From: San Antonio, TX
My friends, actually I have never intended to start a discussion on the worldwide distribution of geopolitical knowledge.
I hope I did not hurt anyones pride by telling funny stories of US citizens ignorance of Austria as a country, and I hereby swear that
my national pride as an Austrian citizen was never hurt, just because people get confused about where I am from.
I love being in the United States, my cousin lives there, and I always look forward to the next time I have a chance to visit.
The USA is simply different by being located on a continent which is home of exactly three countries. Contrary to Europe, where the
names an whereabouts of the different European nations belong to the first things you are taught in school, you Yankees learn about
your different states and the two neighbouring countries.
Same thing, similar dimensions, different label. No real need for an extended debate here.
No offense taken, LoBaron.
Your second paragraph here has the measure of truth to it. We aren't geographically ignorant (in spite of the label applied to us by many Europeans and Canadians), it's just different knowledge and a different focus in our educational system. It's 'different' knowledge, not that one or the other is uneducated.
When one of my Canadian friends chides me about the poor American understanding of Canadian geography (Canadian humor television programs have had 'ask ignorant Americans' segments that rankle my sensibilities), I'll quickly ask them back what's the capital of a US state with the population of their whole bleedin' country. Few Canadians know that the state capital of California (pop. circa 31MM) is Sacramento or that Florida's (population circa 19.1MM) is Tallahassee.
In other words, we're all ignorant about something...what that something is is a matter of perspective.