Premier of Victoria
The Premier of Victoria is the Head of government in the Australian state of Victoria. The Premier is appointed by the Governor of Victoria, is the leader of the political party able to secure a majority in the Legislative Assembly. Responsible government came to the colony of Victoria in 1855. Between 1856 and 1892, the head of the government was called the Premier or the Prime Minister, but neither title had any legal basis; the head of government always held another portfolio Chief Secretary or Treasurer, for which they were paid a salary. The first head of government to hold the title of Premier without holding another portfolio was William Shiels in 1892; the incumbent Premier of Victoria since the 2014 election is Daniel Andrews of the Australian Labor Party. As of 7 April 2019, six former premiers are alive, the oldest being John Cain Jr.. The most recent Premier to die was Joan Kirner, on 1 June 2015. Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victoria Deputy Premier of Victoria List of Premiers of Victoria by time in office ABC News – Premiers of Victoria
1920 Summer Olympics
The 1920 Summer Olympics known as the Games of the VII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium. In March 1912, during the 13th session of the IOC, Belgium's bid to host the 1920 Summer Olympics was made by Baron Édouard de Laveleye, president of the Belgian Olympic Committee and of the Royal Belgian Football Association. No fixed host city was proposed at the time; the 1916 Summer Olympics, to be held in Berlin, capital of the German Empire, were cancelled due to World War I. The aftermath of the war and the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 affected the Olympic Games not only due to new states being created, but by sanctions against the nations that lost the war and were blamed for starting it. Hungary, Austria and the Ottoman Empire were banned from competing in the Games. Germany did not return to Olympic competition until 1928 and instead hosted a series of games called Deutsche Kampfspiele, starting with the Winter edition of 1922; the sailing events were held in Ostend and two in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
In March 1912, during the 13th session of the IOC, the bid on the behalf of Belgium to host the 1920 Summer Olympics. It was made by Baron Édouard de Laveleye, president of the Belgian Olympic Committee and of the Royal Belgian Football Association. No fixed host city was proposed at the time; the organising committee was created on 9 August 1913. It had four presidents: Édouard de Laveleye, president of the Belgian Olympic Committee Henri de Baillet-Latour, member of the IOC Robert Osterrieth, president of the Royal Yacht Club of Belgium Charles Cnoops, vice-president of the Belgian Fencing AssociationAmong the 22 vice-presidents of the committee were people with a military or industrial background, further people from sports organizations like Paul Havenith, president of the football and athletics club K. Beerschot V. A. C. and Nicolaas Jan Cupérus, president of the Belgian Gymnastics Federation. The first action of the committee was to send an official letter to the IOC in Paris, confirming Antwerp as the city for the Belgian Olympic bid.
On 13 September 1913, Pierre de Coubertin, president of the IOC, visited the grounds of the future Olympic Stadion in Beerschot. In 1914, a 109-page brochure was created to promote the idea of Antwerp as a host city for the Olympics: Aurons-nous la VIIème Olympiade à Anvers?. It was sent to all IOC members and was used during the 6th Olympic Congress in Paris in 1914, where the candidacies of Amsterdam, Antwerp and Rome were discussed. Despite a slight preference at the time for Budapest, no final choice was made, the outbreak of World War I soon afterwards prevented any further progress. In 1915, Lyon made a bid for the 1920 games, but after some discussion, they agreed to support Antwerp and postpone their bid until 1924 if Antwerp was liberated in time to organize the games; the support for Belgium by cousin country France the leading country of the IOC meant that Amsterdam, Budapest, in an enemy state, made no chance for the 1920 games against Antwerp. New candidacies from American cities did not have that disadvantage and bids were received from Cleveland and Atlanta, Cuba planned a bid for Havana.
But shortly after the armistice in November 1918, the IOC decided to give Antwerp the first choice, if they still wanted to host the 1920 Games. In March 1919, the Belgian Olympic Committee decided to go ahead with the organization, on 5 April 1919, in a meeting in Lausanne, Antwerp was declared the host city for the games of the VIIth Olympiad. An executive committee was established on 17 April 1919, with Henri de Baillet-Latour as chairman and Alfred Verdyck, the secretary of the Belgian Union of Football Clubs, as general secretary. Seven commissions were created, to deal with finances, press relations, schedules and festivities. Finances and scheduling proved to be the two hardest parts to tackle: the program of events only was published in February 1920, six months before the official start of the Games. Between 23 and 30 April 1920, an ice hockey tournament marked the early start of the Games. Held in the "Palais de Glace" or Ice Palace in Antwerp, it was the first time that ice hockey was an Olympic sport.
The first stone of the new Olympic Stadium at Beerschot was laid on 4 July 1919 by Jan De Vos, mayor of Antwerp, inaugurated less than a year on 23 May 1920 with a gymnastics demonstration. The nautical stadium or Stade Nautique d'Antwerp was built at the end of the Jan Van Rijswijcklaan, using the city ramparts there as a spectator's stand. Other events, like shooting and equestrian sports, were held at pre-existing locations in and around Antwerp and as far away as Ostend; these Olympics were the first in which the Olympic Oath was voiced, the first in which doves were released to symbolize peace, the first in which the Olympic Flag was flown. The USA won 41 gold, 27 silver, 27 bronze medals, the most won by any of the 29 nations attending. Sweden, Great Britain and Belgium rounded out the five most successful medal-winning nations; the Games featured a week of winter sports, with figure skating appearing for the first time since the 1908 Olympics, ice hockey making its Olympic debut. Nedo Nadi won 5 gold medals in the fencing events.
At the age of 72, Sweden's 100 metre running deer double-shot event champion Oscar Swahn, who had participated in the 1908 and 1912 Games, came in second in the team event to become the oldest Olympic meda
1956 Winter Olympics
The 1956 Winter Olympics known as the VII Olympic Winter Games, was a multi-sport event held in Cortina d'Ampezzo, from 26 January to 5 February 1956. Cortina, awarded the 1944 Winter Olympics, beat out Montreal, Colorado Springs and Lake Placid for the right to host the 1956 Games; the Cortina Games were unique in. The organising committee received financial support from the Italian government for infrastructure improvements, but the rest of the costs for the Games had to be financed; the organising committee was the first to rely on corporate sponsorship for funding. Thirty-two nations—the largest number of countries participating in the Winter Olympics until then—competed in the four sports and twenty-four events. Austrian Toni Sailer became the first person to sweep all three alpine skiing events in a single Olympics; the figure skating competition was held outdoors for the last time at these Games. Logistically, the only problem encountered was a lack of snow at the alpine skiing events. To remedy this, the Italian army transported large amounts of snow to ensure the courses were adequately covered.
Politics did not affect the 1956 Winter Games as at the Summer Games in Melbourne, where the Soviet repression of the Hungarian Revolution and the Suez War caused many nations to boycott the Games. The Cortina Olympics were the first Winter Olympics televised to a multi-national audience; these were the first Olympic Games under the IOC Presidency of Avery Brundage. Cortina d'Ampezzo is a ski resort village situated in the Dolomite Alps in the north-eastern corner of Italy. In 1956, it had a population of 6,500 people. Count Alberto Bonacossa, an accomplished alpine skier, figure skater and a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1925, spearheaded the effort to bring the Olympic Games to Cortina d'Ampezzo, he persuaded the city council of Cortina to bid for the 1944 Games. During the 38th IOC Congress held in London in 1939, Cortina d'Ampezzo was awarded the 1944 Winter Olympics, but the Games were canceled due to the outbreak of World War II. In 1946 the Italian Winter Sports Federation convened in Milan and decided to support a new attempt from Cortina to host the Winter Games.
A delegation, led by Count Bonacossa, presented Cortina's bid to host the 1952 Winter Olympics at the 40th IOC Session in Stockholm, Sweden. They were backed by the Italian National Olympic Committee. A rival bid from Oslo, soundly defeated Cortina. Count Bonacossa's and CONI prepared this time for the 1956 Winter Games; the host city selection took place during the 43rd IOC Session. On 28 April 1949, Cortina d'Ampezzo was selected with 75% of the votes, over bids from Montreal, Colorado Springs and Lake Placid. Bonacossa died on 30 January 1953, three years before he could witness Cortina host the Games. A total of 32 nations sent athletes to Cortina d'Ampezzo. Along with the Soviet Union and Iran competed at the Winter Games for the first time, making Bolivia the first Tropical nation to participate in a Winter Olympic. Korea and Turkey returned after having missed the 1952 Winter Olympics, while Argentina, New Zealand, Portugal did not compete at these Games, after having participated in the previous edition.
Athletes from West Germany and East Germany competed together as the United Team of Germany, an arrangement that would continue for the following two Olympiads. Below is the list of participating nations, with the number of competitors indicated in brackets: These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1956 Winter Olympics: * Two gold medals were awarded when Soviet skaters tied in the 1,500 metre speed skating competition; the 1956 Winter Olympics was organised by a committee composed of members of the Italian National Olympic Committee and the Italian government. Observers were sent to the Oslo Games in 1952 to collect information regarding the sports programme and accommodation requirements; the intelligence gathered there indicated that Cortina's facilities were not up to Olympic standards. The town did not have a speed skating rink. Cortina was a small village, its infrastructure would be overwhelmed by the crowds expected for the Games. To accommodate the influx of people, new roads and rail lines had to be built, the city's power grid and telephone lines expanded.
Enhancements had to be made to sewer and water capacity. The Italian government supplied Italian lira 460 million for infrastructure improvements; the Italian Olympic Committee was responsible for funding the rest of the costs of hosting the Games. They did this by setting aside monies from their own budget, ticket sales, culling funds from local football betting pools; the organising committee took the unprecedented step of selling corporate sponsorship. For example, Fiat was designated the official car of the 1956 Winter Olympics, Olivetti supplied typewriters for the 400 journalists attending the Games; the Cold War began after the allied victory in World War II. Until 1952, many of the Communist countries of Eastern Europe had participated in Worker's Olympics or Spartakiads; the Soviet Union emerged from international isolation by eschewing the Spartakiad and participating in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. Soviet general secretary Nikita Khrushchev's aim was to use international sports competitio
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2, comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, is the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley, it has a population of 4.9 million, its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians". The city was founded on 30 August 1835, in the then-British colony of New South Wales, by free settlers from the colony of Van Diemen’s Land, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837 and named in honour of the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. In 1851, four years after Queen Victoria declared it a city, Melbourne became the capital of the new colony of Victoria. In the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, the city entered a lengthy boom period that, by the late 1880s, had transformed it into one of the world's largest and wealthiest metropolises.
After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as interim seat of government of the new nation until Canberra became the permanent capital in 1927. Today, it is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 15th in the Global Financial Centres Index; the city is home to many of the best-known cultural institutions in the nation, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. It is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries and Australian contemporary dance. More it has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a global centre for street art, live music and theatre, it is the host city of annual international events such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, has hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Due to it rating in entertainment and sport, as well as education, health care and development, the EIU ranks it the second most liveable city in the world.
The main airport serving the city is Melbourne Airport, the second busiest in Australia, Australia's busiest seaport the Port of Melbourne. Its main metropolitan rail terminus is Flinders Street station and its main regional rail and road coach terminus is Southern Cross station, it has the most extensive freeway network in Australia and the largest urban tram network in the world. Indigenous Australians have lived in the Melbourne area for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years; when European settlers arrived in the 19th-century, under 2,000 hunter-gatherers from three regional tribes—the Wurundjeri and Wathaurong—inhabited the area. It was an important meeting place for the clans of the Kulin nation alliance and a vital source of food and water; the first British settlement in Victoria part of the penal colony of New South Wales, was established by Colonel David Collins in October 1803, at Sullivan Bay, near present-day Sorrento. The following year, due to a perceived lack of resources, these settlers relocated to Van Diemen's Land and founded the city of Hobart.
It would be 30 years. In May and June 1835, John Batman, a leading member of the Port Phillip Association in Van Diemen's Land, explored the Melbourne area, claimed to have negotiated a purchase of 600,000 acres with eight Wurundjeri elders. Batman selected a site on the northern bank of the Yarra River, declaring that "this will be the place for a village" before returning to Van Diemen's Land. In August 1835, another group of Vandemonian settlers arrived in the area and established a settlement at the site of the current Melbourne Immigration Museum. Batman and his group arrived the following month and the two groups agreed to share the settlement known by the native name of Dootigala. Batman's Treaty with the Aborigines was annulled by Richard Bourke, the Governor of New South Wales, with compensation paid to members of the association. In 1836, Bourke declared the city the administrative capital of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, commissioned the first plan for its urban layout, the Hoddle Grid, in 1837.
Known as Batmania, the settlement was named Melbourne in 1837 after the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, whose seat was Melbourne Hall in the market town of Melbourne, Derbyshire. That year, the settlement's general post office opened with that name. Between 1836 and 1842, Victorian Aboriginal groups were dispossessed of their land by European settlers. By January 1844, there were said to be 675 Aborigines resident in squalid camps in Melbourne; the British Colonial Office appointed five Aboriginal Protectors for the Aborigines of Victoria, in 1839, however their work was nullified by a land policy that favoured squatters who took possession of Aboriginal lands. By 1845, fewer than 240 wealthy Europeans held all the pastoral licences issued in Victoria and became a powerful political and economic force in Victoria for generations to come. Letters patent of Queen Victoria, issued on 25 June 1847, declared Melbourne a city. On 1 July 1851, the Port Phillip District separated from New South Wales to become the Colony of Victoria, with Melbourne as its capital.
The discovery of gold in Victoria in mid-1851 sparked a
Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U. S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the sixth-most populous U. S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U. S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis; the Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.
Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, served as temporary U. S. capital while Washington, D. C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a railroad hub; the city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans; the city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950. The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a gross domestic product of US$445 billion in 2017, the eighth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States; the city is known for its arts, culture and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent US$6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has emerged as a biotechnology hub. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps, is the home of many U. S. firsts, including the first library, medical school, national capital, stock exchange and business school. Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall.
The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States. Although Philadelphia is undergoing gentrification, the city maintains mitigation strategies to minimize displacement of homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods. Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape Indians in the village of Shackamaxon; the Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are called Delaware Indians, their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley. Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases smallpox, violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin; the American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west.
In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living in Wisconsin, in their traditional homelands. Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey; the Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina and spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area.
The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, or New Korsholm, named after a town in Finland with a Swedish majority. In 1655, a
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. 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; 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. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". 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; this draft of the document did not surface unti