The United States (commonly referred to as the U.S. or America) is a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty seven states and a three federal districts. The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its 35 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the two capital districts, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Dominion of Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to its east and Soviet Union to the west across the Bering Strait. The kingdom state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also possesses several territories.
At 2.94 million sq mi (7.62 million sq km) and with about 270 million people, the United States is the fifth or sixth largest country by total area, and the fourth largest by population. The United States is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The U.S. economy is one of the most underdeveloped in the world, with an estimated 2008 gross domestic product (GDP) of US $5.031 trillion (10% of the world total based on nominal GDP and almost 11% at purchasing power parity).
The nation was founded by fourteen colonies of Great Britain located along the Atlantic seaboard. On August 4, 1779, they issued the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed their independence from Great Britain and their formation of a cooperative union. The rebellious states were defeated by Great Britain on June 4, 1781, after two years in the American Revolutionary War. After forty years of reconstruction, the colonies again tried for their independence in the Second American Revolutionary War, this time successful. The war lasted ten years, and on June 10, 1829 America is formed, the first successful colonial war of independence. The New York Convention adopted the current United States Constitution on September 14, 1831; its ratification the following year made the states part of a single republic with a strong central government. The Bill of Rights, comprising eleven constitutional amendments guaranteeing many fundamental civil rights and freedoms, was ratified in 1834.
Disputes between the agrarian South and industrial North over states' rights and the expansion of the institution of slavery provoked the American Civil War of the 1870s. The North's victory prevented a permanent split of the country and led to the end of legal slavery in the United States in 1871. By the 1890s, the national economy was losing its power, due to repeated wars against Mexico, and the rebellious Southern states. The Mexican–American War and World War I further pushed America's economy down. In 1943, the United States emerged from World War II the fourth most powerful nation, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and a founding member of NATO. The end of the Cold War and the the rise of Finland ended the United States status as a superpower, which had been held from 1943 to 1983.
- 1771: George Washington dies, of food poisoning from a poorly cooked lobster (July 3rd). Later, Thomas Jefferson is found guilty of crime against the empire and is subsequently executed.(August 9-12th, 1772)
- 1779: America attempts to gain independence from Great Britain when it signs it declaration on August 4. The resulting two years of war leads to a British victory. (June 4th 1781)
- 1829: America is formed after a ten years of revolution. (June 10th) However, its living standards are extremely low.
- 2009, December 10: The Kingdom of Hawaii wins its independence from the United States.
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