July 4, 1776
In God We Trust
|Area (50 states and District of Columbia only):||
9,631,418 sq km
American culture is a Western culture, largely based on British culture with influences from other parts of Europe, the Native American peoples, African Americans and to a lesser extent Asian Americans and other young groups of immigrants. Due to the extent of American culture there are many integrated but unique subcultures within the U.S.
The current U.S.A. population is over 311 million people (311,800,000 in mid-2011) so the United States has the world\\\'sthird largest population (following China and India).
As the world\\\'s population is approximately 6.8 billion, the current United States population represents a mere 4.5% of the world\\\'s population so about one in every twenty people on the planet is a resident of the United States of America.
The climate in USA varies across different parts of the country. Generally, the western and southern parts of US have warmer weather as compared to the eastern and northern parts. The eastern/northern parts of US experience harsh winters with heavy snowfall but the summers are pleasant. The western/southern part has extremely hot summers and comparatively tolerable winters. Find out where you are likely to stay in the US and plan accordingly.
USA can be divided into six climate regions, excluding Alaska, Hawaii and outlying territories. The climate varies considerably between different regions.
The U.S. borders both the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans and is bordered by Canada and Mexico. It is the third largest country in the world by area and has a varied topography. The eastern regions consist of hills and low mountains while the central interior is a vast plain (called the Great Plains region) and the west has high rugged mountain ranges (some of which are volcanic in the Pacific Northwest). Alaska also features rugged mountains as well as river valleys. Hawaii\\\'s landscape varies but is dominated by volcanic topography.
Like its topography, the climate of the U.S. also varies depending on location. It is considered mostly temperate but is tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the plains west of the Mississippi River and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest.
To learn more about the U.S. visit the U.S. section of this website and the American History page.
Officially the United States of America began as an independent nation with theDeclaration of Independence in July 4, 1776. European colonists reached the Gulf and Pacific coasts, but the largest settlements were by the English on the East Coast, starting in 1607. By the 1770s the Thirteen Colonies contained two and half million people. They were prospering, and had developed their own political and legal systems. The British government\\\'s threat to American self-government led to war in 1775 and the Declaration of Independence in 1776. With major military and financial support from France, the Patriots won the American Revolution. In 1789 the Constitution became the basis for the United States federal government, with war hero George Washington as the first president. The young nation continued to struggle with the scope of central government and with European influence, creating the first political parties in the 1790s, and fighting a second war for independence from Britain in 1812.
U.S. territory expanded westward across the continent, brushing aside Native Americans and Mexico, and rejecting the advice of Whigs who wanted to deepen the economy rather than expand the geography. Slavery of Africans was abolished in all the Northern states by 1803, but it flourished in the Southern states because of heavy European demand for cotton. After 1820 a series of compromises postponed a showdown on the issue of slavery, but in the late 1850s the new Republican power took political control of the North and promised to stop the expansion of slavery, which implied its eventual death.
The 1860 election of Republican Abraham Lincoln triggered a crisis as eleven slave statesseceded to found the Confederate States of America in 1861. The bloody American Civil War (1861–65) redefined the nation and remains the central iconic event. The South was defeated and, in the Reconstruction era, the U.S. ended slavery, extended rights to African Americans, and readmitted secessionist states with loyal governments. The national government was much stronger, and it now had the explicit duty to protect individuals. Reconstruction was never completed by the US government and left the blacks in a world of Jim Crow political, social and economic inferiority. The entire South remained poor while the North and West grew rapidly.