Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U. S. National Recreation Area protecting 80,002 acres of ecologically and historically significant landscapes surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. Much of the park is land used by the United States Army. GGNRA is managed by the National Park Service and is one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States, with more than 15 million visitors a year. It is one of the largest urban parks in the world, the park is not one continuous locale, but rather a collection of areas that stretch from southern San Mateo County to northern Marin County, and includes several areas of San Francisco. The park is as diverse as it is expansive, it contains famous tourist attractions such as Muir Woods National Monument, the park was created thanks to the cooperative legislative efforts of cosponsors Congressman William S. Mailliard and Congressman Phillip Burton. In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law An Act to Establish the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the bill allocated $120 million for land acquisition and development.
The National Park Service first purchased Alcatraz and Fort Mason from the U. S. Army, the Nature Conservancy transferred the land to the GGNRA. These properties formed the basis for the park. Throughout the next 30 years, the National Park service acquired land and historic sites from the U. S. Army, private landowners and corporations, incorporating them into the GGNRA. Many decommissioned Army bases and fortifications were incorporated into the park, including Fort Funston, four Nike missile sites, The Presidio, the latest acquisition by the National Park Service is Mori Point, a small parcel of land on the Pacifica coast. In 1988, UNESCO designated the GGNRA and 12 adjacent protected areas the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve, the property, located south of Pacifica and surrounding the communities of Moss Beach and Montara, is home to many diverse plant and animal species. The bill passed in the Senate, but did not pass the House of Representatives, Fort Baker - former Army post located on the northern side of the Golden Gate Headlands Center for the Arts - an artist residency program set in renovated military buildings in the Marin Headlands.
Nike Missile Site SF-88 - a decommissioned Army surface-to-air missile site located near Fort Barry, located at the southwestern corner of the Presidio Battery Chamberlin - one of the last remaining coastal defense disappearing guns on the U. S. Trails lead across the ridge and to Sharp Park beach, the site includes recently restored wetlands and a pond, protecting endangered San Francisco garter snake and red-legged frog habitat. Rancho Corral de Tierra - the GGNRAs newest park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area Scenery Video, a video showing the scenery observed from the GGNRA, including footage from Lands End
Humboldt County, California
Humboldt County is a county in the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 134,623, Humboldt County comprises the Eureka–Arcata–Fortuna, CA Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located on the far North Coast ~270 miles north of San Francisco, Area cities and towns are known for hundreds of ornate examples of Victorian architecture. Humboldt County is a forested mountainous, and rural county with about 110 miles of coastline situated along the Pacific coast in Northern Californias rugged Coast Ranges. Andrés de Urdaneta found the coast near Cape Mendocino followed the coast south to Acapulco in 1565, Spanish traders made unintended visits to California with the Manila Galleons on their return trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565. Humboldt County was formed in 1853 from parts of Trinity County, the first recorded entry by people of European origin was a landing by the Spanish in 1775 in Trinidad. The first recorded entry of Humboldt Bay by non-natives was an 1806 visit from a sea otter hunting party from Sitka employed by the Russian American Company, the hunting party included Captain Jonathan Winship, an American, and some Aleut hunters.
The bay was not visited again by people of European origin until 1849 when Josiah Greggs party visited, the area around Humboldt Bay was once solely inhabited by the Wiyot Indian tribe. One of the largest Wiyot villages, was located on Indian Island in Humboldt Bay, founded around 900 BC, it contains a shell midden 6 acres in size and 14 feet deep. It was the site of the February 26,1860 massacre of the Wiyot people that was recorded by Bret Harte, living in Union, between 60 and 200 Wiyot men and children were murdered that night. Tolowot is now a site and a National Historic Landmark. They were put on two steamships and shipped to San Francisco, no-one was killed in the expulsion. Another Chinese expulsion occurred during 1906 in a cannery on the Eel River, some Chinese remained in the Orleans area, where some white landowners sheltered and purchased food for the Chinese mineworkers until after racial tension passed. Chinese did not return to the cities until the 1950s. The coastal zone of the county experiences very wet, cool winters and dry, in the winter, temperatures range from highs of 40–59 °F to lows of 32–49 °F.
Coastal summers are cool to mild, with highs of 60–69 °F. Coastal summer temperatures range from highs of 64–70 °F to lows of 46–55 °F, in these locations summer highs are 70–75 °F. The coastal zone experiences a number of frosty nights in winter and early spring, though snowfall, coastal winters are cool and wet
National Park Service
It was created on August 25,1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. As of 2014, the NPS employs 21,651 employees who oversee 417 units, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial in 2016. National parks and national monuments in the United States were originally individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior, the movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior and they wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service, Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS.
On March 3,1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933, the act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasnt until that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Roosevelt agreed and issued two Executive orders to make it happen. In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service, the demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery, Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas. Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States national parks, Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States.
In 1872, there was no government to manage it. Yosemite National Park began as a park, the land for the park was donated by the federal government to the state of California in 1864 for perpetual conservation. Yosemite was returned to federal ownership, at first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the staff was replaced by the U. S. Army in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Mather petitioned the government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane challenged him to lobby for creating a new agency, Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. Later, the agency was given authority over other protected areas, the National Park System includes all properties managed by the National Park Service
Lava Beds National Monument
Lava Beds National Monument is located in northeastern California, in Siskiyou and Modoc counties. The Monument lies on the flank of the Medicine Lake Volcano. The region in and around Lava Beds Monument lies at the junction of the Sierra-Klamath, the Monument was established as a United States National Monument on November 21,1925, and includes more than 46,000 acres. Lava Beds National Monument has numerous lava tube caves, with twenty-five having marked entrances and developed trails for public access, the monument offers trails through the high Great Basin xeric shrubland desert landscape and the volcanic field. 1872–1873, this area was the site of the Modoc War, the area of Captain Jacks Stronghold was named in his honor. Volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano have created a rugged landscape punctuated by these many landforms of volcanism. Cinder cones are formed when magma is under great pressure and it is released in a fountain of lava, blown into the air from a central vent.
The lava cools as it falls, forming cinders that pile up around the vent, when the pressure has been relieved, the rest of the lava flows from the base of the cone. Cinder cones typically only erupt once, the cinder cones of Hippo Butte, Three Sisters, Juniper Butte, and Crescent Butte are all older than the Mammoth and Modoc Crater flows, more than 30, 000–40,000 years old. Eagle Nest Butte and Bearpaw Butte are 114,000 years old, Schonchin Butte cinder cone and the andesitic flow from its base were formed around 62,000 years ago. The flow that formed Valentine Cave erupted 10,850 years ago, an eruption that formed The Castles is younger than the Mammoth Crater flows. Even younger were eruptions from Fleener Chimneys, such as the Devils Homestead flow,10,500 years ago, about 1,110 years ago, plus or minus 60 years, the Callahan flow was produced by an eruption from Cinder Butte. Though Cinder Butte is just outside the boundary of the monument, spatter cones are built out of thicker lava. The lava is thrown out of the vent and builds, layer by layer, Fleener Chimneys and Black Crater are examples of spatter cones.
Roughly ninety percent of the lava in the Lava Beds Monument is basaltic, there are primarily two kinds of basaltic lava flows, pahoehoe and aa. Pahoehoe is smooth, often ropy and is the most common type of lava in Lava Beds, aa is formed when pahoehoe cools and loses some of its gases. Aa is rough and jagged, an excellent example is the Devils Homestead lava flow, most of the rest of the lava in the monument is andesitic. Pumice, a type of lava, is found covering the monument
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located in San Francisco, United States. The park includes a fleet of vessels, a visitor center, a maritime museum. The park is referred to as the San Francisco Maritime Museum. Todays San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park was authorized in 1988, the park incorporates the Aquatic Park Historic District, bounded by Van Ness Avenue, Polk Street, and Hyde Street. The historic fleet of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is moored at the parks Hyde Street Pier, the fleet consists of the following major vessels, Balclutha, an 1886 built square rigged sailing ship. Eureka, an 1890 built steam ferryboat, alma, an 1891 built scow schooner. Hercules, a 1907 built steam tug, eppleton Hall, a 1914 built paddlewheel tug. The fleet includes one hundred small craft. The Visitor Center is housed in the parks 1909 waterfront warehouse, located at the corner of Hyde, the City of San Francisco declared the four-story brick structure an historic landmark in 1974, and the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Inside, exhibits tell the story of San Francisco’s colorful and diverse maritime heritage, the visitor center contains a theater and a ranger-staffed information desk. The building was built by the WPA as a public bathhouse. The architects were William Mooser Jr. and William Mooser III, the third-floor gallery is used for visiting exhibitions and in 2005 exhibited Sparks, an exhibition of shipboard radio and radioteletype technology. The Maritime Museum has re-opened after a series of renovations, the Maritime Research Center is the premier resource for San Francisco and Pacific Coast maritime history. Originating in 1939, the collections have become the largest maritime collection on the West Coast, one of these is the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association. The Visitors Center, Hyde Street Pier and Maritime Museum are all situated adjacent to the foot of Hyde Street, the park headquarters and Maritime Research Center are located in Fort Mason, some 10 minutes walk to the west of the other sites.
Opening times and fees for the sites can be found on the parks website. Aquatic Park is a place for open water swimming, both for recreation and training. The South End Rowing Club and Dolphin Club are located in Aquatic Park, WPA murals and sculpture at Aquatic Park — The New Deal Art Registry
Descriptions of picnics show that the idea of a meal that was jointly contributed and was enjoyed out-of-doors was essential to a picnic from the early 19th century. Picnics are often family-oriented but can be an intimate occasion between two people or a large get together such as picnics and church picnics. It is combined with a cookout, usually a form of barbecue, either grilling, baking. On romantic and family picnics, a basket and a blanket are usually brought along. Outdoor games or some form of entertainment are common at large picnics. Some picnics are a potluck, an entertainment at which each contributed some dish to a common table for all to share. The term was used to describe a group of people dining in a restaurant who brought their own wine, the concept of a picnic long retained the connotation of a meal to which everyone contributed something. In approximately 1999 an internet rumor began to be claiming a racist origin for the word picnic. The spurious etymology behind this rumor has since been debunked, however.
After the French Revolution in 1789, royal parks became open to the public for the first time, picnicking in the parks became a popular activity amongst the newly enfranchised citizens. Early in the 19th century, a group of Londoners formed the Picnic Society. Members met in the Pantheon on Oxford Street, each member was expected to provide a share of the entertainment and of the refreshments with no one particular host. Interest in the society waned in the 1850s as the founders died, from the 1830s, Romantic American landscape painting of spectacular scenery often included a group of picnickers in the foreground. An early American illustration of the picnic is Thomas Coles The Pic-Nic of 1846, in it, a guitarist serenades the genteel social group in the Hudson River Valley with the Catskills visible in the distance. Coles well-dressed young picnickers having finished their repast, served from splint baskets on blue-and-white china, stroll about in the woodland, the image of picnics as a peaceful social activity can be utilised for political protest, too.
In this context, a picnic functions as an occupation of significant public territory. A famous example of this is the Pan-European Picnic held on both sides of the Hungarian/Austrian border on the 19 August 1989 as part of the struggle towards German reunification. In 2000, a 600-mile-long picnic took place from coast to coast in France to celebrate the first Bastille Day of the new Millennium, in the United States, the 4 July celebration of American independence is a popular day for a picnic
Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument is at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28,1542 and this event marked the first time a European expedition had set foot on what became the West Coast of the United States. The site was designated as California Historical Landmark #56 in 1932, as with all historical units of the National Park Service, Cabrillo was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15,1966. The annual Cabrillo Festival Open House is held on a Sunday each October and it commemorates Cabrillo with a reenactment of his landing at Ballast Point, in San Diego Bay. The park offers a view of San Diegos harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado, on clear days, a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean and Mexicos Coronado Islands are visible. A visitor center screens a film about Cabrillos voyage and has exhibits about the expedition, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the highest point in the park and has been a San Diego icon since 1855.
The lighthouse was closed in 1891, and a new one opened at an elevation, because fog. The old lighthouse is now a museum, and visitors may enter it, the area encompassed by the national monument includes various former military installations, such as coastal artillery batteries, built to protect the harbor of San Diego from enemy warships. Many of these installations can be seen walking around the area. A former army building hosts an exhibit that tells the story of history at Point Loma. The area near the monument entrance was used for gliding activities in 1929-1935. Even Charles Lindbergh soared in a Bowlus sailplane along the cliffs of Point Loma in 1930, markers for these accomplishments can be found near the entrance, and the site is recognized as a National Soaring Landmark by the National Soaring Museum. On October 14,1913, by proclamation, Woodrow Wilson reserved 0.5 acres of Fort Rosecrans for The Order of Panama. To construct a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. In 1939 the Portuguese government commissioned a statue of Cabrillo.
The sandstone statue, executed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree, is 14 feet tall, the statue was intended for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco but arrived too late and was stored in an Oakland, California garage. Then-State Senator Ed Fletcher managed to obtain the statue in 1940 over the objections of Bay Area officials and it was stored for several years on the grounds of the Naval Training Center San Diego, out of public view, and was finally installed at Cabrillo Monument in 1949. The sandstone statue suffered severe weathering because of its position and was replaced in 1988 by a replica made of limestone
Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in Californias Owens Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, it is approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles. Long before the first incarcerees arrived in March 1942, Manzanar was home to Native Americans and miners formally established the town of Manzanar in 1910, but abandoned the town by 1929 after the City of Los Angeles purchased the water rights to virtually the entire area. As different as these groups were, their histories displayed a common thread of forced relocation, the primary focus is the Japanese American incarceration era, as specified in the legislation that created the Manzanar National Historic Site. The site interprets the former town of Manzanar, the days, the settlement by the Owens Valley Paiute. Let us review the main points of the debate, over 120,000 residents of the U. S. A. two thirds of whom were American citizens, were incarcerated under armed guard. There were no crimes committed, no trials, and no convictions, to detain American citizens in a site under armed guard surely constitutes a concentration camp.
But what were the used by the government officials who were involved in the process. Raymond Okamura provides us with a detailed list of terms, lets consider three such euphemisms, evacuation and non-aliens. Earthquake and flood victims are evacuated and relocated, the words refer to moving people in order to rescue and protect them from danger. The official government policy makers consistently used evacuation to refer to the removal of the Japanese Americans. These are euphemisms as the terms do not imply forced removal nor incarceration in enclosures patrolled by armed guards. Hirabayashi went on to describe the harm done by the use of such euphemisms, the harm in continuing to use the governments euphemisms is that it disguises or softens the reality which subsequently has been legally recognized as a grave error. The actions abrogated some fundamental principles underlying the Constitution, the document under which we govern ourselves. This erosion of fundamental rights has consequences for all citizens of our society, some have argued that the Nazi Germany camps during the Holocaust were concentration camps and to refer to the Japanese American camps likewise would be an affront to the Jews.
It is certainly true that the Japanese Americans did not suffer the fate of the Jews in the terrible concentration camps or death camps where Nazi Germany practiced a policy of genocide. Although the loss of life was minimal in Americas concentration camps and Walter Weglyns research concerning Nazi Germanys euphemisms for their concentration camps revealed such phrases as protective custody camps, reception centers, and transit camps. Ironically, two Nazi euphemisms were identical to our governments usage, assembly centers and relocation centers and it might be well to point out, that the Nazis were not operating under the U. S. Constitution. Comparisons usually neglect to point out that Hitler was operating under the rules of the Third Reich
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U. S. National Park in 1994 when the U. S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act and it is named for the Joshua trees native to the park. It covers a area of 790,636 acres —an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A large part of the park, some 429,690 acres, is a wilderness area. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park, in 1950, the size of the park was reduced by about 265,000 acres to exclude some mining property. The park was elevated to a National Park on 31 October 1994 by the Desert Protection Act, the higher and cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of Yucca brevifolia, the Joshua tree for which the park is named. It occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens, in addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in Californias deserts. The dominant geologic features of landscape are hills of bare rock.
These hills are popular amongst rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts, the flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 °F respectively, winter brings cooler days, around 60 °F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations, summers are hot, over 100 °F during the day and not cooling much below 75 °F until the early hours of the morning. Joshua trees dominate the open spaces of the park, but in among the outcroppings are piñon pine, California juniper, Quercus turbinella, Quercus john-tuckeri. These communities are under stress, however, as the climate was wetter until the 1930s, with the same hot. These cycles were nothing new, but the vegetation did not prosper when wetter cycles returned. The difference may have been human development, cattle grazing took out some of the natural cover and made it less resistant to the changes.
But the bigger problem seems to be invasive species, such as cheatgrass, in drier times, they die back, but do not quickly decompose. This makes wildfires hotter and more destructive, which some of the trees that would have otherwise survived
Camping is an outdoor recreational activity involving overnight stays away from home in a shelter such as a tent, a caravan, or even a motorhome. Generally participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natural ones in pursuit of activities providing them enjoyment, to be regarded as camping a minimum of one night is spent outdoors, distinguishing it from day-tripping and other similarly short-term recreational activities. Camping can be enjoyed through all four seasons, Camping as a recreational activity became popular among elites in the early 20th century. With time, it more democratic, and varied. Modern campers frequent publicly owned natural resources such as national and state parks, wilderness areas, Camping is a key part of many youth organizations around the world, such as Scouting, which use it to teach both self-reliance and teamwork. Camping describes a range of activities and approaches to outdoor accommodation, survivalist campers set off with as little as possible to get by, whereas recreational vehicle travelers arrive equipped with their own electricity and patio furniture.
Camping may be combined with hiking, as in backpacking, and is enjoyed in conjunction with other outdoor activities such as canoeing, fishing. There is no universally held definition of what is and what is not camping, fundamentally, it reflects a combination of intent and the nature of activities involved. A childrens summer camp with dining hall meals and bunkhouse accommodations may have camp in its name but fails to reflect the spirit, cultures with itinerant lifestyles or lack of permanent dwellings cannot be said to be camping, it is just their way of life. The history of camping is often traced back to Thomas Hiram Holding, a British travelling tailor. By the 1880s large numbers of visitors took part in the pastime, the early camping equipment was very heavy, so it was convenient to transport it by boat or to use craft that converted into tents. Although Thomas Hiram Holding is often seen as the father of modern camping in the UK and he experienced the activity in the wild from his youth, when he had spent much time with his parents traveling across the American prairies.
Later he embarked on a cycling and camping tour with friends across Ireland. He wrote The Campers Handbook in 1908, so that he could share his enthusiasm for the outdoors with the world. Possibly the first commercial camping ground in the world was Cunningham’s camp, near Douglas, Isle of Man, in 1906 the Association of Cycle Campers opened its first own camping site, in Weybridge. By that time the organization had several hundred members, in 1910 the Association was merged into the National Camping Club. Although WW1 was responsible for a hiatus in camping activity. The International Federation of Camping Clubs was founded in 1932 with national clubs from all over the world affiliating with it, by the 1960s camping had become an established family holiday standard and today camp sites are ubiqitous across Europe and North America
Angel Island (California)
Angel Island is an island in San Francisco Bay offering expansive 360° views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin County Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. The entire island is included within Angel Island State Park and is administered by California State Parks, Angel Island is the second largest island in area of the San Francisco Bay. The island is so large that on a day and Napa can be seen from the north side of the island. The highest point on the island, almost exactly at its center, is Mount Caroline Livermore at a height of 788 feet, the island is separated from the mainland of Marin County by Raccoon Strait, the depth of the water approximately 90 feet. The United States Census Bureau reported an area of 3.107 km². Until about ten years ago, Angel Island was connected to the mainland. From about two years ago the island was a fishing and hunting site for Coast Miwok Native Americans. Similar evidence of Native American settlement is found on the mainland of the Tiburon Peninsula upon Ring Mountain.
In 1775, the Spanish naval vessel San Carlos made the first European entry to the San Francisco Bay under the command of Juan de Ayala, Ayala anchored off Angel Island, and gave it its modern name, the bay where he anchored is now known as Ayala Cove. In his book Two Years Before the Mast, published in 1840, Richard Henry Dana, like much of the California coast, Angel Island was subsequently used for cattle ranching. In 1863, during the American Civil War, the U. S. Army was concerned about Confederate naval raiders attacking San Francisco and it decided to construct artillery batteries on Angel Island, first at Stuart Point and Point Knox. Col. René Edward De Russy was the Chief Engineer, James Terry Gardiner was the engineer tasked with designing and supervising the work. The Army established a camp on the island, and it became an infantry garrison during the US campaigns against Native American peoples in the West. In the 19th century, the designated the entire island as Fort McDowell and developed further facilities there.
A quarantine station was opened in Ayala Cove in 1891, during the Spanish–American War the island served as a discharge depot for returning troops. It continued to serve as a transit station throughout the first half of the 20th century, at the end of World War I the disembarkation center was commanded by William P. Burnham, who had commanded the 82nd Division in France during the war. In 1938, hearings concerning charges of membership in a political party against labor leader Harry Bridges were held on Angel Island before Dean James Landis of Harvard Law School. After eleven weeks of testimony that filled nearly 8,500 pages, the decision was accepted by the United States Department of Labor and Bridges was freed
Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located 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, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.
The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci