Why is the American magical government called

American Ministry of Magic

in the second movie? To me if anything it should be MACUSA or maybe the American Department of Magic like the real world example Department of Defense, etc. Maybe Rowling doesn't know how our government works or she did not research like usual.

  • 2
    What makes you think Rowling decided what was in each subtitle? – HorusKol Nov 20 at 20:38
  • 13
    Americans doing something non-standard and inconsistent? That doesn't sound right at all. – NotThatGuy Nov 20 at 21:22
  • 2
    @NotThatGuy: In our defense, at least we're consistently inconsistent, and we do try to standarize our non-standards ;-) – tonysdg Nov 20 at 22:35
  • 1
    Too short for an answer, but as far as I understand, it is not an official government body, so why should it follow the naming convention of one? – Thomas Nov 21 at 14:27

The subtitle is merely for the audience's benefit and convenience. The official title of the body is "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" however the majority of viewers wouldn't necessarily know what the acronym means. Note that the screenplay gives its full title

SCENE 1
EXT. NEW YORK, AMERICAN MINISTRY OF MAGIC—1927—NIGHT

AERIAL SHOT of New York and MACUSA building.

By the same token, the subtitle later in the film reads

French Ministry of Magic

Whereas we know from various factbooks that the official title of the body is "(le) Ministère des Affaires Magiques de la France". Again, the majority of viewers don't speak French so it's convenient to have the film explain where the characters are in a way that audiences (young and old) can easily comprehend.

  • 4
    yes I know what MACUSA is spelled out I just abbreviated it for the question. Still we have never used the title "Ministry" in our government for its various departments since the founding of the United States. – dean1957 Nov 20 at 19:09
  • 6
    @dean1957 - Can't help you with that one. It's simply a shorthand for punters who'd likely be familiar with the "Ministry of Magic" from the previous film series – Valorum Nov 20 at 19:16
  • 2
    But, if I remember correctly, the 1st part already prominently featured the MACUSA (and called it as such). Did they already call it "American Ministry of Magic" there, too? – TARS Nov 20 at 19:39
  • Also, to a layman in French, the official French name isn't really far off the "French Ministry of Magic" either (besides being in a different language and thereby even more inapplicable for direct use). – TARS Nov 20 at 19:41
  • 4
    No they called it MACUSA or used its long name Magical Congress .... in the first film and no subtitles for the identification of the American equivalent of the British Ministry of Magic either. Just a side note the Woolworth Building at the time of the film was suppose to be taking place 1926/27, was the worlds tallest building from 1913 - 1930. – dean1957 Nov 20 at 19:58

If the MACUSA was founded in 1693 if I remember right, probably using a different name since there wasn't any USA yet, it would have been when the British colonies in North America were colonies of the English government, and the Kingdom of England in 1693 had ministries instead of departments.

So the magical government that later used the name MACUSA could have created a ministry to interact with the famous governments of the English colonies when necessary. And if thy did so before the American Revolution in 1775-1783 they would have called it a ministry. And maybe they didn't change the name of the ministry to department after the federal government of the USA was established in 1789.

Perhaps they wanted to avoid following the latest trends in muggle government and remain detached from muggle practices.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.