Gary is a city in Lake County, United States, 25 miles from downtown Chicago, Illinois. Gary borders southern Lake Michigan. Gary was named after lawyer Elbert Henry Gary, the founding chairman of the United States Steel Corporation; the city is known for its large steel mills, as the birthplace of the Jackson 5 music group. The population of Gary was 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the ninth-largest city in the state of Indiana, it was a prosperous city from the 1920s through the mid-1960s due to its booming steel industry, but overseas competition and restructuring of the steel industry resulted in a decline and a severe loss of jobs. Since the late 1960s, Gary has suffered drastic population loss, falling by 55 percent from its peak of 178,320 in 1960; the city faces the difficulties of many Rust Belt cities, including unemployment, decaying infrastructure, low literacy and educational attainment levels. It is estimated that nearly one-third of all houses in the city are abandoned. Gary, was founded in 1906 by the United States Steel Corporation as the home for its new plant, Gary Works.
The city was named after lawyer Elbert Henry Gary, the founding chairman of the United States Steel Corporation. Gary was the site of civil unrest in the steel strike of 1919. On October 4, 1919, a riot broke out on Broadway, the main north-south street through downtown Gary, between striking steel workers and strike breakers brought in from outside. Three days Indiana governor James P. Goodrich declared martial law. Shortly thereafter, over 4,000 federal troops under the command of Major General Leonard Wood arrived to restore order; the jobs offered by the steel industry provided Gary with rapid growth and a diverse population within the first 26 years of its founding. According to the 1920 United States Census, 29.7% of Gary's population at the time was classified as foreign-born from eastern European countries, with another 30.8% classified as native-born with at least one foreign-born parent. By the 1930 United States Census, the first census in which Gary's population exceeded 100,000, the city was the fifth largest in Indiana and comparable in size to South Bend, Fort Wayne, Evansville.
At that time, 19.3% of the population was classified as foreign-born, with another 25.9% as native-born with at least one foreign-born parent. In addition to white internal migrants, Gary had attracted numerous African-American migrants from the South in the Great Migration, 17.8% of the population was classified as black. 3.5% was classified as Mexican. Gary's fortunes have fallen with those of the steel industry; the growth of the steel industry brought prosperity to the community. Broadway was known as a commercial center for the region. Department stores and architecturally significant movie houses were built in the downtown area and the Glen Park neighborhood. In the 1960s, like many other American urban centers reliant on one particular industry, Gary entered a spiral of decline. Gary's decline was brought on by the growing overseas competitiveness in the steel industry, which had caused U. S. Steel to lay off many workers from the Gary area; the U. S. Steel Gary Works employed over 30,000 in 1970, declined to just 6,000 by 1990, further declined to 5,100 in August 2015.
Attempts to shore up the city's economy with major construction projects, such as a Holiday Inn hotel and the Genesis Convention Center, failed to reverse the decline. Rapid racial change occurred in Gary during the late 20th century; these population changes resulted in political change which reflected the racial demographics of Gary: the non-white share of the city's population increased from 21% in 1930, 39% in 1960, to 53% in 1970. Non-whites were restricted to live in the Midtown section just south of downtown. Gary had one of the nation's first African-American mayors, Richard G. Hatcher, hosted the ground-breaking 1972 National Black Political Convention. Since the 1930s, Gary had developed a reputation as a tough city due to rampant political corruption, racial violence & segregation, labor unrest, industrial pollution. In the 1960s through the 1980s, surrounding suburban localities such as Merrillville, Crown Point and Valparaiso experienced rapid growth, including new homes and shopping districts.
Owing to white flight, economic distress, a perception of skyrocketing crime, many middle-class and affluent residents moved to other cities in the metro area. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Gary had the highest percentage of African-Americans of U. S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more, 84%. This no longer applies to Gary since the population of the city has now fallen well below 100,000 residents; as of 2013, the Gary Department of Redevelopment has estimated that one-third of all homes in the city are unoccupied and/or abandoned. U. S. Steel continues to be a major steel producer, but with only a fraction of its former level of employment. While Gary has failed to reestablish a manufacturing base since its population peak, two casinos opened along the Gary lakeshore in the 1990s, although this has been aggravated by the state closing of Cline Avenue, an important access to the area. Today, Gary faces the difficulties of a Rust Belt city, including unemployment, decaying infrastructure, low literacy and educational attainment levels.
Gary has closed several of its schools within the last ten years. While some of the school buildings have been reused, most remain unused since their closing; as of 2014, Gary is consid
To cities, towns, charter townships and boroughs. The term can be used to describe municipally owned corporations. Municipal incorporation occurs when such municipalities become self-governing entities under the laws of the state or province in which they are located; this event is marked by the award or declaration of a municipal charter. A city charter or town charter or municipal charter is a legal document establishing a municipality, such as a city or town. In Canada, charters are granted by provincial authorities; the Corporation of Chennai is the oldest Municipal Corporation in the world after UK. The title "corporation" was used in boroughs from soon after the Norman conquest until the Local Government Act 2001. Under the 2001 act, county boroughs were renamed "cities" and their corporations became "city councils". After the Partition of Ireland, the corporations in the Irish Free State were Dublin, Cork and Waterford and Drogheda, Sligo and Wexford. Dún Laoghaire gained borough status in 1930 as “The Corporation of Dun Laoghaire".
Galway's borough status, lost in 1840, was restored in 1937. The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 allowed municipal corporations to be established within the new Provinces of New Zealand; the term fell out of favour following the abolition of the Provinces in 1876. In the United States, such municipal corporations are established by charters that are granted either directly by a state legislature by means of local legislation, or indirectly under a general municipal corporation law after the proposed charter has passed a referendum vote of the affected population. Under the enterprise meaning of the term, municipal corporations are "organisations with independent corporate status, managed by an executive board appointed by local government officials, with majority public ownership"; some MOCs rely on revenue from user fees, distinguishing them from agencies and special districts funded through taxation, although this is not always the case. Municipal corporation follows a process of externalization that requires new skills and orientations from the respective local governments, follow common changes in the institutional landscape of public services.
They are argued to be more efficient than bureaucracy but have higher failure rates because of their legal and managerial autonomy. Unincorporated area German town law Municipal incorporationA Brief Summary of Municipal Incorporation Procedures by State - University of Georgia Characteristics and State Requirements for Incorporated Places - United States CensusMunicipal disincorporation / dissolutionDissolving Cities - University of California, Berkeley Municipal Disincorporation in California - California City Finance
Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway
The Elgin and Eastern Railway was a Class I railroad, operating between Waukegan and Gary, Indiana. The railroad served as a link between Class I railroads traveling to and from Chicago, although it operated entirely within the city's suburbs, only entered Chicago where it served the U. S. Steel South Works on the shores of Lake Michigan. Nicknames for the railroad included "The J" and "The Chicago Outer Belt Line". At the end of 1970, the EJ&E operated 164 miles of track and carried 848 million ton-miles of revenue freight in that year alone. On September 26, 2007, the Canadian National Railway announced that it planned to purchase a majority of the EJ&E, leaving a portion of the line in Indiana to be reorganized as the Gary Railway; the purchase was approved on December 24, 2008 by the U. S. Surface Transportation Board, the deal was consummated effective February 1, 2009. In the years following the merger, the railroad existed as a subsidiary of Canadian National, EJ&E locomotives that were repainted into CN colors were sub-lettered for the EJ&E.
On December 31, 2012, Canadian National announced that the merger of the EJ&E into Wisconsin Central Ltd. had been completed, would take effect the following day. On January 1, 2013, the EJ&E ceased to exist, 124 years to the day it was founded; the Elgin and Eastern was created when several local railroads in Illinois and Indiana merged throughout the end of the 19th century. The systems that would make up the EJ&E included the Joliet, Aurora & Northern Railway and Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Company of Illinois; the Elgin and Eastern Railway began operations on December 4, 1888 through the merger of these two systems. After the creation of the modern day EJ&E the railroad expanded by purchasing several other smaller lines including the Waukegan & Southwestern Railway; the EJ&E moved to serve industries in the Hammond-East Chicago-Whiting industrial district by acquiring trackage rights in 1894. However, construction of the present line to Gary and South Chicago was initiated in 1899 by the Griffith and Northern Railway.
Connections with the Chicago, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway and the Western Indiana Railway further penetrated the district, although the EJ&E subsequently acquired both lines. In 1898 the EJ&E merged with four other non-railway companies to form Federal Steel Company. In 1901, United States Steel Corporation was formed from a merger that included Federal Steel, U. S. Steel thereby acquired the railroad; the railroad's passenger services began with the start of operations in January 1889. The railroad stopped operating passenger trains in 1907, but continued passenger service until 1909. During those two years, passengers would be transported by caboose; the EJ&E underwent dieselization early. In 1937, the railroad acquired its first diesel-electric locomotive, an EMC SW switcher, designated EJ&E #200. Over the next 12 years, the entire steam fleet was replaced with first generation diesels; the first road diesel, Baldwin DT-6-6-2000 #100, was delivered to the railroad in May 1946. The final steam movement occurred in late May 1949, led by a Mikado 2-8-2, EJ&E #740.
The locomotive was sold to the scrapper that September. In 1988, United States Steel and the Blackstone Group formed Transtar Inc. to serve as a shareholder of the EJ&E and several other affiliated railroads and companies. In March 2001, the Blackstone Group ended their ownership interest in Transtar, resulting in its becoming a owned subsidiary of United States Steel. On May 16, 2006, the EJ&E was the recipient of the 2005 Bronze E. H. Harriman Award for employee safety in group C. On September 10, 2007, Crain's Chicago Business reported that the Canadian National Railway was in talks to purchase the EJ&E. In 2004, Canadian National had acquired two railroads, the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad and the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad, that had previously been owned by Transtar, but that at the time CN acquired them were owned by Great Lakes Transportation, LLC, a Blackstone Group subsidiary created when USS became the sole owner of Transtar); the purchase agreement was announced on September 26.
The purchase was expected to close in mid-2008, valued at $300 million. In fact, the closing did not take place until January 31, 2009, following regulatory approval of the purchase by the Surface Transportation Board on December 24, 2008. Canadian National plans to use the EJ&E to route trains around Chicago, where they now face lengthy delays because of congestion in the busy rail hub. In accordance with its agreement with CN, Transtar retained some railroad infrastructure in Gary, Indiana. S. Steel's plants located there. On Tuesday, March 10, 2009, the first two Canadian National trains debuted on the Elgin, Joliet, & Eastern, with plans to run six trains per day on the lines in the near future; the EJ&E's all time diesel roster consisted of: Locomotive designations in bold indicate that these models were on the roster at the time of the railroad's sale to the Canadian National Railway. The EJ&E connects the following cities and large towns: Waukegan, Illinois Libertyville, Illinois Vernon Hills, Illinois Lake Zurich, Illinois Barrington, Illinois Hoffman Estates, Illinois Elgin, Illinois West Chicago, Illinois Aurora, Illinois Plainfield, Illinois Joliet, Illinois Minooka, Illinois Morris, Illin
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian ancestry. The term refers to a panethnic group that includes diverse populations, which have ancestral origins in East Asia, South Asia, or Southeast Asia, as defined by the U. S. Census Bureau; this includes people who indicate their race on the census as "Asian" or reported entries such as "Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Other Asian". Asian Americans with other ancestry comprise 5.6% of the U. S. population, while people who are Asian alone, those combined with at least one other race, make up 6.9%. Although migrants from Asia have been in parts of the contemporary United States since the 17th century, large-scale immigration did not begin until the mid-18th century. Nativist immigration laws during the 1880s–1920s excluded various Asian groups prohibiting all Asian immigration to the continental United States. After immigration laws were reformed during the 1940s–60s, abolishing national origins quotas, Asian immigration increased rapidly. Analyses of the 2010 census have shown that Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial or ethnic minority in the United States.
As with other racial and ethnicity-based terms and common usage have changed markedly through the short history of this term. Prior to the late 1960s, people of Asian ancestry were referred to as Oriental and Mongoloid. Additionally, the American definition of'Asian' included West Asian ethnic groups Jewish Americans, Armenian Americans, Assyrian Americans, Iranian Americans, Kurdish Americans, Arab Americans, although these groups are now considered Middle Eastern American; the term Asian American was coined by historian Yuji Ichioka, credited with popularizing the term, to frame a new "inter-ethnic-pan-Asian American self-defining political group" in the late 1960s. Changing patterns of immigration and an extensive period of exclusion of Asian immigrants have resulted in demographic changes that have in turn affected the formal and common understandings of what defines Asian American. For example, since the removal of restrictive "national origins" quotas in 1965, the Asian-American population has diversified to include more of the peoples with ancestry from various parts of Asia.
Today, "Asian American" is the accepted term for most formal purposes, such as government and academic research, although it is shortened to Asian in common usage. The most used definition of Asian American is the U. S. Census Bureau definition, which includes all people with origins in the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent; this is chiefly because the census definitions determine many governmental classifications, notably for equal opportunity programs and measurements. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "Asian person" in the United States is sometimes thought of as a person of East Asian descent. In vernacular usage, "Asian" is used to refer to those of East Asian descent or anyone else of Asian descent with epicanthic eyefolds; this differs from the U. S. Census definition and the Asian American Studies departments in many universities consider all those of East, South or Southeast Asian descent to be "Asian". In the US Census, people with origins or ancestry in the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent are classified as part of the Asian race.
As such, "Asian" and "African" ancestry are seen as racial categories for the purposes of the Census, since they refer to ancestry only from those parts of the Asian and African continents that are outside the Middle East and North Africa. In 1980 and before, Census forms listed particular Asian ancestries as separate groups, along with white and black or negro. Asian Americans had been classified as "other". In 1977, the federal Office of Management and Budget issued a directive requiring government agencies to maintain statistics on racial groups, including on "Asian or Pacific Islander". By the 1990 census, "Asian or Pacific Islander" was included as an explicit category, although respondents had to select one particular ancestry as a subcategory. Beginning with the 2000 census, two separate categories were used: "Asian American" and "Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander"; the definition of Asian American has variations that derive from the use of the word American in different contexts.
Immigration status, citizenship and language ability are some variables that are used to define American for various purposes and may vary in formal and everyday usage. For example, restricting American to include only U. S. citizens conflicts with discussions of Asian American businesses, which refer both to citizen and non-citizen owners. In a PBS interview from 2004, a panel of Asian American writers discussed how some groups include people of Middle Eastern descent in the Asian American category. Asian American author Stewart Ikeda has noted, "The definition of'Asian American' frequently depends on who's asking, who's defining, in what context, why... the possible definitions of'Asian-Pacific American' are many and shifting... some scholars in Asian American Studies conferences suggest that Russians and Israelis all might fit the field's subject of study." Jeff Yang, of the Wall Street Journal, writes that the panethnic definition of Asian American is a unique American construct, as an identity is "in beta".
Scholars have grappled with the accuracy, correctn
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
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations; the term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander"; the ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples and cultures subsequently developed. Native Americans were affected by the European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, their population declined precipitously due to introduced diseases as well as warfare, territorial confiscation and slavery.
After the founding of the United States, many Native American peoples were subjected to warfare and one-sided treaties, they continued to suffer from discriminatory government policies into the 20th century. Since the 1960s, Native American self-determination movements have resulted in changes to the lives of Native Americans, though there are still many contemporary issues faced by Native Americans. Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78% of whom live outside reservations; when the United States was created, established Native American tribes were considered semi-independent nations, as they lived in communities separate from British settlers. The federal government signed treaties at a government-to-government level until the Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 ended recognition of independent native nations, started treating them as "domestic dependent nations" subject to federal law; this law did preserve the rights and privileges agreed to under the treaties, including a large degree of tribal sovereignty.
For this reason, many Native American reservations are still independent of state law and actions of tribal citizens on these reservations are subject only to tribal courts and federal law. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted U. S. citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. This emptied the "Indians not taxed" category established by the United States Constitution, allowed natives to vote in state and federal elections, extended the Fourteenth Amendment protections granted to people "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. However, some states continued to deny Native Americans voting rights for several decades. Bill of Rights protections do not apply to tribal governments, except for those mandated by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of population and agricultural transfer and adjustment between Old and New World societies, a process known as the Columbian exchange.
As most Native American groups had preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, the first written sources of the conflict were written by Europeans. Ethnographers classify the indigenous peoples of North America into ten geographical regions with shared cultural traits, called cultural areas; some scholars combine the Plateau and Great Basin regions into the Intermontane West, some separate Prairie peoples from Great Plains peoples, while some separate Great Lakes tribes from the Northeastern Woodlands. The ten cultural areas are as follows: Arctic, including Aleut and Yupik peoples Subarctic Northeastern Woodlands Southeastern Woodlands Great Plains Great Basin Northwest Plateau Northwest Coast California Southwest At the time of the first contact, the indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and Christian immigrants; some Northeastern and Southwestern cultures, in particular, were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than that with which Europeans were familiar.
The majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were different; the differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, social disruption. Before the European settlement of what is now the United States, Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with new European diseases, to which they had not yet acquired immunity. Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations. William M Denevan, noted author and Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said on this subject in his essay "The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492".
Old World diseases were the primary killer. In many regions the tropical lowlands, populations fell by 90 percent or more in the first century after the contact. "Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the U. S. vary ranging from William M Denevan's 3.8 million in his 1992 w
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