The American Dream: a dream of liberty and justice for all, a dream of equal opportunities in the pursuit of happiness. Faith in economic opportunity, attachment to individual freedom and stress on the work ethic bring success.
The Deep South: the states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana in the South East, which formed the heartland of the Confederacy defeated in the Civil War (la guerre de Sécession).
The Frontier: the borderline between the settled territories (les territoires colonisés) and the Indian territories. It often refers to the territorial expansion of America.
Inner cities: the poorest districts of the big cities.
The Ivy League: a group of long established eastern universities of high academic and social prestige including Harvard, Princeton and Yale.
Mainstream America: the dominant ideas and customs shared by Americans in general and rooted in American history.
The Melting Pot: the image of America as a crucible (un creuset) in which the European nationalities would be transformed into a new “race”, the wasp (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant), “homo americanus”. It has become a myth and been replaced by the notion of ethnic pluralism.
Native Americans: the new words to name the Indians.
The Pilgrim Fathers: a group of Christians who broke away from the Church of England and decided to emigrate to the New World. They landed in 1620 in what has since become Massachusetts.
The Pioneers: the early settlers of the West.
The Protestant Work Ethic: working is a way to serve God. Hard work brings big rewards (de grandes récompenses).