Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located 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, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.
The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci
An ironclad is a steam-propelled warship protected by iron or steel armor plates used in the early part of the second half of the 19th century. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of warships to explosive or incendiary shells. The first ironclad battleship, was launched by the French Navy in November 1859 and this type of ship would come to be very successful in the American Civil War. Ironclads were designed for several roles, including as high seas battleships, coastal defense ships and this change was pushed forward by the development of heavier naval guns, more sophisticated steam engines, and advances in metallurgy which made steel shipbuilding possible. The quick pace of change meant that ships were obsolete as soon as they were finished. Many ironclads were built to use of the ram or the torpedo. There is no end to the ironclad period, but towards the end of the 1890s the term ironclad dropped out of use. New ships were constructed to a standard pattern and designated battleships or armored cruisers.
The ironclad became technically feasible and tactically necessary because of developments in shipbuilding in the first half of the 19th century. According to naval historian J. Richard Hill, The had three characteristics, a metal-skinned hull, steam propulsion and a main armament of guns capable of firing explosive shells. It is only when all three characteristics are present that a ship can properly be called an ironclad. Each of these developments was introduced separately in the decade before the first ironclads, in the 18th and early 19th centuries fleets had relied on two types of major warship, the ship of the line and the frigate. The first major change to these types was the introduction of power for propulsion. While paddle steamer warships had been used from the 1830s onwards, steam-powered screw frigates were built in the mid-1840s, and at the end of the decade the French Navy introduced steam power to its line of battle. The desire for change came from the ambition of Napoleon III to gain influence in Europe.
The first purpose-built steam battleship was the 90-gun Napoléon in 1850, the introduction of the steam ship-of-the-line led to a building competition between France and Britain. Eight sister ships to Napoléon were built in France over a period of ten years, France built ten new wooden steam battleships and converted 28 from older ships of the line, while the United Kingdom built 18 and converted 41. The era of the wooden steam ship-of-the-line was brief, because of new, in the 1820s and 1830s, warships began to mount increasingly heavy guns, replacing 18- and 24-pounder guns with 32-pounders on sailing ships-of-the-line and introducing 68-pounders on steamers
The Agar gun was an early rapid fire machine gun developed during the US Civil War. The weapon was nicknamed the Coffee Mill Gun, and was called the Union Repeating Gun. During the Civil War, inventors were encouraged to create new, the Agar machine gun was one of about fifty or so hand-cranked machine guns developed for the war during this period. It was named after its inventor, Wilson Agar, the gun was nicknamed the Coffee Mill Gun because the crank and the ammunition hopper on the top of the weapon gave it a look similar to that of a common kitchen coffee grinder. Agar advertised the gun as an army in six feet square, in 1861, the Agar machine gun was demonstrated to President Abraham Lincoln, who was very impressed by the weapon. Lincoln wrote I saw this gun myself, and witnessed some experiments with it, ten of the weapons were purchased immediately. The Union eventually ordered fifty-four additional guns, throughout the war, these weapons were used, though not extensively. In January 1862 the 28th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry were said to have used the Agar Guns in a skirmish by Harpers Ferry, the Coffee Mill gun was used somewhat by the Union during McClellans Peninsula Campaign in 1862.
The Union Army was not the ones to have used the Coffee Mill guns. In September 1862, Confederates obtained seventeen of the guns when they captured Harpers Ferry. The Agar machine gun fired.58 caliber cartridges, standard paper cartridges were loaded into re-usable metal tubes. The weapon was fired using a crank, located at the rear of the gun. The crank would feed rounds into the weapon from the hopper, a wedge shaped block would rise up and lock the round in place, a cam operated hammer would strike the percussion cap, firing the round. The empty metal tubes would subsequently be collected in a pan located under the weapon, the metal tubes would be reloaded and placed back in the hopper. This made quite a bit of work for the gun crews, the Agar machine gun had a single barrel. This design proved to be prone to overheating, especially during periods of sustained fire, the overheating problem was ameliorated somewhat through the use of replacement barrels which could be swapped when the barrel in use overheated.
Two spare barrels were carried with each gun. Agar added a mechanism to the barrel, which consisted of a metal jacket through which air was forced to provide cooling
Designed by Benjamin Tyler Henry in 1860, the Henry was introduced in the early 1860s and produced through 1866 in the United States by the New Haven Arms Company. It was adopted in small quantities by the Union in the Civil War, many found their way West, notably in the hands of the Sioux and Cheyenne in their obliteration of Custers U. S. Cavalry troops in June 1876. Modern versions of the weapon are produced by A. Uberti Firearms, most replicas are chambered in. 44-40 Winchester or.45 Long Colt. The original Henry rifle was a sixteen shot.44 caliber rimfire, lever-action, the Henry was an improved version of the earlier Volition Repeating Rifle, and Volcanic Repeating Rifle. The Henry used copper rimfire cartridges with a 216 grain bullet over 25 grains of gunpowder, production was very small until the middle of 1864. Nine hundred were manufactured between summer and October 1862, by 1864, production had peaked at 290 per month, by the time production ended in 1866, approximately 14,000 units had been manufactured.
For a Civil War soldier, owning a Henry rifle was a point of pride, letters home would call them Sixteen or Seventeen Shooters, depending whether a round was loaded in the chamber. Just 1,731 of the rifles were purchased by the government during the Civil War. The Commonwealth of Kentucky purchased a further 50, however 6 to 7 thousand saw use by the union on the field through private puchases by soldiers who could afford it. The relative fragility of Henrys compared to Spencer repeating rifles hampered their official acceptance, more Henrys were purchased by soldiers than by the government. Many infantry soldiers purchased Henrys with their reenlistment bounties of 1864, most of these units were associated with Shermans Western Troops. When used correctly, the brass framed rifles had a high rate of fire compared to any other weapon on the battlefield. Soldiers who saved their pay to buy one believed it would save their lives. To the amazed muzzleloader-armed Confederates who had to face this deadly sixteen shooter, it was called a rifle that you could load on Sunday, the Henry rifle used a.44 caliber cartridge with 26 to 28 grains of black powder.
This gave it significantly less muzzle velocity and energy than other repeaters of the era, the lever action, on the down-stroke, ejected the spent cartridge from the chamber and cocked the hammer. A spring in the magazine forced the next round into the follower, locking the back into position pushed the new cartridge into the chamber. As designed, the Henry lacked any form of safety, when not in use its hammer rested on the cartridge rim, any impact on the back of the exposed hammer could cause a chambered round to fire. If left cocked, it was in the position without a safety
Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber
The Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber was used by US cavalry from the American Civil War until the end of the Indian wars, some were still in use during the Spanish–American War. It was 41 inches long with a 35 by 1 in blade, during the Civil War there was no light or heavy cavalry in the US army. Instead there were Dragoons Mounted Riflemen, and Cavalry, distinguished by the orange, in 1861 these mounted regiments were renamed cavalry and given yellow piping. The M1860 saber received its name to distinguish it from the larger and heavier Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry Saber that it replaced, like its predecessor it had a brass guard, leather-wrapped grip and steel scabbard but unlike the M1840 it was smaller and easier to handle. By the end of the Civil War over 300,0001860 sabers had been produced,200,000 by Ames,32,000 by Roby and many more by firms such as Tiffany and Co, Glaze and Emerson and Silver. M1860s were carried not only by cavalry but by many infantry, high-ranking officers, like their European counterparts, often had their swords ornately engraved with gilding and foliage.
Famous users included George Armstrong Custer and J. E. B, in the Civil War large cavalry charges became less common and the cavalry took on the role of skirmishers. Many replaced their sabers with extra revolvers, or left it in the saddle while fighting on foot with their repeating Henry rifles and Spencer carbines. This is the sword the cavalry use in Westerns, many being original antiques purchased by the industry in the 1920s when surplus Civil War equipment was cheap. This model is used in some U. S. Army Cavalry units in Color Guards. Most are given as PCS or ETS gifts to a departing Cavalry Trooper, usually engraved on the scabbard with his name and dates of service. Some are worn, in full Dress Blues, with Stetson and Spurs
The knife pattern is still popular with collectors, in addition to various knife manufacturing companies there are hundreds of custom knife makers producing Bowies and variations. The early history of the Bowie knife is complicated by murky definitions, limited supporting documentation, the Bowie knife is not well defined. By the mid-20th century most would include some combination of blade length, in the mid-19th century, when the popularity of the knife was at its peak, the term was applied to a wide range of blades. Absent a consensus definition, it is impossible to define the origin of the knife. To complicate matters, some American blades that meet the definition of the Bowie knife may pre-date Bowie. The Bowie knife derives part of its name and reputation from James Bowie, a notorious knife fighter, James Bowie left a very thin paper trail, in the absence of verifiable facts his history was buried in unverifiable knife-fighting legend. Historians seriously entertain the possibility that Bowie only fought one personal knife fight and that Sandbar Fight received national publicity within months of the event.
James Bowie prominently wore a large knife after the Sandbar fight, the Bowie family provided a variety of conflicting knife histories. His brother Rezin Bowie provided a terse history 2 years after James death, sixteen years after James death someone slightly amended Rezins explanation to include a blacksmith. Rezins grandchildren named a different blacksmith, a Bowie claimed that the information attributed to John was a lie and that John probably never saw the document, etc. In the mid-20th century a Bowie knife book author took liberties with the historical facts, some documents were misquoted, some reported facts cannot be confirmed, etc. Others incorporated the errors into their accounts of both Bowie and his knives, with no solid definition and conflicting accounts of knife history, many were credited with the invention or improvement of the blade. The historical Bowie knife was not a design, but was a series of knives improved several times by Jim Bowie over the years. The earliest such knife, made by Jesse Clift at Bowies brothers request resembled Spanish hunting knives of the day, the blade, as described by Rezin Bowie, was 9.5 inches long,0.25 inches thick and 1.5 inches wide.
It was straight-backed, described by witnesses as a butcher knife. They are about the size of a common English carving knife, after the Vidalia Sandbar fight, Bowie was a famous man, and the Bowie brothers received many requests for knives of the same design. Bowie and his brothers would commission more ornate custom blades from various makers including Daniel Searles. George William Featherstonhaugh described them as, These formidable instruments. are the pride of an Arkansas blood, and got their name of Bowie knives from a conspicuous person of this fiery climate
North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can be considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16. 5% of the land area. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 565 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7. 5% of the worlds population, North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge. The so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago, the Classic stage spans roughly the 6th to 13th centuries. The Pre-Columbian era ended with the migrations and the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery.
Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect different kind of interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants, European influences are strongest in the northern parts of the continent while indigenous and African influences are relatively stronger in the south. Because of the history of colonialism, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, the Americas are usually accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass previously unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a map, in which he placed the word America on the continent of South America. He explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio, for Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer.
He used the Latinized version of Vespuccis name, but in its feminine form America, following the examples of Europa and Africa. Later, other mapmakers extended the name America to the continent, In 1538. Some argue that the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries except in the case of royalty, a minutely explored belief that has been advanced is that America was named for a Spanish sailor bearing the ancient Visigothic name of Amairick. Another is that the name is rooted in a Native American language, the term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with location and context. In Canadian English, North America may be used to refer to the United States, usage sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands
The Gatling gun is one of the best-known early rapid-fire spring loaded, hand cranked weapons and a forerunner of the modern machine gun. Invented by Richard Gatling, it is known for its use by the Union forces during the American Civil War in the 1860s, which was the first time it was employed in combat. Later, it was used again in military conflicts, such as the Boshin War, the Anglo-Zulu War. It was used by militias and the National Guard in episodes of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, specifically in Pittsburgh, the Gatling guns operation centered on a cyclic multi-barrel design which facilitated cooling and synchronized the firing-reloading sequence. Each barrel fired a shot when it reached a certain point in the cycle, after which it ejected the spent cartridge, loaded a new round. This configuration allowed higher rates of fire to be achieved without the barrels overheating, the Gatling gun was designed by the American inventor Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861 and patented on November 4,1862.
Gatling wrote that he created it to reduce the size of armies and so reduce the number of deaths by combat and disease, although the first Gatling gun was capable of firing continuously, it required a person to crank it, therefore it was not a true automatic weapon. The Maxim gun and patented in 1883, was the first true fully automatic weapon, the Gatling gun represented a huge leap in firearm technology. The latter were used during and after the Napoleonic Wars. This negated much of the advantage of their rate of fire per discharge. In comparison, the Gatling gun offered a rapid and continuous rate of fire without having to be reloaded by opening the breech. The original Gatling gun was a weapon which used multiple rotating barrels turned by a hand crank. The US Army adopted Gatling guns in several calibers, including.42 caliber. 45-70.50 caliber,1 inch, the. 45-70 weapon was mounted on some US Navy ships of the 1880s and 1890s. The Gatling gun was first used in warfare during the American Civil War, twelve of the guns were purchased personally by Union commanders and used in the trenches during the siege of Petersburg, Virginia.
Eight other Gatling guns were fitted on gunboats, the gun was not accepted by the American Army until 1866, when a sales representative of the manufacturing company demonstrated it in combat. On July 17,1863, Gatling guns were used to over-awe New York anti-draft rioters. Two were brought by a National Guard unit from Philadelphia to use against strikers in Pittsburgh. Gatling guns were not used at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, known as Custers Last Stand
American Civil War
The American Civil War was an internal conflict fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. The Union faced secessionists in eleven Southern states grouped together as the Confederate States of America, the Union won the war, which remains the bloodiest in U. S. history. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, War broke out in April 1861 when Confederates attacked the U. S. fortress of Fort Sumter. The Confederacy grew to eleven states, it claimed two more states, the Indian Territory, and the southern portions of the western territories of Arizona. The Confederacy was never recognized by the United States government nor by any foreign country. The states that remained loyal, including border states where slavery was legal, were known as the Union or the North, the war ended with the surrender of all the Confederate armies and the dissolution of the Confederate government in the spring of 1865. The war had its origin in the issue of slavery. The Confederacy collapsed and 4 million slaves were freed, but before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy.
The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, the first seven with state legislatures to resolve for secession included split majorities for unionists Douglas and Bell in Georgia with 51% and Louisiana with 55%. Alabama had voted 46% for those unionists, Mississippi with 40%, Florida with 38%, Texas with 25%, of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession, outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincolns March 4,1861 inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war, speaking directly to the Southern States, he reaffirmed, I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists. I believe I have no right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed, the Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on King Cotton that they would intervene, but none did, and none recognized the new Confederate States of America.
Hostilities began on April 12,1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, while in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive in 1861–62. The autumn 1862 Confederate campaigns into Maryland and Kentucky failed, dissuading British intervention, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy, much of their western armies, the 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lees Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg, Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grants command of all Union armies in 1864
Richard Jordan Gatling
Gatling was born in Hertford County, North Carolina in 1818. At the age of 21, Gatling created a screw propeller for steamboats, while living in North Carolina, he worked in the county clerk’s office, taught school briefly, and became a merchant. At the age of 36, Gatling moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he worked in a dry goods store and invented a rice-sowing machine, the introduction of these machines did much to revolutionize the agricultural system in the country. After an attack of smallpox, Gatling became interested in medicine and he graduated from the Ohio Medical College in 1850 with an MD. Although he had his MD, he never practiced, he was interested in a career as an inventor. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Gatling was living in Indianapolis, there he devoted himself to the perfection of firearms. In 1861, the year the war started, he invented the Gatling gun. A year later, he founded the Gatling Gun Company, by the early 1850s, Gatling was successful enough in business to offer marriage to Jemima Sanders,19 years younger than Gatling and the daughter of a prominent Indianapolis physician.
They married on October 25,1854 and her younger sister Zerelda was married to David Wallace, the governor of Indiana. An active member of his Masonic Lodge, he was member of Center Lodge No.23, in his life, Gatling patented inventions to improve toilets, steam-cleaning of raw wool, pneumatic power, and many other fields. He was elected as the first president of the American Association of Inventors and Manufacturers in 1891, although still quite wealthy at the time of his death, he made and lost several fortunes by his investments. In his final years, Gatling moved back to St. Louis, Missouri, to form a new company for manufacturing his steam plows, or tractors. While in New York City to visit his daughter and to talk with his patent agency and he is interred at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana. His contributions were commemorated by the U. S. Navy during World War II when the Fletcher Class Destroyer DD-671 was christened the USS Gatling, while being most known for inventing the Gatling gun, Gatling invented and patented a number of other inventions.
His inventions include a screw propeller and a drill in 1839, a hemp break machine in 1850, a steam plow in 1857, the Gatling gun in 1861, a marine steam ram in 1862. Gatling invented the Gatling gun after he noticed that a majority of the fighting in the Civil War were lost to disease rather than gunshots. The gun was based on Gatling’s seed planter, a working prototype was developed in 1861. In 1862, he founded the Gatling Gun Company in Indianapolis, the first six production guns were destroyed during a fire in December 1862 at the factory
The Xbox 360 is a home video game console developed by Microsoft. As the successor to the original Xbox, it is the console in the Xbox series. The Xbox 360 competed with Sonys PlayStation 3 and Nintendos Wii as part of the generation of video game consoles. The Xbox 360 was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12,2005, with detailed launch, the Xbox 360 features an online service, Xbox Live, which was expanded from its previous iteration on the original Xbox and received regular updates during the consoles lifetime. In addition to multimedia features, the Xbox 360 allows users to stream media from local PCs. Several peripherals have been released, including controllers, expanded hard drive storage. The release of additional services and peripherals helped the Xbox brand grow from gaming-only to encompassing all multimedia. Launched worldwide across 2005–2006, the Xbox 360 was initially in short supply in many regions, including North America, the earliest versions of the console suffered from a high failure rate, indicated by the so-called Red Ring of Death, necessitating an extension of the devices warranty period.
Microsoft released two redesigned models of the console, the Xbox 360 S in 2010, and the Xbox 360 E in 2013. As of June 2014,84 million Xbox 360 consoles have sold worldwide, making it the sixth-highest-selling video game console in history. The Xbox 360s successor, the Xbox One, was released on November 22,2013, on April 20,2016, Microsoft announced that it would end the production of new Xbox 360 hardware, although the company will continue to support the platform. Known during development as Xbox Next, Xbox 2, Xbox FS or NextBox, in February 2003, planning for the Xenon software platform began, and was headed by Microsofts Vice President J Allard. That month, Microsoft held an event for 400 developers in Bellevue, that month, Peter Moore, former president of Sega of America, joined Microsoft. On August 12,2003, ATI signed on to produce the graphic processing unit for the new console, before the launch of the Xbox 360, several Alpha development kits were spotted using Apples Power Mac G5 hardware.
This was because the systems PowerPC970 processor running the same PowerPC architecture that the Xbox 360 would eventually run under IBMs Xenon processor, the cores of the Xenon processor were developed using a slightly modified version of the PlayStation 3s Cell Processor PPE architecture. According to David Shippy and Mickie Phipps, the IBM employees were hiding their work from Sony and Toshiba, jeff Minter created the music visualization program Neon which is included with the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 was released on November 22,2005, in the United States and Canada, December 2,2005, in Europe and December 10,2005, in Japan. It was launched in Mexico, Chile, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Russia