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
Important Bird Area
An Important Bird and Biodiversity Area is an area identified using an internationally agreed set of criteria as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations. IBA was developed and sites are identified by BirdLife International. There are over 12,000 IBAs worldwide; these sites are small enough to be conserved and differ in their character, habitat or ornithological importance from the surrounding habitat. In the United States the Program is administered by the National Audubon Society. IBAs form part of a country's existing protected area network, so are protected under national legislation. Legal recognition and protection of IBAs that are not within existing protected areas varies within different countries; some countries have a National IBA Conservation Strategy, whereas in others protection is lacking. IBAs are determined by an internationally agreed set of criteria. Specific IBA thresholds are set by national governing organizations. To be listed as an IBA, a site must satisfy at least one of the following rating criteria: A1.
Globally threatened speciesThe site qualifies if it is known, estimated or thought to hold a population of a species categorized by the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. In general, the regular presence of a Critical or Endangered species, irrespective of population size, at a site may be sufficient for a site to qualify as an IBA. For Vulnerable species, the presence of more than threshold numbers at a site is necessary to trigger selection. A2. Restricted-range speciesThe site forms one of a set selected to ensure that all restricted-range species of an Endemic Bird Area or a Secondary Area are present in significant numbers in at least one site and preferably more. A3. Biome-restricted speciesThe site forms one of a set selected to ensure adequate representation of all species restricted to a given biome, both across the biome as a whole and for all of its species in each range state. A4. Congregations i; this applies to'waterbird' species as defined by Delaney and Scott and is modelled on criterion 6 of the Ramsar Convention for identifying wetlands of international importance.
Depending upon how species are distributed, the 1% thresholds for the biogeographic populations may be taken directly from Delaney & Scott, they may be generated by combining flyway populations within a biogeographic region or, for those for which no quantitative thresholds are given, they are determined regionally or inter-regionally, as appropriate, using the best available information. Ii; this includes those seabird species not covered by Scott. Quantitative data are taken from a variety of unpublished sources. Iii; this is modelled on citerion 5 of the Ramsar Convention for identifying wetlands of international importance. The use of this criterion is discouraged where quantitative data are good enough to permit the application of A4i and A4ii. Iv; the site is thought to exceed thresholds set for migratory species at bottleneck sites. The assessment by expert individuals is however not reliable and a study in South America found that the coverage needed for at-risk bird conservation as chosen by computational algorithms overlapped with IBAs and suggested that such methods should be used to complement expert driven IBA site choices.
Biodiversity Biodiversity hotspot Ecology Ecoregions Important Plant Areas International Union for the Conservation of Nature Key Biodiversity Areas Protected Areas Wilderness
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is an agency of the US Federal Government within the US Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish and natural habitats. The mission of the agency is "working with others to conserve and enhance fish, wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people." Aurelia Skipwith is Trump's nominee. Among the responsibilities of the FWS are enforcing federal wildlife laws. Sub-units of the FWS include: National Wildlife Refuge System—560 National Wildlife Refuges and thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas covering over 150 million acres Division of Migratory Bird Management Federal Duck Stamp National Fish Hatchery System—70 National Fish Hatcheries and 65 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices Endangered Species program—86 Ecological Services Field Stations International Affairs Program National Conservation Training Center USFWS Office of Law Enforcement Clark R. Bavin National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory Landscape Conservation CooperativesThe vast majority of fish and wildlife habitat is on non-federal state or private land.
Therefore, the FWS works with private groups such as Partners in Flight and Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to promote voluntary habitat conservation and restoration. The FWS employs 9,000 people and is organized into a central administrative office in Falls Church, eight regional offices, nearly 700 field offices distributed throughout the United States; the FWS originated in 1871 as the United States Commission on Fish and Fisheries, more referred to as the United States Fish Commission, created by the United States Congress with the purpose of studying and recommending solutions to a noted decline in the stocks of food fish. Spencer Fullerton Baird was appointed its first commissioner. In 1903, the Fish Commission was reorganized as the United States Bureau of Fisheries. In 1885–1886, the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy was established within the United States Department of Agriculture. In 1896 it became the Division of Biological Survey, its early work focused on the effect of birds in controlling agricultural pests and mapping the geographical distribution of plants and animals in the United States.
Clinton Hart Merriam headed the Bureau for 25 years and became a national figure for improving the scientific understanding of birds and mammals in the United States. Jay Norwood Darling was appointed Chief of the new Bureau of Biological Survey in 1934. Under Darling's guidance, the Bureau began an ongoing legacy of protecting vital natural habitat throughout the country; the FWS was created in 1940, when the Bureaus of Fisheries and Biological Survey were combined after being moved to the Department of the Interior. In 1959, the methods used by FWS's Animal Damage Control Program were featured in the Tom Lehrer song "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park"; the FWS governs six US National Monuments: Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington state. Pursuant to the eagle feather law, Title 50, Part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service administers the National Eagle Repository and the permit system for Native American religious use of eagle feathers.
These exceptions only apply to Native Americans that are registered with the federal government and are enrolled with a federally recognized tribe. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the FWS began to incorporate the research of tribal scientists into conservation decisions; this came on the heels of Native American traditional ecological knowledge gaining acceptance in the scientific community as a reasonable and respectable way to gain knowledge of managing the natural world. Additionally, other natural resource agencies within the United States government, such as the USDA, have taken steps to be more inclusive of tribes, native people, tribal rights; this has marked a transition to a relationship of more co-operation rather than the tension between tribes and government agencies seen historically. Today, these agencies work with tribal governments to ensure the best conservation decisions are made and that tribes retain their sovereignty. Federal law enforcement in the United States Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admini
Pike County, Illinois
Pike County is a county in the U. S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 16,430, its county seat is Pittsfield. Pike County was formed in January 1821 out of Madison County, it was named in honor of Zebulon Pike, leader of the Pike expedition in 1806 to map out the south and west portions of the Louisiana Purchase. Pike served at the Battle of Tippecanoe, was killed in 1813 in the War of 1812. Prior to the coming of the first European settler to the future Pike County, French traders and travelers passed through the native forests and prairies. Pike County began on the south junction of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers; the east boundary was the Illinois River north to the Kankakee River to the Indiana State line on north to Wisconsin territorial line and west to the Mississippi River to the original point at the south end. The first county seat was Cole's Grove, a post town, in what became Calhoun County; the Gazetteer of Illinois and Missouri, published in 1822, mentioned Chicago as "a village of Pike County" containing 12 or 15 houses and about 60 or 70 inhabitants.
The New Philadelphia Town Site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2009. Founded by Frank McWorter, an early free black settler in Pike County, it was the first town founded by a black man in the United States. McWorter had invested in land there sight unseen after purchasing the first few members of his family out of slavery. In 1836 he founded the town of New Philadelphia, near Barry, he lived there the rest of his life. With the sale of land, he made enough money to purchase the freedom of his children. After the railroad bypassed the town, its growth slowed and it was abandoned in the 20th century; the town site is now an archaeological site. In the early 21st century, Pike County acquired notability as a whitetail deer hunting center for bowhunting. According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 849 square miles, of which 831 square miles is land and 18 square miles is water. Pike County is located on the highlands between the Illinois River, which forms its eastern border, the Mississippi River, the county's western border.
It has two interstate highways, I-72, with bridges spanning both rivers to enter the county, I-172 which extends about 300 feet into the county to its intersection with I-72. In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Pittsfield have ranged from a low of 15 °F in January to a high of 86 °F in July, although a record low of −25 °F was recorded in February 1905 and a record high of 115 °F was recorded in July 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.74 inches in January to 4.11 inches in May. Pike County is one of the few US counties to border as many as nine counties. Illinois has two -- LaSalle. Great River National Wildlife Refuge As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 16,430 people, 6,639 households, 4,527 families residing in the county; the population density was 19.8 inhabitants per square mile. There were 7,951 housing units at an average density of 9.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 96.9% white, 1.7% black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, 0.7% from two or more races.
Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 26.3% were German, 16.8% were American, 15.1% were English, 13.4% were Irish. Of the 6,639 households, 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.5% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.8% were non-families, 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.87. The median age was 42.5 years. The median income for a household in the county was $40,205 and the median income for a family was $50,426. Males had a median income of $39,071 versus $26,835 for females; the per capita income for the county was $19,996. About 11.3% of families and 15.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.7% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over. Pike County was reliably Democratic from 1892 through 1948. However, it was a national bellwether in every presidential election from 1912 to 2004 aside from 1924 & 1988.
Since 2000, the county has become a Republican stronghold, with Donald Trump winning it in the 2016 presidential election by a margin of 57.6 points. The county is located in Illinois's 18th Congressional District and is represented by Republican Davin LaHood. For the Illinois House of Representatives, the county is located in the 100th district and is represented by Republican C. D. Davidsmeyer; the county is located in the 50th district of the Illinois Senate, is represented by Republican William McCann. Barry Griggsville Pittsfield New Canton National Register of Historic Places listings in Pike County, Illinois Pike County Chamber of Commerce Pike County books and primary sources New Philadelphia Association Free Frank New Philadelphia Historic Preservation Foundation Christopher C. Fennell, "Updates on New Philadelphia Archaeology Project", University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign New Philadelphia: A Multiracial Town on the Illinois Frontier, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan Pike County Township Histories summation Pike County Illinois History
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the Springfield, Illinois home and a historic district where Abraham Lincoln lived from 1844 to 1861, before becoming the 16th President of the United States. The presidential memorial includes the four blocks surrounding a visitor center. In 1837, Lincoln moved to Springfield from New Salem at the start of his law career, he met his wife, Mary Todd, at her sister's home in Springfield and married there in 1842. The historic-site house, purchased by Lincoln and his wife in 1844, was the only home that Lincoln owned, their children, four sons, were born there and one, died there. Located at the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets, the house contains twelve rooms spread over two floors. During the time he lived here, Lincoln was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846, elected President in 1860. Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln donated the family home to the State of Illinois in 1887 under the condition that it would forever be well maintained and open to the public at no charge.
This came as a result of tenants who would charge those who wanted to visit Lincoln's home and that many tenants tended to leave the home in disrepair. The home and Lincoln Tomb in Springfield, were designated National Historic Landmarks on December 19, 1960, automatically listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966; the home and adjacent district became a National Historic Site on August 18, 1971 and is owned and administered by the National Park Service. It is one of two National Park Service properties in Illinois. Along with the Lincoln Home, several other structures within the four-block area are preserved. All the homes have been restored to their appearance during the time Lincoln lived in the neighborhood. Two of these structures, the Dean House and the Arnold House, are open to visitors and house exhibits on the life and times of Lincoln and his neighbors. In total, the buildings included in the park occupy 12 acres. Nearby in Springfield are the Old State Capitol where Lincoln served as a State Legislator, the building which housed the law offices of Lincoln and his partner William Herndon from 1844 until 1852, the Lincoln Depot from which Lincoln left the city for his 1861 inauguration.
Official website National Historic Landmark information Lincoln Home National Historic Site:A Place of Growth and Memory, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan "Life Portrait of Abraham Lincoln", from C-SPAN's American Presidents: Life Portraits, broadcast from Lincoln Home National Historic Site, June 28, 1999
Adams County, Illinois
Adams County is the westernmost county of the U. S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 67,103, its county seat is Quincy. Adams County is part of the IL -- MO Micropolitan Statistical Area. Adams County was formed in 1825 out of Pike County, its name is in honor of the sixth President of John Quincy Adams. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 871 square miles, of which 855 square miles is land and 16 square miles is water. Hancock County - north Brown County - east Schuyler County - east Pike County - south Marion County, Missouri - west Lewis County, Missouri - west Great River National Wildlife Refuge In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Quincy have ranged from a low of 16 °F in January to a high of 88 °F in July, although a record low of −21 °F was recorded in January 1979 and a record high of 105 °F was recorded in July 2005. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.36 inches in January to 4.61 inches in May.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 67,103 people, 27,375 households, 17,677 families residing in the county. The population density was 78.5 inhabitants per square mile. There were 29,842 housing units at an average density of 34.9 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 93.7% white, 3.5% black or African American, 0.7% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.4% from other races, 1.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 43.5% were German, 13.1% were Irish, 10.7% were American, 8.7% were English. Of the 27,375 households, 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.4% were non-families, 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age was 40.7 years. The median income for a household in the county was $43,824 and the median income for a family was $55,791.
Males had a median income of $38,830 versus $29,371 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,308. About 8.3% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over. Quincy Adams County is divided into twenty-three townships: Adams County, positioned in a rural section of Illinois is culturally isolated from Chicago, therefore more conservative than the state's northeastern corner. Quincy, the county seat, holds a high number of conservative Catholics and is the home to the campus of Quincy University, a private Catholic liberal arts college, the Western Catholic Union; the county is part of the historic belt of German settlement extending into the Missouri Rhineland and because it was antagonistic to the Yankee northeast of Illinois, it voted solidly Democratic until 1892. After being a swing county in the first half of the twentieth century, Adams County has been a Republican stronghold, it last supported a Democrat for President of the United States in 1964, when it voted for (Lyndon Johnson.
The county rejects Democrats at the state level as well. Notably, while it warmly supported Barack Obama in his 2004 Senate campaign, it shut Obama out in both his presidential bids; the county is represented in the U. S. House of Representatives by Republican Darin LaHood. For the Illinois House of Representatives, the county is located in the 94th district and is represented by Republican Randy Frese; the county is located in the 47th district of the Illinois Senate, is represented by Republican Jil Tracy. Central Community Unit School District 3 Liberty Community Unit School District 2 Mendon Community Unit School District 4 Payson Community Unit School District 1 Quincy Public School District 172 Blessed Sacrament Catholic School Chaddock School Quincy Christian School Quincy Notre Dame High School St. Dominic Catholic School St. Francis Solanus Catholic School St. James Lutheran School St. Peter Catholic School Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing John Wood Community College Quincy University National Register of Historic Places listings in Adams County, Illinois Adams County website Adams County GIS Website Great River Genealogical Society United States Census Bureau 2007 TIGER/Line Shapefiles United States Board on Geographic Names United States National Atlas
The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows south for 2,320 miles to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U. S. two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is within the United States; the Mississippi ranks as the fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Native Americans have lived along its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies; the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.
The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, the early United States, as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort; because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees and dams built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The word Mississippi itself comes from Misi zipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, Misi-ziibi. In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi River has been considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the Western United States; this is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, it is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi" or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi". The FCC uses it as the dividing line for broadcast call-signs, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river.
The Mississippi River can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the Missouri River. The Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri, it is divided into two sections: The headwaters, 493 miles from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca, 1,475 feet above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Minnesota; the name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the Mississippi River as a combination of the last four letters of the Latin word for truth and the first two letters of the Latin word for head. However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation.
The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river. Beginning just below Saint Paul and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the Mississippi is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks; the head of navigation on the Mississippi is the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could go upstream as far as Saint Cloud, depending on river conditions; the uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River is the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock an