International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Created by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas in 1894, it is the authority responsible for organising the modern Summer and Winter Olympic Games; the IOC is the governing body of the National Olympic Committees, which are the national constituents of the worldwide Olympic Movement. As of 2016, there are 206 NOCs recognised by the IOC; the current president of the IOC is Thomas Bach of Germany, who succeeded Jacques Rogge of Belgium in September 2013. The IOC was created by Pierre de Coubertin, on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president; as of January 2019, its membership consists of 96 active members, 45 honorary members, an honorary president and two honour members. The IOC is the supreme authority of the worldwide modern Olympic movement; the IOC organises the modern Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, held in summer and winter, every four years. The first Summer Olympics was held in Athens, Greece, in 1896.
The first Summer YOG were in Singapore in 2010 and the first Winter YOG in Innsbruck were in 2012. Until 1992, both Summer and Winter Olympics were held in the same year. After that year, the IOC shifted the Winter Olympics to the years between Summer Games, to help space the planning of the two events from one another, improve the financial balance of the IOC, which receives a proportionally greater income in Olympic years. In 2009, the UN General Assembly granted the IOC Permanent Observer status; the decision enables the IOC to be directly involved in the UN Agenda and to attend UN General Assembly meetings where it can take the floor. In 1993, the General Assembly approved a Resolution to further solidify IOC–UN cooperation by reviving the Olympic Truce. During each proclamation at the Olympics, announcers speak in different languages: French is always spoken first, followed by an English translation, the dominant language of the host nation; the IOC received approval in November 2015 to construct a new headquarters in Lausanne.
The cost of the project was estimated to stand at $156m. The IOC announced on 11 February 2019 that "Olympic House" would be inaugurated on 23 June 2019 to coincide with its 125th anniversary; the Olympic Museum remains in Lausanne. The stated mission of the IOC is to promote the Olympics throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement: To encourage and support the organisation and coordination of sport and sports competitions, it is the IOC's supreme organ and its decisions are final. Extraordinary Sessions may be convened by the President or upon the written request of at least one third of the members. Among others, the powers of the Session are: To amend the Olympic Charter. To elect the members of the IOC, the Honorary President and the honorary members. To elect the President, the Vice-Presidents and all other members of the IOC Executive Board. To elect the host city of the Olympic Games. In addition to the Olympic medals for competitors, the IOC awards a number of other honours; the IOC President's Trophy is the highest sports award given to athletes who have excelled in their sport and had an extraordinary career and created a lasting impact on their sport The Pierre de Coubertin medal is awarded to athletes who demonstrate a special spirit of sportsmanship in Olympic events The Olympic Cup is awarded to institutions or associations with a record of merit and integrity in developing the Olympic Movement The Olympic Order is awarded to individuals for distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement, superseded the Olympic Certificate The Olympic Laurel is awarded to individuals for promoting education, culture and peace through sport The Olympic town status has been given to some towns which have been important for the Olympic movement For most of its existence, the IOC was controlled by members who were selected by other members.
Countries that had hosted. When named, they did not become the representatives of their respective countries to the IOC, but rather the opposite, IOC members in their respective countries. "Granted the honour of becoming a member of the International Olympic Committee and declaring myself aware of my responsibilities in such a capacity, I undertake to serve the Olympic Movement to the best of my ability. The membership of IOC members ceases in the following circumstances: Resignation: any IOC member may cease their membership at any tim
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad, first held in 1896, is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years. The most recent Olympics were held in Rio de Brazil; the International Olympic Committee oversees the host city's preparations. In each Olympic event, gold medals are awarded for first place, silver medals are awarded for second place, bronze medals are awarded for third place; the Winter Olympic Games were created due to the success of the Summer Olympics. The Olympics have increased in scope from a 42-event competition with fewer than 250 male competitors from 14 nations in 1896, to 306 events with 11,238 competitors from 206 nations in 2016; the Summer Olympics has been hosted on five continents by a total of nineteen countries. The Games have been held four times in the United States; the IOC has selected Tokyo, Japan, to host the Summer Olympics for a second time in 2020. The 2024 Summer Olympics will be held in Paris, for a third time one hundred years after the city's last Summer Olympics in 1924.
The IOC has selected Los Angeles, California, to host its third Summer Games in 2028. To date, only five countries have participated in every Summer Olympic Games – Australia, Great Britain and Switzerland; the United States leads the all-time medal table for the Summer Olympics. The United States has hosted the Summer Olympic Games four times: the 1904 Games were held in St. Louis, Missouri; the 2028 Games in Los Angeles will mark the fifth occasion on which the Summer Games have been hosted by the U. S. In 2012, the United Kingdom hosted its third Summer Olympic Games in the capital city, which became the first city to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games three times; the cities of Los Angeles and Athens have each hosted two Summer Olympic Games. In 2024, France will host its third Summer Olympic Games in its capital, making Paris the second city to have hosted three Summer Olympics. In 2028, Los Angeles will become the third city to have hosted the Games three times. Australia, France and Greece have all hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice.
The IOC has selected Tokyo, Japan, to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, when it will become the first city outside the Western world to have hosted the Summer Olympics more than once, having hosted the Games in 1964. The other countries that have hosted the Summer Olympics are Belgium, China, Finland, Mexico, South Korea, Soviet Union, Sweden. Asia has hosted the Summer Olympics three times, in Tokyo, Seoul, South Korea, Beijing, China; the Summer Olympics has been held predominantly in English-speaking countries and European nations. Tokyo will be the first city outside these regions to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice; the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, were the first Summer Olympics to be held in South America and the first that were held during the local winter season. The only two countries in the Southern Hemisphere to have hosted the Summer Olympics have been Australia and Brazil. Africa has yet to host a Summer Olympics. Stockholm, has hosted events at two Summer Olympic Games, having been sole host of the 1912 Games, hosting the equestrian events at the 1956 Summer Olympics.
Amsterdam, has hosted events at two Summer Olympic Games, having been sole host of the 1928 Games and hosting two of the sailing races at the 1920 Summer Olympics. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Hong Kong provided the venues for the equestrian events, which took place in Sha Tin and Kwu Tung; the modern Olympic Games were founded in 1894 when Pierre de Coubertin sought to promote international understanding through sporting competition. He based his Olympics on the Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games, contested in Much Wenlock since 1850; the first edition of de Coubertin's games, held in Athens in 1896, attracted just 245 competitors, of whom more than 200 were Greek, only 14 countries were represented. No international events of this magnitude had been organised before. Female athletes were not allowed to compete, though one woman, Stamata Revithi, ran the marathon course on her own, saying "If the committee doesn't let me compete I will go after them regardless"; the 1896 Summer Olympics known as the Games of the Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event, celebrated in Athens, from 6 to 15 April 1896.
It was the first Olympic Games held in the Modern era. About 100,000 people attended for the opening of the games; the athletes came with most coming from Greece. Although Greece had the most athletes, the U. S. finished with the most champions. 11 Americans placed first in their events vs. the 10 from Greece
Czechoslovakia, or Czecho-Slovakia, was a sovereign state in Central Europe that existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until its peaceful dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993. From 1939 to 1945, following its forced division and partial incorporation into Nazi Germany, the state did not de facto exist but its government-in-exile continued to operate. From 1948 to 1990, Czechoslovakia was part of the Eastern Bloc with a command economy, its economic status was formalized in membership of Comecon from 1949 and its defense status in the Warsaw Pact of May 1955. A period of political liberalization in 1968, known as the Prague Spring, was forcibly ended when the Soviet Union, assisted by several other Warsaw Pact countries, invaded. In 1989, as Marxist–Leninist governments and communism were ending all over Europe, Czechoslovaks peacefully deposed their government in the Velvet Revolution. In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into the two sovereign states of Slovakia.
Form of state1918 – 1938: A democratic republic championed by Tomáš Masaryk. 1938 – 1939: After annexation of Sudetenland by Nazi Germany in 1938, the region turned into a state with loosened connections among the Czech and Ruthenian parts. A large strip of southern Slovakia and Carpatho-Ukraine was annexed by Hungary, the Zaolzie region was annexed by Poland. 1939 – 1945: The region was split into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the Slovak Republic. A government-in-exile continued to exist in London, supported by the United Kingdom, United States and their Allies. Czechoslovakia adhered to the Declaration by United Nations and was a founding member of the United Nations. 1946 – 1948: The country was governed by a coalition government with communist ministers, including the prime minister and the minister of interior. Carpathian Ruthenia was ceded to the Soviet Union. 1948 – 1989: The country became a socialist state under Soviet domination with a centrally planned economy. In 1960, the country became a socialist republic, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
It was a satellite state of the Soviet Union. 1969 – 1990: The federal republic consisted of the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic. 1990 – 1992: Following the Velvet Revolution, the state was renamed the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, consisting of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, reverted to a democratic republic. NeighboursAustria 1918 – 1938, 1945 – 1992 Germany Hungary Poland Romania 1918 – 1938 Soviet Union 1945 – 1991 Ukraine 1991 – 1992 TopographyThe country was of irregular terrain; the western area was part of the north-central European uplands. The eastern region was composed of the northern reaches of the Carpathian Mountains and lands of the Danube River basin. ClimateThe weather is mild summers. Influenced by the Atlantic Ocean from the west, Baltic Sea from the north, Mediterranean Sea from the south. There is no continental weather. 1918–1920: Republic of Czechoslovakia /Czecho-Slovak State, or Czecho-Slovakia/Czechoslovakia 1920–1938: Czechoslovak Republic, or Czechoslovakia 1938–1939: Czecho-Slovak Republic, or Czecho-Slovakia 1945–1960: Czechoslovak Republic, or Czechoslovakia 1960–1990: Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, or Czechoslovakia April 1990: Czechoslovak Federative Republic and Czecho-Slovak Federative Republic The country subsequently became the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic, or Československo and Česko-Slovensko.
The area was long a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the empire collapsed at the end of World War I. The new state was founded by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who served as its first president from 14 November 1918 to 14 December 1935, he was succeeded by his close ally, Edvard Beneš. The roots of Czech nationalism go back to the 19th century, when philologists and educators, influenced by Romanticism, promoted the Czech language and pride in the Czech people. Nationalism became a mass movement in the second half of the 19th century. Taking advantage of the limited opportunities for participation in political life under Austrian rule, Czech leaders such as historian František Palacký founded many patriotic, self-help organizations which provided a chance for many of their compatriots to participate in communal life prior to independence. Palacký supported Austro-Slavism and worked for a reorganized and federal Austrian Empire, which would protect the Slavic speaking peoples of Central Europe against Russian and German threats.
An advocate of democratic reform and Czech autonomy within Austria-Hungary, Masaryk was elected twice to the Reichsrat, first from 1891 to 1893 for the Young Czech Party, again from 1907 to 1914 for the Czech Realist Party, which he had founded in 1889 with Karel Kramář and Josef Kaizl. During World War I small numbers of Czechs, the Czechoslovak Legions, fought with the Allies in France and Italy, while large numbers deserted to Russia in exchange for its support for the independence of Czechoslovakia from the Austrian Empire. With the outbreak of World War I, Masaryk began working for Czech independence in a union with Slovakia. With Edvard Beneš and Milan Rastislav Štefánik, Masaryk visited several Western countries and won support from influential publicists. Bohemia and Moravi
Mies is a municipality in the district of Nyon in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. It is halfway between Geneva and Nyon. Mies sits on Lake Geneva, 410m above sea-level; the highest point of Mies is 455m above sea level. The part of Mies touching the lake measures 1.63 km. To the southwest lies Versoix, in the Canton of Geneva and to the northwest Chavannes-de-Bogis, which houses a major shopping mall. To the north and west lie the Communes of Tannay, Bogis-Bossey, Coppet. Mies is separated from the neighbouring commune of Tannay by a small ravine containing a stream called le nant du Torry. Mies is one of the communes of the Canton de Vaud which are collectively known as the "Terre-Sainte", it is thought that the name Mies comes from its location of half way between Geneva and Nyon, or maybe because it is halfway between Versoix and Coppet. Remains of settlements have been found all the way back to the Bronze Age, but the first documentary reference to Mies was in 1345 under the name Miez. On, additional ways of writing the village appeared: Miez, Myez, Myer and only in 1912 Mies.
With the conquest of the Canton de Vaud by Bern in the year 1536, the village came under the administration of the district of Nyon. Mies thus became Switzerland's border village - with France - from 1536 until the creation of the Canton of Geneva in 1815; the village of Mies is served by a number of small businesses. Amongst these can be found a general store/grocer, the post office, video store, tea-room, restaurants and dentist, bank, etc. In the commune of Mies, but not in the village centre, can be found a number of businesses along the Route Suisse, which follows the lake, including restaurants, lake facilities, boat builders, garages; the mayor's office is located in the village centre, in a fine old building, the village school for many years. Nowadays, the children go to a new school called "Le Sorbier", which lies above the village in a pleasant green area opposite the sports centre; the nearest full size shopping facilities can be found at the neighbouring village of Chavannes de Bogis, about 10 minutes drive away, where there is a major shopping complex.
The playing fields of Mies include a full size football field, basketball pitch, running track, tennis courts, children's playground with swings, climbing frames and other children's games. The clubhouse has showers and toilets, as well as a snack bar, but these facilities are only open when football matches are being played on the sports field. There is a polo field, Polo de Veytay, where several polo matches are played every year, such as the Geneva Polo Masters; this is part of the large agricultural and forest area known as Domaine de Veytay, in the North-West of the commune and which takes up about 40% of the area of the commune or some 150 hectares. Photos Right on the border of the commune, but on the Versoix side is the Versoix Sports Centre, which includes a swimming pool. Mies has a public beach on Lake Geneva; this is popular in the summer months and several bar-b-Qs have been set up. Photos The Domaine de Veytay contains a nature reserve known as la Gouille Marion covering 7 hectares.
Although private land, there are no restrictions on walking through the forest, visiting a large pond, viewing the birds from some watch-sheds in the forest. La Gouille Marion was boggy marshland which became flooded in the winter. However, in 1972 l'Association pour la Protection des Bois de la Rive Droit du Lac, carried out work which gave birth to the large pond in which two small islands were built. A ditch was constructed in order to control the level of water. A bird observatory was built to allow ornithologists to watch the birds without disturbing them. In 1973 la Gouille Marion was classified as a nature reserve and it is forbidden to leave the paths during the nesting season from 1 March to 1 August. Hunting is forbidden and dogs must be kept on their leads; the forest and pond hold many species of birds, amphibians including various frogs and toads, mammals such as deer, wild boar and foxes which drink from the pond. Photos Mies has a second nature reserve, Les Crénées, on the lakeshore, private property, but not accessible to the public.
There are plenty of long winding paths through the countryside and woods, bordering on corn fields and apple orchards. Mies has an area, as of 2009, of 3.5 square kilometers. Of this area, 1.16 km2 or 33.6% is used for agricultural purposes, while 1.12 km2 or 32.5% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 1.18 km2 or 34.2% is settled, 0.02 km2 or 0.6% is either rivers or lakes and 0.01 km2 or 0.3% is unproductive land. Of the built up area and buildings made up 26.7% and transportation infrastructure made up 4.1%. Power and water infrastructure as well as other special developed areas made up 1.2% of the area while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 1.7%. Out of the forested land, 31.0% of the total land area is forested and 1.4% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 18.3% is used for growing crops and 11.9% is pastures, while 3.5% is used for orchards or vine crops. All the water in the municipality is in lakes; the municipality was part of the Nyon District until it was dissolved on 31 August 2006, Mies became part of the new district of Nyon.
The municipality is located on a terrace above Lake Geneva. Mies lies on the main railway
Munich is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria, the second most populous German federal state. With a population of around 1.5 million, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, as well as the 12th-largest city in the European Union. The city's metropolitan region is home to 6 million people. Straddling the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps, it is the seat of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria, while being the most densely populated municipality in Germany. Munich is the second-largest city in the Bavarian dialect area, after the Austrian capital of Vienna; the city is a global centre of art, technology, publishing, innovation, education and tourism and enjoys a high standard and quality of living, reaching first in Germany and third worldwide according to the 2018 Mercer survey, being rated the world's most liveable city by the Monocle's Quality of Life Survey 2018. According to the Globalization and World Rankings Research Institute Munich is considered an alpha-world city, as of 2015.
Munich is a major international center of engineering, science and research, exemplified by the presence of two research universities, a multitude of scientific institutions in the city and its surroundings, world class technology and science museums like the Deutsches Museum and BMW Museum.. Munich houses many multinational companies and its economy is based on high tech, the service sector and creative industries, as well as IT, biotechnology and electronics among many others; the name of the city is derived from the Old/Middle High German term Munichen, meaning "by the monks". It derives from the monks of the Benedictine order, who ran a monastery at the place, to become the Old Town of Munich. Munich was first mentioned in 1158. Catholic Munich resisted the Reformation and was a political point of divergence during the resulting Thirty Years' War, but remained physically untouched despite an occupation by the Protestant Swedes. Once Bavaria was established as a sovereign kingdom in 1806, it became a major European centre of arts, architecture and science.
In 1918, during the German Revolution, the ruling house of Wittelsbach, which had governed Bavaria since 1180, was forced to abdicate in Munich and a short-lived socialist republic was declared. In the 1920s, Munich became home to several political factions, among them the NSDAP; the first attempt of the Nazi movement to take over the German government in 1923 with the Beer Hall Putsch was stopped by the Bavarian police in Munich with gunfire. After the Nazis' rise to power, Munich was declared their "Capital of the Movement". During World War II, Munich was bombed and more than 50% of the entire city and up to 90% of the historic centre were destroyed. After the end of postwar American occupation in 1949, there was a great increase in population and economic power during the years of Wirtschaftswunder, or "economic miracle". Unlike many other German cities which were bombed, Munich restored most of its traditional cityscape and hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics; the 1980s brought strong economic growth, high-tech industries and scientific institutions, population growth.
The city is home to major corporations like BMW, Siemens, MAN, Linde and MunichRE. Munich is home to many universities and theatres, its numerous architectural attractions, sports events and its annual Oktoberfest attract considerable tourism. Munich is one of the fastest growing cities in Germany, it is a top-ranked destination for expatriate location. Munich hosts more than 530,000 people of foreign background; the first known settlement in the area was of Benedictine monks on the Salt road. The foundation date is not considered the year 1158, the date the city was first mentioned in a document; the document was signed in Augsburg. By the Guelph Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, had built a toll bridge over the river Isar next to the monk settlement and on the salt route, but as part of the archaeological excavations at Marienhof in advance of the expansion of the S-Bahn from 2012 shards of vessels from the eleventh century were found, which prove again that the settlement Munich must be older than their first documentary mention from 1158.
In 1175 Munich received city fortification. In 1180 with the trial of Henry the Lion, Otto I Wittelsbach became Duke of Bavaria, Munich was handed to the Bishop of Freising. In 1240, Munich was transferred to Otto II Wittelsbach and in 1255, when the Duchy of Bavaria was split in two, Munich became the ducal residence of Upper Bavaria. Duke Louis IV, a native of Munich, was elected German king in 1314 and crowned as Holy Roman Emperor in 1328, he strengthened the city's position by granting it the salt monopoly, thus assuring it of additional income. In the late 15th century, Munich underwent a revival of gothic arts: the Old Town Hall was enlarged, Munich's largest gothic church – the Frauenkirche – now a cathedral, was constructed in only 20 years, starting in 1468; when Bavaria was reunited in 1506, Munich became its capital. The arts and politics became influenced by the court. During the 16th century, Munich was a centre of the German counter reformation, of renaissance arts. Duke Wilhelm V commissioned the Jesuit Michaelskirche, which became a centre for the counter-reform
The world is the planet Earth and all life upon it, including human civilization. In a philosophical context, the "world" is the whole of the physical Universe, or an ontological world. In a theological context, the world is the material or the profane sphere, as opposed to the celestial, transcendent or sacred spheres. "End of the world" scenarios refer to the end of human history in religious contexts. The history of the world is understood as spanning the major geopolitical developments of about five millennia, from the first civilizations to the present. In terms such as world religion, world language, world government, world war, the term world suggests an international or intercontinental scope without implying participation of every part of the world; the world population is the sum of all human populations at any time. Terms such as "world championship", "gross world product", "world flags" imply the sum or combination of all sovereign states; the English word world comes from the Old English weorold, worold, a compound of wer "man" and eld "age," which thus means "Age of Man."
The Old English is a reflex of the Common Germanic *wira-alđiz reflected in Old Saxon werold, Old Dutch werilt, Old High German weralt, Old Frisian warld and Old Norse verǫld. The corresponding word in Latin is mundus "clean, elegant", itself a loan translation of Greek cosmos "orderly arrangement." While the Germanic word thus reflects a mythological notion of a "domain of Man" as opposed to the divine sphere on the one hand and the chthonic sphere of the underworld on the other, the Greco-Latin term expresses a notion of creation as an act of establishing order out of chaos. "World" distinguishes the entire planet or population from any particular country or region: world affairs pertain not just to one place but to the whole world, world history is a field of history that examines events from a global perspective. Earth, on the other hand, refers to the planet as a physical entity, distinguishes it from other planets and physical objects. "World" was classically used to mean the material universe, or the cosmos: "The worlde is an apte frame of heauen and earthe, all other naturall thinges contained in them."
The earth was described as "the center of the world". The term can be used attributively, to mean "global", or "relating to the whole world", forming usages such as world community or world canonical texts. By extension, a world may refer to any planet or heavenly body when it is thought of as inhabited in the context of science fiction or futurology. World, in its original sense, when qualified, can refer to a particular domain of human experience; the world of work describes paid work and the pursuit of a career, in all its social aspects, to distinguish it from home life and academic study. The fashion world describes the environment of the designers, fashion houses and consumers that make up the fashion industry. Historically, the New World vs. the Old World, referring to the parts of the world colonized in the wake of the age of discovery. Now used in zoology and botany, as in New World monkey. In philosophy, the term world has several possible meanings. In some contexts, it refers to everything that makes up the physical universe.
In others, it can mean have a specific ontological sense. While clarifying the concept of world has arguably always been among the basic tasks of Western philosophy, this theme appears to have been raised explicitly only at the start of the twentieth century and has been the subject of continuous debate; the question of what the world is has by no means been settled. The traditional interpretation of Parmenides' work is that he argued that the everyday perception of reality of the physical world is mistaken, that the reality of the world is'One Being': an unchanging, indestructible whole. In his Allegory of the Cave, Plato distinguishes between forms and ideas and imagines two distinct worlds: the sensible world and the intelligible world. In Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's philosophy of history, the expression Weltgeschichte ist Weltgericht is used to assert the view that History is what judges men, their actions and their opinions. Science is born from the desire to transform the World in relation to Man.
The World as Will and Representation is the central work of Arthur Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer saw the human will as our one window to the world behind the representation, he believed, that we could gain knowledge about the thing-in-itself, something Kant said was impossible, since the rest of the relationship between representation and thing-in-itself could be understood by analogy to the relationship between human will and human body. Two definitions that were both put forward in the 1920s, suggest the range of available opinion. "The world is everything, the case," wrote Ludwig Wittgenstein in his influential Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, first published in 1921. This definition would serve as the basis of logical positivism, with its assumption that there is one world, consisting of the totality of facts, regardless of the interpretations that individual people may make of them. Martin Heidegger, argued that "the surrounding world is different for each of us, notwithstanding t
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