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
Territorial evolution of the British Empire
The territorial evolution of the British Empire is considered to have begun with the foundation of the English colonial empire in the late 16th century. Since many territories around the world have been under the control of the United Kingdom or its predecessor states; when the Kingdom of Great Britain was formed in 1707 by the union of the Kingdom of Scotland with the Kingdom of England, the latter country's colonial possessions passed to the new state. When Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801 to form the United Kingdom, control over its colonial possessions passed to the latter state. Collectively, these territories are referred to as the British Empire. Upon much of Ireland gaining independence in 1922 as the Irish Free State, the other territories of the Empire remained under the control of the United Kingdom. From 1714 to 1837 the British throne was held by a series of kings who were the rulers of the German state of Hanover. However, this was purely a personal union, with Hanover maintaining its political independence otherwise, so it is not considered to have formed part of the British Empire.
The nature of the territories ruled. In legal terms the territories included those formally under the sovereignty of the British monarch. No uniform system of government was applied to any of these. A number of countries within the British Empire gained independence in stages during the earlier part of the 20th century. Much of the rest of the Empire was dismantled in the twenty years following the end of the Second World War, starting with the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, considered to have ended with the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997. There remain, however, 14 global territories which remain under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. Many of the former territories of the British Empire are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Fifteen of these retain the British monarch as Head of State; the British monarch is Head of the Commonwealth, but this is a purely symbolic and personal title. The British Empire refers to the possessions and dependencies under the control of the Crown.
In addition to the areas formally under the sovereignty of the British monarch, various "foreign" territories were controlled as protectorates. The natures of the administration of the Empire changed both by time and place, there was no uniform system of government in the Empire. Colonies were territories that were intended to be places of permanent settlement, providing land for their settlers; the Crown claimed absolute sovereignty over them, although they were not formally part of the United Kingdom itself. Their law was the common law of England together with whatever British Acts of Parliament were applied to them. Over time, a number of colonies were granted "responsible government", making them self-governing. A Crown colony was a type of colonial administration of the English and the British Empire, whose legislature and administration were controlled by the Crown. Crown colonies were ruled by a governor appointed by the monarch. By the middle of the 19th century, the sovereign appointed royal governors on the advice of the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
This became the main method of governing colonies. Most Crown colonies the white settler colonies had a bicameral legislature, consisting of an upper house called the Legislative council, which members were appointed and served a similar purpose as the British House of Lords. There existed lower houses which were named the Legislative Assembly or House of Assembly; the lower house was elected, but suffrage was restricted to free white men only with property ownership restrictions. Since land ownership was widespread, most white men could vote; the governor often had an Executive Council which had a similar function to the Cabinet in England but was not responsible to the colonial lower house. They held a consultative position and did not serve in administrative offices as cabinet ministers do. Members of the Executive Council were not members of the lower house but were members of the upper house; as the white colonies gained more internal responsible government, the lower house began to supersede the upper house as the colonial legislature, the position of Premier emerged.
Charter colony is one of the three classes of colonial government established in the 17th-century English colonies in North America. In a charter colony, the King granted a charter to the colonial government establishing the rules under which the colony was to be governed and charter colonies elected their own governors based on rules spelled out in the charter or other colonial legislation. A number of colonies in the 16th and 17th centuries were granted to a particular individual. Proprietary colonies in America were governed by a Lord Proprie
United Empire Loyalist
United Empire Loyalists is an honorific, first given by the 1st Lord Dorchester, the Governor of Quebec, Governor-General of the Canadas, to American Loyalists who resettled in British North America during or after the American Revolution. The Loyalists were referred to informally as the "King's Loyal Americans". At the time, the demonym Canadian or Canadien was used to refer to the indigenous First Nations groups and the French settlers inhabiting the Province of Quebec, they settled in Nova Scotia and the Province of Quebec. The influx of loyalist settlers resulted in the creation of several new colonies. In 1784, New Brunswick was partitioned from the Colony of Nova Scotia after significant loyalist resettlement around the Bay of Fundy; the influx of loyalist refugees resulted in the Province of Quebec's division into Lower Canada, Upper Canada in 1791. The Crown gave them land grants of 200 acres per person to encourage their resettlement, as it wanted to develop the frontier of Upper Canada.
This resettlement added many English speakers to the Canadian population. It was the beginning of new waves of immigration that established a predominantly English-speaking population in the future Canada both west and east of the modern Quebec border. Following the end of the American Revolutionary War and the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, both Loyalist soldiers and civilians were evacuated from New York City, most heading for Canada. Many Loyalists had migrated to Canada from New York and northern New England, where violence against them had increased during the war; the Crown-allotted land in Canada was sometimes allotted according to which Loyalist regiment a man had fought in. This Loyalist resettlement was critical to the development of present-day Ontario, some 10,000 refugees went to Quebec, but Nova Scotia received three times that number: about 35,000–40,000 Loyalist refugees. These included some 3,000 Black Loyalists, slaves who had gained freedom from the British for working with them during the war.
At the same time, some white Loyalists in Nova Scotia had brought their slaves with them, held them until slavery was abolished in 1834. Prince Edward Island received 2,000 refugees. An unknown but substantial number of individuals did not stay; as some families split in their loyalties during the war years, many Loyalists in Canada continued to maintain close ties with relatives in the United States. They conducted commerce across the border with little regard to British trade laws. In the 1790s, the offer of land and low taxes, which were one-quarter those in the Republic, for allegiance by Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe resulted in the arrival of 30,000 Americans referred to as Late Loyalists. By the outbreak of the War of 1812, of the 110,000 inhabitants of Upper Canada, 20,000 were the initial Loyalists, 60,000 were American immigrants and their descendants, 30,000 were immigrants from the UK, their descendants or some Quebecois; the arrival of many of the inhabitants of Upper Canada suggests that land was the main reason for immigration.
The arrival of the Loyalists after the Revolutionary War led to the division of Canada into the provinces of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. They arrived and were settled in groups by ethnicity and religion. Many soldiers settled with others of the regiments; the settlers came from every social class and 13 Colonies unlike the depiction of them in the Sandham painting which suggests the arrivals were upper-class immigrants dressed in their best and about to go the Ball. Loyalists soon petitioned the government to be allowed to use the British legal system, which they were accustomed to in the American colonies, rather than the French system. Great Britain had maintained the French legal system and allowed freedom of religion after taking over the former French colony with the defeat of France in the Seven Years' War. With the creation of Upper and Lower Canada, most Loyalists in the west could live under British laws and institutions; the predominately ethnic French population of Lower Canada, who were still French-speaking, could maintain their familiar French civil law and the Catholic religion.
Realizing the importance of some type of recognition, on 9 November 1789, Lord Dorchester, the governor of Quebec and Governor General of British North America, declared "that it was his Wish to put the mark of Honour upon the Families who had adhered to the Unity of the Empire". As a result of Dorchester's statement, the printed militia rolls carried the notation: Those Loyalists who have adhered to the Unity of the Empire, joined the Royal Standard before the Treaty of Separation in the year 1783, all their Children and their Descendants by either sex, are to be distinguished by the following Capitals, affixed to their names: U. E. Alluding to their great principle The Unity of the Empire; because most of the nations of the Iroquois had allied with the British, which had ceded their lands to the United States, thousands of Iroquois and other pro-British Native Americans were expelled from New York and other states. They were resettled in Canada. Many of the Iroquois, led by Joseph Brant Thayendenegea, settled at Six Nations of the Grand River, the largest First Nations Reserve in Canada.
A smaller group of Iroquois led by Captain John Deserontyon Odeserundiye, settled on the shores of the Bay of Quinte in modern-day southeastern Ontario. The government settled some 3,500 Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now owns and operates retail stores in Canada, the United States, parts of Europe including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany; the company's namesake business division is Hudson's Bay referred to as The Bay. Other divisions include Home Outfitters, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. HBC's head office is located in Brampton, Ontario; the company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "HBC". After incorporation by English royal charter in 1670, the company functioned as the de facto government in parts of North America for nearly 200 years until the HBC sold the land it owned to Canada in 1869 as part of The Deed of Surrender. During its peak, the company controlled the fur trade throughout much of the English- and British-controlled North America. By the mid-19th century, the company evolved into a mercantile business selling a wide variety of products from furs to fine homeware in a small number of sales shops across Canada.
These shops were the first step towards the department stores. In 2008, HBC was acquired by NRDC Equity Partners, which owns the upmarket American department store Lord & Taylor. From 2008 to 2012, the HBC was run through a holding company of NRDC, Hudson's Bay Trading Company, dissolved in early 2012. Since 2012, the HBC directly oversees its Canadian subsidiaries Hudson's Bay and Home Outfitters, in addition to the operations of Lord & Taylor in the United States; the Hudson's Bay Company bought Saks, Inc. in 2013, German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof in 2015, online shopping site Gilt Groupe in 2015, 20 former Vroom & Dreesmann sites in the Netherlands in 2015. Gilt Groupe was sold to online fashion store Rue La La in 2018. In the 17th century the French had a de facto monopoly on the Canadian fur trade with their colony of New France. Two French traders, Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers, Radisson's brother-in-law, learned from the Cree that the best fur country lay north and west of Lake Superior, that there was a "frozen sea" still further north.
Assuming this was Hudson Bay, they sought French backing for a plan to set up a trading post on the Bay, to reduce the cost of moving furs overland. According to Peter C. Newman, "concerned that exploration of the Hudson Bay route might shift the focus of the fur trade away from the St. Lawrence River, the French governor", Marquis d'Argenson, "refused to grant the coureurs de bois permission to scout the distant territory". Despite this refusal, in 1659 Radisson and Groseilliers set out for the upper Great Lakes basin. A year they returned with premium furs, evidence of the potential of the Hudson Bay region. Subsequently, they were arrested for trading without a licence and fined, their furs were confiscated by the government. Determined to establish trade in the Hudson Bay and Groseilliers approached a group of English colonial businessmen in Boston, Massachusetts to help finance their explorations; the Bostonians agreed on the plan's merits but their speculative voyage in 1663 failed when their ship ran into pack ice in Hudson Strait.
Boston-based English commissioner Colonel George Cartwright learned of the expedition and brought the two to England to raise financing. Radisson and Groseilliers arrived in London in 1665 at the height of the Great Plague; the two met and gained the sponsorship of Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert introduced the two to his cousin, King Charles II. In 1668 the English expedition acquired two ships, the Nonsuch and the Eaglet, to explore possible trade into Hudson Bay. Groseilliers sailed on the Nonsuch, commanded by Captain Zachariah Gillam, while the Eaglet was commanded by Captain William Stannard and accompanied by Radisson. On 5 June 1668, both ships left port at Deptford, but the Eaglet was forced to turn back off the coast of Ireland; the Nonsuch continued to James Bay, the southern portion of Hudson Bay, where its explorers founded, in 1668, the first fort on Hudson Bay, Charles Fort at the mouth of the Rupert River. Both the fort and the river were named after the sponsor of the expedition, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, one of the major investors and soon to be the new company's first governor.
After a successful trading expedition over the winter of 1668–69, Nonsuch returned to England on 9 October 1669 with the first cargo of fur resulting from trade in Hudson Bay. The bulk of the fur – worth £1,233 – was sold to Thomas Glover, one of London's most prominent furriers; this and subsequent purchases by Glover made. The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson's Bay was incorporated on 2 May 1670, with a royal charter from King Charles II; the charter granted the company a monopoly over the region drained by all rivers and streams flowing into Hudson Bay in northern Canada. The area was named "Rupert's Land" after Prince Rupert, the first governor of the company appointed by the King; this drainage basin of Hudson Bay constitutes 1.5 million square miles, comprising over one-third of the area of modern-day Canada and stretches into the present-day north-central United States. The specific boundaries were unknown at the time. Rupert's Land would become Canada's largest land "purchase" in the 19th century.
The HBC established six posts between 1668 and 171
The Thirteen Colonies known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America founded in the 17th and 18th centuries. They formed the United States of America; the Thirteen Colonies had similar political and legal systems and were dominated by Protestant English-speakers. They were part of Britain's possessions in the New World, which included colonies in Canada, the Caribbean, the Floridas. Between 1625 and 1775, the colonial population grew from 2,000 to over 2.5 million, displacing American Indians. This population included people subject to a system of slavery, legal in all of the colonies prior to the American Revolutionary War. In the 18th century, the British government operated its colonies under a policy of mercantilism, in which the central government administered its possessions for the economic benefit of the mother country; the Thirteen Colonies had a high degree of self-governance and active local elections, they resisted London's demands for more control.
The French and Indian War against France and its Indian allies led to growing tensions between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies. In the 1750s, the colonies began collaborating with one another instead of dealing directly with Britain; these inter-colonial activities cultivated a sense of shared American identity and led to calls for protection of the colonists' "Rights as Englishmen" the principle of "no taxation without representation". Grievances with the British government led to the American Revolution, in which the colonies collaborated in forming the Continental Congress; the colonists fought the American Revolutionary War with the aid of France and, to a smaller degree, the Dutch Republic and Spain. In 1606, King James I of England granted charters to both the Plymouth Company and the London Company for the purpose of establishing permanent settlements in America; the London Company established the Colony and Dominion of Virginia in 1607, the first permanently settled English colony on the continent.
The Plymouth Company founded the Popham Colony on the Kennebec River. The Plymouth Council for New England sponsored several colonization projects, culminating with Plymouth Colony in 1620, settled by English Puritan separatists, known today as the Pilgrims; the Dutch and French established successful American colonies at the same time as the English, but they came under the English crown. The Thirteen Colonies were complete with the establishment of the Province of Georgia in 1732, although the term "Thirteen Colonies" became current only in the context of the American Revolution. In London beginning in 1660, all colonies were governed through a state department known as the Southern Department, a committee of the Privy Council called the Board of Trade and Plantations. In 1768, a specific state department was created for America, but it was disbanded in 1782 when the Home Office took responsibility. Province of New Hampshire, established in the 1620s, chartered as crown colony in 1679 Province of Massachusetts Bay, established in the 1620s, a crown colony 1692 Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, established 1636, chartered as crown colony in 1663 Connecticut Colony, established 1636, chartered as crown colony in 1662 Province of New York, proprietary colony 1664–1685, crown colony from 1686 Province of New Jersey, proprietary colony from 1664, crown colony from 1702 Province of Pennsylvania, a proprietary colony established 1681 Delaware Colony, a proprietary colony established 1664 Province of Maryland, a proprietary colony established 1632 Colony and Dominion of Virginia, proprietary colony established 1607, a crown colony from 1624 Province of Carolina, a proprietary colony established 1663 Divided into the Province of North-Carolina and Province of South Carolina in 1712, each became a crown colony in 1729 Province of Georgia, proprietary colony established 1732, crown colony from 1752.
The first successful English colony was Jamestown, established May 1607 near Chesapeake Bay. The business venture was financed and coordinated by the London Virginia Company, a joint stock company looking for gold, its first years were difficult, with high death rates from disease and starvation, wars with local Indians, little gold. The colony flourished by turning to tobacco as a cash crop. In 1632, King Charles I granted the charter for Province of Maryland to Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. Calvert's father had been a prominent Catholic official who encouraged Catholic immigration to the English colonies; the charter offered no guidelines on religion. The Province of Carolina was the second attempted English settlement south of Virginia, the first being the failed attempt at Roanoke, it was a private venture, financed by a group of English Lords Proprietors who obtained a Royal Charter to the Carolinas in 1663, hoping that a new colony in the south would become profitable like Jamestown.
Carolina was not settled until 1670, then the first attempt failed because there was no incentive for emigration to that area. However, the Lords combined their remaining capital and financed a settlement mission to the area led by Sir John Colleton; the expedition located fertile and defensible ground at what became Charleston Charles Town for Charles II of England. The Pilgrims were a small group of Puritan separatists who felt that they needed to physically distance themselves from the corrupt Church of England. After moving to the Netherlands, they decided to re-establish themselves in America; the initi
Pays d'en Haut
The Pays d'en Haut was a territory of New France covering the regions of North America located west of Montreal. The vast territory included most of the Great Lakes region, expanding west and south over time into the North American continent as the French had explored; the Pays d'en Haut was established in 1610 and dependent upon the colony of Canada until 1763, when the Treaty of Paris ended New France, both were ceded to the British as the Province of Quebec. Sainte-Marie among the Hurons was established in 1639 by the French, their first mission north of the Great Lakes, along the eastern shore of Lake Huron. Following the destruction of the Huron homeland in 1649 by the Iroquois, the French missionaries returned to Canada with the remaining Hurons, who established themselves in Wendake. By 1660, France started a policy of expansion into the interior of North America from Canada, with the objectives to locate a Northwest passage to China, to exploit the territory's natural resources, such as fur and mineral ores, to convert the native population to Catholicism.
Fur traders began exploring the pays d'en haut, the "upper country" around the Great Lakes at the time. In 1659, Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard Chouart des Groseilliers reached the western end of Lake Superior, where priests founded missions, such as the Mission of Sault Sainte Marie in 1668. In 1671, Father Jacques Marquette established a French mission at Michilimackinac that would over the next half century become a waypoint for exploration, a place for diplomatic relations with natives, a commercial center for fur trade. On 17 May 1673, Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette began the exploration of the Mississippi River, which they called the Sioux Tongo or Michissipi, they reached the mouth of the Arkansas River, returned upstream, having learned that the great river ran towards the Gulf of Mexico and not towards the Pacific Ocean as they had presumed. In what are today Ontario, part of Minnesota and the eastern Prairies, various trading posts and forts were built such as Fort Kaministiquia, Fort Frontenac, Fort Saint Pierre, Fort Saint Charles and Fort Rouillé.
In 1701, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, which became the center of French military presence in the region. Other forts in the area strengthened the network such as Fort Niagara, Fort Crevecoeur, Fort de Buade, Fort Saint-Louis du Rocher, Fort Saint Antoine, Fort Saint-Joseph, Fort Michilimackinac, Fort Miami, Fort La Baye, Fort Ouiatenon, Fort Chagouamigon, Fort Beauharnois; these forts provided French sovereignty in facilitated commerce with the natives. In 1717, southern areas nearer the Mississippi River known as the Illinois Country were transferred from Canada to Louisiana, a colony of France south at the mouth of the river; the French settlements in the Pays d'en Haut south of the Great Lakes were Detroit, La Baye, Sault Sainte-Marie, Saint Ignace, Vincennes. Vincennes was attached to Pays des Illinois, part of Louisiana. By 1773, the population of Detroit was 1,400. By 1778, its population was up to 2,144. Protecting the Pays d'en Haut were four forts: Fort Presque Isle, Fort Le Boeuf, Fort Duquesne, Fort Machault.
Today, the term Les Pays-d'en-Haut refers to a regional county municipality in the Laurentides region of Quebec, north of Montreal. It is the traditional name of a larger area in the hills northwest of Montréal, centred on upper portions of Rivière du Nord river, its settlements were founded well. The series Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut takes place in that area. New France Military of New France Historic regions of the United States List of French forts in North America Upper Canada Jaenen, Cornelius J. ed. The French Regime in the Upper Country of Canada During the Seventeenth Century. Toronto: Champlain Society Publications, 1996