineteenth century. The first wave of increasing English immigration began in the late 1820s and was sustained by unrest in the United Kingdom until it peaked in 1842 and declined slightly for nearly a decade. Most of these were small farmers and tenant farmers from depressed areas in rural counties in southern and western England and urban laborers who fled from the depressions and from the social and industrial changes of the late 1820s-1840s. While some English immigrants were drawn by dreams of creating model utopian societies in America, most others were attracted by the lure of new lands, textile factories, railroads, and the expansion of mining. A number of English settlers moved to United States from Australia in 1850s (then a British political territory), when California Gold Rush boomed; these included the so-called “Sydney Ducks” ("see Australian Americans"). During the last years of 1860s, annual English immigration increased to over 60,000 and continued to rise to over 75,000 per year in 1872, before experiencing a decline. The final and most sustained wave of immigration began in 1879 and lasted until the depression of 1893. During this period English annual immigration averaged more than 80,000, with peaks in 1882 and 1888. The building of America's transcontinental railroads, the settlement of the great plains, and industrialization attracted skilled and professional emigrants from England. Also, cheaper steamship fares enabled unskilled urban workers to come to America, and unskilled and semiskilled laborers, miners, and building trades workers made up the majority of these new English immigrants. While most settled in America, a number of skilled craftsmen remained itinerant, returning to England after a season or two of work. Groups of English immigrants came to America as missionaries for the Salvation Army and to work with the activities of the Evangelical and Mormon Churches. The depression of 1893 sharply decreased English immigration, and it stayed low for much of the twentieth century. This decline reversed itself in the decade of World War II when over 100,000 English (18 percent of all European immigrants) came from England. In this group was a large contingent of war brides who came between 1945 and 1948. In these years four women emigrated from England for every man. In the 1950s, English immigration increased to over 150,000.and rose to 170,000 in the 1960s [http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Du-Ha/English-Americans.html] While differences developed, it is not surprising that English immigrants had little difficulty in assimilating to American life. The American resentment against the policies of the British government was rarely transferred to English settlers who came to America in the first decades of the nineteenth century. During all of American history English immigrants and their descendants were prominent on every level of government and in every aspect of American life. Eight of the first ten American presidents and more than that proportion of the 42 presidents, as well as the majority of sitting congressmen and congresswomen, are descended from English ancestors. The acronym WASP, for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, is used to describe the dominant political and cultural demographic. The descendants of English expatriates are so numerous and so well integrated in American life that it is impossible to identify all of them. While they are the third largest ethnic nationality identified in the 1990 census, they retain such a pervasive representation at every level of national and state government that, on any list of American senators, Supreme Court judges, governors, or legislators, they would constitute a plurality if not an outright majority. [The Laws of Olde England Stateside, Marcus Hampshire]

Political involvement

Colonial period

As the earliest colonists of The United States, the English and their descendents often held positions of power and made or helped make laws [ [http://www.historians.org/Projects/GIRoundtable/Commonwealth/Commonwealth4.htm Historians.org] ] , often because many had been involved in government back in England [ [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_1741502191_2/History_of_Colonial_America.html History of Colonial America] ] . In the original 13 colonies, most laws contained elements found in the English common law system. [ [http://law.jrank.org/pages/11662/Colonial-Period.html The Colonial Period] ]

The Founding Fathers

The lineage of most of the Founding Fathers was English. Such persons include Samuel Adams [ [http://kinnexions.com/kinnexions/johnson/rr01/rr01_199.htm] "Laban Adams belongs to the illustrious family of Henry Adams who came from Devonshire, England, about 1636 and settled in Quincy, Mass. His great great grandson, Samuel Adams, was the "Father of the Great American Revolution,"] . Others signatories of the Declaration of Independence, such as Robert Morris were English born [ [http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/signers/morris_r.htm UShistory - Robert Morris] ] . Of the "Committee of Five" (the group delegated to draft the Declaration of Independence), Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin [ [http://www.benfranklin300.com/etc_timeline.htm Benjamin Franklin Timeline] ] had English roots.

English influence in the United States

The English have contributed greatly to American life. Today, English is the most commonly spoken language in the U.S [ [http://www.nvtc.gov/lotw/months/november/USlanguages.html Languages Spoken in the United States] .] , where it is estimated that one third of all native speakers of English live. Much of American culture also shows influences from English culture. For example, popular American sports such as baseball and American football have their origins in sports played in England in the 19th century [ [http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blbaseball.htm History of Baseball] .] [ [http://www.slotsch.de/english2/html/american_football.html American Football] . ] . Another area of cultural influence, the American national anthem takes its melody from the 18th century English song To Anacreon in Heaven and lyrics written by an English American called Francis Scott Key [ [http://www.bcpl.net/~etowner/anthem.html Star-Spangled Banner origins] ] [ [http://www.contemplator.com/america/ssbanner.html Star Spangled Banner] ] .

Places in the United States named after those in England include New York (after York [ [http://www.50states.com/newyork.htm 50 States - NY] .] ), New Hampshire (after Hampshire [ [http://www.netstate.com/states/intro/nh_intro.htm Netstate - New Hampshire] .] ), Manchester [ [http://boulter.com/nh/ Manchester History] .] , Boston [ [http://www.iboston.org/mcp.php?pid=taleOfTwoBostons Boston History] . ] , Southampton [ [http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=3141 Southampton, Massachusetts] .] , Gloucester and the region of New England. In addition, some places were named after the English royal family. Virginia and West Virginia were given these names in honor of Queen Elizabeth I of England [ [http://www.queen-elizabeth-i.com/Golden_Age.html Queen Elizabeth I - The Golden Age] ] (popularly known in England as the "Virgin Queen"), the Carolinas were named after King Charles I and Maryland named so for his wife, Queen Henrietta Maria (Queen Mary). [ [http://www.netstate.com/states/intro/md_intro.htm Introduction to Maryland] ]

Architecture such as the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C which was first designed by English-educated American Architect William Thornton.

The American legal system also has its roots in English law. [ [http://www.llrx.com/features/otherthanenglish.htm Sources of United States Legal Information] ] For example, elements of the Magna Carta were incorporated into the United States constitution [ [http://law.jrank.org/pages/11657/Magna-Charta.html Magna Carta] ] . English law prior to the revolution is still part of the law of the United States, and provides the basis for many American legal traditions and policies.After the revolution, English law was again adopted by the now independent American States. [ [http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itdhr/0999/ijde/messitte.htm COMMON LAW V. CIVIL LAW SYSTEMS] ]


See List of English Americans

See also

*Anglo America
*Anglo-American relations
*Anglo-Celtic Australian
*Boston Brahmin
*British American
*Demographic history of the United States
*English colonization of the Americas
*English place names in the United States
*European American
*Hyphenated American
*Immigration to the United States
*Indentured servant
*List of English Americans
*Maps of American ancestries
*White Anglo-Saxon Protestant


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