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United States

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United States of America
Motto: 
Other traditional mottos:[2]
  • "
    Latin
    )

    "Out of many, one"
  • "
    Latin
    )

    "Providence favors our undertakings"
  • "
    Latin
    )

    "New order of the ages"
Anthem: "
None at the federal level[a]
National languageEnglish (de facto)
Ethnic groups
(2020)[6][7][8]
By race:[b]
By Hispanic or Latino origin:
Religion
(2021)[9]
  • 29%
    Government
Federal presidential constitutional republic
• President
Joe Biden
Kamala Harris
Nancy Pelosi
John Roberts
Legislature
Confederation
March 1, 1781 (1781-03-01)
September 3, 1783 (1783-09-03)
June 21, 1788 (1788-06-21)
August 21, 1959 (1959-08-21)
Population
• 2021 estimate
Neutral increase 331,893,745[e][13]
• 2020 census
331,449,281[f][14] (3rd)
• Density
87/sq mi (33.6/km2) (185th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $25.035 trillion[15] (2nd)
• Per capita
Increase $75,180[15] (8th)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $25.035 trillion[15] (1st)
• Per capita
Increase $75,180[15] (7th)
Gini (2020)Negative increase 46.9[16]
high
HDI (2021)Increase 0.921[17]
very high · 21st
CurrencyU.S. dollar ($) (USD)
Time zoneUTC−4 to −12, +10, +11
• Summer (DST)
UTC−4 to −10[g]
Date formatmm/dd/yyyy[h]
Driving sideright[i]
Calling code+1
ISO 3166 codeUS

The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or informally America, is a country in

Bahamas, Cuba, Russia, and other nations.[k] With a population of over 331 million,[e] it is the third most populous country in the world. The national capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city and financial center is New York City
.

Paleo-aboriginals migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago, and advanced cultures began to appear later on. These advanced cultures had almost completely declined by the time the Europeans had arrived in North America, who subsequently began to colonize the continent. The United States emerged from the Thirteen British Colonies when disputes with the British Crown over taxation and political representation led to the American Revolution (1765–1784), which established the nation's independence. In the late 18th century, the U.S. began expanding across North America, gradually obtaining new territories, sometimes through war, frequently displacing Native Americans, and admitting new states. By 1848, the United States spanned the continent from east to west. The controversy surrounding the practice of slavery culminated in the secession of the Confederate States of America, which fought the remaining states of the Union during the American Civil War (1861–1865). With the Union's victory and preservation, slavery was abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment.

By 1900, the United States had become the world's largest economy, and the Spanish–American War and World War I established the country as a world power. After Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. entered World War II on the Allied side. The aftermath of the war left the United States and the Soviet Union as the world's two superpowers. During the Cold War, both countries engaged in a struggle for ideological dominance but avoided direct military conflict. They also competed in the Space Race, which culminated in the 1969 American spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Simultaneously, the civil rights movement led to legislation abolishing state and local Jim Crow laws and other codified racial discrimination against African Americans. The Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991 ended the Cold War, leaving the United States as the world's sole superpower. The September 11 attacks in 2001 resulted in the United States launching the war on terror which included the War in Afghanistan (2001–2021) and the Iraq War (2003–2011).

The United States is a federal republic with three separate branches of government, including a bicameral legislature. It is a liberal democracy and market economy; it ranks high in international measures of human rights, quality of life, income and wealth, economic competitiveness, and education; and it has low levels of perceived corruption. It has high levels of incarceration and inequality, allows capital punishment, and lacks universal health care. As a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, the U.S. has been shaped by centuries of immigration.

The United States is a highly developed country, and its economy accounts for approximately a quarter of global GDP and is the world's largest by GDP at market exchange rates. By value, the United States is the world's largest importer and second-largest exporter. Although it accounts for just over 4.2% of the world's total population, the U.S. holds over 30% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share held by any country. The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, NATO, and is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The country makes up more than a third of global military spending and is the foremost military power in the world and a leading political, cultural, and scientific force.

Etymology

The first known use of the name "America" dates to 1507, when it appeared on a world map produced by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in Saint Dié, Lorraine (now northeastern France). On his map, the name is shown in large letters on what would now be considered South America, honoring Amerigo Vespucci. 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.[26][27] In 1538, the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator used the name "America" to refer to the entire Western Hemisphere.[28]

The first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" dates from a January 2, 1776 letter written by Stephen Moylan to Joseph Reed, George Washington's aide-de-camp. 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.[29][30][31] The first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, on April 6, 1776.[32]

The second draft of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, 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'."[33] 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'."[34] 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.[33] 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.[33]

The phrase "United States" was originally plural in American usage. It described a collection of states—e.g., "the United States are..." The singular form became popular after the end of the Civil War and is now standard usage. A citizen of the United States is called an "American". "United States", "American", and "U.S." refer to the country adjectivally ("American values", "U.S. forces"). In English, the word "American" rarely refers to topics or subjects not directly connected with the United States.[35]

History

Indigenous peoples and pre-Columbian history

Aerial view of the Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace, located in present-day Colorado, was built by the Ancestral Puebloans
between AD 1190 and 1260.

It is generally accepted that the

Bering land bridge and arrived at least 12,000 years ago; however, some evidence suggests an even earlier date of arrival.[36][37][38] The Clovis culture, which appeared around 11,000 BC, is believed to represent the first wave of human settlement of the Americas.[39][40] 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.[41]

Over time, indigenous cultures in North America grew increasingly complex, and some, such as the pre-Columbian

Haudenosaunee, located in the southern Great Lakes region, was established at some point between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries.[45] Most prominent along the Atlantic coast were the Algonquian tribes, who practiced hunting and trapping, along with limited farming.[46]

Estimating the native population of North America during European contact is difficult.

European settlements