he United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (U.S.) or America, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is located in the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and numerous unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.8 million square miles (9.842 million km2) and with over 320 million people, the United States is the world’s fourth-largest country by total area and third most populous. It is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States are also extremely diverse, and the country is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Eurasia to what is now the U.S. mainland at least 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the East Coast. Disputes between Great Britain and the colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, as the colonies were fighting Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence. The war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The country’s constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, and ratified by the states in 1788. The first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.
Driven by the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century. This involved displacing American Indian tribes, acquiring new territories, and gradually admitting new states, until by 1848 the nation spanned the continent. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War ended legal slavery in the country. By the end of that century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean, and its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country’s status as a global military power. The United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world’s sole superpower.
The United States is a developed country and has the world’s largest economy by nominal and real GDP, benefiting from an abundance of natural resources and high worker productivity. While the U.S. economy is considered post-industrial, the country continues to be one of the world’s largest manufacturers. Accounting for 34% of global military spending and 23% of world GDP, it is the world’s foremost economic and military power, a prominent political and cultural force, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
1 Etymology 2 History 2.1 Native American and European contact 2.2 Settlements 2.3 Independence and expansion 2.4 Civil War and Reconstruction Era 2.5 Industrialization 2.6 World War I, Great Depression, and World War II 2.7 Cold War and civil rights era 2.8 Contemporary history 3 Geography, climate, and environment 3.1 Wildlife 4 Demographics 4.1 Population 4.2 Language 4.3 Religion 4.4 Family structure 5 Government and politics 5.1 Political divisions 5.2 Parties and elections 5.3 Foreign relations 5.4 Government finance 5.4.1 National debt 6 Military 7 Law enforcement and crime 8 Economy 8.1 Income, poverty and wealth 9 Education 10 Culture 10.1 Food 10.2 Literature, philosophy, and the arts 10.3 Music 10.4 Cinema 11 Sports 12 Infrastructure 12.1 Transportation 12.2 Energy 13 Science and technology 14 Health 15 Media 16 See also 17 Notes 18 References 19 Bibliography and further reading 19.1 Website sources 20 External links
See also: Names for United States citizens and Names of the United States
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere “America” after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci (Latin: Americus Vespucius). The first documentary evidence of the phrase “United States of America” is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq., George Washington’s aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army. Addressed to Lt. Col. Joseph Reed, Moylan expressed his wish to carry the “full and ample powers of the United States of America” to Spain to assist in the revolutionary war effort.
The first known publication of the phrase “United States of America” was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” in all capitalized letters in the headline of his “original Rough draught” of the Declaration of Independence. In the final Fourth of July version of the Declaration, the title was changed to read,
A museum is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities…
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