"Uncle Sam"

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Статья знакомит с символом американской культуры. История происхождения и значение для всей страны и её жителей. Материал статьи может быть использован для проведения уроков в 8 классе по теме ‘The USA’.

Язык статьи – английский

Uncle Sam


Legend says Sam Wilson was a meat packer in New York, who supplied rations for the soldiers. They had to stamp the ircontract or sname and where the rations were coming from, on to the food they were sending. On the package, it was labeled “E.A – US.” When someone asked what that stood for, a coworker joked and said “Elbert Anderson (the contractor) and Uncle Sam,” referring to Sam Wilson, though it actually stood for United States. As early as 1835 Brother Jonathan made a reference to Uncle Sam implying that they symbolized different things: Brother Jonathan was the country itself while Uncle Sam was the government and its power. By the 1850s the name Brother Jonathan and Uncle Sam were being used nearly interchange ably to the point that images of what had been called "Brother Jonathan" were now being called Uncle Sam. Similarly, appearance of both personifications varied wildly. For example, one depiction of Uncle Sam in 1860 depicted him looking like Benjamin Franklin,(an appearanceechoed in Harper's Weekly's June 3, 1865 "Checkmate" political cartoon) while the depiction of Brother Jonathan on page 32 of the January 11, 1862 edition Harper's Weekly looks more like the modern version of Uncle Sam (except for the lack of a goatee)

Uncle Sam Recruiting Poster

The image above presents a rousing illustration of the venerable "Uncle Sam", as he appeared in a World War I Army Recruiting poster. We will examine how this popular image came about, and how "Uncle Sam" became the popular symbol of the United States. Uncle Sam, is a popular name for the government of the United States. Its origin was as follows: Samuel Wilson, commonly called "Uncle Sam," was an inspector of beef and pork, in Troy, N. Y. He inspected the meat purchased for the government after the declaration of war against England in 1812.
A contractor named Elbert Anderson purchased a quantity of provisions, and the barrels were marked "E. A.," the initials of his name, and "U. S.," for United States. The latter initials were not familiar to Wilson's workmen, who inquired what they meant. A facetious fellow answered, "I don't know, unless they mean 'Uncle Sam.'
" A vast amount of property afterwards passed through Wilson's hands, marked in the same way, and he was rallied on the extent of his possessions. The joke spread, and it was not long before the initials of the United States were regarded as "Uncle Sam," which name has been in popular parlance ever since. Even a popular song says: "Uncle Sam is rich enough to give us all a farm."

Prior to the Civil War, Brother Jonathan Was the Popular Icon of the United States

Our popular image of Uncle Sam (As seen in the image on the top of this page) was defined in large part by Thomas Nast, who was one of the most popular artists of the 1800's. Nast was also responsible for our popular images of Santa Claus, the Republican Elephant, and the Democratic Donkey. Nast's first illustration of Uncle Sam appeared in the November 20, 1869 edition of Harper's Weekly.

By 1876, Nast's Image of Uncle Sam had evolved into one that we would recognize today. The image to the left is the cover of the November 24, 1876 Harper's Weekly. The image features Uncle Sam with striped pants, a long overcoat, and a top hat. In this image, the top hat also has feathers. This image deals with Reform of the Civil Service System. While the exact image of Uncle Sam has evolved over the years, one thing remains constant. He is a symbol of the best ideals of the United States. From the earliest days until today, he has stood for Freedom, Equality, and Justice. While as a Nation, we do not always perfectly achieve these ideals, Uncle Sam remains a poignant symbol and reminder of the goal and objective . . . One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.


  1. http://www.sonofthesouth.net/uncle-sam/
  2. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/united-states-nicknamed-uncle-sam
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Sam

--Стецюра Ольга Леонідівна 18:43, 10 апреля 2012 (EET)

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