Mario is a fictional character in the Mario video game franchise, owned by Nintendo and created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Serving as the company's mascot and the eponymous protagonist of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Depicted as a short, Italian plumber who resides in the Mushroom Kingdom, his adventures center upon rescuing Princess Peach from the Koopa villain Bowser, his younger brother and sidekick is Luigi. With more than 500 million units sold worldwide, the overall Mario franchise is the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Outside of the Super Mario platform series, other Mario genres include the Mario Kart racing series, sports games such as the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf series, role-playing games such as Mario & Luigi, Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario, educational games such as Mario Is Missing!, Mario's Time Machine and Mario Teaches Typing. The franchise has branched into several media, including television shows, film and licensed merchandise.
Since 1990, Mario has been voiced by Charles Martinet. Shigeru Miyamoto created Mario while developing Donkey Kong in an attempt to produce a best-selling video game for Nintendo. Miyamoto wanted to create a video game that used the characters Popeye and Olive Oyl. At the time, Miyamoto was unable to acquire a license to use the characters, so he ended up making an unnamed player character, Donkey Kong, Lady. In the early stages of Donkey Kong, Mario was unable to jump, the focus was to escape a maze. However, Miyamoto enabled Mario to jump, saying "If you had a barrel rolling towards you, what would you do?"While the protagonist was unnamed in the Japanese release, he would be named Jumpman in the game's English instructions and Mario in the sales brochure. Miyamoto named the character "Mr. Video", he was to be used in every video game Miyamoto developed. According to a circulated story, during localization of Donkey Kong for American audiences, Nintendo of America's warehouse landlord Mario Segale confronted then-president Minoru Arakawa, demanding back rent.
Following a heated argument in which the Nintendo employees convinced Segale he would be paid, they opted to name the character in the game Mario after him. Miyamoto commented that if he had named Mario "Mr. Video", Mario would have "disappeared off the face of the Earth". By Miyamoto's own account, Mario's profession was chosen to fit with the game design. Since Donkey Kong was set on a construction site, Mario was made into a carpenter; when he appeared again in Mario Bros. it was decided he should be a plumber, since a lot of the game is played in underground settings. Mario's character design his large nose, draws on western influences. Other sources have Mario's profession chosen to be carpenter in an effort to depict the character as an ordinary hard worker, make it easier for players to identify with him. After a colleague suggested that Mario more resembled a plumber, Miyamoto changed Mario's profession accordingly and developed Mario Bros. featuring the character in the sewers of New York City.
Due to the graphical limitations of arcade hardware at the time, Miyamoto clothed the character in red overalls and a blue shirt to contrast against each other and the background. A red cap was added to let Miyamoto avoid drawing the character's hairstyle and eyebrows, as well as to circumvent the issue of animating his hair as he jumped. To give distinctly human facial features on an 8×8 pixel head, Miyamoto drew a large nose and a mustache, which avoided the need to draw a mouth and facial expressions. Miyamoto envisioned a "go to" character that could be put into any game as needed, albeit in cameo appearances, as at the time Miyamoto was not expecting the character to become singularly popular. To this end, he called the character "Mr. Video", comparing his intent for appearances in games to the cameos that Alfred Hitchcock had done within his films. Over time, Mario's appearance has become more defined; the colors of his shirt and overalls were reversed from a blue shirt with red overalls to a red shirt with blue overalls.
Miyamoto attributed this process to the different development teams and artists for each game as well as advances in technology. Mario debuted as "Jumpman" in the arcade game Donkey Kong on July 9, 1981, he has a pet ape called Donkey Kong. The carpenter mistreats the ape and Donkey Kong escapes to kidnap Jumpman's girlfriend known as the Lady, but named Pauline; the player must rescue the girl. Jumpman was renamed "Mario" in the 1982 arcade game Donkey Kong Junior, the only game in which he has been portrayed as an antagonist. In the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. Mario and his younger brother Luigi are portrayed as Italian-American plumbers who have to defeat creatures that have been coming from the sewers below New York City. In Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Mario saves Princess Toadstool of the Mushroom Kingdom from King Koopa. To save Princess Toadstool, Mario conquers the eight worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom by going to the castle in each to defeat a
Pokémon known as Pocket Monsters in Japan, is a media franchise managed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese consortium between Nintendo, Game Freak, Creatures. The franchise copyright is shared by all three companies, but Nintendo is the sole owner of the trademark; the franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995, is centered on fictional creatures called "Pokémon", which humans, known as Pokémon Trainers and train to battle each other for sport. The English slogan for the franchise is "Gotta Catch'Em All". Works within the franchise are set in the Pokémon universe; the franchise began as Pokémon Red and Green, a pair of video games for the original Game Boy that were developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo in February 1996. Pokémon has since gone on to become the highest-grossing media franchise of all time, with $90 billion in total franchise revenue; the original video game series is the second best-selling video game franchise with more than 300 million copies sold and 1 billion mobile downloads, it spawned a hit anime television series that has become the most successful video game adaptation with over 20 seasons and 1,000 episodes in 124 countries.
In addition, the Pokémon franchise includes the world's top-selling toy brand, the top-selling trading card game with over 25.7 billion cards sold, an anime film series, a live-action film, manga comics and merchandise. The franchise is represented in other Nintendo media, such as the Super Smash Bros. series. In November 2005, 4Kids Entertainment, which had managed the non-game related licensing of Pokémon, announced that it had agreed not to renew the Pokémon representation agreement; the Pokémon Company International oversees all Pokémon licensing outside Asia. The franchise celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2006. In 2016, The Pokémon Company celebrated Pokémon's 20th anniversary by airing an ad during Super Bowl 50 in January, issuing re-releases of Pokémon Red and Blue and the 1998 Game Boy game Pokémon Yellow as downloads for the Nintendo 3DS in February, redesigning the way the games are played; the mobile augmented reality game Pokémon Go was released in July. The most released games in the main series, Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, were released worldwide on the Nintendo Switch on November 16, 2018.
The first live-action film in the franchise, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, based on Detective Pikachu, began production in January 2018 and is set to release in 2019. The upcoming and latest games in the main series, Pokémon Sword and Shield, are scheduled to be released worldwide on the Nintendo Switch in late 2019; the name Pokémon is the romanized contraction of the Japanese brand Pocket Monsters. The term "Pokémon", in addition to referring to the Pokémon franchise itself collectively refers to the 809 fictional species that have made appearances in Pokémon media as of the release of the seventh generation titles Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! "Pokémon" is identical in the plural, as is each individual species name. Pokémon executive director Satoshi Tajiri first thought of Pokémon, albeit with a different concept and name, around 1989, when the Game Boy was released; the concept of the Pokémon universe, in both the video games and the general fictional world of Pokémon, stems from the hobby of insect collecting, a popular pastime which Tajiri enjoyed as a child.
Players are designated as Pokémon Trainers and have three general goals: to complete the regional Pokédex by collecting all of the available Pokémon species found in the fictional region where a game takes place, to complete the national Pokédex by transferring Pokémon from other regions, to train a team of powerful Pokémon from those they have caught to compete against teams owned by other Trainers so they may win the Pokémon League and become the regional Champion. These themes of collecting and battling are present in every version of the Pokémon franchise, including the video games, the anime and manga series, the Pokémon Trading Card Game. In most incarnations of the Pokémon universe, a Trainer who encounters a wild Pokémon is able to capture that Pokémon by throwing a specially designed, mass-producible spherical tool called a Poké Ball at it. If the Pokémon is unable to escape the confines of the Poké Ball, it is considered to be under the ownership of that Trainer. Afterwards, it will obey whatever commands it receives from its new Trainer, unless the Trainer demonstrates such a lack of experience that the Pokémon would rather act on its own accord.
Trainers can send out any of their Pokémon to wage non-lethal battles against other Pokémon. In Pokémon Go, in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, wild Pokémon encountered by players can be caught in Poké Balls, but cannot be battled. Pokémon owned by other Trainers cannot be captured, except under special circumstances in certain side games. If a Pokémon defeats an opponent in battle so that the opponent is knocked out, the winning Pokémon gains experience points and may level up. Beginning with Pokémon X and Y, experience points are gained from catching Pokémon in Poké Balls; when leveling up, the Pokémon's battling aptitude statistics increase. At certain levels, the Pokémon may learn new moves, which are techniques used in battle. In addition, many species of Pokémon can undergo a form of metamorphosis and
Animal Crossing is a social simulation video game series developed and published by Nintendo and was created by Katsuya Eguchi. In Animal Crossing, the player character is a human who lives in a village inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, carrying out various activities including fishing, bug catching, fossil hunting, etc; the series is notable for its open-ended gameplay and extensive use of the video game consoles' internal clock and calendar to simulate real passage of time. Four Animal Crossing games have been released worldwide, one each for the Nintendo 64/IQue Player Nintendo DS, the Nintendo 3DS. A fifth game, for the Nintendo Switch, is scheduled for a 2019 release; the series has been both critically and commercially successful and has sold over 30 million units worldwide. Three spin-off games have been released: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer for Nintendo 3DS, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival for Wii U, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for mobile devices. In the Animal Crossing games, the player assumes the role of a human character who moves into a rural village populated with anthropomorphic animals and lives there indefinitely.
Gameplay is open-ended: players have no defined objectives, but are instead encouraged to spend their time in the village performing any number of activities, which include collecting items, planting plants or other items, socializing with the village's residents. Animal Crossing games are played in real time, utilizing the video game console's internal clock and calendar. Thus, passage of time in the game world reflects that in reality, as well as the current season and time of day; some in-game events, such as holidays or the growth of a tree, occur at certain times or require some duration of time to have passed. One notable feature of the Animal Crossing series is the high level of customization available, some of which affects the outcome of the game; the player character is both named and gendered by the real life player at the start of the game, their appearance can be modified by buying or designing custom clothes and accessories or changing the hairstyle. The player's house can be furnished and expanded: the player can purchase and collect furniture and place it anywhere in the house, as well as change both the wallpaper and floor designs.
While its terrain, building locations, initial residents are randomly generated when the game is first begun, the village's name and anthem, as well as some of the residents' catchphrases, are determined by the player. Collecting items is a major facet of Animal Crossing: the player can explore the village and gather objects, including fruit from trees and discarded items. Nearly all objects can be sold for the in-game currency. Players collect objects to obtain more Bells, which can be used to buy furniture and clothing, purchase home expansions, invest in stocks, play games. A number of specialized tools are available for other activities such as fishing and insect collecting. Special items, such as fossils and paintings, may be donated to the village museum; the player can choose to socialize with the other animal residents by engaging in conversation and receiving letters, bartering, or playing hide-and-seek. Residents may move out of the village depending on the player's actions. All installments of Animal Crossing allow some form of communication between players, both offline and online.
A single village can house up to four human players, though only one can be exploring the village at any given time. The players can interact via written messages through the village post bulletin board; the GameCube iteration allowed players to travel to other villages by trading memory cards written with the game data, but all subsequent installments allow players to travel and interact online via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, although City Folk allows the DS Suitcase to travel to others' towns. Animal Crossing released only in Japan for the Nintendo 64 in 2001, although it was ported to the IQue Player, it was released on the GameCube the same year. This version was localized and released in North America on September 15, 2002, Australia on October 17, 2003, Europe on September 24, 2004. An extended version titled "Dōbutsu no Mori e +" was released on June 2003 in Japan; the game was released in China in 2006 for iQue Player. Animal Crossing: Wild World was released for the Nintendo DS in Japan on November 23, 2005, North America on December 5, 2005, Australia on December 8, 2005, Europe on March 31, 2006.
It was the first game in the series to use Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The game was re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console on October 13, 2016, although its Wi-Fi multiplayer feature is unavailable due to the discontinuation of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Animal Crossing: City Folk, known as Animal Crossing: Let's Go to the City in Europe and Oceania, was released for the Wii in North America on November 16, 2008, Japan on November 20, 2008, Australia on December 4, 2008, Europe on December 5, 2008, it was released in South Korea in 2010. It was the first Wii game to utilize the Wii Speak, an accessory that allows players to talk to each other during online play. Animal Crossing: New Leaf was announced at E3 2010, it was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on November 8, 2012, North America on June 9, 2013, Europe on June 14, 2013, Australia on June 15, 2013. For the first time in the series, players are appointed to the role of Mayor. In November 2016, a new update was released along with "Welcome Amiibo" in North America and Europe, adding several new locations and activities
ExtremeTech is a technology weblog about hardware, computer software and other technologies which launched in May 2001. Between 2003 and 2005, ExtremeTech was a print magazine and the publisher of a popular series of how-to and do-it-yourself books. ExtremeTech was launched as a website in May 2001, with co-founder Bill Machrone as Editor-in-Chief, fellow co-founder Nick Stam as Senior Technical Director. Loyd Case, Dave Salvator, Mark Hachman, Jim Lynch were other original core ET staff. In 2002 Jim Louderback became the Editor-in-Chief; when launched, ExtremeTech covered a broad range of technical topics with indepth technical stories. Topic areas included core PC techniques, operating systems, software development, display technology, scanners etc. By 2003, Ziff Davis management wanted to reduce expenses and cut back content to core PC tech areas, focusing on how to build and optimize your PC. Loyd Case took over as Editor-in-Chief, Jason Cross joined as a technology analyst. In mid-2009, due to sinking corporate-level finances, Ziff Davis laid off most of the core team and Jeremy Kaplan tried to keep the online site going, but it was quite challenging without much dedicated staff.
Matthew Murray tried to keep things alive. As described below in the Shutdown and Relaunch section in April 2011, the Ziff Davis management re-invested in ExtremeTech, the site relaunched under Managing Editor Sal Cangeloso and Senior Editor Sebastian Anthony; the magazine was first published in fall 2004. The first issue noted different staff members for the magazine. Staff included Editor-in-Chief Michael J. Miller, Editor Jeremy Kaplan, Technical Director Loyd Case, Senior Technical Analyst Dave Salvator, others. Subsequent issues were published in winter 2004, spring 2005, summer 2005, with the magazine ending its run in fall 2005; the site ceased updating daily on June 26, 2009 due to most of its core staff members being laid off. On April 26, 2011 it was announced; the announcement noted that along with a complete visual redesign, ExtremeTech would be "widening its scope" to cover new topics that didn't exist when the site was first conceived in 2001. Sebastian Anthony an editor at AOL's Download Squad software weblog, led the editorial side of the relaunch.
ExtremeTech is managed by Jamie Lendino. Lendino, who came from PCMag.com, wrote for ExtremeTech from 2005-2010. He was the editor-in-chief of Smart Device Central. Joel Hruska is the site's lead writer. Sebastian Anthony, who led the editorial side of ExtremeTech's relaunch in 2011, left at the end of 2014 to launch Ars Technica in the UK. ExtremeTech website
Amazing Stories is an American science fiction magazine launched in April 1926 by Hugo Gernsback's Experimenter Publishing. It was the first magazine devoted to science fiction. Science fiction stories had made regular appearances in other magazines, including some published by Gernsback, but Amazing helped define and launch a new genre of pulp fiction; as of 2018, Amazing has been published, with some interruptions, for ninety-two years, going through a half-dozen owners and many editors as it struggled to be profitable. Gernsback was forced into bankruptcy and lost control of the magazine in 1929. In 1938 it was purchased by Ziff-Davis. Palmer made the magazine successful though it was not regarded as a quality magazine within the science fiction community. In the late 1940s Amazing presented as fact stories about the Shaver Mystery, a lurid mythos that explained accidents and disaster as the work of robots named deros, which led to increased circulation but widespread ridicule. Amazing switched to a digest size format in 1953, shortly before the end of the pulp-magazine era.
It was sold to Sol Cohen's Universal Publishing Company in 1965, which filled it with reprinted stories but did not pay a reprint fee to the authors, creating a conflict with the newly formed Science Fiction Writers of America. Ted White took over as editor in 1969, eliminated the reprints and made the magazine respected again: Amazing was nominated for the prestigious Hugo Award three times during his tenure in the 1970s. Several other owners attempted to create a modern incarnation of the magazine in the following decades, but publication was suspended after the March 2005 issue. A new incarnation appeared in July 2012 as an online magazine. Print publication resumed with the Fall 2018 issue. Gernsback's initial editorial approach was to blend instruction with entertainment, his audience showed a preference for implausible adventures, the movement away from Gernsback's idealism accelerated when the magazine changed hands in 1929. Despite this, Gernsback had an enormous impact on the field: the creation of a specialist magazine for science fiction spawned an entire genre publishing industry.
The letter columns in Amazing, where fans could make contact with each other, led to the formation of science fiction fandom, which in turn had a strong influence on the development of the field. Writers whose first story was published in the magazine include John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Howard Fast, Ursula K. Le Guin, Roger Zelazny, Thomas M. Disch. Overall, Amazing itself was an influential magazine within the genre after the 1920s; some critics have commented that by "ghettoizing" science fiction, Gernsback harmed its literary growth, but this viewpoint has been countered by the argument that science fiction needed an independent market to develop in to reach its potential. By the end of the 19th century, stories centered on scientific inventions, stories set in the future, were appearing in popular fiction magazines; the market for short stories lent itself to tales of invention in the tradition of Jules Verne. Magazines such as Munsey's Magazine and The Argosy, launched in 1889 and 1896 carried a few science fiction stories each year.
Some upmarket "slick" magazines such as McClure's, which paid well and were aimed at a more literary audience carried scientific stories, but by the early years of the 20th century, science fiction was appearing more in the pulp magazines than in the slicks. In 1908, Hugo Gernsback published the first issue of Modern Electrics, a magazine aimed at the scientific hobbyist, it was an immediate success, Gernsback began to include articles on imaginative uses of science, such as "Wireless on Saturn". In April 1911, Gernsback began the serialization of his science fiction novel, Ralph 124C 41+, but in 1913 he sold his interest in the magazine to his partner and launched a new magazine, Electrical Experimenter, which soon began to publish scientific fiction. In 1920 Gernsback retitled the magazine Science and Invention, through the early 1920s he published much scientific fiction in its pages, along with non-fiction scientific articles. Gernsback had started another magazine called Practical Electrics in 1921.
In 1924, he changed its name to The Experimenter, sent a letter to 25,000 people to gauge interest in the possibility of a magazine devoted to scientific fiction. However, in 1926 he decided to go ahead, ceased publication of The Experimenter to make room in his publishing schedule for a new magazine; the editor of The Experimenter, T. O'Conor Sloane, became the editor of Amazing Stories; the first issue appeared on 10 March 1926, with a cover date of April 1926. The magazine focused on reprints. In the August issue, new stories were noted with an asterisk in the table of contents; the editorial work was done by Sloane, but Gernsback retained final say over the fiction content. Two consultants, Conrad A. Brandt and Wilbur C. Whitehead, were hired to help find fiction to reprint. Frank R. Paul, who had worked with Gernsback as early as 1914, became the cover artist. Amazing was issued in the large bedsheet format, 8.5 × 11.75 in, the same size as the technical magazines. It was an immediate success and by the following March reached a circulation of 150,000.
Gernsback saw there was an enthusiastic readership for "scientific
Ziff Davis, LLC is an American publisher and Internet company. It was founded in 1927 in Illinois, by William Bernard Ziff Sr. and Bernard George Davis. Throughout most of Ziff Davis' history, it was a publisher of hobbyist magazines ones devoted to expensive, advertiser-rich technical hobbies such as cars and electronics. However, since 1980, Ziff Davis has published computer-related magazines, its websites, derived from its magazines, have established Ziff Davis as an internet information company. Ziff Davis had several broadcasting properties, first during the mid-1970s, with its own technology network ZDTV renamed to TechTV, sold to Vulcan Ventures in 2001. Ziff Davis' magazine publishing and internet operations offices are based in New York City and San Francisco. On January 6, 2009, the company sold 1UP.com to UGO Entertainment, a division of Hearst Corporation and announced the January 2009 issue of the long-running Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine as the final one. Former Time Inc. executive Vivek Shah, with financial backing from Boston private equity company Great Hill Partners, announced on June 4, 2010, the acquisition of Ziff Davis Inc. as the "first step in building a new digital media company that specializes in producing and distributing content for consumers making important buying decisions."On November 12, 2012, Ziff Davis Inc. was acquired by cloud computing services company j2 Global of Hollywood, Calif. for $167 million cash.
According to a late 2015 Fortune article, Ziff Davis comprises 30% of parent company j2 Global's $600 million annual revenue and is increasing 15% to 20% each year. Analyst Gregory Burns of Sidoti & Company calculates; the William B. Ziff Company, founded in 1920, was a successful Chicago advertising agency that secured advertising from national companies such as Procter & Gamble for all African American weekly newspapers. In 1923, Ziff acquired E. C. Auld Company, a Chicago publishing house. Ziff's first venture in magazine publishing was Ziff's Magazine, which featured short stories, one-act plays, humorous verse, jokes; the title was changed to America's Humor in April 1926. Bernard George Davis was the student editor of the University of Pittsburgh's humor magazine, the Pitt Panther, was active in the Association of College Comics of the East. During his senior year he attended the association's convention and met William B. Ziff; when Davis graduated in 1927 he joined Ziff as the editor of America's Humor.
Ziff, an aviator in World War I, created a new magazine, Popular Aviation, in August 1927, published by Popular Aviation Publishing Company of Chicago, Illinois. Under editor Harley W. Mitchell it became the largest aviation magazine, with a circulation of 100,000 in 1929; the magazine's title became Aeronautics in June 1929 and the publishing company's name became Aeronautical Publications, Inc. The title was changed back to Popular Aviation in July 1930; the magazine is still published today by the Bonnier Corporation. The magazine celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2017; the company histories give the founding date as 1927. This is when B. G. Davis joined and Popular Aviation magazine started. However, it was not until 1936 that the company became the "Ziff-Davis Publishing Company". Davis was given a substantial minority equity interest in the company and was appointed a vice-president and director, he was named president in 1946. Davis was a photography enthusiast and the editor of the Popular Photography magazine started in May 1937.
In early 1938, Ziff-Davis acquired the magazines Amazing Stories. These were started by Hugo Gernsback but sold as a result of the Experimenter Publishing bankruptcy in 1929. Both magazines had declined since the bankruptcy but the resources of Ziff-Davis rejuvenated them starting with the April 1938 issues. Radio News was published until 1972; the magazine Popular Electronics, derived from Radio News, was begun in 1955 and published until 1985. Amazing Stories was a leading science fiction magazine and Ziff Davis soon added a new companion, Fantastic Adventures. In 1954 FA was merged into the newer magazine Fantastic, founded in 1952 to great initial success. ZD published a number of other pulp magazines and digest-sized fiction magazines during the 1940s and 1950s, continued to publish Amazing and Fantastic until 1965. Ziff-Davis published comic books during the early 1950s, operating by their own name and the name Approved Comics. Eschewing superheroes, they published horror, sports and Western comics, though most titles didn't last more than a few issues.
Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel was the art director of the comics line. In 1953, the company abandoned comics, selling its most popular titles—the romance comics Cinderella Love and Romantic Love, the Western Kid Cowboy, the jungle adventure Wild Boy of the Congo—to St. John Publications. Ziff-Davis continued to publish one title, G. I. Joe, until 1957, a total of 51 issues. William B. Ziff, Sr. died in 1953 and son William B. Ziff, Jr. returned from Germany to assume his role in the company. In 1958 Bernard G. Davis sold his share of Ziff Davis to found Davis Publications, although Ziff-Davis continued to use his surname. With the younger Ziff's direction, ZD soon became a successful publisher of enthusiast magazines. Ziff Davis purchased titles like Car And Driv
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