North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. 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, 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 earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are 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 unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their debts. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order initiated by the debtor. Bankruptcy is not the only legal status that an insolvent person may have, the term bankruptcy is therefore not a synonym for insolvency. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, bankruptcy is limited to individuals. In the United States, bankruptcy is applied more broadly to formal insolvency proceedings. In France, the cognate French word banqueroute is used for cases of fraudulent bankruptcy, whereas the term faillite is used for bankruptcy in accordance with the law; the word bankruptcy is derived from Italian banca rotta, meaning "broken bench", which may stem from a widespread custom in the Republic of Genoa of breaking a moneychanger's bench or counter to signify their insolvency, or which may be only a figure of speech. In Ancient Greece, bankruptcy did not exist.
If a man owed and he could not pay, he and his wife, children or servants were forced into "debt slavery", until the creditor recouped losses through their physical labour. Many city-states in ancient Greece limited debt slavery to a period of five years. However, servants of the debtor could be retained beyond that deadline by the creditor and were forced to serve their new lord for a lifetime under harsher conditions. An exception to this rule was Athens; the Statute of Bankrupts of 1542 was the first statute under English law dealing with bankruptcy or insolvency. Bankruptcy is documented in East Asia. According to al-Maqrizi, the Yassa of Genghis Khan contained a provision that mandated the death penalty for anyone who became bankrupt three times. A failure of a nation to meet bond repayments has been seen on many occasions. Philip II of Spain had to declare four state bankruptcies in 1557, 1560, 1575 and 1596. According to Kenneth S. Rogoff, "Although the development of international capital markets was quite limited prior to 1800, we catalog the various defaults of France, Prussia and the early Italian city-states.
At the edge of Europe, Egypt and Turkey have histories of chronic default as well." The principal focus of modern insolvency legislation and business debt restructuring practices no longer rests on the elimination of insolvent entities, but on the remodeling of the financial and organizational structure of debtors experiencing financial distress so as to permit the rehabilitation and continuation of the business. For private households, some argue that it is insufficient to dismiss debts after a certain period, it is important to assess the underlying problems and to minimize the risk of financial distress to re-occur. It has been stressed that debt advice, a supervised rehabilitation period, financial education and social help to find sources of income and to improve the management of household expenditures must be provided during this period of rehabilitation. In most EU Member States, debt discharge is conditioned by a partial payment obligation and by a number of requirements concerning the debtor's behavior.
In the United States, discharge is conditioned to a lesser extent. The spectrum is broad in the EU, with the UK coming closest to the US system; the Other Member States do not provide the option of a debt discharge. Spain, for example, passed a bankruptcy law in 2003 which provides for debt settlement plans that can result in a reduction of the debt or an extension of the payment period of maximally five years, but it does not foresee debt discharge. In the US, it is difficult to discharge federal or federally guaranteed student loan debt by filing bankruptcy. Unlike most other debts, those student loans may be discharged only if the person seeking discharge establishes specific grounds for discharge under the Brunner test, under which the court evaluates three factors: If required to repay the loan, the borrower cannot maintain a minimal standard of living. If a debtor proves all three elements, a court may permit only a partial discharge of the student loan. Student loan borrowers may benefit from restructuring their payments through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan, but few qualify for discharge of part or all of their student loan debt.
Bankruptcy fraud is a white-collar crime. While difficult to generalize across jurisdictions, common criminal acts under bankruptcy statutes involve concealment of assets, concealment or destruction of documents, conflicts of interest, fraudulent claims, false statements or declarations, fee fixing or redistribution arrangements. Falsifications on bankruptcy forms constitute perjury. Multiple filings are not in and of themselves criminal, but they may violate provisions of bankruptcy law. In the U. S. bankruptcy fraud statutes are focused on the mental state of particular actions. Bankruptcy fraud is a federal crime in the United States. Bankruptcy fraud should be distinguished from strategic bankruptcy, not a criminal act since it creates a real bankruptcy state. Howeve
The decorative arts are arts or crafts whose object is the design and manufacture of objects that are both beautiful and functional. It includes interior design, but not architecture; the decorative arts are categorized in distinction to the "fine arts", namely painting, drawing and large-scale sculpture, which produce objects for their aesthetic quality and capacity to stimulate the intellect. The distinction between the decorative and fine arts arose from the post-Renaissance art of the West, where the distinction is for the most part meaningful; this distinction is much less meaningful when considering the art of other cultures and periods, where the most valued works, or all works, include those in decorative media. For example, Islamic art in many periods and places consists of the decorative arts using geometric and plant forms, as does the art of many traditional cultures; the distinction between decorative and fine arts is not useful for appreciating Chinese art, neither is it for understanding Early Medieval art in Europe.
In that period in Europe, fine arts such as manuscript illumination and monumental sculpture existed, but the most prestigious works tended to be in goldsmith work, in cast metals such as bronze, or in other techniques such as ivory carving. Large-scale wall-paintings were much less regarded, crudely executed, mentioned in contemporary sources, they were seen as an inferior substitute for mosaic, which for the period must be considered a fine art, though in recent centuries mosaics have tended to be considered decorative. The term "ars sacra" is sometimes used for medieval Christian art executed in metal, ivory and other more valuable materials but not for rarer secular works from that period. Modern understanding of the art of many cultures tends to be distorted by the modern privileging of fine art media over others, as well as the different survival rates of works in different media. Works in metal, above all in precious metals, are liable to be "recycled" as soon as they fall from fashion, were used by owners as repositories of wealth, to be melted down when extra money was needed.
Illuminated manuscripts have a much higher survival rate in the hands of the church, as there was little value in the materials and they were easy to store. The promotion of the fine arts over the decorative in European thought can be traced to the Renaissance, when Italian theorists such as Vasari promoted artistic values, exemplified by the artists of the High Renaissance, that placed little value on the cost of materials or the amount of skilled work required to produce a work, but instead valued artistic imagination and the individual touch of the hand of a supremely gifted master such as Michelangelo, Raphael or Leonardo da Vinci, reviving to some extent the approach of antiquity. Most European art during the Middle Ages had been produced under a different set of values, where both expensive materials and virtuoso displays in difficult techniques had been valued. In China both approaches had co-existed for many centuries: ink and wash painting of landscapes, was to a large extent produced by and for the scholar-bureaucrats or "literati", was intended as an expression of the artist's imagination above all, while other major fields of art, including the important Chinese ceramics produced in industrial conditions, were produced according to a different set of artistic values.
The lower status given to works of decorative art in contrast to fine art narrowed with the rise of the Arts and Crafts movement. This aesthetic movement of the second half of the 19th century was born in England and inspired by William Morris and John Ruskin; the movement represented the beginning of a greater appreciation of the decorative arts throughout Europe. The appeal of the Arts and Crafts movement to a new generation led the English architect and designer Arthur H. Mackmurdo to organize the Century Guild for craftsmen in 1882, championing the idea that there was no meaningful difference between the fine and decorative arts. Many converts, both from professional artists' ranks and from among the intellectual class as a whole, helped spread the ideas of the movement; the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement led to the decorative arts being given a greater appreciation and status in society and this was soon reflected by changes in the law. Until the enactment of the Copyright Act 1911 only works of fine art had been protected from unauthorised copying.
The 1911 Act extended the definition of an "artistic work" to include works of "artistic craftsmanship". In the context of mass production and consumerism some individuals will attempt to create or maintain their lifestyle or to construct their identity when forced to accept mass produced identical objects in their life. According to Campbell in his piece “The Craft Consumer”, this is done by selecting goods with specific intentions in mind to alter them. Instead of accepting a foreign object for what it is, the foreign object is incorporated and changed to fit one's lifestyle and choices, or customized. One way to achieve a customized look and feel to common objects is to change their external appearance by applying decorative techniques, as in decoupage, art cars, truck art in South Asia and IKEA hacking. American craft Art for art's sake Applied arts Design museum Faux painting Fine arts History of decorative arts Industrial design Ornament References Sources Dormer, The Culture of Craft, 1997, Manchester University Press, ISBN 0719046181, 9780719046186, google books Home Economics Archive: Tradition, History Cornell University Victoria and Albert Museum Argentine Decorativ
South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere in the Southern Hemisphere, with a small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas; the reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics. It is bordered on the west on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean, it includes twelve sovereign states, a part of France, a non-sovereign area. In addition to this, the ABC islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Tobago, Panama may be considered part of South America. South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers, its population as of 2016 has been estimated at more than 420 million. South America ranks fourth in fifth in population. Brazil is by far the most populous South American country, with more than half of the continent's population, followed by Colombia, Argentina and Peru. In recent decades Brazil has concentrated half of the region's GDP and has become a first regional power.
Most of the population lives near the continent's western or eastern coasts while the interior and the far south are sparsely populated. The geography of western South America is dominated by the Andes mountains. Most of the continent lies in the tropics; the continent's cultural and ethnic outlook has its origin with the interaction of indigenous peoples with European conquerors and immigrants and, more locally, with African slaves. Given a long history of colonialism, the overwhelming majority of South Americans speak Portuguese or Spanish, societies and states reflect Western traditions. South America occupies the southern portion of the Americas; the continent is delimited on the northwest by the Darién watershed along the Colombia–Panama border, although some may consider the border instead to be the Panama Canal. Geopolitically and geographically all of Panama – including the segment east of the Panama Canal in the isthmus – is included in North America alone and among the countries of Central America.
All of mainland South America sits on the South American Plate. South America is home to Angel Falls in Venezuela. South America's major mineral resources are gold, copper, iron ore and petroleum; these resources found in South America have brought high income to its countries in times of war or of rapid economic growth by industrialized countries elsewhere. However, the concentration in producing one major export commodity has hindered the development of diversified economies; the fluctuation in the price of commodities in the international markets has led to major highs and lows in the economies of South American states causing extreme political instability. This is leading to efforts to diversify production to drive away from staying as economies dedicated to one major export. South America is one of the most biodiverse continents on earth. South America is home to many interesting and unique species of animals including the llama, piranha, vicuña, tapir; the Amazon rainforests possess high biodiversity, containing a major proportion of the Earth's species.
Brazil is the largest country in South America, encompassing around half of the continent's land area and population. The remaining countries and territories are divided among three regions: The Andean States, the Guianas and the Southern Cone. Traditionally, South America includes some of the nearby islands. Aruba, Curaçao, Trinidad and the federal dependencies of Venezuela sit on the northerly South American continental shelf and are considered part of the continent. Geo-politically, the island states and overseas territories of the Caribbean are grouped as a part or subregion of North America, since they are more distant on the Caribbean Plate though San Andres and Providencia are politically part of Colombia and Aves Island is controlled by Venezuela. Other islands that are included with South America are the Galápagos Islands that belong to Ecuador and Easter Island, Robinson Crusoe Island, Chiloé and Tierra del Fuego. In the Atlantic, Brazil owns Fernando de Noronha and Martim Vaz, the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, while the Falkland Islands are governed by the United Kingdom, whose sovereignty over the islands is disputed by Argentina.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands may be associate
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Clothing is a collective term for items worn on the body. Clothing can be made of animal skin, or other thin sheets of materials put together; the wearing of clothing is restricted to human beings and is a feature of all human societies. The amount and type of clothing worn depend on body type and geographic considerations; some clothing can be gender-specific. Physically, clothing serves many purposes: it can serve as protection from the elements and can enhance safety during hazardous activities such as hiking and cooking, it protects the wearer from rough surfaces, rash-causing plants, insect bites, splinters and prickles by providing a barrier between the skin and the environment. Clothes can insulate against cold or hot conditions, they can provide a hygienic barrier, keeping infectious and toxic materials away from the body. Clothing provides protection from ultraviolet radiation. Wearing clothes is a social norm, being deprived of clothing in front of others may be embarrassing, or not wearing clothes in public such that genitals, breasts or buttocks are visible could be seen as indecent exposure.
There is no easy way to determine when clothing was first developed, but some information has been inferred by studying lice which estimates the introduction of clothing at 42,000–72,000 years ago. The most obvious function of clothing is to improve the comfort of the wearer, by protecting the wearer from the elements. In hot climates, clothing provides protection from sunburn or wind damage, while in cold climates its thermal insulation properties are more important. Shelter reduces the functional need for clothing. For example, hats and other outer layers are removed when entering a warm home if one is living or sleeping there. Clothing has seasonal and regional aspects, so that thinner materials and fewer layers of clothing are worn in warmer regions and seasons than in colder ones. Clothing performs a range of social and cultural functions, such as individual and gender differentiation, social status. In many societies, norms about clothing reflect standards of modesty, religion and social status.
Clothing may function as a form of adornment and an expression of personal taste or style. Clothing can be and has in the past been made from a wide variety of materials. Materials have ranged from leather and furs to woven materials, to elaborate and exotic natural and synthetic fabrics. Not all body coverings are regarded as clothing. Articles carried rather than worn, worn on a single part of the body and removed, worn purely for adornment, or those that serve a function other than protection, are considered accessories rather than clothing, except for shoes. Clothing protects against many things. Clothes protect people from the elements, including rain, snow and other weather, as well as from the sun. However, clothing, too sheer, small, etc. offers less protection. Appropriate clothes can reduce risk during activities such as work or sport; some clothing protects from specific hazards, such as insects, noxious chemicals, weather and contact with abrasive substances. Conversely, clothing may protect the environment from the clothing wearer: for instance doctors wear medical scrubs.
Humans have been ingenious in devising clothing solutions to environmental or other hazards: such as space suits, air conditioned clothing, diving suits, bee-keeper gear, motorcycle leathers, high-visibility clothing, other pieces of protective clothing. Meanwhile, the distinction between clothing and protective equipment is not always clear-cut, since clothes designed to be fashionable have protective value and clothes designed for function consider fashion in their design; the choice of clothes has social implications. They cover parts of the body that social norms require to be covered, act as a form of adornment, serve other social purposes. Someone who lacks the means to procure reasonable clothing due to poverty or affordability, or lack of inclination, is sometimes said to be scruffy, ragged, or shabby. Serious books on clothing and its functions appear from the 19th century as imperialists dealt with new environments such as India and the tropics; some scientific research into the multiple functions of clothing in the first half of the 20th century, with publications such as J.
C. Flügel's Psychology of Clothes in 1930, Newburgh's seminal Physiology of Heat Regulation and The Science of Clothing in 1949. By 1968, the field of environmental physiology had advanced and expanded but the science of clothing in relation to environmental physiology had changed little. There has since been considerable research, the knowledge base has grown but the main concepts remain unchanged, indeed Newburgh's book is still cited by contemporary authors, including those attempting to develop thermoregulatory models of clothing development. In most cultures, gender differentiation of clothing is considered appropriate; the differences are in styles and fabrics. In Western societies, skirts and high-heeled shoes are seen as women's clothing, while neckties are seen as men's clothing. Trousers were once seen as male clothing, but can nowadays be worn by both genders. Male clothes are more practical, but a wider range of clothing styles are available for females. Males are allowed to bare their chests in a greater variety of public places.
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