A swamp is a wetland, forested. Many swamps occur along large rivers where they are critically dependent upon natural water level fluctuations. Other swamps occur on the shores of large lakes; some swamps have hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodic inundation or soil saturation. The two main types of swamp swamp forests and "transitional" or shrub swamps. In the boreal regions of Canada, the word swamp is colloquially used for what is more termed a bog, fen, or muskeg; the water of a swamp may be brackish water or seawater. Some of the world's largest swamps are found along major rivers such as the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Congo. A marsh is a wetland composed of grasses and reeds found near the fringes of lakes and streams, serving as a transitional area between land and aquatic ecosystems. A swamp is a wetland composed of shrubs found along large rivers and lake shores. Swamps are characterized by slow-moving to stagnant waters.
Many adjoin rivers or lakes. Swamps are features of areas with low topographic relief. Humans have drained swamps to provide additional land for agriculture and to reduce the threat of diseases borne by swamp insects and similar animals. Many swamps have undergone intensive logging, requiring the construction of drainage ditches and canals; these ditches and canals contributed to drainage and, along the coast, allowed salt water to intrude, converting swamps to marsh or to open water. Large areas of swamp were therefore degraded. Louisiana provides a classic example of wetland loss from these combined factors. Europe has lost nearly half its wetlands. New Zealand lost 90 percent of its wetlands over a period of 150 years. Ecologists recognise that swamps provide valuable ecological services including flood control, fish production, water purification, carbon storage, wildlife habitat. In many parts of the world authorities protect swamps. In parts of Europe and North America, swamp restoration projects are becoming widespread.
The simplest steps to restoring swamps involve plugging drainage ditches and removing levees. Swamps and other wetlands have traditionally held a low property value compared to fields, prairies, or woodlands, they have a reputation for being unproductive land that cannot be utilized for human activities, other than hunting and trapping. Farmers, for example drained swamps next to their fields so as to gain more land usable for planting crops. Many societies now realize that swamps are critically important to providing fresh water and oxygen to all life, that they are breeding grounds for a wide variety of species. Indeed, floodplain swamps are important in fish production. Government environmental agencies are taking steps to protect and preserve swamps and other wetlands. In Europe, major effort is being invested in the restoration of swamp forests along rivers. Conservationists work to preserve swamps such as those in northwest Indiana in the United States Midwest that were preserved as part of the Indiana Dunes.
The problem of invasive species has been put into greater light such as in places like the Everglades. Swamps can be found on all continents except Antarctica; the largest swamp in the world is the Amazon River floodplain, significant for its large number of fish and tree species. The Sudd and the Okavango Delta are Africa's best known marshland areas; the Bangweulu Floodplains make up Africa's largest swamp. The Tigris-Euphrates river system is a large swamp and river system in southern Iraq, traditionally inhabited in part by the Marsh Arabs. In Asia, tropical peat swamps are located in mainland East Southeast Asia. In Southeast Asia, peatlands are found in low altitude coastal and sub-coastal areas and extend inland for distance more than 100 km along river valleys and across watersheds, they are to be found on the coasts of East Sumatra, West Papua, Papua New Guinea, Peninsular Malaya, Sarawak, Southeast Thailand, the Philippines. Indonesia has the largest area of tropical peatland. Of the total 440,000 km2 tropical peat swamp, about 210,000 km2 are located in Indonesia.
The Vasyugan Swamp is a large swamp in the western Siberia area of the Russian Federation. This is one of the largest swamps in the world; the Atchafalaya Swamp at the lower end of the Mississippi River is the largest swamp in the United States. It is an important example of southern cypress swamp but it has been altered by logging and levee construction. Other famous swamps in the United States are the forested portions of the Everglades, Okefenokee Swamp, Barley Barber Swamp, Great Cypress Swamp and the Great Dismal Swamp; the Okefenokee is located in extreme southeastern Georgia and extends into northeastern Florida. The Great Cypress Swamp is in Delaware but extends into Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula. Point Lookout State Park on the southern tip of Maryland contains a large amount of swamps and marshes; the Great Dismal Swamp lies in extreme southeastern Virginia and extreme northeastern North Carolina. Both are National Wildlife Refuges. Another swamp area, Reelfoot Lake of extreme western Tennessee and Kentucky, was created by the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes.
Caddo Lake, the Great Dismal and Reelfoot are swamps. Swamps are called bayous in the southeastern United States in the Gulf Coast region; the worl
Santa Fe Trail
The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century transportation route through central North America that connected Franklin, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pioneered in 1821 by William Becknell, who departed from the Boonslick region along the Missouri River, the trail served as a vital commercial highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in 1880. Santa Fe was near the end of the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, which carried trade from Mexico City; the route skirted the northern edge and crossed the north-western corner of Comancheria, the territory of the Comanches, who demanded compensation for granting passage to the trail, represented another market for American traders. Comanche raiding farther south in Mexico isolated New Mexico, making it more dependent on the American trade, provided the Comanches with a steady supply of horses for sale. By the 1840s, trail traffic along the Arkansas Valley was so heavy that bison herds could not reach important seasonal grazing land, contributing to their collapse, which in turn hastened the decline of Comanche power in the region.
The American army used the trail route in 1846 for the invasion of New Mexico during the Mexican–American War. After the U. S. acquisition of the Southwest ending the war, the trail helped open the region to U. S. economic development and settlement, playing a vital role in the expansion of the U. S. into the lands it had acquired. The road route is commemorated today by the National Park Service as the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. A highway route that follows the trail's path through the entire length of Kansas, the southeast corner of Colorado and northern New Mexico has been designated as the Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway; the Santa Fe Trail was a transportation route opened by the Spaniards at the end of the 18th century and used afterwards by the Americans in the 19th century, crossing the southwest of North America connecting Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. The French explorer Pedro Vial pioneered the route in 1792 and the Santa Fe Trail was established in 1822 to take advantage of new trade opportunities with Mexico, which had just won independence from Spain in the Mexican War of Independence.
The trail was used to haul manufactured goods from the state of Missouri in the United States to Santa Fe, in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Mexico. The wagon trains followed various emigrant trails to points west as people responded to the opportunity to hold free land, as the political philosophy of Manifest Destiny dominated national political discussions. Connecting riverboat port cities and their wagon train outfitters to western destinations, the trail was a fundamentally important trade route, carrying manufactured products from the central plains of United States to the trail head towns St. Joseph and Independence, Missouri. In the 1820s–30s, it was sporadically important in the reverse trade, carrying foods and supplies to the fur trappers and mountain men opening the remote Northwest in the interior Northwest: Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, connecting via mule trail to points north to supply the lucrative overland fur trade. Santa Fe was near the northern terminus of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, which led overland from Mexico City to San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico.
The limited trade traffic transited the site that would become Fort Bent in Colorado and the short-lived trading fort that sat astride the Trapper's Trail and Oregon Trail junction point. This post was only eight miles east of the site of Fort John on; the lost fort was on the same site where Fort Bernard was founded in the eastern Oregon Country. That Fort Bernard ran cargo mule trains to the Santa Fe is certain; the earlier Fort and its traders are less certain, suggesting that they might have been independents and not employees of the large fur companies. Regardless of the lack of explicit documents, it is known the light trading with Mexico used the trail and Trapper's Trail. In 1825, the merchant Manuel Escudero of Chihuahua was commissioned by New Mexico governor Bartolome Baca to negotiate in Washington for opening U. S. borders to traders from Mexico. Beginning in 1826, prominent aristocratic families of New Mexicans, such as the Chávezes, Armijos and Oteros entered into the commerce along the trail, such that by 1843, traders from New Mexico and Chihuahua had become the majority of traders involved in the traffic of goods over the Santa Fe Trail.
In 1835, Mexico City had sent Albino Pérez to govern the department of New Mexico as Jefe Politico and as commanding military officer. In 1837, the forces of Rio Arriba rebelled against Pérez' enforcement of the recent Mexican constitution, new revenue laws taxing Santa Fe commerce and entertainment, the large grants of New Mexico land to wealthy Mexicans. New Mexicans had grown to appreciate the relative freedoms of remote from Mexico City; the rebels defeated and executed governor Albino Perez, but were ousted by the forces of Rio Abajo led by Manuel Armijo. The Republic of Texas claimed Santa Fe as part of the territory north and east of the Rio Grande claimed by both Mexico and Texas following its secession from Mexico in 1836. In 1841, a small military and trading expedition departed from Austin, Texas representing the Republic of Texas and their president Mirabeau B. Lamar, their aim was to persuade the people of Santa Fe and New Mexico to relinquish control over the territory under dispute with Mexico, over the associated Santa Fe Trail
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men founded by Ignatius of Loyola and approved by Pope Paul III. The members are called Jesuits; the society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, cultural pursuits. Jesuits give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, promote ecumenical dialogue. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a Basque nobleman from the Pyrenees area of northern Spain, founded the society after discerning his spiritual vocation while recovering from a wound sustained in the Battle of Pamplona, he composed the Spiritual Exercises to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 1534, Ignatius and six other young men, including Francis Xavier and Peter Faber and professed vows of poverty and obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope in matters of mission direction and assignment. Ignatius's plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by a bull containing the "Formula of the Institute".
Ignatius was a nobleman who had a military background, the members of the society were supposed to accept orders anywhere in the world, where they might be required to live in extreme conditions. Accordingly, the opening lines of the founding document declared that the society was founded for "whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine." Jesuits are thus sometimes referred to colloquially as "God's soldiers", "God's marines", or "the Company", which evolved from references to Ignatius' history as a soldier and the society's commitment to accepting orders anywhere and to endure any conditions. The society participated in the Counter-Reformation and in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council; the Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage of Madonna Della Strada, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is led by a Superior General. The headquarters of the society, its General Curia, is in Rome.
The historic curia of Ignatius is now part of the Collegio del Gesù attached to the Church of the Gesù, the Jesuit mother church. In 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Jesuit to be elected Pope, taking the name Pope Francis; as of 2012, the Jesuits formed the largest single religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church. The Jesuits have experienced a decline in numbers in recent decades; as of 2017 the society had 16,088 members, 11,583 priests and 4,505 Jesuits in formation, which includes brothers and scholastics. This represents a 42.6 percent decline since 1977, when the society had a total membership of 28,038, of which 20,205 were priests. This decline is most pronounced in Europe and the Americas, with modest membership gains occurring in Asia and Africa. There seems to be no "Pope Francis effect" in counteracting the fall of vocations among the Jesuits; the society is divided into 83 provinces along with six independent regions and ten dependent regions. On 1 January 2007, members served in 112 nations on six continents with the largest number in India and the US.
Their average age was 57.3 years: 63.4 years for priests, 29.9 years for scholastics, 65.5 years for brothers. The current Superior General of the Jesuits is Arturo Sosa; the society is characterized by its ministries in the fields of missionary work, human rights, social justice and, most notably, higher education. It operates colleges and universities in various countries around the world and is active in the Philippines and India. In the United States the Jesuits have historical ties to 28 colleges and universities and 61 high schools; the degree to which the Jesuits are involved in the administration of each institution varies. As of September 2018, 15 of the 28 Jesuit universities in the US had non-Jesuit lay presidents. According to a 2014 article in The Atlantic, "the number of Jesuit priests who are active in everyday operations at the schools isn’t nearly as high as it once was". Worldwide it runs 172 colleges and universities. A typical conception of the mission of a Jesuit school will contain such concepts as proposing Christ as the model of human life, the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, lifelong spiritual and intellectual growth, training men and women for others.
Ignatius laid out his original vision for the new order in the "Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus", "the fundamental charter of the order, of which all subsequent official documents were elaborations and to which they had to conform." He ensured that his formula was contained in two papal bulls signed by Pope Paul III in 1540 and by Pope Julius III in 1550. The formula expressed the nature, community life, apostolate of the new religious order, its famous opening statement echoed Ignatius' military background: Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the Name of Jesus, to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity and obedience, keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching and any other ministration whatsoever of the Word of God, further by means of ret
The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri; the river takes drainage from a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than half a million square miles, which includes parts of ten U. S. states and two Canadian provinces. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world's fourth longest river system. For over 12,000 years, people have depended on the Missouri River and its tributaries as a source of sustenance and transportation. More than ten major groups of Native Americans populated the watershed, most leading a nomadic lifestyle and dependent on enormous bison herds that roamed through the Great Plains; the first Europeans encountered the river in the late seventeenth century, the region passed through Spanish and French hands before becoming part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase.
The Missouri River was one of the main routes for the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century. The growth of the fur trade in the early 19th century laid much of the groundwork as trappers explored the region and blazed trails. Pioneers headed west en masse beginning in the 1830s, first by covered wagon by the growing numbers of steamboats that entered service on the river. Settlers took over former Native American lands in the watershed, leading to some of the most longstanding and violent wars against indigenous peoples in American history. During the 20th century, the Missouri River basin was extensively developed for irrigation, flood control and the generation of hydroelectric power. Fifteen dams impound the main stem of the river, with hundreds more on tributaries. Meanders have been cut and the river channelized to improve navigation, reducing its length by 200 miles from pre-development times. Although the lower Missouri valley is now a populous and productive agricultural and industrial region, heavy development has taken its toll on wildlife and fish populations as well as water quality.
From the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Wyoming, three streams rise to form the headwaters of the Missouri River: the longest begins near Brower's Spring, 9,100 feet above sea level on the southeastern slopes of Mount Jefferson in the Centennial Mountains. From there it flows west north, it passes through Canyon Ferry Lake, a reservoir west of the Big Belt Mountains. Issuing from the mountains near Cascade, the river flows northeast to the city of Great Falls, where it drops over the Great Falls of the Missouri, a series of five substantial waterfalls, it winds east through a scenic region of canyons and badlands known as the Missouri Breaks, receiving the Marias River from the west widening into the Fort Peck Lake reservoir a few miles above the confluence with the Musselshell River. Farther on, the river passes through the Fort Peck Dam, downstream, the Milk River joins from the north. Flowing eastward through the plains of eastern Montana, the Missouri receives the Poplar River from the north before crossing into North Dakota where the Yellowstone River, its greatest tributary by volume, joins from the southwest.
At the confluence, the Yellowstone is the larger river. The Missouri meanders east past Williston and into Lake Sakakawea, the reservoir formed by Garrison Dam. Below the dam the Missouri receives the Knife River from the west and flows south to Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, where the Heart River joins from the west, it slows into the Lake Oahe reservoir just before the Cannonball River confluence. While it continues south reaching Oahe Dam in South Dakota, the Grand and Cheyenne Rivers all join the Missouri from the west; the Missouri makes a bend to the southeast as it winds through the Great Plains, receiving the Niobrara River and many smaller tributaries from the southwest. It proceeds to form the boundary of South Dakota and Nebraska after being joined by the James River from the north, forms the Iowa–Nebraska boundary. At Sioux City the Big Sioux River comes in from the north; the Missouri flows south to the city of Omaha where it receives its longest tributary, the Platte River, from the west.
Downstream, it begins to define the Nebraska–Missouri border flows between Missouri and Kansas. The Missouri swings east at Kansas City, where the Kansas River enters from the west, so on into north-central Missouri. To the east of Kansas City, the Missouri receives, on the left side, the Grand River, it passes south of Columbia and receives the Osage and Gasconade Rivers from the south downstream of Jefferson City. The river rounds the northern side of St. Louis to join the Mississippi River on the border between Missouri and Illinois. With a drainage basin spanning 529,350 square miles, the Missouri River's catchment encompasses nearly one-sixth of the area of the United States or just over five percent of the continent of North America. Comparable to the size of the Canadian province of Quebec, the watershed encompasses most of the central Great Plains, stretching from the Rocky Mountains in the
Meriwether Lewis was an American explorer, soldier and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition known as the Corps of Discovery, with William Clark. Their mission was to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase, establish trade with, sovereignty over the natives near the Missouri River, claim the Pacific Northwest and Oregon Country for the United States before European nations, they collected scientific data, information on indigenous nations. President Thomas Jefferson appointed him Governor of Upper Louisiana in 1806, he died of gunshot wounds in what was either a murder or suicide, in 1809. Meriwether Lewis was born in Albemarle County, Colony of Virginia, in the present-day community of Ivy, he was the son of William Lewis, of Welsh ancestry, Lucy Meriwether, of English ancestry. After his father died of pneumonia in November 1779, he moved with his mother and stepfather Captain John Marks to Georgia, they settled along the Broad River in the Goosepond Community within the Broad River Valley in Wilkes County.
Lewis had no formal education until he was 13 years of age, but during his time in Georgia he enhanced his skills as a hunter and outdoorsman. He would venture out in the middle of the night in the dead of winter with only his dog to go hunting. At an early age, he was interested in natural history, which would develop into a lifelong passion, his mother taught him. In the Broad River Valley, Lewis first dealt with American Indians; this was the traditional territory of the Cherokee. Lewis seems to have been a champion for them among his own people. While in Georgia, he met Eric Parker. At age 13, Lewis was sent back to Virginia for education by private tutors, his father's older brother. One of his tutors was an uncle of Matthew Fontaine Maury. In 1793, Lewis graduated from Liberty Hall; that year he joined the Virginia militia, in 1794 he was sent as part of a detachment involved in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion. In 1795, Lewis joined the United States Army, commissioned as an ensign—an army rank, abolished and was equivalent to a modern-day second lieutenant.
By 1800 he rose to captain, ended his service there in 1801. Among his commanding officers was William Clark, who would become his companion in the Corps of Discovery. On April 1, 1801, Lewis was appointed as Secretary to the President by President Thomas Jefferson, whom he knew through Virginia society in Albemarle County. Lewis resided in the presidential mansion, conversed with various prominent figures in politics, the arts and other circles, he compiled information on the personnel and politics of the United States Army, which had seen an influx of Federalist officers as a result of "midnight appointments" made by outgoing president John Adams in 1801. When Jefferson began to plan for an expedition across the continent, he chose Lewis to lead the expedition. Meriwether Lewis recruited Clark aged 33, to share command of the expedition. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Thomas Jefferson wanted to get an accurate sense of the new land and its resources; the President hoped to find a "direct and practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce with Asia."
In addition, Jefferson placed special importance on declaring U. S. sovereignty over the Native Americans along the Missouri River. The two-year exploration by Lewis and Clark was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific Coast by the United States; when they left Fort Mandan in April 1805 they were accompanied by the 16-year-old Shoshone Indian woman, the wife of the French-Canadian fur trader, Toussaint Charbonneau. The Corps of Discovery made contact with many Native Americans in the trans-Mississippi West and found them accustomed to dealing with European traders and connected to global markets. After crossing the Rocky Mountains, the expedition reached the Oregon Country and the Pacific Ocean in November 1805, they returned in 1806, bringing with them an immense amount of information about the region as well as numerous plant and animal specimens. They demonstrated the possibility of overland travel to the Pacific coast; the success of their journey helped to strengthen the American concept of "Manifest destiny" - the idea that the United States was destined to reach all the way across North America from Atlantic to Pacific.
After returning from the expedition, Lewis received a reward of 1,600 acres of land. He initially made arrangements to publish the Corps of Discovery journals, but had difficulty completing his writing. In 1807, Jefferson appointed him governor of the Louisiana Territory. Lewis' record as an administrator is mixed, he published the first laws in the Upper-Louisiana Territory, established roads and furthered Jefferson's mission as a strong proponent of the fur trade. He negotiated peace among several quarreling Indian tribes, his duty to enforce Indian treaties was to protect the western Indian lands from encroachment, opposed by the rush of settlers looking to open new lands for settlements. But due to his quarreling with local political leaders, controversy over his approvals of trading licenses, land grant politics, Indian depredations, some historians have argued that Lewis was a poor administrator; that view has be
The Oregon Trail is a 2,170-mile historic East–West, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail in the United States that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of the future state of Kansas, nearly all of what are now the states of Nebraska and Wyoming; the western half of the trail spanned most of the future states of Oregon. The Oregon Trail was laid by fur traders and trappers from about 1811 to 1840, was only passable on foot or by horseback. By 1836, when the first migrant wagon train was organized in Independence, Missouri, a wagon trail had been cleared to Fort Hall, Idaho. Wagon trails were cleared farther west, reached all the way to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, at which point what came to be called the Oregon Trail was complete as annual improvements were made in the form of bridges, cutoffs and roads, which made the trip faster and safer. From various starting points in Iowa, Missouri, or Nebraska Territory, the routes converged along the lower Platte River Valley near Fort Kearny, Nebraska Territory and led to rich farmlands west of the Rocky Mountains.
From the early to mid-1830s the Oregon Trail and its many offshoots were used by about 400,000 settlers, miners and business owners and their families. The eastern half of the trail was used by travelers on the California Trail, Mormon Trail, Bozeman Trail, before turning off to their separate destinations. Use of the trail declined as the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, making the trip west faster and safer. Today, modern highways, such as Interstate 80 and Interstate 84, follow parts of the same course westward and pass through towns established to serve those using the Oregon Trail. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson issued the following instructions to Meriwether Lewis: "The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as, by its course & communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Colorado and/or other river may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce."
Although Lewis and William Clark found a path to the Pacific Ocean, it was not until 1859 that a direct and practicable route, the Mullan Road, connected the Missouri River to the Columbia River. The first land route across what is now the United States was mapped by the Lewis and Clark Expedition between 1804 and 1806. Lewis and Clark believed they had found a practical overland route to the west coast. On the return trip in 1806, they traveled from the Columbia River to the Snake River and the Clearwater River over Lolo pass again, they traveled overland up the Blackfoot River and crossed the Continental Divide at Lewis and Clark Pass and on to the head of the Missouri River. This was a shorter and faster route than the one they followed west; this route had the disadvantages of being much too rough for wagons and controlled by the Blackfoot Indians. Though Lewis and Clark had only traveled a narrow portion of the upper Missouri River drainage and part of the Columbia River drainage, these were considered the two major rivers draining most of the Rocky Mountains, the expedition confirmed that there was no "easy" route through the northern Rocky Mountains as Jefferson had hoped.
Nonetheless, this famous expedition had mapped both the eastern and western river valleys that bookend the route of the Oregon Trail across the continental divide—they just had not located the South Pass or some of the interconnecting valleys used in the high country. They did show the way for the mountain men, who within a decade would find a better way across if it was not to be an easy way. Founded by John Jacob Astor as a subsidiary of his American Fur Company in 1810, the Pacific Fur Company operated in the Pacific Northwest in the ongoing North American fur trade. Two movements of PFC employees were planned by Astor, one detachment to be sent to the Columbia River by the Tonquin and the other overland under an expedition led by Wilson Price Hunt. Hunt and his party were to find possible supply routes and trapping territories for further fur trading posts. Upon arriving at the river in March 1811, the Tonquin crew began construction of what became Fort Astoria; the ship left supplies and men to continue work on the station and ventured north up the coast to Clayoquot Sound for a trading expedition.
While anchored there, Jonathan Thorn insulted an elder Tla-o-qui-aht, elected by the natives to negotiate a mutually satisfactory price for animal pelts. Soon after, the vessel was attacked and overwhelmed by the indigenous Clayoquot killing most of the crew except its Quinault interpreter, who told the PFC management at Fort Astoria of the destruction; the next day, the ship was blown up by surviving crew members. Under Hunt, fearing attack by the Niitsitapi, the overland expedition veered south of Lewis and Clark's route into what is now Wyoming and in the process passed across Union Pass and into Jackson Hole, Wyoming. From there they went over the Teton Range via Teton Pass and down to the Snake River into modern Idaho, they abandoned their horses at the Snake River, made dugout canoes, attempted to use the river for transport. After a few days' travel they soon discovered that steep canyon
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