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Damn Yankees

American brands are sparking enduring trends abroad. So why do they hate us for it?

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This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You've heard it: Americans are boorish. We know little about world history and want to make the globe one big Disneyland. People worldwide are fighting the perceived threat of Americanism.

In 1999, a McDonald's in France was torn down by farm equipment. The windows of a McDonald's in Davos, Switzerland, were smashed at January 2000's World Economic Forum. Now China is condemning Starbucks for its presence in Beijing's Forbidden City, and the British press ridicules the chain, saying it capitalizes on "the precious pickiness of American consumerism and offer[s] you more coffees than you need."

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