Americans dating the french
The popular narrative holds that this 1970s conversion movement failed, and that Americans have never gone metric because we are too obstinate or patriotic or just plain stupid to do so. The United States metric, or at least more metric than most of us realize.
American manufacturers have put out all-metric cars, and the wine and spirits industry abandoned fifths for 75-milliliter bottles.
John Bemelmans Marciano is the author of Whatever Happened to the Metric System?
He wrote this for What It Means to Be American, a partnership of the Smithsonian and Zocalo Public Square.
He had been instrumental in creating the dollar—the first fully decimal measure any nation ever used.
The measurement debate actually goes back to our nation’s very beginning.The 1880s imposition of the metric system in Brazil led to a full-scale uprising that lasted months. The head of the new Bureau of Standards put forth the metric system as a vital national interest.But charges of elitism and wasting money came from a public that increasingly believed the U. should be the leader in global affairs and not just another follower.Decolonization in Eastern Europe and South America created new nations keen to adopt modernity and standards that would align them with Western Europe.In all these cases, however, conversion was dictated by democratically deficient governments bucking the will of the people. actually came at the start of the 20th century, Alexander Graham Bell, and other notables testified at congressional hearings on metric conversion.The metric system is, quietly and behind the scenes, now the standard in most industries, with a few notable exceptions like construction.Its use in public life is also on the uptick, as anyone who has run a “5K” can tell you. The simple answer is that the overwhelming majority of Americans have never wanted to.Many branded the traditionally fashion-forward glossy anything but. Our yardsticks are marked in feet and inches, measures that are unfathomable to foreigners, nearly all of whom have been brought up in a decimals-only environment. My generation of schoolkids was told a switch to the metric system was imminent.While the First Lady has widely been credited as a style maven, championing young American designers and choosing classic styles that flatter her athletic figure, her sartorial taste can hardly be termed as 'shells' and 'robes'. ' writes one reader, while another adds: 'You really think we waited until the Obamas to know style and let go of our "streetwear" proclivities? One reader asks: 'How, in 2012, in a France where there are at least three million blacks and mixed people, can you write such nonsense?points out, is that she has failed to see the 'impact' of a host of hugely influential figures in American culture, such as the Supremes, Diana Ross, the Cosby Show's Clair Huxtable, Salt N Pepa, TLC or Aaliyah - and onwards.'[This is] GROTESQUE, SHAMEFUL, and USELESS. You are too kind when you write that in 2012 we have incorporated the white codes…what do you think, in 2011, we dressed in hay and burlap bags?