Westerns show accurate language with ‘these United States’. Wasn’t controversial back then.

I watch old Westerns for many reasons and one is to see an older and more accurate English dialect. In this scene from John Wayne’s Hondo film, one character,  who has been homesteading off the grid for quite some time, asks:

“Say, who’s president of these united states now?”

See still of the movie below.

This way to refer to these united states was not controversial back then. They were, and still are, states in a union, more specifically 50 nation-states in a union. USofA is not a ‘country’ and the word ‘country’ has no worthwhile applicability here.

Still from John Wayne moving showing character say, "Say, Who's president of these united states now?"

Here’s the trailer for the film:

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