The United States of America (also referred to as the United States, the U.S., the USA, or America) is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its forty-eight contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to the east and Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also possesses several territories in the Caribbean and Pacific.
At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) and with over 308 million people, the United States is the third largest both by land area and population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The U.S. economy is the world's largest national economy.
The United Stateswas founded by thirteen British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. On July 4, 1776, they issued the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed their right to self-determination and their establishment of a cooperative union. The rebellious states defeated the British Empire in the American Revolution, the first successful colonial war of independence.
The current United States Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787; its ratification the following year made the states part of a single republic with a strong federal government. The Bill of Rights, comprising ten constitutional amendments guaranteeing many fundamental civil rights and freedoms, was ratified in 1791.
The United States, with its large size and geographic variety, includes most climate types. To the east of the 100th meridian, the climate ranges from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical in the south. On the whole theUSA has a continental climate. It is at the same time one of the hottest and one of the coldest countries; one of the wettest and one of the driest. The land area of the contiguous United States is approximately 1.9 billion acres (770 million hectares). Alaska, separated from the contiguous United States by Canada, is the largest state. The United States is the world's third or fourth largest nation by total area (land and water), ranking behind Russia and Canada. The coastal plain of the Atlantic seaboard gives way further inland to deciduous forests and the rolling hills of the Piedmont. The Appalachian Mountains divide the eastern seaboard from the Great Lakes and the grasslands of the Midwest. The Mississippi–Missouri River, the world's fourth longest river system, runs mainly north–south through the heart of the country. The flat, fertile prairie of the Great Plains stretches to the west, interrupted by a highland region in the southeast. The Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extend north to south across the country. The super volcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in the Rockies is the continent's largest volcanic feature. The United States has a capitalist mixed economy, which is fueled by abundant natural resources, a well-developedinfrastructure, and high productivity.
The United States is the largest importer of goods and third largest exporter. The leading business field by gross business receipts is wholesale and retail trade; by net income it is manufacturing. Chemical products are the leading manufacturing field. The United States is the third largest producer of oil in the world, as well as its largest importer. It is the world's number one producer of electrical and nuclear energy, as well as liquid natural gas, sulfur, phosphates, and salt. While agriculture accounts for just under 1% of GDP, the United States is the world's top producer of corn and soybeans. The New York Stock Exchange is the world's largest by dollar volume. Coca-Cola and McDonald's are the two most recognized brands in the world.
The capital of the USA is the city of Washington situated in the District of Columbia. Washington is like no other of the USA. You know that the flag of the USA, the “stars and stripes” has 50 stars on a blue background. Each of these stars represents one of the fifty states. But the city Washington is the not in any of those states. It belongs to all of them. Washington is the seat of government of the nation. The White House, where the US President lives and works, the Capitol, the home of the US Congress, and Supreme Court are all in Washington, D.C.New York is a center of finance, of shipping, of fun; New Orleans deals in cotton; Chicago will sell you wheat and cattle.
The United States is a multicultural nation, home to a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, American art and literature took most of its cues from Europe. Writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry David Thoreau established a distinctive American literary voice by the middle of the 19th century. Mark Twain and poet Walt Whitman were major figures in the century's second half; Emily Dickinson, virtually unknown during her lifetime, is now recognized as an essential American poet. 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), and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925)—may be dubbed the "Great American Novel."
Eleven U.S. citizens have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, most recently Toni Morrison in 1993. William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway are often named among the most influential writers of the 20th century.
Americans are the heaviest television viewers in the world, and the average viewing time continues to rise, reaching five hours a day in 2006. The four major broadcast networks are all commercial entities. Americans listen to radio programming, also largely commercialized, on average just over two-and-a-half hours a day. Aside from web portals and search engines, the most popular websites are Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Blogger, eBay, and Craigslist.
The United States is a sports-loving nation. Sports in America take a variety of forms: organized competitive struggles, athletic games played for recreation, and hunting and fishing. Most sports are seasonal, some are commercial and professional.
Baseball is the most popular sports in the United States. Football is the most popular sport. It is still played by almost every college and university in the country. There are professional football teams in all major cities of the United States. Basketball is the winter sport in American schools and colleges. Other spectator sports include wrestling, boxing, and horse racing. Americans like both to engage in sports and to watch games being played. They are also fond of reading and talking about sports. Usually, several pages of the daily paper are devoted to discussing sports events, and games are carried on television and radio.
The United Statesis often described as a nation on wheels. There are a great number of modern highways from four to ten traffic lanes.