Besides the 48 conterminous states that occupy the middle latitudes of the continent, the United States includes the state of Alaskaat the northwestern extreme of North America, and the island state of Hawaiiin the mid-Pacific Ocean.
The conterminous states are bounded on the north by Canadaon the east by the Atlantic Oceanon the south by the Gulf of Mexico and Mexicoand on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The United States is the fourth largest country in the world in area after RussiaCanada, and China. The national capital is Washingtonwhich is coextensive with the District of Columbiathe federal capital region created in The major characteristic of the United States is probably its great variety.
Its physical environment ranges from the Arctic to the subtropical, from the moist rain forest to the arid desert, from the rugged mountain peak to the flat prairie. Although the total population of the United States is large by world standards, its overall population density is relatively low.
The United States contains a highly diverse population. Unlike a country such as China that largely incorporated indigenous peoples, the United States has a diversity that to a great degree has come from an immense and sustained global immigration. Probably no other country has a wider range of racial, ethnic, and cultural types than does the United States.
In addition to the presence of surviving Native Americans including American Indians, Aleutsand Eskimos and the descendants of Africans taken as slaves to the New World, the national character has been enriched, tested, and constantly redefined by the tens of millions of immigrants who by and large have come to America hoping for greater social, political, and economic opportunities than they had in the places they left.
Despite its relative economic self-sufficiency in many areas, the United States is the most important single factor in world trade by virtue of the sheer size of its economy. Its exports and imports represent major proportions of the world total. The United States also impinges on the global economy as a source of and as a destination for investment capital. The United States is relatively young by world standards, being less than years old; it achieved its current size only in the midth century.
America was the first of the European colonies to separate successfully from its motherland, and it was the first nation to be established on the premise that sovereignty rests with its citizens and not with the government. In its first century and a half, the country was mainly preoccupied with its own territorial expansion and economic growth and with social debates that ultimately led to civil war and a healing period that is still not complete.
In the 20th century the United States emerged as a world power, and since World War II it has been one of the preeminent powers. It has not accepted this mantle easily nor always carried it willingly; the principles and ideals of its founders have been tested by the pressures and exigencies of its dominant status. The United States still offers its residents opportunities for unparalleled personal advancement and wealth.
However, the depletion of its resources, the contamination of its environment, and the continuing social and economic inequality that perpetuates areas of poverty and blight all threaten the fabric of the country.
The District of Columbia is discussed in the article Washington. For discussion of other major U. The two great sets of elements that mold the physical environment of the United States are, first, the geologic, which determines the main patterns of landforms, drainage, and mineral resources and influences soils to a lesser degree, and, second, the atmospheric, which dictates not only climate and weather but also in large part the distribution of soils, plants, and animals.
Although these elements are not entirely independent of one another, each produces on a map patterns that are so profoundly different that essentially they remain two separate geographies.
Since this article covers only the conterminous United States, see also the articles Alaska and Hawaii. The centre of the conterminous United States is a great sprawling interior lowland, reaching from the ancient shield of central Canada on the north to the Gulf of Mexico on the south. To east and west this lowland rises, first gradually and then abruptly, to mountain ranges that divide it from the sea on both sides.
The two mountain systems differ drastically. The Appalachian Mountains on the east are low, almost unbroken, and in the main set well back from the Atlantic. From New York to the Mexican border stretches the low Coastal Plainwhich faces the ocean along a swampy, convoluted coast. The gently sloping surface of the plain extends out beneath the sea, where it forms the continental shelfwhich, although submerged beneath shallow ocean water, is geologically identical to the Coastal Plain.
Southward the plain grows wider, swinging westward in Georgia and Alabama to truncate the Appalachians along their southern extremity and separate the interior lowland from the Gulf.
West of the Central Lowland is the mighty Cordillera, part of a global mountain system that rings the Pacific basin. The Cordillera encompasses fully one-third of the United States, with an internal variety commensurate with its size.
At its eastern margin lie the Rocky Mountains, a high, diverse, and discontinuous chain that stretches all the way from New Mexico to the Canadian border. Pent between the Rockies and the Pacific chain is a vast intermontane complex of basins, plateaus, and isolated ranges so large and remarkable that they merit recognition as a region separate from the Cordillera itself.It includes the noncontiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii and various island territories in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.
The area now occupied by the contiguous 48 states was originally inhabited by numerous Native American peoples and was colonized beginning in the s by Spain, France, the Netherlands, and England. The original Thirteen Colonies declared their independence from Great Britain in and formed a government under the Articles of Confederation inadopting a new constitution that went into effect after The nation soon began to expand westward.
Growing tensions over the issue of black slavery divided the country along geographic lines, sparking the secession of the South and the Civil War The remainder of the s was marked by increased westward expansion, industrialization, and the influx of millions of immigrants. Washington, DC, is the capital and New York the largest city. Switch to new thesaurus.
Boston Tea Party - demonstration by citizens of Boston who disguised as Indians raided three British ships in Boston harbor and dumped hundreds of chests of tea into the harbor; organized as a protest against taxes on tea.
Social Security number - the number of a particular individual's Social Security account. Bill of Rights - a statement of fundamental rights and privileges especially the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. AthabascanAthapaskan languageAthabaskanAthapascanAthapaskan - a group of Amerindian languages the name coined by an American anthropologist, Edward Sapir.
State Department - a department of government in one of the 50 states. OASOrganization of American States - an association including most countries in the western hemisphere; created in to promote military and economic and social and cultural cooperation.
ICIntelligence CommunityNational Intelligence CommunityUnited States Intelligence Community - a group of government agencies and organizations that carry out intelligence activities for the United States government; headed by the Director of Central Intelligence.
Pacific Northwest - a region of the northwestern United States usually including Washington and Oregon and sometimes southwestern British Columbia. Mentioned in? References in classic literature?
Man with care. View in context. Since then, Gant U.The U. John Lewis, D-Ga. He was Local sheriffs plan to work with politicians to create ordinances to prevent such parties from happening. Danessa Elreya is now trying to heal.
The Navy says it will not be naming a new class of warship after an officer who once served in the Confederate Navy. Mark McCloskey speaks out on 'Watters' World' after police take away his guns.
A dog named Cleo who disappeared from her home in Kansas earlier this month turned up a few days later at her old home in Missouri, about 50 miles 80 kilometers away. More parents are choosing home school over in-class instruction when school resumes this fall as school districts roll out their reopening plans during the global health crisis. The USS Bonhomme Richard has extensive structural, electrical and mechanical damage, a top naval chief said Friday after walking into the bowels of the charred warship that burned for more than four days off San Diego.
Herron Gaston, a former intern for John Lewis, weighs in on the legacy of the civil rights icon. Congressional candidate, Dr. Ronny Jackson, joins Jon Scott to discuss the surge in Texas coronavirus cases. More parents are choosing home school over in-class instruction when school resumes this fall. Chris Wallace joins President Trump at the White House for an in-depth interview discussing the division of our nation amid an election year.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews. Rafael Mangual, director of legal policy at The Manhattan Institute, weighs in. Andrew Cuomo imposed a new coronavirus restriction on restaurants that alcohol purchases include food.
The incident only gained national attention following the death of George Floyd.It consists of 50 statesa federal districtfive major self-governing territoriesand various possessions. The Americans are a racially and ethnically diverse population that has been shaped through centuries of immigration. The capital is Washington, D. Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12, years ago,  and European colonization began in the 16th century.
Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies led to the American Revolutionary War lasting between andleading to independence. Bythe United States spanned the continent. It was the first country to develop nuclear weapons and is the only country to have used them in warfare.
During the Cold Warthe United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Raceculminating with the Apollo 11 missionthe spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. The end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union in left the United States as the world's sole superpower.
The United States is a federal republic and a representative democracy. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. A highly developed countrythe United States is the world's largest economy and accounts for approximately a quarter of global gross domestic product GDP.
The first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" dates from a January 2, letter written by Stephen MoylanEsq. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort. The second draft of the Articles of Confederationprepared by John Dickinson and completed no later than June 17,declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the 'United States of America ' ".
The short form "United States" is also standard. Other common forms are the "U. The phrase "United States" was originally plural, a description of a collection of independent states—e. The singular form is now standard; the plural form is retained in the idiom "these United States. A citizen of the United States is an " American. In English, the word " American " rarely refers to topics or subjects not directly connected with the United States.
It has been generally accepted that the first inhabitants of North America migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 12, years ago; however, increasing evidence suggests an even earlier arrival. Over time, indigenous cultures in North America grew increasingly complex, and some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture in the southeast, developed advanced agriculture, grand architecture, and state-level societies.
In the southern Great Lakes region, the Iroquois Confederacy was established at some point between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. With the progress of European colonization in the territories of the contemporary United States, the Native Americans were often conquered and displaced.
Estimating the native population of North America at the time of European contact is difficult. Ubelaker of the Smithsonian Institution estimated that there was a population of 92, in the south Atlantic states and a population ofin the Gulf states,  but most academics regard this figure as too low.
Dobyns believed the populations were much higher, suggesting 1, along the shores of the gulf of Mexico, 2, people living between Florida and Massachusetts5, in the Mississippi Valley and tributaries andpeople in the Florida peninsula. In the early days of colonization, many European settlers were subject to food shortages, disease, and attacks from Native Americans. Native Americans were also often at war with neighboring tribes and allied with Europeans in their colonial wars.
In many cases, however, natives and settlers came to depend on each other. Settlers traded for food and animal pelts; natives for guns, ammunition and other European goods. European missionaries and others felt it was important to "civilize" the Native Americans and urged them to adopt European agricultural techniques and lifestyles. With the advancement of European colonization in North America, the Native Americans were often conquered and displaced.
Even earlier, Christopher Columbus landed in Puerto Rico on his voyage. The French established their own as well along the Mississippi River.
Many settlers were dissenting Christian groups who came seeking religious freedom. The continent's first elected legislative assembly, Virginia's House of Burgesseswas created in The Mayflower Compactsigned by the Pilgrims before disembarking, and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticutestablished precedents for the pattern of representative self-government and constitutionalism that would develop throughout the American colonies.Follow NBC News.
News Top stories from around the country. John Lewis: In his own words. Oregon AG sues federal agencies for detaining Portland protesters. Nightly News Florida and Texas hospitals overwhelmed as coronavirus cases surge. Nightly News John Lewis, congressman and civil rights giant, dies at age Coronavirus Blue Jays can't play at home, Canada says.
After George Floyd A fence that separated town's Black and white cemeteries has come down. Nightly News. Coronavirus 'We're fighting our own state': Southern mayors push back on state coronavirus response. Coronavirus Summer is bringing a new wave of coronavirus hot spots.
See how the map is changing. After George Floyd U. Latino 'I found a different brand': Latinos take a stand against Goya — and Trump's 'hate'. After George Floyd A majority-Black city aimed to be a police reform model. But some say little has changed. The answer is up for interpretation.
Latino CBP fires 4, suspends dozens over racist, violent Facebook groups. After George Floyd Protesters in Portland, Oregon, clash with police, federal officers during chaotic night. Coronavirus Texas eclipses grim benchmark withcoronavirus cases. Nightly News Coronavirus cases continue surging across southern U. News Disappearance of Oklahoma mother remains a mystery more than two decades later.
Coronavirus Experts say this 'bridge to a vaccine' may be a reason for optimism. Here's how it works.Vickey Gibbs, beloved Houston pastor and activist, dies at Obama pays tribute to his 'hero'.
Opinion: Anonymous security forcing citizens into cars is mark of dictatorship. The latest US stories A paletero was beaten unconscious and another one was killed. Street vendors are on edge. Parasailing accident in Key West leaves one dead, another severely injured. Slain entrepreneur and innovator Fahim Saleh 'saw the promise' in fledgling techies. Texas pastor dies of Covid a month after giving sermon on the virus' impact on her community. Four California teens create Covid coloring book for children and raise money for charity.
High School students create Covid coloring book for children and charity. US attorney requests DHS investigation after video shows masked, camouflaged federal authorities arresting protesters in Portland. Several protesters arrested in Portland after police say they blocked buildings and threw projectiles. How Dr. Deborah Birx's political skills made her the most powerful person on the coronavirus task force.
Joe Biden is a man of faith. That could help him win over some white evangelicals. Markey and Kennedy neck-and-neck in fundraising in Senate race. TikTok turned this year-old skincare brand into a cult favorite. White Castle is testing a burger-grilling robot named Flippy. Around the nation.
WPTV Dentist using new technology to reduce potential spread of coronavirus. WLOS Horse show goes on with no fans. WJLA Speedy dog recovering after 7-minute chase. WNEP Parents of child who shot brother facing charges. WBZ Org offers bailout for kids' lemonade stands. WCBS Video shows arrest of suspect in killing. KYW Street mural painted on parkway. The Citizen Century-old Weedsport bench lives on. Gwinnett Daily Post Teen uses pandemic time for learning, teaching art.
Albany Herald Body of drowned teen found, drowning intentional. WCCO Bakery customers keep paying it forward to police. WEWS Boy forms friendship with nursing home resident. WLS Real estate program targets underrepresented. KPIX Deaf woman, exempt from mask rules, faces humiliation from strangers. Arizona Daily Sun City photographers, astronomers document comet. KPTV Portland airport hosts first-ever drive-in movie.
KTNV Man killed in robbery while trying to get help.For several years Ed Hawkins made friends with India's illegal bookmakers - men who boast turnover of hundreds of millions of dollars per cricket match - as well as the corruption officers of the International Cricket Council who are trying to shut them down.U.S.A - LiL CaKe [Lyric Video] (prod by @federicoivanm)
It's a shady world and rumours abound. But then Hawkins receives a message that changes everything and he decides it is time to expose the truth behind match-fixing.
Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy is a story featuring politicians, governing bodies, illegal bookmakers and powerless players - as well as corruption, intimidation and even suicide. It is a story that touches all cricket-playing nations around the world.
It is a story that every cricket fan must read. You might never again watch a cricket match without suspicion. He has twice been named the Sports Journalists Association's Sports Betting Writer of the Year. This is his second book. Dodgers Odds: World Series Betting Preview performance.
That will continue in 2017 because the Los Angeles Dodgers knocked out the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS to reach their first World Series since 1988. The Dodgers are -170 series betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.
Only five times in the previous 22 seasons has the team that finished with the best regular-season record or tied for it won the World Series. The other teams were the 1998 and 2009 Yankees, and the 2007 and 2013 Red Sox. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred changed the rule this season from the winning league in the All-Star Game getting home-field advantage in the World Series.
It goes to the pennant winner with the best regular-season record. That worked out well for the Dodgers as the American League won the Midsummer Classic, but Los Angeles had the top regular-season mark at 104-58. At one point, it looked as if the Dodgers might break the MLB record of 116 wins, but then they went on an 11-game losing streak in September.
All is well now with just one playoff loss. The Dodgers won the NLCS despite playing without arguably their best all-around position player in All- Star shortstop Corey Seager due to a back injury. Houston won 101 regular-season games, making this the first World Series to feature two clubs that reached the century mark since Orioles-Reds in 1970.
The Astros are also the first team to reach the Fall Classic from both the American and National League. They went there in the NL in 2005 and were swept by the White Sox. Houston moved to the Junior Circuit for the 2013 season. Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young winner, is lined up to start Game 1 vs. Notify me of new posts via email. Join over 240,000 people who get the most important news stories and the best shopping deals from Heavy delivered right to your inbox.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email (Address never made public) Name Website You are commenting using your WordPress.