The Thinker is a bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin placed on a stone pedestal. The work shows a nude male figure of over life-size sitting on a rock with his chin resting on one hand as though deep in thought used as an image to represent philosophy. There are about 28 full-sized castings, in which the figure is about 186 cm high, though not all were made during Rodin's lifetime and under his supervision. There are various other versions, as well, several in plaster, studies and posthumous castings exist in a range of sizes. Rodin first conceived the figure as part of his work The Gates of Hell commissioned in 1880, but the first of the familiar monumental bronze castings did not appear until 1904; the Thinker was named The Poet, was part of a large commission begun in 1880 for a doorway surround called The Gates of Hell. Rodin based this on The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, most of the figures in the work represented the main characters in the poem with The Thinker at the center of the composition over the doorway and somewhat larger than most of the other figures.
Some critics believe that it was intended to depict Dante at the gates of Hell, pondering his great poem. Other critics reject that theory, pointing out that the figure is naked while Dante is clothed throughout his poem, that the sculpture's physique does not correspond to Dante's effete figure; the sculpture is nude, as Rodin wanted a heroic figure in the tradition of Michelangelo, to represent intellect as well as poetry. This detail from the Gates of Hell was first named The Thinker by foundry workers, who noted its similarity to Michelangelo's statue of Lorenzo de Medici called Il Penseroso, Rodin decided to treat the figure as an independent work at a larger size; the figure was designed to be seen from below and is displayed on a high plinth, although the heights vary chosen by the various owners. The Thinker has been cast in multiple versions and is found around the world, but the history is complicated of the progression from models to castings and is still not clear. About 28 monumental-sized bronze casts are in public places.
In addition, there are sculptures of different study-sized scales and plaster versions in both monumental and study sizes. Some newer castings have been produced posthumously and are not considered part of the original production. Rodin made the first small plaster version around 1881; the first full-scale model was presented at the Salon des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1904. A public subscription from Rodin admirers allowed a bronze casting to be made in 1906, it became property of the City of Paris. And was put in front of the Panthéon. In 1922, it was moved to the Hôtel Biron, transformed into the Rodin Museum. A bronze cast of the sculpture can be found in front of Grawemeyer Hall on the University of Louisville Belknap Campus in Louisville, Kentucky, it was made in Paris and was first displayed at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904 given to the city; this sculpture was the only cast created by the lost-wax casting method. List of public art in San Francisco The "Penseur", a poem by Philadelphia poet Florence Earle Coates at Wikisource Rodin: The B.
Gerald Cantor Collection, a full text exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which contains material on The Thinker Link to The Thinker at the official Web site of the Musée Rodin. The Thinker Inspiration and Critical Reception The Thinker project, Munich. Discussion of the history of the many casts of this artwork; the Thinker, Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Object Number 1988.106, bronze cast No.10, edition of 12. Auguste Rodin and The Thinker, the story behind his most iconic sculpture of all time at biography.com
The Lawn, a part of Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village, is a large, terraced grassy court at the historic center of Jefferson's academic community at the University of Virginia. The Lawn and its surrounding buildings, designed by Jefferson, demonstrate Jefferson's mastery of Palladian and Neoclassical architecture, the site has been recognized as an architectural masterpiece in itself; the Lawn has been designated a U. S. National Historic Landmark District, is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the original buildings of the University of Virginia and Monticello, Jefferson's nearby residence. Jefferson designed the Lawn to be the center of the university, as such it is surrounded by housing for students and faculty, its most famous building is the Rotunda, which sits at the north end of the site, opposite Old Cabell Hall. Framing the other two sides of the Lawn are ten Pavilions, where faculty reside in the upper two floors and teach on the first, as well as 54 Lawn rooms, where selected undergraduates reside in their final year.
Opposite the Pavilions and Lawn rooms are ten gardens, similar to the Pavilions, each garden is designed in a distinct way. The outermost row of buildings on either side constitute the edge of the Academical Village; the Lawn has remained the symbolic center of the university since 1819, when the university was founded. It annually serves as the site of the university's graduation ceremonies, as well as other ceremonies during the year; the Lawn is used to refer either to the original grounds designed by Thomas Jefferson for the University of Virginia, or to the grassy field around which the original university buildings are arrayed. The Lawn consists of four rows of colonnades on which larger buildings; the inner rank of colonnades, facing the central Lawn proper, contains ten Pavilions and 54 student rooms, while the outer rank, facing outward, contain six Hotels and another 54 student rooms. At the head of the colonnades, facing south down the Lawn is the Rotunda, a one-half scale copy of the Pantheon in brick with white columns, that held the University's library.
There are a total of 206 columns surrounding the Lawn: 16 on The Rotunda, 38 on the Pavilions, 152 on the walkways. The columns are of varying orders according to the formality and usage of the space, with Corinthian columns on the exterior of the Rotunda giving way to Doric and Composite orders inside. Jefferson's design for the Lawn sought to find an alternative to traditional single-building college architecture, such as that he experienced as a student at the College of William and Mary, due to its being "noisy, vulnerable to fires, affording little privacy." The overall model for the Lawn is similar to, may have been influenced by, Joseph Jacques Ramée's design for Union College and Benjamin Latrobe's design for a military academy, as well as by the designs of Palladio and by his own house, Monticello. Along the legs of the U, the colonnades provide sheltered, but outdoor, communication between the pavilions and the student rooms, while everything in the Lawn communicates with the Lawn or the outside world, there is privacy afforded by the walled gardens.
Jefferson separated the buildings of the lawn into 10 units, or Pavilions, to reflect his classification of the branches of learning, designed the relationship between them and the rest of the Lawn. Each of the ten Pavilions has a unique design, intended to give individual dignity to each branch of study, the whole was intended to serve as a sort of outdoor classroom for architectural study, as he wrote to William Thornton, architect of the United States Capitol: What we wish is that these pavilions, as they will show themselves above the dormitories, shall be models of taste and good architecture, of a variety of appearance, no two alike, so as to serve as specimens for the architectural lecturer. Will you set your imagination to work, sketch some designs for us, no matter how loosely with the pen, without the trouble of referring to scale or rule, for we want nothing but the outline of the architecture, as the internal must be arranged according to local convenience? A few sketches, such as may not take you a minute, will oblige us.
Thornton obliged with designs for two pavilions, one of, adapted for the design of Pavilion VII, the first to be built. Jefferson solicited designs from Benjamin Latrobe, who had worked with Jefferson on the chambers for the United States House of Representatives. Latrobe responded with a sketch showing the plan of the University, with a domed structure resembling Palladio's Villa Capra "La Rotonda", sent a second large drawing in October 1817 showing at least five Pavilion elevations, maybe 10, it is believed that Latrobe's drawings were used for the designs of Pavilions III, V, IX and X Further, it is speculated that many of the eastern Pavilions were based on Latrobe's designs, as Jefferson prepared the drawings for all five buildings in a mere three weeks. Throughout the process, Jefferson adapted the designs to fit the site, adjusting the width, specifying the entablature, providing the detailed design of the interior of the Rotunda; the area between the Pavilions and the Rang
National Register of Historic Places architectural style categories
In the United States, the National Register of Historic Places classifies its listings by various types of architecture. Listed properties are given one or more of 40 standard architectural style classifications that appear in the National Register Information System database. Other properties are given a custom architectural description with "vernacular" or other qualifiers, others have no style classification. Many National Register-listed properties do not fit into the several categories listed here, or they fit into more specialized subcategories; the complete list of the 40 architectural style codes in the National Register Information System—NRIS follows: Obs — ARSTYLCD — ARSTYL 1 — 01 NO STYLE LISTED 2 — 10 COLONIAL 3 — 11 GEORGIAN 4 — 20 EARLY REPUBLIC 5 — 21 FEDERAL 6 — 30 MID 19TH CENTURY REVIVAL 7 — 31 GREEK REVIVAL 8 — 32 GOTHIC REVIVAL 9 — 33 ITALIAN VILLA 10 — 34 EXOTIC REVIVAL 11 — 40 LATE VICTORIAN 12 — 41 GOTHIC 13 — 42 ITALIANATE 14 — 43 SECOND EMPIRE 15 — 44 STICK/EASTLAKE 16 — 45 QUEEN ANNE 17 — 46 SHINGLE STYLE 18 — 47 ROMANESQUE 19 — 48 RENAISSANCE 20 — 49 OCTAGON MODE 21 — 50 LATE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURY REVIVALS 22 — 51 COLONIAL REVIVAL 23 — 52 CLASSICAL REVIVAL 24 — 53 TUDOR REVIVAL 25 — 54 LATE GOTHIC REVIVAL 26 — 55 MISSION/SPANISH REVIVAL 27 — 56 BEAUX ARTS 28 — 57 PUEBLO 29 — 60 LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY AMERICAN MOVEMENTS 30 — 61 PRAIRIE SCHOOL 31 — 62 EARLY COMMERCIAL 32 — 63 CHICAGO 33 — 64 SKYSCRAPER 34 — 65 BUNGALOW/CRAFTSMAN 35 — 70 MODERN MOVEMENT 36 — 71 MODERNE 37 — 72 INTERNATIONAL STYLE 38 — 73 ART DECO 39 — 80 OTHER 40 — 90 MIXED Some selected National Register Information System styles, with examples, include: Federal architecture was the classicizing architecture style built in the newly founded United States between c. 1780 and 1830.
Examples include: the Old Town Hall in Massachusetts, Plumb House in Virginia. Greek Revival architecture is a Neoclassical movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Europe, it emerged in the U. S. following the War of 1812 and while a revolutionary war in Greece attracted America's interest. Greek Revival architecture was popularized by Minard Lafever's pattern books: The Young Builders' General Instructor in 1829, the Modern Builders' Guide in 1833, The Beauties of Modern Architecture in 1835, The Architectural Instructor in 1850. Greek Revival in the U. S. includes vernacular versions such as the 1839 Simsbury Townhouse built by an unknown craftsman and the Dicksonia Plantation, high-style versions such as the Second Bank of the United States, Philadelphia. Plantation houses Many plantation houses in the Southern United States were built in Greek Revival variations, including Millford Plantation, Melrose and Annandale Plantation Examples of the American revival of classical Palladian architecture include: The Rotunda by Thomas Jefferson at the University of Virginia, the Hammond-Harwood House in Annapolis, Maryland.
Late Victorian architecture is distributed on the register's listings, for many building types in every state. The Carpenter Gothic style was popular for Late Victorian wooden churches; the Queen Anne style was popular in American Victorian architecture, after the earlier Italianate style, is frequent on NRHP residential listings. The Shingle Style is an American variation of Queen Anne. A grouping of historicist architecture Revival styles, with the title Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, has been applied by the NRHP for many listings. There are numerous listed buildings designed in an amalgam of several to many revival styles that defy a singular or simpler classification title. Mission/Spanish Revival is an amalgam of two distinct styles popular in different but adjacent eras: the late-19th-century Mission Revival Style architecture and early-20th-century Spanish Colonial Revival architecture; the combined term, or the individual terms, are used in the style classifications of NRHP listed buildings.
Pueblo Revival Style architecture is a revival style based on traditional Native American Pueblo architecture of adobe dwellings–communities in the Pueblo culture in present-day New Mexico, northeastern Arizona, southwestern Colorado. Examples include the Institute of American Indian Arts, La Fonda on the Plaza, the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in New Mexico, the Painted Desert Inn in Arizona. Exotic Revival architecture is another style that may reflect a mix of Moorish Revival architecture, Egyptian Revival architecture, other influences. Just a few of many National Register-listed places identified with this style are El Zaribah Shrine Auditorium, Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery, Fort Smith Masonic Temple, Algeria Shrine Temple. Examples in California include Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose; the Mayan Revival architecture style blends Maya architectural and artistic motifs with those of other Mesoamerican cultures of Aztec architecture. Examples include: the Mayan Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.
S. Route 66 in Southern California. "Postmedieval English" architecture is a style term used for a number of NRHP listings, including William Ward Jr. House in Middlefield, Connecticut. "Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Movements" ar
Louisville is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the 29th most-populous city in the United States. It is one of two cities in Kentucky designated as first-class, the other being Lexington, the state's second-largest city. Louisville is the historical seat and, since 2003, the nominal seat of Jefferson County, located in the northern region of the state, on the border with Indiana. Louisville, named for King Louis XVI of France, was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark, making it one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains. Sited beside the Falls of the Ohio, the only major obstruction to river traffic between the upper Ohio River and the Gulf of Mexico, the settlement first grew as a portage site, it was the founding city of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which grew into a 6,000-mile system across 13 states. Today, the city is known as the home of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Fried Chicken, the University of Louisville and its Louisville Cardinals athletic teams, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, three of Kentucky's six Fortune 500 companies, being Humana, Kindred Healthcare and Yum!
Brands. Its main airport is the site of United Parcel Service's worldwide air hub. Since 2003, Louisville's borders have been the same as those of Jefferson County, after a city-county merger; the official name of this consolidated city-county government is the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government, abbreviated to Louisville Metro. Despite the merger and renaming, the term "Jefferson County" continues to be used in some contexts in reference to Louisville Metro including the incorporated cities outside the "balance" which make up Louisville proper; the city's total consolidated population as of the 2017 census estimate was 771,158. However, the balance total of 621,349 excludes other incorporated places and semiautonomous towns within the county and is the population listed in most sources and national rankings; the Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, sometimes referred to as Kentuckiana, includes Louisville-Jefferson County and 12 surrounding counties, seven in Kentucky and five in Southern Indiana.
As of 2017, the MSA had a population of 1,293,953. The history of Louisville spans hundreds of years, has been influenced by the area's geography and location; the rapids at the Falls of the Ohio created a barrier to river travel, as a result, settlements grew up at this stopping point. The first European settlement in the vicinity of modern-day Louisville was on Corn Island in 1778 by Col. George Rogers Clark, credited as the founder of Louisville. Several landmarks in the community are named after him. Two years in 1780, the Virginia General Assembly approved the town charter of Louisville; the city was named in honor of King Louis XVI of France, whose soldiers were aiding Americans in the Revolutionary War. Early residents lived in forts to protect themselves from Indian raids, but moved out by the late 1780s. In 1803, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark organized their expedition across America in the town of Clarksville, Indiana at the present-day Falls of the Ohio opposite Louisville, Kentucky.
The city's early growth was influenced by the fact that river boats had to be unloaded and moved downriver before reaching the falls. By 1828, the population had grown to 7,000 and Louisville became an incorporated city. Early Louisville was slaves worked in a variety of associated trades; the city was a point of escape for slaves to the north, as Indiana was a free state. During this point in the 1850s, the city was growing and vibrant, but that came with negativity, it was the center of planning, supplies and transportation for numerous campaigns in the Western Theater. By the year 1855, ethnic tension was arising. Nobody knew. On August 6, 1855 "Bloody Monday" happened. By 1861, the civil war broke out. During the Civil War, Louisville was a major stronghold of Union forces, which kept Kentucky in the Union. By the end of the war, Louisville had not been attacked, although skirmishes and battles, including the battles of Perryville and Corydon, took place nearby. After Reconstruction, returning Confederate veterans took political control of the city, leading to the jibe that Louisville joined the Confederacy after the war was over.
The first Kentucky Derby was held on May 1875, at the Louisville Jockey Club track. The Derby was shepherded by Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. the grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, grandnephew of the city's founder George Rogers Clark. Horse racing had a strong tradition in Kentucky, whose Inner Bluegrass Region had been a center of breeding high-quality livestock throughout the 19th century. Ten thousand spectators watched the first Derby. On March 27, 1890, the city was devastated and its downtown nearly destroyed when an F4 tornado tore through as part of the middle Mississippi Valley tornado outbreak. An estimated 74 to 120 people were killed and 200 were injured; the damage cost the city $2.5 million. In 1914, the City of Louisville passed a racially-based zoning residential zoning code, following Baltimore, a handful of cities in the Carolinas; the NAACP challenged the ordinance in two cases. Two weeks after the ordinance enacted, an African-American named Arthur Harris moved into a house on a block designated for whites.
He was found guilty. The second case was planned to create a test case. William Warley, the president of the local chapter
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was founded in 1819 by Declaration of former President Thomas Jefferson. UVA is a World Heritage site of the United States, it is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, secret societies. The original governing Board of Visitors included Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe. Monroe was the sitting President of the United States at the time of its foundation and earlier Presidents Jefferson and Madison were UVA's first two rectors. Jefferson designed the original courses of study and Academical Village; as the first elected member to the research-driven Association of American Universities in the American South, since 1904, it remains the only AAU member in Virginia. The university is classified as a Research University with Very High Research by the Carnegie Foundation, its recent research efforts have been recognized by such scientific media as the journal Science, which credited UVA faculty with two of the top ten global breakthroughs of 2015.
UVA faculty and alumni have founded a large number of companies, such as Reddit. UVA offers 121 majors across three professional schools; the historic 1,682-acre campus is internationally protected by UNESCO and has been ranked as one of the most beautiful collegiate grounds in the country. UVA additionally maintains 2,913 acres southeast of the city, at Morven Farm; the university manages the College at Wise in Southwest Virginia, until 1972 operated George Mason University and the University of Mary Washington in Northern Virginia. Virginia student athletes compete in 27 collegiate sports and the Cavaliers lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in men's team NCAA championships with 18, additionally placing second in women's national titles with seven. UVA was awarded the men's Capital One Cup in 2015 after fielding the top overall men's athletics program in the nation. In 1802, while serving as President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson wrote to artist Charles Willson Peale that his concept of the new university would be "on the most extensive and liberal scale that our circumstances would call for and our faculties meet," and that it might attract talented students from "other states to come, drink of the cup of knowledge".
Virginia was home to the College of William and Mary, but Jefferson lost all confidence in his alma mater because of its religious nature – it required all its students to recite a catechism – and its stifling of the sciences. Jefferson had flourished under William and Mary professors William Small and George Wythe decades earlier, but the college was in a period of great decline and his concern became so dire by 1800 that he expressed to British chemist Joseph Priestley, "we have in that State, a college just well enough endowed to draw out the miserable existence to which a miserable constitution has doomed it." These words would ring true some seventy years when William and Mary fell bankrupt after the Civil War and the Williamsburg college was shuttered in 1881 being revived in a limited capacity as a small college for teachers until well into the twentieth century. In 1817, three Presidents and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Marshall joined 24 other dignitaries at a meeting held in the Mountain Top Tavern at Rockfish Gap.
After some deliberation, they selected nearby Charlottesville as the site of the new University of Virginia. Farmland just outside Charlottesville was purchased from James Monroe by the Board of Visitors as Central College; the school laid its first building's cornerstone late in that same year, the Commonwealth of Virginia chartered the new university on January 25, 1819. John Hartwell Cocke collaborated with James Madison and Joseph Carrington Cabell to fulfill Jefferson's dream to establish the university. Cocke and Jefferson were appointed to the building committee to supervise the construction. Like many of its peers, the university owned slaves, they served students and professors. The university's first classes met on March 7, 1825. In contrast to other universities of the day, at which one could study in either medicine, law, or divinity, the first students at the University of Virginia could study in one or several of eight independent schools – medicine, mathematics, ancient languages, modern languages, natural philosophy, moral philosophy.
Another innovation of the new university was that higher education would be separated from religious doctrine. UVA had no divinity school, was established independently of any religious sect, the Grounds were planned and centered upon a library, the Rotunda, rather than a church, distinguishing it from peer universities still functioning as seminaries for one particular strain of Protestantism or another. Jefferson opined to philosopher Thomas Cooper that "a professorship of theology should have no place in our institution", never has there been one. There were two degrees awarded by the university: Graduate, to a student who had completed the courses of one school. Jefferson was intimately involved in the university to the end, hosting Sunday dinners at his Monticello home for faculty and students until his death. So taken with the import of what he viewed the university's foundations and potential to be, counting it amongst his greatest accomplishments, Jefferson insisted his grave mention only his status as author of the Declaration of Independence and Virginia Statute for Religious Fre
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States federal government's official list of districts, buildings and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property; the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. Of the more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually; the remainder are contributing resources within historic districts. For most of its history the National Register has been administered by the National Park Service, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior, its goals are to help property owners and interest groups, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, coordinate and protect historic sites in the United States.
While National Register listings are symbolic, their recognition of significance provides some financial incentive to owners of listed properties. Protection of the property is not guaranteed. During the nomination process, the property is evaluated in terms of the four criteria for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places; the application of those criteria has been the subject of criticism by academics of history and preservation, as well as the public and politicians. Historic sites outside the country proper, but associated with the United States are listed. Properties can be nominated in a variety of forms, including individual properties, historic districts, multiple property submissions; the Register categorizes general listings into one of five types of properties: district, structure, building, or object. National Register Historic Districts are defined geographical areas consisting of contributing and non-contributing properties; some properties are added automatically to the National Register when they become administered by the National Park Service.
These include National Historic Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, National Military Parks, National Memorials, some National Monuments. On October 15, 1966, the Historic Preservation Act created the National Register of Historic Places and the corresponding State Historic Preservation Offices; the National Register consisted of the National Historic Landmarks designated before the Register's creation, as well as any other historic sites in the National Park system. Approval of the act, amended in 1980 and 1992, represented the first time the United States had a broad-based historic preservation policy; the 1966 act required those agencies to work in conjunction with the SHPO and an independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, to confront adverse effects of federal activities on historic preservation. To administer the newly created National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior, with director George B.
Hartzog Jr. established an administrative division named the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation. Hartzog charged OAHP with creating the National Register program mandated by the 1966 law. Ernest Connally was the Office's first director. Within OAHP new divisions were created to deal with the National Register; the division administered several existing programs, including the Historic Sites Survey and the Historic American Buildings Survey, as well as the new National Register and Historic Preservation Fund. The first official Keeper of the Register was an architectural historian. During the Register's earliest years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, organization was lax and SHPOs were small and underfunded. However, funds were still being supplied for the Historic Preservation Fund to provide matching grants-in-aid to listed property owners, first for house museums and institutional buildings, but for commercial structures as well. A few years in 1979, the NPS history programs affiliated with both the U.
S. National Parks system and the National Register were categorized formally into two "Assistant Directorates." Established were the Assistant Directorate for Archeology and Historic Preservation and the Assistant Directorate for Park Historic Preservation. From 1978 until 1981, the main agency for the National Register was the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service of the United States Department of the Interior. In February 1983, the two assistant directorates were merged to promote efficiency and recognize the interdependency of their programs. Jerry L. Rogers was selected to direct this newly merged associate directorate, he was described as a skilled administrator, sensitive to the need for the NPS to work with SHPOs, local governments. Although not described in detail in the 1966 act, SHPOs became integral to the process of listing properties on the National Register; the 1980 amendments of the 1966 law further defined the responsibilities of SHPOs concerning the National Register.
Several 1992 amendments of the NHPA added a category to the National Register, known as Traditional Cultural Properties: those properties associated with Native American or Hawaiian groups
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