Landscape painting known as landscape art, is the depiction of landscapes in art – natural scenery such as mountains, trees and forests where the main subject is a wide view – with its elements arranged into a coherent composition. In other works, landscape backgrounds for figures can still form an important part of the work. Sky is always included in the view, weather is an element of the composition. Detailed landscapes as a distinct subject are not found in all artistic traditions, develop when there is a sophisticated tradition of representing other subjects; the two main traditions spring from Western painting and Chinese art, going back well over a thousand years in both cases. The recognition of a spiritual element in landscape art is present from its beginnings in East Asian art, drawing on Daoism and other philosophical traditions, but in the West only becomes explicit with Romanticism. Landscape views in art may be imaginary, or copied from reality with varying degrees of accuracy.
If the primary purpose of a picture is to depict an actual, specific place including buildings prominently, it is called a topographical view. Such views common as prints in the West, are seen as inferior to fine art landscapes, although the distinction is not always meaningful; the word "landscape" entered the modern English language as landskip, an anglicization of the Dutch landschap, around the start of the 17th century, purely as a term for works of art, with its first use as a word for a painting in 1598. Within a few decades it was used to describe vistas in poetry, as a term for real views; however the cognate term landscaef or landskipe for a cleared patch of land had existed in Old English, though it is not recorded from Middle English. The earliest forms of art around the world depict little that could be called landscape, although ground-lines and sometimes indications of mountains, trees or other natural features are included; the earliest "pure landscapes" with no human figures are frescos from Minoan Greece of around 1500 BCE.
Hunting scenes those set in the enclosed vista of the reed beds of the Nile Delta from Ancient Egypt, can give a strong sense of place, but the emphasis is on individual plant forms and human and animal figures rather than the overall landscape setting. The frescos from the Tomb of Nebamun, now in the British Museum, are a famous example. For a coherent depiction of a whole landscape, some rough system of perspective, or scaling for distance, is needed, this seems from literary evidence to have first been developed in Ancient Greece in the Hellenistic period, although no large-scale examples survive. More ancient Roman landscapes survive, from the 1st century BCE onwards frescos of landscapes decorating rooms that have been preserved at archaeological sites of Pompeii and elsewhere, mosaics; the Chinese ink painting tradition of shan shui, or "pure" landscape, in which the only sign of human life is a sage, or a glimpse of his hut, uses sophisticated landscape backgrounds to figure subjects, landscape art of this period retains a classic and much-imitated status within the Chinese tradition.
Both the Roman and Chinese traditions show grand panoramas of imaginary landscapes backed with a range of spectacular mountains – in China with waterfalls and in Rome including sea, lakes or rivers. These were used, as in the example illustrated, to bridge the gap between a foreground scene with figures and a distant panoramic vista, a persistent problem for landscape artists; the Chinese style showed only a distant view, or used dead ground or mist to avoid that difficulty. A major contrast between landscape painting in the West and East Asia has been that while in the West until the 19th century it occupied a low position in the accepted hierarchy of genres, in East Asia the classic Chinese mountain-water ink painting was traditionally the most prestigious form of visual art. Aesthetic theories in both regions gave the highest status to the works seen to require the most imagination from the artist. In the West this was history painting, but in East Asia it was the imaginary landscape, where famous practitioners were, at least in theory, amateur literati, including several Emperors of both China and Japan.
They were also poets whose lines and images illustrated each other. In the 1830s the British inventor William Talbot creates the process of calotype and in 1844 he publishes the first book with photo illustrations: "The Pencil of Nature"Talbot, W. H. F.. The Pencil of Nature: in 6 parts. However, in the West, history painting came to require an extensive landscape background where appropriate, so the theory did not work against the development of landscape painting – for several centuries landscapes were promoted to the status of history painting by the addition of small figures to make a narrative scene religious or mythological. In early Western medieval art interest in landscape disappears entirely, kept alive only in copies of Late Antique works such as the Utrecht Psalter. A revival in interest in nature mainly manifested itself in depictions of small gardens such as the Hortus Conclusus or those in millefleur tapestries; the frescos of figures at work or pl
Fruitlands (transcendental center)
Fruitlands was a Utopian agrarian commune established in Harvard, Massachusetts, by Amos Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane in the 1840s, based on Transcendentalist principles. An account of its less-than-successful activities can be found in Transcendental Wild Oats by Alcott's daughter Louisa May Alcott. Lane purchased what was known as the Wyman farm and its 90 acres, which included a dilapidated house and barn. Residents of Fruitlands ate no animal substances, drank only water, bathed in unheated water and "no artificial light would prolong dark hours or cost them the brightness of morning." Additionally, property was held communally, no animal labor was used. The community lasted only seven months, it was dependent on farming. The original farmhouse, along with other historic buildings from the area, is now a part of Fruitlands Museum. Amos Bronson Alcott, a teacher and member of the New England Non-Resistance Society, came up with the idea of Fruitlands in 1841, he traveled to England the following year, where he hoped to find support and people to participate with him in the experiment.
England was home to his strongest group of supporters, a group of educators who had founded the Alcott House, a school based on his philosophy of teaching. One of his supporters was Charles Lane, who journeyed with him to the United States on October 21, 1842. In May 1843, Lane purchased the 90-acre Wyman Farm in Harvard, Massachusetts for $1800. Though Alcott had come up with the idea of Fruitlands himself, he was not involved in purchasing the land because he was penniless after the failure of his Temple School and his subsequent years in Concord, Massachusetts as a farmer. In July, Alcott announced their plans in The Dial: "We have made an arrangement with the proprieter of an estate of about a hundred acres, which liberates this tract from human ownership", they had moved to the farm on June 1 and optimistically named it "Fruitlands" despite only ten old apple trees on the property. In principle, the Fruitlands reformers did not believe in purchasing property. By July, the community had succeeded in planting 8 acres of grains, one of vegetables, one of melons.
On July 8, Ralph Waldo Emerson visited along with Ellery Channing. Although he was impressed by the serenity of the site and the idea of hard work, he cautiously recorded, "I will not prejudge them successful... They look well in July. We will see them in December."Alcott and Lane collaborated on a letter, published in the New York Evening Tribune on September 1 and soon republished elsewhere. In the article, titled "The Consociate Family Life", the duo explained their main purpose was to improve society through "simplicity in diet, plain garments, pure bathing, unsullied dwellings". Fruitlands failed the winter after it opened due to food shortages and accompanying unrest in the inhabitants; the rigors of a New England winter proved too severe for the members of the Fruitlands. Many of Alcott's and Lane's ideas were derived from Transcendentalism, they were influenced by the Transcendental ideas of God not as the traditional view from the Bible but as a world spirit. Alcott's view of Transcendentalism was a sort of religious anarchism, a renunciation of the world to focus on the spirit.
The members of Fruitlands believed that spiritual regeneration was linked to physical health, that "outward abstinence is a sign of inward fullness". Though it was based on working together as a community, Fruitlands hoped for individualistic improvement. Alcott believed in the perfect intuition of children and, put a strong emphasis on education and hoped that their innocence would have a rejuvenating effect on elders. Fruitlands residents, who called themselves "the consociate family", wished to separate themselves from the world economy by refraining from trade, having no personal property, not using hired labor. Alcott and Lane believed that the community could achieve complete freedom only by eliminating economic activity altogether. Alcott in particular believed. To this end, they strove towards self-sufficiency by planning on growing all the food they would need themselves and making only the goods they needed. By accomplishing these two goals, they would eliminate the need to participate in trade or to purchase their food from the outside world.
Bronson Alcott and Lane modeled their ideas about personal property off the Shakers, who held property communally. However, the Shakers were not self-sufficient. Bronson Alcott and Lane eliminated the need to trade for these supplies because they eliminated animal products and stimulants from their diets entirely. In the end, the Fruitlands community had no effect on the economy of the outside world. Fruitlands residents began their days with a purging cold-water shower and subsisted on a simple diet containing no stimulants or animal products, they were vegans, excluding milk and honey from their diets. “Neither coffee, molasses, nor rice tempts us beyond the bounds of indigenous production,” Lane wrote. “No animal substances neither flesh, cheese, nor milk pollute our tables, nor corrupt our bodies.” Diet was fruit and water
Gilbert Charles Stuart was an American painter from Rhode Island, considered one of America's foremost portraitists. His best known work is the unfinished portrait of George Washington, sometimes referred to as The Athenaeum, begun in 1796. Stuart used it to paint 130 copies which he sold for $100 each; the image of George Washington featured in the painting has appeared on the United States one-dollar bill for more than a century and on various U. S. postage stamps of the 19th century and early 20th century. Stuart produced portraits of more than 1,000 people, including the first six Presidents, his work can be found today at art museums throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, most notably the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Frick Collection in New York City, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. the National Portrait Gallery, Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Gilbert Stuart was born on December 3, 1755 in Saunderstown, a village of North Kingstown in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, he was baptized at Old Narragansett Church on April 11, 1756.
He was the third child of Gilbert Stewart, a Scottish immigrant employed in the snuff-making industry, Elizabeth Anthony Stewart, a member of a prominent land-owning family from Middletown, Rhode Island. Stuart's father owned the first snuff mill in America, located in the basement of the family homestead. Stuart moved to Newport, Rhode Island at the age of six, where his father pursued work in the merchant field. In Newport, he first began to show great promise as a painter. In 1770, he made the acquaintance of Scottish artist Cosmo Alexander, a visitor to the colonies who made portraits of local patrons and who became a tutor to Stuart. Under the guidance of Alexander, Stuart painted the famous portrait Dr. Hunter's Spaniels when he was 14. In 1771, Stuart moved to Scotland with Alexander to finish his studies. Stuart tried to maintain a living and pursue his painting career, but to no avail, so he returned to Newport in 1773. Stuart's prospects as a portraitist were jeopardized by the onset of the American Revolution and its social disruptions.
He departed for England in 1775 following the example set by John Singleton Copley. He was unsuccessful at first in pursuit of his vocation, but he became a protégé of Benjamin West with whom he studied for the next six years; the relationship was beneficial, with Stuart exhibiting at the Royal Academy as early as 1777. By 1782, Stuart had met with success due to acclaim for The Skater, a portrait of William Grant, it was Stuart's first full-length portrait and, according to art historian Margaret C. S. Christman, it "belied the prevailing opinion that Stuart'made a tolerable likeness of a face, but as to the figure, he could not get below the fifth button'". Stuart said that he was "suddenly lifted into fame by a single picture". At one point, the prices for his pictures were exceeded only by those of renowned English artists Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. Despite his many commissions, however, he was habitually neglectful of finances and was in danger of being sent to debtors' prison.
In 1787, he fled to Ireland where he painted and accumulated debt with equal vigor. Stuart ended his 18-year stay in Britain and Ireland in 1793, leaving behind numerous unfinished paintings, he returned to the United States and settled in New York City. In 1795, he moved to Germantown, Philadelphia where he opened a studio, it was here that he gained a foothold in the art world and lasting fame with pictures of many important Americans. Stuart painted George Washington in a series of iconic portraits, each of them leading to a demand for copies and keeping him busy and paid for years; the most famous and celebrated of these likenesses is known as The Athenaeum and is portrayed on the United States one-dollar bill. Stuart and his daughters painted a total of 130 reproductions of The Athenaeum. However, he never completed the original version, he sold up to 70 of his reproductions for a price of $100 each, but the original portrait was left unfinished at the time of his death in 1828. The painting was jointly purchased by the National Portrait Gallery and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1980, is on display in the National Portrait Gallery.
Another celebrated image of Washington is the Lansdowne portrait, a large portrait with one version hanging in the East Room of the White House. This painting was saved during the burning of Washington by British troops in the War of 1812 through the intervention of First Lady Dolley Madison and Paul Jennings, one of President James Madison's slaves. Four versions of the portrait are attributed to Stuart, additional copies were painted by other artists for display in U. S. government buildings. In 1803, Stuart opened a studio in Washington, D. C. Stuart moved to Devonshire Street in Boston in 1805, continuing in both critical acclaim and financial troubles, he exhibited works locally at Doggett's Julien Hall. He was sought out for advice by other artists, such as John Trumbull, Thomas Sully, Washington Allston, John Vanderlyn. Stuart married Charlotte Coates about September 1786, 13 years his junior and "exceedingly pretty", they had 12 children, five of whom died by 1815 and two others died while they were young.
Their daughter Jane was a painter. She sold many of his paintings and her replicas of them from her studios in Boston and Newport, Rhode Island. In 2011, she was inducted int
Thomas Cole was an English-born American painter known for his landscape and history paintings. One of the major 19th-century American painters, he is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the mid-19th century. Cole's work is known for its romantic portrayal of the American wilderness. Born in Bolton le Moors, Lancashire, in 1801, Cole emigrated with his family to the United States in 1818, settling in Steubenville, Ohio. At the age of 22, Cole moved to Philadelphia and in 1825, to Catskill, New York, where he lived with his wife and children until 1848. Cole found work early on as an engraver, he was self-taught as a painter, relying on books and by studying the work of other artists. In 1822, Cole started working as a portrait painter and on shifted his focus to landscape. In New York, Cole sold five paintings to George W. Bruen, who financed a summer trip to the Hudson Valley where the artist produced landscapes featuring the Catskill Mountain House, the famous Kaaterskill Falls, the ruins of Fort Putnam, two views of Cold Spring.
Returning to New York, he displayed five landscapes in the window of William Colman's bookstore. This garnered Cole the attention of John Trumbull, Asher B. Durand, William Dunlap. Among the paintings was a landscape called View of Fort Ticonderoga from Gelyna. Trumbull was impressed with the work of the young artist and sought him out, bought one of his paintings, put him into contact with a number of his wealthy friends including Robert Gilmor of Baltimore and Daniel Wadsworth of Hartford, who became important patrons of the artist. Cole was a painter of landscapes, but he painted allegorical works; the most famous of these are the five-part series, The Course of Empire, which depict the same landscape over generations—from a near state of nature to consummation of empire, decline and desolation—now in the collection of the New York Historical Society and the four-part The Voyage of Life. There are two versions of the latter, one at the National Gallery in Washington, D. C. the other at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York.
Among Cole's other famous works are The Oxbow, The Notch of the White Mountains, Daniel Boone at his cabin at the Great Osage Lake, Lake with Dead Trees, at the Allen Memorial Art Museum. He painted The Garden of Eden, with lavish detail of Adam and Eve living amid waterfalls, vivid plants, deer. In 2014, friezes painted by Cole on the walls of his home, decorated over, were discovered. Cole influenced his artistic peers Asher B. Durand and Frederic Edwin Church, who studied with Cole from 1844 to 1846. Cole spent the years 1829 to 1832 and 1841 to 1842 abroad in England and Italy. Cole is best known for his work as an American landscape artist. In an 1836 article on "American Scenery," he described his complex relationship with the American landscape in esthetic and spiritual terms, he produced thousands of sketches of varying subject matter. Over 2,500 of these sketches can be seen at The Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1842, Cole embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe in an effort to study in the style of the Old Masters and to paint its scenery.
Most striking to Cole was Europe's tallest active volcano, Mount Etna. Cole was so moved by the volcano's beauty that he produced several sketches and at least six paintings of it; the most famous of these works is A View from Mount Etna from Taormina, a 78-by-120-inch oil on canvas. Cole produced a detailed sketch View of Mount Etna which shows a panoramic view of the volcano with the crumbling walls of the ancient Greek theatre of Taormina on the far right. Cole was a poet and dabbled in architecture, a not uncommon practice at the time when the profession was not so codified. Cole was an entrant in the design competition held in 1838 to create the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, his entry won third place, many contend that the finished building, a composite of the first and third-place entries, bears a great similarity to Cole's entry. After 1827 Cole maintained a studio at the farm called Cedar Grove, in the town of Catskill, New York, he painted a significant portion of his work in this studio.
In 1836, he married Maria Bartow of Catskill, a niece of the owner's, became a year-round resident. Thomas and Maria had five children. Cole's sister, Sarah Cole, was a landscape painter. Additionally, Cole held many friendships with important figures in the art world including Daniel Wadsworth, with whom he shared a close friendship. Proof of this friendship can be seen in the letters that were unearthed in the 1980s by the Trinity College Watkinson Library. Cole wrote Wadsworth in July 1832: "Years have passed away since I saw you & time & the world have undoubtedly wrought many changes in both of us; the fourth highest peak in the Catskills is named Thomas Cole Mountain in his honor. Cedar Grove known as the Thomas Cole House, was declared a National Historic Site in 1999 and is now open to the public. List of paintings by Thomas Cole This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Cole, Thomas". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6. Cambridge U
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, known in the United States as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830. Lafayette was born into a wealthy land-owning family in Chavaniac in the province of Auvergne in south central France, he followed the family's martial tradition and was commissioned an officer at age 13. He became convinced that the American cause was noble in its revolutionary war, he traveled to the New World seeking glory in it, he was made a major general at age 19, but he was not given American troops to command. He was wounded during the Battle of Brandywine but still managed to organize an orderly retreat, he served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war, he sailed for home to lobby for an increase in French support.
He was given senior positions in the Continental Army. In 1781, troops under his command in Virginia blocked forces led by Cornwallis until other American and French forces could position themselves for the decisive Siege of Yorktown. Lafayette returned to France and was appointed to the Assembly of Notables in 1787, convened in response to the fiscal crisis, he was elected a member of the Estates General of 1789, where representatives met from the three traditional orders of French society: the clergy, the nobility, the commoners. After forming the National Constituent Assembly, he helped to write the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen with Thomas Jefferson's assistance; this document was inspired by the United States Declaration of Independence and invoked natural law to establish basic principles of the democratic nation-state. He advocated the end of slavery, in keeping with the philosophy of natural liberty. After the storming of the Bastille, he was appointed commander-in-chief of France's National Guard and tried to steer a middle course through the years of revolution.
In August 1792, radical factions ordered his arrest, he fled into the Austrian Netherlands. He was spent more than five years in prison. Lafayette returned to France after Napoleon Bonaparte secured his release in 1797, though he refused to participate in Napoleon's government. After the Bourbon Restoration of 1814, he became a liberal member of the Chamber of Deputies, a position that he held for most of the remainder of his life. In 1824, President James Monroe invited him to the United States as the nation's guest, he visited all 24 states in the union and met a rapturous reception. During France's July Revolution of 1830, he declined an offer to become the French dictator. Instead, he supported Louis-Philippe as king, but turned against him when the monarch became autocratic, he is buried in Picpus Cemetery in Paris, under soil from Bunker Hill. He is sometimes known as "The Hero of the Two Worlds" for his accomplishments in the service of both France and the United States. Lafayette was born on 6 September 1757 to Michel Louis Christophe Roch Gilbert Paulette du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, colonel of grenadiers, Marie Louise Jolie de La Rivière, at the château de Chavaniac, in Chavaniac-Lafayette, near Le Puy-en-Velay, in the province of Auvergne.
Lafayette's lineage was one of the oldest and most distinguished in Auvergne and in all of France. Males of the Lafayette family enjoyed a reputation for courage and chivalry and were noted for their contempt for danger. One of Lafayette's early ancestors, Gilbert de Lafayette III, a Marshal of France, had been a companion-at-arms of Joan of Arc's army during the Siege of Orléans in 1429. According to legend, another ancestor acquired the crown of thorns during the Sixth Crusade, his non-Lafayette ancestors are notable. Lafayette's paternal uncle Jacques-Roch died on 18 January 1734 while fighting the Austrians at Milan in the War of the Polish Succession. Lafayette's father died on the battlefield. On 1 August 1759, Michel de Lafayette was struck by a cannonball while fighting a British-led coalition at the Battle of Minden in Westphalia. Lafayette became marquis and Lord of Chavaniac. Devastated by the loss of her husband, she went to live in Paris with her father and grandfather, leaving Lafayette to be raised in Chavaniac-Lafayette by his paternal grandmother, Mme de Chavaniac, who had brought the château into the family with her dowry.
In 1768, when Lafayette was 11, he was summoned to Paris to live with his mother and great-grandfather at the comte's apartments in Luxembourg Palace. The boy was sent to school at the Collège du Plessis, part of the University of Paris, it was decided that he would carry on the family martial tradition; the comte, the boy's great-grandfather, enrolled the boy in a program to train future Musketeers. Lafayette's mother and great-grandfather died, on 3 and 24 April 1770 leaving Lafayette an income of 25,000 livres. Upon the death of an uncle, the 12-year-old Lafayette inherited a handsome yearly income of 120,000 livres. In May 1771, aged less than 14, Lafayette was commissioned an officer in the Musketeers, with the rank of sous-lieutenant, his duties, which included marching in military parades and pr
Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999; the city is the economic and cultural anchor of a larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area, this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States. Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England, it was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Siege of Boston.
Upon gaining U. S. independence from Great Britain, it continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub as well as a center for education and culture. The city has expanded beyond the original peninsula through land reclamation and municipal annexation, its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year. Boston's many firsts include the United States' first public park, first public or state school and first subway system; the Boston area's many colleges and universities make it an international center of higher education, including law, medicine and business, the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, with nearly 2,000 startups. Boston's economic base includes finance and business services, information technology, government activities. Households in the city claim the highest average rate of philanthropy in the United States; the city has one of the highest costs of living in the United States as it has undergone gentrification, though it remains high on world livability rankings.
Boston's early European settlers had first called the area Trimountaine but renamed it Boston after Boston, England, the origin of several prominent colonists. The renaming on September 7, 1630, was by Puritan colonists from England who had moved over from Charlestown earlier that year in quest for fresh water, their settlement was limited to the Shawmut Peninsula, at that time surrounded by the Massachusetts Bay and Charles River and connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The peninsula is thought to have been inhabited as early as 5000 BC. In 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colony's first governor John Winthrop led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, a key founding document of the city. Puritan ethics and their focus on education influenced its early history. Over the next 130 years, the city participated in four French and Indian Wars, until the British defeated the French and their Indian allies in North America. Boston was the largest town in British America until Philadelphia grew larger in the mid-18th century.
Boston's oceanfront location made it a lively port, the city engaged in shipping and fishing during its colonial days. However, Boston stagnated in the decades prior to the Revolution. By the mid-18th century, New York City and Philadelphia surpassed Boston in wealth. Boston encountered financial difficulties as other cities in New England grew rapidly. Many of the crucial events of the American Revolution occurred near Boston. Boston's penchant for mob action along with the colonists' growing distrust in Britain fostered a revolutionary spirit in the city; when the British government passed the Stamp Act in 1765, a Boston mob ravaged the homes of Andrew Oliver, the official tasked with enforcing the Act, Thomas Hutchinson the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. The British sent two regiments to Boston in 1768 in an attempt to quell the angry colonists; this did not sit well with the colonists. In 1770, during the Boston Massacre, the army killed several people in response to a mob in Boston.
The colonists compelled the British to withdraw their troops. The event was publicized and fueled a revolutionary movement in America. In 1773, Britain passed the Tea Act. Many of the colonists saw the act as an attempt to force them to accept the taxes established by the Townshend Acts; the act prompted the Boston Tea Party, where a group of rebels threw an entire shipment of tea sent by the British East India Company into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party was a key event leading up to the revolution, as the British government responded furiously with the Intolerable Acts, demanding compensation for the lost tea from the rebels; this led to the American Revolutionary War. The war began in the area surrounding Boston with the Battles of Concord. Boston itself was besieged for a year during the Siege of Boston, which began on April 19, 1775; the New England militia impeded the movement of the British Army. William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe the commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America, led the British army in the siege.
On June 17, the British captured the Charlestown peninsula in Boston, during the Battle of Bunker Hill. The British army outnumbered the militia stationed there, but it was a Py
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