Logo
 

 

 
UNITED STATES
 
   
   
 

United States Identity Card

Country name:
~ conventional long form: United States of America
~ conventional short form: United States
 


 
Area: 9,631,418 sq km
Coastline: 19,924 km
Highest point: Mount McKinley 6,194 m
Population: 293,655,404
Density: 30/km2
Population growth rate: 0.92%
Official Language: English
Religions: Protestant 52%, Roman Catholic 24%, Mormon 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 1%, other 10%, none 10%
Government type: Constitution-based federal republic
Capital: Washington, D.C.
GDP - per capita: $40,100
Inflation rate: 2.5%
Currency (code): US dollar (USD)
Vehicle Country Id-Code: USA
ISO CODE Alpha2: US
ISO CODE Alpha3: USA
ISO NUMERIC CODE: 840
Calling code: +1
Internet country code: .us
Time Zone: -5.0 H / -8.0 H
 
 
 
 

Washington, The Capitol Building

The United States of America is one of the most dynamic countries on earth. To millions around the world, it is the ultimate destination of dreams, desires and wealth, in short a magical land with something for everyone. Right from politics, economy, social arena, scientific expositions, geographical diversity to quality of life, United States of America nestles a distinct feature about all aspects of life and times. The wide range of vivid terrains, diverse cultures, multiethnic population, vast cities and small friendly towns all come together to raise the country as the global leader in every sense of the word. The United States of America, apart from its official adage is often fondly referred to as the United States, the U.S., the U.S.A., the States, or simply and most commonly, America. It is only part of the North America but manages to command enough gravity and importance that makes the reference of U.S.A synonymous to the whole continent.
The United States of America is located in the central part of North America and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, Canada and Mexico. The jurisdiction of United States also includes the state of Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska is located on the tip of north western part of North America between the Arctic and Pacific oceans and is separated from the mainland by Canada on the east. The state of Hawaii is basically a conglomeration of islands that is situated on the Pacific Ocean off the south west coast of San Francisco. Washington, D.C., is the capital of the United States, and New York is its largest city and hub of commercial activities. Politically, the United States of America is a federal democratic republic that came into existence in July 4, 1776 after the unification of the 13 separate states of the region. Today it is a confederation of fifty states and one district, which are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia. The official joining of these states are addressed as “the date that states entered the Union" in the history of United States. From that time on the nation forged ahead collectively to emerge as the most affluent, inventive and powerful country on earth. There were many hurdles in the way that includes the devastation of two World Wars, the shocks of Great Depression, Cold War with Russia, Civil turmoil and uprisings, brutality of terrorism and many more. But each time the United States of America emerged victorious and presently it wields a major influence on international politics, defence matters, peace issues, technological progress, social evils and cultural affairs.


Statue of Liberty, New York

The United States of America is a traveller’s haven and reveller’s paradise. Gigantic man made wonders, awe-inspiring natural splendours, dramatic historical remains, brain twisting technological developments, exciting city life, rustic country sides, you name it and get it all in the single identity of United States of America. Nature lovers can immerse themselves amidst ecological surprise while visiting the Rocky Mountains, Florida Keys, Grand Canyons, wine regions of Napa and Sonoma in California, giant five lakes, tropical Hawaiian Islands and the unexplored wilderness of Alaska. You can also get a feel of the well-documented trials and tribulations of the people of United States and their success stories from the numerous monuments, memorials and museums of the country, especially at the capital of Washington, D.C. and Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota. Whether you stand at the footsteps of the Statue of Liberty in New York City, glitter in the glamour of Hollywood, regale at Disneyland or relax under the sun at Miami Beach, life is calling at the United States of America. Another aspect that needs a definite mention when describing the country is its multi faceted music. Music is an integral part of the United States of America and different categories of rhythm project a distinctive view of the American culture. From blues and jazz to country and rock and roll, each of them describe on their own way the experience of living in America and create a matchless musical highway across the country. Caution is in the air and things do have changed a bit after the World Trade centre attacks of 11th September, 2001, but the indomitable American spirit is intact and still vibes with a thriving life style.


Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River Glen Canyon

Geography

The United States of America is enriched with some truly mind-blowing landscapes and explicit ecological attributes. The conterminous part of United States is made of the 48 states of the country, leaving aside the states of Alaska and Hawaii that are separated from the mainland by foreign land and ocean waters respectively. The main terrain is spread over central North America from Canada on the north to Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico on the south and from the Atlantic Ocean on the east to the Pacific Ocean on the west. The coastal boundaries are washed by the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea, in the eastern and southeastern sides, a bit of Arctic Ocean on the extreme north and the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea on the western frontiers. The overseas territories and areas of the United States of America include Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands of the United States in the Caribbean Basin, the Pacific regions of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Wake Island, and several other islands. The country also possesses political collaborations with the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The United States of America takes away the central chunk of North America with an area of 3,718,711 square miles (9,631,418 km²) and it is home to some 295,734,000 people. This makes United States the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country by calculation of area. The inland of the country is a diverse terrain that is spattered with mountains, forests, grasslands, deserts, lakes, rivers and coastline. So vast and vivid is the landscape of United States of America that it is near to impossible to categorise each environmental zone according to different natural features.
Roughly, it is divided into eight major regions. To start with the top most region of the country, there lays the Laurentian Highlands that crosses over the Canadian borders and rolls down to the territories of United States of America. This zone is strategically important because the five great lakes of America are situated here and Canada and United States of America shares four of them within their boundaries. Next, the coastal regions of the eastern and southern parts of the country by the side of the Atlantic sea and the Gulf area are known as the Atlantic Plain. It is basically a low land. The plains are complemented by the heights of the Appalachian Highlands that includes the Appalachian Mountains, Adirondacks and New England province. They lie on the eastern side of the United States and follow a peculiar oblique trend from northeast to southwest in their formation. Then the great Interior Plains that are the dense habitation grounds of the country comes. This flat surface area is only a part of the Great Plains of America. The Ozark Plateau brings a diversion to the plain lands and forms of the Interior Highlands. The Rocky Mountain System is part of the extended American cordillera that forms the western backbone of both North America and South America. The mountain ranges guard the western frontiers and gradually roll down deep into the mainland. The Intermontane Plateaus are perhaps the most exciting topographical part of United States of America. The region is the sum total of the Columbia Plateau, the Colorado Plateau and the Basin and Range Province. Tabletop valleys, uneven basins, rugged ranges and gorges between the Rocky and Pacific Mountain Systems are highlights of the area. This part of the country derives its importance from the existence of the Grand Canyon, the Great Basin and Death Valley.
Finally, the Pacific Mountain System is the extreme west resident of the United States. The area is marked by beautiful seashores on the backdrop of towering hilly regions. Further, the United States has an extensive inland waterway system surrounding its big rivers. The Mississippi-Missouri river is the longest in the United States and the second longest in the world. This river along with its tributaries Red River, Ohio, and the Arkansas and other rivers like the Yukon, Columbia, Colorado, Rio Grande, Connecticut, Hudson and Delaware create huge river basins and drain the mainland of the country. Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior together make the Great Five Lakes of America and are the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes. Mount McKinley at 20,320 feet above sea level is the highest point of United States of America and is situated in Denali Borough, Alaska. The sharp contrast lies in the lowest point at Death Valley of California that is 282 feet below sea level.


Road in Death Valley National Park

Climate

The United States of America’s landscape is one of the most varied among the world and so does its climate. The most important and visible climatic zones are the temperate forestland and rolling hills of the east, the Mississippi–Missouri river basin, the central Great Plains, the Great Lakes zones in north, the mangrove in Florida, the south western deserts and temperate coastal zones, the Rocky Mountains, the rain forests on the Pacific front, the tundra valley of Alaska and finally the tropical and volcanic zones of Hawaii. The hot and humid tropical temperature is experienced in Florida too. But the northern Lake area and eastern Atlantic coasts are swept by moderate continental climate that consists of warm summers and cold winters. Down south the mercury keeps rising with humid climate. Winters make a brief stopover here as scorching heat of the summers dominate the region. The rainfall and subsequent greenery decreases off its way up to the Rocky Mountains. Texas, California and much of Nevada falls under the barren lands of desert. However, the rain gods are lenient on the Pacific Northwest; hence a rainforest is sprung in the area. The favourite Mediterranean climate is experienced in some parts of the United States of America.


The Alamo in San Antonio Texas

History

Mount Rushmore

United States of America has come a long way from the day when it emerged in the fag end of fifteenth century as a land of immense opportunities. It was Christopher Columbus who first introduced the future super power to the rest of the world when he landed on the island of Guanahani of Bahamas on October 12th 1492. He initially named it San Salvador, but later it was aptly christened as the New World considering the prosperous choices it brought for the not so privileged Europeans. The first British touch to present day United States of America came with John Cabot who explored the North American coast for England in 1498. However, this doesn’t mean that previous to these explorations, United States was a barren no man’s land. In fact, evidences suggest human existence in the country territories way back in the primitive age. The Anasazi and the Woodland Indians was the thousand years old native tribe to this country and comprised of more than a million strong populations. The major Native American Indian tribes were the Apache, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chinook, Comanche, Dakota, Hopi, Lakota, Iroquoi, Navajo, Pawnee, Seminole, Shawnee and Sioux. Even the Vikings touched the North American shores around 1000 but they never established any settlement. By the seventeenth century the Spanish first began to settle in the country around the region of present day Florida. The permanent establishment of Spain started from the place of Saint Augustine in 1565 by the Spaniard Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and quickly the Spanish exercised control over Florida, West Florida, Texas, and a large part of the Southwest, including California. The most important English settlement happened at the same time in Jamestown, Virginia. But the British establishment gained prominence in 1620 when a group of Protestants sailed on the Mayflower to America and went on to be known as the "Pilgrim Fathers". This incident opened the floodgates for European settlers to United States of America and the Swedish and Dutch arrived in close interval. Among all the races that arrived to the American shores, the British were the most influential and prosperous. They came to be known as the British American Colonies and were ruled by a Governor who represented the British monarchy. However, the peace was disturbed when fighting ensued between the British and the French over land possession in North America. The British government tried to make up war expenditure by imposing taxes and duties on American trade and this infuriated the settlers immensely. The 13 British colonies defied this autocracy through the famous event of Boston Tea Party in 1773. In protest of the unjustified taxes and denial of representation in the British Parliament, the colonies came together and rebelled against England under the leadership of George Washington. This caused the outbreak of the American War of Independence that went on from 1775 to 1783. Then on 4th July 1776 with the Declaration of Independence United States of America emerged as the world's first constitutional and democratic federal republic. The political structure of the confederation changed many courses before the American Constitution was finally ratified in 1789.
The first thirteen colonies to join the confederation were New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Massachusetts Bay, South Carolina, Rhode Island and Providence Colony, Georgia, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Virginia and New Jersey. In the next succeeding decades, the territories of United States of America extended with the annexation of Louisiana Florida and inclusion of Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico as result of the Mexican War in 1845. The following decades witnessed the famous westward with essence of Manifest Destiny and American Gold Rush in California.
However the stigmatised and much criticised slavery policies of the southern states of United States aggrieved the northern citizens and the devastating Civil War (1861-65) followed between the Confederate States of the South and the "Yankee" States of the North. The war shook the plinth of American spirit but slavery was abolished forever in the initiation of Abraham Lincoln who issued the Emancipation Proclamation. After this period, the United States of America embarked on its journey to industrialisation and commercialisation of the economy. In the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, the country indulged in expansionism and acquired Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. Philippines were later freed but many other dependencies were formed under the United States rule across the globe.
In the earlier half of the twentieth century, United Sates of America suffered some major setbacks. Though it emerged victorious from both the World Wars, the Great Depression of 1929, the Pearl harbour bombing, atomic attacks on Japan and the curse of Vietnam wars shattered the nation. However, the recovery was fast and miraculous and the country came forth as Super Power of the world with only competition from Russia that was also conquered after the breaking up of the later. Space technology, information and communication technology, education, health; it exceeded the expectation of development in all fronts. Today United States of America is a key member of NATO and United Nations and is involved in police actions and peacekeeping activities in various countries.


New York Skyline by night

Economy

United States of America is now one of the leading industrial and economic powers in the world. The uniform and overwhelming development of the highly diverse and technologically advanced American economy throughout the twentieth century termed it as "the American Century". Today, the country is a powerhouse of modern inventions and technological advancement that is regularly witnessed in the fields of telecommunication, television, computer, the Internet, nuclear weapons and power, aviation, and aeronautics. The pillars of economic strength of the United States of America are steady growth trends, low unemployment and inflation rates and rapid advances in technology. Both the natural and human initiated treasures have supported the financial sector of country. The natural wealth of resources includes fertile lands that are suitable for habitation, agriculture, industrialisation, supporting livestock and growing timber and commercially viable natural product. The rich mineral deposits of United States of America are coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron, gold, silver, copper, lead, phosphates, zinc, magnesium and uranium. Good productivity of the electricity sector and high investments helped in establishing profitable manufacturing units and industries in iron and steel, paper, chemicals, motor vehicles, aerospace, electronics, computer hardware, telecommunications, computer software, clothes and food processing. The space industry is the most prominent among all that is supervised by NASA and recently it has ventured into manufacturing of aircraft and electronics goods.
The economic set up of United States of America is further enhanced by its skilled labour force and highly regarded entrepreneurial abilities. This is reflected in the high privatisation rate of the country. Private companies enjoy a substantial amount of liberty while deciding on their investment rate, expansion policies, foreign collaboration, overseas expansion, export and import policies and budgetary allocation. This level of freedom on behalf of the government has complemented the private owned industries to attain full bloom. Today, the per-capita gross domestic product of United States of America stands at a whooping $40,100 and the national currency of U.S. Dollar enjoys the reputation of being the strongest exchange value in the world.


Miami skyline

The industry has expanded according to the richness and availability of resources in different regions of United States of America. While Los Angeles is the most important centre for film production being home to Hollywood, Silicon Valley is the country’s hub for high-end information technology. The major portion of the manufacturing and heavy industry is situated in Midwest with Detroit, Michigan providing shelter to the American automotive industry. The "breadbasket" of America is situated in the Great Plains that has tremendous potential for agricultural output. The mines and natural gas deposits of the intermountain regions enrich industries and the Pacific Northwest nestles the fish and timber production. Texas is home to the oil industry and the Southeast regions are for those interested in the medical research and the textiles industry. Tourism is an important industry in the services sector and absorbs a large share of the workforce. Tourists from all over the globe come to the United States of America all round the year. The tourism success story is justified by the figure that in 2003, the United States was ranked as the third most visited tourist destination in the world. The country also provide the highest level of debts to other countries and enjoys an annual trade deficit of $700,000,000,000, or 6% of the total gross domestic product.
Though United States of America has its share of economic problem too. The American companies often face strict restrictions and oppositions when they try to penetrate the world market in foreign shores. The labour market too is plagued by high rate of discrimination. While the highly educated upper tier enjoys a fat salary packet and all the facilities, the other side lag behind distinctly. This segregation in comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits is reflected in the general population too. High rate of medical facilities and lack of old age support has affected a section of the economy like never before that has sparked massive dissatisfaction among the people. The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq were the other factors that hit the economy of United States of America adversely. Other financial hindrances include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups and low but stable rate of unemployment.


Seattle Skyline with The Space Needle

Politics

The United States of America emerged as the world’s first constitutional federal republic way back in eighteenth century. Since then, the country has never looked back and the administrative authorities over the centuries ensured that the democratic rights of the people are never hampered by any tyrannical way of rule. The government of the United States is basically a federal republic that is led by a president rule and supported by the constitution. The United States of America adopted its constitutional in 1789 till date restores and delegates the rights to the general population and defined the limitation of powers and authorities to the different sections of the entire political set up. As it is known that the United States of America is a conglomeration of fifty independent states, the constitution clearly and fairly mentions the distribution of powers between the federal government and the state governments.


White House, Washington D.C.

To start with, the federal government consists of three branches that are the executive, the legislative and the judicial. The executive powers are vested in the president of the United States of America who is elected to office for four-year tenure through direct polling by the general mass of the country. The president can run for election for second term and enjoys the right to select his set of cabinet ministers. The executive branch also includes a vice president who steps in the event of the President's incapacity or unavailability under emergency situations. The executive conducts the several administrative businesses of the nation that include treasury, defence, internal matters, agriculture, commerce, labour, health and human services and rights, education, housing and urban development, transportation, energy and veterans' affairs. The cabinet is composed of the Attorney General and the Secretaries of the Departments of State.
The bicameral legislative branch of the country is known as the Congress of the United States, and consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. There are total 100 senators in the senate following the selection procedure of two Senators from each of the fifty states, regardless of population. They serve six-year terms. In contrast to this, the House of Representatives enjoy strength of 435 members who remain in house for two years and represent the congressional district. The main purpose of the two houses is to oversee the proper functioning of the executive.
The citizens of United States of America enjoy almost universal suffrage from the age of 18 regardless of race, sex, or wealth.
The judicial branch is formed by the federal courts and headed by the Supreme Court of the United States of America, which consists of nine justices. The Supreme Court is the highest authority in federal and constitutional matters. The United States Courts of Appeal, United States District Courts, the State and County Courts function under the realm of the Supreme Court.

 



 

 

 
Copyright 2007 AllCountries.eu. All right reserved.