The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 as a key player in the original wave of British punk rock. They have contributed to the post-punk and new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and employed elements of a variety of genres including reggae, funk and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer, lead guitarist and lead vocalist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon, drummer Nicky "Topper" Headon. Headon left the group in 1982, internal friction led to Jones' departure the following year; the group continued with new members, but disbanded in early 1986. The Clash achieved commercial success in the United Kingdom with the release of their self-titled debut album, The Clash, in 1977, their third album, London Calling, released in the UK in December 1979, earned them popularity in the United States when it was released there the following month. It was declared the best album of the 1980s a decade by Rolling Stone.
In 1982, they reached new heights of success with the release of Combat Rock, which spawned the US top 10 hit "Rock the Casbah", helping the album to achieve a 2× Platinum certification there. Their final album, Cut the Crap, was released in 1985; the Clash's politicized lyrics, musical experimentation, rebellious attitude had a far-reaching influence on rock, alternative rock in particular. They became referred to as "The Only Band That Matters" a promotional slogan introduced by the group's record label, CBS. In January 2003, shortly after the death of Joe Strummer, the band—including original drummer Terry Chimes—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Clash number 28 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. Before the Clash's founding, the band's future members were active in different parts of the London music scene. John Graham Mellor sang and played rhythm guitar in the pub rock act The 101ers, which formed in 1974. By the time the Clash came together two years he had abandoned his original stage name, "Woody" Mellor, in favour of "Joe Strummer", a reference to his rudimentary strumming skills on the ukulele as a busker in the London Underground.
Mick Jones played guitar in protopunk band London SS, which rehearsed for much of 1975 without playing a live show and recording only a single demo. London SS were managed by Bernard Rhodes, a sometime associate of impresario Malcolm McLaren and a friend of the members of the McLaren-managed band, the Sex Pistols. Jones and his bandmates became friendly with Sex Pistols Glen Matlock and Steve Jones, who would assist them as they tried out potential new members. Among those who auditioned for London SS without making the cut were Paul Simonon, who tried out as a vocalist, drummer Terry Chimes. Nicky Headon drummed with the band for a week quit. After London SS broke up in early 1976, Rhodes continued as Jones's manager. In February, Jones saw the Sex Pistols perform for the first time: "You knew straight away, it, this was what it was going to be like from now on, it was a new scene, new values -- so different from. A bit dangerous." At the instigation of Rhodes, Jones contacted Simonon in March, suggesting he learn an instrument so he could join the new band Jones was organising.
Soon Jones, Simonon on bass, Keith Levene on guitar and "whoever we could find to play the drums" were rehearsing. Chimes got the job, although he soon quit; the band was still searching for a lead singer. Chimes recalls one Billy Watts handling the duties for a time. Rhodes had his eye with whom he made exploratory contact. Jones and Levene were impressed as well. Strummer, for his part, was primed to make the switch. In April, he had taken in the opening act for one of his band's gigs—the Sex Pistols. Strummer explained:I knew something was up, so I went out in the crowd, sparse, and I saw the future—with a snotty handkerchief—right in front of me. It was clear. Pub rock was, "Hello, you bunch of drunks, I'm gonna play these boogies and I hope you like them." The Pistols came out that Tuesday evening and their attitude was, "Here's our tunes, we couldn't give a flying fuck whether you like them or not. In fact, we're gonna play them if you fucking hate them."On 30 May and Levene met surreptitiously with Strummer after a 101'ers gig.
Strummer was invited to meet up at the band's rehearsal location on Davis Road. After Strummer turned up, Levene grabbed his guitar, stood several inches away from Strummer, looked him in the eye and began playing "Keys to Your Heart", one of Strummer's own tunes. Rhodes gave him 48 hours to decide whether he wanted to join the new band that would "rival the Pistols." Within 24 hours, Strummer agreed. Simonon remarked, "Once we had Joe on board it all started to come together." Strummer introduced the band to his old school friend Pablo LaBritain, who sat in on drums during Strummer's first few rehearsals with the group. LaBritain's stint with the band did not last long, Terry Chimes—whom Jones referred to as "one of the best drummers" in their circle—became the band's regular drummer. In Westway to the World, Jones says, "I don't think Terry was hired or anything, he had just been playing with us." Chimes did not take to Strummer at first: "He was like twenty-two or twenty-three or something that seemed'old' to me then.
And he had these retro clothes and this croaky voice". Simonon came up with the band's name after they had dubbed themselves the Weak Heartd
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that has six strings. It is played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger/fingernails of one hand, while fretting with the fingers of the other hand; the sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker. The guitar is a type of chordophone, traditionally constructed from wood and strung with either gut, nylon or steel strings and distinguished from other chordophones by its construction and tuning; the modern guitar was preceded by the gittern, the vihuela, the four-course Renaissance guitar, the five-course baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument. There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar, the steel-string acoustic guitar, the archtop guitar, sometimes called a "jazz guitar"; the tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the strings' vibration, amplified by the hollow body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating chamber.
The classical guitar is played as a solo instrument using a comprehensive finger-picking technique where each string is plucked individually by the player's fingers, as opposed to being strummed. The term "finger-picking" can refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues and country guitar playing in the United States; the acoustic bass guitar is a low-pitched instrument, one octave below a regular guitar. Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier and a loudspeaker that both makes the sound of the instrument loud enough for the performers and audience to hear, given that it produces an electric signal when played, that can electronically manipulate and shape the tone using an equalizer and a huge variety of electronic effects units, the most used ones being distortion and reverb. Early amplified guitars employed a hollow body, but solid wood guitars began to dominate during the 1960s and 1970s, as they are less prone to unwanted acoustic feedback "howls"; as with acoustic guitars, there are a number of types of electric guitars, including hollowbody guitars, archtop guitars and solid-body guitars, which are used in rock music.
The loud, amplified sound and sonic power of the electric guitar played through a guitar amp has played a key role in the development of blues and rock music, both as an accompaniment instrument and performing guitar solos, in many rock subgenres, notably heavy metal music and punk rock. The electric guitar has had a major influence on popular culture; the guitar is used in a wide variety of musical genres worldwide. It is recognized as a primary instrument in genres such as blues, country, folk, jota, metal, reggae, rock and many forms of pop. Before the development of the electric guitar and the use of synthetic materials, a guitar was defined as being an instrument having "a long, fretted neck, flat wooden soundboard, a flat back, most with incurved sides." The term is used to refer to a number of chordophones that were developed and used across Europe, beginning in the 12th century and in the Americas. A 3,300-year-old stone carving of a Hittite bard playing a stringed instrument is the oldest iconographic representation of a chordophone and clay plaques from Babylonia show people playing an instrument that has a strong resemblance to the guitar, indicating a possible Babylonian origin for the guitar.
The modern word guitar, its antecedents, has been applied to a wide variety of chordophones since classical times and as such causes confusion. The English word guitar, the German Gitarre, the French guitare were all adopted from the Spanish guitarra, which comes from the Andalusian Arabic قيثارة and the Latin cithara, which in turn came from the Ancient Greek κιθάρα. Which comes from the Persian word "sihtar"; this pattern of naming is visible in setar and sitar. The word "tar" at the end of all of these words is a Persian word that means "string". Many influences are cited as antecedents to the modern guitar. Although the development of the earliest "guitars" is lost in the history of medieval Spain, two instruments are cited as their most influential predecessors, the European lute and its cousin, the four-string oud. At least two instruments called "guitars" were in use in Spain by 1200: the guitarra latina and the so-called guitarra morisca; the guitarra morisca had a rounded back, wide fingerboard, several sound holes.
The guitarra Latina had a narrower neck. By the 14th century the qualifiers "moresca" or "morisca" and "latina" had been dropped, these two cordophones were referred to as guitars; the Spanish vihuela, called in Italian the "viola da mano", a guitar-like instrument of the 15th and 16th centuries, is considered to have been the single most important influence in the development of the baroque guitar. It had six courses, lute-like tuning in fourths and a guitar-like body, although early representations reveal an instrument with a cut waist, it was larger than the contemporary four-course guitars. By the 16th century, the vihuela's construction had more in common with the modern guitar, with its curved one-piece ribs, than with the viols, more like a larger version of the contemporary four-course guita
The Clean are an indie rock band that formed in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1978, have been described as the most influential band to come from the Flying Nun label, whose repertoire included many major components of the "Dunedin sound". Led through a number of early rotating line-ups by brothers Hamish and David Kilgour, the band settled on their well-known and current line-up with bassist Robert Scott; the band name comes from a character from the movie Free Ride called Mr. Clean. Hamish and David Kilgour started to play and write music together in Dunedin in 1978, "building up a fat songbook of primitive punk, minimalist pop, infectious folk rock, adventurous psychedelic instrumentals, their sound was built around David Kilgour’s off-centre, 1960s-influenced guitar, Hamish’s motorik drumming, melodic driving bass, first from Peter Gutteridge Robert Scott". The band's 1981 debut single "Tally Ho!" was the second release on Roger Shepherd's Flying Nun Records label. "Tally Ho!" reached number 19 on the New Zealand Singles Charts, giving the fledgling label its first hit.
With the group in abeyance The Odditties compilation tape of unreleased material appeared in July 1983, followed by a live EP, Live Dead Clean, in 1986, a greatest hits collection called Compilation and second Odditties tape in 1988. For most of the 1980s, The Clean were disbanded. In 1989 and 1990, the Clean toured New Zealand, the United States, Britain and the rest of Europe to promote their album Vehicle. In 2003, the two-disc compilation Anthology, released on Merge Records, awakened new interest in the band in the US, building on an international reputation, enhanced by endorsements from prominent'90s indie groups such as Pavement and Yo La Tengo; the band continues to release records on US and New Zealand labels—their most recent album being Mister Pop in 2009—and they toured the USA as as 2012 and 2014. 1999: Scarfies, in which they are seen performing the song Tally Ho! in a performance at the Empire Tavern, Dunedin. The song appears on the soundtrack. Interview at Acetone Magazine The Clean on Flying Nun Records The Clean on Film Archive
MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open data music database, similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database, a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured open online database for music. MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, the length of each track; these entries are maintained by volunteer editors. Recorded works can store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata; as of 21 September 2018, MusicBrainz contained information about 1.4 million artists, 2 million releases, 19 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use; as with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data. Cover art is provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images. Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this. In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM for acoustic fingerprint matching; this feature allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions.
This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP, replacing TRM with MusicDNS. TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008. In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND; some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems. Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought; the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský. While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not MusicBrainz projects, they are tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these 8 times per second. Additional post-processing is applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns; the AcoustID search server searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers if known.
Since 2003, MusicBrainz's core data are in the public domain, additional content, including moderation data, is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL; the server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products. In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye. On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service. On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it has licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music Web pages; the BBC online music editors will join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database. On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Amarok – KDE audio player Banshee – multi-platform audio player Beets – automatic CLI music tagger/organiser for Unix-like systems Clementine – multi-platform audio player CDex – Microsoft Windows CD ripper Demlo – a dynamic and extensible music manager using a CLI iEatBrainz – Mac OS X deprecated foo_musicbrainz component for foobar2000 – Music Library/Audio Player Jaikoz – Java mass tag editor Max – Mac OS X CD ripper and audio transcoder Mp3tag – Windows metadata editor and music organizer MusicBrainz Picard – cross-platform album-oriented tag editor MusicBrainz Tagger – deprecated Microsoft Windows tag editor puddletag – a tag editor for PyQt under the GPLv3 Rhythmbox music player – an audio player for Unix-like systems Sound Juicer – GNOME CD ripper Zortam Mp3 Media Studio – Windows music organizer and ID3 Tag Editor. Freedb clients can access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. List of online music databases Making Metadata: The Case of Mus
Pavement was an American indie rock band that formed in Stockton, California in 1989. The group consisted of Stephen Malkmus, Scott Kannberg, Mark Ibold, Steve West and Bob Nastanovich. Conceived as a recording project, the band at first avoided press or live performances, while attracting considerable underground attention with their early releases. Evolving into a more polished band, Pavement recorded five full-length albums and nine EPs over the course of their decade-long career, though they disbanded with some acrimony in 1999 as the members moved on to other projects. In 2010, they undertook a well-received reunion tour. Though only brushing the mainstream with the single "Cut Your Hair" in 1994, Pavement was a successful indie rock band. Rather than signing with a major label as many of their 1980s forebears had done, they remained signed to independent labels throughout their career and have been described as one of the most influential bands to emerge from the American underground in the'90s.
Some prominent music critics, such as Robert Christgau and Stephen Thomas Erlewine, went so far as to call them the best band of the 1990s. In their career, they achieved a significant cult following. Pavement formed in Stockton, California in 1989 as a studio project of guitarists and vocalists Stephen Malkmus & Scott Kannberg, known only as "S. M." and "Spiral Stairs". Their debut EPs were lo-fi releases titled Slay Tracks: 1933–1969, Demolition Plot J-7, Perfect Sound Forever, they were recorded at Louder Than You Think, the home studio of Stockton local and former hippie Gary Young who played drums on the recordings. Upon first hearing the duo's songs, Young was quoted as saying, "this Malkmus idiot is a complete songwriting genius."During this time the band was compared to English rock band The Fall, however Kannberg stated in a 1992 interview that he preferred Minneapolis rock band The Replacements. The Fall's Mark E. Smith claimed that Pavement were a "rip-off" of his band and that they didn't "have an original idea in their heads", although other members of The Fall have been more positive about the band.
After the release of Slay Tracks, a new drummer, Jason Turner, was drafted to replace Young both live and in the studio. However, after just one tour and a handful of recording sessions, when it became apparent that the percussionist and Malkmus did not get along well, Turner was ousted and Young reinstated. Malkmus described Turner as "this depressed guy who might assassinate me one day... He's competitive." Around the same time, Bob Nastanovich was incorporated into the live Pavement band as an auxiliary percussionist. Malkmus had been roommates with Nastanovich in New York City, had told him, "You could be our drummer if we played."Around 1992 Pavement became a full-time band, with the addition of bassist Mark Ibold, one of the band's earliest fans, with Malkmus, Kannberg and Nastanovich rounding out the lineup. Their debut album and Enchanted, was released commercially in 1992 after copies had been circulated on cassette tape for nearly a year. Though the percussive influence of The Fall was still pervasive, as was that of English post-punk band Swell Maps, many of the songs exhibited a strong sense of melody.
The same year, the band released the EP Watery, Domestic. During the Slanted & Enchanted tour, Gary Young's eccentric behavior increased, he would stage incidents such as handing out cabbage and mashed potatoes to fans at the door of the venue, doing handstands, drunkenly falling off his drum stool, running around the venue while the rest of the band was playing; the band only understood. Malkmus told Tape Op, "We knew that he was like a hippie and kinda flaky, but we didn't know he had such a bad drinking problem. We found out on that tour, because he got sick from being nervous... That's why I let Bob be in the band...'Keep the beat going if Gary passes out.'" In 1993, Malkmus attempted to record some new songs at Young's studio with unsuccessful results. The singer said, "We kind of wanted to not record with him anymore, but we were too nice to fire people or really talk about it... We tried to record there, but it wasn't sounding good and he didn't have his studio ready and he was in a drinking funk."At the conclusion of a 1993 tour of Australia and Europe, the group held a meeting in a hotel room in Copenhagen during which Malkmus and Ibold remained silent while Nastanovich argued with the drummer and informed him that his antics were unnecessary.
Young agreed to leave the band. He was replaced by Steve West, a fellow museum security guard at the Whitney Museum of American Art along with Malkmus and David Berman. West's debut performance was in 1993 at a Drag City festival in Chicago; that same year, the band contributed to the AIDS-Benefit Album No Alternative produced by the Red Hot Organization with their song "Unseen Power of the Picket Fence". Pavement's second album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was released in 1994; the record was more indebted to the classic rock tradition than their debut. The single "Cut Your Hair" was the band's closest brush with the mainstream, enjoyed airplay on alternative rock radio and MTV. Pavement performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; the video aired on "Career Day", a season five episode of Beavis and Butt-head, who termed it "buttwipe music" and wanted the band to "try harder." The lyrics from another single from the album, "Range Life", criticized alternative rock stars The Smashing Pumpkins
Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are used interchangeably, although the former describes all music, popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became differentiated from each other. Although much of the music that appears on record charts is seen as pop music, the genre is distinguished from chart music. Pop music is eclectic, borrows elements from other styles such as urban, rock and country. Identifying factors include short to medium-length songs written in a basic format, as well as common use of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, hooks. David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop music as "a body of music, distinguishable from popular and folk musics". According to Pete Seeger, pop music is "professional music which draws upon both folk music and fine arts music". Although pop music is seen as just the singles charts, it is not the sum of all chart music.
The music charts contain songs from a variety of sources, including classical, jazz and novelty songs. As a genre, pop music is seen to develop separately. Therefore, the term "pop music" may be used to describe a distinct genre, designed to appeal to all characterized as "instant singles-based music aimed at teenagers" in contrast to rock music as "album-based music for adults". Pop music continuously evolves along with the term's definition. According to music writer Bill Lamb, popular music is defined as "the music since industrialization in the 1800s, most in line with the tastes and interests of the urban middle class." The term "pop song" was first used in 1926, in the sense of a piece of music "having popular appeal". Hatch and Millward indicate that many events in the history of recording in the 1920s can be seen as the birth of the modern pop music industry, including in country and hillbilly music. According to the website of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the term "pop music" "originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for rock and roll and the new youth music styles that it influenced".
The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that while pop's "earlier meaning meant concerts appealing to a wide audience since the late 1950s, pop has had the special meaning of non-classical mus in the form of songs, performed by such artists as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, ABBA, etc." Grove Music Online states that " in the early 1960s,'pop music' competed terminologically with beat music, while in the US its coverage overlapped with that of'rock and roll'". From about 1967, the term “pop music” was used in opposition to the term rock music, a division that gave generic significance to both terms. While rock aspired to authenticity and an expansion of the possibilities of popular music, pop was more commercial and accessible. According to British musicologist Simon Frith, pop music is produced "as a matter of enterprise not art", is "designed to appeal to everyone" but "doesn't come from any particular place or mark off any particular taste". Frith adds that it is "not driven by any significant ambition except profit and commercial reward and, in musical terms, it is conservative".
It is, "provided from on high rather than being made from below... Pop is not a do-it-yourself music but is professionally produced and packaged". According to Frith, characteristics of pop music include an aim of appealing to a general audience, rather than to a particular sub-culture or ideology, an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal "artistic" qualities. Music scholar Timothy Warner said it has an emphasis on recording and technology, rather than live performance; the main medium of pop music is the song between two and a half and three and a half minutes in length marked by a consistent and noticeable rhythmic element, a mainstream style and a simple traditional structure. Common variants include the verse-chorus form and the thirty-two-bar form, with a focus on melodies and catchy hooks, a chorus that contrasts melodically and harmonically with the verse; the beat and the melodies tend to be simple, with limited harmonic accompaniment. The lyrics of modern pop songs focus on simple themes – love and romantic relationships – although there are notable exceptions.
Harmony and chord progressions in pop music are "that of classical European tonality, only more simple-minded." Clichés include the barbershop quartet-style blues scale-influenced harmony. There was a lessening of the influence of traditional views of the circle of fifths between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s, including less predominance for the dominant function. Throughout its development, pop music has absorbed influences from other genres of popular music. Early pop music drew on the sentimental ballad for its form, gained its use of vocal harmonies from gospel and soul music, instrumentation from jazz and rock music, orchestration from classical music, tempo from dance music, backing from electronic music, rhythmic elements from hip-hop music, spoken passages from rap. In the 1960s, the majority of mainstream pop music fell in two categories: guitar and bass groups or singers
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