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
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product, the sixth largest population, the 25th largest land area of all U. S. states. Illinois is noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, natural resources such as coal and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population; the Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports.
Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics. The capital of Illinois is Springfield, located in the central part of the state. Although today's Illinois' largest population center is in its northeast, the state's European population grew first in the west as the French settled the vast Mississippi of the Illinois Country of New France. Following the American Revolutionary War, American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1780s via the Ohio River, the population grew from south to north. In 1818, Illinois achieved statehood. Following increased commercial activity in the Great Lakes after the construction of the Erie Canal, Chicago was founded in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River at one of the few natural harbors on the southern section of Lake Michigan. John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois's rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal made transportation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River valley faster and cheaper, new railroads carried immigrants to new homes in the country's west and shipped commodity crops to the nation's east. The state became a transportation hub for the nation. By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern areas attracted immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars; the Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in the state, including Chicago, who founded the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. Chicago, the center of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, is now recognized as a global alpha-level city. Three U. S. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Barack Obama. Additionally, Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, was born and raised in the state.
Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan Land of Lincoln, displayed on its license plates since 1954. The state is the site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and the future home of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. "Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French Catholic missionaries and explorers' name for the Illinois Native Americans, a name, spelled in many different ways in the early records. American scholars thought the name "Illinois" meant "man" or "men" in the Miami-Illinois language, with the original iliniwek transformed via French into Illinois; this etymology is not supported by the Illinois language, as the word for "man" is ireniwa, plural of "man" is ireniwaki. The name Illiniwek has been said to mean "tribe of superior men", a false etymology; the name "Illinois" derives from the Miami-Illinois verb irenwe·wa - "he speaks the regular way". This was taken into the Ojibwe language in the Ottawa dialect, modified into ilinwe·.
The French borrowed these forms, changing the /we/ ending to spell it as -ois, a transliteration for its pronunciation in French of that time. The current spelling form, began to appear in the early 1670s, when French colonists had settled in the western area; the Illinois's name for themselves, as attested in all three of the French missionary-period dictionaries of Illinois, was Inoka, of unknown meaning and unrelated to the other terms. American Indians of successive cultures lived along the waterways of the Illinois area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans; the Koster Site demonstrates 7,000 years of continuous habitation. Cahokia, the largest regional chiefdom and urban center of the Pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois, they built an urban complex of more than 100 platform and burial mounds, a 50-acre plaza larger than 35 football fields, a woodhenge of sacred cedar, all in a planned design expressing the culture's cosmology.
Monks Mound, the center of the site, is the largest Pre-Columbian structure north of the Valley of Mexico. It is 100 feet high, 951 feet long, 836 feet wide, covers 13.8 acres. It contains about 814,000 cubic yards of earth, it was topped by a structure thought to have measured about 105 feet in length and 48 feet in width, covered an area 5,000 square feet, been as much as 50 feet high, making its peak 150 feet above the level of the pl
National Register of Historic Places listings in Hawaii
This is a list of properties and historic districts in Hawaii listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 340 listings appear on all but one of Hawaii's main islands and the Northwestern Islands, in all of its five counties. Included are houses, archeological sites, ships and various other types of listings; these properties and districts are listed beginning at the northwestern end of the chain. This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019; the following are approximate tallies of current listings by county. These counts are based on entries in the National Register Information Database as of April 24, 2008 and new weekly listings posted since on the National Register of Historic Places web site, all of which list properties by county. There are frequent additions to the listings and occasional delistings, the counts here are approximate and not official. New entries are added to the official Register on a weekly basis; the counts in this table exclude boundary increase and decrease listings which modify the area covered by an existing property or district and which carry a separate National Register reference number.
The number of NRHP listings on each island are documented by tables in each of the individual island lists, the number of listings in each county is determined by adding the totals of the islands in that county. Kalawao and Maui counties are the sole exception: Kalawao County is a peninsula on Molokai, otherwise a part of Maui County. Many small islands, all uninhabited, lie northwest of Kauai, they are included despite the vast distance between them and Oahu. Kauai is the northernmost of the major islands of Hawaii, except for Niihau, the westernmost. Together with Niihau, it forms Kauai County. Oahu is the only major island in Honolulu County; the location of the city of Honolulu, Oahu is the most populous island in the state. Molokai is the northernmost of the islands of Maui County. Unlike every other island in the state, it is divided between two counties: Kalawao County consists of the island's northern peninsula. Lanai is the smallest of the populated islands of Maui County, lying between the islands of Maui and Molokai.
Maui is the easternmost island of Maui County. Kahoolawe is the southernmost island of Maui County. Alone among the state's major islands, it is uninhabited; the government of the island of Hawaii is Hawaii County, the only county that covers one island, the largest in area in the state. There are 67 properties and districts on the island, including 10 historic districts, six National Historic Landmarks, one, a National Historic Landmark District. Historic Hawaii Foundation Inventory of Historic Properties on official Hawaii State web site
National Register of Historic Places listings in Alaska
This is a list of properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Alaska. There are 400 listed sites in Alaska; each of the state's 28 boroughs and census areas has at least two listings on the National Register, except for the Kusilvak Census Area, which has none. This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019; the following are approximate tallies of current listings in Alaska on the National Register of Historic Places. These counts are based on entries in the National Register Information Database as of April 24, 2008 and new weekly listings posted since on the National Register of Historic Places web site. There are frequent additions to the listings and occasional delistings, the counts here are not official; the counts in this table exclude boundary increase and decrease listings which modify the area covered by an existing property or district and which carry a separate National Register reference number. List of National Historic Landmarks in Alaska Aviation history in Alaska — National Register of Historic Places travel itinerary
National Register of Historic Places listings in Arizona
This is a directory of properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Arizona. There are about fourteen hundred listed sites in the state, each of its fifteen counties has at least ten listings on the National Register. Forty-five of the state's sites are further designated as National Historic Landmarks; this National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019. The following are approximate tallies of current listings in Arizona on the National Register of Historic Places; these counts are based on entries in the National Register Information Database as of April 24, 2008 and new weekly listings posted since on the National Register of Historic Places web site. There are frequent additions to the listings and occasional delistings, the counts here are not official; the counts in this table exclude boundary increase and decrease listings which modify the area covered by an existing property or district and which carry a separate National Register reference number.
List of National Historic Landmarks in Arizona List of bridges on the National Register of Historic Places in Arizona
National Register of Historic Places listings in Kentucky
This is a list of properties and historic districts in Kentucky that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are listings in all of Kentucky's 120 counties; the locations of National Register properties and districts, may be seen in an online map by clicking on "Map of all coordinates". This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019; the following are approximate tallies of current listings by county. These counts are based on entries in the National Register Information Database as of April 24, 2008 and new weekly listings posted since on the National Register of Historic Places web site. There are frequent additions to the listings and occasional delistings and the counts here are approximate and not official. New entries are added to the official Register on a weekly basis; the counts in this table exclude boundary increase and decrease listings which only modify the area covered by an existing property or district, although carrying a separate National Register reference number.
List of National Historic Landmarks in Kentucky List of bridges on the National Register of Historic Places in Kentucky
The National Road was the first major improved highway in the United States built by the federal government. Built between 1811 and 1837, the 620-mile road connected the Potomac and Ohio Rivers and was a main transport path to the West for thousands of settlers; when rebuilt in the 1830s, it became the second U. S. road surfaced with the macadam process pioneered by Scotsman John Loudon McAdam. Construction began heading west in 1811 at Maryland, on the Potomac River. After the Financial Panic of 1837 and the resulting economic depression, congressional funding ran dry and construction was stopped at Vandalia, the capital of the Illinois, 63 miles northeast of St. Louis across the Mississippi River; the road has been referred to as the Cumberland Turnpike, the Cumberland–Brownsville Turnpike, the Cumberland Pike, the National Pike, the National Turnpike. Today, much of the alignment is followed by U. S. Route 40, with various portions bearing the Alternate U. S. Route 40 designation, or various state-road numbers.
In 2002, the full road, including extensions east to Baltimore and west to St. Louis, was designated the Historic National Road, an All-American Road; the Braddock Road had been opened by the Ohio Company in 1751 between Fort Cumberland, the limit of navigation on the upper Potomac River, the French military station at Fort Duquesne at the forks of the Ohio River, an important trading and military point where the city of Pittsburgh now stands. It received its name during the colonial-era French and Indian War of 1753–63, when it was constructed by British General Edward Braddock, accompanied by Colonel George Washington of the Virginia militia regiment in the ill-fated July 1755 Braddock expedition, an attempt to assault the French-held Fort Duquesne. Construction of the Cumberland Road was authorized on March 1806, by President Thomas Jefferson; the new Cumberland Road would replace the wagon and foot paths of the Braddock Road for travel between the Potomac and Ohio Rivers, following the same alignment until just east of Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
From there, where the Braddock Road turned north towards Pittsburgh, the new National Road/Cumberland Road continued west to Wheeling, Virginia on the Ohio River. The contract for the construction of the first section was awarded to Henry McKinley on May 8, 1811, construction began that year, with the road reaching Wheeling on August 1, 1818. For more than 100 years, a simple granite stone was the only marker of the road's beginning in Cumberland, Maryland. In June 2012, a monument and plaza were built in that town's Riverside Park, next to the historic original starting point. Beyond the National Road's eastern terminus at Cumberland and toward the Atlantic coast, a series of private toll roads and turnpikes were constructed, connecting the National Road with Baltimore the third-largest city in the country, a major maritime port on Chesapeake Bay. Completed in 1824, these feeder routes formed what is referred to as an eastern extension of the federal National Road. On May 15, 1820, Congress authorized an extension of the road to St. Louis, on the Mississippi River, on March 3, 1825, across the Mississippi and to Jefferson City, Missouri.
Work on the extension between Wheeling and Zanesville, used the pre-existing Zane's Trace of old Ebenezer Zane, was completed in 1833 to the new state capital of Columbus, in 1838 to the college town of Springfield, Ohio. In 1849, a bridge was completed to carry the National Road across the Ohio River at Wheeling; the Wheeling Suspension Bridge, designed by Charles Ellet Jr. was at the time the world's longest bridge span at 1,010 feet from tower to tower. Maintenance costs on the Cumberland Road were becoming more. In agreements with Maryland and Pennsylvania, the road was to be reconstructed and resurfaced; the section that ran over Haystack Mountain, just west of Cumberland, was abandoned and a new road was built through the Cumberland Narrows. On April 1, 1835, the section from Wheeling to Cumberland was transferred to Maryland and Virginia; the last congressional appropriation was made May 25, 1838, in 1840, Congress voted against completing the unfinished portion of the road, with the deciding vote being cast by Henry Clay.
By that time, railroads were proving a better method of long-distance transportation, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was being built west from Baltimore to Cumberland along the Potomac River, by a more direct route than the National Road across the Allegheny Plateau of West Virginia to Wheeling. Construction of the National Road stopped in 1839. Much of the road through Indiana and Illinois remained unfinished and was transferred to the states. In 1912, the Cumberland National Road was chosen to become part of the National Old Trails Road, which would extend further east to New York City and west to Los Angeles, California. Five Madonna of the Trail monuments, donated by the Daughters of the American Revolution, were erected along the old National Road. In 1927, the National Road was designated as the eastern part of U. S. Highway 40, which still follows the National Road's alignment with occasional bypasses and newer bridges; the parallel Interstate 70 now provides a faster route for through t