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"The United States Of America" - Who Coined The Term?


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The Declaration of Independence (which refers first to "the thirteen united States of America" and later to "the united States of America, in General Congress, assembled") pre-dates Paine's reference (which was in The American Crisis #2, published in January of 1777).  I guess it could be argued that Paine's version was a proper name and the Declaration's was merely a description.  Paine's version was printed as "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" and analogized to 'the kingdom of Great Britain" so arguments from capitalization are kind of iffy (and may represent the decision of the printer rather than Paine anyway.)  FWIW, in Common Sense (Jan 1776, so pre-Declaration), Paine refers to "the free and independent states of America."

The most recent piece I've seen suggests that "United States of America" may have been a term that originated somewhere within the Continental Army officer corps (which would be apt).

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