Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D. C. is the capital of the United States. The signing of the Residence Act on July 16,1790, Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, named in honor of President George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia, in 1871. Washington had an population of 681,170 as of July 2016. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, of which the District is a part, has a population of over 6 million, the centers of all three branches of the federal government of the United States are in the District, including the Congress and Supreme Court.
Washington is home to national monuments and museums, which are primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 176 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of international organizations, trade unions, non-profit organizations, lobbying groups. A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973, the Congress maintains supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, the District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century, One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia.
Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. 43, published January 23,1788, James Madison argued that the new government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance. Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia, known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital, on July 9,1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River. The exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles.
Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory, the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, many of the stones are still standing
The Federal Government of the United States is the national government of the United States, a republic in North America, composed of 50 states, one district, Washington, D. C. and several territories. The federal government is composed of three branches, legislative and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U. S. Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the courts, including the Supreme Court. The powers and duties of these branches are defined by acts of Congress. The full name of the republic is United States of America, no other name appears in the Constitution, and this is the name that appears on money, in treaties, and in legal cases to which it is a party. The terms Government of the United States of America or United States Government are often used in documents to represent the federal government as distinct from the states collectively. In casual conversation or writing, the term Federal Government is often used, the terms Federal and National in government agency or program names generally indicate affiliation with the federal government.
Because the seat of government is in Washington, D. C, Washington is commonly used as a metonym for the federal government. The outline of the government of the United States is laid out in the Constitution, the government was formed in 1789, making the United States one of the worlds first, if not the first, modern national constitutional republics. The United States government is based on the principles of federalism and republicanism, some make the case for expansive federal powers while others argue for a more limited role for the central government in relation to individuals, the states or other recognized entities. For example, while the legislative has the power to create law, the President nominates judges to the nations highest judiciary authority, but those nominees must be approved by Congress. The Supreme Court, in its turn, has the power to invalidate as unconstitutional any law passed by the Congress and these and other examples are examined in more detail in the text below. The United States Congress is the branch of the federal government.
It is bicameral, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate, the House currently consists of 435 voting members, each of whom represents a congressional district. The number of each state has in the House is based on each states population as determined in the most recent United States Census. All 435 representatives serve a two-year term, each state receives a minimum of one representative in the House. There is no limit on the number of terms a representative may serve, in addition to the 435 voting members, there are six non-voting members, consisting of five delegates and one resident commissioner. In contrast, the Senate is made up of two senators from each state, regardless of population, there are currently 100 senators, who each serve six-year terms
The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building or Capitol Hill, is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U. S. federal government. It sits atop Capitol Hill at the end of the National Mall in Washington. Though not at the center of the Federal District, the Capitol forms the origin point for the Districts street-numbering system. The original building was completed in 1800 and was subsequently expanded, like the principal buildings of the executive and judicial branches, the Capitol is built in a distinctive neoclassical style and has a white exterior. Both its east and west elevations are referred to as fronts, though only the east front was intended for the reception of visitors. In 2014, scaffolding was erected around the dome for a project scheduled to be completed by early 2017. All exterior scaffolding was removed by the end of summer 2016, prior to establishing the nations capital in Washington, D. C. the United States Congress and its predecessors had met in Philadelphia, New York City, and a number of other locations.
In September 1774, the First Continental Congress brought together delegates from the colonies in Philadelphia, followed by the Second Continental Congress, Congress requested that John Dickinson, the Governor of Pennsylvania, call up the militia to defend Congress from attacks by the protesters. In what became known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, Dickinson sympathized with the protesters and refused to remove them from Philadelphia. As a result, Congress was forced to flee to Princeton, New Jersey, on June 21,1783, and met in Annapolis, the United States Congress was established upon ratification of the United States Constitution and formally began on March 4,1789. New York City remained home to Congress until July 1790, when the Residence Act was passed to pave the way for a permanent capital. As part of the legislation, Philadelphia was chosen as a capital for ten years, until the nations capital in Washington. Pierre Charles LEnfant was given the task of creating the city plan for the new capital city, in reviewing LEnfants plan, Thomas Jefferson insisted the legislative building be called the Capitol rather than Congress House.
The word Capitol comes from Latin and is associated with the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on Capitoline Hill, the connection between the two is not, crystal clear. In spring 1792, United States Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson proposed a competition to solicit designs for the Capitol and the Presidents House. The prize for the competition was $500 and a lot in the Federal City, the most promising of the submissions was by Stephen Hallet, a trained French architect. However, Hallets designs were overly fancy, with too much French influence, a late entry by amateur architect William Thornton was submitted on January 31,1793, to much praise for its Grandeur and Beauty by Washington, along with praise from Thomas Jefferson. Thornton was inspired by the east front of the Louvre, as well as the Paris Pantheon for the portion of the design
The military budget pays the salaries and health care of uniformed and civilian personnel, maintains arms and facilities, funds operations, and develops and buys new equipment. The budget funds 4 branches of the U. S. military, the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, in FY2015, Pentagon and related spending totaled $598 billion, about 54% of the fiscal year 2015 U. S. discretionary budget. For FY2017, President Obama proposed the budget of $523.9 billion. For the period 2010-14, SIPRI found that the United States was the worlds biggest exporter of arms, accounting for 31 percent of global shares. The USA delivered weapons to at least 94 recipients, the United States was the worlds eighth largest importer of major military equipment for the same period. The following is historical spending on defense from 1996-2015, spending for 2014-15 is estimated, the Defense Budget is shown in billions of dollars and total budget in trillions of dollars. The percentage of the total U. S. budget spent on defense is indicated in the third row, for the 2011 fiscal year, the presidents base budget for the Department of Defense and spending on overseas contingency operations combine to bring the sum to US$664.84 billion.
When the budget was signed into law on 28 October 2009, the recent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were largely funded through supplementary spending bills outside the federal budget, which are not included in the military budget figures listed below. However, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were categorized as overseas operations in the starting of the fiscal year 2010. By the end of 2008, the U. S. had spent approximately $900 billion in costs on the wars in Iraq. The government incurred costs, which include interests on additional debt and incremental costs, financed by the Veterans Administration. Some experts estimate the costs will eventually exceed the direct costs. As of June 2011, the total cost of the wars was approximately $1.3 trillion, the federally budgeted military expenditure of the United States Department of Defense for fiscal year 2013 are as follows. While data is provided from the 2015 budget, data for 2014 and 2015 is estimated, the Department of Defenses FY2011 $137.5 billion procurement and $77.2 billion RDT&E budget requests included several programs with more than $1.5 billion.
In December 2011, the GAO found that neither the Navy nor the Marine Corps have implemented effective processes for reconciling their FBWT, according to the GAO, An agency’s FBWT account is similar in concept to a corporate bank account. The difference is instead of a cash balance, FBWT represents unexpended spending authority in appropriations. In addition, As of April 2011, there were more than $22 billion unmatched disbursements, the GAO cited as the principal obstacle to its provision of an audit opinion serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense that made its financial statements unauditable. In FY2010, six out of thirty-three DoD reporting entities received unqualified audit opinions and that affect the safeguarding of assets, proper use of funds, and impair the prevention and identification of fraud and abuse
MyPlate is the current nutrition guide published by the United States Department of Agriculture, a food circle depicting a place setting with a plate and glass divided into five food groups. It replaced the USDAs MyPyramid guide on June 2,2011, MyPlate will be displayed on food packaging and used in nutrition education in the United States. MyPlate is the latest nutrition guide from the USDA, the USDAs first dietary guidelines were published in 1894 by Dr. Wilbur Olin Atwater as a farmers bulletin. Since then, the USDA has provided a variety of nutrition guides for the public, including the Basic 7, the Basic Four, the Food Guide Pyramid, many other governments and organizations have created nutrition guides. Some, like the United Kingdoms Eatwell Plate, the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, the guidelines recommend portion control while still enjoying food, as well as reductions in sodium and sugar intakes. In unveiling MyPlate, First Lady Michelle Obama said, Parents dont have the time to measure out exactly three ounces of chicken or to look up how much rice or broccoli is in a serving, but we do have time to take a look at our kids plates.
And as long as theyre eating proper portions, as long as half of their meal is fruits and vegetables alongside their lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, were good. The USDA has created partnerships with a number of organizations to promote the messages of MyPlate and spread the reach as far. These partners consist of national in scope and reach that have agreed to promote nutrition content in the context of the entirety of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. MyPlate was widely received as an improvement on the previous MyPyramid icon, the 50-percent emphasis on fruits and vegetables, as well as the simplicity and understandability of the plate image, were particularly praised. The dairy section was criticized by some as similarly dispensable, the Harvard School of Public Health released their own adjusted and more detailed version of MyPlate, called the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate, in response. The Harvard plate contains a recommendation for physical activity
The United States Capitol dome is the dome situated above the United States Capitol which reaches upwards to 288 feet in height and 96 feet in diameter. The dome was designed by Thomas U, the fourth Architect of the Capitol, and constructed between 1855 and 1866 at a cost of $1,047,291. The dome is not stone, but cast iron painted to appear to be made of the same stone as the main capitol building. It is actually two domes, one inside the other, and the weight is 14.1 million pounds. The iron for the dome was cast by the foundry of Janes, Kirtland & Company, owned by Adrian Janes in the Bronx, New York. The origin of the first dome began with the Capitol design contest sponsored by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, at the behest of President George Washington, the winner of the contest, Doctor William Thornton, called for a dome in his original design for the building. Most vividly, Thornton drew upon the Roman Pantheon for inspiration with the Neoclassical dome, in 1822, Bulfinch requested funds for the construction of the center of the building, and President Monroe signed off on an appropriation of $120,000.
Set at the crown of the dome was an oculus 24 feet wide. Bulfinch completed the project in 1823, for more than two decades, the green copper dome of the Capitol greeted visitors to the nations capitol, until the 1850s. Due to the growth of the United States and the expansion and addition of new states, under the guidance of the fourth Architect of the Capitol, Thomas U. Walter, extensions were built onto the north and south wings of the building, in the process, the new, longer building made the original Bulfinch dome appear aesthetically displeasing. Congress, after lobbying by Walter and Montgomery C, passed legislation to build a bigger dome in 1855. The current cast iron dome of the United States Capitol is the dome to sit above the building. Plans began in May 1854 to build a new cast-iron dome for the United States Capitol, sold on the aesthetics of a new dome, as well as the utility of a fire-proof one. Influenced by the domes of Europe, Walter paid particular attention to the Pantheon of Paris, St Pauls Cathedral in London.
The upper part of the drum was enriched with decorated pilasters upholding a bracketed attic, crowning the composition was a statue standing on a slender, columned tholus. Walter drafted a seven-foot drawing of the design and displayed it in his office. A year later, on March 3,1855, President Franklin Pierce signed off on the appropriation of $100,000 to build the dome
Approximately 80% of USDAs $140 billion budget goes to the Food and Nutrition Service program. The largest component of the FNS budget is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, after the resignation of Thomas Vilsack on January 13,2017 and the departure of President Barack Obama from office on January 20,2017, the acting Secretary of Agriculture is Michael Young. Activities in this include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides healthy food to over 40 million low-income. The USDA is concerned with assisting farmers and food producers with the sale of crops and it plays a role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries. This aid can go through USAID, foreign governments, international bodies such as World Food Program, the Agricultural Act of 1949, section 416 and Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, known as Food for Peace, provides the legal basis of such actions. The USDA is a partner of the World Cocoa Foundation, early in its history, the economy of the United States was largely agrarian.
Officials in the government had long sought new and improved varieties of seeds, plants. In 1837 Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a Yale-educated attorney interested in improving agriculture, became Commissioner of Patents and he began collecting and distributing new varieties of seeds and plants through members of the Congress and agricultural societies. In 1839, Congress established the Agricultural Division within the Patent Office and allotted $1,000 for the collection of agricultural statistics, Ellsworth was called the Father of the Department of Agriculture. In 1849, the Patent Office was transferred to the newly created Department of the Interior, in the ensuing years, agitation for a separate bureau of agriculture within the department or a separate department devoted to agriculture kept recurring. Lincoln called it the peoples department, in the 1880s, varied advocacy groups were lobbying for Cabinet representation. Business interests sought a Department of Commerce and Industry, and farmers tried to raise the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet rank, finally, on February 9,1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law elevating the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet level.
In 1887, the Hatch Act provided for the funding of agricultural experiment stations in each state. The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 funded cooperative extension services in each state to teach agriculture, home economics, with these and similar provisions, the USDA reached out to every county of every state. During the Great Depression, farming remained a way of life for millions of Americans. The Department of Agricultures Bureau of Home Economics, established in 1923, published shopping advice and recipes to stretch family budgets and make food go farther. USDA helped ensure that continued to be produced and distributed to those who needed it, assisted with loans for small landowners. The Department of Agriculture was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 of $139.7 billion, the Washington Post reports that he said There are days when I have literally nothing to do, he recalled thinking as he weighed his decision to quit
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the Senate, composes the legislature of the United States. The composition and powers of the House are established by Article One of the United States Constitution, since its inception in 1789, all representatives are elected popularly. The total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435, the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration. The presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, who is elected by the members thereof and is traditionally the leader of the controlling party. He or she and other leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conferences. The House meets in the wing of the United States Capitol. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a body in which each state was equally represented. All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates, the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
The House is referred to as the house, with the Senate being the upper house. Both houses approval is necessary for the passage of legislation, the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, the Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4,1789. The House began work on April 1,1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time, during the first half of the 19th century, the House was frequently in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery. The North was much more populous than the South, and therefore dominated the House of Representatives, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery, One example of a provision repeatedly supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War.
Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, the war culminated in the Souths defeat and in the abolition of slavery. Because all southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, the years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Unions victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877, the ensuing era, the Democratic and the Republican Party held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw an increase in the power of the Speaker of the House
Territories of the United States are sub-national administrative divisions directly overseen by the United States federal government. These territories are classified by whether they are incorporated and whether they have a government through an Organic Act passed by the U. S. Congress. Currently, the United States has sixteen territories, five of which are inhabited, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands. They are classified as unincorporated territories and they are organized, self-governing territories with locally elected governors and territorial legislatures. Each elects a member to the U. S. House of Representatives. Eleven territories are small islands and reefs, spread across the Caribbean and Pacific, the status of some are disputed by Colombia, Honduras, Jamaica and the Marshall Islands. The Palmyra Atoll is the territory currently incorporated. Historically, territories were created to govern newly acquired land while the borders of the United States were still evolving, other territories administered by the United States went on to become independent countries, such as the Philippines, Marshall Islands and Palau.
Many organized incorporated territories of the United States existed from 1789 to 1959, the United States has sixteen territories, five of which are permanently inhabited, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, United States Virgin Islands and American Samoa. The 11 uninhabited territories administered by the Interior Department are Palmyra Atoll, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, while claimed by the US, Navassa Island, Wake Island, Serranilla Bank and Bajo Nuevo Bank are disputed. Territories have always been a part of the United States, by Act of Congress, the term United States, when used in a geographical sense, means the continental United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands of the United States. Since political union with the Northern Mariana Islands in 1986, they too are treated as a part of the U. S, an Executive Order in 2007 includes American Samoa as U. S. geographical extent duly reflected in U. S. State Department documents.
Approximately 4 million islanders are U. S. citizens, about 32,000 U. S. non-citizen nationals live in American Samoa, under current law among the territories, only persons born in American Samoa and Swains Island are non-citizen U. S. nationals. American Samoans are under the protection of the U. S. with freedom of U. S. travel without visas. The five inhabited U. S. territories have local voting rights and protections under U. S. courts, pay some U. S. taxes, depending on the congress, they may vote on the floor in the House Committee of the Whole. S. Every four years, the Democratic and Republican political parties nominate their candidates at conventions which include delegates from the five major territories. The citizens there, however, do not vote in the election for U. S. President. S. Incorporated territories are considered a part of the United States
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 National Mall is a national park in downtown Washington, D. C. the capital of the United States. The National Park Service administers the National Mall, which is part of its National Mall, a smaller designation, sometimes referred to as the Mall proper, excludes both the Capitol grounds and the Washington Monument grounds, applying only to an area between them. The National Mall contains a number of museums and memorials and receives approximately 24 million visitors each year, in his 1791 plan for the future city of Washington, D. C. The National Mall occupies the site of this grand avenue. The Washington Monument stands near the site of its namesakes equestrian statue. Mathew Careys 1802 map is reported to be the first to name the area west of the United States Capitol as the Mall, during the early 1850s, architect and horticulturist Andrew Jackson Downing designed a landscape plan for the Mall. Over the next century, federal agencies developed several naturalistic parks within the Mall in accordance with Downings plan.
Two such areas were Henry Park and Seaton Park, in addition, railroad tracks crossed the Mall on 6th Street, west of the Capitol. Near the tracks, a market and a railroad station rose on the north side of the Mall. Greenhouses belonging to the U. S. Botanic Garden appeared near the east end of the Mall, the plan differed from LEnfants by replacing the 400 feet wide grand avenue with a 300 feet wide vista containing a long and broad expanse of grass. Four rows of American elm trees planted fifty feet apart between two paths or streets would line each side of the vista. Buildings housing cultural and educational institutions constructed in the Beaux-Arts style would line each outer path or street, on the opposite side of the path or street from the elms. In subsequent years, the vision of the McMillan plan was followed with the planting of American elms. In accordance with a plan that it completed in 1976, the NPS converted the two innermost boulevards into gravel walking paths, the two outermost boulevards remain paved and open to vehicular traffic.
Although the Navy intended the buildings to provide quarters for the United States military during World War I. Much of the area became Constitution Gardens, which was dedicated in 1976. From the 1970s to 1994, a model of a triceratops named Uncle Beazley stood on the Mall in front of the National Museum of Natural History. The life-size statue, which is now located at the National Zoological Park in Northwest Washington, in 2003, the 108th United States Congress enacted the Commemorative Works Clarification and Revision Act
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.