Grey or gray is an intermediate color between black and white. It is a neutral color or achromatic color, meaning that it is a color "without color," because it can be composed of black and white, it is the color of ash and of lead. The first recorded use of grey as a color name in the English language was in AD 700. Grey is the dominant spelling in European and Commonwealth English, although gray remained in common usage in the UK until the second half of the 20th century. Gray has been the preferred American spelling since 1825, although grey is an accepted variant. In Europe and North America, surveys show that grey is the color most associated with neutrality, boredom, old age and modesty. Only one percent of respondents chose it as their favorite color preferences. Grey comes from the Middle English grai or grei, from the Anglo-Saxon graeg, is related to the Dutch grauw and grijs and German grau; the first recorded use of grey as a color name in the English language was in AD 700. In antiquity and the Middle Ages, grey was the color of undyed wool, thus was the color most worn by peasants and the poor.
It was the color worn by Cistercian monks and friars of the Franciscan and Capuchin orders as a symbol of their vows of humility and poverty. Franciscan friars in England and Scotland were known as the grey friars, that name is now attached to many places in Great Britain. During the Renaissance and the Baroque, grey began to play an important role in art. Black became the most popular color of the nobility in Italy and Spain, grey and white were harmonious with it. Grey was frequently used for the drawing of oil paintings, a technique called grisaille; the painting would first be composed in grey and white, the colors, made with thin transparent glazes, would be added on top. The grisaille beneath would provide the shading, visible through the layers of color. Sometimes the grisaille was left uncovered, giving the appearance of carved stone. Grey was a good background color for gold and for skin tones, it became the most common background for the portraits of Rembrandt Van Rijn and for many of the paintings of El Greco, who used it to highlight the faces and costumes of the central figures.
The palette of Rembrandt was composed entirely of somber colors. He composed his warm greys out of black pigments made from charcoal or burnt animal bones, mixed with lead white or a white made of lime, which he warmed with a little red lake color from cochineal or madder. In one painting, the portrait of Margaretha de Geer, one part of a grey wall in the background is painted with a layer of dark brown over a layer of orange and yellow earths, mixed with ivory black and some lead white. Over this he put an additional layer of glaze made of mixture of blue smalt, red ochre, yellow lake. Using these ingredients and many others, he made greys which had, according to art historian Philip Ball, "an incredible subtlety of pigmentation." The warm and rich greys and browns served to emphasize the golden light on the faces in the paintings. Grey became a fashionable color in the 18th century, both for women's dresses and for men's waistcoats and coats, it looked luminous coloring the silk and satin fabrics worn by the nobility and wealthy.
Women's fashion in the 19th century was dominated by Paris. The grey business suit appeared in the mid-19th century in London; the clothing of women working in the factories and workshops of Paris in the 19th century was grey. This gave them the name of grisettes. "Gris" or grey meant drunk, the name "grisette" was given to the lower class of Parisian prostitutes. Grey became a common color for military uniforms. Grey was the color of the uniforms of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, of the Prussian Army for active service wear from 1910 onwards. Several artists of the mid-19th century used different tones of grey to create memorable paintings. Whistler's arrangement of different tones of grey had an effect on the world of music, on the French composer Claude Debussy. In 1894, Debussy wrote to violinist Eugène Ysaÿe describing his Nocturnes as "an experiment in the different combinations that can be obtained from one color – what a study in grey would be in painting." In the late 1930s, grey became a symbol of war.
It was the dominant color of Pablo Picasso's celebrated painting about the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, Guernica. After the war, the grey business suit became a metaphor for uniformity of thought, popularized in such books as The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, which became a successful film in 1956; the whiteness or darkness of clouds is a function of their depth. Small, fluffy white clouds in summer look white because the sunlight is being scattered by the tiny water droplets they contain, that white light comes to the viewer's eye. However, as clouds become larger and thicker, the white light cannot penetrate through the cloud, is reflected off the top. Clouds look darkest grey during thunderstorms, when they can be as much as 20,000 to 30,000 feet high. Stratif
2010 United States Census
The 2010 United States Census is the twenty-third and most recent United States national census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, was April 1, 2010; the census was taken via mail-in citizen self-reporting, with enumerators serving to spot-check randomly selected neighborhoods and communities. As part of a drive to increase the count's accuracy, 635,000 temporary enumerators were hired; the population of the United States was counted as 308,745,538, a 9.7% increase from the 2000 Census. This was the first census in which all states recorded a population of over half a million, as well as the first in which all 100 largest cities recorded populations of over 200,000; as required by the United States Constitution, the U. S. census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. The 2000 U. S. Census was the previous census completed. Participation in the U. S. Census is required by law in Title 13 of the United States Code. On January 25, 2010, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves inaugurated the 2010 Census enumeration by counting World War II veteran Clifton Jackson, a resident of Noorvik, Alaska.
More than 120 million census forms were delivered by the U. S. Post Office beginning March 15, 2010; the number of forms mailed out or hand-delivered by the Census Bureau was 134 million on April 1, 2010. Although the questionnaire used April 1, 2010 as the reference date as to where a person was living, an insert dated March 15, 2010 included the following printed in bold type: "Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today." The 2010 Census national mail participation rate was 74%. From April through July 2010, census takers visited households that did not return a form, an operation called "non-response follow-up". In December 2010, the U. S. Census Bureau delivered population information to the U. S. President for apportionment, in March 2011, complete redistricting data was delivered to states. Identifiable information will be available in 2082; the Census Bureau did not use a long form for the 2010 Census. In several previous censuses, one in six households received this long form, which asked for detailed social and economic information.
The 2010 Census used only a short form asking ten basic questions: How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010? Were there any additional people staying here on April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1? Mark all that apply: Is this house, apartment, or mobile home – What is your telephone number? What is Person 1's name? What is Person 1's sex? What is Person 1's age and Person 1's date of birth? Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? What is Person 1's race? Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else? The form included space to repeat all of these questions for up to twelve residents total. In contrast to the 2000 census, an Internet response option was not offered, nor was the form available for download. Detailed socioeconomic information collected during past censuses will continue to be collected through the American Community Survey; the survey provides data about communities in the United States on a 1-year or 3-year cycle, depending on the size of the community, rather than once every 10 years.
A small percentage of the population on a rotating basis will receive the survey each year, no household will receive it more than once every five years. In June 2009, the U. S. Census Bureau announced. However, the final form did not contain a separate "same-sex married couple" option; when noting the relationship between household members, same-sex couples who are married could mark their spouses as being "Husband or wife", the same response given by opposite-sex married couples. An "unmarried partner" option was available for couples; the 2010 census cost $13 billion $42 per capita. Operational costs were $5.4 billion under the $7 billion budget. In December 2010 the Government Accountability Office noted that the cost of conducting the census has doubled each decade since 1970. In a detailed 2004 report to Congress, the GAO called on the Census Bureau to address cost and design issues, at that time, had estimated the 2010 Census cost to be $11 billion. In August 2010, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that the census operational costs came in under budget.
Locke credited the management practices of Census Bureau director Robert Groves, citing in particular the decision to buy additional advertising in locations where responses lagged, which improved the overall response rate. The agency has begun to rely more on questioning neighbors or other reliable third parties when a person could not be reached at home, which reduced the cost of follow-up visits. Census data for about 22% of U. S. househol
New England town
The New England town referred to as a town in New England, is the basic unit of local government and local division of state authority in each of the six New England states and without a direct counterpart in most other U. S. states. New England towns overlay the entire area of a state, similar to civil townships in other states where they exist, but they are functioning municipal corporations, possessing powers similar to cities in other states. New Jersey's system of powerful townships, boroughs and cities is the system, most similar to that of New England. New England towns are governed by a town meeting legislative body; the great majority of municipal corporations in New England are based on the town model. S. County government in New England states is weak at best, in some states nonexistent. Connecticut, for example, does Rhode Island. Both of those states retain counties only as geographic subdivisions with no governmental authority, while Massachusetts has abolished eight of fourteen county governments so far.
With few exceptions, counties serve as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Towns are laid out so that nearly all land within the boundaries of a state is allocated to a town or other corporate municipality. All land is incorporated into the bounds of a municipal corporation's territory, except in some sparsely populated areas of the three northern New England states. Towns are municipal corporations, with their powers defined by a combination of municipal corporate charter, state statutes, the state constitution. In most of New England, the laws regarding their authority have been broadly construed. In practice, most New England towns have significant autonomy in managing their own affairs, with nearly all of the powers that cities have in most other U. S. states. New Hampshire and Vermont follow Dillon's Rule, which holds that local governments are creatures of the state. Traditionally, a town's legislative body is the open town meeting, a form of direct democratic rule, with a board of selectmen possessing executive authority.
Only several Swiss cantons with Landsgemeinde remain as democratic as the small New England town meetings. A town always contains a built-up populated place with the same name as the town. Additional built-up places with different names are found within towns, along with a mixture of additional urban and rural territory. There is no territory, not part of a town between each town. In most parts of New England, towns are not laid out on a grid. Vermont is the leading exception to this, much of the interior of Maine was laid out as surveyed townships; the town center contains a town common used today as a small park. All residents live within the boundaries of a municipal corporation. Residents receive most local services at the municipal level, county government tends to provide few or no services. Differences among states do exist in the level of services provided at the municipal and county level, but most functions handled by county-level government in the rest of the United States are handled by town-level government in New England.
In Connecticut, Rhode Island, most of Massachusetts, county government has been abolished, counties serve as dividing lines for the judicial system. In other areas, some counties provide other limited administrative services. In many cases, the house numbers on rural roads in New England reset to zero upon crossing a town line. Residents identify with their town for purposes of civic identity, thinking of the town in its entirety as a single, coherent community. There are some cases where residents identify more with villages or sections of a town than with the town itself in Rhode Island, but this is the exception, not the rule. More than 90% of the municipalities in the six New England states are identified as towns. Other forms of municipalities that exist are based on the town concept, as well—most notably cities. Most New England cities have adopted a city form of government, with a council and a mayor or manager. Municipal entities based on the concept of a compact populated place are uncommon, such as a Vermont village or Connecticut borough.
In areas of New England where such forms do exist, they remain part of the parent town and do not have all of the corporate powers and authority of an independent municipality. Towns date back to the time of the earliest English colonial settlement, which predominated in New England, they pre-date the development of counties in the region. Areas were organized as towns as they were settled, throughout the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries. Town boundaries were not laid out on any kind of regular grid, but were drawn to reflect local settlement and transportation patterns affected by natural features. In early colonial times, recognition of towns was informal connected to local church divisions. By 1700, colonial governments had become more involved in the official establishment of new towns. Towns were governed by a town meeting form of government, as many still are today. Towns were the only form of incorporated municipality in New England; the city form of government was not introduced until much later.
Boston, for instance, was a town for the first two centuries of its existence. The entire land areas of Connecticut an
The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the US, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the mechanized factory system; the Industrial Revolution led to an unprecedented rise in the rate of population growth. Textiles were the dominant industry of the Industrial Revolution in terms of employment, value of output and capital invested; the textile industry was the first to use modern production methods. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, many of the technological innovations were of British origin. By the mid-18th century Britain was the world's leading commercial nation, controlling a global trading empire with colonies in North America and the Caribbean, with some political influence on the Indian subcontinent, through the activities of the East India Company.
The development of trade and the rise of business were major causes of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history. In particular, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth; some economists say that the major impact of the Industrial Revolution was that the standard of living for the general population began to increase for the first time in history, although others have said that it did not begin to meaningfully improve until the late 19th and 20th centuries. GDP per capita was broadly stable before the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the modern capitalist economy, while the Industrial Revolution began an era of per-capita economic growth in capitalist economies. Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants. Although the structural change from agriculture to industry is associated with the Industrial Revolution, in the United Kingdom it was almost complete by 1760.
The precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution is still debated among historians, as is the pace of economic and social changes. Eric Hobsbawm held that the Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the 1780s and was not felt until the 1830s or 1840s, while T. S. Ashton held that it occurred between 1760 and 1830. Rapid industrialization first began in Britain, starting with mechanized spinning in the 1780s, with high rates of growth in steam power and iron production occurring after 1800. Mechanized textile production spread from Great Britain to continental Europe and the United States in the early 19th century, with important centres of textiles and coal emerging in Belgium and the United States and textiles in France. An economic recession occurred from the late 1830s to the early 1840s when the adoption of the original innovations of the Industrial Revolution, such as mechanized spinning and weaving and their markets matured. Innovations developed late in the period, such as the increasing adoption of locomotives and steamships, hot blast iron smelting and new technologies, such as the electrical telegraph introduced in the 1840s and 1850s, were not powerful enough to drive high rates of growth.
Rapid economic growth began to occur after 1870, springing from a new group of innovations in what has been called the Second Industrial Revolution. These new innovations included new steel making processes, mass-production, assembly lines, electrical grid systems, the large-scale manufacture of machine tools and the use of advanced machinery in steam-powered factories; the earliest recorded use of the term "Industrial Revolution" seems to have been in a letter from 6 July 1799 written by French envoy Louis-Guillaume Otto, announcing that France had entered the race to industrialise. In his 1976 book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Raymond Williams states in the entry for "Industry": "The idea of a new social order based on major industrial change was clear in Southey and Owen, between 1811 and 1818, was implicit as early as Blake in the early 1790s and Wordsworth at the turn of the century." The term Industrial Revolution applied to technological change was becoming more common by the late 1830s, as in Jérôme-Adolphe Blanqui's description in 1837 of la révolution industrielle.
Friedrich Engels in The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 spoke of "an industrial revolution, a revolution which at the same time changed the whole of civil society". However, although Engels wrote in the 1840s, his book was not translated into English until the late 1800s, his expression did not enter everyday language until then. Credit for popularising the term may be given to Arnold Toynbee, whose 1881 lectures gave a detailed account of the term; some historians, such as John Clapham and Nicholas Crafts, have argued that the economic and social changes occurred and the term revolution is a misnomer. This is still a subject of debate among some historians; the commencement of the Industrial Revolution is linked to a small number of innovations, beginning in the second half of the 18th century. By the 1830s the following gains had been made in important technologies: Textiles – mechanised cotton spinning powered by steam or water increased the output of a worker by a factor of around 500.
The power loom increased the output of a worker by a factor of over 40. The cotton gin increased productivity of removing seed from cotton by a factor of 50. Large gains in productivity occurred in spinning and weaving of w
Fairfield County, Connecticut
Fairfield County is an affluent county in the southwestern corner of the U. S. state of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 916,829, estimated to have increased by 3.6% to 949,921 in 2017. The most populous county in the state, the county population represents a little over 25% of Connecticut's overall population and is one of its fastest-growing counties; the closest to New York City, the county contains four of the state's largest cities – Bridgeport, Stamford and Danbury – whose combined population of 433,368 is nearly half the county's total population. The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Fairfield County as the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area; the United States Census Bureau ranked the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 57th most populous metropolitan statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012. The Office of Management and Budget has further designated the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area as a component of the more extensive New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area, the most populous combined statistical area and primary statistical area of the United States.
As is the case with all eight of Connecticut's counties, there is no county government and no county seat. As an area, it is only a geographical point of reference. In Connecticut, the cities and towns are responsible for all local governmental activities including fire and rescue and snow removal. Fairfield County's Gold Coast helped rank it sixth in the US in per-capita personal income by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in 2005, contributing to Connecticut being one of the most affluent states in the US. Other communities are more densely populated and economically diverse than the affluent areas for which the county is better known. Fairfield County was the home of many Native American tribes prior to the coming of the Europeans. People of the Schaghticoke tribe lived in the area of present-day New Sherman. From east to west the Wappinger sachemships included the Paugussetts and the Siwanoy. There were Paquioque and Potatuck inhabitants of Fairfield County; the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block explored coastal Connecticut in the Spring and early Summer of 1614 in the North American built vessel Onrust.
The first European settlers of the county, were Puritans and Congregationalists from England. Roger Ludlow, one of the founders of the Colony of Connecticut, helped to purchase and charter the towns of Fairfield and Norwalk. Ludlow is credited as having chosen the name Fairfield. Fairfield is a descriptive name referring to the beauty of its fields; the town of Stratford was settled in 1639 as well by Adam Blakeman. William Beardsley was one of the first settlers of Stratford in 1639. Fairfield County was established by an act of the Connecticut General Court in Hartford along with Hartford County, New Haven County, New London County. From transcriptions of the Connecticut Colonial Records for that day: This Court orders that from the east bounds of Stratford to ye bounds of Rye shalbe for future one County wch shalbe called the County of Fairfield, and it is ordered that the County Court shalbe held at Fairfield on the second Tuesday in March and the first Tuesday of November yearely. The original Fairfield County consisted of the towns of Rye, Stamford, Norwalk and Stratford.
In 1673, the town of Woodbury was added to Fairfield County. In 1683, New York and Connecticut reached a final agreement regarding their common border; this resulted in the cession of all claims to the Oblong to New York. From the late 17th to early 18th centuries, several new towns were incorporated in western Connecticut and added to Fairfield County, namely Danbury, Ridgefield and New Fairfield. In 1751, Litchfield County was constituted; the final boundary adjustment to Fairfield County occurred in 1788 when the town of Brookfield was incorporated from parts of Newtown and New Milford, with Fairfield County gaining territory from Litchfield County. Other early county inhabitants include: Joseph Hawley, who had emigrated to America in 1629 and settled in Stratford in 1650 becoming Stratford's first town clerk. Joseph Hawley's son Ephraim built the Ephraim Hawley House in 1683 in Trumbull, still standing and serves as a private residence. Thomas Fitch, from Norwalk, was a governor of the Colony of Connecticut.
Gold Selleck Silliman of the town of Fairfield fought for the Americans during the American Revolutionary War and rose to the rank of Brigadier General by 1776. He fought in the New York campaign that year. During the Revolutionary War, Connecticut's prodigious agricultural output led to it being known informally as "the Provisions State". In the spring of 1777, the British Commander-in-Chief, North America General William Howe, in New York City, ordered William Tryon to interrupt the flow of supplies from Connecticut that were reaching the Continental Army. Tryon and Henry Duncan led a fleet of 26 ships carrying 2,000 men to Westport's Compo Beach to raid Continental Army supply depots in Danbury on April 22, 1777. American Major General David Wooster, born in Stratford, was in charge of the stores at Danbury and defended them with a force of only 700 troops. Sybil Ludington helped rally Ne
Ansonia is a city in New Haven County, United States, on the Naugatuck River north of Derby, about 12 miles northwest of New Haven. The population was 19,249 at the 2010 census; the ZIP code for Ansonia is 06401. The city is served by the Metro-North Railroad. Ansonia Station is a stop on the railroad passenger commuter service's Waterbury line, connecting to New York's Grand Central Terminal. Ansonia is served by the Connecticut Transit bus carrier. Connecticut Route 8 serves Ansonia. Ansonia referred to as "The Copper City", is recognized for its history of heavy machine manufacturing industry in the lower Naugatuck Valley. Production included copper, brass and plastics processing and tubing, iron castings, sheet metal, automatic screw machine and foundry products; the well-known Ansonia Clock Company was founded here in 1851. Ansonia is the birthplace of Diplomat David Humphreys; the city's high school football team, the Ansonia Chargers, annual game against arch-rival Naugatuck, on Thanksgiving morning, is one of the more significant events of the year for the two cities.
The area along the Naugatuck River, comprising the present Elm Street section of Ansonia and Derby Avenue section of Derby, was first settled by English colonists in 1652. Early settlers developed subsistence farming, used the river for sawmills and gristmills. In 1844, Anson Green Phelps, a merchant and philanthropist, wanted to expand the old borough of Birmingham to the north along the west side of the Naugatuck River to enable industrial development. Unable to purchase the land from its owner, in 1844 Phelps acquired land along the east side of the river. A canal was dug for river power to drive the factories and businesses in the new industrial village, which Phelps named "Ansonia", he wanted to name the industrial village as "Phelpsville", but learned there was another village in the region by that name. As suggested by a friend, Phelps Latinized his first name to create the name "Ansonia"; as industry developed, soon Ansonia became the most populous area of Derby. The state chartered Ansonia as a borough of Derby in 1864 and amended it in 1871, granting full municipal privileges.
In 1888, a petition was circulated in the borough of Ansonia for the purpose of becoming a separate township from Derby. In 1889 the State General Assembly granted the separation, constituting the Borough, West Ansonia, Elm Street areas as a separate town known as Ansonia; this was the 168th township in the state of Connecticut. In 1893, Ansonia was incorporated as a city, consolidating with the coterminous Town and the old borough. By the end of the 19th century, the city had manufacturers of heavy machinery, electric supplies and copper products, silk goods. Ansonia, Shelton and Beacon Falls formed one of the most important industrial communities in the state. In 1866, while residing in Ansonia, inventor Pierre Lallement, a native of Pont-a-Mousson, submitted a patent application for the first pedaled bicycle. Ansonia suffered grievous damage in the Flood of 1955 on August 19, when the Naugatuck River flooded due to heavy rain from Hurricane Diane. Submerging the land along the river, the flood destroyed many businesses.
The high river waters swept away Maple Street Bridge, one of two bridges linking the east and west sides of Ansonia. After the inundation, the authorities erected a flood wall along the east bank of the river to protect the city's factories and Main Street. On the west bank, federal public housing was built to replace blocks of destroyed homes and businesses on Broad Street, now known as Olson Drive. In the decades following the flood and suburbanization, Ansonia's Main Street fell into decline as retail shoppers decamped to the Ansonia Mall at its far end. Other malls attracted shoppers to nearby Milford and Waterbury. Since the late 20th century, Main Street has been enlivened by he opening of several antique stores, a wine bar, a coffee shop, a Polish delicatessen, other retail businesses. Main Street now has a ` TARGET' Store. Wire Mill Farrel's Corp, building was located For years, Ansonia had a daily newspaper, the "Evening Sentinel", that enjoyed a wide readership throughout the Naugatuck Valley.
However, the parent company of the Connecticut Post bought the Sentinel in the 1980s and closed it, despite their promises not to do so. The "Post" wanted to consolidate their position as the region's main newspaper. To provide an alternative, a non-profit, online-only news site, named The Valley Independent Sentinel in honor of the historic paper, has been organized and launched June 22, 2009. In the early morning hours of November 6, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign motorcade stopped on its way to Waterbury for the candidate to make an appearance and brief address in front of City Hall, he drew thousands to downtown, many with transistor radios tuned to live reports on WADS of Senator Kennedy's progress towards Ansonia. President Kennedy returned to Ansonia on October 17, 1962, while on his way to Waterbury, but did not stop here. President George H. W. Bush paid a visit to Ansonia by helicopter during the 1992 presidential election campaign, he was running far behind schedule due to severe weather damage to a large area of New Jersey.
He arrived late and delivered a truncated speech, causing many residents in this Democratic area
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