United States

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"America", "US", "USA", and "United States of America" redirect here. United States_sentence_0

For the landmass comprising North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean, see Americas. United States_sentence_1

For other uses, see America (disambiguation), US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation). United States_sentence_2

United States_table_infobox_0

United States of AmericaUnited States_header_cell_0_0_0
CapitalUnited States_header_cell_0_1_0 United States_cell_0_1_1
Largest cityUnited States_header_cell_0_2_0 United States_cell_0_2_1
Official languagesUnited States_header_cell_0_3_0 None at federal levelUnited States_cell_0_3_1
National languageUnited States_header_cell_0_4_0 EnglishUnited States_cell_0_4_1
Ethnic groups (2019)United States_header_cell_0_5_0 By race:


By ethnicity:United States_cell_0_5_1

ReligionUnited States_header_cell_0_6_0 See Religion in the United StatesUnited States_cell_0_6_1
Demonym(s)United States_header_cell_0_7_0 AmericanUnited States_cell_0_7_1
GovernmentUnited States_header_cell_0_8_0 Federal presidential constitutional republicUnited States_cell_0_8_1
PresidentUnited States_header_cell_0_9_0 Donald Trump (R)United States_cell_0_9_1
Vice PresidentUnited States_header_cell_0_10_0 Mike Pence (R)United States_cell_0_10_1
House SpeakerUnited States_header_cell_0_11_0 Nancy Pelosi (D)United States_cell_0_11_1
Chief JusticeUnited States_header_cell_0_12_0 John RobertsUnited States_cell_0_12_1
LegislatureUnited States_header_cell_0_13_0 CongressUnited States_cell_0_13_1
Upper houseUnited States_header_cell_0_14_0 SenateUnited States_cell_0_14_1
Lower houseUnited States_header_cell_0_15_0 House of RepresentativesUnited States_cell_0_15_1
Independence from Great BritainUnited States_header_cell_0_16_0
DeclarationUnited States_header_cell_0_17_0 July 4, 1776United States_cell_0_17_1
ConfederationUnited States_header_cell_0_18_0 March 1, 1781United States_cell_0_18_1
Treaty of ParisUnited States_header_cell_0_19_0 September 3, 1783United States_cell_0_19_1
ConstitutionUnited States_header_cell_0_20_0 June 21, 1788United States_cell_0_20_1
Bill of RightsUnited States_header_cell_0_21_0 September 25, 1789United States_cell_0_21_1
Last state admittedUnited States_header_cell_0_22_0 August 21, 1959United States_cell_0_22_1
Last amendmentUnited States_header_cell_0_23_0 May 5, 1992United States_cell_0_23_1
Area United States_header_cell_0_24_0
Total areaUnited States_header_cell_0_25_0 3,796,742 sq mi (9,833,520 km) (3rd/4th)United States_cell_0_25_1
Water (%)United States_header_cell_0_26_0 4.66 (as of 2015)United States_cell_0_26_1
Total land areaUnited States_header_cell_0_27_0 3,531,905 sq mi (9,147,590 km)United States_cell_0_27_1
PopulationUnited States_header_cell_0_28_0
2019 estimateUnited States_header_cell_0_29_0 328,239,523 (3rd)United States_cell_0_29_1
2010 censusUnited States_header_cell_0_30_0 308,745,538 (3rd)United States_cell_0_30_1
DensityUnited States_header_cell_0_31_0 87/sq mi (33.6/km) (146th)United States_cell_0_31_1
GDP (PPP)United States_header_cell_0_32_0 2020 estimateUnited States_cell_0_32_1
TotalUnited States_header_cell_0_33_0 $20.807 trillion (2nd)United States_cell_0_33_1
Per capitaUnited States_header_cell_0_34_0 $63,051 (7th)United States_cell_0_34_1
GDP (nominal)United States_header_cell_0_35_0 2020 estimateUnited States_cell_0_35_1
TotalUnited States_header_cell_0_36_0 $20.807 trillion (1st)United States_cell_0_36_1
Per capitaUnited States_header_cell_0_37_0 $63,051 (5th)United States_cell_0_37_1
Gini (2020)United States_header_cell_0_38_0 48.5

highUnited States_cell_0_38_1

HDI (2018)United States_header_cell_0_39_0 0.920

very high · 15thUnited States_cell_0_39_1

CurrencyUnited States_header_cell_0_40_0 United States dollar ($) (USD)United States_cell_0_40_1
Time zoneUnited States_header_cell_0_41_0 UTC−4 to −12, +10, +11United States_cell_0_41_1
Summer (DST)United States_header_cell_0_42_0 UTC−4 to −10United States_cell_0_42_1
Date formatUnited States_header_cell_0_43_0 United States_cell_0_43_1
Mains electricityUnited States_header_cell_0_44_0 120 V–60 HzUnited States_cell_0_44_1
Driving sideUnited States_header_cell_0_45_0 rightUnited States_cell_0_45_1
Calling codeUnited States_header_cell_0_46_0 +1United States_cell_0_46_1
ISO 3166 codeUnited States_header_cell_0_47_0 USUnited States_cell_0_47_1
Internet TLDUnited States_header_cell_0_48_0 United States_cell_0_48_1

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America, consisting of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. United States_sentence_3

At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million square kilometers), it is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area. United States_sentence_4

With a population of over 328 million, it is the third most populous country in the world. United States_sentence_5

The national capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. United States_sentence_6

Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago, and European colonization began in the 16th century. United States_sentence_7

The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. United States_sentence_8

Disputes over taxation and political representation with Great Britain led to the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), which established independence. United States_sentence_9

In the late 18th century, the U.S. began vigorously expanding across North America, gradually acquiring new territories, often times conquering and displacing Native Americans, and admitting new states; by 1848, the United States spanned the continent. United States_sentence_10

Slavery was legal in the southern United States until the second half of the 19th century when the American Civil War led to its abolition. United States_sentence_11

The Spanish–American War and World War I established the U.S. as a world power, a status confirmed by the outcome of World War II. United States_sentence_12

During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in various proxy wars but avoided direct military conflict. United States_sentence_13

They also competed in the Space Race, culminating in the 1969 spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. United States_sentence_14

The Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 ended the Cold War and left the United States as the world's sole superpower, with immense power in global geopolitics. United States_sentence_15

The United States is a federal republic and a representative democracy with three separate branches of government, including a bicameral legislature. United States_sentence_16

It is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States (OAS), NATO, and other international organizations. United States_sentence_17

It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. United States_sentence_18

The U.S. ranks high in international measures of economic freedom, quality of life, and quality of higher education. United States_sentence_19

Despite considerable income and wealth disparities compared to other rich countries, the United States continuously ranks high in measures of socioeconomic performance. United States_sentence_20

It is also one of the most racially and ethnically diverse nations in the world, often called a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. United States_sentence_21

Its population has been profoundly shaped by centuries of immigration. United States_sentence_22

A highly developed country, the United States accounts for approximately a quarter of global gross domestic product (GDP) and is the world's largest economy by nominal GDP. United States_sentence_23

By value, the United States is the world's largest importer and the second-largest exporter of goods. United States_sentence_24

Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, it holds 29.4% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share held by any country. United States_sentence_25

Making up more than a third of global military spending, it is the foremost military power in the world and is a leading political, cultural, and scientific force internationally. United States_sentence_26

Etymology United States_section_0

See also: Naming of the Americas, Names for United States citizens, and American (word) United States_sentence_27

The first known use of the name "America" dates back to 1507, when it appeared on a world map created by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller. United States_sentence_28

On the Waldseemüller map, the name appears in larger letters on what may be now considered South America, in honor of Amerigo Vespucci. United States_sentence_29

The Italian explorer was the first to postulate that the West Indies did not represent Asia's eastern limit but were part of a previously unknown landmass. United States_sentence_30

In 1538, the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator used the name "America" on his own world map, applying it to the entire Western Hemisphere. United States_sentence_31

The first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" dates from a January 2, 1776 letter written by Stephen Moylan, Esquire, to George Washington's aide-de-camp Joseph Reed. United States_sentence_32

Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort. United States_sentence_33

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. United States_sentence_34

The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed no later than June 17, 1776, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the 'United States of America'." United States_sentence_35

The final version of the Articles, sent to the states for ratification in late 1777, stated that "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America'." United States_sentence_36

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. United States_sentence_37

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. United States_sentence_38

The short form "United States" is also standard. United States_sentence_39

Other common forms are the "U.S.", the "USA", and "America". United States_sentence_40

The term "America" was seldom used in the United States before the 1890s, and rarely used by presidents before Theodore Roosevelt. United States_sentence_41

It does not appear in patriotic songs composed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including "The Star Spangled Banner", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", and the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", although it is common in 20th-century songs like "God Bless America". United States_sentence_42

Colloquial names are the "U.S. of A." United States_sentence_43

and, internationally, the "States". United States_sentence_44

"Columbia", a name popular in American poetry and songs of the late 18th century, derives its origin from Christopher Columbus; it appears in the name "District of Columbia". United States_sentence_45

Many landmarks and institutions in the Western Hemisphere bear his name, including the country of Colombia. United States_sentence_46

The phrase "United States" was originally plural in American usage. United States_sentence_47

It described a collection of independent states—e.g., "the United States are"—and the plural form was used in documents as recent as the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1865. United States_sentence_48

The singular form became popular after the end of the Civil War and is now standard usage in the U.S.; the plural is retained only in traditional, idiomatic expressions such as "these United States". United States_sentence_49

The difference is more significant than usage; it is a difference between a collection of states and a unit. United States_sentence_50

A citizen of the United States is an "American". United States_sentence_51

"United States", "American" and "U.S." refer to the country adjectivally ("American values", "U.S. forces"). United States_sentence_52

In English, the word "American" rarely refers to topics or subjects not directly connected with the United States. United States_sentence_53

History United States_section_1

Main articles: History of the United States, Timeline of United States history, American business history, Economic history of the United States, and Labor history of the United States United States_sentence_54

Indigenous peoples and pre-Columbian history United States_section_2

Further information: Native Americans in the United States and Pre-Columbian era United States_sentence_55

It has been generally accepted that the first inhabitants of North America migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 12,000 years ago; however, some evidence suggests an even earlier date of arrival. United States_sentence_56

The Clovis culture, which appeared around 11,000 BC, is believed to represent the first wave of human settlement of the Americas. United States_sentence_57

This was likely the first of three major waves of migration into North America; later waves brought the ancestors of present-day Athabaskans, Aleuts, and Eskimos. United States_sentence_58

Over time, indigenous cultures in North America grew increasingly complex, and some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture in the southeast, developed advanced agriculture, architecture, and complex societies. United States_sentence_59

The city-state of Cahokia is the largest, most complex pre-Columbian archaeological site in the modern-day United States. United States_sentence_60

In the Four Corners region, Ancestral Puebloan culture developed from centuries of agricultural experimentation. United States_sentence_61

The Haudenosaunee, located in the southern Great Lakes region, was established at some point between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. United States_sentence_62

Most prominent along the Atlantic coast were the Algonquian tribes, who practiced hunting and trapping, along with limited cultivation. United States_sentence_63

Estimating the native population of North America at the time of European contact is difficult. United States_sentence_64

Douglas H. Ubelaker of the Smithsonian Institution estimated that there was a population of 92,916 in the south Atlantic states and a population of 473,616 in the Gulf states, but most academics regard this figure as too low. United States_sentence_65

Anthropologist Henry F. Dobyns believed the populations were much higher, suggesting around 1.1 million along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, 2.2 million people living between Florida and Massachusetts, 5.2 million in the Mississippi Valley and tributaries, and around 700,000 people in the Florida peninsula. United States_sentence_66

European settlements United States_section_3

Further information: Colonial history of the United States and Thirteen Colonies United States_sentence_67

The first Europeans to arrive in the continental United States were Spanish conquistadors such as Juan Ponce de León, who made his first visit to Florida in 1513. United States_sentence_68

Even earlier, Christopher Columbus had landed in Puerto Rico on his 1493 voyage, and San Juan was settled by the Spanish a decade later. United States_sentence_69

The Spanish set up the first settlements in Florida and New Mexico, such as Saint Augustine (often considered the nation's oldest city) and Santa Fe. United States_sentence_70

The French established their own settlements along the Mississippi River, notably New Orleans. United States_sentence_71

Successful English settlement of the eastern coast of North America began with the Virginia Colony in 1607 at Jamestown and with the Pilgrims colony at Plymouth in 1620. United States_sentence_72

Many settlers were dissenting Christians who came seeking religious freedom. United States_sentence_73

The continent's first elected legislative assembly, Virginia's House of Burgesses, was founded in 1619. United States_sentence_74

Documents such as the Mayflower Compact and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut established precedents for representative self-government and constitutionalism that would develop throughout the American colonies. United States_sentence_75

In the early days of colonization, many European settlers were subject to food shortages, disease, and attacks from Native Americans. United States_sentence_76

Native Americans were also often at war with neighboring tribes and European settlers. United States_sentence_77

In many cases, however, the natives and settlers came to depend on one another. United States_sentence_78

Settlers traded for food and animal pelts; natives for guns, tools and other European goods. United States_sentence_79

Natives taught many settlers to cultivate corn, beans, and other foodstuffs. United States_sentence_80

European missionaries and others felt it was important to "civilize" the Native Americans and urged them to adopt European agricultural practices and lifestyles. United States_sentence_81

However, with the increased European colonization of North America, the Native Americans were often conquered and displaced. United States_sentence_82

The native population of America declined after European arrival for various reasons, primarily diseases such as smallpox and measles. United States_sentence_83

African slaves started to be imported into Colonial America via the transatlantic slave trade. United States_sentence_84

Because of a lower prevalence of tropical diseases and better treatment, slaves had a much higher life expectancy in North America than in South America, leading to a rapid increase in their numbers. United States_sentence_85

Colonial society was largely divided over the religious and moral implications of slavery, and several colonies passed acts both against and in favor of the practice. United States_sentence_86

However, by the turn of the 18th century, African slaves had supplanted European indentured servants as cash crop labor, especially in the American South. United States_sentence_87

The Thirteen Colonies (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia) that would become the United States of America were administered by the British as overseas dependencies. United States_sentence_88

All nonetheless had local governments with elections open to most free men. United States_sentence_89

With extremely high birth rates, low death rates, and steady settlement, the colonial population grew rapidly, eclipsing Native American populations. United States_sentence_90

The Christian revivalist movement of the 1730s and 1740s known as the Great Awakening fueled interest both in religion and in religious liberty. United States_sentence_91

During the Seven Years' War (1756–63), known in the U.S. as the French and Indian War, British forces captured Canada from the French. United States_sentence_92

With the creation of the Province of Quebec, Canada's francophone population would remain isolated from the English-speaking colonial dependencies of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the Thirteen Colonies. United States_sentence_93

Excluding the Native Americans who lived there, the Thirteen Colonies had a population of over 2.1 million in 1770, about a third that of Britain. United States_sentence_94

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. United States_sentence_95

The colonies' distance from Britain had allowed the development of self-government, but their unprecedented success motivated British monarchs to periodically seek to reassert royal authority. United States_sentence_96

Independence and expansion United States_section_4

Further information: American Revolutionary War, United States Declaration of Independence, American Revolution, and Territorial evolution of the United States United States_sentence_97

The American Revolutionary War fought by the Thirteen Colonies against the British Empire was the first successful war of independence against a European power. United States_sentence_98

Americans had developed an ideology of "republicanism", asserting that government rested on the will of the people as expressed in their local legislatures. United States_sentence_99

They demanded their "rights as Englishmen" and "no taxation without representation". United States_sentence_100

The British insisted on administering the empire through Parliament, and the conflict escalated into war. United States_sentence_101

The Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776; this day is celebrated annually as Independence Day. United States_sentence_102

In 1777, the Articles of Confederation established a decentralized government that operated until 1789. United States_sentence_103

After its defeat at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, Britain signed a peace treaty. United States_sentence_104

American sovereignty became internationally recognized, and the country was granted all lands east of the Mississippi River. United States_sentence_105

Tensions with Britain remained, however, leading to the War of 1812, which was fought to a draw. United States_sentence_106

Nationalists led the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in writing the United States Constitution, ratified in state conventions in 1788. United States_sentence_107

The federal government was reorganized into three branches in 1789, on the principle of creating salutary checks and balances. United States_sentence_108

George Washington, who had led the Continental Army to victory, was the first president elected under the new constitution. United States_sentence_109

The Bill of Rights, forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in 1791. United States_sentence_110

Although the federal government outlawed American participation in the Atlantic slave trade in 1807, after 1820, cultivation of the highly profitable cotton crop exploded in the Deep South, and along with it, the slave population. United States_sentence_111

The Second Great Awakening, especially in the period 1800–1840, converted millions to evangelical Protestantism. United States_sentence_112

In the North, it energized multiple social reform movements, including abolitionism; in the South, Methodists and Baptists proselytized among slave populations. United States_sentence_113

Beginning in the late 18th century, American settlers began to expand westward, prompting a long series of American Indian Wars. United States_sentence_114

The 1803 Louisiana Purchase almost doubled the nation's area, Spain ceded Florida and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819, the Republic of Texas was annexed in 1845 during a period of expansionism, and the 1846 Oregon Treaty with Britain led to U.S. control of the present-day American Northwest. United States_sentence_115

Victory in the Mexican–American War resulted in the 1848 Mexican Cession of California and much of the present-day American Southwest, making the U.S. span the continent. United States_sentence_116

The California Gold Rush of 1848–49 spurred migration to the Pacific coast, which led to the California Genocide and the creation of additional western states. United States_sentence_117

After the Civil War, new transcontinental railways made relocation easier for settlers, expanded internal trade, and increased conflicts with Native Americans. United States_sentence_118

In 1869, a new Peace Policy nominally promised to protect Native Americans from abuses, avoid further war, and secure their eventual U.S. citizenship. United States_sentence_119

Nonetheless, large-scale conflicts continued throughout the West into the 1900s. United States_sentence_120

Civil War and Reconstruction era United States_section_5

Main articles: American Civil War and Reconstruction era United States_sentence_121

Further information: Origins of the American Civil War United States_sentence_122

Irreconcilable sectional conflict regarding the enslavement of Africans and African Americans ultimately led to the American Civil War. United States_sentence_123

With the 1860 election of Republican Abraham Lincoln, conventions in thirteen slave states declared secession and formed the Confederate States of America (the "South" or the "Confederacy"), while the federal government (the "Union") maintained that secession was illegal. United States_sentence_124

In order to bring about this secession, military action was initiated by the secessionists, and the Union responded in kind. United States_sentence_125

The ensuing war would become the deadliest military conflict in American history, resulting in the deaths of approximately 618,000 soldiers as well as many civilians. United States_sentence_126

The Union initially simply fought to keep the country united. United States_sentence_127

Nevertheless, as casualties mounted after 1863 and Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation, the main purpose of the war from the Union's viewpoint became the abolition of slavery. United States_sentence_128

Indeed, when the Union ultimately won the war in April 1865, each of the states in the defeated South was required to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibited slavery. United States_sentence_129

Two other amendments were also ratified, ensuring citizenship for blacks and, at least in theory, voting rights for them as well. United States_sentence_130

Reconstruction began in earnest following the war. United States_sentence_131

While President Lincoln attempted to foster friendship and forgiveness between the Union and the former Confederacy, his assassination on April 14, 1865 drove a wedge between North and South again. United States_sentence_132

Republicans in the federal government made it their goal to oversee the rebuilding of the South and to ensure the rights of African Americans. United States_sentence_133

They persisted until the Compromise of 1877 when the Republicans agreed to cease protecting the rights of African Americans in the South in order for Democrats to concede the presidential election of 1876. United States_sentence_134

Southern white Democrats, calling themselves "Redeemers", took control of the South after the end of Reconstruction. United States_sentence_135

From 1890 to 1910, the Redeemers established so-called Jim Crow laws, disenfranchising most blacks and some poor whites throughout the region. United States_sentence_136

Blacks faced racial segregation, especially in the South. United States_sentence_137

They also occasionally experienced vigilante violence, including lynching. United States_sentence_138

Further immigration, expansion, and industrialization United States_section_6

Main articles: Economic history of the United States and Technological and industrial history of the United States United States_sentence_139

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. United States_sentence_140

National infrastructure, including telegraph and transcontinental railroads, spurred economic growth and greater settlement and development of the American Old West. United States_sentence_141

The later invention of electric light and the telephone would also affect communication and urban life. United States_sentence_142

The United States fought Indian Wars west of the Mississippi River from 1810 to at least 1890. United States_sentence_143

Most of these conflicts ended with the cession of Native American territory and their confinement to Indian reservations. United States_sentence_144

Additionally, the Trail of Tears in the 1830s exemplified the Indian removal policy that forcibly resettled Indians. United States_sentence_145

This further expanded acreage under mechanical cultivation, increasing surpluses for international markets. United States_sentence_146

Mainland expansion also included the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. United States_sentence_147

In 1893, pro-American elements in Hawaii overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy and formed the Republic of Hawaii, which the U.S. annexed in 1898. United States_sentence_148

Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines were ceded by Spain in the same year, following the Spanish–American War. United States_sentence_149

American Samoa was acquired by the United States in 1900 after the end of the Second Samoan Civil War. United States_sentence_150

The U.S. United States_sentence_151

Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark in 1917. United States_sentence_152

Rapid economic development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries fostered the rise of many prominent industrialists. United States_sentence_153

Tycoons like Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie led the nation's progress in the railroad, petroleum, and steel industries. United States_sentence_154

Banking became a major part of the economy, with J. United States_sentence_155

P. Morgan playing a notable role. United States_sentence_156

The American economy boomed, becoming the world's largest. United States_sentence_157

These dramatic changes were accompanied by social unrest and the rise of populist, socialist, and anarchist movements. United States_sentence_158

This period eventually ended with the advent of the Progressive Era, which saw significant reforms including women's suffrage, alcohol prohibition, regulation of consumer goods, greater antitrust measures to ensure competition and attention to worker conditions. United States_sentence_159

World War I, Great Depression, and World War II United States_section_7

Further information: World War I, Great Depression, and World War II United States_sentence_160

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 Allies of World War I, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers. United States_sentence_161

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. United States_sentence_162

However, the Senate refused to approve this and did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles that established the League of Nations. United States_sentence_163

In 1920, the women's rights movement won passage of a constitutional amendment granting women's suffrage. United States_sentence_164

The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of radio for mass communication and the invention of early television. United States_sentence_165

The prosperity of the Roaring Twenties ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression. United States_sentence_166

After his election as president in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt responded with the New Deal. United States_sentence_167

The Great Migration of millions of African Americans out of the American South began before World War I and extended through the 1960s; whereas the Dust Bowl of the mid-1930s impoverished many farming communities and spurred a new wave of western migration. United States_sentence_168

At first effectively neutral during World War II, the United States began supplying materiel to the Allies in March 1941 through the Lend-Lease program. United States_sentence_169

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 and, the following year, to intern about 120,000 U.S. residents (including American citizens) of Japanese descent. United States_sentence_170

Although Japan attacked the United States first, the U.S. nonetheless pursued a "Europe first" defense policy. United States_sentence_171

The United States thus left its vast Asian colony, the Philippines, isolated and fighting a losing struggle against Japanese invasion and occupation. United States_sentence_172

During the war, the United States was one of the "Four Powers" who met to plan the postwar world, along with Britain, the Soviet Union, and China. United States_sentence_173

Although the nation lost around 400,000 military personnel, it emerged relatively undamaged from the war with even greater economic and military influence. United States_sentence_174

The United States played a leading role in the Bretton Woods and Yalta conferences, which signed agreements on new international financial institutions and Europe's postwar reorganization. United States_sentence_175

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. United States_sentence_176

The United States and Japan then fought each other in the largest naval battle in history, the Battle of Leyte Gulf. United States_sentence_177

The United States eventually developed the first nuclear weapons and used them on Japan in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945; the Japanese surrendered on September 2, ending World War II. United States_sentence_178

Cold War and civil rights era United States_section_8

Main articles: History of the United States (1945–1964), History of the United States (1964–1980), and History of the United States (1980–1991) United States_sentence_179

Further information: Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, War on Poverty, Space Race, and Reaganomics United States_sentence_180

After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union competed for power, influence, and prestige during what became known as the Cold War, driven by an ideological divide between capitalism and communism. United States_sentence_181

They dominated the military affairs of Europe, with the U.S. and its NATO allies on one side and the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies on the other. United States_sentence_182

The U.S. developed a policy of containment towards the expansion of communist influence. United States_sentence_183

While the U.S. and Soviet Union engaged in proxy wars and developed powerful nuclear arsenals, the two countries avoided direct military conflict. United States_sentence_184

The United States often opposed Third World movements that it viewed as Soviet-sponsored and occasionally pursued direct action for regime change against left-wing governments, even occasionally supporting authoritarian right-wing regimes. United States_sentence_185

American troops fought communist Chinese and North Korean forces in the Korean War of 1950–53. United States_sentence_186

The Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the first artificial satellite and its 1961 launch of the first crewed spaceflight initiated a "Space Race" in which the United States became the first nation to land a man on the Moon in 1969. United States_sentence_187

A proxy war in Southeast Asia eventually evolved into the Vietnam War (1955–1975), with full American participation. United States_sentence_188

At home, the U.S. had experienced sustained economic expansion and a rapid growth of its population and middle class following World War II. United States_sentence_189

After a surge in female labor participation, especially in the 1970s, by 1985, the majority of women aged 16 and over were employed. United States_sentence_190

Construction of an Interstate Highway System transformed the nation's infrastructure over the following decades. United States_sentence_191

Millions moved from farms and inner cities to large suburban housing developments. United States_sentence_192

In 1959 Hawaii became the 50th and last U.S. state added to the country. United States_sentence_193

The growing Civil Rights Movement used nonviolence to confront segregation and discrimination, with Martin Luther King Jr. becoming a prominent leader and figurehead. United States_sentence_194

A combination of court decisions and legislation, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1968, sought to end racial discrimination. United States_sentence_195

Meanwhile, a counterculture movement grew, which was fueled by opposition to the Vietnam war, the Black Power movement, and the sexual revolution. United States_sentence_196

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. United States_sentence_197

The 1970s and early 1980s saw the onset of stagflation. United States_sentence_198

After his election in 1980, President Ronald Reagan responded to economic stagnation with free-market oriented reforms. United States_sentence_199

Following the collapse of détente, he abandoned "containment" and initiated the more aggressive "rollback" strategy towards the Soviet Union. United States_sentence_200

The late 1980s brought a "thaw" in relations with the Soviet Union, and its collapse in 1991 finally ended the Cold War. United States_sentence_201

This brought about unipolarity with the U.S. unchallenged as the world's dominant superpower. United States_sentence_202

Contemporary history United States_section_9

Main articles: History of the United States (1991–2008) and History of the United States (2008–present) United States_sentence_203

Further information: Gulf War, September 11 attacks, War on Terror, 2008 financial crisis, and Affordable Care Act United States_sentence_204

After the Cold War, the conflict in the Middle East triggered a crisis in 1990, when Iraq invaded and attempted to annex Kuwait, an ally of the United States. United States_sentence_205

Fearing the spread of instability, in August, President George H. W. Bush launched and led the Gulf War against Iraq; waged until January 1991 by coalition forces from 34 nations, it ended in the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait and restoration of the monarchy. United States_sentence_206

Originating within U.S. United States_sentence_207

military defense networks, the Internet spread to international academic platforms and then to the public in the 1990s, greatly affecting the global economy, society, and culture. United States_sentence_208

Due to the dot-com boom, stable monetary policy, and reduced social welfare spending, the 1990s saw the longest economic expansion in modern U.S. history. United States_sentence_209

Beginning in 1994, the U.S. signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), causing trade among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to soar. United States_sentence_210

On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda terrorist hijackers flew passenger planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., killing nearly 3,000 people. United States_sentence_211

In response, President George W. Bush launched the War on Terror, which included a war in Afghanistan and the 2003–11 Iraq War. United States_sentence_212

A 2011 military operation in Pakistan led to the death of the leader of Al-Qaeda. United States_sentence_213

Government policy designed to promote affordable housing, widespread failures in corporate and regulatory governance, and historically low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve led to the mid-2000s housing bubble, which culminated with the 2008 financial crisis, the nation's largest economic contraction since the Great Depression. United States_sentence_214

During the crisis, assets owned by Americans lost about a quarter of their value. United States_sentence_215

Barack Obama, the first African-American and multiracial president, was elected in 2008 amid the crisis, and subsequently passed stimulus measures and the Dodd–Frank Act in an attempt to mitigate its negative effects and ensure there would not be a repeat of the crisis. United States_sentence_216

In 2010, President Obama led efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act, the most sweeping reform to the nation's healthcare system in nearly five decades. United States_sentence_217

In the presidential election of 2016, Republican Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States. United States_sentence_218

On January 20, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 in the United States was confirmed. United States_sentence_219

As of 5 November 2020, the United States has over 9.4 million COVID-19 cases and over 233,000 deaths. United States_sentence_220

The United States is by far the country with the most cases of COVID-19 since April 11, 2020. United States_sentence_221

Geography, climate, and environment United States_section_10

Main articles: Geography of the United States, Climate of the United States, Environment of the United States, and Environmental issues in the United States United States_sentence_222

The 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia occupy a combined area of 3,119,885 square miles (8,080,470 km). United States_sentence_223

Of this area, 2,959,064 square miles (7,663,940 km) is contiguous land, composing 83.65% of total U.S. land area. United States_sentence_224

Hawaii, occupying an archipelago in the central Pacific, southwest of North America, is 10,931 square miles (28,311 km) in area. United States_sentence_225

The populated territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. United States_sentence_226

Virgin Islands together cover 9,185 square miles (23,789 km). United States_sentence_227

Measured by only land area, the United States is third in size behind Russia and China, just ahead of Canada. United States_sentence_228

The United States is the world's third- or fourth-largest nation by total area (land and water), ranking behind Russia and Canada and nearly equal to China. United States_sentence_229

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. United States_sentence_230

The coastal plain of the Atlantic seaboard gives way further inland to deciduous forests and the rolling hills of the Piedmont. United States_sentence_231

The Appalachian Mountains divide the eastern seaboard from the Great Lakes and the grasslands of the Midwest. United States_sentence_232

The MississippiMissouri River, the world's fourth longest river system, runs mainly north–south through the heart of the country. United States_sentence_233

The flat, fertile prairie of the Great Plains stretches to the west, interrupted by a highland region in the southeast. United States_sentence_234

The Rocky Mountains, west of the Great Plains, extend north to south across the country, peaking around 14,000 feet (4,300 m) in Colorado. United States_sentence_235

Farther west are the rocky Great Basin and deserts such as the Chihuahua and Mojave. United States_sentence_236

The Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges run close to the Pacific coast, both ranges reaching altitudes higher than 14,000 feet (4,300 m). United States_sentence_237

The lowest and highest points in the contiguous United States are in the state of California, and only about 84 miles (135 km) apart. United States_sentence_238

At an elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190.5 m), Alaska's Denali is the highest peak in the country and in North America. United States_sentence_239

Active volcanoes are common throughout Alaska's Alexander and Aleutian Islands, and Hawaii consists of volcanic islands. United States_sentence_240

The supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in the Rockies is the continent's largest volcanic feature. United States_sentence_241

The United States, with its large size and geographic variety, includes most climate types. United States_sentence_242

To the east of the 100th meridian, the climate ranges from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical in the south. United States_sentence_243

The Great Plains west of the 100th meridian are semi-arid. United States_sentence_244

Much of the Western mountains have an alpine climate. United States_sentence_245

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. United States_sentence_246

Most of Alaska is subarctic or polar. United States_sentence_247

Hawaii and the southern tip of Florida are tropical, as well as its territories in the Caribbean and the Pacific. United States_sentence_248

States bordering the Gulf of Mexico are prone to hurricanes, and most of the world's tornadoes occur in the country, mainly in Tornado Alley areas in the Midwest and South. United States_sentence_249

Overall, the United States receives more high-impact extreme weather incidents than any other country in the world. United States_sentence_250

Wildlife and conservation United States_section_11

Main articles: Fauna of the United States and Flora of the United States United States_sentence_251

See also: :Category:Biota of the United States United States_sentence_252

The U.S. ecology is megadiverse: about 17,000 species of vascular plants occur in the contiguous United States and Alaska, and more than 1,800 species of flowering plants are found in Hawaii, few of which occur on the mainland. United States_sentence_253

The United States is home to 428 mammal species, 784 bird species, 311 reptile species, and 295 amphibian species, as well as about 91,000 insect species. United States_sentence_254

There are 62 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks, forests, and wilderness areas. United States_sentence_255

Altogether, the government owns about 28% of the country's land area, mostly in the western states. United States_sentence_256

Most of this land is protected, though some is leased for oil and gas drilling, mining, logging, or cattle ranching, and about .86% is used for military purposes. United States_sentence_257

Environmental issues include debates on oil and nuclear energy, dealing with air and water pollution, the economic costs of protecting wildlife, logging and deforestation, and international responses to global warming. United States_sentence_258

The most prominent environmental agency is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), created by presidential order in 1970. United States_sentence_259

The idea of wilderness has shaped the management of public lands since 1964, with the Wilderness Act. United States_sentence_260

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. United States_sentence_261

The United States is ranked 24th among nations in the Environmental Performance Index. United States_sentence_262

The country joined the Paris Agreement in 2016 and has many other environmental commitments. United States_sentence_263

It left the Paris Agreement in 2020. United States_sentence_264

Demographics United States_section_12

Main articles: Americans, Demographics of the United States, Race and ethnicity in the United States, and Family structure in the United States United States_sentence_265

Population United States_section_13

See also: List of U.S. states by population and List of United States cities by population United States_sentence_266

The U.S. United States_sentence_267

Census Bureau officially estimated the country's population to be 328,239,523 as of July 1, 2019. United States_sentence_268

According to the Bureau's U.S. United States_sentence_269

Population Clock, on May 23, 2020, the U.S. population had a net gain of one person every 19 seconds, or about 4,547 people per day. United States_sentence_270

The United States is the third most populous nation in the world, after China and India. United States_sentence_271

In 2018 the median age of the United States population was 38.1 years. United States_sentence_272

In 2018, there were almost 90 million immigrants and U.S.-born children of immigrants in the United States, accounting for 28% of the overall U.S. population. United States_sentence_273

The United States has a very diverse population; 37 ancestry groups have more than one million members. United States_sentence_274

White Americans of European ancestry, mostly German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish and French, including white Hispanics and Latinos from Latin America, form the largest racial group, at 73.1% of the population. United States_sentence_275

African Americans constitute the nation's largest racial minority and third-largest ancestry group, and are around 13% of the total U.S. population. United States_sentence_276

Asian Americans are the country's second-largest racial minority (the three largest Asian ethnic groups are Chinese, Filipino, and Indian). United States_sentence_277

In 2017, out of the U.S. foreign-born population, some 45% (20.7 million) were naturalized citizens, 27% (12.3 million) were lawful permanent residents, 6% (2.2 million) were temporary lawful residents, and 23% (10.5 million) were unauthorized immigrants. United States_sentence_278

Among current living immigrants to the U.S., the top five countries of birth are Mexico, China, India, the Philippines and El Salvador. United States_sentence_279

Until 2017, the United States led the world in refugee resettlement for decades, admitting more refugees than the rest of the world combined. United States_sentence_280

About 82% of Americans live in urban areas, including suburbs; about half of those reside in cities with populations over 50,000. United States_sentence_281

In 2008, 273 incorporated municipalities had populations over 100,000, nine cities had more than one million residents, and four cities had over two million (namely New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston). United States_sentence_282

Many U.S. metropolitan populations are growing rapidly, particularly in the South and West. United States_sentence_283

As of 2018, 52% of Americans age 15 and over were married, 6% were widowed, 10% were divorced, and 32% had never been married. United States_sentence_284

The total fertility rate was 1820.5 births per 1000 women in 2016. United States_sentence_285

In 2013, the average age at first birth was 26, and 41% of births were to unmarried women. United States_sentence_286

In 2019, the U.S. had the world's highest rate of children living in single-parent households. United States_sentence_287

Language United States_section_14

Main article: Languages of the United States United States_sentence_288

See also: Language Spoken at Home in the United States of America, List of endangered languages in the United States, and Language education in the United States United States_sentence_289

English (specifically, American English) is the de facto national language of the United States. United States_sentence_290

Although there is no official language at the federal level, some laws—such as U.S. United States_sentence_291

naturalization requirements—standardize English, and most states have declared English as the official language. United States_sentence_292

Three states and four U.S. territories have recognized local or indigenous languages in addition to English, including Hawaii (Hawaiian), Alaska (twenty Native languages), South Dakota (Sioux), American Samoa (Samoan), Puerto Rico (Spanish), Guam (Chamorro), and the Northern Mariana Islands (Carolinian and Chamorro). United States_sentence_293

In Puerto Rico, Spanish is more widely spoken than English. United States_sentence_294

According to the American Community Survey, in 2010 some 229 million people (out of the total U.S. population of 308 million) spoke only English at home. United States_sentence_295

More than 37 million spoke Spanish at home, making it the second most commonly used language in the United States. United States_sentence_296

Other languages spoken at home by one million people or more include Chinese (2.8 million), Tagalog (1.6 million), Vietnamese (1.4 million), French (1.3 million), Korean (1.1 million), and German (1 million). United States_sentence_297

The most widely taught foreign languages in the United States, in terms of enrollment numbers from kindergarten through university undergraduate education, are Spanish (around 7.2 million students), French (1.5 million), and German (500,000). United States_sentence_298

Other commonly taught languages include Latin, Japanese, American Sign Language, Italian, and Chinese. United States_sentence_299

18% of all Americans claim to speak both English and another language. United States_sentence_300

Religion United States_section_15

Main article: Religion in the United States United States_sentence_301

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids Congress from passing laws respecting its establishment. United States_sentence_302

The United States has the world's largest Christian population. United States_sentence_303

In a 2014 survey, 70.6% of adults in the United States identified themselves as Christians; Protestants accounted for 46.5%, while Roman Catholics, at 20.8%, formed the largest single Christian group. United States_sentence_304

In 2014, 5.9% of the U.S. adult population claimed a non-Christian religion. United States_sentence_305

These include Judaism (1.9%), Islam (0.9%), Hinduism (0.7%), and Buddhism (0.7%). United States_sentence_306

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. United States_sentence_307

Protestantism is the largest Christian religious grouping in the United States, accounting for almost half of all Americans. United States_sentence_308

Baptists collectively form the largest branch of Protestantism at 15.4%, and the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest individual Protestant denomination at 5.3% of the U.S. population. United States_sentence_309

Apart from Baptists, other Protestant categories include nondenominational Protestants, Methodists, Pentecostals, unspecified Protestants, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, other Reformed, Episcopalians/Anglicans, Quakers, Adventists, Holiness, Christian fundamentalists, Anabaptists, Pietists, and multiple others. United States_sentence_310

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. United States_sentence_311

By contrast, religion plays the least important role in New England and in the Western United States. United States_sentence_312

Health United States_section_16

See also: Health care in the United States, Health care reform in the United States, and Health insurance in the United States United States_sentence_313

The United States had a life expectancy of 78.6 years at birth in 2017, which was the third year of declines in life expectancy following decades of continuous increase. United States_sentence_314

The recent decline, primarily among the age group 25 to 64, is largely due to record highs in the drug overdose and suicide rates; the country has one of the highest suicide rates among wealthy countries. United States_sentence_315

From 1999 to 2019, more than 770,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. United States_sentence_316

Life expectancy was highest among Asians and Hispanics and lowest among blacks. United States_sentence_317

Increasing obesity in the United States and improvements in health and longevity outside the U.S. contributed to lowering the country's rank in life expectancy from 11th in the world in 1987 to 42nd in 2007. United States_sentence_318

In 2017, the United States had the lowest life expectancy among Japan, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and seven nations in western Europe. United States_sentence_319

Obesity rates have more than doubled in the last 30 years and are the highest in the industrialized world. United States_sentence_320

Approximately one-third of the adult population is obese and an additional third is overweight. United States_sentence_321

Obesity-related type 2 diabetes is considered epidemic by health care professionals. United States_sentence_322

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. United States_sentence_323

The most harmful risk factors were poor diet, tobacco smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, physical inactivity, and alcohol use. United States_sentence_324

Alzheimer's disease, drug abuse, kidney disease, cancer, and falls caused the most additional years of life lost over their age-adjusted 1990 per-capita rates. United States_sentence_325

U.S. teenage pregnancy and abortion rates are substantially higher than in other Western nations, especially among blacks and Hispanics. United States_sentence_326

Health-care coverage in the United States is a combination of public and private efforts and is not universal. United States_sentence_327

In 2017, 12.2% of the population did not carry health insurance. United States_sentence_328

The subject of uninsured and underinsured Americans is a major political issue. United States_sentence_329

The Affordable Care Act, passed in early 2010, roughly halved the uninsured share of the population, though the bill and its ultimate effect are issues of controversy. United States_sentence_330

The U.S. health-care system far outspends any other nation, measured both in per capita spending and as percentage of GDP. United States_sentence_331

However, the U.S. is a global leader in medical innovation. United States_sentence_332

Education United States_section_17

Main articles: Education in the United States and Higher education in the United States United States_sentence_333

American public education is operated by state and local governments and regulated by the United States Department of Education through restrictions on federal grants. United States_sentence_334

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. United States_sentence_335

About 12% of children are enrolled in parochial or nonsectarian private schools. United States_sentence_336

Just over 2% of children are homeschooled. United States_sentence_337

The U.S. spends more on education per student than any nation in the world, spending an average of $12,794 per year on public elementary and secondary school students in the 2016–2017 school year. United States_sentence_338

Some 80% of U.S. college students attend public universities. United States_sentence_339

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. United States_sentence_340

The basic literacy rate is approximately 99%. United States_sentence_341

The United Nations assigns the United States an Education Index of 0.97, tying it for 12th in the world. United States_sentence_342

The United States has many private and public institutions of higher education. United States_sentence_343

The majority of the world's top universities, as listed by various ranking organizations, are in the U.S. United States_sentence_344

There are also local community colleges with generally more open admission policies, shorter academic programs, and lower tuition. United States_sentence_345

In 2018, U21, a network of research-intensive universities, ranked the United States first in the world for breadth and quality of higher education, and 15th when GDP was a factor. United States_sentence_346

As for public expenditures on higher education, the U.S. trails some other OECD (Organization for Cooperation and Development) nations but spends more per student than the OECD average, and more than all nations in combined public and private spending. United States_sentence_347

As of 2018, student loan debt exceeded 1.5 trillion dollars. United States_sentence_348

Government and politics United States_section_18

Main articles: Federal government of the United States, Politics of the United States, State governments of the United States, and Local government in the United States United States_sentence_349

The United States is a federal republic of 50 states, a federal district, five territories and several uninhabited island possessions. United States_sentence_350

It is the world's oldest surviving federation. United States_sentence_351

It is a federal republic and a representative democracy "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law." United States_sentence_352

The U.S. ranked 25th on the Democracy Index in 2018. United States_sentence_353

On Transparency International's 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, its public sector position deteriorated from a score of 76 in 2015 to 69 in 2019. United States_sentence_354

In the American federalist system, citizens are usually subject to three levels of government: federal, state, and local. United States_sentence_355

The local government's duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments. United States_sentence_356

In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district. United States_sentence_357

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. United States_sentence_358

The original text of the Constitution establishes the structure and responsibilities of the federal government and its relationship with the individual states. United States_sentence_359

Article One protects the right to the writ of habeas corpus. United States_sentence_360

The Constitution has been amended 27 times; the first ten amendments, which make up the Bill of Rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment form the central basis of Americans' individual rights. United States_sentence_361

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. United States_sentence_362

The principle of judicial review, not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, was established by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803) in a decision handed down by Chief Justice John Marshall. United States_sentence_363

The federal government comprises three branches: United States_sentence_364

United States_unordered_list_0

The House of Representatives has 435 voting members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. United States_sentence_365

House seats are apportioned among the states by population. United States_sentence_366

Each state then draws single-member districts to conform with the census apportionment. United States_sentence_367

The District of Columbia and the five major U.S. United States_sentence_368

territories each have one member of Congress—these members are not allowed to vote. United States_sentence_369

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 two years. United States_sentence_370

The District of Columbia and the five major U.S. territories do not have senators. United States_sentence_371

The president serves a four-year term and may be elected to the office no more than twice. United States_sentence_372

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. United States_sentence_373

The Supreme Court, led by the chief justice of the United States, has nine members, who serve for life. United States_sentence_374

Political divisions United States_section_19

Main articles: Political divisions of the United States, U.S. United States_sentence_375

state, Territories of the United States, List of states and territories of the United States, and Indian reservation United States_sentence_376

Further information: Territorial evolution of the United States United States_sentence_377

The 50 states are the principal political divisions in the country. United States_sentence_378

These are subdivided into counties or county equivalents and further divided into municipalities. United States_sentence_379

The District of Columbia is a federal district that contains the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C. United States_sentence_380

The states and the District of Columbia choose the president of the United States. United States_sentence_381

Each state has presidential electors equal to the number of their representatives and senators in Congress; the District of Columbia has three because of the 23rd Amendment. United States_sentence_382

Territories of the United States such as Puerto Rico do not have presidential electors, and so people in those territories cannot vote for the president. United States_sentence_383

The United States also observes tribal sovereignty of the American Indian nations to a limited degree, as it does with the states' sovereignty. United States_sentence_384

American Indians are U.S. citizens and tribal lands are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress and the federal courts. United States_sentence_385

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. United States_sentence_386

Citizenship is granted at birth in all states, the District of Columbia, and all major U.S. territories except American Samoa. United States_sentence_387

Parties and elections United States_section_20

Main articles: Political parties in the United States, Elections in the United States, and Political ideologies in the United States United States_sentence_388

The United States has operated under a two-party system for most of its history. United States_sentence_389

For elective offices at most levels, state-administered primary elections choose the major party nominees for subsequent general elections. United States_sentence_390

Since the general election of 1856, the major parties have been the Democratic Party, founded in 1824, and the Republican Party, founded in 1854. United States_sentence_391

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. United States_sentence_392

The president and vice president are elected by the Electoral College. United States_sentence_393

In American political culture, the center-right Republican Party is considered "conservative" and the center-left Democratic Party is considered "liberal". United States_sentence_394

The states of the Northeast and West Coast and some of the Great Lakes states, known as "blue states", are relatively liberal. United States_sentence_395

The "red states" of the South and parts of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains are relatively conservative. United States_sentence_396

Republican Donald Trump, the winner of the 2016 presidential election, is serving as the 45th president of the United States. United States_sentence_397

Leadership in the Senate includes vice president Mike Pence, president pro tempore Chuck Grassley, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. United States_sentence_398

Leadership in the House includes Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. United States_sentence_399

In the 116th United States Congress, the House of Representatives is controlled by the Democratic Party and the Senate is controlled by the Republican Party, giving the U.S. a split Congress. United States_sentence_400

The Senate consists of 52 Republicans and 46 Democrats with two Independents who caucus with the Democrats; the House consists of 233 Democrats, 196 Republicans, and 1 Libertarian. United States_sentence_401

Of state governors, there are 26 Republicans and 24 Democrats. United States_sentence_402

Among the D.C. mayor and the five territorial governors, there are four Democrats, one Republican, and one New Progressive. United States_sentence_403

Foreign relations United States_section_21

Main articles: Foreign relations of the United States and Foreign policy of the United States United States_sentence_404

The United States has an established structure of foreign relations. United States_sentence_405

It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. United States_sentence_406

New York City is home to the United Nations Headquarters. United States_sentence_407

Almost all countries have embassies in Washington, D.C., and many have consulates around the country. United States_sentence_408

Likewise, nearly all nations host American diplomatic missions. United States_sentence_409

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 unofficial relations with Bhutan and Taiwan). United States_sentence_410

It is a member of the G7, G20, and OECD. United States_sentence_411

The United States has a "Special Relationship" with the United Kingdom and strong ties with India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Israel, and several European Union countries, including France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Poland. United States_sentence_412

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. United States_sentence_413

Colombia is traditionally considered by the United States as its most loyal ally in South America. United States_sentence_414

The U.S. exercises full international defense authority and responsibility for Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau through the Compact of Free Association. United States_sentence_415

Government finance United States_section_22

See also: Taxation in the United States and United States federal budget United States_sentence_416

Taxation in the United States is progressive, and is levied at the federal, state, and local government levels. United States_sentence_417

This includes taxes on income, payroll, property, sales, imports, estates, and gifts, as well as various fees. United States_sentence_418

Taxation in the United States is based on citizenship, not residency. United States_sentence_419

Both non-resident citizens and Green Card holders living abroad are taxed on their income irrespective of where they live or where their income is earned. United States_sentence_420

The United States is one of the only countries in the world to do so. United States_sentence_421

In 2010 taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.8% of GDP. United States_sentence_422

Based on CBO estimates, 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. United States_sentence_423

For 2018, the effective tax rate for the wealthiest 400 households was 23%, compared to 24.2% for the bottom half of U.S. households. United States_sentence_424

During fiscal year 2012, the federal government spent $3.54 trillion on a budget or cash basis. United States_sentence_425

Major categories of fiscal year 2012 spending included: Medicare & Medicaid (23%), Social Security (22%), Defense Department (19%), non-defense discretionary (17%), other mandatory (13%) and interest (6%). United States_sentence_426

The total national debt of the United States was $23.201 trillion, or 107% of GDP, in the fourth quarter of 2019. United States_sentence_427

By 2012, total federal debt had surpassed 100% of U.S. GDP. United States_sentence_428

The U.S. has a credit rating of AA+ from Standard & Poor's, AAA from Fitch, and AAA from Moody's. United States_sentence_429

The United States has the largest external debt in the world and the 34th largest government debt as a percentage of GDP in the world as of 2017; however, more recent estimates vary. United States_sentence_430

Military United States_section_23

Main article: United States Armed Forces United States_sentence_431

The president is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces and appoints its leaders, the secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. United States_sentence_432

The Department of Defense administers five of the six service branches, which are made up of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Space Force. United States_sentence_433

The Coast Guard, also a branch of the armed forces, is administered by the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and by the Department of the Navy in wartime. United States_sentence_434

In 2019, all six branches of the U.S. Armed Forces reported 1.4 million personnel on active duty. United States_sentence_435

The Reserves and National Guard brought the total number of troops to 2.3 million. United States_sentence_436

The Department of Defense also employed about 700,000 civilians, not including contractors. United States_sentence_437

Military service in the United States is voluntary, although conscription may occur in wartime through the Selective Service System. United States_sentence_438

From 1940 until 1973, conscription was mandatory even during peacetime. United States_sentence_439

Today, American forces can be rapidly deployed by the Air Force's large fleet of transport aircraft, the Navy's 11 active aircraft carriers, and Marine expeditionary units at sea with the Navy's Atlantic and Pacific fleets. United States_sentence_440

The military operates about 800 bases and facilities abroad, and maintains deployments greater than 100 active duty personnel in 25 foreign countries. United States_sentence_441

The United States spent $649 billion on its military in 2019, 36% of global military spending. United States_sentence_442

At 4.7% of GDP, the rate was the second-highest among the top 15 military spenders, after Saudi Arabia. United States_sentence_443

Defense spending plays a major role in science and technology investment, with roughly half of U.S. federal research and development funded by the Department of Defense. United States_sentence_444

Defense's share of the overall U.S. economy has generally declined in recent decades, from early Cold War peaks of 14.2% of GDP in 1953 and 69.5% of federal spending in 1954 to 4.7% of GDP and 18.8% of federal spending in 2011. United States_sentence_445

The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and one of nine countries to possess nuclear weapons. United States_sentence_446

The United States possesses the second-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. United States_sentence_447

More than 40% of the world's 14,000 nuclear weapons are held by the United States. United States_sentence_448

Law enforcement and crime United States_section_24

Main articles: Law enforcement in the United States and Crime in the United States United States_sentence_449

See also: Law of the United States, Human rights in the United States § Justice system, Incarceration in the United States, and Police brutality in the United States United States_sentence_450

Law enforcement in the United States is primarily the responsibility of local police departments and sheriff's offices, with state police providing broader services. United States_sentence_451

Federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. United States_sentence_452

Marshals Service have specialized duties, including protecting civil rights, national security and enforcing U.S. United States_sentence_453

federal courts' rulings and federal laws. United States_sentence_454

State courts conduct most criminal trials while federal courts handle certain designated crimes as well as certain appeals from the state criminal courts. United States_sentence_455

A cross-sectional analysis of the World Health Organization Mortality Database from 2010 showed that United States homicide rates "were 7.0 times higher than in other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher." United States_sentence_456

In 2016, the U.S. murder rate was 5.4 per 100,000. United States_sentence_457

The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate and largest prison population in the world. United States_sentence_458

As of 2020, the Prison Policy Initiative reported that there were some 2.3 million people incarcerated. United States_sentence_459

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the majority of inmates held in federal prisons are convicted of drug offenses. United States_sentence_460

The imprisonment rate for all prisoners sentenced to more than a year in state or federal facilities is 478 per 100,000 in 2013. United States_sentence_461

About 9% of prisoners are held in privatized prisons, a practice beginning in the 1980s and a subject of contention. United States_sentence_462

Capital punishment is sanctioned in the United States for certain federal and military crimes, and at the state level in 28 states, though three states have moratoriums on carrying out the penalty imposed by their governors. United States_sentence_463

In 2019, the country had the sixth-highest number of executions in the world, following China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Egypt. United States_sentence_464

No executions took place from 1967 to 1977, owing in part to a U.S. United States_sentence_465 Supreme Court ruling striking down the practice. United States_sentence_466

Since the decision, however, there have been more than 1,500 executions. United States_sentence_467

In recent years the number of executions and presence of capital punishment statute on whole has trended down nationally, with several states recently abolishing the penalty. United States_sentence_468

See also: Capital punishment in the United States United States_sentence_469

Economy United States_section_25

Main article: Economy of the United States United States_sentence_470

See also: Economic history of the United States, List of companies of the United States by state, List of largest companies in the United States by revenue, and Lists of companies United States_sentence_471

United States_table_infobox_1

Economic indicatorsUnited States_header_cell_1_0_0
Nominal GDPUnited States_cell_1_1_0 $20.66 trillion (Q3 2018)United States_cell_1_1_1 United States_cell_1_1_2
Real GDP growthUnited States_cell_1_2_0 3.5% (Q3 2018)United States_cell_1_2_1 United States_cell_1_2_2
United States_cell_1_3_0 2.1% (2017)United States_cell_1_3_1 United States_cell_1_3_2
CPI inflationUnited States_cell_1_4_0 2.2% (November 2018)United States_cell_1_4_1 United States_cell_1_4_2
Employment-to-population ratioUnited States_cell_1_5_0 60.6% (November 2018)United States_cell_1_5_1 United States_cell_1_5_2
UnemploymentUnited States_cell_1_6_0 3.7% (November 2018)United States_cell_1_6_1 United States_cell_1_6_2
Labor force participation rateUnited States_cell_1_7_0 62.9% (November 2018)United States_cell_1_7_1 United States_cell_1_7_2
Total public debtUnited States_cell_1_8_0 $21.85 trillion (November 2018)United States_cell_1_8_1 United States_cell_1_8_2
Household net worthUnited States_cell_1_9_0 $109.0 trillion (Q3 2018)United States_cell_1_9_1 United States_cell_1_9_2

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. United States_sentence_472

The United States is the largest importer of goods and second-largest exporter, though exports per capita are relatively low. United States_sentence_473

In 2010, the total U.S. United States_sentence_474 trade deficit was $635 billion. United States_sentence_475

Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and Germany are its top trading partners. United States_sentence_476

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. United States_sentence_477

The country ranks ninth in the world in nominal GDP per capita and sixth in GDP per capita at PPP. United States_sentence_478

The U.S. United States_sentence_479 dollar is the world's primary reserve currency. United States_sentence_480

In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 86.4% of the economy. United States_sentence_481

While its economy has reached a postindustrial level of development, the United States remains an industrial power. United States_sentence_482

In August 2010, the American labor force consisted of 154.1 million people (50%). United States_sentence_483

With 21.2 million people, government is the leading field of employment. United States_sentence_484

The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with 16.4 million people. United States_sentence_485

It has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than most European nations. United States_sentence_486

The United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation and is one of a few countries in the world without paid family leave as a legal right. United States_sentence_487

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. United States_sentence_488

In 2009, the United States had the third-highest workforce productivity per person in the world, behind Luxembourg and Norway. United States_sentence_489

Science and technology United States_section_26

Main articles: Science and technology in the United States and Science policy of the United States United States_sentence_490

The United States has been a leader in technological innovation since the late 19th century and scientific research since the mid-20th century. United States_sentence_491

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. United States_sentence_492

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. United States_sentence_493

Factory electrification in the early 20th century and introduction of the assembly line and other labor-saving techniques created the system of mass production. United States_sentence_494

In the 21st century, approximately two-thirds of research and development funding comes from the private sector. United States_sentence_495

The United States leads the world in scientific research papers and impact factor. United States_sentence_496

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone. United States_sentence_497

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. United States_sentence_498

The latter led to emergence of the worldwide entertainment industry. United States_sentence_499

In the early 20th century, the automobile companies of Ransom E. Olds and Henry Ford popularized the assembly line. United States_sentence_500

The Wright brothers, in 1903, made the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight. United States_sentence_501

The rise of fascism and Nazism in the 1920s and 30s led many European scientists, including Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and John von Neumann, to immigrate to the United States. United States_sentence_502

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. United States_sentence_503

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. United States_sentence_504

This, in turn, led to the establishment of many new technology companies and regions around the country such as Silicon Valley in California. United States_sentence_505

Advancements by American microprocessor companies such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel, along with both computer software and hardware companies such as Adobe Systems, Apple Inc., IBM, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems, created and popularized the personal computer. United States_sentence_506

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. United States_sentence_507

Income, poverty and wealth United States_section_27

Further information: Income in the United States, Poverty in the United States, Affluence in the United States, United States counties by per capita income, and Income inequality in the United States United States_sentence_508

Accounting for 4.24% of the global population, Americans collectively possess 29.4% of the world's total wealth, the largest percentage of any country. United States_sentence_509

Americans also make up roughly half of the world's population of millionaires. United States_sentence_510

The Global Food Security Index ranked the U.S. number one for food affordability and overall food security in March 2013. United States_sentence_511

Americans on average have more than twice as much living space per dwelling and per person as EU residents. United States_sentence_512

For 2017 the United Nations Development Programme ranked the United States 13th among 189 countries in its Human Development Index (HDI) and 25th among 151 countries in its inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI). United States_sentence_513

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 possess only 2%. United States_sentence_514

According to the Federal Reserve, the top 1% controlled 38.6% of the country's wealth in 2016. United States_sentence_515

In 2017, Forbes found that just three individuals (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates) held more money than the bottom half of the population. United States_sentence_516

According to a 2018 study by the OECD, the United States has a larger percentage of low-income workers than almost any other developed nation, largely because of a weak collective bargaining system and lack of government support for at-risk workers. United States_sentence_517

The top one percent of income-earners accounted for 52 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2015, where income is defined as market income excluding government transfers. United States_sentence_518

After years of stagnation, median household income reached a record high in 2016 following two consecutive years of record growth. United States_sentence_519

Income inequality remains at record highs however, with the top fifth of earners taking home more than half of all overall income. United States_sentence_520

The rise in the share of total annual income received by the top one percent, which has more than doubled from nine percent in 1976 to 20 percent in 2011, has significantly affected income inequality, leaving the United States with one of the widest income distributions among OECD nations. United States_sentence_521

The extent and relevance of income inequality is a matter of debate. United States_sentence_522

There were about 567,715 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the U.S. in January 2019, with almost two-thirds staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. United States_sentence_523

In 2011, 16.7 million children lived in food-insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels, though only 845,000 U.S. children (1.1%) saw reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns at some point during the year, and most cases were not chronic. United States_sentence_524

As of June 2018, 40 million people, roughly 12.7% of the U.S. population, were living in poverty, including 13.3 million children. United States_sentence_525

Of those impoverished, 18.5 million live in deep poverty (family income below one-half of the poverty threshold) and over five million live "in 'Third World' conditions". United States_sentence_526

In 2017, the U.S. states or territories with the lowest and highest poverty rates were New Hampshire (7.6%) and American Samoa (65%), respectively. United States_sentence_527

The economic impact and mass unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has raised fears of a mass eviction crisis, with an analysis by the Aspen Institute indicating that between 30 and 40 million people are at risk for eviction by the end of 2020. United States_sentence_528

Infrastructure United States_section_28

Transportation United States_section_29

Main article: Transportation in the United States United States_sentence_529

Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles, which operate on a network of 4 million miles (6.4 million kilometers) of public roads. United States_sentence_530

The United States has the world's second-largest automobile market, and has the highest vehicle ownership per capita in the world, with 816.4 vehicles per 1,000 Americans (2014). United States_sentence_531

In 2017, there were 255,009,283 non-two wheel motor vehicles, or about 910 vehicles per 1,000 people. United States_sentence_532

The civil airline industry is entirely privately owned and has been largely deregulated since 1978, while most major airports are publicly owned. United States_sentence_533

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. United States_sentence_534

Of the world's 50 busiest passenger airports, 16 are in the United States, including the busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. United States_sentence_535

Transport is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions by the United States, which are the second highest by country, exceeded only by China's. United States_sentence_536

The United States has historically been the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases, and greenhouse gas emissions per capita remain high. United States_sentence_537

Energy United States_section_30

Further information: Energy policy of the United States United States_sentence_538

The United States energy market is about 29,000 terawatt hours per year. United States_sentence_539

In 2005, 40% of this energy came from petroleum, 23% from coal, and 22% from natural gas. United States_sentence_540

The remainder was supplied by nuclear and renewable energy sources. United States_sentence_541

Culture United States_section_31

Main article: Culture of the United States United States_sentence_542

The United States is home to many cultures and a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values. United States_sentence_543

Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated within the past five centuries. United States_sentence_544

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. United States_sentence_545

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. United States_sentence_546

Americans have traditionally been characterized by a strong work ethic, competitiveness, and individualism, 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. United States_sentence_547

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. United States_sentence_548

The American Dream, or the perception that Americans enjoy high social mobility, plays a key role in attracting immigrants. United States_sentence_549

Whether this perception is accurate has been a topic of debate. United States_sentence_550

While mainstream culture holds that the United States is a classless society, scholars identify significant differences between the country's social classes, affecting socialization, language, and values. United States_sentence_551

Americans tend to greatly value socioeconomic achievement, but being ordinary or average is also generally seen as a positive attribute. United States_sentence_552

Literature, philosophy, and visual art United States_section_32

Main articles: American literature, American philosophy, Architecture of the United States, and Visual art of the United States United States_sentence_553

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, American art and literature took most of its cues from Europe. United States_sentence_554

Writers such as Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry David Thoreau established a distinctive American literary voice by the middle of the 19th century. United States_sentence_555

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. United States_sentence_556

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. United States_sentence_557 Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925) and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)—may be dubbed the "Great American Novel." United States_sentence_558

Thirteen U.S. citizens have won the Nobel Prize in Literature. United States_sentence_559

William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck are often named among the most influential writers of the 20th century. United States_sentence_560

Popular literary genres such as the Western and hardboiled crime fiction developed in the United States. United States_sentence_561

The Beat Generation writers opened up new literary approaches, as have postmodernist authors such as John Barth, Thomas Pynchon, and Don DeLillo. United States_sentence_562

The transcendentalists, led by Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, established the first major American philosophical movement. United States_sentence_563

After the Civil War, Charles Sanders Peirce and then William James and John Dewey were leaders in the development of pragmatism. United States_sentence_564

In the 20th century, the work of W. United States_sentence_565 V. O. Quine and Richard Rorty, and later Noam Chomsky, brought analytic philosophy to the fore of American philosophical academia. United States_sentence_566

John Rawls and Robert Nozick also led a revival of political philosophy. United States_sentence_567

In the visual arts, the Hudson River School was a mid-19th-century movement in the tradition of European naturalism. United States_sentence_568

The 1913 Armory Show in New York City, an exhibition of European modernist art, shocked the public and transformed the U.S. art scene. United States_sentence_569

Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, and others experimented with new, individualistic styles. United States_sentence_570

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. United States_sentence_571

The tide of modernism and then postmodernism has brought fame to American architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and Frank Gehry. United States_sentence_572

Americans have long been important in the modern artistic medium of photography, with major photographers including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, and Ansel Adams. United States_sentence_573

Food United States_section_33

Main article: Cuisine of the United States United States_sentence_574

Early settlers were introduced by Native Americans to such indigenous, non-European foods as turkey, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup. United States_sentence_575

They and later immigrants combined these with foods they had known, such as wheat flour, beef, and milk to create a distinctive American cuisine. United States_sentence_576

Homegrown 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. United States_sentence_577

The American fast food industry, the world's largest, pioneered the drive-through format in the 1940s. United States_sentence_578

Characteristic dishes such as apple pie, fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrants. United States_sentence_579

French fries, Mexican dishes such as burritos and tacos, and pasta dishes freely adapted from Italian sources are widely consumed. United States_sentence_580

Americans drink three times as much coffee as tea. United States_sentence_581

Marketing by U.S. industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages. United States_sentence_582

Music United States_section_34

Main articles: Music of the United States and American classical music United States_sentence_583

One of America's early composers was a man named William Billings who, born in Boston, composed patriotic hymns in the 1770s. United States_sentence_584

From the 1800s John Philip Sousa is regarded as one of America's greatest composers. United States_sentence_585

Although 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. United States_sentence_586

Aaron Copland and George Gershwin developed a new synthesis of popular and classical music. United States_sentence_587

The rhythmic and lyrical styles of African-American music have deeply influenced American music at large, distinguishing it from European and African traditions. United States_sentence_588

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. United States_sentence_589

Jazz was developed by innovators such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington early in the 20th century. United States_sentence_590

Country music developed in the 1920s, and rhythm and blues in the 1940s. United States_sentence_591

Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were among the mid-1950s pioneers of rock and roll. United States_sentence_592

Rock bands such as Metallica, the Eagles, and Aerosmith are among the highest grossing in worldwide sales. United States_sentence_593

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. United States_sentence_594

More recent American creations include hip hop, salsa, techno, and house music. United States_sentence_595

American pop stars such as Presley, Michael Jackson and Madonna have become global celebrities, as have contemporary musical artists such as Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Eminem, and Kanye West. United States_sentence_596

Cinema United States_section_35

Main article: Cinema of the United States United States_sentence_597

Hollywood, a northern district of Los Angeles, California, is one of the leaders in motion picture production. United States_sentence_598

The world's first commercial motion picture exhibition was given in New York City in 1894, using Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope. United States_sentence_599

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. United States_sentence_600

Director D. United States_sentence_601 W. Griffith, the top American 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. United States_sentence_602

Directors such as John Ford redefined the image of the American Old West, and, like others such as John Huston, broadened the possibilities of cinema with location shooting. United States_sentence_603

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, with screen actors such as John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe becoming iconic figures. United States_sentence_604

In the 1970s, "New Hollywood" or the "Hollywood Renaissance" was defined by grittier films influenced by French and Italian realist pictures of the post-war period. United States_sentence_605

In more recent times, directors such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and James Cameron have gained renown for their blockbuster films, often characterized by high production costs and earnings. United States_sentence_606

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, 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). United States_sentence_607

The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, have been held annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1929, and the Golden Globe Awards have been held annually since January 1944. United States_sentence_608

Sports United States_section_36

Main article: Sports in the United States United States_sentence_609

American football is by several measures the most popular spectator sport; the National Football League (NFL) has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world, and the Super Bowl is watched by tens of millions globally. United States_sentence_610

Baseball has been regarded as the U.S. national sport since the late 19th century, with Major League Baseball (MLB) being the top league. United States_sentence_611

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). United States_sentence_612

College football and basketball attract large audiences. United States_sentence_613

In soccer (a sport that has gained a footing in the United States since the mid-1990s), 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 four times; Major League Soccer is the sport's highest league in the United States (featuring 23 American and three Canadian teams). United States_sentence_614

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. United States_sentence_615

Eight Olympic Games have taken place in the United States. United States_sentence_616

The 1904 Summer Olympics in St. United States_sentence_617 Louis, Missouri, were the first ever Olympic Games held outside of Europe. United States_sentence_618

As of 2017, the United States has won 2,522 medals at the Summer Olympic Games, more than any other country, and 305 in the Winter Olympic Games, the second most behind Norway. United States_sentence_619

While most major U.S. sports such as baseball and American football have evolved out of European practices, basketball, volleyball, skateboarding, and snowboarding are American inventions, some of which have become popular worldwide. United States_sentence_620

Lacrosse and surfing arose from Native American and Native Hawaiian activities that predate Western contact. United States_sentence_621

The most watched individual sports are golf and auto racing, particularly NASCAR. United States_sentence_622

Mass media United States_section_37

Further information: Media of the United States United States_sentence_623

See also: Newspapers in the United States, Television in the United States, Internet in the United States, Radio in the United States, List of United States magazines, and Video games in the United States United States_sentence_624

The four major broadcasters in the U.S. are the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), American Broadcasting Company (ABC), and Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX). United States_sentence_625

The four major broadcast television networks are all commercial entities. United States_sentence_626

Cable television offers hundreds of channels catering to a variety of niches. United States_sentence_627

Americans listen to radio programming, also largely commercial, on average just over two-and-a-half hours a day. United States_sentence_628

In 1998, the number of U.S. commercial radio stations had grown to 4,793 AM stations and 5,662 FM stations. United States_sentence_629

In addition, there are 1,460 public radio stations. United States_sentence_630

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. United States_sentence_631

Much public-radio broadcasting is supplied by NPR. United States_sentence_632

NPR was incorporated in February 1970 under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967; its television counterpart, PBS, was created by the same legislation. United States_sentence_633

As of September 30, 2014, there are 15,433 licensed full-power radio stations in the U.S. according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). United States_sentence_634

Well-known newspapers include The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. United States_sentence_635

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. United States_sentence_636

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. United States_sentence_637

Major cities often have "alternative weeklies" to complement the mainstream daily papers, such as New York City's The Village Voice or Los Angeles' LA Weekly. United States_sentence_638

Major cities may also support a local business journal, trade papers relating to local industries, and papers for local ethnic and social groups. United States_sentence_639

Aside from web portals and search engines, the most popular websites are Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Yahoo! United States_sentence_640 , eBay, Amazon, and Twitter. United States_sentence_641

More than 800 publications are produced in Spanish, the second most commonly used language in the United States behind English. United States_sentence_642

See also United States_section_38

United States_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United States.