San Francisco the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017, it covers an area of about 46.89 square miles at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, the fifth-most densely populated U. S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area; as of 2017, it was the seventh-highest income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $119,868. As of 2015, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $154.2 billion, a GDP per capita of $177,968. The San Francisco CSA was the country's third-largest urban economy as of 2017, with a GDP of $907 billion.
Of the 500+ primary statistical areas in the US, the San Francisco CSA had among the highest GDP per capita in 2017, at $93,938. San Francisco was ranked 14th in the world and third in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of September 2018. San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi; the California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. San Francisco's status as the West Coast's largest city peaked between 1870 and 1900, when around 25% of California's population resided in the city proper. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater.
It became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes along liberal Democratic Party lines. A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, its Chinatown district. San Francisco is the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. Gap Inc. Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Reddit, Inc. Dolby, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pinterest, Uber, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation and Weather Underground.
It is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the California Academy of Sciences. As of 2019, San Francisco is the highest rated American city on world liveability rankings; the earliest archaeological evidence of human habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. The Yelamu group of the Ohlone people resided in a few small villages when an overland Spanish exploration party, led by Don Gaspar de Portolà, arrived on November 2, 1769, the first documented European visit to San Francisco Bay. Seven years on March 28, 1776, the Spanish established the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by a mission, Mission San Francisco de Asís, established by the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza. Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the area became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the mission system ended, its lands became privatized.
In 1835, Englishman William Richardson erected the first independent homestead, near a boat anchorage around what is today Portsmouth Square. Together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7, 1846, during the Mexican–American War, Captain John B. Montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, Mexico ceded the territory to the United States at the end of the war. Despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography; the California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers. With their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849; the promise of great wealth was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor.
Some of these 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships and hotels.
Supreme Court of California
The Supreme Court of California is the highest and final court in the courts of the State of California. It resides in the State Building in San Francisco in Civic Center overlooking Civic Center Square along with City Hall, it holds sessions in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Its decisions are binding on all other California state courts. Under the original 1849 California Constitution, the Court started with a chief justice and two associate justices; the Court was expanded to five justices in 1862. Under the current 1879 constitution, the Court expanded to six associate justices and one chief justice, for the current total of seven; the justices are subject to retention elections. According to the California Constitution, to be considered for appointment, as with any California judge, a person must be an attorney admitted to practice in California or have served as a judge of a California court for 10 years preceding the appointment. To fill a vacant position, the Governor must first submit a candidate's name to the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation of the State Bar of California, which prepares and returns a thorough, confidential evaluation of the candidate.
Next, the Governor nominates the candidate, who must be evaluated by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, which consists of the Chief Justice of California, the Attorney General of California, a senior presiding justice of the California Courts of Appeal. The Commission holds a public hearing and if satisfied with the nominee's qualifications, confirms the nomination; the nominee can immediately fill an existing vacancy, or replace a departing justice at the beginning of the next judicial term. If a nominee is confirmed to fill a vacancy that arose partway through a judicial term, the justice must stand for retention during the next gubernatorial election. Voters determine whether to retain the justice for the remainder of the judicial term. At the term's conclusion, justices must again undergo a statewide retention election for a full 12-year term. If a majority votes "no," the seat may be filled by the Governor; the electorate has exercised the power not to retain justices. Chief Justice Rose Bird and Associate Justices Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin were staunchly opposed to capital punishment and were subsequently removed in the 1986 general election.
Newly reelected Governor George Deukmejian was able to elevate Associate Justice Malcolm M. Lucas to Chief Justice and appoint three new associate justices. Four current justices were appointed by three by Republicans. There is one Filipino-American justice, one Hispanic, one African-American, two East Asian-American justices, two non-Hispanic white justices; the justices do not publicly discuss their religious views or affiliations. One justice earned an undergraduate degree from a University of California school, four from private universities in California, two from out-of-state private universities. Two justices earned their law degrees from a University of California law school, one from a law school at a California private university, four from law schools at out-of-state private universities; the most recent addition to the court is Associate Justice Joshua Groban, replacing Associate Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar, who retired on August 31, 2017. Governor Jerry Brown nominated Groban on November 14, 2018.
He joined the court when it reconvened on January 8. Between 1879 and 1966, the court was divided into two three-justice panels, Department One and Department Two; the chief justice divided cases evenly between the panels and decided which cases would be heard en banc by the Court sitting as a whole. After a constitutional amendment in 1966, the Court sits "in bank" when hearing all appeals; when there is an open seat on the court, or if a justice recuses himself or herself on a given case, justices from the California Courts of Appeal are assigned by the chief justice to join the court for individual cases on a rotational basis. The procedure for when all justices recuse themselves from a case has varied over time. For a 1992 case, the chief justice requested the presiding justice of a Court of Appeal district to select six other Court of Appeal justices from his district, they formed an acting Supreme Court for the purpose of deciding that one case. However, in a case where all members of the Court recused themselves when Governor Schwarzenegger sought a writ of mandate, seven justices of the Courts of Appeal were selected based on the regular rotational basis, not from the same district, with the most senior one serving as the acting chief justice, that acting supreme court denied the writ petition.
In a yet more recent case where all members of the Court recused themselves on a petition for review by retired Court of Appeal justices on a matter involving those justices' salaries, the Court ordered that six superior court judges be selected from the pool that took office after July 1, 2017 to serve as the substitute justices for the six sitting justices, with the senior judge among that group serving as the acting Chief Justice.
Ipswich is a coastal town in Essex County, United States. The population was 13,175 at the 2010 census. Home to Willowdale State Forest and Sandy Point State Reservation, Ipswich includes the southern part of Plum Island. A residential community with a vibrant tourism industry, the town is famous for its clams, celebrated annually at the Ipswich Chowderfest, for Crane Beach, a barrier beach near the Crane estate. Ipswich was incorporated as a town in 1634. Ipswich was founded by John Winthrop the Younger, son of John Winthrop, one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 and its first governor, elected in England in 1629. Several hundred colonists sailed from England in 1630 in a fleet of 11 ships, including Winthrop's flagship, the Arbella. Investigating the region of Salem and Cape Ann, they entertained aboard the Arbella for a day, June 12, 1630, a native chief of the lands to the north, Chief Masconomet; the event was recorded in Winthrop's journal on the 13th, but Winthrop did not say how they overcame the language barrier.
The name they heard from Masconomet concerning the country over which he ruled has been reconstructed as Wonnesquamsauke, which the English promptly rendered into the anglicized "Agawam". The colonists, sailed to the south where some buildings had been prepared for them at a place newly named Charlestown; that winter they lost a few hundred colonists from disease. They experienced their first nor'easter, which cost them some fingers and toes, as well as houses destroyed by the fires they kept burning day and night. Just as Winthrop was handing out the last handful of grain, the supply ship Lyon entered Boston Harbor. John now sent for his family in England, but his wife, her children, his eldest son, whose mother was the elder John's first wife, Mary Forth, did not arrive until November, on the Lyon. John the Younger resided with his father and stepmother until 1633, when he resolved to settle in Agawam, with the permission of the General Court of Massachusetts. Captain John Smith had written about the Angoam or Aggawom region in 1614, referring to it as "an excellent habitation, being a good and safe harbour."
There is no record of any native resistance to the colonization either at Charlestown or at Agawam though estimates of the earlier populations run into the thousands. A plague of 1616–1618 and again in the early 1630s smallpox brought from abroad, had devastated the once populous Indian tribes; the fields stood vacant. The colonists encountered but few natives. John the Younger and 12 men aboard a shallop took up residence there. Two men continued up the river to a large meadow. Agawam was incorporated on August 5, 1634, as Ipswich, after Ipswich in the county of Suffolk, England; the name "Ipswich" was taken "in acknowledgment of the great honor and kindness done to our people which took shipping there." Nathaniel Ward, an assistant pastor in town from 1634 to 1636, wrote the first code of laws for Massachusetts and published the religious/political work, The Simple Cobbler of Aggawam in America in England. Pioneers would become farmers, shipbuilders or traders; the tidal Ipswich River provided water power for mills, salt marshes supplied hay for livestock.
A cottage industry in lace-making developed. But in 1687, Ipswich residents, led by the Reverend John Wise, protested a tax imposed by the governor, Sir Edmund Andros; as Englishmen, they argued, taxation without representation was unacceptable. Citizens were jailed, but Andros was recalled to England in 1689, the new British sovereigns, William III and Mary II, issued colonists another charter; the rebellion is the reason the town calls itself the "Birthplace of American Independence". Great clipper ships of the 19th century, bypassed Ipswich in favor of the deep-water seaports at Salem, Newburyport and Boston; the town remained a fishing and farming community, its residents living in older homes they could not afford to replace—leaving Ipswich with a considerable inventory of early architecture. In 1822, a stocking manufacturing machine, smuggled out of England arrived at Ipswich, violating a British ban on exporting such technology, the community developed as a mill town. In 1828, the Ipswich Female Seminary was founded.
In 1868, Amos A. Lawrence established the Ipswich Hosiery Mills beside the river, it would expand into the largest stocking mill in the country by the turn of the 20th century. What may be the last witchcraft trial in North America was held in Ipswich in 1878. In the Ipswich witchcraft trial, a member of the Christian Science religion was accused of using his mental powers to harm others, including a spinster living in the town; the town government was reformed in 1950 with the acceptance of the Town Manager Charter. This charter was rescinded by the voters, lost again, the present Town Manager-Selectmen Charter was adopted by the voters in 1967. In 2012 Ipswich hired its first female Town Manager, Robin Crosbie, who served until her retirement in 2018. In 1910, Richard T. Crane, Jr. of Chicago, the business magnate owner of Crane Plumbing, bought Castle Hill, a drumlin on Ipswich Bay. He hired Olmsted Brothers, successors to Frederick Law Olmsted, to landscape his 3,500-acre estate, engaged the Boston architectural firm of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge to design an Italian Renaissance-Revival style villa on the summit.
A grande allée, 160 feet wide and lined with statuary, would run the half mile from house to sea. But his wife, loathed the building. Crane promised. True
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association, founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, the formulation of model ethical codes related to the legal profession; the ABA has 410,000 members. Its national headquarters are in Illinois. C; the ABA was founded on August 21, 1878, in Saratoga Springs, New York, by 75 lawyers from 20 states and the District of Columbia. According to the ABA website, The legal profession as we know it today existed at that time. Lawyers were sole practitioners who trained under a system of apprenticeship. There was no national code of ethics; the purpose of the original organization, as set forth in its first constitution, was "the advancement of the science of jurisprudence, the promotion of the administration of justice and a uniformity of legislation throughout the country...."In 1918 the first women were admitted to the ABA – Judge Mary Belle Grossman of Cleveland and Mary Florence Lathrop of Denver.
The ABA did not allow African-Americans to join until 1943. This discrimination by the ABA led in 1937, of the National Lawyers Guild. Roberta Cooper Ramo was the first female President of the ABA from 1995–1996. In 2016 ABA introduced a new ethics rule prohibiting attorneys from using sexist and condescending terms; the ABA adopts "policy" on certain legislative and national issues, as voted on by its elected, 589-member House of Delegates. Its Board of Governors, with 44 members, has the authority to act for the ABA, consistent with previous action of the House of Delegates, when the House is not in session; the ABA president, elected to a one-year term, is chief executive officer of the association, while the appointed, longer-serving executive director works as chief operating officer. The conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting, in August, is when a new president takes office, as well as when the main sessions of the House of Delegates take place; the Annual Meeting gives the general membership the opportunity to participate in educational programs and hear speakers address many issues.
In 2010, Jack L. Rives TJAG, was appointed Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. One function of the ABA is its maintenance of a code of ethical standards for lawyers; the Model Code of Professional Responsibility and/or the newer Model Rules of Professional Conduct have been adopted in 49 states, the District of Columbia and the United States Virgin Islands. The exception is the State Bar of California. According to the ABA, it "provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, information about the law, programs to assist lawyers and judges in their work, initiatives to improve the legal system for the public; the Mission of the American Bar Association is to be the national representative of the legal profession, serving the public and the profession by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the law." Since 1923, law schools which meet ABA standards are listed as "approved". ABA accreditation is important not only because it affects the recognition of the law schools involved, but it affects a graduate's ability to practice law in a particular state.
In most U. S. jurisdictions, graduation from an ABA-accredited law school is prerequisite towards being allowed to sit for that state's bar exam, for existing lawyers to be admitted to the bar of another state upon motion. States which recognize unaccredited schools within their borders will not recognize such schools from other jurisdictions for purposes of bar admission. For law students attending ABA-accredited schools, memberships are available for free. Students attending non-ABA accredited law schools are permitted to join the ABA as associate members. In June 2009, the ABA Journal reported that the ABA had been working "for months" to change its accreditation standard, where accreditation will be the result of what kind of lawyer an ABA law school produces as opposed to "input" measures such as faculty size and physical plant. In 2012 a non-profit organization called Law School Transparency called upon the ABA to provide meaningful statistics regarding the employment prospects and salary information of graduates of ABA accredited institutions.
On October 17, 2011, the ABA announced it was considering penalties, including loss of accreditation for schools that misreported their graduates employment data. Starting with the Class of 2011, ABA-accredited law schools were required to file Standard 509 Information Reports that included a host of data, ranging from LSAT scores of law students to bar passage rates of graduates. Employment information was filed separately to the Section. On December 12, 2011, despite the ongoing controversy surrounding law school accreditation standards and inability of law school graduates to service their educational debt, the ABA approved another law school. In 1995 the United States Department of Justice accused the ABA of violating Section 1 of the Sherman Act in its law school accreditation proceedings; the case was resolved with a consent decree. In 2006, the ABA acknowledged that it paid DOJ a $185,000 fine; the American Bar Association Center for Continuing Legal Education serves as the ce
Alma mater is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one attended. In US usage it can mean the school from which one graduated; the phrase is variously translated as "nourishing mother", "nursing mother", or "fostering mother", suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students. Fine arts will depict educational institutions using a robed woman as a visual metaphor. Before its current usage, alma mater was an honorific title for various Latin mother goddesses Ceres or Cybele, in Catholicism for the Virgin Mary, it entered academic usage when the University of Bologna adopted the motto Alma Mater Studiorum, which describes its heritage as the oldest operating university in the Western world. It is related to alumnus, a term used for a university graduate that means a "nursling" or "one, nourished". Although alma was a common epithet for Ceres, Cybele and other mother goddesses, it was not used in conjunction with mater in classical Latin. In the Oxford Latin Dictionary, the phrase is attributed to Lucretius' De rerum natura, where it is used as an epithet to describe an earth goddess: After the fall of Rome, the term came into Christian liturgical usage in association with the Virgin Mary.
"Alma Redemptoris Mater" is a well-known 11th century antiphon devoted to Mary. The earliest documented use of the term to refer to a university in an English-speaking country is in 1600, when the University of Cambridge printer, John Legate, began using an emblem for the university's press; the device's first-known appearance is on the title-page of William Perkins' A Golden Chain, where the Latin phrase Alma Mater Cantabrigia is inscribed on a pedestal bearing a nude, lactating woman wearing a mural crown. In English etymological reference works, the first university-related usage is cited in 1710, when an academic mother figure is mentioned in a remembrance of Henry More by Richard Ward. Many historic European universities have adopted Alma Mater as part of the Latin translation of their official name; the University of Bologna Latin name, Alma Mater Studiorum, refers to its status as the oldest continuously operating university in the world. Other European universities, such as the Alma Mater Lipsiensis in Leipzig, Germany, or Alma Mater Jagiellonica, have used the expression in conjunction with geographical or foundational characteristics.
At least one, the Alma Mater Europaea in Salzburg, Austria, an international university founded by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2010, uses the term as its official name. In the United States, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, has been called the "Alma Mater of the Nation" because of its ties to the country's founding. At Queen's University in Kingston and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, the main student government is known as the Alma Mater Society; the ancient Roman world had many statues of the Alma Mater, some still extant. Modern sculptures are found in prominent locations on several American university campuses. For example, in the United States: there is a well-known bronze statue of Alma Mater by Daniel Chester French situated on the steps of Columbia University's Low Library. An altarpiece mural in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, painted in 1932 by Eugene Savage, depicts the Alma Mater as a bearer of light and truth, standing in the midst of the personified arts and sciences.
Outside the United States, there is an Alma Mater sculpture on the steps of the monumental entrance to the Universidad de La Habana, in Havana, Cuba. The statue was cast in 1919 by Mario Korbel, with Feliciana Villalón Wilson as the inspiration for Alma Mater, it was installed in its current location in 1927, at the direction of architect Raul Otero. Media related to Alma mater at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of alma mater at Wiktionary Alma Mater Europaea website
Lowell High School (San Francisco)
Lowell High School is a selective co-educational, public magnet school in San Francisco, California with 2,600 students. The school opened in 1856 as the Union Grammar School and attained its current name in 1896. Lowell moved to its current location in the Merced Manor neighborhood in 1962, it is the oldest public high school west of the Mississippi. Admission is contingent on submission of an application and based on evaluation of test scores and prior academic record. Lowell High School has been named a California Distinguished School seven times and a National Blue Ribbon School four times. Lowell High School began in 1856 as the Union Grammar School. In 1894, the school was renamed to honor the distinguished poet James Russell Lowell, chiefly by Pelham W. Ames, a member of the school board and ardent admirer of James Russell Lowell; the school relocated in January 1913 to an entire block on Hayes Street between Masonic. Lowell remained there for 50 years and established its position as the city's college preparatory high school.
In 1952, the school sought a new location near Lake Merced and moved there in 1962. 1856 Union Grammar School Founded 1858 Name changed to San Francisco High School 1864 Genders separated, name changed to Boys High School 1875 Moved to Sutter Street between Gough and Octavia 1886 Girls reintegrated into college prep program 1894 Name changed to Lowell High School in honor of poet James Russell Lowell 1898 First issue of the school newspaper "The Lowell" published 1908 Funds secured by bonds for new building 1913 School moved to new, larger campus on Hayes Street between Masonic Avenue and Ashbury Street 1962 School moved to current campus to make room for future expansion and add a library and larger auditorium 1966 Enrollment limited, school switched from neighborhood to GPA/test based admission 1969 20-period modular schedule instated 2003 New academic/science wing opened on campus 2004 Unit 6 building section renovation completed. U. S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer visited. 2010 Because of state class-time requirements, modular schedule abandoned in favor of mod/block schedule.
School day lengthened to twenty three minutes. Lowell ranked 2nd internationally in AP exam scores. 2019 Citing student stress, Principal Andrew Ishibashi abandons mod/block scheduling for block scheduling. School day is shortened to forty minutes. In 1983, the San Francisco Unified School District attempted to ensure racial desegregation at Lowell and other schools by implementing a race-based admissions policy as a result of San Francisco NAACP v. San Francisco Unified School District and the 1983 Consent Decree settlement; because of the Consent Decree, SFUSD strived to create a more equal distribution of race at Lowell, predominantly Chinese American trying to introduce more African American and Hispanic students into the school's population. As a result of this policy, effective in 1985, Chinese-American freshman applicants needed to score 62 out of a possible total of 69 eligibility points, whereas Caucasian and other East Asian candidates needed only 58 points. In 1994, a group of Chinese-American community activists organized a lawsuit to challenge the 1983 Consent Decree race-based admissions policies used by SFUSD for its public schools.
The lawsuit was led by Lee Cheng. In 1999, both parties agreed to a settlement which modified the 1983 Consent Decree to create a new "diversity index" system which substituted race as a factor for admissions with a variety of factors such as socioeconomic background, mother's educational level, academic achievement, language spoken at home, English Learner Status. Critics of the diversity index created by Ho v. San Francisco Unified School District point out that many schools, including Lowell, have become less racially diverse since it was enacted. On November 15, 2005, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California denied a request to extend the Consent Decree, set to expire on December 31, 2005 after it had been extended once before to December 31, 2002; the ruling claimed "since the settlement of the Ho litigation, the consent decree has proven to be ineffective, if not counterproductive, in achieving diversity in San Francisco public schools" by making schools more racially segregated.
The expiration of the Consent Decree means that SFUSD's admissions policies, including the "diversity index" and the special admissions policies granted to Lowell, many of its "Dream School" initiatives are no longer codified and mandated by the Consent Decree. As a result, these policies may be challenged at the community and local levels as well instead of just at the judicial level by filing a lawsuit. Lowell is located north of Lake Merced, south of San Francisco's Parkside District; the school spans several blocks between Sylvan Dr. in the west and 25th Ave. in the east, Eucalyptus Drive in the north to Winston Drive and Lake Merced Blvd. in the south. The school is accessible via the San Francisco Municipal Railway K, M, 57, 18, 23, 28, 28R, 29 lines; the campus is located next to Lakeshore Elementary School, a public school, St. Stephen School, a private K-8 school; the campus itself consists of a main three-story academic building with two extensions, a two-story science building finished on September 21, 2003, a world-language building, a two-story visual and performing arts building with the 1,500-seat Carol Channing auditorium, a library, extensive arts and science laboratories, six computer labs, a fo
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