Race and ethnicity in the United States Census
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most identify, indicate whether or not they are of Hispanic or Latino origin. The racial categories represent a social-political construct for the race or races that respondents consider themselves to be and, "generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country." OMB defines the concept of race as outlined for the US Census as not "scientific or anthropological" and takes into account "social and cultural characteristics as well as ancestry", using "appropriate scientific methodologies" that are not "primarily biological or genetic in reference." The race categories include both national-origin groups. Race and ethnicity are considered separate and distinct identities, with Hispanic or Latino origin asked as a separate question. Thus, in addition to their race or races, all respondents are categorized by membership in one of two ethnic categories, which are "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino".
However, the practice of separating "race" and "ethnicity" as different categories has been criticized both by the American Anthropological Association and members of US Commission on Civil Rights. In 1997, OMB issued a Federal Register notice regarding revisions to the standards for the classification of federal data on race and ethnicity. OMB developed race and ethnic standards in order to provide "consistent data on race and ethnicity throughout the Federal Government; the development of the data standards stem in large measure from new responsibilities to enforce civil rights laws." Among the changes, OMB issued the instruction to "mark one or more races" after noting evidence of increasing numbers of interracial children and wanting to capture the diversity in a measurable way and having received requests by people who wanted to be able to acknowledge their or their children's full ancestry rather than identifying with only one group. Prior to this decision, the Census and other government data collections asked people to report only one race.
The OMB states, "many federal programs are put into effect based on the race data obtained from the decennial census. Race data are critical for the basic research behind many policy decisions. States require these data to meet legislative redistricting requirements; the data are needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act by local jurisdictions". "Data on ethnic groups are important for putting into effect a number of federal statutes. Data on Ethnic Groups are needed by local governments to run programs and meet legislative requirements." The 1790 United States Census was the first census in the history of the United States. The population of the United States was recorded as 3,929,214 as of Census Day, August 2, 1790, as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution and applicable laws."The law required that every household be visited, that completed census schedules be posted in'two of the most public places within, there to remain for the inspection of all concerned...' and that'the aggregate amount of each description of persons' for every district be transmitted to the president."
This law along with U. S. marshals were responsible for governing the census. One third of the original census data has been lost or destroyed since documentation; the data was lost in 1790–1830 time period and included data from: Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia. Census data included the name of the head of the family and categorized inhabitants as follows: free white males at least 16 years of age, free white males under 16 years of age, free white females, all other free persons, slaves. Thomas Jefferson the Secretary of State, directed marshals to collect data from all thirteen states, from the Southwest Territory; the census was not conducted in Vermont until 1791, after that state's admission to the Union as the 14th state on March 4 of that year. There was some doubt surrounding the numbers, President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson maintained the population was undercounted; the potential reasons Washington and Jefferson may have thought this could be refusal to participate, poor public transportation and roads, spread out population, restraints of current technology.
No microdata from the 1790 population census is available, but aggregate data for small areas and their compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. In 1800 and 1810, the age question regarding free white males was more detailed; the 1820
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a
Mike Thompson (California politician)
Charles Michael Thompson is an American politician serving as the U. S. Representative for California's 5th congressional district since 1999, he is the Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He is a member of the Democratic Party; the district, located in the outer northern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, includes all of Napa County and portions of Contra Costa, Lake and Sonoma counties. Thompson was born in St. Helena, the son of Beverly Ann and Charles Edward Thompson, his father was of English ancestry and his mother was of Italian and Swiss descent. He was educated at California State University, served in Vietnam with the United States Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade, was a vineyard owner and maintenance supervisor, taught Public Administration and State Government at San Francisco State University and California State University and was a member of the California State Senate before entering the House. Thompson served as an aide to Democrat Jackie Speier before winning election to the California State Senate in 1990.
He narrowly unseated 4th district Republican incumbent Jim Nielsen after Nielsen's reputation took a hit following a series of ethical missteps. Following the 1992 general election, Democratic state Senator Barry Keene of the neighboring 2nd District resigned. Thompson, whose hometown of St. Helena had shifted from the 4th district and into the 2nd district after reapportionment, decided to run in the 1993 special election for Keene's seat, he narrowly beat Republican businesswoman Margie Handley but won easy reelection in 1994. Thompson was approached by national Democrats about running for Congress in 1996 against freshman Republican Frank Riggs, but he declined, believing his senate seniority would be more beneficial to his district than would his being a freshman congressman. In 1998, Thompson was due to be termed out of the state senate, opted to run against Riggs after all. Riggs opted to retire, believing that he faced certain defeat given Thompson's name recognition and reputation. Thompson won handily.
He has been reelected seven times with no substantive opposition, has turned what was a swing district for most of the 1980s and 1990s into a safe Democratic seat. For his first seven terms, Thompson represented a district stretching from the far northern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area all the way to the North Coast. However, his district was renumbered as the 5th district after the 2010 census and was made somewhat more compact, losing most of its northern portion to the 2nd district. Thompson is a Blue Dog Democrat and was a member of the New Democrat Coalition, he has been labeled as a "moderate Democratic leader". Thompson has voted with the Democratic party 91% of the time. AbortionThompson is pro-choice. In May 2004, he, along with 47 other Catholic Democratic Congressmembers, sent a letter to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D. C. to dissuade him from refusing to administer Holy Communion to Catholic Congressmembers who practice pro-choice legislative voting. In February 2006, Thompson was one of 55 Democratic Representatives identifying as Catholic who signed a "Statement of Principles," which affirmed a commitment to their faith, but stating opposition to Catholic doctrine on some issues.
They stated that on those issues, such as abortion rights, they would'follow their conscience' instead of the church's teachings. In response to the "Statement of Principles", the U. S. Catholic Bishops issued a "Statement on Responsibilities of Catholics in Public Life" that said, in part, "Catholic teaching calls all Catholics to work to restrain and bring to an end the destruction of unborn human life." Health careThompson has been a supporter of a public option for healthcare. In 2009, Thompson wrote that "y streamlining health care, reducing fraud and abuse, ending unnecessary testing, discouraging over-utilization, investing in smart reforms, emphasizing preventive health care, we can bring down the cost of health care." Additionally, in 2010, Thompson voted for the Patient Affordable Care Act. Foreign policyIn late 2002, Thompson joined Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington and David Bonior of Michigan on a fact-finding trip to Iraq. During the trip, the lawmakers spoke to officials in residents in Basra.
Presciently, they expressed skepticism about the Bush administration's claims that Saddam was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. On March 26, 2008, Muthanna Al-Hanooti, an official of a Michigan charity, was accused of underwriting three members of Congress to travel to Iraq, on behalf of Iraqi intelligence officials. McDermott's office was organizing the trip when the charity offered to pay trip expenses. McDermott's spokesman stated that the charity was vetted by the U. S. government. He stated that the congressmen obtained a license from the State Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control for the group to travel to Iraq. 2008 presidential electionDuring the 2008 presidential campaign, Thompson endorsed former U. S. Senator Hillary Clinton for President. Environmental issuesThe League of Conservation Voters publishes the National Environmental Scorecard for each session of Congress which rates how members voted on key energy and environmental issues. Mike Thompson was rated 92% for the 2nd session of the 110th Congress.
His LCV Scorecard ratings have been at 90% or above for every session of Congress since 2001. T
California State University Maritime Academy
The California State University Maritime Academy known as the California Maritime Academy, is one of 23 campuses in the California State University system and is one of seven degree-granting maritime academies in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. It is located in California; the university offers six different Bachelor's degrees, one Master's degree, but no Doctoral degrees. The California Nautical School was established in 1929, when California State Assembly Bill No. 253 was signed into law by Governor C. C. Young; the bill authorized the creation of the school, the appointment of a Board of Governors to manage the school and the acquisition of a training vessel. The school's mission was "to give practical and theoretical instruction in navigation, steam engines, gas engines, electricity in order to prepare young men to serve as officers in the American Merchant Marine." By 1930, a training vessel and a school site was acquired. Due to the Great Depression, the early days of the Academy were full of financial uncertainty.
As early as 1933, some state legislators were calling for the school's abolition. In order to save money, the cadets and instructors alike lived and held classes aboard the training vessel, the T. S. California State. Only after the passage of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 did the funding for the Academy stabilize. In 1939 the California Nautical School adopted the California Maritime Academy. By 1940, the Academy was granting Bachelor of Science degrees and Naval Reserve commissions to its graduates. In 1943, the Academy moved to its present location in California. In the 1970s, after surviving another round of budget cuts and calls for the Academy's abolition, California Maritime Academy became a four-year institution; the 1970s marked the time when the first minority and female cadets graduated from California Maritime Academy. In 1996 California Maritime Academy became the twenty-second campus of the California State University system and was renamed California State University, Maritime; the new affiliation improved the Academy's funding prospects considerably.
The current training vessel is the T. S. Golden Bear, is the third training ship to carry that name. In September 2015, President Cropper proposed a campus name change before the California State University Board of Trustees to restore Academy to the official name; the Trustees approved the new name - California State University Maritime Academy. Since the passage of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970, the position of President of the Cal Maritime is commissioned as a Rear Admiral in the United States Maritime Service. Two past Presidents are alumni of the Academy itself. R. C. Dwyer replaced by N. E. Nichols due to Navy requirements for regular Navy officers to be in charge of Navy-owned ships. Early WWII – Superintendent and Master became separate positions. Edwin C. Miller appointed Interim Superintendent October 1971 – July 1972. On February 27, 1975, the title of "Superintendent" was changed to "President." Cal Maritime offers one graduate and six undergraduate degrees, all of which are tied to a nautical curriculum.
An additional Oceanography major is expected to be added in Fall 2020. Money magazine ranked Cal Maritime 121st in the country for value out of 727 schools it evaluated for its 2018-2019 Best Colleges ranking. In 2018 Forbes ranked Cal Maritime as the 297th top college in 58th in the West; the 2019 U. S. News & World Report college rankings lists Cal Maritime as #1 Top Public College and 3rd in the category "Regional Colleges". According to a study by the Equality of Opportunity Project, the Cal Maritime had the best results of any California college in helping transform students whose parents were poor into adults who are wealthy within a decade after graduation. 85% of poor students became wealthy. However, only 6% of the students came from poor families. Cal Maritime is the United States' only maritime academy on the West Coast and requires all undergraduate students to participate in the Corps of Cadets; the only similar program in the Western United States is at the junior college New Mexico Military Institute.
Since Maritime Academies comply with Title 46 Part 310 of the Code of Federal Regulations students are referred to as Cadets, required to wear uniforms, utilize a demerit-based disciplinary system. Participation in Navy Reserve Merchant Marine training program is no longer required, but Cadets still utilize Merchant Marine Navy-style uniforms and traditions. Based on academic majors cadets are organized into Squads, Sections and Companies which muster in Morning Formations several times a week, as well as stand watches on campus and aboard the training ship. There is no armed service obligation attached to graduation from the Cal Maritime. However, financial aid and additional career opportunities exist for those students who choose to participate in any of the several military programs available on the Cal Maritime campus: Coast Guard – Auxiliary University Program, Maritime Academy Graduate Program Navy – Strategic Sealift Officer Program Navy – Reserve Officer Training Corps Marine Corps – Reserve Officer Training Corps Air Force – Reserve Officer Training Corps Athletics teams at Cal Maritime are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics competing in the California Pacific Conference
A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service in a system it introduced in 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan; the basic format consists of five digits. An extended ZIP+4 code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four additional digits that reference a more specific location; the term ZIP Code was registered as a servicemark by the U. S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired; the early history and context of postal codes began with postal district/zone numbers. The United States Post Office Department implemented postal zones for numerous large cities in 1943. For example: The "16" was the number of the postal zone in the specific city. By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963; the USPOD issued its Publication 59: Abbreviations for Use with ZIP Code on October 1, 1963, with the list of two-letter state abbreviations which are written with both letters capitalized.
An earlier list in June had proposed capitalized abbreviations ranging from two to five letters. According to Publication 59, the two-letter standard was "based on a maximum 23-position line, because this has been found to be the most universally acceptable line capacity basis for major addressing systems", which would be exceeded by a long city name combined with a multi-letter state abbreviation, such as "Sacramento, Calif." along with the ZIP Code. The abbreviations have remained unchanged, with the exception of Nebraska, changed from NB to NE in 1969 at the request of the Canadian postal administration, to avoid confusion with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Robert Moon is considered the father of the ZIP Code; the post office only credits Moon with the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which describe the sectional center facility or "sec center." An SCF is a central mail processing facility with those three digits. The fourth and fifth digits, which give a more precise locale within the SCF, were proposed by Henry Bentley Hahn Sr.
The SCF sorts mail to all post offices with those first three digits in their ZIP Codes. The mail is sorted according to the final two digits of the ZIP Code and sent to the corresponding post offices in the early morning. Sectional centers do not deliver mail and are not open to the public, most of their employees work the night shift. Mail picked up at post offices is sent to their own SCF in the afternoon, where the mail is sorted overnight. In the case of large cities, the last two digits coincide with the older postal zone number thus: In 1967, these became mandatory for second- and third-class bulk mailers, the system was soon adopted generally; the United States Post Office used a cartoon character, which it called Mr. ZIP, to promote the use of the ZIP Code, he was depicted with a legend such as "USE ZIP CODE" in the selvage of panes of postage stamps or on the covers of booklet panes of stamps. In 1971 Elmira Star-Gazette reporter Dick Baumbach found out the White House was not using a ZIP Code on its envelopes.
Herb Klein, special assistant to President Nixon, responded by saying the next printing of envelopes would include the ZIP Code. In 1983, the U. S. Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system that it called ZIP+4 called "plus-four codes", "add-on codes", or "add-ons". A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments, an individual high-volume receiver of mail, a post office box, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. However, initial attempts to promote universal use of the new format met with public resistance and today the plus-four code is not required. In general, mail is read by a multiline optical character reader that instantly determines the correct ZIP+4 Code from the address—along with the more specific delivery point—and sprays an Intelligent Mail barcode on the face of the mail piece that corresponds to 11 digits—nine for the ZIP+4 Code and two for the delivery point.
For Post Office Boxes, the general rule is. The add-on code is one of the following: the last four digits of the box number, zero plus the last three digits of the box number, or, if the box number consists of fewer than four digits, enough zeros are attached to the front of the box number to produce a four-digit number. However, there is no uniform rule, so the ZIP+4 Code must be looked up individually for each box; the ZIP Code is translated into an Intelligent Mail barcode, printed on the mailpiece to make it easier for automated machines to sort. A barcode can be printed by the sender, it is better to let the post office put one on. In general, the post office uses OCR technology, though in some cases a human might have to read and enter the address. Customers who send bulk mail can get a discount on postage if they have printed the barcode themselves and have presorted the mai
San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun Bay estuaries in the northern part of the U. S. state of California. Although the exact boundaries of the region vary depending on the source, the Bay Area is defined by the Association of Bay Area Governments to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and San Francisco. Other sources may exclude parts of or entire counties, or expand the definition to include neighboring counties that don't border the bay such as San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz. Home to 7.68 million people, Northern California's nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns and associated regional and national parks, connected by a complex multimodal transportation network. The larger combined statistical area of the region, which includes twelve counties, is the second-largest in California, the fifth-largest in the United States, the 41st-largest urban area in the world with 8.75 million people.
The Bay Area's population is ethnically diverse: for example half of the region's residents are Hispanic, African American, or Pacific Islander, all of whom have a significant presence throughout the region. The earliest archaeological evidence of human settlements in the Bay Area dates back to 3000 BC. In 1769, the Bay Area was inhabited by the Ohlone people when a Spanish exploration party led by Gaspar de Portolà entered the Bay – the first documented European visit to the Bay Area. After Mexico established independence from Spain in 1821, the region was controlled by the Mexican government until the United States purchased the territory in 1846 during the Mexican–American War. Soon after, discovery of gold in California attracted a flood of treasure seekers, many using ports in the Bay Area as an entry point. During the early years of California's statehood, state legislative business rotated between three locations in the Bay Area before a permanent state capital was established in Sacramento.
A major earthquake leveled the city of San Francisco and environs in 1906, but the region rebuilt in time to host the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. During World War II, the Bay Area played a major role in America's war effort in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, with San Francisco's Fort Mason acting as a primary embarkation point for American forces. In 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco, establishing the United Nations, in 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco ended the U. S.'s war with Japan. Since the Bay Area has experienced numerous political and artistic movements, developing unique local genres in music and art and establishing itself as a hotbed of progressive politics. Economically, the post-war Bay Area saw huge growth in the financial and technology industries, creating a vibrant and diverse economy with a gross domestic product of over $800 billion, home to the second highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the United States. Despite its urban character, the San Francisco Bay is one of California's most ecologically important habitats, providing key ecosystem services such as filtering pollutants and sediments from the rivers, supporting a number of endangered species.
The region is known for the complexity of its landforms, the result of millions of years of tectonic plate movements. Because the Bay Area is crossed by six major earthquake faults, the region is exposed to hazards presented by large earthquakes; the climate is temperate and very mild, is ideal for outdoor recreational and athletic activities such as hiking. The Bay Area is host to seven professional sports teams and is a cultural center for music and the arts, it is host to several institutions of higher education, ranging from primary schools to major research universities. Home to 101 municipalities and nine counties, governance in the Bay Area is multifaceted and involves numerous local and regional actors, each with wide-ranging and overlapping responsibilities; the borders of the San Francisco Bay Area are not delineated, the unique development patterns influenced by the region's topography, as well as unusual commute patterns caused by the presence of three central cities and employment centers located in various suburban locales, has led to considerable disagreement between local and federal definitions of the area.
Because of this, professor of geography at the University of California, Berkeley Richard Walker claimed that "no other U. S. city-region is as definitionally challenged."When the region began to develop during and after World War II, local planners settled on a nine-county definition for the Bay Area, consisting of the counties that directly border the San Francisco, San Pablo, Suisun estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties. Today, this definition is accepted by most local governmental agencies including San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Association of Bay Area Governments, the latter two of which partner to deliver a Bay Area Census using the nine-county definition. Various U. S. Federal government agencies use definitions that differ from their local counterparts' nine-county definition.
For example, the Federal Communications Commission which regulates broadcast and satellite transmissions, includes nearby Colusa and Mendocino counties in their "San Francisco-Oaklan
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