Why Does America Use Feet Instead of Meters? 

 April 16, 2022

Source: worldatlas.comSource: worldatlas.com
Source: worldatlas.com

Can you imagine cooking without looking at the quantity of the ingredients, or working construction without measuring the pieces? The measurement units are an essential factor of our living that is daily used. Precision is required in many activities that we do, so without these units, nothing will be properly done.

However, with the increase in popularity of social platforms, we tend to get more confused about the metric systems used in various countries. Coming from a place with an adopted metric system, it is quite hard to get used to imperial measurements, and vice versa.

You are surely wondering, why America uses feet instead of meters. We made this article just to answer this question. In addition, we will explain both systems, and help you understand their differences.

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Why the US still uses the imperial units

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Source: newstalk.com

In every country’s constitution, there is a place about the type of measuring system that is going to be used. That is the regulatory system that will be used to understand the length, as well as the mass and the liquid measuring units.

In the US, the imperial system or the IS is a mandatory unit because it is the first major system used in the world. It was developed by the Brits, and it was simple and convenient enough to inhabit. The metric unit was found at the end of the 1700s and there were multiple occasions when the US could’ve replaced the old British system.

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However, that was the period when the revolution in the industrial field began, and factories were the main source of income for many Americans. Since they were already used to the IS, there was no logic in changing everything at that time.

The machines were calibrated to their system, and the people knew how to work with them. Changes would result in new machinery, and excessive training to teach the personnel how to use the system.

Today, the US teaches its children both systems so they can learn and use them simultaneously. Although it might be confusing at first, a combination of both can surely improve the way things function around us. For precise work, we can use one system, and for everyday use the other.

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Which system is better

Determining which measurement system is better can be hard since each has its characteristics and advantages over the other. In addition, the countries that use the certain system are used to it better, so those units are better than the others.

However, when it comes to an objective comparison, one system has to be superior to the other. For that purpose, we will go through a couple of categories to see which option is better.

1. Easier to learn

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Source: aliexpress.com

The measuring method that has the most sense when learning is the metric one. Since it is separated in tens, it is decimal so it is more precise. In general, the length is calculated with meters, the mass is based on the gram and the liquids are calculated in liters.

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Depending on the quantities, the units change their prefixes depending on the amount of increase or decrease of the main unit. This significantly helps in precise calculations and that is why is it favored in many countries.

On the contrary, the imperial units are more basic but harder to understand their right value. In general, the length is calculated with feet or inches, the mass with pounds and ounces, and the liquids are calculated with ounces, pints, and gallons.

The main problem in the imperial units is their conversion. While a hundred centimeters make a meter, in one foot there are twelve inches. This is why the imperial is confusing and it takes more time to learn it.

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However, thanks to online calculators like becalculator.com, converting from feet to meters is so easy nowadays. Just input the value and you will immediately get it converted to meters.

2. Intuitive system

When it comes to measuring things by eye, the things are completely different. You simply cannot take accurate guesses with the metric units.

However, when something is tall six feet and five inches, you know how long a foot is. The inch is the distance we intuitively make when we hold our thumb and index finger when trying to show how big a thing is. That is why the imperial units are better for intuitive measurements.

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In addition, weight can be better comprehended when the measurements are just right. For example, it is easier to use five ounces than 141 grams. That is why most recipes that you see on the internet are measured in such simplistic units from the IS.

Which system helps in calculations

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Source: techtiptrick.com

When it comes to calculations, you have to use the most precise measuring unit. For that reason, we have to go through this topic to see which method is better. If something is measured at 3.4 kilometers, that is 3400 meters which are easy to calculate if you know how to move decimals.

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On the contrary, if something has been measured at 3.4 miles, try transforming that into feet. This is a more complicated operation and that is why it is harder to use the IS for such calculations.

Which system is used in most the countries

If you are from a place where the IS has been standardized, you are used to it. However, as you begin traveling, or developing business with people around the world, you will notice that they have no idea how long a yard is. That is because the metric units are a standard in most of the world.

However, in the United Kingdom, they use a hybrid measuring system that incorporates both these units. This lets them enjoy the benefits of both systems and that is what should be done everywhere in the world.

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Besides their differences, they have already left a mark on our environment. The confusing situations are beginning to slowly fade away when we can simply look for online results.

With technology on our side, we have quick calculators that let us transform one unit into another without problems. This significantly improves the way of living, whenever we end up in a situation where we have to turn one unit into another.

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