Plymouth is a town in Litchfield County, United States. It is named after Plymouth, England; the population was 12,243 at the 2010 census. The town of Plymouth includes the villages of Pequabuck; the community was incorporated in 1795, became known nationally for the manufacture of clocks. The town was named after Massachusetts. Plymouth was used as a burying ground for Waterbury. History records show that it was founded by a group of people who believed they found a large deposit of lead; this fabled "lead mine" never existed. The oldest home in the community is on Route 6, dates to 1690-1700. In the 1790s, George Washington traveled through here, both to visit relatives and to stay away from the coastline; the Terry family participated in a great deal of Plymouth's history. Eli Terry became partners with Seth Thomas and Silas Hoadley to manufacture clocks in the Greystone section of town. Eli gave the factory to Hoadley and Thomas, opened his own clock factory near Carter Road in Plymouth Center, while Thomas moved to Plymouth Hollow.
Eli Terry, Jr. joined with another man, interested in the cabinet and lock industry and they opened Eagle Lock Company. In the 1880s, the Plymouth Hollow section of Plymouth decided to split off and become their own town called Thomaston, named after Seth Thomas; the Eagle Lock Company closed in the 1970s and in 1975, the entire abandoned site burned, leaving one building left undamaged. The rest of the buildings had floors removed; the Main Street School was located on Baldwin Park, in Terryville. It was demolished in the 1930s and the new Terryville High School was constructed behind the green on North Main Street. In the mid-2000s, Prospect Street School and Main Street School were left abandoned, so the construction of the new Terryville High School could begin in the Holt section of town; the Harry S. Fisher Middle School was turned into the Harry S. Fisher Elementary School and the old Terryville High School was turned into the Eli Terry Jr. Middle School. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.3 square miles, of which 21.7 square miles is land and 0.6 square miles, or 2.69%, is water.
The town contains the Mattatuck State Forest. Allentown East Plymouth Historic District, listed on the NRHP in Connecticut Greystone Hancock Pequabuck Plymouth center, listed on the NRHP in Connecticut Terryville Tolles Town Hill As of the census of 2000, there were 11,634 people, 4,453 households, 3,228 families residing in the town; the population density was 535.6 people per square mile. There were 4,646 housing units at an average density of 213.9 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 97.34% White, 0.78% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.26% of the population. There were 4,453 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.7% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.5% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.06. In the town, the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 31.8% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males. The median income for a household in the town was $53,750, the median income for a family was $62,610. Males had a median income of $41,985 versus $32,359 for females; the per capita income for the town was $23,244. About 2.7% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over. Plymouth is served by the Plymouth Public Schools School District. There are four schools in the district and students attend Terryville High School; the town is served by Route 6, Route 72, Route 262. Judson Allen, United States Congressman from New York Dorence Atwater, soldier who recorded 13,000 soldiers deaths while he was a prisoner, consul at Tahiti.
The monument honoring Dorence Atwater, Plymouth’s Civil War hero, is on a hill overlooking Baldwin Park. Atwater enlisted in the Union Army, only to be captured and sent to the notorious Confederate prisoner of war camp at Andersonville, Georgia. While there, he secretly kept a list of 13,000 Union soldiers. After the War, he returned to the prison with Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, properly identified the dead soldier’s graves. Moses Dunbar, The only person convicted of high treason in the state of Connecticut, who lived in Plymouth and Bristol at the time. Henry Dutton, 38th Governor of Connecticut. Calista Flockhart, actress. Family still lives in Todd Hollow. Silas Hoadley, a clockmaker who learned from Eli Terry, owned his own clock factory in the Greystone section of town. Ted Knight, American actor Horseshoe Falls – Canal St; these waterfalls powered the Allen wood turning factory. The bridge is named after famous actor and Terryville native. Eli Terry, clockmaker "History of the town of
A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field. A military veteran is a person, no longer serving in the armed forces; those veterans that have had direct exposure to acts of military conflict may be referred to as war veterans. A combat veteran is a person who has fought in combat during a war or a skirmish against a declared enemy and may still be serving in the military. Military veterans receive special treatment in their respective countries due to the sacrifices they made during wars. Different countries handle this differently: some support veterans through government programs, while others ignore them. Veterans are subject to illnesses directly related to their military service such as posttraumatic stress disorder. War veterans are treated with great respect and honour for their contribution to the world and country by their own nationals. Conversely there are negative feelings towards the veterans of foreign nations held long after the war is over.
There are exceptions. Veterans of unpopular or lost conflicts may be discriminated against. Veterans of short or small conflicts are forgotten when the country fought bigger conflicts. In some countries with strong anti-military traditions, veterans are neither honoured in any special way by the general public, nor have their dedicated Veterans Day, although events are sometimes orchestrated by minority groups. Many countries have longstanding traditions and holidays to honour their veterans. In the UK, "Remembrance Day" is held on November the 11th and is focused on the veterans who died in service to the monarch and country. A red or white poppy is worn on the lapel in the weeks up to the date, wreaths and flowers laid at memorials to the dead. In Russia, a tradition was established after World War II where newly married couples would on their wedding day visit a military cemetery. In France, for instance, those wounded in war are given the first claim on any seat on public transit. Most countries have a holiday such as Veterans Day to honour their veterans, along with the war dead.
In Zimbabwe, the term veteran is used for political purpose and may not refer to someone that participated in a war, but still feels entitled to some benefit because of association with a cause for which there had been an actual war. Britain, with its historic distrust of standing armies, did little for its veterans before the 19th century, it did set up two small hospitals for them in the 1680s. In London and other cities the streets teemed with disfigured veterans begging for alms; the First World War focused national attention on veterans those, or wholly disabled. The King's National Roll Scheme was an employment program for disabled veterans of the First World War. Kowalsky says it was practical and ahead of its time and was the most important piece of legislation enacted for disabled veterans in interwar Britain. In addition to direct aid, it stimulated a national discussion regarding the need for employment programs for disabled veterans and the responsibility of the state, setting up a future demand for more benefits.
In the 21st century, Britain has one of the highest densities of veterans in a major country, with 13 million in 2000, or 219 per 1,000 population. Some veterans from the Belgian commitment of the Congolese to WWII live in communities throughout the Congo. Though they received compensation from the government during the rule of the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, after his overthrow they no longer receive pensions; the most common usage is for former armed services personnel. A veteran is one who has served in the armed forces one who has served in combat; the National Guard and Reserve is included. It is applied to those who served for an entire career of 20 years or more, but may be applied for someone who has only served one tour of duty. A common misconception is that only those who have served in combat or those who have retired from active duty can be called military veterans. In 1990, 40% of young Americans had a veteran for a parent. In 2016, of the veterans who were born outside of the United States and Filipino Americans made up the two largest populations, with 3% of all veterans having been born outside of the United States.
As of 2017 there are some 21 million American veterans. According to the Pew Research Center, "Among men, only 4% of millennials are veterans, compared with 47%" of men in their 70s and 80s, "many of whom came of age during the Korean War and its aftermath." President Abraham Lincoln, in his second inaugural address in 1865 towards the end of the American Civil War, famously called for good treatment of veterans: "o care for him who shall have borne the battle, for his widow, his orphan". The American Civil War produced veterans' organizations, such as the Grand Army of the Republic and United Confederate Veterans; the treatment of veterans changed after the First World War. In the years following, discontented veterans became a source of instability, they could organize, had links to the army and had arms themselves. The Bonus Army of unemployed veterans was one of the most important protest movements of the Great Depression, marching on Washington, D. C. to get a claimed bonus now. Each
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America. After 1765, growing philosophical and political differences strained the relationship between Great Britain and its colonies. Patriot protests against taxation without representation followed the Stamp Act and escalated into boycotts, which culminated in 1773 with the Sons of Liberty destroying a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor. Britain responded by closing Boston Harbor and passing a series of punitive measures against Massachusetts Bay Colony. Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves, they established a shadow government which wrested control of the countryside from the Crown. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, establishing committees and conventions that seized power. British attempts to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord led to open combat on April 19, 1775.
Militia forces besieged Boston, forcing a British evacuation in March 1776, Congress appointed George Washington to command the Continental Army. Concurrently, the Americans failed decisively in an attempt to invade Quebec and raise insurrection against the British. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted for independence, issuing its declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe launched a British counter-offensive, capturing New York City and leaving American morale at a low ebb. However, victories at Trenton and Princeton restored American confidence. In 1777, the British launched an invasion from Quebec under John Burgoyne, intending to isolate the New England Colonies. Instead of assisting this effort, Howe took his army on a separate campaign against Philadelphia, Burgoyne was decisively defeated at Saratoga in October 1777. Burgoyne's defeat had drastic consequences. France formally allied with the Americans and entered the war in 1778, Spain joined the war the following year as an ally of France but not as an ally of the United States.
In 1780, the Kingdom of Mysore attacked the British in India, tensions between Great Britain and the Netherlands erupted into open war. In North America, the British mounted a "Southern strategy" led by Charles Cornwallis which hinged upon a Loyalist uprising, but too few came forward. Cornwallis Cowpens, he retreated to Yorktown, intending an evacuation, but a decisive French naval victory deprived him of an escape. A Franco-American army led by the Comte de Rochambeau and Washington besieged Cornwallis' army and, with no sign of relief, he surrendered in October 1781. Whigs in Britain had long opposed the pro-war Tories in Parliament, the surrender gave them the upper hand. In early 1782, Parliament voted to end all offensive operations in America, but the war continued overseas. Britain scored a major victory over the French navy. On September 3, 1783, the belligerent parties signed the Treaty of Paris in which Great Britain agreed to recognize the sovereignty of the United States and formally end the war.
French involvement had proven decisive. Spain failed in its primary aim of recovering Gibraltar; the Dutch were compelled to cede territory to Great Britain. In India, the war against Mysore and its allies concluded in 1784 without any territorial changes. Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765 to pay for British military troops stationed in the American colonies after the French and Indian War. Parliament had passed legislation to regulate trade, but the Stamp Act introduced a new principle of a direct internal tax. Americans began to question the extent of the British Parliament's power in America, the colonial legislatures argued that they had exclusive right to impose taxes within their jurisdictions. Colonists condemned the tax because their rights as Englishmen protected them from being taxed by a Parliament in which they had no elected representatives. Parliament argued that the colonies were "represented virtually", an idea, criticized throughout the Empire. Parliament did repeal the act in 1766, but it affirmed its right to pass laws that were binding on the colonies.
From 1767, Parliament began passing legislation to raise revenue for the salaries of civil officials, ensuring their loyalty while inadvertently increasing resentment among the colonists, opposition soon became widespread. Enforcing the acts proved difficult; the seizure of the sloop Liberty in 1768 on suspicions of smuggling triggered a riot. In response, British troops occupied Boston, Parliament threatened to extradite colonists to face trial in England. Tensions rose after the murder of Christopher Seider by a customs official in 1770 and escalated into outrage after British troops fired on civilians in the Boston Massacre. In 1772, colonists in Rhode Island burned a customs schooner. Parliament repealed all taxes except the one on tea, passing the Tea Act in 1773, attempting to force colonists to buy East India Company tea on which the Townshend duties were paid, thus implicitly agreeing to Parliamentary supremacy; the landing of the tea was resisted in all colonies, but the governor of Massachusetts permitted British tea ships to remain in Boston Harbor, so the Sons of Liberty destroyed the tea chests in what became known as the "Boston Tea Party".
Parliament passed punitive legislation. It closed Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for and revoked the Massachusetts Charter, taking upon themselves the right to directly appoint the Massachusetts Governor's Council. Additionally, t
New York (state)
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State; the state's most populous city, New York City, makes up over 40% of the state's population. Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area, nearly 40% lives on Long Island; the state and city were both named for the 17th century Duke of York, the future King James II of England. With an estimated population of 8.62 million in 2017, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. The New York metropolitan area is one of the most populous in the world. New York City is a global city, home to the United Nations Headquarters and has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.
The next four most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, while the state capital is Albany. The 27th largest U. S. state in land area, New York has a diverse geography. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut and Vermont to the east; the state has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. The southern part of the state is in the Atlantic coastal plain and includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley; the large Upstate New York region comprises several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains in the Northeastern lobe of the state. Two major river valleys – the north-south Hudson River Valley and the east-west Mohawk River Valley – bisect these more mountainous regions. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes region and borders Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls.
The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination. New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York. French colonists and Jesuit missionaries arrived southward from Montreal for trade and proselytizing. In 1609, the region was visited by Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch East India Company; the Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany developed. The Dutch soon settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson Valley, establishing the multicultural colony of New Netherland, a center of trade and immigration. England seized the colony from the Dutch in 1664. During the American Revolutionary War, a group of colonists of the Province of New York attempted to take control of the British colony and succeeded in establishing independence. In the 19th century, New York's development of access to the interior beginning with the Erie Canal, gave it incomparable advantages over other regions of the U.
S. built its political and cultural ascendancy. Many landmarks in New York are well known, including four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls, Grand Central Terminal. New York is home to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom and opportunity. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability. New York's higher education network comprises 200 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation and world; the tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Algonquian. Long Island was divided in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape; the Lenape controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor.
North of the Lenape was the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time, they may have merged with the Shawnee. The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes; the Mohawk were known for refusing white settlement on their land and banishing any of their people who converted to Christianity. They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock conquered the Lenape in the 1600s.
The most devastating event of the century, was the Beaver Wars. From 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other; the ai
Daniel F. Bakeman
Daniel Frederick Bakeman was the last survivor receiving a veteran's pension for service in the American Revolutionary War. Bakeman said he was born on October 1759 in Schoharie County, New York. Other sources indicate that he may have been born in northern New Jersey, near the Delaware River, that his parents moved to the Schoharie County area when he was a boy, his parents were Dutch immigrants Andreas Phillip Bakeman & Catarien Miller, his name sometimes appears in written records as "Bochman". He was baptized in Schenectady on November 27, 1773. According to Bakeman's testimony, during the American Revolution, he served as a private in the Tryon County militia for the last four years of the war, was a member of the company commanded by a captain named Van Arnum during the period when the county militia was commanded by Marinus Willett. According to an obituary, Bakeman took part in the 1781 Battle of Johnstown, served as a teamster for the militia following his time in the ranks. Though no captain named Van Arnum or anything approximating it appears in the rolls of the Tryon County militia, though no soldier named Bakeman or Bochman appears in the rolls, the descriptions Bakeman provided of his Revolutionary service in the pension application he submitted in life were judged to be credible.
After the war, Bakeman farmed in the Mohawk Valley. Back in 1772, he had married Susan Brewer, they were the parents of eight children: Philip, Christopher, Margaret, Susan and Christine. Records show that in 1825 the Bakeman family settled in Arcade, New York, where they owned a home on the north side of the County Line Road. In 1845 they moved to Freedom, New York, they moved to Stark. Bakeman appeared in the 1860 United States Census as "Frederick Bakeman" living in Freedom with his wife, his daughter Susan, a grandchild, Jacob N. Bakeman; the Bakemans share the longest claimed marriage on record and the only marriage claimed to have exceeded 90 years with a total of 91 years, 12 days. In Bakeman's years, he was called upon by local leaders to take part in important ceremonies, on Independence Day he was known to march around Freedom firing salutes with his musket. Bakeman was victimized by house fires at least three times in his life, including once while on a four-day trip from central New York to Albany to buy wheat and other farm supplies.
In the mid-1860s, he applied for a pension, stated that the records of his service burned in one of his house fires. As with many veterans who could not provide discharge certificates or other verifying documents, Bakeman's application included affidavits from friends and neighbors, who attested that he had a reputation for honesty, that they had heard him describe his military service; the testimony of these individuals and Bakeman's own affidavit were judged to be credible, on February 14, 1867, the United States Congress passed a special act which granted Bakeman a pension of $500 per year. At the time, the longest surviving veterans who were on the pension rolls were Lemuel Cook of Clarendon, New York, Samuel Downing of Edinburgh, New York. George Fruits claimed to be the last surviving veteran of the Revolutionary War, but he was never on the pension rolls, research by A. Ross Eckler in the 1970s indicated that Fruits was 17 years younger than he claimed, was not a veteran of the Revolution.
Bakeman is buried in Freedom's Sandusky Cemetery. The Annual Report of the U. S. Commissioner of Pensions for 1874 noted that "With the death of Daniel T. Bakeman, of Freedom, Cattaraugus County, N. Y. April 5, 1869, the last of the pensioned soldiers of the Revolution passed away." Last surviving United States war veterans List of centenarians List of people with the longest marriages
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
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