FANDOM


The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S.) or America, is a constitutional federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.Template:Refn Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Nine time zones are covered. The geography, climate and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse.[1]

At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km2)[2] and with over 324 million people, the United States is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area,Template:Refn third-largest by land area, and the third-most populous. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, and is home to the world's largest immigrant population.[3] The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city is New York City; nine other major metropolitan areas—each with at least 4.5 million inhabitants and the largest having more than 13 million people—are Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, and San Francisco.

Paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago.[4] European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the Seven Years' War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775. On July 4, 1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the colonies unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence. The war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.[5] The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, were felt to have provided inadequate federal powers. The first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties.

The United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century,[6] displacing Native American tribes, acquiring new territories, and gradually admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848.[6] During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of legal slavery in the country.[7][8] By the end of that century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean,[9] and its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar.[10] The Spanish–American War and Template:Nowrap confirmed the country's status as a global military power. The United States emerged from Template:Nowrap 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.[11] The U.S. is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States (OAS), and other international organizations.

The United States is a highly developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP. Though its population is only 4.3% of the world total,[12] Americans hold nearly 40% of the total wealth in the world.[13] The United States ranks among the highest in several measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage,[14] human development, per capita GDP, and productivity per person.[15] While the U.S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world.[16] Accounting for approximately a quarter of global GDP[17] and a third of global military spending,[18] the United States is the world's foremost economic and military power. The United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.[19]

Etymology Edit

Template:See also

File:Amerigo Vespucci - Project Gutenberg etext 19997.jpg

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).[20] 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.[22][23][24]

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.[25][26] The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the 'United States of America.'"[27] The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of AmericaTemplate:' ".[28] 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.[29][30] This draft of the document did not surface until June 21, 1776, and it is unclear whether it was written before or after Dickinson used the term in his June 17 draft of the Articles of Confederation.[27] In the final Fourth of July version of the Declaration, the title was changed to read, "The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America".[31] The preamble of the Constitution states "...establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The short form "United States" is also standard. Other common forms are the "U.S.", the "USA", and "America". Colloquial names are the "U.S. of A." and, internationally, the "States". "Columbia", a name popular in poetry and songs of the late 18th century, derives its origin from Christopher Columbus; it appears in the name "District of Columbia".[32] In non-English languages, the name is frequently the translation of either the "United States" or "United States of America", and colloquially as "America". In addition, an abbreviation (e.g. USA) is sometimes used.[33]

The phrase "United States" was originally plural, a description of a collection of independent states—e.g., "the United States are"—including in the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1865. The singular form—e.g., "the United States is"—became popular after the end of the American Civil War. The singular form is now standard; the plural form is retained in the idiom "these United States".[34] The difference is more significant than usage; it is a difference between a collection of states and a unit.[35]

A citizen of the United States is an "American". "United States", "American" and "U.S." refer to the country adjectivally ("American values", "U.S. forces"). In English, the word "American" rarely refers to topics or subjects not connected with the United States.[36]

History Edit

Main article: History of the United States

Indigenous and European contact Edit

Template:Further information

File:Chromesun kincaid site 01.jpg
File:Columbus Taking Possession.jpg

The first inhabitants of North America migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 15,000 years ago, though increasing evidence suggests an even earlier arrival.[4] Some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, developed advanced agriculture, grand architecture, and state-level societies.[37] The first Europeans to arrive in territory of the modern United States were Spanish conquistadors such as Juan Ponce de León, and made their first contacts in Florida in 1513. The native population declined for various reasons, primarily from diseases such as smallpox and measles. Violence was not a significant factor in the overall decline among Native Americans, though conflict among themselves and with Europeans affected specific tribes and various colonial settlements.[38][39][40][41][42][43] In the Hawaiian Islands, the earliest indigenous inhabitants arrived around 1 AD from Polynesia. Europeans under the British explorer Captain James Cook arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778.

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. At the same time, however, many natives and settlers came to depend on each other. Settlers traded for food and animal pelts, natives for guns, ammunition and other European wares.[44] Natives taught many settlers where, when and how to cultivate corn, beans and squash. European missionaries and others felt it was important to "civilize" the Native Americans and urged them to adopt European agricultural techniques and lifestyles.[45][46]

Settlements Edit

Template:Further information

File:Jordglob, America, 1602 - Skoklosters slott - 102415.tif
File:Castillo de San Marcos.jpg
File:The Mayflower Compact 1620 cph.3g07155.jpg

After Spain sent Columbus on his first voyage to the New World in 1492, other explorers followed. The Spanish set up small settlements in New Mexico and Florida. France had several small settlements along the Mississippi River. Successful English settlement on the eastern coast of North America began with the Virginia Colony in 1607 at Jamestown and the Pilgrims' Plymouth Colony in 1620. Early experiments in communal living failed until the introduction of private farm holdings.[47] Many settlers were dissenting Christian groups who came seeking religious freedom. The continent's first elected legislative assembly, Virginia's House of Burgesses created in 1619, and the Mayflower Compact, signed by the Pilgrims before disembarking, established precedents for the pattern of representative self-government and constitutionalism that would develop throughout the American colonies.[48][49]

Most settlers in every colony were small farmers, but other industries developed within a few decades as varied as the settlements. Cash crops included tobacco, rice and wheat. Extraction industries grew up in furs, fishing and lumber. Manufacturers produced rum and ships, and by the late colonial period Americans were producing one-seventh of the world's iron supply.[50] Cities eventually dotted the coast to support local economies and serve as trade hubs. English colonists were supplemented by waves of Scotch-Irish and other groups. As coastal land grew more expensive freed indentured servants pushed further west.[51]

Slave cultivation of cash crops began with the Spanish in the 1500s, and was adopted by the English, but life expectancy was much higher in North America because of less disease and better food and treatment, leading to a rapid increase in the numbers of slaves.[52][53][54] Colonial society was largely divided over the religious and moral implications of slavery and colonies passed acts for and against the practice.[55][56] But by the turn of the 18th century, African slaves were replacing indentured servants for cash crop labor, especially in southern regions.[57]

With the British colonization of Georgia in 1732, the 13 colonies that would become the United States of America were established.[58] All had local governments with elections open to most free men, with a growing devotion to the ancient rights of Englishmen and a sense of self-government stimulating support for republicanism.[59] With extremely high birth rates, low death rates, and steady settlement, the colonial population grew rapidly. Relatively small Native American populations were eclipsed.[60] The Christian revivalist movement of the 1730s and 1740s known as the Great Awakening fueled interest in both religion and religious liberty.[61]

During the Seven Years' War (in America, known as the French and Indian War), British forces seized Canada from the French, but the francophone population remained politically isolated from the southern colonies. Excluding the Native Americans, who were being conquered and displaced, the 13 British colonies had a population of over 2.1 million in 1770, about one-third that of Britain. Despite continuing new arrivals, the rate of natural increase was such that by the 1770s only a small minority of Americans had been born overseas.[62] The colonies' distance from Britain had allowed the development of self-government, but their success motivated monarchs to periodically seek to reassert royal authority.[63]

Independence and expansion (1776–1865) Edit

Template:Further information

File:Declaration independence.jpg

The American Revolutionary War was the first successful colonial war of independence against a European power. Americans had developed an ideology of "republicanism" asserting that government rested on the will of the people as expressed in their local legislatures. They demanded their rights as Englishmen and "no taxation without representation". The British insisted on administering the empire through Parliament, and the conflict escalated into war.[64]

Following the passage of the Lee Resolution, on July 2, 1776, which was the actual vote for independence, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, which proclaimed, in a long preamble, that humanity is created equal in their unalienable rights and that those rights were not being protected by Great Britain, and declared, in the words of the resolution, that the Thirteen Colonies were independent states and had no allegiance to the British crown in the United States. The fourth day of July is celebrated annually as Independence Day. In 1777, the Articles of Confederation established a weak government that operated until 1789.[65]

Britain recognized the independence of the United States following their defeat at Yorktown in 1781.[66] In the peace treaty of 1783, American sovereignty was recognized from the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi River. Nationalists led the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in writing the United States Constitution, ratified in state conventions in 1788. The federal government was reorganized into three branches, on the principle of creating salutary checks and balances, in 1789. George Washington, who had led the revolutionary army to victory, was the first president elected under the new constitution. The Bill of Rights, forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in 1791.[67]

Although the federal government criminalized the international slave trade in 1808, after 1820, cultivation of the highly profitable cotton crop exploded in the Deep South, and along with it, the slave population.[68][69][70] The Second Great Awakening, especially 1800–1840, converted millions to evangelical Protestantism. In the North, it energized multiple social reform movements, including abolitionism;[71] in the South, Methodists and Baptists proselytized among slave populations.[72]

Americans' eagerness to expand westward prompted a long series of American Indian Wars.[73] The Louisiana Purchase of French-claimed territory in 1803 almost doubled the nation's area.[74] The War of 1812, declared against Britain over various grievances and fought to a draw, strengthened U.S. nationalism.[75] A series of military incursions into Florida led Spain to cede it and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819.[76] Expansion was aided by steam power, when steamboats began traveling along America's large water systems, which were connected by new canals, such as the Erie and the I&M; then, even faster railroads began their stretch across the nation's land.[77]

File:U.S. Territorial Acquisitions.png

From 1820 to 1850, Jacksonian democracy began a set of reforms which included wider white male suffrage; it led to the rise of the Second Party System of Democrats and Whigs as the dominant parties from 1828 to 1854. The Trail of Tears in the 1830s exemplified the Indian removal policy that resettled Indians into the west on Indian reservations. The U.S. annexed the Republic of Texas in 1845 during a period of expansionist Manifest destiny.[78] The 1846 Oregon Treaty with Britain led to U.S. control of the present-day American Northwest.[79] Victory in the Mexican–American War resulted in the 1848 Mexican Cession of California and much of the present-day American Southwest.[80]

The California Gold Rush of 1848–49 spurred western migration and the creation of additional western states.[81] After the American Civil War, new transcontinental railways made relocation easier for settlers, expanded internal trade and increased conflicts with Native Americans.[82] Over a half-century, the loss of the American bison (sometimes called "buffalo") was an existential blow to many Plains Indians cultures.[83] In 1869, a new Peace Policy sought to protect Native-Americans from abuses, avoid further war, and secure their eventual U.S. citizenship, although conflicts, including several of the largest Indian Wars, continued throughout the West into the 1900s.[84]

Civil War and Reconstruction Era Edit

Template:Further information

File:Thure de Thulstrup - L. Prang and Co. - Battle of Gettysburg - Restoration by Adam Cuerden (cropped).jpg

Differences of opinion and social order between northern and southern states in early United States society, particularly regarding Black slavery, ultimately led to the American Civil War.[85] Initially, states entering the Union alternated between slave and free states, keeping a sectional balance in the Senate, while free states outstripped slave states in population and in the House of Representatives. But with additional western territory and more free-soil states, tensions between slave and free states mounted with arguments over federalism and disposition of the territories, whether and how to expand or restrict slavery.[86]

With the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln, the first president from the largely anti-slavery Republican Party, conventions in thirteen slave states ultimately declared secession and formed the Confederate States of America, while the federal government maintained that secession was illegal.[86] The ensuing war was at first for Union, then after 1863 as casualties mounted and Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation, a second war aim became abolition of slavery. The war remains the deadliest military conflict in American history, resulting in the deaths of approximately 618,000 soldiers as well as many civilians.[87]

Following the Union victory in 1865, three amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution: the Thirteenth Amendment prohibited slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment provided citizenship to the nearly four million African Americans who had been slaves,[88] and the Fifteenth Amendment ensured that they had the right to vote. The war and its resolution led to a substantial increase in federal power[89] aimed at reintegrating and rebuilding the Southern states while ensuring the rights of the newly freed slaves.

Southern white conservatives, calling themselves "Redeemers" took control after the end of Reconstruction. By the 1890–1910 period Jim Crow laws disenfranchised most blacks and some poor whites. Blacks faced racial segregation, especially in the South.[90] Racial minorities occasionally experienced vigilante violence.[91]

Industrialization Edit

Main article: Economic history of the United States
File:Ellis island 1902.jpg

In the North, urbanization and an unprecedented influx of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe supplied a surplus of labor for the country's industrialization and transformed its culture.[92] National infrastructure including telegraph and transcontinental railroads spurred economic growth and greater settlement and development of the American Old West. The later invention of electric light and the telephone would also affect communication and urban life.[93]

The end of the Indian Wars further expanded acreage under mechanical cultivation, increasing surpluses for international markets.[94] Mainland expansion was completed by the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.[95] In 1893, pro-American elements in Hawaii overthrew the monarchy and formed the Republic of Hawaii, which the U.S. annexed in 1898. Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines were ceded by Spain in the same year, following the Spanish–American War.[96]

Rapid economic development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries fostered the rise of many prominent industrialists. Tycoons like Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie led the nation's progress in railroad, petroleum, and steel industries. Banking became a major part of the economy, with J. P. Morgan playing a notable role. Edison and Tesla undertook the widespread distribution of electricity to industry, homes, and for street lighting. Henry Ford revolutionized the automotive industry. The American economy boomed, becoming the world's largest, and the United States achieved great power status.[97] These dramatic changes were accompanied by social unrest and the rise of populist, socialist, and anarchist movements.[98] This period eventually ended with the advent of the Progressive Era, which saw significant reforms in many societal areas, including women's suffrage, alcohol prohibition, regulation of consumer goods, greater antitrust measures to ensure competition and attention to worker conditions.[99][100][101][102]

World War I, Great Depression, and World War II Edit

Template:Further information

File:Approaching Omaha.jpg

The United States remained neutral from the outbreak of World War I, in 1914, until 1917 when it joined the war as an "associated power", alongside the formal Allies of World War I, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson took a leading diplomatic role at the Paris Peace Conference and advocated strongly for the U.S. to join the League of Nations. However, the Senate refused to approve this, and did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles that established the League of Nations.[103]

In 1920, the women's rights movement won passage of a constitutional amendment granting women's suffrage.[104] The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of radio for mass communication and the invention of early television.[105] The prosperity of the Roaring Twenties ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression. After his election as president in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt responded with the New Deal, which included the establishment of the Social Security system.[106] The Great Migration of millions of African Americans out of the American South began before World War I and extended through the 1960s;[107] whereas the Dust Bowl of the mid-1930s impoverished many farming communities and spurred a new wave of western migration.[108]

At first effectively neutral during World War II while Germany conquered much of continental Europe, the United States began supplying material to the Allies in March 1941 through the Lend-Lease program. On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, prompting the United States to join the Allies against the Axis powers.[109] During the war, the United States was referred as one of the "Four Policemen"[110] of Allies power who met to plan the postwar world, along with Britain, the Soviet Union and China.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn Though the nation lost more than 400,000 soldiers,[111] it emerged relatively undamaged from the war with even greater economic and military influence.[112]

The United States played a leading role in the Bretton Woods and Yalta conferences with the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and other Allies, which signed agreements on new international financial institutions and Europe's postwar reorganization. As an Allied victory was won in Europe, a 1945 international conference held in San Francisco produced the United Nations Charter, which became active after the war.[113] The United States developed the first nuclear weapons and used them on Japan in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; causing the Japanese to surrender on September 2, ending World War II.[114][115] Parades and celebrations followed in what is known as Victory Day, or V-J Day.[116]

Cold War and civil rights era Edit

Main article: History of the United States (1945–64)

Template:Further information

File:ReaganBerlinWall.jpg

After World War II the United States and the Soviet Union jockeyed for power during what became known as the Cold War, driven by an ideological divide between capitalism and communism[117] and, according to the school of geopolitics, a divide between the maritime Atlantic and the continental Eurasian camps. They dominated the military affairs of Europe, with the U.S. and its NATO allies on one side and the USSR and its Warsaw Pact allies on the other. The U.S. developed a policy of containment towards the expansion of communist influence. While the U.S. and Soviet Union engaged in proxy wars and developed powerful nuclear arsenals, the two countries avoided direct military conflict.

The United States often opposed Third World movements that it viewed as Soviet-sponsored. American troops fought communist Chinese and North Korean forces in the Korean War of 1950–53.[118] The Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the first artificial satellite and its 1961 launch of the first manned spaceflight initiated a "Space Race" in which the United States became the first nation to land a man on the moon in 1969.[118] A proxy war in Southeast Asia eventually evolved into full American participation, as the Vietnam War.

At home, the U.S. experienced sustained economic expansion and a rapid growth of its population and middle class. Construction of an Interstate Highway System transformed the nation's infrastructure over the following decades. Millions moved from farms and inner cities to large suburban housing developments.[119][120] In 1959 Hawaii became the 50th and last U.S. state added to the country.[121] The growing Civil Rights Movement used nonviolence to confront segregation and discrimination, with Martin Luther King Jr. becoming a prominent leader and figurehead. A combination of court decisions and legislation, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1968, sought to end racial discrimination.[122][123][124] Meanwhile, a counterculture movement grew which was fueled by opposition to the Vietnam war, black nationalism, and the sexual revolution.

The launch of a "War on Poverty" expanded entitlements and welfare spending, including the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, two programs that provide health coverage to the elderly and poor, respectively, and the means-tested Food Stamp Program and Aid to Families with Dependent Children.[125]

The 1970s and early 1980s saw the onset of stagflation. After his election in 1980, President Ronald Reagan responded to economic stagnation with free-market oriented reforms. Following the collapse of détente, he abandoned "containment" and initiated the more aggressive "rollback" strategy towards the USSR.[126][127][128][129][130] After a surge in female labor participation over the previous decade, by 1985 the majority of women aged 16 and over were employed.[131]

The late 1980s brought a "thaw" in relations with the USSR, and its collapse in 1991 finally ended the Cold War.[132][133][134][135] This brought about unipolarity[136] with the U.S. unchallenged as the world's dominant superpower. The concept of Pax Americana, which had appeared in the post-World War II period, gained wide popularity as a term for the post-Cold War new world order.

Contemporary history Edit

Main article: History of the United States (1991–2008)

Template:Further information Template:Multiple image

After the Cold War, the conflict in the Middle East triggered a crisis in 1990, when Iraq under Sadaam Hussein invaded and attempted to annex Kuwait, an ally of the United States. Fearing that the instability would spread to other regions, President George H.W. Bush launched Operation Desert Shield, a defensive force buildup in Saudi Arabia, and Operation Desert Storm, in a staging titled the Gulf War; waged by coalition forces from 34 nations, led by the United States against Iraq ending in the successful expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, restoring the former monarchy.[137]

Originating in U.S. defense networks, the Internet spread to international academic networks, and then to the public in the 1990s, greatly affecting the global economy, society, and culture.[138]

Due to the dot-com boom, stable monetary policy under Alan Greenspan, and reduced social welfare spending, the 1990s saw the longest economic expansion in modern U.S. history, ending in 2001.[139] Beginning in 1994, the U.S. entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), linking 450 million people producing $17 trillion worth of goods and services. The goal of the agreement was to eliminate trade and investment barriers among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico by January 1, 2008. Trade among the three partners has soared since NAFTA went into force.[140]

On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda terrorists struck the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., killing nearly 3,000 people.[141] In response, the United States launched the War on Terror, which included war in Afghanistan and the 2003–11 Iraq War.[142][143] In 2007, the Bush administration ordered a major troop surge in the Iraq War,[144] which successfully reduced violence and led to greater stability in the region.[145][146]

Government policy designed to promote affordable housing,[147] widespread failures in corporate and regulatory governance,[148] and historically low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve[149] led to the mid-2000s housing bubble, which culminated with the 2008 financial crisis, the largest economic contraction in the nation's history since the Great Depression.[150] Barack Obama, the first African American[151] and multiracial[152] president, was elected in 2008 amid the crisis,[153] and subsequently passed stimulus measures and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in an attempt to mitigate its negative effects. While the stimulus facilitated infrastructure improvements[154] and a relative decline in unemployment,[155] Dodd-Frank has had a negative impact on business investment and small banks.[156]

In 2010, the Obama administration passed the Affordable Care Act, which made the most sweeping reforms to the nation's healthcare system in nearly five decades, including mandates, subsidies and insurance exchanges. The law caused a significant reduction in the number and percentage of people without health insurance, with 24 million covered during 2016,[157] but remains controversial due to its impact on healthcare costs, insurance premiums, and economic performance.[158] Although the recession reached its trough in June 2009, voters remained frustrated with the slow pace of the economic recovery. The Republicans, who stood in opposition to Obama's policies, won control of the House of Representatives with a landslide in 2010 and control of the Senate in 2014.[159]

American forces in Iraq were withdrawn in large numbers in 2009 and 2010, and the war in the region was declared formally over in December 2011.[160] The withdrawal caused an escalation of sectarian insurgency,[161] leading to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the successor of al-Qaeda in the region.[162] In 2014, Obama announced a restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961.[163] The next year, the United States as a member of the P5+1 countries signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an agreement aimed to slow the development of Iran's nuclear program.[164]

Donald Trump, the wealthiest president in U.S. history and the first president with no political or military experience prior to taking office,[165] was elected to office in the 2016 presidential election.[166]

Geography, climate, and environment Edit

Main article: Geography of the United States
File:USA-satellite.jpg
File:US50states koppen.svg

The land area of the contiguous United States is Template:Convert. Alaska, separated from the contiguous United States by Canada, is the largest state at Template:Convert. Hawaii, occupying an archipelago in the central Pacific, southwest of North America, is Template:Convert in area. The populated territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands together cover Template:Convert.[167]

The United States is the world's third- or fourth-largest nation by total area (land and water), ranking behind Russia and Canada and just above or below China. The ranking varies depending on how two territories disputed by China and India are counted and how the total size of the United States is measured: calculations range from Template:Convert[168] to Template:Convert[169] to Template:Convert[170] to Template:Convert.[2] Measured by only land area, the United States is third in size behind Russia and China, just ahead of Canada.[171]

The coastal plain of the Atlantic seaboard gives way further inland to deciduous forests and the rolling hills of the Piedmont.[172] The Appalachian Mountains divide the eastern seaboard from the Great Lakes and the grasslands of the Midwest.[173] The MississippiMissouri River, the world's fourth longest river system, runs mainly north–south through the heart of the country. The flat, fertile prairie of the Great Plains stretches to the west, interrupted by a highland region in the southeast.[173]

The Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extend north to south across the country, reaching altitudes higher than Template:Convert in Colorado.[174] Farther west are the rocky Great Basin and deserts such as the Chihuahua and Mojave.[175] The Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges run close to the Pacific coast, both ranges reaching altitudes higher than Template:Convert. The lowest and highest points in the contiguous United States are in the state of California,[176] and only about Template:Convert apart.[177] At an elevation of Template:Convert, Alaska's Denali (Mount McKinley) is the highest peak in the country and North America.[178] Active volcanoes are common throughout Alaska's Alexander and Aleutian Islands, and Hawaii consists of volcanic islands. The supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in the Rockies is the continent's largest volcanic feature.[179]

The United States, with its large size and geographic variety, includes most climate types. To the east of the 100th meridian, the climate ranges from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical in the south.[180] The Great Plains west of the 100th meridian are semi-arid. Much of the Western mountains have an alpine climate. The climate is arid in the Great Basin, desert in the Southwest, Mediterranean in coastal California, and oceanic in coastal Oregon and Washington and southern Alaska. Most of Alaska is subarctic or polar. Hawaii and the southern tip of Florida are tropical, as are the populated territories in the Caribbean and the Pacific.[181] Extreme weather is not uncommon—the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico are prone to hurricanes, and most of the world's tornadoes occur within the country, mainly in Tornado Alley areas in the Midwest and South.[182]

Wildlife Edit

Main article: Fauna of the United States

Template:See also

File:Bald Eagle Portrait.jpg

The U.S. ecology is megadiverse: about 17,000 species of vascular plants occur in the contiguous United States and Alaska, and over 1,800 species of flowering plants are found in Hawaii, few of which occur on the mainland.[184] The United States is home to 428 mammal species, 784 bird species, 311 reptile species, and 295 amphibian species.[185] About 91,000 insect species have been described.[186] The bald eagle is both the national bird and national animal of the United States, and is an enduring symbol of the country itself.[187]

There are 58 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks, forests, and wilderness areas.[188] Altogether, the government owns about 28% of the country's land area.[189] Most of this is protected, though some is leased for oil and gas drilling, mining, logging, or cattle ranching; about .86% is used for military purposes.[190][191]

Environmental issues have been on the national agenda since 1970. Environmental controversies include debates on oil and nuclear energy, dealing with air and water pollution, the economic costs of protecting wildlife, logging and deforestation,[192][193] and international responses to global warming.[194][195] Many federal and state agencies are involved. The most prominent is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), created by presidential order in 1970.[196] The idea of wilderness has shaped the management of public lands since 1964, with the Wilderness Act.[197] The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is intended to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats, which are monitored by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.[198]

Demographics Edit

Main article: Demography of the United States

Population Edit

Template:US Census population

Race/Ethnicity (2015 ACS estimates)[199]
By race:[199]
White 77.1%
Black 13.3%
Asian 5.6%
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.2%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander 0.2%
Multiracial 2.6%
By ethnicity:[199]
Hispanic/Latino (of any race) 17.6%
Non-Hispanic/Latino (of any race) 82.4%
File:Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries-by-County.svg

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the country's population to be 323,425,550 as of April 25, 2016, and to be adding 1 person (net gain) every 13 seconds, or about 6,646 people per day.[200] The U.S. population almost quadrupled during the 20th century, from about 76 million in 1900.[201] The third most populous nation in the world, after China and India, the United States is the only major industrialized nation in which large population increases are projected.[202] In the 1800s the average woman had 7.04 children, by the 1900s this number had decreased to 3.56.[203] Since the early 1970s the birth rate has been below the replacement rate of 2.1 with 1.86 children per woman in 2014. Foreign born immigration has caused the US population to continue its rapid increase with the foreign born population doubling from almost 20 million in 1990 to over 40 million in 2010, representing one third of the population increase.[204] The foreign born population reached 45 million in 2015.[205]Template:Refn

The United States has a birth rate of 13 per 1,000, which is 5 births below the world average.[206] Its population growth rate is positive at 0.7%, higher than that of many developed nations.[207] In fiscal year 2012, over one million immigrants (most of whom entered through family reunification) were granted legal residence.[208] Mexico has been the leading source of new residents since the 1965 Immigration Act. China, India, and the Philippines have been in the top four sending countries every year since the 1990s.[209] Template:As of, approximately 11.4 million residents are illegal immigrants.[210] As of 2015, 47% of all immigrants are Hispanic, 26% are Asian, 18% are white and 8% are black. The percentage of immigrants who are Asian is increasing while the percentage who are Hispanic is decreasing.[205]

According to a survey conducted by the Williams Institute, nine million Americans, or roughly 3.4% of the adult population identify themselves as homosexual, bisexual, or transgender.[211][212] A 2016 Gallup poll also concluded that 4.1% of adult Americans identified as LGBT. The highest percentage came from the District of Columbia (10%), while the lowest state was North Dakota at 1.7%.[213] In a 2013 survey, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 96.6% of Americans identify as straight, while 1.6% identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identify as being bisexual.[214]

In 2010, the U.S. population included an estimated 5.2 million people with some American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry (2.9 million exclusively of such ancestry) and 1.2 million with some native Hawaiian or Pacific island ancestry (0.5 million exclusively).[215] The census counted more than 19 million people of "Some Other Race" who were "unable to identify with any" of its five official race categories in 2010, over 18.5 million (97%) of whom are of Hispanic ethnicity.[215]

The population growth of Hispanic and Latino Americans (the terms are officially interchangeable) is a major demographic trend. The 50.5 million Americans of Hispanic descent[215] are identified as sharing a distinct "ethnicity" by the Census Bureau; 64% of Hispanic Americans are of Mexican descent.[216] Between 2000 and 2010, the country's Hispanic population increased 43% while the non-Hispanic population rose just 4.9%.[217] Much of this growth is from immigration; in 2007, 12.6% of the U.S. population was foreign-born, with 54% of that figure born in Latin America.[218]Template:Refn

File:Us population 2005 lrg.jpg

About 82% of Americans live in urban areas (including suburbs);[170] about half of those reside in cities with populations over 50,000.[219] The US has numerous clusters of cities known as megaregions, the largest being the Great Lakes Megalopolis followed by the Northeast Megalopolis and Southern California. In 2008, 273 incorporated municipalities had populations over 100,000, nine cities had more than one million residents, and four global cities had over two million (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston).[220] There are 52 metropolitan areas with populations greater than one million.[221] Of the 50 fastest-growing metro areas, 47 are in the West or South.[222] The metro areas of San Bernardino, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Phoenix all grew by more than a million people between 2000 and 2008.[221]

Template:Anchor

Template:Clear

Language Edit

Main article: Languages of the United States

Template:See also

Languages spoken at home by more than 1 million persons in the U.S. (2015)[223][224][fn 1]
Language Percent of
population
Number of
speakers
Number who
speak English
very well
Number who
speak English
less than
very well
English (only) ~80% 236,908,935 N/A N/A
Spanish
(including Spanish Creole but excluding Puerto Rico)
12% 40,045,795 23,608,139 16,437,140
Chinese
(all varieties)
0.9% 3,333,588 1,476,392 1,857,196
French
(including Patois, Cajun and Haitian Creole)
0.6% 2,129,815 1,519,024 610,791
Tagalog
(including Filipino)
0.5% 1,737,186 1,173,917 563,269
Vietnamese 0.4% 1,468,251 602,788 865,463
Hindustani
(including Hindi and Urdu)
0.4% 1,294,209 980,600 313,609
Arabic
(all varieties)
0.3% 1,156,908 726,768 430,140
Korean 0.3% 1,108,798 518,690 590,108
German
(including Yiddish)
0.3% 1,103,255 903,091 200,164

English (American English) is the de facto national language. Although there is no official language at the federal level, some laws—such as U.S. naturalization requirements—standardize English. In 2010, about 230 million, or 80% of the population aged five years and older, spoke only English at home. Spanish, spoken by 12% of the population at home, is the second most common language and the most widely taught second language.[225][226] Some Americans advocate making English the country's official language, as it is in 32 states.[227]

Both Hawaiian and English are official languages in Hawaii, by state law.[228] Alaska recognizes twenty Native languages.[229] While neither has an official language, New Mexico has laws providing for the use of both English and Spanish, as Louisiana does for English and French.[230] Other states, such as California, mandate the publication of Spanish versions of certain government documents including court forms.[231] Many jurisdictions with large numbers of non-English speakers produce government materials, especially voting information, in the most commonly spoken languages in those jurisdictions.

Several insular territories grant official recognition to their native languages, along with English: Samoan[232] and Chamorro[233] are recognized by American Samoa and Guam, respectively; Carolinian and Chamorro are recognized by the Northern Mariana Islands;[234] Cherokee is officially recognized by the Cherokee Nation within the Cherokee tribal jurisdiction area in eastern Oklahoma;[235] Spanish is an official language of Puerto Rico and is more widely spoken than English there.[236]

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, Arabic and Urdu are the fastest-growing foreign languages spoken in American households. In recent years, Arabic-speaking residents increased by 29%, Urdu by 23% and Persian by 9%.[237]

The most widely taught foreign languages at all levels in the United States (in terms of enrollment numbers) are: Spanish (around 7.2 million students), French (1.5 million), and German (500,000). Other commonly taught languages (with 100,000 to 250,000 learners) include Latin, Japanese, American Sign Language, Italian, and Chinese.[238][239] 18% of all Americans claim to speak at least one language in addition to English.[240]Template:Clear

Religion Edit

Main article: Religion in the United States

Template:See also

Religious affiliation in the U.S. (2014)[241]
Affiliation  % of U.S. population
Christian Template:Bartable
Protestant Template:Bartable
Evangelical Protestant Template:Bartable
Mainline Protestant Template:Bartable
Black church Template:Bartable
Catholic Template:Bartable
Mormon Template:Bartable
Jehovah's Witnesses Template:Bartable
Eastern Orthodox Template:Bartable
Other Christian Template:Bartable
Jewish Template:Bartable
Muslim Template:Bartable
Buddhist Template:Bartable
Hindu Template:Bartable
Other faiths Template:Bartable
Irreligious Template:Bartable
Nothing in particular Template:Bartable
Agnostic Template:Bartable
Atheist Template:Bartable
Don't know or refused answer Template:Bartable

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids Congress from passing laws respecting its establishment.

Christianity is by far the most common religion practiced in the U.S., but other religions are followed, too. In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives", a far higher figure than that of any other wealthy nation.[242] In a 2009 Gallup poll, 42% of Americans said that they attended church weekly or almost weekly; the figures ranged from a low of 23% in Vermont to a high of 63% in Mississippi.[243]

As with other Western countries, the U.S. is becoming less religious. Irreligion is growing rapidly among Americans under 30.[244] Polls show that overall American confidence in organized religion has been declining since the mid to late 1980s,[245] and that younger Americans in particular are becoming increasingly irreligious.[241][246] According to a 2012 study, Protestant share of U.S. population dropped to 48%, thus ending its status as religious category of the majority for the first time.[247][248] Americans with no religion have 1.7 children compared to 2.2 among Christians. The unaffiliated are less likely to get married with 37% marrying compared to 52% of Christians.[249]

According to a 2014 survey, 70.6% of adults identified themselves as Christian,[250] Protestant denominations accounted for 46.5%, while Roman Catholicism, at 20.8%, was the largest individual denomination.[251] The total reporting non-Christian religions in 2014 was 5.9%.[251] Other religions include Judaism (1.9%), Islam (0.9%), Buddhism (0.7%), Hinduism (0.7%).[251] The survey also reported that 22.8% of Americans described themselves as agnostic, atheist or simply having no religion, up from 8.2% in 1990.[251][252][253] There are also Unitarian Universalist, Baha'i, Sikh, Jain, Shinto, Confucian, Taoist, Druid, Native American, Wiccan, humanist and deist communities.[254]

Protestantism is the largest Christian religious grouping in the United States. Baptists collectively form the largest branch of Protestantism, and the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest individual Protestant denomination. About 26% of Americans identify as Evangelical Protestants, while 15% are Mainline and 7% belong to a traditionally Black church. Roman Catholicism in the United States has its origin in the Spanish and French colonization of the Americas, and later grew because of Irish, Italian, Polish, German and Hispanic immigration. Rhode Island has the highest percentage of Catholics with 40 percent of the total population.[255] Lutheranism in the U.S. has its origin in immigration from Northern Europe and Germany. North and South Dakota are the only states in which a plurality of the population is Lutheran. Presbyterianism was introduced in North America by Scottish and Ulster Scots immigrants. Although it has spread across the United States, it is heavily concentrated on the East Coast. Dutch Reformed congregations were founded first in New Amsterdam (New York City) before spreading westward. Utah is the only state where Mormonism is the religion of the majority of the population. The Mormon Corridor also extends to parts of Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming.[256]

The Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the Southern United States in which socially conservative Evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average. By contrast, religion plays the least important role in New England and in the Western United States.[243]

Family structure Edit

Main article: Family structure in the United States

Template:As of, 58% of Americans age 18 and over were married, 6% were widowed, 10% were divorced, and 25% had never been married.[257] Women now work mostly outside the home and receive a majority of bachelor's degrees.[258]

The U.S. teenage pregnancy rate is 26.5 per 1,000 women. The rate has declined by 57% since 1991.[259] In 2013, the highest teenage birth rate was in Alabama, and the lowest in Wyoming.[259][260] Abortion is legal throughout the U.S., owing to Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. While the abortion rate is falling, the abortion ratio of 241 per 1,000 live births and abortion rate of 15 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 remain higher than those of most Western nations.[261] In 2013, the average age at first birth was 26 and 40.6% of births were to unmarried women.[262]

The total fertility rate (TFR) was estimated for 2013 at 1.86 births per woman.[263] Adoption in the United States is common and relatively easy from a legal point of view (compared to other Western countries).[264] In 2001, with over 127,000 adoptions, the U.S. accounted for nearly half of the total number of adoptions worldwide.[265] Same-sex marriage is legal nationwide and it is legal for same-sex couples to adopt. Polygamy is illegal throughout the U.S.[266]

Government and politics Edit

Main article: Federal government of the United States

Template:Triple image

File:Donald Trump official portrait.jpg

The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation. It is a constitutional republic and representative democracy, "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law".[267] The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the U.S. Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document.[268] For 2016, the U.S. ranked 21st on the Democracy Index[269] (tied with Italy) and 18th on the Corruption Perceptions Index.[270]

In the American federalist system, citizens are usually subject to three levels of government: federal, state, and local. The local government's duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments. In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district. There is no proportional representation at the federal level, and it is rare at lower levels.[271]

The federal government is composed of three branches:

File:Liberty-statue-from-below.jpg

The House of Representatives has 435 voting members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states by population every tenth year. At the 2010 census, seven states had the minimum of one representative, while California, the most populous state, had 53.[277]

The Senate has 100 members with each state having two senators, elected at-large to six-year terms; one third of Senate seats are up for election every other year. The President serves a four-year term and may be elected to the office no more than twice. The President is not elected by direct vote, but by an indirect electoral college system in which the determining votes are apportioned to the states and the District of Columbia.[278] The Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice of the United States, has nine members, who serve for life.[279]

The state governments are structured in roughly similar fashion; Nebraska uniquely has a unicameral legislature.[280] The governor (chief executive) of each state is directly elected. Some state judges and cabinet officers are appointed by the governors of the respective states, while others are elected by popular vote.

The original text of the Constitution establishes the structure and responsibilities of the federal government and its relationship with the individual states. Article One protects the right to the "great writ" of habeas corpus. The Constitution has been amended 27 times;[281] the first ten amendments, which make up the Bill of Rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment form the central basis of Americans' individual rights. All laws and governmental procedures are subject to judicial review and any law ruled by the courts to be in violation of the Constitution is voided. The principle of judicial review, not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, was established by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803)[282] in a decision handed down by Chief Justice John Marshall.[283]

Political divisions Edit

Main article: Political divisions of the United States

Template:Further information

File:US.EEZ Pacific centered NOAA map.png

The United States is a federal republic of 50 states, a federal district, five territories and eleven uninhabited island possessions.[285] The states and territories are the principal administrative districts in the country. These are divided into subdivisions of counties and independent cities. The District of Columbia is a federal district which contains the capital of the United States, Washington DC.[286] The states and the District of Columbia choose the President of the United States. Each state has presidential electors equal to the number of their Representatives and Senators in Congress; the District of Columbia has three.[287]

Congressional Districts are reapportioned among the states following each decennial Census of Population. Each state then draws single member districts to conform with the census apportionment. The total number of Representatives is 435, and delegate Members of Congress represent the District of Columbia and the five major U.S. territories.[288]

The United States also observes tribal sovereignty of the American Indian nations to a limited degree, as it does with the states' sovereignty. American Indians are U.S. citizens and tribal lands are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress and the federal courts. Like the states they have a great deal of autonomy, but also like the states tribes are not allowed to make war, engage in their own foreign relations, or print and issue currency.[289] Template:US statehood dates

Parties and elections Edit

Main article: Politics of the United States
File:Obama meets with Congressional Leadership July 2011.jpg

The United States has operated under a two-party system for most of its history.[291] For elective offices at most levels, state-administered primary elections choose the major party nominees for subsequent general elections. Since the general election of 1856, the major parties have been the Democratic Party, founded in 1824, and the Republican Party, founded in 1854. Since the Civil War, only one third-party presidential candidate—former president Theodore Roosevelt, running as a Progressive in 1912—has won as much as 20% of the popular vote. The President and Vice-president are elected through the Electoral College system.[292]

Within American political culture, the center-right Republican Party is considered "conservative" and the center-left Democratic Party is considered "liberal".[293][294] The states of the Northeast and West Coast and some of the Great Lakes states, known as "blue states", are relatively liberal. The "red states" of the South and parts of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains are relatively conservative.

Republican Donald Trump, the winner of the 2016 presidential election, is currently serving as the 45th President of the United States.[295] Current leadership in the Senate includes Republican Vice President Mike Pence, Republican President Pro Tempore (Pro Tem) Orrin Hatch, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.[296] Leadership in the House includes Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.[297]

In the 115th United States Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate are controlled by the Republican Party. The Senate currently consists of 52 Republicans, and 46 Democrats with 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats; the House consists of 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats.[298] In state governorships, there are 33 Republicans, 16 Democrats and 1 Independent.[299] Among the DC mayor and the 5 territorial governors, there are 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat, 1 New Progressive, and 2 Independents.[300]

Foreign relations Edit

Main article: Foreign relations of the United States
File:67º Período de Sesiones de la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas (8020913157).jpg

The United States has an established structure of foreign relations. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and New York City is home to the United Nations Headquarters. It is a member of the G7,[302] G20, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Almost all countries have embassies in Washington, D.C., and many have consulates around the country. Likewise, nearly all nations host American diplomatic missions. However, Iran, North Korea, Bhutan, and the Republic of China (Taiwan) do not have formal diplomatic relations with the United States (although the U.S. still maintains relations with Taiwan and supplies it with military equipment).[303]

The United States has a "Special Relationship" with the United Kingdom[304] and strong ties with Canada,[305] Australia,[306] New Zealand,[307] the Philippines,[308] Japan,[309] South Korea,[310] Israel,[311] and several European Union countries, including France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. It works closely with fellow NATO members on military and security issues and with its neighbors through the Organization of American States and free trade agreements such as the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. In 2008, the United States spent a net $25.4 billion on official development assistance, the most in the world. As a share of America's large gross national income (GNI), however, the U.S. contribution of 0.18% ranked last among 22 donor states. By contrast, private overseas giving by Americans is relatively generous.[312]

The U.S. exercises full international defense authority and responsibility for three sovereign nations through Compact of Free Association with Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau. These are Pacific island nations, once part of the U.S.-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands after World War II, which gained independence in subsequent years.[313]

Government finance Edit

Template:See also

File:Federal Debt Held by the Public 1790-2013.png

Taxes in the United States are levied at the federal, state and local government level. These include taxes on income, payroll, property, sales, imports, estates and gifts, as well as various fees. In 2010 taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.8% of GDP.[315] During FY2012, the federal government collected approximately $2.45 trillion in tax revenue, up $147 billion or 6% versus FY2011 revenues of $2.30 trillion. Primary receipt categories included individual income taxes ($1,132B or 47%), Social Security/Social Insurance taxes ($845B or 35%), and corporate taxes ($242B or 10%).[316] Based on CBO estimates,[317] under 2013 tax law the top 1% will be paying the highest average tax rates since 1979, while other income groups will remain at historic lows.[318]

U.S. taxation is generally progressive, especially the federal income taxes, and is among the most progressive in the developed world.[319][320][321][322][323] The highest 10% of income earners pay a majority of federal taxes,[324] and about half of all taxes.[325] Payroll taxes for Social Security are a flat regressive tax, with no tax charged on income above $118,500 (for 2015 and 2016) and no tax at all paid on unearned income from things such as stocks and capital gains.[326][327] The historic reasoning for the regressive nature of the payroll tax is that entitlement programs have not been viewed as welfare transfers.[328][329] However, according to the Congressional Budget Office the net effect of Social Security is that the benefit to tax ratio ranges from roughly 70% for the top earnings quintile to about 170% for the lowest earning quintile, making the system progressive.[330]

The top 10% paid 51.8% of total federal taxes in 2009, and the top 1%, with 13.4% of pre-tax national income, paid 22.3% of federal taxes.[331] In 2013 the Tax Policy Center projected total federal effective tax rates of 35.5% for the top 1%, 27.2% for the top quintile, 13.8% for the middle quintile, and −2.7% for the bottom quintile.[332][333] The incidence of corporate income tax has been a matter of considerable ongoing controversy for decades.[322][334] State and local taxes vary widely, but are generally less progressive than federal taxes as they rely heavily on broadly borne regressive sales and property taxes that yield less volatile revenue streams, though their consideration does not eliminate the progressive nature of overall taxation.[322][335]

During FY 2012, the federal government spent $3.54 trillion on a budget or cash basis, down $60 billion or 1.7% vs. FY 2011 spending of $3.60 trillion. Major categories of FY 2012 spending included: Medicare & Medicaid ($802B or 23% of spending), Social Security ($768B or 22%), Defense Department ($670B or 19%), non-defense discretionary ($615B or 17%), other mandatory ($461B or 13%) and interest ($223B or 6%).[316]

The total national debt of the United States in the United States was $18.527 trillion (106% of the GDP) in 2014.[336]Template:Refn

Military Edit

Main article: United States Armed Forces
File:US Navy 060618-N-8492C-212 An Air Force B-2 bomber along with other aircrafts from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fly over the Kitty Hawk, Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike groups.jpg

The President holds the title of commander-in-chief of the nation's armed forces and appoints its leaders, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The United States Department of Defense administers the armed forces, including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. The Coast Guard is run by the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and by the Department of the Navy during times of war. In 2008, the armed forces had 1.4 million personnel on active duty. The Reserves and National Guard brought the total number of troops to 2.3 million. The Department of Defense also employed about 700,000 civilians, not including contractors.[337]

Military service is voluntary, though conscription may occur in wartime through the Selective Service System.[338] American forces can be rapidly deployed by the Air Force's large fleet of transport aircraft, the Navy's 10 active aircraft carriers, and Marine expeditionary units at sea with the Navy's Atlantic and Pacific fleets. The military operates 865 bases and facilities abroad,[339] and maintains deployments greater than 100 active duty personnel in 25 foreign countries.[340]

The military budget of the United States in 2011 was more than $700 billion, 41% of global military spending and equal to the next 14 largest national military expenditures combined. At 4.7% of GDP, the rate was the second-highest among the top 15 military spenders, after Saudi Arabia.[341] U.S. defense spending as a percentage of GDP ranked 23rd globally in 2012 according to the CIA.[342] Defense's share of U.S. spending has generally declined in recent decades, from Cold War peaks of 14.2% of GDP in 1953 and 69.5% of federal outlays in 1954 to 4.7% of GDP and 18.8% of federal outlays in 2011.[343]

File:US Global Military Presence.svg

The proposed base Department of Defense budget for 2012, $553 billion, was a 4.2% increase over 2011; an additional $118 billion was proposed for the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.[344] The last American troops serving in Iraq departed in December 2011;[345] 4,484 service members were killed during the Iraq War.[346] Approximately 90,000 U.S. troops were serving in Afghanistan in April 2012;[347] by November 8, 2013 2,285 had been killed during the War in Afghanistan.[348]

Law enforcement and crime Edit

Main article: Law enforcement in the United States

Template:See also

File:Santa Fe police 3.jpg

Law enforcement in the United States is primarily the responsibility of local police and sheriff's departments, with state police providing broader services. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is the largest in the country. Federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Marshals Service have specialized duties, including protecting civil rights, national security and enforcing U.S. federal courts' rulings and federal laws.[350] At the federal level and in almost every state, a legal system operates on a common law. State courts conduct most criminal trials; federal courts handle certain designated crimes as well as certain appeals from the state criminal courts. Plea bargaining in the United States is very common; the vast majority of criminal cases in the country are settled by plea bargain rather than jury trial.[351]

In 2015, there were 15,696 murders which was 1,532 more than in 2014, a 10.8 per cent increase, the largest since 1971.[352] The murder rate in 2015 was 4.9 per 100,000 people.[353] The national clearance rate for homicides in 2015 was 64.1%, compared to 90% in 1965.[354] In 2012 there were 4.7 murders per 100,000 persons in the United States, a 54% decline from the modern peak of 10.2 in 1980.[355] In 2001–2, the United States had above-average levels of violent crime and particularly high levels of gun violence compared to other developed nations.[356] A cross-sectional analysis of the World Health Organization Mortality Database from 2003 showed that United States "homicide rates were 6.9 times higher than rates in the other high-income countries, driven by firearm homicide rates that were 19.5 times higher."[357]Template:Update after Gun ownership rights continue to be the subject of contentious political debate.

From 1980 through 2008 males represented 77% of homicide victims and 90% of offenders. Blacks committed 52.5% of all homicides during that span, at a rate almost eight times that of whites ("whites" includes most Hispanics), and were victimized at a rate six times that of whites. Most homicides were intraracial, with 93% of black victims killed by blacks and 84% of white victims killed by whites.[358] In 2012, Louisiana had the highest rate of murder and non-negligent manslaughter in the U.S., and New Hampshire the lowest.[359] The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports estimates that there were 3,246 violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents in 2012, for a total of over 9 million total crimes.[360]

Capital punishment is sanctioned in the United States for certain federal and military crimes, and used in 31 states.[361][362] No executions took place from 1967 to 1977, owing in part to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down arbitrary imposition of the death penalty. In 1976, that Court ruled that, under appropriate circumstances, capital punishment may constitutionally be imposed. Since the decision there have been more than 1,300 executions, a majority of these taking place in three states: Texas, Virginia, and Oklahoma.[363] Meanwhile, several states have either abolished or struck down death penalty laws. In 2014, the country had the fifth-highest number of executions in the world, following China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.[364]

The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate and total prison population in the world.[365] At the start of 2008, more than 2.3 million people were incarcerated, more than one in every 100 adults.[366] In December 2012, the combined U.S. adult correctional systems supervised about 6,937,600 offenders. About 1 in every 35 adult residents in the United States was under some form of correctional supervision in December 2012, the lowest rate observed since 1997.[367] The prison population has quadrupled since 1980,[368] and state and local spending on prisons and jails has grown three times as much as that spent on public education during the same period.[369] However, the imprisonment rate for all prisoners sentenced to more than a year in state or federal facilities is 478 per 100,000 in 2013[370] and the rate for pre-trial/remand prisoners is 153 per 100,000 residents in 2012.[371] The country's high rate of incarceration is largely due to changes in sentencing guidelines and drug policies.[372] According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the majority of inmates held in federal prisons are convicted of drug offenses.[373] The privatization of prisons and prison services which began in the 1980s has been a subject of debate.[374][375] In 2008, Louisiana had the highest incarceration rate,[376] and Maine the lowest.[377]

Economy Edit

Main article: Economy of the United States

Template:See also

Economic indicators
Nominal GDP $18.45 trillion (Q2 2016) [378]
Real GDP growth 1.4% (Q2 2016) [378]
2.6% (2015)[379]
CPI inflation 1.1% (August 2016) [380]
Employment-to-population ratio 59.7% (August 2016) [381]
Unemployment 4.9% (August 2016) [382]
Labor force participation rate 62.8% (August 2016) [383]
Total public debt $19.808 trillion (October 25, 2016) [384]
Household net worth $89.063 trillion (Q2 2016) [385]
File:United States Export Treemap (2011).png

The United States has a capitalist mixed economy[386] which is fueled by abundant natural resources and high productivity.[387] According to the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. GDP of $16.8 trillion constitutes 24% of the gross world product at market exchange rates and over 19% of the gross world product at purchasing power parity (PPP).[388]

The US's nominal GDP is estimated to be $17.528 trillion Template:As of[389] From 1983 to 2008, U.S. real compounded annual GDP growth was 3.3%, compared to a 2.3% weighted average for the rest of the G7.[390] The country ranks ninth in the world in nominal GDP per capita and sixth in GDP per capita at PPP.[388] The U.S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency.[391]

The United States is the largest importer of goods and second-largest exporter, though exports per capita are relatively low. In 2010, the total U.S. trade deficit was $635 billion.[392] Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and Germany are its top trading partners.[393] In 2010, oil was the largest import commodity, while transportation equipment was the country's largest export.[392] Japan is the largest foreign holder of U.S. public debt.[394] The largest holder of the U.S. debt are American entities, including federal government accounts and the Federal Reserve, who hold the majority of the debt.[395][396][397][398]Template:Refn

In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 86.4% of the economy, with federal government activity accounting for 4.3% and state and local government activity (including federal transfers) the remaining 9.3%.[399] The number of employees at all levels of government outnumber those in manufacturing by 1.7 to 1.[400] While its economy has reached a postindustrial level of development and its service sector constitutes 67.8% of GDP, the United States remains an industrial power.[401] The leading business field by gross business receipts is wholesale and retail trade; by net income it is manufacturing.[402] In the franchising business model, McDonald's and Subway are the two most recognized brands in the world. Coca-Cola is the most recognized soft drink company in the world.[403]

Chemical products are the leading manufacturing field.[404] The United States is the largest producer of oil in the world, as well as its second-largest importer.[405] It is the world's number one producer of electrical and nuclear energy, as well as liquid natural gas, sulfur, phosphates, and salt. The National Mining Association provides data pertaining to coal and minerals that include beryllium, copper, lead, magnesium, zinc, titanium and others.[406][407]

Agriculture accounts for just under 1% of GDP,[401] yet the United States is the world's top producer of corn[408] and soybeans.[409] The National Agricultural Statistics Service maintains agricultural statistics for products that include peanuts, oats, rye, wheat, rice, cotton, corn, barley, hay, sunflowers, and oilseeds. In addition, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides livestock statistics regarding beef, poultry, pork, and dairy products. The country is the primary developer and grower of genetically modified food, representing half of the world's biotech crops.[410]

Consumer spending comprises 68% of the U.S. economy in 2015.[411] In August 2010, the American labor force consisted of 154.1 million people. With 21.2 million people, government is the leading field of employment. The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with 16.4 million people. About 12% of workers are unionized, compared to 30% in Western Europe.[412] The World Bank ranks the United States first in the ease of hiring and firing workers.[413] The United States is ranked among the top three in the Global Competitiveness Report as well. It has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than European nations tend to.[414]

The United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation[415] and is one of just a few countries in the world without paid family leave as a legal right, with the others being Papua New Guinea, Suriname and Liberia.[416] While federal law currently does not require sick leave, it is a common benefit for government workers and full-time employees at corporations.[417] 74% of full-time American workers get paid sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although only 24% of part-time workers get the same benefits.[417] In 2009, the United States had the third-highest workforce productivity per person in the world, behind Luxembourg and Norway. It was fourth in productivity per hour, behind those two countries and the Netherlands.[418]

The 2008–2012 global recession significantly affected the United States, with output still below potential according to the Congressional Budget Office.[419] It brought high unemployment (which has been decreasing but remains above pre-recession levels), along with low consumer confidence, the continuing decline in home values and increase in foreclosures and personal bankruptcies, an escalating federal debt crisis, inflation, and rising petroleum and food prices. There remains a record proportion of long-term unemployed, continued decreasing household income, and tax and federal budget increases.[420][421][422]

Income, poverty and wealth Edit

File:South San Jose (crop).jpg

Template:Further information

Americans have the highest average household and employee income among OECD nations, and in 2007 had the second-highest median household income.[423][424][425] According to the Census Bureau, median household income was $53,657 in 2014.[426] Despite accounting for only 4.4% of the global population, Americans collectively possess 41.6% of the world's total wealth,[427] and Americans make up roughly half of the world's population of millionaires.[428] The Global Food Security Index ranked the U.S. number one for food affordability and overall food security in March 2013.[429] Americans on average have over twice as much living space per dwelling and per person as European Union residents, and more than every EU nation.[430] For 2013 the United Nations Development Programme ranked the United States 5th among 187 countries in its Human Development Index and 28th in its inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI).[431]

There has been a widening gap between productivity and median incomes since the 1970s.[432] However, the gap between total compensation and productivity is not as wide because of increased employee benefits such as health insurance.[433] While inflation-adjusted ("real") household income had been increasing almost every year from 1947 to 1999, it has since been flat on balance and has even decreased recently.[434] According to Congressional Research Service, during this same period, immigration to the United States increased, while the lower 90% of tax filers incomes became stagnant, and eventually decreasing since 2000.[435] The rise in the share of total annual income received by the top 1 percent, which has more than doubled from 9 percent in 1976 to 20 percent in 2011, has significantly affected income inequality,[436] leaving the United States with one of the widest income distributions among OECD nations.[437] The post-recession income gains have been very uneven, with the top 1 percent capturing 95 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2012.[438] The extent and relevance of income inequality is a matter of debate.[439]Template:Disputed inline[440]

United States' families median net worth source: Fed Survey of Consumer Finances[441]
in 2013 dollars 1998 2013 change
All families $102,500 $81,200 -20.8%
Bottom 20% of incomes $8,300 $6,100 -26.5%
2nd lowest 20% of incomes $47,400 $22,400 -52.7%
Middle 20% of incomes $76,300 $61,700 -19.1%
Top 10% $646,600 $1,130,700 +74.9%

Wealth, like income and taxes, is highly concentrated; the richest 10% of the adult population possess 72% of the country's household wealth, while the bottom half claim only 2%.[442] Between June 2007 and November 2008 the global recession led to falling asset prices around the world. Assets owned by Americans lost about a quarter of their value.[443] Since peaking in the second quarter of 2007, household wealth was down $14 trillion, but has since increased $14 trillion over 2006 levels.[444][445] At the end of 2014, household debt amounted to $11.8 trillion,[446] down from $13.8 trillion at the end of 2008.[447]

There were about 578,424 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the U.S. in January 2014, with almost two-thirds staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.[448] In 2011 16.7 million children lived in food-insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels, though only 1.1% of U.S. children, or 845,000, saw reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns at some point during the year, and most cases were not chronic.[449] According to a 2014 report by the Census Bureau, one in five young adults lives in poverty today, up from one in seven in 1980.[450]

Infrastructure Edit

Transportation Edit

Main article: Transportation in the United States
File:Map of current Interstates.svg

Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles, which operate on a network of 4 million miles (6.4 million km) of public roads,[452] including one of the world's longest highway systems at 57,000 miles (91700 km).[453] The world's second-largest automobile market,[454] the United States has the highest rate of per-capita vehicle ownership in the world, with 765 vehicles per 1,000 Americans.[455] About 40% of personal vehicles are vans, SUVs, or light trucks.[456] The average American adult (accounting for all drivers and non-drivers) spends 55 minutes driving every day, traveling Template:Convert.[457]

File:High Speed Railroad Map of the United States 2013.svg

Mass transit accounts for 9% of total U.S. work trips.[459][460] Transport of goods by rail is extensive, though relatively low numbers of passengers (approximately 31 million annually) use intercity rail to travel, partly because of the low population density throughout much of the U.S. interior.[461][462] However, ridership on Amtrak, the national intercity passenger rail system, grew by almost 37% between 2000 and 2010.[463] Also, light rail development has increased in recent years.[464] Bicycle usage for work commutes is minimal.[465]

The civil airline industry is entirely privately owned and has been largely deregulated since 1978, while most major airports are publicly owned.[466] The three largest airlines in the world by passengers carried are U.S.-based; American Airlines is number one after its 2013 acquisition by US Airways.[467] Of the world's 50 busiest passenger airports, 16 are in the United States, including the busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and the fourth-busiest, O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.[468]

Energy Edit

Template:Further information

File:UnitedStatesPowerGrid.jpg

The United States energy market is about 29,000 terawatt hours per year.[469] Energy consumption per capita is 7.8 tons (7076 kg) of oil equivalent per year, the 10th-highest rate in the world. In 2005, 40% of this energy came from petroleum, 23% from coal, and 22% from natural gas. The remainder was supplied by nuclear power and renewable energy sources.[470] The United States is the world's largest consumer of petroleum.[471]

For decades, nuclear power has played a limited role relative to many other developed countries, in part because of public perception in the wake of a 1979 accident. In 2007, several applications for new nuclear plants were filed.[472] The United States has 27% of global coal reserves.[473] It is the world's largest producer of natural gas and crude oil.[474]

Water supply and sanitation Edit

Main article: Drinking water supply and sanitation in the United States

Issues that affect water supply in the United States include droughts in the West, water scarcity, pollution, a backlog of investment, concerns about the affordability of water for the poorest, and a rapidly retiring workforce. Increased variability and intensity of rainfall as a result of climate change is expected to produce both more severe droughts and flooding, with potentially serious consequences for water supply and for pollution from combined sewer overflows.[475][476]Template:Refn

Education Edit

Main article: Education in the United States
File:University-of-Virginia-Rotunda.jpg

American public education is operated by state and local governments, regulated by the United States Department of Education through restrictions on federal grants. In most states, children are required to attend school from the age of six or seven (generally, kindergarten or first grade) until they turn 18 (generally bringing them through twelfth grade, the end of high school); some states allow students to leave school at 16 or 17.[477]

About 12% of children are enrolled in parochial or nonsectarian private schools. Just over 2% of children are homeschooled.[478] The U.S. spends more on education per student than any nation in the world, spending more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student.[479] Some 80% of U.S. college students attend public universities.[480]

The United States has many competitive private and public institutions of higher education. The majority of the world's top universities listed by different ranking organizations are in the U.S.[481][482][483] There are also local community colleges with generally more open admission policies, shorter academic programs, and lower tuition. Of Americans 25 and older, 84.6% graduated from high school, 52.6% attended some college, 27.2% earned a bachelor's degree, and 9.6% earned graduate degrees.[484] The basic literacy rate is approximately 99%.[170][485] The United Nations assigns the United States an Education Index of 0.97, tying it for 12th in the world.[486]

As for public expenditures on higher education, the U.S. trails some other OECD nations but spends more per student than the OECD average, and more than all nations in combined public and private spending.[479][487] Template:As of, student loan debt exceeded one trillion dollars, more than Americans owe on credit cards.[488]

Culture Edit

Main article: Culture of the United States

Template:See also

The United States is home to many cultures and a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values.[3][489] Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans or their ancestors settled or immigrated within the past five centuries.[490] Mainstream American culture is a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of European immigrants with influences from many other sources, such as traditions brought by slaves from Africa.[3][491] More recent immigration from Asia and especially Latin America has added to a cultural mix that has been described as both a homogenizing melting pot, and a heterogeneous salad bowl in which immigrants and their descendants retain distinctive cultural characteristics.[3]

Core American culture was established by Protestant British colonists and shaped by the frontier settlement process, with the traits derived passed down to descendants and transmitted to immigrants through assimilation. Americans have traditionally been characterized by a strong work ethic, competitiveness, and individualism,[492] as well as a unifying belief in an "American creed" emphasizing liberty, equality, private property, democracy, rule of law, and a preference for limited government.[493] Americans are extremely charitable by global standards. According to a 2006 British study, Americans gave 1.67% of GDP to charity, more than any other nation studied, more than twice the second place British figure of 0.73%, and around twelve times the French figure of 0.14%.[494][495]

The American Dream, or the perception that Americans enjoy high social mobility, plays a key role in attracting immigrants.[496] Whether this perception is realistic has been a topic of debate.[497][498][499][500][390][501] While mainstream culture holds that the United States is a classless society,[502] scholars identify significant differences between the country's social classes, affecting socialization, language, and values.[503] Americans' self-images, social viewpoints, and cultural expectations are associated with their occupations to an unusually close degree.[504] While Americans tend greatly to value socioeconomic achievement, being ordinary or average is generally seen as a positive attribute.[505]

Food Edit

Main article: Cuisine of the United States
File:Motherhood and apple pie.jpg

Mainstream American cuisine is similar to that in other Western countries. Wheat is the primary cereal grain with about three-quarters of grain products made of wheat flour[506] and many dishes use indigenous ingredients, such as turkey, venison, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup which were consumed by Native Americans and early European settlers.[507] These home grown foods are part of a shared national menu on one of America's most popular holidays; Thanksgiving, when some Americans make traditional foods to celebrate the occasion.[508]

File:Roast turkey.jpg

Characteristic dishes such as apple pie, fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrants. French fries, Mexican dishes such as burritos and tacos, and pasta dishes freely adapted from Italian sources are widely consumed.[510] Americans drink three times as much coffee as tea.[511] Marketing by U.S. industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages.[512][513]

American eating habits owe a great deal to that of their British culinary roots with some variations. Although American lands could grow newer vegetables that Britain could not, most colonists would not eat these new foods until accepted by Europeans.[514] Over time American foods changed to a point that food critic, John L. Hess stated in 1972: "Our founding fathers were as far superior to our present political leaders in the quality of their food as they were in the quality of their prose and intelligence".[515]

The American fast food industry, the world's largest,[516] pioneered the drive-through format in the 1940s.[517] Fast food consumption has sparked health concerns. During the 1980s and 1990s, Americans' caloric intake rose 24%;[510] frequent dining at fast food outlets is associated with what public health officials call the American "obesity epidemic".[518] Highly sweetened soft drinks are widely popular, and sugared beverages account for nine percent of American caloric intake.[519]

Literature, philosophy, and the arts Edit

Main article: American literature
File:Mark Twain, Brady-Handy photo portrait, Feb 7, 1871, cropped.jpg

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, American art and literature took most of its cues from Europe. Writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry David Thoreau established a distinctive American literary voice by the middle of the 19th century. Mark Twain and poet Walt Whitman were major figures in the century's second half; Emily Dickinson, virtually unknown during her lifetime, is now recognized as an essential American poet.[520] A work seen as capturing fundamental aspects of the national experience and character—such as Herman Melville's Moby-Dick (1851), Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925) and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)—may be dubbed the "Great American Novel".[521]

Twelve U.S. citizens have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, most recently Bob Dylan in 2016. William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck are often named among the most influential writers of the 20th century.[522] Popular literary genres such as the Western and hardboiled crime fiction developed in the United States. The Beat Generation writers opened up new literary approaches, as have postmodernist authors such as John Barth, Thomas Pynchon, and Don DeLillo.[523]

The transcendentalists, led by Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, established the first major American philosophical movement. After the Civil War, Charles Sanders Peirce and then William James and John Dewey were leaders in the development of pragmatism. In the 20th century, the work of W. V. O. Quine and Richard Rorty, and later Noam Chomsky, brought analytic philosophy to the fore of American philosophical academia. John Rawls and Robert Nozick led a revival of political philosophy. Cornel West and Judith Butler have led a continental tradition in American philosophical academia. Chicago school economists like Milton Friedman, James M. Buchanan, and Thomas Sowell have affected various fields in social and political philosophy.[524][525]

In the visual arts, the Hudson River School was a mid-19th-century movement in the tradition of European naturalism. The realist paintings of Thomas Eakins are now widely celebrated. The 1913 Armory Show in New York City, an exhibition of European modernist art, shocked the public and transformed the U.S. art scene.[526] Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, and others experimented with new, individualistic styles. Major artistic movements such as the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and the pop art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein developed largely in the United States. The tide of modernism and then postmodernism has brought fame to American architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and Frank Gehry.[527] Americans have long been important in the modern artistic medium of photography, with major photographers including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Ansel Adams.[528]

File:Times Square 1-2.JPG

One of the first major promoters of American theater was impresario P. T. Barnum, who began operating a lower Manhattan entertainment complex in 1841. The team of Harrigan and Hart produced a series of popular musical comedies in New York starting in the late 1870s. In the 20th century, the modern musical form emerged on Broadway; the songs of musical theater composers such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Stephen Sondheim have become pop standards. Playwright Eugene O'Neill won the Nobel literature prize in 1936; other acclaimed U.S. dramatists include multiple Pulitzer Prize winners Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and August Wilson.[530]

Though little known at the time, Charles Ives's work of the 1910s established him as the first major U.S. composer in the classical tradition, while experimentalists such as Henry Cowell and John Cage created a distinctive American approach to classical composition. Aaron Copland and George Gershwin developed a new synthesis of popular and classical music.

Choreographers Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham helped create modern dance, while George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins were leaders in 20th-century ballet.

Music Edit

Main article: Music of the United States
File:Indeterminate Grammy aware.jpg

The rhythmic and lyrical styles of African-American music have deeply influenced American music at large, distinguishing it from European traditions. Elements from folk idioms such as the blues and what is now known as old-time music were adopted and transformed into popular genres with global audiences. Jazz was developed by innovators such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington early in the 20th century. Country music developed in the 1920s, and rhythm and blues in the 1940s.[531]

Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were among the mid-1950s pioneers of rock and roll. In the 1960s, Bob Dylan emerged from the folk revival to become one of America's most celebrated songwriters and James Brown led the development of funk. More recent American creations include hip hop and house music. American pop stars such as Presley, Michael Jackson, and Madonna have become global celebrities,[531] as have contemporary musical artists such as Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and Beyoncé as well as hip hop artists Jay Z, Eminem and Kanye West.[532] Rock bands such as Metallica, the Eagles, and Aerosmith are among the highest grossing in worldwide sales.[533][534][535]

Cinema Edit

Main article: Cinema of the United States
File:HollywoodSign.jpg

Hollywood, a northern district of Los Angeles, California, is one of the leaders in motion picture production.[536] The world's first commercial motion picture exhibition was given in New York City in 1894, using Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope.[537] The next year saw the first commercial screening of a projected film, also in New York, and the United States was in the forefront of sound film's development in the following decades. Since the early 20th century, the U.S. film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood, although in the 21st century an increasing number of films are not made there, and film companies have been subject to the forces of globalization.[538]

Director D. W. Griffith, American's top filmmaker during the silent film period, was central to the development of film grammar, and producer/entrepreneur Walt Disney was a leader in both animated film and movie merchandising.[539] Directors such as John Ford redefined the image of the American Old West and history, and, like others such as John Huston, broadened the possibilities of cinema with location shooting, with great influence on subsequent directors. The industry enjoyed its golden years, in what is commonly referred to as the "Golden Age of Hollywood", from the early sound period until the early 1960s,[540] with screen actors such as John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe becoming iconic figures.[541][542] In the 1970s, film directors such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Altman were a vital component in what became known as "New Hollywood" or the "Hollywood Renaissance",[543] grittier films influenced by French and Italian realist pictures of the post-war period.[544] Since, directors such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and James Cameron have gained renown for their blockbuster films, often characterized by high production costs, and in return, high earnings at the box office, with Cameron's Avatar (2009) earning more than $2 billion.[545]

Notable films topping the American Film Institute's AFI 100 list include Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (1941), which is frequently cited as the greatest film of all time,[546][547] Casablanca (1942), The Godfather (1972), Gone with the Wind (1939), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Graduate (1967), On the Waterfront (1954), Schindler's List (1993), Singin' in the Rain (1952), It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Sunset Boulevard (1950).[548] The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, have been held annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1929,[549] and the Golden Globe Awards have been held annually since January 1944.[550]

Sports Edit

Main article: Sports in the United States
File:Michael Phelps with President Bush - 20080811.jpeg

American football is by several measures the most popular spectator sport;[553] the National Football League (NFL) has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world, and the Super Bowl is watched by millions globally. Baseball has been regarded as the U.S. national sport since the late 19th century, with Major League Baseball (MLB) being the top league. Basketball and ice hockey are the country's next two leading professional team sports, with the top leagues being the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL). These four major sports, when played professionally, each occupy a season at different, but overlapping, times of the year. College football and basketball attract large audiences.[554] In soccer, the country hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the men's national soccer team qualified for ten World Cups and the women's team has won the FIFA Women's World Cup three times; Major League Soccer is the sport's highest league in the United States (featuring 19 American and 3 Canadian teams). The market for professional sports in the United States is roughly $69 billion, roughly 50% larger than that of all of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa combined.[555]

Eight Olympic Games have taken place in the United States. As of 2014, the United States has won 2,400 medals at the Summer Olympic Games, more than any other country, and 281 in the Winter Olympic Games, the second most behind Norway.[556] While most major U.S. sports have evolved out of European practices, basketball, volleyball, skateboarding, and snowboarding are American inventions, some of which have become popular in other countries. Lacrosse and surfing arose from Native American and Native Hawaiian activities that predate Western contact.[557] The most watched individual sports are golf and auto racing, particularly NASCAR.[558][559] Rugby union is considered the fastest growing sport in the U.S., with registered players numbered at 115,000+ and a further 1.2 million participants.[560]

Media Edit

Main article: Media of the United States
File:ABC 77 W66 jeh.JPG

The four major broadcasters in the U.S. are the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and Fox. The four major broadcast television networks are all commercial entities. Cable television offers hundreds of channels catering to a variety of niches.[561] Americans listen to radio programming, also largely commercial, on average just over two-and-a-half hours a day.[562]

In 1998, the number of U.S. commercial radio stations had grown to 4,793 AM stations and 5,662 FM stations. In addition, there are 1,460 public radio stations. Most of these stations are run by universities and public authorities for educational purposes and are financed by public or private funds, subscriptions and corporate underwriting. Much public-radio broadcasting is supplied by NPR (formerly National Public Radio). NPR was incorporated in February 1970 under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967; its television counterpart, PBS, was also created by the same legislation. (NPR and PBS are operated separately from each other.) Template:As of, there are 15,433 licensed full-power radio stations in the US according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).[563]

Well-known newspapers are The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. Although the cost of publishing has increased over the years, the price of newspapers has generally remained low, forcing newspapers to rely more on advertising revenue and on articles provided by a major wire service, such as the Associated Press or Reuters, for their national and world coverage. With very few exceptions, all the newspapers in the U.S. are privately owned, either by large chains such as Gannett or McClatchy, which own dozens or even hundreds of newspapers; by small chains that own a handful of papers; or in a situation that is increasingly rare, by individuals or families. Major cities often have "alternative weeklies" to complement the mainstream daily papers, for example, New York City's The Village Voice or Los Angeles' LA Weekly, to name two of the best-known. Major cities may also support a local business journal, trade papers relating to local industries, and papers for local ethnic and social groups. Early versions of the American newspaper comic strip and the American comic book began appearing in the 19th century. In 1938, Superman, the comic book superhero of DC Comics, developed into an American icon.[564] Aside from web portals and search engines, the most popular websites are Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Yahoo.com, eBay, Amazon and Twitter.[565]

More than 800 publications are produced in Spanish, the second most widely spoken mother tongue behind English.[566][567]

Science and technology Edit

Main article: Science and technology in the United States
File:Apollo 15 flag, rover, LM, Irwin cropped.jpg

The United States has been a leader in technological innovation since the late 19th century and scientific research since the mid 20th century. Methods for producing interchangeable parts were developed by the U.S. War Department by the Federal Armories during the first half of the 19th century. This technology, along with the establishment of a machine tool industry, enabled the U.S. to have large scale manufacturing of sewing machines, bicycles and other items in the late 19th century and became known as the American system of manufacturing. Factory electrification in the early 20th century and introduction of the assembly line and other labor saving techniques created the system called mass production.[568]

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone. Thomas Edison's research laboratory, one of the first of its kind, developed the phonograph, the first long-lasting light bulb, and the first viable movie camera.[569] The latter lead to emergence of the worldwide entertainment industry. In the early 20th century, the automobile companies of Ransom E. Olds and Henry Ford popularized the assembly line. The Wright brothers, in 1903, made the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight.[570]

The rise of Fascism and Nazism in the 1920s and 1930s led many European scientists, including Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and John von Neumann, to immigrate to the United States.[571] During World War II, the Manhattan Project developed nuclear weapons, ushering in the Atomic Age, while the Space Race produced rapid advances in rocketry, materials science, and aeronautics.[572][573]

The invention of the transistor in the 1950s, a key active component in practically all modern electronics, led to many technological developments and a significant expansion of the U.S. technology industry.[574][575][576] This in turn led to the establishment of many new technology companies and regions around the country such as in Silicon Valley in California. Advancements by American microprocessor companies such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and Intel along with both computer software and hardware companies that include Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, IBM, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems created and popularized the personal computer. The ARPANET was developed in the 1960s to meet Defense Department requirements, and became the first of a series of networks which evolved into the Internet.[577]

These advancements then lead to greater personalization of technology for individual use.[578] Template:As of, 83.8% of American households owned at least one computer, and 73.3% had high-speed Internet service.[579] 91% of Americans also own a mobile phone Template:As of.[580] The United States ranks highly with regard to freedom of use of the internet.[581]

In the 21st century, approximately two-thirds of research and development funding comes from the private sector.[582] The United States leads the world in scientific research papers and impact factor.[583]

Health Edit

Template:See also

File:Total health expenditure per capita, US Dollars PPP.png

The United States has a life expectancy of 79.8 years at birth, up from 75.2 years in 1990.[584][585][586] Increasing obesity in the United States and health improvements elsewhere have contributed to lowering the country's rank in life expectancy from 1987, when it was 11th in the world.[587] Obesity rates in the United States are amongst the highest in the world.[588]

Approximately one-third of the adult population is obese and an additional third is overweight;[589] the obesity rate, the highest in the industrialized world, has more than doubled in the last quarter-century.[590] Obesity-related type 2 diabetes is considered epidemic by health care professionals.[591] The infant mortality rate of 6.17 per thousand places the United States 56th-lowest out of 224 countries.[592]

In 2010, coronary artery disease, lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and traffic accidents caused the most years of life lost in the U.S. Low back pain, depression, musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, and anxiety caused the most years lost to disability. The most deleterious risk factors were poor diet, tobacco smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, physical inactivity, and alcohol use. Alzheimer's disease, drug abuse, kidney disease and cancer, and falls caused the most additional years of life lost over their age-adjusted 1990 per-capita rates.[586] U.S. teenage pregnancy and abortion rates are substantially higher than in other Western nations, especially among blacks and Hispanics.[593]

The U.S. is a global leader in medical innovation. America solely developed or contributed significantly to 9 of the top 10 most important medical innovations since 1975 as ranked by a 2001 poll of physicians, while the European Union and Switzerland together contributed to five.[594] Since 1966, more Americans have received the Nobel Prize in Medicine than the rest of the world combined. From 1989 to 2002, four times more money was invested in private biotechnology companies in America than in Europe.[595] The U.S. health-care system far outspends any other nation, measured in both per capita spending and percentage of GDP.[596]

Health-care coverage in the United States is a combination of public and private efforts and is not universal. In 2014, 13.4% of the population did not carry health insurance.[597] The subject of uninsured and underinsured Americans is a major political issue.[598][599] In 2006, Massachusetts became the first state to mandate universal health insurance.[600] Federal legislation passed in early 2010 would ostensibly create a near-universal health insurance system around the country by 2014, though the bill and its ultimate effect are issues of controversy.[601][602]

See also Edit

Template:Portal

Notes Edit

  1. Template:Cite web
  2. 2.0 2.1 "State and other areas", U.S. Census Bureau, MAF/TIGER database as of August 2010, excluding the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands. viewed October 22, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Adams, J.Q.; Strother-Adams, Pearlie (2001). Dealing with Diversity. Chicago: Kendall/Hunt. ISBN 0-7872-8145-X.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite journal
  5. Greene, Jack P.; Pole, J.R., eds. (2008). A Companion to the American Revolution. pp. 352–361.
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite web
  6. 6.0 6.1 Template:Cite book
  7. Template:Cite web
  8. Template:Cite book
  9. Template:Cite book
  10. Template:Cite web
  11. Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
  12. Template:Cite web
  13. Template:Cite web
  14. Template:Cite web
  15. Template:Cite news
  16. Template:Cite web
  17. Template:Cite web
  18. Template:Cite web
  19. Cohen, 2004: History and the Hyperpower
    BBC, April 2008: Country Profile: United States of America
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite web
  20. 20.0 20.1 Template:Cite news
  21. See e.g. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, Amerigo Vespucci; and Room, Adrian. 2004. Placenames of the world: origins and meanings of the names for over 5000 natural features, countries, capitals, territories, cities, and historic sites: the name America is believed to derive from the feminine form of the explorer's first name in Latin.
  22. DeLear, Byron (July 4, 2013) Who coined 'United States of America'? Mystery might have intriguing answer. "Historians have long tried to pinpoint exactly when the name 'United States of America' was first used and by whom... ...This latest find comes in a letter that Stephen Moylan, Esq., wrote to Col. Joseph Reed from the Continental Army Headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., during the Siege of Boston. The two men lived with Washington in Cambridge, with Reed serving as Washington's favorite military secretary and Moylan fulfilling the role during Reed's absence." Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA).
  23. Touba, Mariam (November 5, 2014) Who Coined the Phrase 'United States of America'? You May Never Guess "Here, on January 2, 1776, seven months before the Declaration of Independence and a week before the publication of Paine's Common Sense, Stephen Moylan, an acting secretary to General George Washington, spells it out, 'I should like vastly to go with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain' to seek foreign assistance for the cause." New-York Historical Society Museum & Library
  24. Fay, John (July 15, 2016) The forgotten Irishman who named the 'United States of America' "According to the NY Historical Society, Stephen Moylan was the man responsible for the earliest documented use of the phrase "United States of America." But who was Stephen Moylan?" IrishCentral.com
  25. Template:Cite journal
  26. Template:Cite web
  27. 27.0 27.1 Template:Cite news
  28. Template:Cite book
  29. DeLear, Byron (August 16, 2012). "Who coined the name 'United States of America'? Mystery gets new twist." Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA).
  30. Template:Cite web
  31. Template:Cite web
  32. Template:Cite book
  33. For example, the U.S. embassy in Spain calls itself the embassy of the "Estados Unidos", literally the words "states" and "united", and also uses the initials "EE.UU.", the doubled letters implying plural use in Spanish [1] Elsewhere on the site "Estados Unidos de América" is used [2]
  34. Template:Cite web
  35. G. H. Emerson, The Universalist Quarterly and General Review, Vol. 28 (Jan. 1891), p. 49, quoted in Zimmer paper above.
  36. Wilson, Kenneth G. (1993). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 27–28. ISBN 0-231-06989-8.
  37. Template:Cite book
  38. "The Cambridge encyclopedia of human paleopathology". Arthur C. Aufderheide, Conrado Rodríguez-Martín, Odin Langsjoen (1998). Cambridge University Press. p. 205. ISBN 0-521-55203-6
  39. Bianchine, Russo, 1992 pp. 225–232
  40. Template:Harvard citation no brackets
  41. Kessel, 2005 pp. 142–143
  42. Mercer Country Historical Society, 2005
  43. Stannard, 1993
  44. Ripper, 2008 p. 6
  45. Ripper, 2008 p. 5
  46. Calloway, 1998, p. 55
  47. Walton, 2009, pp. 29–31
  48. Template:Harvard citation no brackets
  49. Template:Harvard citation no brackets
  50. Walton, 2009, chapter 3
  51. Lemon, 1987
  52. Template:Harvard citation no brackets
  53. Tadman, 2000, p. 1534
  54. Schneider, 2007, p. 484
  55. Lien, 1913, p. 522
  56. Davis, 1996, p. 7
  57. Quirk, 2011, p. 195
  58. Template:Cite book
  59. Template:Cite book
  60. Walton, 2009, pp. 38–39
  61. Foner, Eric. The Story of American Freedom, 1998 ISBN 0-393-04665-6 p.4-5.
  62. Walton, 2009, p. 35
  63. Template:Cite web
  64. Template:Cite book
  65. Template:Cite book
  66. Greene and Pole, A Companion to the American Revolution p 357. Jonathan R. Dull, A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution (1987) p. 161. Lawrence S. Kaplan, "The Treaty of Paris, 1783: A Historiographical Challenge", International History Review, Sept 1983, Vol. 5 Issue 3, pp 431–442
  67. Boyer, 2007, pp. 192–193
  68. Template:Cite book
  69. Walton, 2009, p. 43
  70. Gordon, 2004, pp. 27,29
  71. Template:Cite book
  72. Heinemann, Ronald L., et al., Old Dominion, New Commonwealth: a history of Virginia 1607–2007, 2007 ISBN 978-0-8139-2609-4, p.197
  73. Template:Cite book
  74. Template:Cite web
  75. Template:Cite book
  76. Template:Cite book
  77. Winchester, pp. 198, 216, 251, 253
  78. Template:Cite book
  79. Template:Cite book
  80. Template:Cite book
  81. Template:Cite book
  82. Template:Cite book
  83. Template:Cite book
  84. Smith (2001), Grant, pp. 523–526
  85. Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
  86. 86.0 86.1 Template:Cite book
  87. Template:Cite book
  88. Template:Cite web Page 7 lists a total slave population of 3,953,760.
  89. De Rosa, Marshall L. (1997). The Politics of Dissolution: The Quest for a National Identity and the American Civil War. Edison, NJ: Transaction. p. 266. ISBN 1-56000-349-9.
  90. Template:Cite book
  91. Template:Cite book
  92. Template:Cite book
  93. Winchester, pp. 351, 385
  94. Template:Cite web
  95. Template:Cite web
  96. Template:Cite web
  97. Template:Cite book
  98. Zinn, 2005
  99. Paige Meltzer, "The Pulse and Conscience of America" The General Federation and Women's Citizenship, 1945–1960," Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies (2009), Vol. 30 Issue 3, pp. 52–76.
  100. James Timberlake, Prohibition and the Progressive Movement, 1900–1920 (Harvard UP, 1963)
  101. George B. Tindall, "Business Progressivism: Southern Politics in the Twenties," South Atlantic Quarterly 62 (Winter 1963): 92–106.
  102. Template:Cite web
  103. McDuffie, Jerome; Piggrem, Gary Wayne; Woodworth, Steven E. (2005). U.S. History Super Review. Piscataway, NJ: Research & Education Association. p. 418. ISBN 0-7386-0070-9.
  104. Template:Cite book
  105. Winchester pp. 410–411
  106. Template:Cite book
  107. Template:Cite book
  108. Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite book
  109. Template:Cite web
  110. Template:Cite web
  111. Template:Cite web p. 2.
  112. Kennedy, Paul (1989). The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. New York: Vintage. p. 358. ISBN 0-679-72019-7. Indeed, World War II ushered in the zenith of U.S. power in what came to be called the American Century, as Template:Harvnb, indicates: "Truman presided over the greatest military and economic power the world had ever known. War production had lifted the United States out of the Great Depression and had inaugurated an era of unimagined prosperity. Gross national product increased by 60 percent during the war, total earnings by 50 percent. Despite social unrest, labor agitation, racial conflict, and teenage vandalism, Americans had more discretionary income than ever before. Simultaneously, the U.S. government had built up the greatest war machine in human history. By the end of 1942, the United States was producing more arms than all the Axis states combined, and, in 1943, it made almost three times more armaments than did the Soviet Union. In 1945, the United States had two-thirds of the world's gold reserves, three-fourths of its invested capital, half of its shipping vessels, and half of its manufacturing capacity. Its GNP was three times that of the Soviet Union and more than five times that of Britain. It was also nearing completion of the atomic bomb, a technological and production feat of huge costs and proportions."
  113. Template:Cite web
  114. Template:Cite news
  115. Pacific War Research Society (2006). Japan's Longest Day. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 4-7700-2887-3.
  116. Template:Cite web
  117. Template:Cite book
  118. 118.0 118.1 Template:Cite book
  119. Winchester, pp. 305–308
  120. Template:Cite web
  121. Template:Cite book
  122. Template:Cite book
  123. Template:Cite web
  124. Template:Cite web
  125. Template:Cite web
  126. Soss, 2010, p. 277
  127. Fraser, 1989
  128. Ferguson, 1986, pp. 43–53
  129. Williams, pp. 325–331
  130. Template:Cite book
  131. Template:Cite web
  132. Template:Cite book
  133. Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
  134. Hayes, 2009
  135. US History.org, 2013
  136. Charles Krauthammer, "The Unipolar Moment," Foreign Affairs, 70/1, (Winter 1990/1), 23-33.
  137. Template:Cite encyclopedia
  138. Winchester, pp. 420–423
  139. Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite book
  140. "North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)" Office of the United States Trade Representative. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
  141. Template:Cite AV media
    Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite news
  142. Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite book
  143. Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite news
  144. Template:Cite news
  145. Template:Cite news
  146. Template:Cite news
  147. Template:Cite book
  148. Template:Cite book
  149. Template:Cite journal
  150. Template:Cite news
  151. Template:Cite web
  152. Template:Cite news
  153. Template:Cite news
  154. Template:Cite news
  155. Template:Cite web
  156. Template:Cite news
  157. Template:Cite web
  158. Template:Cite web
  159. Template:Cite journal
  160. Template:Cite news
  161. Template:Cite news
  162. Template:Cite news
  163. Template:Cite news
  164. Template:Cite news
  165. Template:Cite news
  166. Template:Cite news
  167. Template:Cite web
  168. Template:Cite web (area given in square miles)
  169. Template:Cite web (area given in square kilometers)
  170. 170.0 170.1 170.2 Template:Cite web (area given in square kilometers)
  171. Template:Cite web
  172. Template:Cite web
  173. 173.0 173.1 Template:Cite web
  174. Template:Cite web
  175. Template:Cite web
  176. Template:Cite web
  177. Template:Cite web
  178. Template:Cite web
  179. Template:Cite web
  180. Template:Cite web
  181. Template:Cite web
  182. Template:Cite news
  183. Template:Cite book
  184. Template:Cite web
  185. Template:Cite web
  186. Template:Cite web
  187. Template:Cite journal
  188. Template:Cite press release
  189. Template:Cite news
  190. Template:Cite web
  191. Template:Cite web
  192. Template:Cite web
  193. Template:Cite web
  194. Daynes & Sussman, 2010, pp. 3, 72, 74–76, 78
  195. Hays, Samuel P. (2000). A History of Environmental Politics since 1945.
  196. Template:Cite book
  197. Turner, James Morton (2012). The Promise of Wilderness
  198. Template:Cite book
  199. 199.0 199.1 199.2 Template:Cite web
  200. Template:Cite web
  201. Template:Cite web
  202. Template:Cite web
  203. Template:Cite book
  204. Template:Cite web
  205. 205.0 205.1 Template:Cite web
  206. Template:Cite web
  207. Template:Cite web
  208. "U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2012". Office of Immigration Statistics Annual Flow Report.
  209. Template:Cite web
  210. Template:Cite web
  211. Template:Cite web
  212. Template:Cite news
  213. Template:Cite web
  214. Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite news
  215. 215.0 215.1 215.2 Template:Cite web
  216. Template:Cite web
  217. Template:Cite web
  218. Template:Cite web
  219. Template:Cite web
  220. Template:Cite web
  221. 221.0 221.1 Template:Cite web
  222. Template:Cite press release
  223. Template:Cite web
  224. Template:Cite web
  225. "Language Spoken at Home by the U.S. Population, 2010", American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, in World Almanac and Book of Facts 2012, p. 615.
  226. Template:Cite journal
  227. Template:Cite web
  228. Template:Cite web
  229. Alaska OKs Bill Making Native Languages Official April 21, 2014; Bill Chappell; NPR.org
  230. Template:Cite book
  231. Template:Cite web Template:Cite web
  232. Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
  233. Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
  234. Template:Cite book
  235. Template:Cite book
  236. Template:Cite web
  237. Template:Cite web
  238. Template:Cite web
  239. Template:Cite web
  240. Template:Cite web
  241. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named pew2015
  242. Template:Cite web
  243. 243.0 243.1 Template:Cite web
  244. Template:Cite news
  245. Template:Cite news
  246. Template:Cite web
  247. Template:Cite web
  248. Template:Cite web
  249. Template:Cite web
  250. Template:Cite web
  251. 251.0 251.1 251.2 251.3 Template:Cite web
  252. Template:Cite web
  253. Template:Cite web
  254. Media, Minorities, and Meaning: A Critical Introduction — Page 88, Debra L. Merskin – 2010
  255. Template:Cite web
  256. Template:Cite book
  257. Template:Cite web
  258. Template:Cite web
  259. 259.0 259.1 Template:Cite web
  260. Template:Cite web
  261. Template:Cite web
  262. Template:Cite web
  263. Template:Cite news
  264. Template:Cite news
  265. Template:Cite web
  266. Template:Cite news
  267. Scheb, John M.; Scheb, John M. II (2002). An Introduction to the American Legal System. Florence, KY: Delmar, p. 6. ISBN 0-7668-2759-3.
  268. Template:Cite web
  269. Template:Cite report
  270. Template:Cite web
  271. Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
  272. Template:Cite web
  273. Template:Cite web
  274. Template:Cite web
  275. Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite web
  276. Template:Cite web
  277. Template:Cite news
  278. Template:Cite web
  279. Template:Cite news
  280. Template:Cite web
  281. Feldstein, Fabozzi, 2011, p. 9
  282. Schultz, 2009, pp. 164, 453, 503
  283. Schultz, 2009, p. 38
  284. Map of the U.S. EEZ omits U.S. claimed Serranilla Bank and Bajo Nuevo Bank which are disputed.
  285. US State Department, Common Core Document of the United States of America "Constitutional, political and legal structure" report by the US State Department to the UN (22). December 30, 2011. viewed July 10, 2015.
  286. See Template:Usc(a)(36) and Template:Usc(a)(38) U.S. Federal Code, Immigration and Nationality Act. Template:USC
  287. House of Representatives. History, Art & Archives. Electoral College Fast Facts, viewed August 21, 2015.
  288. House of Representatives. History, Art & Archives, Determining Apportionment and Reapportioning. viewed August 21, 2015.
  289. Template:Cite web
  290. Template:Cite AV media
  291. Template:Cite news
  292. Template:Cite book
  293. Template:Cite book
  294. Template:Cite book
  295. Template:Cite news
  296. US Senate, Senate Organization Chart for the 114th Congress, viewed August 25, 2015.
  297. US House of Representatives, Leadership, viewed August 25, 2015.
  298. Template:Cite web
  299. MultiState Associates Incorporated. 2015 Governors and Legislatures. Viewed January 14, 2015.
  300. National Governor's Association. Current Governors, viewed January 14, 2015; DeBonis, Mike. "Bowser is elected D.C. Mayor", Washington Post November 5, 2014, viewed January 14, 2015.
  301. Template:Cite book
  302. Template:Cite web
  303. Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite news
  304. Template:Cite book
  305. Template:Cite web
  306. Template:Cite web
  307. Template:Cite web
  308. Template:Cite web
  309. Template:Cite web
  310. Template:Cite web
  311. Template:Cite web
  312. Template:Cite web
  313. Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite book
  314. Template:Cite web
  315. Template:Cite news
  316. 316.0 316.1 Template:Cite web
  317. Template:Cite web
  318. Template:Cite news
  319. Template:Cite journal
  320. Taxation in the US:
  321. Template:Cite web
  322. 322.0 322.1 322.2 Template:Cite news
  323. Template:Cite journal
  324. Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite news
  325. Template:Cite news
  326. Template:Cite web
  327. Template:Cite web
  328. Template:Cite web
  329. Template:Cite web
  330. Template:Cite web
  331. Template:Cite web
  332. Template:Cite news
  333. Template:Cite news
  334. Tax incidence of corporate tax in the United States:
  335. Template:Cite web
  336. Template:Cite web
  337. Template:Cite web
  338. Template:Cite web
  339. Template:Cite web
  340. Template:Cite web
  341. Template:Cite web
  342. Template:Cite web
  343. Template:Cite web
  344. Template:Cite web
  345. Template:Cite news
  346. Template:Cite web
  347. Template:Cite news
  348. Template:Cite web
  349. Template:Cite web
  350. Template:Cite web
  351. Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite web
  352. Template:Cite news
  353. Template:Cite web
  354. Template:Cite news
  355. Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite web
  356. Template:Cite web
  357. Template:Cite web
  358. Template:Cite web
  359. Template:Cite news
  360. Template:Cite news
  361. Template:Cite news
  362. Template:Cite news
  363. Template:Cite web
  364. Template:Cite web
  365. Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite web For the latest data, see Template:Cite web
    National Research Council. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
    Nation Behind Bars: A Human Rights Solution. Human Rights Watch, May 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  366. Template:Cite book
  367. Template:Cite web
  368. Template:Cite book
  369. Emma Brown and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel (July 7, 2016). Since 1980, spending on prisons has grown three times as much as spending on public education. The Washington Post. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  370. Template:Cite web
  371. Template:Cite web
  372. Template:Cite book
  373. Template:Cite web
  374. Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite journal
    Template:Cite journal
  375. Selman, Donna and Paul Leighton (2010). Punishment for Sale: Private Prisons, Big Business, and the Incarceration Binge. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. xi. ISBN 1-4422-0173-8.
    Template:Cite book
    Template:Cite journal
    Joe Davidson (August 12, 2016). Private federal prisons – less safe, less secure. The Washington Post. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
    Gottschalk, Marie (2014). Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics. Princeton University Press. p. 70 ISBN 0-691-16405-3.
    Peter Kerwin (June 10, 2015). Study finds private prisons keep inmates longer, without reducing future crime. University of Wisconsin–Madison News. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  376. Template:Cite web
  377. Template:Cite book
  378. 378.0 378.1 Template:Cite web
  379. Template:Cite web
  380. Template:Cite web
  381. Template:Cite web
  382. Template:Cite web
  383. Template:Cite web
  384. Template:Cite web
  385. Template:Cite web
  386. Template:Cite book
  387. Wright, Gavin; Czelusta, Jesse (2007). "Resource-Based Growth Past and Present", in Natural Resources: Neither Curse Nor Destiny, ed. Daniel Lederman and William Maloney. World Bank. p. 185. ISBN 0-8213-6545-2.
  388. 388.0 388.1 Template:Cite web
  389. Template:Cite web
  390. 390.0 390.1 Template:Cite journal
  391. Template:Cite web
  392. 392.0 392.1 Template:Cite web
  393. Template:Cite web
  394. Template:Cite web
  395. Template:Cite web
  396. Template:Cite web
  397. Template:Cite web
  398. Template:Cite web
  399. Template:Cite web
  400. Template:Cite web
  401. 401.0 401.1 Template:Cite web
  402. Template:Cite web
  403. Template:Cite web
  404. Template:Cite web
  405. Template:Cite web
  406. Template:Cite web
  407. Template:Cite web
  408. Template:Cite web
  409. Template:Cite web
  410. Template:Cite web
  411. "Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE)/Gross Domestic Product (GDP)" FRED Graph, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  412. Template:Cite web
  413. Template:Cite web
  414. Template:Cite web
  415. Ray, Rebecca; Sanes, Milla; Schmitt, John (May 2013). No-Vacation Nation Revisited. Center for Economic and Policy Research. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  416. Bernard. Tara Siegel (February 22, 2013). "In Paid Family Leave, U.S. Trails Most of the Globe". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  417. 417.0 417.1 Template:Cite web
  418. Template:Cite web
  419. Template:Cite web
  420. Template:Cite news
  421. Template:Cite news
  422. Template:Cite news
  423. Template:Cite web
  424. Template:Cite web
  425. Template:Cite web
  426. Template:Cite web
  427. Template:Cite web
  428. Template:Cite web
  429. Template:Cite web
  430. Template:Cite web
  431. Template:Cite web
  432. Mishel, Lawrence (April 26, 2012). The wedges between productivity and median compensation growth. Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  433. Template:Cite web
  434. Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite news
    Template:Cite news
  435. Template:Cite news
  436. Alvaredo, Facundo; Atkinson, Anthony B.; Piketty, Thomas; Saez, Emmanuel (2013). "The Top 1 Percent in International and Historical Perspective". Journal of Economic Perspectives. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  437. Template:Cite journal
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite web
    Focus on Top Incomes and Taxation in OECD Countries: Was the crisis a game changer? OECD, May 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  438. Saez, Emmanuel (September 3, 2013). "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States". University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  439. Template:Cite journal
    Template:Cite journal
    Template:Cite journal
  440. Template:Cite journal
    Template:Cite web
    Template:Cite journal
    Template:Cite news
  441. Template:Cite web
  442. Piketty, Thomas (2014). Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Belknap Press. ISBN 0-674-43000-X p. 257
  443. Template:Cite journal
  444. "Americans' wealth drops $1.3 trillion". CNN Money. June 11, 2009.
  445. Template:Cite web
  446. Template:Cite web
  447. Template:Cite web
  448. Template:Cite web
  449. Template:Cite web
  450. New Census Bureau Statistics Show How Young Adults Today Compare With Previous Generations in Neighborhoods Nationwide. United States Census Bureau, December 4, 2014.
  451. Template:Cite web
  452. Template:Cite web
  453. Template:Cite news
  454. Template:Cite news
  455. Template:Cite web
  456. Template:Cite web
  457. Template:Cite web
  458. Template:Cite report
  459. Template:Cite web
  460. Template:Cite web
  461. Template:Cite web
  462. Template:Cite news
  463. Template:Cite web
  464. Template:Cite news
  465. Template:Cite web
  466. Template:Cite web
  467. Template:Cite web
  468. Template:Cite web
  469. IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  470. Template:Cite web
  471. Template:Cite web
  472. Template:Cite news
  473. Template:Cite web
  474. Template:Cite news
  475. Template:Cite web
  476. Template:Cite web
  477. Template:Cite web
  478. Template:Cite web
  479. 479.0 479.1 Template:Cite news
  480. Template:Cite web
  481. Template:Cite web
  482. Template:Cite web
  483. Template:Cite web
  484. Template:Cite web
  485. For more detail on U.S. literacy, see A First Look at the Literacy of America's Adults in the 21st century, U.S. Department of Education (2003).
  486. Template:Cite web
  487. Template:Cite web
  488. Student Loan Debt Exceeds One Trillion Dollars. NPR, April 4, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  489. Thompson, William; Hickey, Joseph (2005). Society in Focus. Boston: Pearson. ISBN 0-205-41365-X.
  490. Fiorina, Morris P.; Peterson, Paul E. (2000). The New American Democracy. London: Longman, p. 97. ISBN 0-321-07058-5.
  491. Holloway, Joseph E. (2005). Africanisms in American Culture, 2d ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 18–38. ISBN 0-253-34479-4. Johnson, Fern L. (1999). Speaking Culturally: Language Diversity in the United States. Thousand Oaks, Calif., London, and New Delhi: Sage, p. 116. ISBN 0-8039-5912-5.
  492. Template:Cite web
  493. Template:Cite book: also see American's Creed, written by William Tyler Page and adopted by Congress in 1918.
  494. Template:Cite news
  495. Template:Cite web
  496. Template:Cite web
  497. Template:Cite web Template:Cite web
  498. Gould, Elise (October 10, 2012). "U.S. lags behind peer countries in mobility." Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  499. CAP: Understanding Mobility in America. April 26, 2006
  500. Template:Cite web
  501. Template:Cite journal
  502. Template:Cite book
  503. Template:Cite book Template:Cite web
  504. Template:Cite book
  505. Template:Cite book
  506. Template:Cite web
  507. Template:Cite web
  508. Template:Cite book
  509. Template:Cite book
  510. 510.0 510.1 Template:Cite web
  511. Template:Cite news
  512. Smith, 2004, pp. 131–132
  513. Levenstein, 2003, pp. 154–55
  514. Template:Cite book
  515. Template:Cite book
  516. Template:Cite web
  517. Template:Cite web
  518. Boslaugh, Sarah (2010). "Obesity Epidemic", in Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices, ed. Roger Chapman. Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, pp. 413–14. ISBN 978-0-7656-1761-3.
  519. Template:Cite web Template:Cite web
  520. Bloom, Harold. 1999. Emily Dickinson. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House. p. 9. ISBN 0-7910-5106-4.
  521. Template:Cite journal
  522. Quinn, Edward (2006). A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms. Infobase, p. 361. ISBN 0-8160-6243-9. Seed, David (2009). A Companion to Twentieth-Century United States Fiction. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons, p. 76. ISBN 1-4051-4691-5. Meyers, Jeffrey (1999). Hemingway: A Biography. New York: Da Capo, p. 139. ISBN 0-306-80890-0.
  523. Template:Cite book
  524. Template:Cite news
  525. Template:Cite news
  526. Brown, Milton W. (1988 1963). The Story of the Armory Show. New York: Abbeville. ISBN 0-89659-795-4.
  527. Template:Cite book
  528. Template:Cite book
  529. Template:Cite book
  530. Template:Cite book
  531. 531.0 531.1 Biddle, Julian (2001). What Was Hot!: Five Decades of Pop Culture in America. New York: Citadel, p. ix. ISBN 0-8065-2311-5.
  532. * Template:Cite web
  533. Template:Cite web
  534. Template:Cite news
  535. Template:Cite news
  536. Template:Cite press release
  537. Template:Cite book
  538. Template:Cite web
  539. Template:Cite book
  540. Template:Cite web
  541. Template:Cite web
  542. Template:Cite web
  543. Template:Cite book
  544. Template:Cite book
  545. Template:Cite book
  546. Village Voice: 100 Best Films of the 20th century (2001) Template:Webarchive. Filmsite.
  547. Template:Cite web
  548. Template:Cite web
  549. Template:Cite book
  550. Template:Cite book
  551. Template:Cite book
  552. Template:Cite book
  553. Template:Cite web MacCambridge, Michael (2004). America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-375-50454-0.
  554. Template:Cite web
  555. Global sports market to hit $141 billion in 2012. Reuters. Retrieved on July 24, 2013.
  556. Template:Cite news Template:Cite news
  557. Liss, Howard. Lacrosse (Funk & Wagnalls, 1970) pg 13.
  558. Template:Cite web
  559. Template:Cite web
  560. Template:Cite web
  561. Template:Cite news
  562. Template:Cite web
  563. Template:Cite web
  564. Template:Cite book
  565. Template:Cite web
  566. Template:Cite web
  567. Template:Cite web
  568. Template:Hounshell1984
  569. Template:Cite web
  570. Template:Cite web
  571. Template:Cite book
  572. Template:Cite book
  573. Template:Cite web
  574. Template:Cite news
  575. Silicon Valley: 110 Year Renaissance, McLaughlin, Weimers, Winslow 2008.
  576. Template:Cite book
  577. Template:Cite book
  578. Template:Cite journal
  579. Template:Cite web
  580. Template:Cite news
  581. Template:Cite web
  582. Template:Cite web
  583. Template:Cite news
  584. Template:Cite web
  585. Template:Cite web
  586. 586.0 586.1 Template:Cite journal
  587. Template:Cite news
  588. Template:Cite web
  589. Template:Cite web
  590. Template:Cite book
  591. Template:Cite web
  592. Template:Cite web
  593. Template:Cite web
  594. Template:Cite web
  595. Template:Cite news
  596. Template:Cite webTemplate:Cbignore
  597. Template:Cite web
  598. Template:Cite news
  599. Template:Cite journal
  600. Template:Cite news
  601. Template:Cite web
  602. Template:Cite news

References Edit

Bibliography and further reading Edit

Template:Refbegin

Template:Refend

Website sources Edit

Template:Refbegin

Template:Refend

External links Edit

Template:Sister project links

Government
  • Official U.S. Government Web Portal Gateway to government sites
  • House Official site of the United States House of Representatives
  • Senate Official site of the United States Senate
  • White House Official site of the President of the United States
  • [[[:Template:SCOTUS URL]] Supreme Court] Official site of the Supreme Court of the United States
History
Maps

Template:Anchor Template:United States topics Template:Authority control


Cite error: <ref> tags exist for a group named "fn", but no corresponding <references group="fn"/> tag was found.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.