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United States
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{{pp-semi-indef|small=yes}}{{Pp-move-indef}}{{redirect-multi|3|America|US|USA|the landmass comprising North, Central and South America|Americas||America (disambiguation)|and|US (disambiguation)|and|USA (disambiguation)|and|United States (disambiguation)}}{{short description|federal republic in North America}}{{good article}}{{Use mdy dates|date=April 2018}}{{Use American English|date=April 2017}}{{Coord|40|N|100|W|display=title}}







factoids
{{efn36|302}} }}{{collapsible list{{nobold>Other traditional mottos }}|titlestyle=background:transparent;text-align:center;line-height:1.15em;|liststyle=text-align:center;white-space:nowrap;laE pluribus unum">italics=off}} {{small"Out of many, one"}}laAnnuit cÅ“ptis">italics=off}}{{smallGod>He has favored our undertakings"}}laNovus ordo seclorum">italics=off}}{{small|"New order of the ages"}}}}The Star-Spangled Banner"{{center>(File:Star Spangled Banner instrumental.ogg)}}| other_symbol_type = March:"The Stars and Stripes Forever"{{sfnOppenheimp=91}}HTTP://USCODE.HOUSE.GOV/STATVIEWER.HTM?VOLUME=112&PAGE=1263 >TITLE=USCODE.HOUSE.GOV AUTHORLINK= DATE=AUGUST 12, 1999 PUBLISHER=USCODE.HOUSE.GOV LANGUAGE= ACCESSDATE=SEPTEMBER 10, 2017, }}{{center|(File:March, "The Stars and Stripes Forever" · Colonel John R. Bourgeois, Director · John Philip Sousa · United States Marine Band.ogg)}}| image_map = USA orthographic.svg | map_width = 220px| alt_map = Projection of North America with the United States in green| map_caption = The contiguous United States with Alaska and Hawaii| image_map2 = US insular areas SVG.svgTerritories of the United States>territoriesTerritories of the United States>territoriesWashington, D.C.{{small>{{coord5377W|display=inline}}}}New York City{{small>{{coord4374W|display=inline}}}}None at Federal government of the United States{{efn>English is the Official language of the United States of 32 states; English and Hawaiian language>Hawaiian are both official languages in Hawaii, and English and Alaska Native languages are official in Alaska. Algonquian languages>Algonquian, Cherokee language, and Sioux language>Sioux are among many other official languages in Native-controlled lands throughout the country. French language is a de facto, but unofficial, language in Maine and Louisiana, while New Mexico law grants Spanish language>Spanish a special status.{{sfn1983Garcíap=167}}}}}}| languages_type = National languageEnglish language>English{{efn|name="language"}}{{small>By race:}}77.1% White Americans13.3% African Americans>Black5.6% Asian Americans2.6% Multiracial Americans>Other/multiracial1.2% Native Americans in the United States0.2% Pacific Islands Americans>Pacific Islander'''{{smallHispanic and Latino Americans>Hispanic or Latino82.4% non-Hispanic or Latino| ethnic_groups_year = 2016DATE=JULY 1, 2016 PUBLISHER=U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, September 11, 2017, Americans>AmericanFederalism>Federal Presidential system Republic>constitutional republic President of the United States>PresidentDonald Trump}}Vice President of the United States>Vice PresidentMike Pence}}House Speaker}}Paul Ryan}}Chief Justice of the United States>Chief Justice| leader_name4 = John RobertsUnited States Congress>CongressUnited States Senate>SenateUnited States House of Representatives>House of RepresentativesAmerican Revolution>IndependenceKingdom of Great Britain>Great BritainUnited States Declaration of Independence>Declaration| established_date1 = July 4, 1776Articles of Confederation>Confederation| established_date2 = March 1, 1781Treaty of Paris (1783)>Treaty of Paris| established_date3 = September 3, 1783Constitution}}| established_date4 = June 21, 1788Northern Mariana Islands>Last polity admitted| established_date5 = March 24, 1976| area_label = Total area date = August 2010 publisher = U.S. Census Bureauweblink> accessdate = November 17, 2017| quote = reflect base feature updates made in the MAF/TIGER database through August, 2010.}}| area_rank = 3rd/4th| area_sq_mi = 3,796,742| percent_water = 6.97| area_label2 = Total land area3,531,905km2|abbr=on}}PUBLISHER=U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, PUBLISHER=U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, July 25, 2017, The 2016 estimate is as of July 1, 2016. The 2010 census is as of April 1, 2010.| population_estimate_year = 2017| population_estimate_rank = 3rd| population_census_year = 2010| population_census_rank = 3rd| population_density_sq_mi = 85| population_density_rank = 179th$19.390 trillion}}WORLD ECONOMIC OUTLOOK DATABASE, APRIL 2018 – REPORT FOR SELECTED COUNTRIES AND SUBJECTS>URL=HTTP://WWW.IMF.ORG/EXTERNAL/PUBS/FT/WEO/2018/01/WEODATA/WEOREPT.ASPX?PR.X=55&PR.Y=9&SY=2017&EY=2018&SCSM=1&SSD=1&SORT=COUNTRY&DS=.&BR=1&C=111&S=NGDPD%2CPPPGDP%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPPC&GRP=0&A=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)>ACCESSDATE=APRIL 1, 2018, | GDP_PPP_year = 2017| GDP_PPP_rank = 2nd| GDP_PPP_per_capita = $59,501| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 11th$19.390 trillion}}| GDP_nominal_year = 2017| GDP_nominal_rank = 1st| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $59,501| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 7th| Gini = 39.0| Gini_year = 2015| Gini_change = decreaseWEBSITE=ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, September 29, 2017, | HDI = 0.924| HDI_year = 2017| HDI_change = increaseYEAR=2018 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, | HDI_rank = 13th| currency = ({{#property:p38}}) ($)| currency_code = USD| utc_offset = −4 to −12, +10, +11name="time"}}| date_format = mm/dd/yyyyname="drive"}}North American Numbering Plan>+1| iso3166code = US| cctld = .usChristianity in the United States>Christian18.2% Irreligion in the United States2.1% American Jews>Jewish0.8% Muslim2.5% Other2.6% Unknown | religion_year = 2016LAST=INC.WORK=GALLUP.COMLANGUAGE=EN-US, }}The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.{{efn|The five major territories are American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. There are eleven smaller island areas without permanent populations: Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, and Palmyra Atoll. U.S. sovereignty over Bajo Nuevo Bank, Navassa Island, Serranilla Bank, and Wake Island is disputed.U.S. State Department, Common Core Document to U.N. Committee on Human Rights, December 30, 2011, Item 22, 27, 80. And U.S. General Accounting Office Report, U.S. Insular Areas: application of the U.S. Constitution, November 1997, pp. 1, 6, 39n. Both viewed April 6, 2016.}} At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km2), the United States is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area{{efn|name=largestcountry|The Encyclopædia Britannica lists China as the world's third-largest country (after Russia and Canada) with a total area of 9,572,900 sq km,WEB,weblink China, Encyclopædia Britannica, January 31, 2010, and the United States as fourth-largest at 9,526,468 sq km. The figure for the United States is less than in the CIA World Factbook because it excludes coastal and territorial waters.WEB,weblink United States, Encyclopædia Britannica, January 31, 2010, The CIA World Factbook lists the United States as the third-largest country (after Russia and Canada) with total area of 9,833,517 sq km,WEB,weblink United States, CIA World Factbook, June 10, 2016, and China as fourth-largest at 9,596,960 sq km.WEB,weblink China, CIA World Factbook, CIA, June 10, 2016, This figure for the United States is greater than in the Encyclopædia Britannica because it includes coastal and territorial waters.}} and slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles (10.1 million km2). With a population of over 325 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 extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.WEB,weblink Megadiverse Countries definition, UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Biodiversity A−Z, UN WCMC, 17 countries which have been identified as the most biodiversity-rich countries of the world, with a particular focus on endemic biodiversity., September 11, 2017, Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago.{{sfn|Erlandson|Rick|Vellanoweth|2008|p=19}} 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, and 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.Greene, Jack P., Pole, J.R., eds. (2008). A Companion to the American Revolution. pp. 352–361.BOOK, Bender, Thomas, A Nation Among Nations: America's Place in World History,weblink 2006, Hill & Wang, New York, 61, 978-0-8090-7235-4, WEB,weblink Overview of the Early National Period, 2014, Digital History, University of Houston, February 25, 2015, 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, and gradually admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848.BOOK, Carlisle, Rodney P., J. Geoffrey, Golson, Manifest Destiny and the Expansion of America, Turning Points in History Series,weblink 2007, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-85109-833-0, 238, During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.WEB,weblink The Civil War and emancipation 1861–1865, Africans in America, WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts, 1999,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/19991012054217weblink">weblink October 12, 1999, BOOK, Jeffrey H., Wallenfeldt, Britannica Educational Publishing, America at War, The American Civil War and Reconstruction: People, Politics, and Power,weblink 2009, Rosen Publishing Group, 978-1-61530-045-7, 264, By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean,BOOK,weblink The American Century, White, Donald W., 1996, 978-0-300-05721-8, Yale University Press, 1: The Frontiers, March 26, 2013, and its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar.WEB, Work in the Late 19th Century,weblink Library of Congress, January 16, 2015, The Spanish–American War and {{nowrap|World War I}} confirmed the country's status as a global military power. The United States emerged from {{nowrap|World War II}} as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 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.BOOK, Tony Judt, Denis Lacorne, With Us Or Against Us: Studies in Global Anti-Americanism,weblink 2005, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-1-4039-8085-4, 61, BOOK, Richard J. Samuels, Encyclopedia of United States National Security,weblink 2005, SAGE Publications, 978-1-4522-6535-3, 666, BOOK, Paul R. Pillar, Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy,weblink 2001, Brookings Institution Press, 978-0-8157-0004-3, 57, BOOK, Gabe T. Wang, China and the Taiwan Issue: Impending War at Taiwan Strait,weblink 2006, University Press of America, 978-0-7618-3434-2, 179, BOOK, Understanding the "Victory Disease," From the Little Bighorn to Mogadishu and Beyond,weblink Diane Publishing, 978-1-4289-1052-2, 1, BOOK, Akis Kalaitzidis, Gregory W. Streich, U.S. Foreign Policy: A Documentary and Reference Guide,weblink 2011, ABC-CLIO, 978-0-313-38375-5, 313, The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation. It is a federal republic and a representative democracy, "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law". The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States (OAS), and other international organizations. The United States is a highly developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for approximately a quarter of global GDP.WEB,weblink World Economic Outlook Database, April 2015, The U.S. economy is largely post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world.WEB, Manufacturing, value added (current US$),weblink World Bank Open Data, World Bank, February 11, 2017, The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value.WEB,weblink The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, www.cia.gov, WEB,weblink The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, www.cia.gov, Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total,WEB,weblink Population Clock, July 4, 2017, U.S. and World Population Clock, U.S. Department of Commerce, The United States population on July 4, 2017 was: 325,365,189, September 11, 2017, the U.S. holds 33% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country.WEB,weblink Credit Suisse Publikationen, publications.credit-suisse.com, The United States ranks among the highest nations in several measures of socioeconomic performance, including human development, per capita GDP, and productivity per person,NEWS,weblink U.S. Workers World's Most Productive, CBS News, February 11, 2009, April 23, 2013, while experiencing a substantial amount of income and wealth inequality. The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending,WEB,weblink Trends in world military expenditure, 2013, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, April 2014, April 14, 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150104033821weblink">weblink January 4, 2015, mdy-all, and is a leading political, cultural, and scientific force internationally.(#Cohen|Cohen, 2004: History and the Hyperpower)(#BBC18may|BBC, April 2008: Country Profile: United States of America)WEB,weblink Geographical trends of research output, Research Trends, March 16, 2014, WEB,weblink The top 20 countries for scientific output, Open Access Week, March 16, 2014, WEB,weblink Granted patents, European Patent Office, March 16, 2014,

Etymology

{{See also|Naming of the Americas|Names for United States citizens|American (word)}}File:Amerigo Vespucci - Project Gutenberg etext 19997.jpg|thumb|upright=0.7|left|The Americas are named after Italian explorer Martone|2016|p=504}} 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 ().{{sfn|Sider|2007|p=226}} The first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq., George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army. Addressed to Lt. Col. Joseph Reed, Moylan expressed his wish to carry the "full and ample powers of the United States of America" to Spain to assist in the revolutionary war effort.DeLear, Byron (July 4, 2013) Who coined 'United States of America'? Mystery might have intriguing answer. "Historians have long tried to pinpoint exactly when the name 'United States of America' was first used and by whom... ...This latest find comes in a letter that Stephen Moylan, Esq., wrote to Col. Joseph Reed from the Continental Army Headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., during the Siege of Boston. The two men lived with Washington in Cambridge, with Reed serving as Washington's favorite military secretary and Moylan fulfilling the role during Reed's absence." Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA).Touba, Mariam (November 5, 2014) Who Coined the Phrase 'United States of America'? You May Never Guess "Here, on January 2, 1776, seven months before the Declaration of Independence and a week before the publication of Paine's Common Sense, Stephen Moylan, an acting secretary to General George Washington, spells it out, 'I should like vastly to go with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain' to seek foreign assistance for the cause." New-York Historical Society Museum & LibraryFay, John (July 15, 2016) The forgotten Irishman who named the 'United States of America' "According to the NY Historical Society, Stephen Moylan was the man responsible for the earliest documented use of the phrase "United States of America." But who was Stephen Moylan?" IrishCentral.com 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.JOURNAL, "To the inhabitants of Virginia," by A PLANTER. Dixon and Hunter's. April 6, 1776, Williamsburg, Virginia. Letter is also included in Peter Force's American Archives'',weblink 1287,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141219053616weblink">weblink December 19, 2014, 5, 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{{' "}}.{{sfn|Safire|2003|p=199}} 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{{' "}}.{{sfn|Mostert|2005|p=18}} 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.{{sfn|Safire|2003|p=199}} This draft of the document did not surface until June 21, 1776, and it is unclear whether it was written before or after Dickinson used the term in his June 17 draft of the Articles of Confederation.{{sfn|Safire|2003|p=199}}The short form "United States" is also standard. Other common forms are the "U.S.", the "USA", and "America". Colloquial names are the "U.S. of A." and, internationally, the "States". "Columbia", a name popular in poetry and songs of the late 18th century, derives its origin from Christopher Columbus; it appears in the name "District of Columbia".BOOK, Doug Brokenshire, Washington State Place Names,weblink 1996, Caxton Press, 978-0-87004-562-2, 49, The phrase "United States" was originally plural, a description of a collection of independent states—e.g., "the United States are"—including in the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1865.{{sfn|Greg|1892|p=276}} The singular form—e.g., "the United States is"—became popular after the end of the American Civil War. The singular form is now standard; the plural form is retained in the idiom "these United States". The difference is more significant than usage; it is a difference between a collection of states and a unit.G. H. Emerson, The Universalist Quarterly and General Review, Vol. 28 (Jan. 1891), p. 49, quoted in WEB,weblink Zimmer, Benjamin, November 24, 2005, Life in These, Uh, This United States, University of Pennsylvania, January 5, 2013, A citizen of the United States is an "American". "United States", "American" and "U.S." refer to the country adjectivally ("American values", "U.S. forces"). In English, the word "American" rarely refers to topics or subjects not directly connected with the United States.Wilson, Kenneth G. (1993). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 27–28. {{ISBN|0-231-06989-8}}.

History

Indigenous peoples and pre-Columbian history

{{Further|Native Americans in the United States}}{{multiple image|caption_align=center|total_width=350caption1=Monks Mound in Cahokia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest and most influential settlement in Mississippian culture. The concrete staircase follows the approximate course of ancient wooden stairs.caption2=The Cliff Palace, built by the Ancestral Puebloans, is the largest Native cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park.}}The first inhabitants of North America migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 15,000 years ago,WEB,weblink The first people who populated the Americas, though increasing evidence suggests an even earlier arrival.NEWS, Who was first? New info on North America's earliest residents,weblink Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles County, California, Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2012, Thomas H., Maugh II, February 25, 2015, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071128083459weblink">weblink November 28, 2007, HumanOrigins, What is the earliest evidence of the peopling of North and South America?, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, June 2004, June 19, 2007, WEB, Nicolas, Kudeba,weblink Chapter 1 â€“ The First Big Steppe â€“ Aboriginal Canadian History, The History of Canada Podcast, February 28, 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140301013552weblink">weblink March 1, 2014, no, JOURNAL, Guy Gugliotta, When Did Humans Come to the Americas?,weblink Smithsonian Magazine, February 2013, June 25, 2015, After crossing the land bridge, the first Americans moved southward, either along the Pacific coastJOURNAL, Fladmark, K.R., Routes: alternate migration corridors for early man in North America, American Antiquity, 44, 1, 55–69, 10.2307/279189, 279189, 1979, WEB, Smithsonian, Found: One of the Oldest North American Settlements,weblink Brigit, Katz, April 5, 2017, August 26, 2017, or through an interior ice-free corridor between the Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets.WEB,weblink The Ice-Free Corridor Revisited, Lisa, Pinsker, Geotimes, February 2004, The Clovis culture appeared around 11,000 BC, and it is considered to be an ancestor of most of the later indigenous cultures of the Americas.JOURNAL, Waters, Michael, Redefining the Age of Clovis: Implications for the Peopling of the Americas, Science, 2007, 315, 5815, 1122–1126, 10.1126/science.1137166, 17322060, etal, 2007Sci...315.1122W, While the Clovis culture was thought, throughout the late 20th century, to represent the first human settlement of the Americas,BOOK, Flannery, T., 2001, The Eternal Frontier: an ecological history of North America and its peoples, Grove Press, New York, 173–185, 978-0-8021-3888-0, in recent years consensus has changed in recognition of pre-Clovis cultures.BOOK, Waters, Michael, Michael R. Waters, Stafford, Tom,weblink Paleoamerican Odyssey, The First Americans: A Review of the Evidence for the Late-Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas,weblink Texas A&M University Press, August 18, 2014, 978-1-62349-192-5, November 21, 2015, Over time, indigenous cultures in North America grew increasingly complex, and some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture in the southeast, developed advanced agriculture, grand architecture, and state-level societies.BOOK, Craig Lockard, Societies, Networks, and Transitions, Volume B: From 600 to 1750,weblink 2010, University of Wisconsin, 978-1-111-79083-7, 315, From approximately 800 to 1600 ADWEB,weblink Adam, King, Mississippian Period: Overview, New Georgia Encyclopedia, 2002, the Mississippian culture flourished, and its largest city Cahokia is considered the largest, most complex pre-Columbian archaeological site in the modern-day United States.WEB,weblink America's Forgotten City, National Geographic Magazine, Glenn, Hodges, January 2011, August 26, 2017, While in the Four Corners region, Ancestral Puebloans culture developed.WEB, The Ancient Puebloans: How Do We Get Started?,weblink University of Northern Colorado,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100709073248weblink">weblink July 9, 2010, Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States are credited to the Pueblos: Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and Taos Pueblo. The earthworks constructed by Native Americans of the Poverty Point culture in northeastern Louisiana have also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.WEB,weblink A first for Louisiana: Poverty Point selected as World Heritage site, Greg Hilburn, The News-Star, Monroe News-Star, June 23, 2014, In the southern Great Lakes region, the Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee) was established at some point between the twelfthJOURNAL, Johansen, Bruce, 1995, Dating the Iroquois Confederacy, Akwesasne Notes New Series, 1, 3, 62–63,weblink December 12, 2008, and fifteenth centuries,BOOK,weblink The Iroquois, Dean R. Snow, Blackwell Publishers, Ltd., 1994, 978-1-55786-938-8, July 16, 2010, lasting until the end of the Revolutionary War.Richter, "Ordeals of the Longhouse", in Richter and Merrill, eds., Beyond the Covenant Chain, 11–12.The date of the first settlements of the Hawaiian Islands is a topic of continuing debate.BOOK, Charles E.M., Pearce, F. M., Pearce, Oceanic Migration: Paths, Sequence, Timing and Range of Prehistoric Migration in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, {{google books, y, rhQxc4GW8soC, 167, |date=June 17, 2010 |publisher=Springer Science & Business Media| isbn=978-90-481-3826-5 |page=167}} Archaeological evidence seems to indicate a settlement as early as 124 AD.BOOK, Elvi W., Whittaker, The Mainland Haole: The White Experience in Hawaii, {{google books, y, JNM-A-QJ_o4C, 3, |date=January 1986|publisher=Columbia University Press|isbn=978-0-231-05316-7|page=3}} During his third and final voyage, Captain James Cook became the first European to begin formal contact with Hawaii.BOOK, Shirley, Fish, The Manila-Acapulco Galleons : The Treasure Ships of the Pacific: With An Annotated List of the Transpacific Galleons 1565–1815,weblink 2011, AuthorHouse, 978-1-4567-7543-8, 360–, After his initial landfall in January 1778 at Waimea harbor, Kauai, Cook named the archipelago the "Sandwich Islands" after the fourth Earl of Sandwich—the acting First Lord of the Admiralty of the British Royal Navy.BOOK, Collingridge, Vanessa, Vanessa Collingridge, Captain Cook: The Life, Death and Legacy of History's Greatest Explorer, 2003, Ebury Press, 380, 978-0-09-188898-5,

European settlements

{{further|Colonial history of the United States|European colonization of the Americas|Thirteen Colonies}}File:View of St. Augustine FL at intersection of Cathedral Pl and Charlotte St 20160707 1.jpg|thumb|Saint Augustine, FloridaSaint Augustine, FloridaFile:The Mayflower Compact 1620 cph.3g07155.jpg|thumb|The Mayflower Compact, 1620 by Jean Leon Gerome FerrisJean Leon Gerome FerrisAfter Spain sent Columbus on his first voyage to the New World in 1492, other explorers followed. The first Europeans to arrive in the territory of the modern United States were Spanish conquistadors such as Juan Ponce de León, who made his first visit to Florida in 1513; however, if unincorporated territories are accounted for, then credit would go to Christopher Columbus who landed in Puerto Rico on his 1493 voyage. The Spanish set up the first settlements in Florida and New Mexico such as Saint AugustineWEB, St. Augustine Florida, The Nation's Oldest City,weblink staugustine.com, en, and Santa Fe. The French established their own as well along the Mississippi River. Successful English settlement on the eastern coast of North America began with the Virginia Colony in 1607 at Jamestown and the Pilgrims' Plymouth Colony in 1620. Many settlers were dissenting Christian groups who came seeking religious freedom. The continent's first elected legislative assembly, Virginia's House of Burgesses created in 1619, the Mayflower Compact, signed by the Pilgrims before disembarking, and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, established precedents for the pattern of representative self-government and constitutionalism that would develop throughout the American colonies.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Remini|2007|pp=2–3}}{{Harvard citation no brackets|Johnson|1997|pp=26–30}}Most settlers in every colony were small farmers, but other industries developed within a few decades as varied as the settlements. Cash crops included tobacco, rice, and wheat. Extraction industries grew up in furs, fishing and lumber. Manufacturers produced rum and ships, and by the late colonial period, Americans were producing one-seventh of the world's iron supply.Walton, 2009, chapter 3 Cities eventually dotted the coast to support local economies and serve as trade hubs. English colonists were supplemented by waves of Scotch-Irish and other groups. As coastal land grew more expensive, freed indentured servants pushed further west.Lemon, 1987A large-scale slave trade with English privateers was begun.JOURNAL, Jackson, L. P., Elizabethan Seamen and the African Slave Trade, The Journal of Negro History, 9, 1, 1924, 1–17, 2713432, The life expectancy of slaves was much higher in North America than further south, because of less disease and better food and treatment, leading to a rapid increase in the numbers of slaves.Tadman, 2000, p. 1534Schneider, 2007, p. 484 Colonial society was largely divided over the religious and moral implications of slavery, and colonies passed acts for and against the practice.Lien, 1913, p. 522Davis, 1996, p. 7 But by the turn of the 18th century, African slaves were replacing indentured servants for cash crop labor, especially in southern regions.Quirk, 2011, p. 195With the British colonization of Georgia in 1732, the 13 colonies that would become the United States of America were established.BOOK, Bilhartz, Terry D., Elliott, Alan C., Currents in American History: A Brief History of the United States,weblink 2007, M.E. Sharpe, 978-0-7656-1817-7, All had local governments with elections open to most free men, with a growing devotion to the ancient rights of Englishmen and a sense of self-government stimulating support for republicanism.BOOK, Wood, Gordon S., The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787,weblink 1998, UNC Press Books, 978-0-8078-4723-7, 263, With extremely high birth rates, low death rates, and steady settlement, the colonial population grew rapidly. Relatively small Native American populations were eclipsed.Walton, 2009, pp. 38–39 The Christian revivalist movement of the 1730s and 1740s known as the Great Awakening fueled interest in both religion and religious liberty.Foner, Eric. The Story of American Freedom, 1998 {{ISBN|0-393-04665-6}} p.4-5.File:North America 1748.PNG|thumb|200px|The Thirteen ColoniesThirteen ColoniesDuring the Seven Years' War (in the United States, known as the French and Indian War), British forces seized Canada from the French, but the francophone population remained politically isolated from the southern colonies. Excluding the Native Americans, who were being conquered and displaced, the 13 British colonies had a population of over 2.1 million in 1770, about one-third that of Britain. Despite continuing new arrivals, the rate of natural increase was such that by the 1770s only a small minority of Americans had been born overseas.Walton, 2009, p. 35 The colonies' distance from Britain had allowed the development of self-government, but their success motivated monarchs to periodically seek to reassert royal authority.WEB,weblink The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved, Online Library of Liberty, Otis, James, 1763, January 10, 2015, In 1774, the Spanish Navy ship Santiago, under Juan Pérez, entered and anchored in an inlet of Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island, in present-day British Columbia. Although the Spanish did not land, natives paddled to the ship to trade furs for abalone shells from California.BOOK, Pethick, Derek, The Nootka Connection: Europe and the Northwest Coast 1790–1795, 1980, Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, 978-0-88894-279-1, 8–9, At the time, the Spanish were able to monopolize the trade between Asia and North America, granting limited licenses to the Portuguese. When the Russians began establishing a growing fur trading system in Alaska, the Spanish began to challenge the Russians, with Pérez's voyage being the first of many to the Pacific Northwest.BOOK, Pethick, Derek, The Nootka Connection: Europe and the Northwest Coast 1790–1795, 1980, Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, 978-0-88894-279-1, 7–8, {{efn|Spain sent several expeditions to Alaska to assert its long-held claim over the Pacific Northwest, which dated back to the 16th century. During the decade 1785–1795 British merchants, encouraged by Sir Joseph Banks and supported by their government, made a sustained attempt to develop this trade despite Spain's claims and navigation rights. The endeavors of these merchants did not last long in the face of Spain's opposition. The challenge was also opposed by a Japan holding obdurately to national seclusion.Robert J. King, "'The long wish'd for object' — Opening the trade to Japan, 1785–1795", The Northern Mariner / le marin du nord, vol.XX, no.1, January 2010, pp.1–35.}}After having arrived in the Hawaiian islands in 1778, Captain Cook sailed north and then northeast to explore the west coast of North America north of the Spanish settlements in Alta California. He made landfall on the Oregon coast at approximately 44°30′ north latitude, naming his landing point Cape Foulweather. Bad weather forced his ships south to about 43° north before they could begin their exploration of the coast northward.BOOK, Hayes, Derek, Historical Atlas of the Pacific Northwest: Maps of exploration and Discovery, 1999, Sasquatch Books, 42–43, 978-1-57061-215-2,weblink In March 1778, Cook landed on Bligh Island and named the inlet "King George's Sound". He recorded that the native name was Nutka or Nootka, apparently misunderstanding his conversations at Friendly Cove/Yuquot; his informant may have been explaining that he was on an island (itchme nutka, a place you can "go around"). There may also have been confusion with Nuu-chah-nulth, the natives' autonym (a name for themselves). It may also have simply been based on Cook's mispronunciation of Yuquot, the native name of the place.Alexander von Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, translated by John Black, Vol. 2, London, Longman, 1822, translator's note, p.322.

Effects on and interaction with native populations

{{Further|American Indian Wars|Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas|James Cook}}File:Zoffany Death of Captain Cook.jpg|upright=0.9|thumb|Death of Captain Cook by Johann ZoffanyJohann ZoffanyWith the progress of European colonization in the territories of the contemporary United States, the Native Americans were often conquered and displaced.BOOK, Paul Joseph, The SAGE Encyclopedia of War: Social Science Perspectives,weblink October 11, 2016, SAGE Publications, 978-1-4833-5988-5, 590, The native population of America declined after Europeans arrived, and for various reasons, primarily diseases such as smallpox and measles. Violence was not a significant factor in the overall decline among Native Americans, though conflict among themselves and with Europeans affected specific tribes and various colonial settlements."The Cambridge encyclopedia of human paleopathology {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160208032805weblink |date=February 8, 2016}}". Arthur C. Aufderheide, Conrado Rodríguez-Martín, Odin Langsjoen (1998). Cambridge University Press. p. 205. {{ISBN|0-521-55203-6}}Bianchine, Russo, 1992 pp. 225–232{{Harvard citation no brackets|Thornton|1987|p=47}}Kessel, 2005 pp. 142–143Mercer Country Historical Society, 2005Stannard, 1993In the early days of colonization, many European settlers were subject to food shortages, disease, and attacks from Native Americans. Native Americans were also often at war with neighboring tribes and allied with Europeans in their colonial wars. At the same time, however, many natives and settlers came to depend on each other. Settlers traded for food and animal pelts, natives for guns, ammunition and other European wares.Ripper, 2008 p. 6 Natives taught many settlers where, when and how to cultivate corn, beans, and squash. European missionaries and others felt it was important to "civilize" the Native Americans and urged them to adopt European agricultural techniques and lifestyles.Ripper, 2008 p. 5Calloway, 1998, p. 55Captain James Cook's last voyage included sailing along the coast of North America and Alaska searching for a Northwest Passage for approximately nine months. He returned to Hawaii to resupply, initially exploring the coasts of Maui and the big island, trading with locals and then making anchor at Kealakekua Bay in January 1779. When his ships and company left the islands, a ship's mast broke in bad weather, forcing them to return in mid-February. Cook would be killed days later.BOOK, Jeff Campbell, Hawaii,weblink September 15, 2010, Lonely Planet, 978-1-74220-344-7, 38, {{efn|His previous arrival coincided with the Makahiki,BOOK, Ruth M. Tabrah, Hawaii: A History,weblink December 17, 1984, W. W. Norton, 978-0-393-24369-7, 19–22, a festival celebrating the Hawaiian deity Lono.BOOK, Marshall Sahlins, How "Natives" Think: About Captain Cook, For Example,weblink October 1, 1996, University of Chicago Press, 978-0-226-73369-2, 3–, After {{HMS|Resolution|1771|6}} and {{HMS|Discovery|1774|6}} had left the islands, the season for battle and war had begun under the worship and rituals for Kūkaʻilimoku, the Hawaiian deity of war.BOOK, Melissa Meyer, Thicker Than Water: The Origins of Blood as Symbol and Ritual: The Origins of Blood as Symbol and Ritual,weblink February 4, 2014, Routledge, 978-1-135-34200-5, 184, }}{{efn|On the evening of February 13, while anchored in Kealakekua Bay after their return, one of only two long boats was stolen.BOOK, Jerry D. Moore, Visions of Culture: An Introduction to Anthropological Theories and Theorists,weblink May 24, 2012, Rowman Altamira, 978-0-7591-2219-2, 336, The Hawaiians had begun to openly challenge the foreigners. In retaliation, Cook tried to take the aliʻi nui of the island of Hawaii, Kalaniʻōpuʻu as ransom for the boats.BOOK, James Cook, The Explorations of Captain James Cook in the Pacific, as Told by Selections of His Own Journals, 1768–1779,weblink 1971, Courier Corporation, 978-0-486-22766-5, 256, The following morning of February 14, 1779BOOK, Book Notes: A Monthly Literary Magazine and Review of New Books,weblink 1901, Siegel-Cooper, 54, Cook and his men went directly to Kalaniʻōpuʻu's enclosure where the monarch was still sleeping.BOOK, Daniel O'Sullivan, In Search of Captain Cook: Exploring the Man Through His Own Words,weblink March 30, 2008, I.B.Tauris, 978-0-85771-350-6, 224, One of ruler's wives, Kānekapōlei pleaded with them to stop.BOOK, John H. Chambers, Hawaii,weblink 2006, Interlink Books, 978-1-56656-615-5, 55, Cook's men and the Marines were confronted on the beach by thousands of Native Hawaiians.BOOK, Stephen R. Bown, Madness, Betrayal and the Lash: The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver,weblink 2008, Douglas & McIntyre, 978-1-55365-339-4, 30, Cook tried to move the elderly man but he refused. As the townspeople began to surrounding them, Cook and his men raised their guns. Two chiefs and the monarch's wife shielded Kalaniʻōpuʻu as Cook tried to force him to his feet.BOOK, Richard Tregaskis, The warrior king: Hawaii's Kamehameha the Great,weblink November 1973, Macmillan, 115, The crowd became hostile and Kanaʻina (one of the monarch's attendants) approached Cook, who reacted by striking him with the broad side of his sword. Kanaʻina instantly grabbed Cook and lifted him off his feet.BOOK, Glyndwr Williams, The Death of Captain Cook: A Hero Made and Unmade,weblink 2008, Harvard University Press, 978-0-674-03194-4, 37, Kanaʻina released Cook, who fell to the ground as another attendant, Nuaa fatally stabbed Cook to death.BOOK, John Meares, Hawaiian Historical Society. Reprints (1787, 1788 and 1789),weblink 1791, 76, }}

Independence and expansion (1776–1865)

{{further|American Revolutionary War|United States Declaration of Independence|American Revolution|Territorial evolution of the United States}}File:Declaration independence.jpg|thumb|Declaration of Independence by John TrumbullJohn TrumbullThe American Revolutionary War was the first successful colonial war of independence against a European power. Americans had developed an ideology of "republicanism" asserting that government rested on the will of the people as expressed in their local legislatures. They demanded their rights as Englishmen and "no taxation without representation". The British insisted on administering the empire through Parliament, and the conflict escalated into war.BOOK, Humphrey, Carol Sue, The Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 To 1800,weblink 2003, Greenwood Publishing, 978-0-313-32083-5, 8–10, The Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, which recognized, in a long preamble, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights and that those rights were not being protected by Great Britain, and declared, in the words of the resolution, that the thirteen United Colonies formed an independent nation and had no further allegiance to the British crown. The fourth day of July is celebrated annually as Independence Day. The Second Continental Congress declared on September 9 "where, heretofore, the words 'United Colonies' have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the 'United States' ".{{sfn|Samuel|1920|p=323-324}} In 1777, the Articles of Confederation established a weak government that operated until 1789.BOOK, Fabian Young, Alfred, Nash, Gary B., Raphael, Ray, Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation,weblink 2011, Random House Digital, 978-0-307-27110-5, 4–7, File:U.S. Territorial Acquisitions.png|thumb|left|U.S. territorial acquisitionsportions of each territory were granted statehood since the 18th century.]]Britain recognized the independence of the United States following their defeat at Yorktown in 1781.Greene and Pole, A Companion to the American Revolution p 357. Jonathan R. Dull, A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution (1987) p. 161. Lawrence S. Kaplan, "The Treaty of Paris, 1783: A Historiographical Challenge", International History Review, Sept 1983, Vol. 5 Issue 3, pp 431–442 In the peace treaty of 1783, American sovereignty was recognized from the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi River. Nationalists led the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in writing the United States Constitution, ratified in state conventions in 1788. The federal government was reorganized into three branches, on the principle of creating salutary checks and balances, in 1789. George Washington, who had led the revolutionary army to victory, was the first president elected under the new constitution. The Bill of Rights, forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in 1791.Boyer, 2007, pp. 192–193Although the federal government criminalized the international slave trade in 1808, after 1820, cultivation of the highly profitable cotton crop exploded in the Deep South, and along with it, the slave population.BOOK, Cogliano, Francis D., Thomas Jefferson: Reputation and Legacy,weblink 2008, University of Virginia Press, 978-0-8139-2733-6, 219, Walton, 2009, p. 43Gordon, 2004, pp. 27,29 The Second Great Awakening, especially 1800–1840, converted millions to evangelical Protestantism. In the North, it energized multiple social reform movements, including abolitionism;BOOK, Clark, Mary Ann, Then We'll Sing a New Song: African Influences on America's Religious Landscape,weblink May 2012, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-1-4422-0881-0, 47, in the South, Methodists and Baptists proselytized among slave populations.Heinemann, Ronald L., et al., Old Dominion, New Commonwealth: a history of Virginia 1607–2007, 2007 {{ISBN|978-0-8139-2609-4}}, p.197(File:United States Central map 1834-06-28 to 1836-06-15.png|thumb|Map of the states and territories of the United States, c. 1834)Americans' eagerness to expand westward prompted a long series of American Indian Wars.BOOK, Billington, Ray Allen, Ridge, Martin, Martin Ridge (historian), Westward Expansion: A History of the American Frontier,weblink 2001, UNM Press, 978-0-8263-1981-4, 22, The Louisiana Purchase of French-claimed territory in 1803 almost doubled the nation's area.WEB, Louisiana Purchase, National Park Services,weblink March 1, 2011, The War of 1812, declared against Britain over various grievances and fought to a draw, strengthened U.S. nationalism.BOOK, Wait, Eugene M., America and the War of 1812,weblink 1999, Nova Publishers, 978-1-56072-644-9, 78, A series of military incursions into Florida led Spain to cede it and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819.BOOK, Klose, Nelson, Jones, Robert F., United States History to 1877,weblink 1994, Barron's Educational Series, 978-0-8120-1834-9, 150, The expansion was aided by steam power, when steamboats began traveling along America's large water systems, which were connected by new canals, such as the Erie and the I&M; then, even faster railroads began their stretch across the nation's land.Winchester, pp. 198, 216, 251, 253From 1820 to 1850, Jacksonian democracy began a set of reforms which included wider white male suffrage; it led to the rise of the Second Party System of Democrats and Whigs as the dominant parties from 1828 to 1854. The Trail of Tears in the 1830s exemplified the Indian removal policy that resettled Indians into the west on Indian reservations. The U.S. annexed the Republic of Texas in 1845 during a period of expansionist Manifest destiny.BOOK, Morrison, Michael A., Slavery and the American West: The Eclipse of Manifest Destiny and the Coming of the Civil War,weblink 1999, University of North Carolina Press, 978-0-8078-4796-1, 13–21, The 1846 Oregon Treaty with Britain led to U.S. control of the present-day American Northwest.BOOK, Kemp, Roger L., Documents of American Democracy: A Collection of Essential Works,weblink 2010, McFarland & Company, McFarland, 978-0-7864-4210-2, 180, October 25, 2015, Victory in the Mexican–American War resulted in the 1848 Mexican Cession of California and much of the present-day American Southwest.BOOK, McIlwraith, Thomas F., Muller, Edward K., North America: The Historical Geography of a Changing Continent,weblink 2001, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-0-7425-0019-8, 61, October 25, 2015, File:American bison in Yellowstone National Park.jpg|thumb|The national mammal, an American bison in Yellowstone National ParkYellowstone National ParkThe California Gold Rush of 1848–49 spurred western migration and the creation of additional western states.BOOK, Rawls, James J., A Golden State: Mining and Economic Development in Gold Rush California,weblink 1999, University of California Press, 978-0-520-21771-3, 20, After the American Civil War, new transcontinental railways made relocation easier for settlers, expanded internal trade and increased conflicts with Native Americans.BOOK, Black, Jeremy, Jeremy Black (historian), Fighting for America: The Struggle for Mastery in North America, 1519–1871,weblink 2011, Indiana University Press, 978-0-253-35660-4, 275, Over a half-century, the loss of the American bison (sometimes called "buffalo") was an existential blow to many Plains Indians cultures.BOOK, Wishart, David J., Encyclopedia of the Great Plains,weblink 2004, University of Nebraska Press, 978-0-8032-4787-1, 37, In 1869, a new Peace Policy nominally promised to protect Native-Americans from abuses, avoid further war, and secure their eventual U.S. citizenship. Nonetheless, conflicts and state-sanctioned murder, including the California Genocide, continued throughout the West into the 1900s.Madley, Benjamin (2016). An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873. Yale University Press. {{ISBN|9780300230697}}."California Indians, Genocide of" in Encyclopedia of American Indian History edited by Bruce E. Johansen, Barry M. Pritzk (ABC-CLIO, 2007), p. 226-231BOOK,weblink Murder State: California's Native American Genocide, 1846-1873, Lindsay, Brendan C., June 6, 2012, U of Nebraska Press, 080324021X, en, WEB,weblink Revealing the history of genocide against California’s Native Americans, Wolf, Jessica, UCLA Newsroom, en, July 8, 2018,

Civil War and Reconstruction era

{{further|American Civil War|Reconstruction era}}File:Thure de Thulstrup - L. Prang and Co. - Battle of Gettysburg - Restoration by Adam Cuerden (cropped).jpg|thumb|The Battle of Gettysburg by Thure de ThulstrupThure de ThulstrupDifferences of opinion regarding the slavery of Africans and African Americans ultimately led to the American Civil War.BOOK, Stuart Murray, Atlas of American Military History,weblink 2004, Infobase Publishing, 978-1-4381-3025-5, 76, October 25, 2015, BOOK, Harold T. Lewis, Christian Social Witness,weblink January 1, 2001, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-1-56101-188-9, 53, Initially, states entering the Union had alternated between slave and free states, keeping a sectional balance in the Senate, while free states outstripped slave states in population and in the House of Representatives. But with additional western territory and more free-soil states, tensions between slave and free states mounted with arguments over federalism and disposition of the territories, whether and how to expand or restrict slavery.BOOK, Patrick Karl O'Brien, Atlas of World History,weblink 2002, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-521921-0, 184, October 25, 2015, This led to Missouri's controversial denouncement of the issue, as well as the formation of many short-lived territories such as the State of Scott, a county that left Tennessee to stay anti-slavery.WEB, The free and independent state of Scott (TN history),weblink Because I Can, May 23, 2012, {{Unreliable source?|date=September 2018}}With the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln, the first president from the largely anti-slavery Republican Party, conventions in thirteen slave states ultimately declared secession and formed the Confederate States of America (the "South"), while the federal government (the "Union") maintained that secession was illegal. In order to bring about this secession, military action was initiated by the secessionists, and the Union responded in kind. The ensuing war would become the deadliest military conflict in American history, resulting in the deaths of approximately 618,000 soldiers as well as many civilians.BOOK, Vinovskis, Maris, 1990, Toward A Social History of the American Civil War: Exploratory Essays, 4, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge; New York, 978-0-521-39559-5, The South fought for the freedom to own slaves, while the Union at first simply fought to maintain the country as one united whole. Nevertheless, as casualties mounted after 1863 and Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation, the main purpose of the war from the Union's viewpoint became the abolition of slavery. Indeed, when the Union ultimately won the war in April 1865, each of the states in the defeated South was required to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibited slavery.Three amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution in the years after the war: the aforementioned Thirteenth as well as the Fourteenth Amendment providing citizenship to the nearly four million African Americans who had been slaves,WEB,weblink 1860 Census, U.S. Census Bureau, June 10, 2007, Page 7 lists a total slave population of 3,953,760. and the Fifteenth Amendment ensuring in theory that African Americans had the right to vote. The war and its resolution led to a substantial increase in federal powerDe Rosa, Marshall L. (1997). The Politics of Dissolution: The Quest for a National Identity and the American Civil War. Edison, NJ: Transaction. p. 266. {{ISBN|1-56000-349-9}}. aimed at reintegrating and rebuilding the South while guaranteeing the rights of the newly freed slaves.Reconstruction began in earnest following the war. While President Lincoln attempted to foster friendship and forgiveness between the Union and the former Confederacy, an assassin's bullet on April 14, 1865, drove a wedge between North and South again. Republicans in the federal government made it their goal to oversee the rebuilding of the South and to ensure the rights of African Americans. They persisted until the Compromise of 1877 when the Republicans agreed to cease protecting the rights of African Americans in the South in order for Democrats to concede the presidential election of 1876.Southern white Democrats, calling themselves "Redeemers", took control of the South after the end of Reconstruction. From 1890 to 1910, so-called Jim Crow laws disenfranchised most blacks and some poor whites throughout the region. Blacks faced racial segregation, especially in the South.BOOK, Shearer Davis Bowman, Masters and Lords: Mid-19th-Century U.S. Planters and Prussian Junkers,weblink 1993, Oxford UP, 221, 978-0-19-536394-4, They also occasionally experienced vigilante violence, including lynching.BOOK, Jason E. Pierce, Making the White Man's West: Whiteness and the Creation of the American West,weblink 2016, University Press of Colorado, 256, 978-1-60732-396-9,

Further immigration, expansion, and industrialization

File:Ellis island 1902.jpg|thumb|Ellis Island, in New York City, was a major gateway for European (Immigration to the United States|immigration]]BOOK, Marie Price, Lisa Benton-Short, Migrants to the Metropolis: The Rise of Immigrant Gateway Cities,weblink 2008, Syracuse University Press, 978-0-8156-3186-6, 51, )File:Liberty-statue-from-below.jpg|thumb|right|The Statue of Liberty in New York CityNew York CityIn the North, urbanization and an unprecedented influx of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe supplied a surplus of labor for the country's industrialization and transformed its culture.BOOK, John Powell, Encyclopedia of North American Immigration,weblink 2009, Infobase Publishing, 978-1-4381-1012-7, 74, October 25, 2015, National infrastructure including telegraph and transcontinental railroads spurred economic growth and greater settlement and development of the American Old West. The later invention of electric light and the telephone would also affect communication and urban life.Winchester, pp. 351, 385The end of the Indian Wars further expanded acreage under mechanical cultivation, increasing surpluses for international markets.WEB, Toward a Market Economy,weblink CliffsNotes, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, December 23, 2014, Mainland expansion was completed by the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.WEB, Purchase of Alaska, 1867,weblink U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, December 23, 2014, In 1893, pro-American elements in Hawaii overthrew the monarchy and formed the Republic of Hawaii, which the U.S. annexed in 1898. Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines were ceded by Spain in the same year, following the Spanish–American War.WEB, The Spanish–American War, 1898,weblink U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, December 24, 2014, American Samoa was acquired by the United States in 1900 after the end of the Second Samoan Civil War.Ryden, George Herbert. The Foreign Policy of the United States in Relation to Samoa. New York: Octagon Books, 1975. The United States purchased the U.S. Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917.WEB, Virgin Islands History,weblink Vinow.com, January 5, 2018, Rapid economic development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries fostered the rise of many prominent industrialists. Tycoons like Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie led the nation's progress in railroad, petroleum, and steel industries. Banking became a major part of the economy, with J. P. Morgan playing a notable role. Edison and Tesla undertook the widespread distribution of electricity to industry, homes, and for street lighting. Henry Ford revolutionized the automotive industry. The American economy boomed, becoming the world's largest, and the United States achieved great power status.BOOK, Kirkland, Edward, Industry Comes of Age: Business, Labor, and Public Policy, 400–405, 1961, These dramatic changes were accompanied by social unrest and the rise of populist, socialist, and anarchist movements.Zinn, 2005, pp. 321–357 This period eventually ended with the advent of the Progressive Era, which saw significant reforms in many societal areas, including women's suffrage, alcohol prohibition, regulation of consumer goods, greater antitrust measures to ensure competition and attention to worker conditions.Paige Meltzer, "The Pulse and Conscience of America" The General Federation and Women's Citizenship, 1945–1960," Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies (2009), Vol. 30 Issue 3, pp. 52–76.James Timberlake, Prohibition and the Progressive Movement, 1900–1920 (Harvard UP, 1963)George B. Tindall, "Business Progressivism: Southern Politics in the Twenties," South Atlantic Quarterly 62 (Winter 1963): 92–106.

World War I, Great Depression, and World War II

{{further|World War I|Great Depression|World War II}}File:Crowd outside nyse.jpg|thumb|Crowd gathering on Wall StreetWall StreetThe United States remained neutral from the outbreak of World War I, in 1914, until 1917 when it joined the war as an "associated power", alongside the formal Allies of World War I, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson took a leading diplomatic role at the Paris Peace Conference and advocated strongly for the U.S. to join the League of Nations. However, the Senate refused to approve this and did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles that established the League of Nations.McDuffie, Jerome; Piggrem, Gary Wayne; Woodworth, Steven E. (2005). U.S. History Super Review. Piscataway, NJ: Research & Education Association. p. 418. {{ISBN|0-7386-0070-9}}.In 1920, the women's rights movement won passage of a constitutional amendment granting women's suffrage.BOOK, Voris, Jacqueline Van, Carrie Chapman Catt: A Public Life, Women and Peace Series, 1996, Feminist Press at CUNY, New York City, 978-1-55861-139-9, vii, Carrie Chapmann Catt led an army of voteless women in 1919 to pressure Congress to pass the constitutional amendment giving them the right to vote and convinced state legislatures to ratify it in 1920. ... Catt was one of the best-known women in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century and was on all lists of famous American women., The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of radio for mass communication and the invention of early television.Winchester pp. 410–411 The prosperity of the Roaring Twenties ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression. After his election as president in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt responded with the New Deal, which included the establishment of the Social Security system.BOOK, Social Welfare: A History of the American Response to Need, June, Axinn, Mark J., Stern, 978-0-205-52215-6, 7th, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, 2007, The Great Migration of millions of African Americans out of the American South began before World War I and extended through the 1960s;BOOK, Lemann, Nicholas, The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America, 6, 1991, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 978-0-394-56004-5, whereas the Dust Bowl of the mid-1930s impoverished many farming communities and spurred a new wave of western migration.BOOK, James Noble Gregory, American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California,weblink 1991, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-507136-8, October 25, 2015, WEB,weblink Mass Exodus From the Plains, 2013, American Experience, WGBH Educational Foundation, October 5, 2014, WEB,weblink The Migrant Experience, Fanslow, Robin A., April 6, 1998, American Folklore Center, Library of Congress, October 5, 2014, BOOK, Walter J. Stein, California and the Dust Bowl Migration,weblink 1973, Greenwood Press, 978-0-8371-6267-6, October 25, 2015, At first effectively neutral during World War II while Germany conquered much of continental Europe, the United States began supplying material to the Allies in March 1941 through the Lend-Lease program. On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, prompting the United States to join the Allies against the Axis powers.WEB, Yamasaki, Mitch, Pearl Harbor and America's Entry into World War II: A Documentary History,weblink World War II Internment in Hawaii, January 14, 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141213122046weblink">weblink December 13, 2014, During the war, the United States was referred as one of the "Four Policemen"WEB,weblink The Four Policemen and. Postwar Planning, 1943–1945: The Collision of Realist and. Idealist Perspectives, Kelly, Brian, June 21, 2014, of Allies power who met to plan the postwar world, along with Britain, the Soviet Union and China.{{sfn|Hoopes|Brinkley|1997|p=100}}{{sfn|Gaddis|1972|p=25}} Although the nation lost more than 400,000 soldiers,WEB,weblink American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics, Congressional Research Service, Leland, Anne, Oboroceanu, Mari–Jana, February 26, 2010, February 18, 2011, p. 2. it emerged relatively undamaged from the war with even greater economic and military influence.Kennedy, Paul (1989). The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. New York: Vintage. p. 358. {{ISBN|0-679-72019-7}}File:Trinity Detonation T&B.jpg|thumb|upright|220px|The Trinity test of the Manhattan Project was the first detonation of a nuclear weapon, which lead Oppenheimer to recall verses from the Hindu scripture (Bhagavad Gita]], notably being: "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds".)The United States played a leading role in the Bretton Woods and Yalta conferences with the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and other Allies, which signed agreements on new international financial institutions and Europe's postwar reorganization. As an Allied victory was won in Europe, a 1945 international conference held in San Francisco produced the United Nations Charter, which became active after the war.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070612221444weblink">weblink June 12, 2007, The United States and the Founding of the United Nations, August 1941 â€“ October 1945, October 2005, June 11, 2007, U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian, The United States developed the first nuclear weapons and used them on Japan in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; causing the Japanese to surrender on September 2, ending World War II.NEWS,weblink Why did Japan surrender in World War II? {{!, The Japan Times|newspaper=The Japan Times|access-date=February 8, 2017|language=en-US}}Pacific War Research Society (2006). Japan's Longest Day. New York: Oxford University Press. {{ISBN|4-7700-2887-3}}. Parades and celebrations followed in what is known as Victory Day, or V-J Day.WEB,weblink The National WWII Museum {{!, New Orleans: Learn: For Students: WWII at a Glance: Remembering V-J Day|website=www.nationalww2museum.org|access-date=February 8, 2017}}

Cold War and civil rights era

{{Further|Cold War|Civil Rights Movement|War on Poverty|Space Race|Reaganomics}}File:Martin Luther King Jr St Paul Campus U MN.jpg|thumb|Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking to an anti-Vietnam War rally at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul on April 27, 1967]]File:Reagan and Gorbachev hold discussions.jpg|thumb|U.S. President Ronald Reagan (left) and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, meeting in Geneva in 1985]]After World War II the United States and the Soviet Union jockeyed for power during what became known as the Cold War, driven by an ideological divide between capitalism and communismBOOK, Wagg, Stephen, Andrews, David, East Plays West: Sport and the Cold War,weblink September 10, 2012, Routledge, 978-1-134-24167-5, 11, and, according to the school of geopolitics, a divide between the maritime Atlantic and the continental Eurasian camps. They dominated the military affairs of Europe, with the U.S. and its NATO allies on one side and the USSR and its Warsaw Pact allies on the other. The U.S. developed a policy of containment towards the expansion of communist influence. While the U.S. and Soviet Union engaged in proxy wars and developed powerful nuclear arsenals, the two countries avoided direct military conflict.The United States often opposed Third World movements that it viewed as Soviet-sponsored, and occasionally pursued direct action for regime change against left-wing governments.Blakeley, 2009, p. 92 American troops fought communist Chinese and North Korean forces in the Korean War of 1950–53. The Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the first artificial satellite and its 1961 launch of the first manned spaceflight initiated a "Space Race" in which the United States became the first nation to land a man on the moon in 1969.BOOK, Collins, Michael, Michael Collins (astronaut), Liftoff: The Story of America's Adventure in Space, New York, Grove Press, 1988, A proxy war in Southeast Asia eventually evolved into full American participation, as the Vietnam War.At home, the U.S. experienced sustained economic expansion and a rapid growth of its population and middle class. Construction of an Interstate Highway System transformed the nation's infrastructure over the following decades. Millions moved from farms and inner cities to large suburban housing developments.Winchester, pp. 305–308WEB, Blas, Elisheva, The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways,weblink societyforhistoryeducation.org, Society for History Education, January 19, 2015, In 1959 Hawaii became the 50th and last U.S. state added to the country.BOOK, Richard Lightner, Hawaiian History: An Annotated Bibliography,weblink January 1, 2004, Greenwood Publishing Group, 978-0-313-28233-1, 141, The growing Civil Rights Movement used nonviolence to confront segregation and discrimination, with Martin Luther King Jr. becoming a prominent leader and figurehead. A combination of court decisions and legislation, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1968, sought to end racial discrimination.BOOK, Dallek, Robert, 2004, Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President, 169, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-515920-2, WEB,weblink Our Documents â€“ Civil Rights Act (1964), United States Department of Justice, July 28, 2010, WEB,weblink Remarks at the Signing of the Immigration Bill, Liberty Island, New York, October 3, 1965, January 1, 2012, yes,weblink May 16, 2016, mdy-all, Meanwhile, a counterculture movement grew which was fueled by opposition to the Vietnam war, black nationalism, and the sexual revolution.The launch of a "War on Poverty" expanded entitlements and welfare spending, including the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, two programs that provide health coverage to the elderly and poor, respectively, and the means-tested Food Stamp Program and Aid to Families with Dependent Children.WEB,weblink Social Security, ssa.gov, October 25, 2015, The 1970s and early 1980s saw the onset of stagflation. After his election in 1980, President Ronald Reagan responded to economic stagnation with free-market oriented reforms. Following the collapse of détente, he abandoned "containment" and initiated the more aggressive "rollback" strategy towards the USSR.Soss, 2010, p. 277Fraser, 1989Ferguson, 1986, pp. 43–53Williams, pp. 325–331BOOK, Niskanen, William A., Reaganomics: an insider's account of the policies and the people,weblink 1988, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-505394-4, 363, October 25, 2015, After a surge in female labor participation over the previous decade, by 1985 the majority of women aged 16 and over were employed.WEB, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook,weblink U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 21, 2014, 11, 2013, The late 1980s brought a "thaw" in relations with the USSR, and its collapse in 1991 finally ended the Cold War.BOOK, Howell, Buddy Wayne, The Rhetoric of Presidential Summit Diplomacy: Ronald Reagan and the U.S.-Soviet Summits, 1985–1988,weblink 2006, Texas A&M University, 978-0-549-41658-6, 352, October 25, 2015, BOOK, Kissinger, Henry, Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy,weblink 2011, Simon & Schuster, 978-1-4391-2631-8, 781–784, October 25, 2015, BOOK, Mann, James, The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War,weblink 2009, Penguin, 978-1-4406-8639-9, 432, Hayes, 2009USHistory.org, 2013 This brought about unipolarityCharles Krauthammer, "The Unipolar Moment," Foreign Affairs, 70/1, (Winter 1990/1), 23–33. with the U.S. unchallenged as the world's dominant superpower. The concept of Pax Americana, which had appeared in the post-World War II period, gained wide popularity as a term for the post-Cold War new world order.

Contemporary history

{{Further||Gulf War|September 11 attacks|War on Terror|2008 financial crisis|Affordable Care Act}}{{multiple image|total_width=360
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}}After the Cold War, the conflict in the Middle East triggered a crisis in 1990, when Iraq under Saddam Hussein invaded and attempted to annex Kuwait, an ally of the United States. Fearing that the instability would spread to other regions, President George H.W. Bush launched Operation Desert Shield, a defensive force buildup in Saudi Arabia, and Operation Desert Storm, in a staging titled the Gulf War; waged by coalition forces from 34 nations, led by the United States against Iraq ending in the successful expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, restoring the former monarchy.ENCYCLOPEDIA, 2016, Persian Gulf War, Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,weblink January 24, 2017, Originating in U.S. defense networks, the Internet spread to international academic networks, and then to the public in the 1990s, greatly affecting the global economy, society, and culture.Winchester, pp. 420–423Due to the dot-com boom, stable monetary policy under Alan Greenspan, and reduced social welfare spending, the 1990s saw the longest economic expansion in modern U.S. history, ending in 2001.NEWS, Did Clinton Do It, or Was He Lucky?, Dale, Reginald,weblink The New York Times, February 18, 2000, March 6, 2013, BOOK, Mankiw, N. Gregory, Macroeconomics,weblink 2008, Cengage Learning, 978-0-324-58999-3, 559, October 25, 2015, Beginning in 1994, the U.S. entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), linking 450 million people producing $17 trillion worth of goods and services. The goal of the agreement was to eliminate trade and investment barriers among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico by January 1, 2008. Trade among the three partners has soared since NAFTA went into force.WEB, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) {{!, United States Trade Representative|url=http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/north-american-free-trade-agreement-nafta|website=www.ustr.gov|accessdate=January 11, 2015}}BOOK, Thakur, Manab Thakur Gene E Burton B N Srivastava, International Management: Concepts and Cases,weblink 1997, Tata McGraw-Hill Education, 978-0-07-463395-3, 334–335, October 25, 2015, BOOK, Akis Kalaitzidis, Gregory W. Streich, U.S. Foreign Policy: A Documentary and Reference Guide,weblink September 13, 2011, ABC-CLIO, 978-0-313-38376-2, 201, On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda terrorists struck the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., killing nearly 3,000 people.AV MEDIA, September 9, 2011, Flashback 9/11: As It Happened,weblink March 6, 2013, Fox News, NEWS, America remembers Sept. 11 attacks 11 years later, Associated Press,weblink CBS News, September 11, 2012, March 6, 2013, NEWS,weblink Day of Terror Video Archive, 2005, CNN, March 6, 2013, In response, the United States launched the War on Terror, which included war in Afghanistan and the 2003–11 Iraq War.NEWS, The 'War on Terror' Is Critical to President George W. Bush's Legacy, Walsh, Kenneth T.,weblink U.S. News & World Report, December 9, 2008, March 6, 2013, BOOK, Atkins, Stephen E., The 9/11 Encyclopedia: Second Edition,weblink 2011, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-59884-921-9, 872, October 25, 2015, NEWS, Overview: The Iraq War, Wong, Edward,weblink The New York Times, February 15, 2008, March 7, 2013, BOOK, Johnson, James Turner, The War to Oust Saddam Hussein: Just War and the New Face of Conflict,weblink 2005, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-0-7425-4956-2, 159, October 25, 2015, NEWS, Timeline: Key moments in the Iraq War, Durando, Jessica, Green, Shannon Rae, Associated Press,weblink USA Today, December 21, 2011, March 7, 2013, In 2007, the Bush administration ordered a major troop surge in the Iraq War,NEWS, Fact Sheet: The New Way Forward in Iraq, Office of the Press Secretary, January 10, 2007, After talking to some Afghan leaders, it was said that the Iran's would be revolting if more troops were to be sent to Iran.,weblink George W. Bush, January 26, 2017, which successfully reduced violence and led to greater stability in the region.NEWS, Peter Feaver, Feaver, Peter,weblink Hillary Clinton and the Inconvenient Facts About the Rise of the Islamic State, Foreign Policy, August 13, 2015, [T]he Obama team itself, including Clinton, have repeatedly confirmed that they understand that the surge was successful. Clinton even conceded to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates: 'The surge worked.', NEWS,weblink Iraqi surge exceeded expectations, Obama says, NBC News, September 4, 2008, Associated Press, Obama said the surge of U.S. troops has 'succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.', Government policy designed to promote affordable housing,BOOK, Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World's Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again, Wallison, Peter, Encounter Books, 2015, 978-1-59403-770-2, Peter J. Wallison, widespread failures in corporate and regulatory governance,BOOK,weblink Financial Crisis Inquiry Report, 2011, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, 978-1-60796-348-6, and historically low interest rates set by the Federal ReserveJOURNAL, Taylor, John B., John B. Taylor, January 21, 2017, The Financial Crisis and the Policy Responses: An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong,weblink Hoover Institution Economics Paper Series, January 2009, led to the mid-2000s housing bubble, which culminated with the 2008 financial crisis, the largest economic contraction in the nation's history since the Great Depression.NEWS,weblink Worst Crisis Since '30s, With No End Yet in Sight, Hilsenrath, Jon, September 18, 2008, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, Ng, Serena, Paletta, Damian, January 21, 2017, Barack Obama, the first African-AmericanWEB,weblink Barack Obama elected as America's first black president, History.com, A&E Television Networks, LLC, October 7, 2014, and multiracialNEWS, November 12, 2008, Barack Obama: Face Of New Multiracial Movement?,weblink NPR, October 4, 2014, president, was elected in 2008 amid the crisis,NEWS, African-American Economic Gains Reversed By Great Recession, Associated Press, Washington, Jesse, Rugaber, Chris,weblink Huffington Post, September 9, 2011, March 7, 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130616183529weblink">weblink June 16, 2013, and subsequently passed stimulus measures and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in an attempt to mitigate its negative effects and ensure there would not be a repeat of the crisis. The stimulus facilitated infrastructure improvementsNEWS,weblink What the Stimulus Accomplished, February 22, 2014, January 21, 2017, The New York Times, The New York Times Company, and a relative decline in unemployment.WEB,weblink Economic Stimulus, IGM Polls, Initiative on Global Markets at the University of Chicago, February 15, 2012, January 21, 2017, Dodd-Frank improved financial stability and consumer protection,WEB, The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on Financial Stability and Economic Growth, Brookings,weblink October 24, 2014, August 31, 2017, none, ; JOURNAL, The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on Financial Stability and Economic Growth, The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 3, 1, 20, January 2017, 10.7758/RSF.2017.3.1.02, Martin Neil Baily, Aaron Klein, Justin Schardin, although there has been debate about its effects on the economy.NEWS,weblink Did Dodd-Frank really hurt the US economy?, February 13, 2017, Financial Times, January 23, 2018, In 2010, the Obama administration passed the Affordable Care Act, which made the most sweeping reforms to the nation's healthcare system in nearly five decades, including mandates, subsidies and insurance exchanges. The law caused a significant reduction in the number and percentage of people without health insurance, with 24 million covered during 2016,WEB,weblink Federal Subsidies for Health Insurance Coverage for People Under Age 65: 2016 to 2026, Congressional Budget Office, January 21, 2017, but remains controversial due to its impact on healthcare costs, insurance premiums, and economic performance.WEB,weblink Ryan: GOP will repeal, replace Obamacare at same time, Bradner, Eric, January 13, 2017, January 21, 2017, CNN, Although the recession reached its trough in June 2009, voters remained frustrated with the slow pace of the economic recovery. The Republicans, who stood in opposition to Obama's policies, won control of the House of Representatives with a landslide in 2010 and control of the Senate in 2014.JOURNAL, Jacobson, Gary C., The Republican Resurgence in 2010, March 2011, Political Science Quarterly, 126, 1, 27–52, 10.1002/j.1538-165X.2011.tb00693.x, American forces in Iraq were withdrawn in large numbers in 2009 and 2010, and the war in the region was declared formally over in December 2011.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Thom, Shanker, Michael S., Schmidt, Robert F., Worth, In Baghdad, Panetta Leads Uneasy Closure to Conflict, December 15, 2011, The withdrawal caused an escalation of sectarian insurgency,NEWS,weblink The JRTN Movement and Iraq's Next Insurgency | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, United States Military Academy, January 26, 2017, leading to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the successor of al-Qaeda in the region.NEWS,weblink Al-Qaeda's Resurgence in Iraq: A Threat to U.S. Interests, U.S. Department of State, November 26, 2010, January 26, 2017,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140205225829weblink">weblink February 5, 2014, yes, mdy-all, In 2014, Obama announced a restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961.{{Update inline|date=June 2017}}NEWS,weblink U.S. to Restore Full Relations With Cuba, Erasing a Last Trace of Cold War Hostility, Peter Baker (author), Peter Baker, The New York Times, January 26, 2017, The next year, the United States as a member of the P5+1 countries signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an agreement aimed to slow the development of Iran's nuclear program,NEWS,weblink Deal Reached on Iran Nuclear Program; Limits on Fuel Would Lessen With Time, Gordon, Michael R., Sanger, David E., The New York Times, The New York Times Company, January 26, 2017, July 15, 2015, though the U.S. withdrew from the deal in May 2018.{{Citation | publisher = CNN | url =weblink | title = Trump, Iran nuclear deal}}. In the United States presidential election of 2016, Republican Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States. Trump is both the oldest and wealthiest person elected president in United States history.WEB,weblink Donald Trump is officially the richest US president in history,

Geography, climate, and environment

(File:USA-satellite.jpg|thumb|A composite satellite image of the contiguous United States and surrounding areas)File:US 50 states Köppen.svg|thumb|right|Köppen climate classificationKöppen climate classificationThe land area of the entire United States is approximately {{convert|3800000|sqmi|km2|0}},WEB,weblink State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates – Geography – U.S. Census Bureau, State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates, U.S. Department of Commerce, September 11, 2017, with the contiguous United States making up {{convert|2959064|sqmi|km2|1}} of that. Alaska, separated from the contiguous United States by Canada, is the largest state at {{convert|663268|sqmi|km2|1}}. Hawaii, occupying an archipelago in the central Pacific, southwest of North America, is {{convert|10931|sqmi|km2|0}} in area. The populated territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands together cover {{convert|9185|sqmi|km2|0}}.WEB, 2010 Census Area,weblink census.gov, U.S. Census Bureau, 41, January 18, 2015, Measured by only land area, the United States is third in size behind Russia and China, just ahead of Canada.WEB, Area,weblink The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, January 15, 2015, The United States is the world's third- or fourth-largest nation by total area (land and water), ranking behind Russia and Canada and just above or below China. The ranking varies depending on how two territories disputed by China and India are counted, and how the total size of the United States is measured.{{efn|name=largestcountry}} The Encyclopædia Britannica, for instance, lists the size of the United States as {{convert|3677649|sqmi|km2|0}}, as they do not count the country's coastal or territorial waters.WEB,weblink United States, Encyclopædia Britannica, January 8, 2018, (given in square miles, excluding) The World Factbook, which includes those waters, gives {{convert|3796742|sqmi|km2|0}}.WEB,weblink United States, Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, January 3, 2018, January 8, 2018, The coastal plain of the Atlantic seaboard gives way further inland to deciduous forests and the rolling hills of the Piedmont.WEB, Geographic Regions of Georgia,weblink Georgia Info, Digital Library of Georgia, December 24, 2014, The Appalachian Mountains divide the eastern seaboard from the Great Lakes and the grasslands of the Midwest.WEB, Lew, Alan, PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE US,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160409112252weblink">weblink April 9, 2016, GSP 220 – Geography of the United States, North Arizona University, December 24, 2014, The Mississippi–Missouri River, the world's fourth longest river system, runs mainly north–south through the heart of the country. The flat, fertile prairie of the Great Plains stretches to the west, interrupted by a highland region in the southeast.File:Mount Denali.jpg|thumb|Highest peak in the country, DenaliDenaliThe Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extend north to south across the country, reaching altitudes higher than {{convert|14000|ft}} in Colorado.WEB, Harms, Nicole, Facts About the Rocky Mountain Range,weblink Travel Tips, USA Today, December 24, 2014, Farther west are the rocky Great Basin and deserts such as the Chihuahua and Mojave.WEB, Great Basin,weblink Encyclopædia Britannica, December 24, 2014, The Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges run close to the Pacific coast, both ranges reaching altitudes higher than {{convert|14000|ft}}. The lowest and highest points in the contiguous United States are in the state of California,WEB, Mount Whitney, California,weblink Peakbagger, December 24, 2014, and only about {{convert|84|mi|km}} apart.WEB, Find Distance and Azimuths Between 2 Sets of Coordinates (Badwater 36-15-01-N, 116-49-33-W and Mount Whitney 36-34-43-N, 118-17-31-W),weblink Federal Communications Commission, December 24, 2014, At an elevation of {{convert|20310|ft|1}}, Alaska's Denali (Mount McKinley) is the highest peak in the country and North America.WEB, Poppick, Laura, US Tallest Mountain's Surprising Location Explained,weblink LiveScience, May 2, 2015, Active volcanoes are common throughout Alaska's Alexander and Aleutian Islands, and Hawaii consists of volcanic islands. The supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in the Rockies is the continent's largest volcanic feature.WEB, O'Hanlon, Larry, America's Explosive Park,weblink March 14, 2005,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20050314034001weblink">weblink March 14, 2005, Discovery Channel, April 5, 2016, The United States has the most ecoregions out of any country in the world.WEB,weblink Ecoregions by country – T, panda.org, August 27, 2017, The United States, with its large size and geographic variety, includes most climate types. To the east of the 100th meridian, the climate ranges from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical in the south.WEB, Boyden, Jennifer, Climate Regions of the United States,weblink Travel Tips, USA Today, December 24, 2014, The Great Plains west of the 100th meridian are semi-arid. Much of the Western mountains have an alpine climate. The climate is arid in the Great Basin, desert in the Southwest, Mediterranean in coastal California, and oceanic in coastal Oregon and Washington and southern Alaska. Most of Alaska is subarctic or polar. Hawaii and the southern tip of Florida are tropical, as are the populated territories in the Caribbean and the Pacific.WEB, World Map of Köppen−Geiger Climate Classification,weblink August 19, 2015, Extreme weather is not uncommon—the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico are prone to hurricanes, and most of the world's tornadoes occur within the country, mainly in Tornado Alley areas in the Midwest and South.NEWS, Perkins, Sid,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070701131631weblink">weblink July 1, 2007, Tornado Alley, USA, September 20, 2006, May 11, 2002, Science News,

Wildlife

{{See also|Category:Biota of the United States}}File:Bald Eagle Portrait.jpg|thumb|upright|The bald eagle has been the (National bird of the United States|national bird]] of the United States since 1782.BOOK, Len McDougall, The Encyclopedia of Tracks and Scats: A Comprehensive Guide to the Trackable Animals of the United States and Canada,weblink 2004, Lyons Press, 978-1-59228-070-4, 325, )The U.S. ecology is megadiverse: about 17,000 species of vascular plants occur in the contiguous United States and Alaska, and over 1,800 species of flowering plants are found in Hawaii, few of which occur on the mainland.WEB, Morin, Nancy,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130724222726weblink">weblink Vascular Plants of the United States, National Biological Service, Plants, October 27, 2008, July 24, 2013, The United States is home to 428 mammal species, 784 bird species, 311 reptile species, and 295 amphibian species.WEB, Osborn, Liz, Number of Native Species in United States,weblink Current Results Nexus, January 15, 2015, About 91,000 insect species have been described.WEB,weblink Numbers of Insects (Species and Individuals), Smithsonian Institution, January 20, 2009, The bald eagle is both the national bird and national animal of the United States, and is an enduring symbol of the country itself.JOURNAL, Lawrence, E.A., 1990, Symbol of a Nation: The Bald Eagle in American Culture, The Journal of American Culture, 13, 1, 63–69, 10.1111/j.1542-734X.1990.1301_63.x, There are 59 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks, forests, and wilderness areas.PRESS RELEASE, National Park Service Announces Addition of Two New Units,weblink February 28, 2006,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20061001195645weblink">weblink October 1, 2006, National Park Service, February 10, 2017, Altogether, the government owns about 28% of the country's land area.NEWS, Lipton, Eric, Krauss, Clifford, Giving Reins to the States Over Drilling,weblink January 18, 2015, New York Times, August 23, 2012, Most of this is protected, though some is leased for oil and gas drilling, mining, logging, or cattle ranching; about .86% is used for military purposes.WEB, Gorte, Ross W., Vincent, Carol Hardy., Hanson, Laura A., Marc R., Rosenblum, Federal Land Ownership: Overview and Data,weblink fas.org, Congressional Research Service, January 18, 2015, WEB, Chapter 6: Federal Programs to Promote Resource Use, Extraction, and Development,weblink doi.gov,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150318005744weblink">weblink U.S. Department of the Interior, January 19, 2015, March 18, 2015, Environmental issues have been on the national agenda since 1970. Environmental controversies include debates on oil and nuclear energy, dealing with air and water pollution, the economic costs of protecting wildlife, logging and deforestation,WEB, The National Atlas of the United States of America,weblink Forest Resources of the United States, Nationalatlas.gov, January 14, 2013, January 13, 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090507195541weblink">weblink May 7, 2009, WEB,weblink Land Use Changes Involving Forestry in the United States: 1952 to 1997, With Projections to 2050, PDF, 2003, January 13, 2014, and international responses to global warming.Daynes & Sussman, 2010, pp. 3, 72, 74–76, 78Hays, Samuel P. (2000). A History of Environmental Politics since 1945. Many federal and state agencies are involved. The most prominent is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), created by presidential order in 1970.BOOK, Collin, Robert W., The Environmental Protection Agency: Cleaning Up America's Act,weblink 2006, Greenwood Publishing Group, 978-0-313-33341-5, 1, October 25, 2015, The idea of wilderness has shaped the management of public lands since 1964, with the Wilderness Act.Turner, James Morton (2012). The Promise of Wilderness The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is intended to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats, which are monitored by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.BOOK, Endangered species Fish and Wildlife Service,weblink General Accounting Office, DIANE Publishing, 978-1-4289-3997-4, 1, October 25, 2015, 2003,

Demographics

Population

{{See also|List of U.S. states by population|List of United States cities by population}}{{US Census population|1610= 350|1620= 2302|1630= 4646|1640= 26634|1650= 50368|1660= 75058|1670= 111935|1680= 151507|1690= 210372|1700= 250888|1710= 331711|1720= 466185|1730= 629445|1740= 905563|1750= 1170760|1760= 1593625|1770= 2148076|1780= 2780369|1790= 3929214|1800= 5308483|1810= 7239881|1820= 9638453|1830= 12866020|1840= 17069453|1850= 23191876|1860= 31443321|1870= 38558371|1880= 50189209|1890= 62979766|1900= 76212168|1910= 92228496|1920= 106021537|1930= 123202624|1940= 132164569|1950= 151325798|1960= 179323175|1970= 203211926|1980= 226545805|1990= 248709873|2000= 281421906|2010= 308745538|align=right|estyear=2017|estimate=325719178WEBSITE=CENSUS.GOV PAGE=1168 Native Americans in the United States>Native Americans until 1860.HTTPS://WWW.CENSUS.GOV/POPULATION/WWW/DOCUMENTATION/TWPS0076/TWPS0076.HTML >TITLE=HISTORICAL CENSUS STATISTICS ON POPULATION TOTALS BY RACE, 1790 TO 1990, AND BY HISPANIC ORIGIN, 1970 TO 1990, FOR LARGE CITIES AND OTHER URBAN PLACES IN THE UNITED STATES ACCESSDATE=MAY 28, 2013 ARCHIVE-DATE=AUGUST 6, 2012 DF=MDY-ALL, }}The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the country's population to be {{formatnum:325719178}} as of July 1, 2017, and to be adding 1 person (net gain) every 13 seconds, or about 6,646 people per day. The U.S. population almost quadrupled during the 20th century, from 76.2 million in 1900 to 281.4 million in 2000.WEB,weblink Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2005, U.S. Census Bureau, October 25, 2015, The third most populous nation in the world, after China and India, the United States is the only major industrialized nation in which large population increases are projected.WEB,weblink Executive Summary: A Population Perspective of the United States, Population Resource Center, May 2000, December 20, 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070604165856weblink">weblink June 4, 2007, In the 1800s the average woman had 7.04 children; by the 1900s this number had decreased to 3.56.BOOK, Opposition and Intimidation:The abortion wars and strategies of political harassment, Alesha E. Doan, 2007, 40, University of Michigan, Since the early 1970s the birth rate has been below the replacement rate of 2.1 with 1.86 children per woman in 2014. Foreign-born immigration has caused the U.S. population to continue its rapid increase with the foreign-born population doubling from almost 20 million in 1990 to over 40 million in 2010, representing one-third of the population increase.WEB,weblink Changing Patterns in U.S. Immigration and Population, pewtrusts.org, The foreign-born population reached 45 million in 2015.WEB,weblink Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S. – Pew Research Center, September 28, 2015, Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project, The United States has a very diverse population; 37 ancestry groups have more than one million members.WEB,weblink Ancestry 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, June 2004, December 2, 2016, yes,weblink December 4, 2004, German Americans are the largest ethnic group (more than 50 million) – followed by Irish Americans (circa 37 million), Mexican Americans (circa 31 million) and English Americans (circa 28 million).WEB, Table 52. Population by Selected Ancestry Group and Region: 2009,weblink 2009,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121225031832weblink">weblink December 25, 2012, yes, U.S. Census Bureau, PDF, mdy, February 11, 2017, WEB, Oleaga, Michael, Immigration Numbers Update: 13 Million Mexicans Immigrated to US in 2013, But Chinese Migrants Outnumber Other Latin Americans,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140905071238weblink">weblink Latin Post, September 5, 2014, December 28, 2014, White Americans (mostly European ancestry group with 73.1% of total population) are the largest racial group; black Americans are the nation's largest racial minority (note that in the U.S. Census, Hispanic and Latino Americans are counted as an ethnic group, not a "racial" group), and third-largest ancestry group. Asian Americans are the country's second-largest racial minority; the three largest Asian American ethnic groups are Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, and Indian Americans. According to a 2015 survey, the largest American community with European ancestry is German Americans, which consists of more than 14% of total population.WEB,weblink SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2011–2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau, In 2010, the U.S. population included an estimated 5.2 million people with some American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry (2.9 million exclusively of such ancestry) and 1.2 million with some native Hawaiian or Pacific island ancestry (0.5 million exclusively).WEB, Humes, Karen R., Jones, Nicholas A., Ramirez, Roberto R.,weblink Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010, U.S. Census Bureau, March 2011, March 29, 2011, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110429214029weblink">weblink April 29, 2011, The census counted more than 19 million people of "Some Other Race" who were "unable to identify with any" of its five official race categories in 2010, over 18.5 million (97%) of whom are of Hispanic ethnicity.File:Most common ancestries in the United States.svg|left|thumb|Most common ancestry in each U.S. state in 2000{{Legend0|#0075ff|German}} {{Legend0|#ff0000|American}} {{Legend0|#ff7500|Mexican}} {{Legend0|#007500|Irish}} {{Legend0|#00ffff|African}} {{Legend0|#7500ff|Italian}} {{Legend0|#750075|English}} {{Legend0|#ffff00|Japanese}} {{Legend0|#d93190|Puerto Rican}}]]The population growth of Hispanic and Latino Americans (the terms are officially interchangeable) is a major demographic trend. The 50.5 million Americans of Hispanic descent are identified as sharing a distinct "ethnicity" by the Census Bureau; 64% of Hispanic Americans are of Mexican descent.WEB,weblink B03001. Hispanic or Latino Origin by Specific Origin, 2007 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, September 26, 2008, Between 2000 and 2010, the country's Hispanic population increased 43% while the non-Hispanic population rose just 4.9%.WEB,weblink 2010 Census Data, U.S. Census Bureau, March 29, 2011, Much of this growth is from immigration; in 2007, 12.6% of the U.S. population was foreign-born, with 54% of that figure born in Latin America.WEB,weblink U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States 2009, Tables 41 and 42—Native and Foreign-Born Populations, October 11, 2009, {{efn|Fertility is also a factor; in 2010 the average Hispanic woman gave birth to 2.35 children in her lifetime, compared to 1.97 for non-Hispanic black women and 1.79 for non-Hispanic white women (both below the replacement rate of 2.1).WEB,weblink National Vital Statistics Reports: Volume 61, Number 1. Births: Final Data for 2012, August 2012, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 25, 2012, Minorities (as defined by the Census Bureau as all those beside non-Hispanic, non-multiracial whites) constituted 36.3% of the population in 2010 (this is nearly 40% in 2015),U.S. Census Bureau]: "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Final State 2010 Census Population Totals for Legislative Redistricting"] see custom table, 2nd worksheet and over 50% of children under age one, and are projected to constitute the majority by 2042.PRESS RELEASE,weblink March 29, 2013, An Older and More Diverse Nation by Midcentury, August 14, 2008, This contradicts the report by the National Vital Statistics Reports, based on the U.S. census data, which concludes that 54% (2,162,406 out of 3,999,386 in 2010) of births were non-Hispanic white. The Hispanic birth rate plummeted 25% between 2006 and 2013 while the rate for non-Hispanics decreased just 5%.WEB,weblink What the plummeting Hispanic birthrate means for the U.S. economy, Fusion, }}Minorities (as defined by the Census Bureau as all those beside non-Hispanic, non-multiracial whites) constituted 37.2% of the population in 2012WEB,weblink ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES, 2015 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, (V2015), census.gov, October 15, 2016, and over 50% of children under age one,NEWS,weblink It's official: Minority babies are the majority among the nation's infants, but only just, June 23, 2016, Pew Research Center, NEWS, Exner, Rich,weblink Americans under age one now mostly minorities, but not in Ohio: Statistical Snapshot, July 3, 2012, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH, July 29, 2012, and are projected to constitute the majority by 2044.The United States has a birth rate of 13 per 1,000, which is 5 births below the world average.WEB,weblink Field Listing: Birth Rate, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 2014, January 21, 2015, yes,weblink December 11, 2007, mdy, Its population growth rate is positive at 0.7%, higher than that of many developed nations.WEB,weblink Population growth (annual %), The World Bank, United Nations Population Division, 2014, January 21, 2015, In fiscal year 2016, over one million immigrants (most of whom entered through family reunification) were granted legal residence."U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2016". Office of Immigration Statistics Annual Flow Report. Mexico has been the leading source of new residents since the 1965 Immigration Act. China, India, and the Philippines have been in the top four sending countries every year since the 1990s.WEB, Immigrants in the United States, 2010: A Profile of America's Foreign-Born Population,weblink Center for Immigrant Studies, January 13, 2015, {{As of|2012}}, approximately 11.4 million residents are illegal immigrants.WEB,weblink Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2012, Baker, Bryan, Rytina, Nancy, March 2013, Office of Immigration Statistics, Department of Homeland Security, October 21, 2014, {{As of|2015}}, 47% of all immigrants are Hispanic, 26% are Asian, 18% are white and 8% are black. The percentage of immigrants who are Asian is increasing while the percentage who are Hispanic is decreasing.A 2017 Gallup poll concluded that 4.5% of adult Americans identified as LGBT with 5.1% of women identifying as LGBT, compared with 3.9% of men.WEB, In U.S., Estimate of LGBT Population Rises to 4.5%,weblink Gallup.com, September 14, 2018, The highest percentage came from the District of Columbia (10%), while the lowest state was North Dakota at 1.7%.WEB,weblink LGBT Percentage Highest in D.C., Lowest in North Dakota, Gallup, June 14, 2014, About 82% of Americans live in urban areas (including suburbs); about half of those reside in cities with populations over 50,000.WEB,weblink United States – Urban/Rural and Inside/Outside Metropolitan Area, U.S. Census Bureau,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100117053950weblink">weblink January 17, 2010, yes, The U.S. has numerous clusters of cities known as megaregions, the largest being the Great Lakes Megalopolis followed by the Northeast Megalopolis and Southern California. In 2008, 273 incorporated municipalities had populations over 100,000, nine cities had more than one million residents, and four global cities had over two million (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston).WEB,weblinkweblink December 7, 2009, Table 1: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places Over 100,000, Ranked by July 1, 2008 Population: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008, 2008 Population Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, July 1, 2009, yes, mdy, There are 52 metropolitan areas with populations greater than one million.WEB,weblinkweblink December 7, 2009, Table 5. Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: July 1, 2007 to July 1, 2008, 2008 Population Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau, March 19, 2009, yes, mdy, Of the 50 fastest-growing metro areas, 47 are in the West or South.PRESS RELEASE, Raleigh and Austin are Fastest-Growing Metro Areas,weblink March 19, 2009,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160118182235weblink">weblink January 18, 2016, U.S. Census Bureau, February 21, 2017, The metro areas of San Bernardino, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Phoenix all grew by more than a million people between 2000 and 2008.{{anchor|Population centers}}{{Largest Metropolitan Areas of the United States}}{{Clear}}

Language

{{See also|Language Spoken at Home in the United States of America|List of endangered languages in the United States|Language education in the United States}}English (American English) is the de facto national language. Although there is no official language at the federal level, some laws—such as U.S. naturalization requirements—standardize English. In 2010, about 230 million, or 80% of the population aged five years and older, spoke only English at home. Spanish, spoken by 12% of the population at home, is the second most common language and the most widely taught second language."Language Spoken at Home by the U.S. Population, 2010", American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, in World Almanac and Book of Facts 2012, p. 615.JOURNAL, Welles, Elizabeth B., Foreign Language Enrollments in United States Institutions of Higher Learning, Fall 2002,weblink Winter–Spring 2004, yes,weblink June 21, 2009, ADFL Bulletin, 35, 7, 2–3, 10.1632/adfl.35.2.7, mdy, February 25, 2017, Some Americans advocate making English the country's official language, as it is in 32 states.WEB, Feder, Jody,weblink English as the Official Language of the United States: Legal Background and Analysis of Legislation in the 110th Congress, January 25, 2007, Ilw.com (Congressional Research Service), June 19, 2007, Both Hawaiian and English are official languages in Hawaii, by state law.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130724231656weblink">weblink July 24, 2013, The Constitution of the State of Hawaii, Article XV, Section 4, Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau, November 7, 1978, June 19, 2007, Alaska recognizes twenty Native languages as well as English.WEB, Chapel, Bill, Alaska OKs Bill Making Native Languages Official,weblink NPR.org, April 21, 2014, While neither has an official language, New Mexico has laws providing for the use of both English and Spanish, as Louisiana does for English and French.BOOK, Dicker, Susan J., Languages in America: A Pluralist View, 2003, 216, 220–25, Clevedon, UK, Multilingual Matters, 978-1-85359-651-3, Other states, such as California, mandate the publication of Spanish versions of certain government documents including court forms.WEB,weblink California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 412.20(6), Legislative Counsel, State of California, December 17, 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100722010302weblink">weblink July 22, 2010, WEB,weblink California Judicial Council Forms, Judicial Council, State of California, December 17, 2007, Several insular territories grant official recognition to their native languages, along with English: SamoanWEB,weblink Samoan, UCLA Language Materials Project, UCLA, October 4, 2014, BOOK, Frederick T.L. Leong, Mark M. Leach, Suicide Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups: Theory, Research, and Practice,weblink April 15, 2010, Routledge, 978-1-135-91680-0, 185, BOOK, Robert D. Craig, Historical Dictionary of Polynesia,weblink 2002, Scarecrow Press, 978-0-8108-4237-3, 33, October 25, 2015, is officially recognized by American Samoa. ChamorroBOOK, Nessa Wolfson, Joan Manes, Language of Inequality,weblink 1985, Walter de Gruyter, 978-3-11-009946-1, 176, October 25, 2015, BOOK, Lawrence J. Cunningham, Janice J. Beaty, A History of Guam,weblink January 2001, Bess Press, 978-1-57306-047-9, 203, BOOK, Eur, The Far East and Australasia 2003,weblink 2002, Psychology Press, 978-1-85743-133-9, 1137, October 25, 2015, is an official language of Guam. Both Carolinian and Chamorro have official recognition in the Northern Mariana Islands.BOOK, Yaron Matras, Peter Bakker, The Mixed Language Debate: Theoretical and Empirical Advances,weblink 2003, Walter de Gruyter, 978-3-11-017776-3, 301, in the Northern Marianas, Chamarro, Carolinian ( = the minority language of a group of Carolinian immigrants), and English received the status of co-official languages in 1985(Rodriguez-Ponga 1995:24–28)., Spanish is an official language of Puerto Rico and is more widely spoken than English there.WEB,weblink Translation in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Channel, December 29, 2013, The most widely taught foreign languages in the United States, in terms of enrollment numbers from kindergarten through university undergraduate studies, are: Spanish (around 7.2 million students), French (1.5 million), and German (500,000). Other commonly taught languages (with 100,000 to 250,000 learners) include Latin, Japanese, ASL, Italian, and Chinese.WEB,weblink Foreign Language Enrollments in K–12 Public Schools, February 2011, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), October 17, 2015, WEB,weblink Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2013, Goldberg, David, Looney, Dennis, Lusin, Natalia, February 2015, Modern Language Association, May 20, 2015, 18% of all Americans claim to speak at least one language in addition to English.WEB,weblink America's Foreign Language Deficit, David Skorton, Glenn Altschuler, yes, Forbes, {| class="wikitable sortable" style="float:center; margin-left:1em; font-size: 90%"Modern Language Association, September 2, 2013, WEB,weblink American FactFinder – Results, U.S. Census, Bureau, {{efn|Source: 2015 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Most respondents who speak a language other than English at home also report speaking English "well" or "very well" For the language groups listed above, the strongest English-language proficiency is among speakers of German (96% report that they speak English "well" or "very well"), followed by speakers of French (93.5%), Tagalog (92.8%), Spanish (74.1%), Korean (71.5%), Chinese (70.4%), and Vietnamese (66.9%).}}! Language !! Percent ofpopulation !! Number ofspeakers !! Number whospeak Englishvery well !! Number whospeak Englishless thanvery wellEnglish language>English (only) ~80% 237,810,023 N/A N/ASpanish language>Spanish(including Spanish-based creole languages but excluding Puerto Rico) >| 16,590,392Chinese language>Chinese(all varieties, including Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese) >| 1,854,311Tagalog language>Tagalog(including Filipino language) >| 542,749Vietnamese language>Vietnamese 0.4% 1,509,993 634,273 875,720Arabic language>Arabic(all varieties) 0.3% 1,231,098 770,882 460,216French language>French(including French Patois and Cajun French>Cajun) 0.3% 1,216,668 965,584 251,087Korean language>Korean 0.2% 1,088,788 505,734 583,054

Religion

{| class="wikitable sortable floatright" style="font-size:95%" Religious affiliation in the U.S. (2014)WEB,weblink America's Changing Religious Landscape, Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life, May 12, 2015, ! Affiliation! colspan="2" | % of U.S. populationChristianity in the United States>Christianity '''{{bartable|background:darkblue}}''' Protestant '''{{bartable|background:mediumblue}}''' Evangelical Protestant '''{{bartable|background:lightblue}}''' Mainline Protestant '''{{bartable|background:lightblue}}''' Black church '''{{bartable|background:lightblue}}''' Catholic '''{{bartable|background:mediumblue}}''' Mormon '''{{bartable|background:mediumblue}}''' Jehovah's Witnesses '''{{bartable|background:mediumblue}}''' Eastern Orthodox '''{{bartable|background:mediumblue}}''' Other Christian '''{{bartable|background:mediumblue}}'''American Jews>Judaism '''{{bartable|background:blue}}'''Hinduism in the United States>Hinduism '''{{bartable|background:orange}}'''Islam in the United States>Islam '''{{bartable|background:black}}'''Buddhism in the United States>Buddhism '''{{bartable|background:yellow}}'''| Other faiths '''{{bartable|background:lightgreen}}'''Irreligion in the United States>Irreligion '''{{bartable|background:purple}}''' Nothing in particular '''{{bartable|background:#A020F0}}''' Agnostic '''{{bartable|background:#A020F0}}''' Atheist '''{{bartable|background:#A020F0}}'''| Don't know or refused answer '''{{bartable|background:#A020F0}}'''The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids Congress from passing laws respecting its establishment.In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives", a far higher figure than that of any other wealthy nation.WEB,weblink Religion, Gallup, June 2013, January 10, 2014, In a 2009 Gallup poll, 42% of Americans said that they attended church weekly or almost weekly; the figures ranged from a low of 23% in Vermont to a high of 63% in Mississippi.WEB,weblink Mississippians Go to Church the Most; Vermonters, Least, Gallup, January 13, 2014, As with other Western countries, the U.S. is becoming less religious. Irreligion is growing rapidly among Americans under 30.NEWS,weblink Merica, Dan, Pew Survey: Doubt of God Growing Quickly among Millennials, CNN, June 12, 2012, June 14, 2012, Polls show that overall American confidence in organized religion has been declining since the mid to late 1980s,NEWS,weblink American Confidence in Organized Religion at All Time Low, July 14, 2012, July 12, 2012, Huffington Post, Samreen, Hooda, and that younger Americans, in particular, are becoming increasingly irreligious.WEB,weblink Religion Among the Millennials, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, August 29, 2012, According to a 2012 study, the Protestant share of the U.S. population had dropped to 48%, thus ending its status as religious category of the majority for the first time.WEB,weblink "Nones" on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation, May 26, 2015,weblink June 29, 2014, yes, mdy-all, WEB,weblink US Protestants no longer a majority – study, BBC News, Americans with no religion have 1.7 children compared to 2.2 among Christians. The unaffiliated are less likely to get married with 37% marrying compared to 52% of Christians.WEB,weblink Mormons more likely to marry, have more children than other U.S. religious groups, May 22, 2015, Pew Research Center, According to a 2014 survey, 70.6% of adults in the United States identified themselves as Christians;WEB,weblink Church Statistics and Religious Affiliations, Pew Research, September 23, 2014, Protestants accounted for 46.5%, while Roman Catholics, at 20.8%, formed the largest single denomination.WEB,weblink "Nones" on the Rise, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 2012, January 10, 2014, In 2014, 5.9% of the U.S. adult population claimed a non-Christian religion. These include Judaism (1.9%), Hinduism (1.2%), Buddhism (0.9%), and Islam (0.9%). The survey also reported that 22.8% of Americans described themselves as agnostic, atheist or simply having no religion—up from 8.2% in 1990.WEB,weblink American Religious Identification Survey 2001, Barry A. Kosmin, Egon Mayer, Ariela Keysar, CUNY Graduate Center, December 19, 2001, September 16, 2011, WEB,weblink United States, May 2, 2013, There are also Unitarian Universalist, Scientologist, Baha'i, Sikh, Jain, Shinto, Confucian, Taoist, Druid, Native American, Wiccan, humanist and deist communities.Media, Minorities, and Meaning: A Critical Introduction â€” Page 88, Debra L. Merskin â€“ 2010Protestantism is the largest Christian religious grouping in the United States, accounting for almost half of all Americans. Baptists collectively form the largest branch of Protestantism at 15.4%,WEB,weblink America's Changing Religious Landscape, Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life, May 12, 2015, and the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest individual Protestant denomination at 5.3% of the U.S. population. Apart from Baptists, other Protestant categories include nondenominational Protestants, Methodists, Pentecostals, unspecified Protestants, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, other Reformed, Episcopalians/Anglicans, Quakers, Adventists, Holiness, Christian fundamentalists, Anabaptists, Pietists, and multiple others. Two-thirds of American Protestants consider themselves to be born again. Roman Catholicism in the United States has its origin primarily in the Spanish and French colonization of the Americas, as well as in the English colony of Maryland.Richard Middleton, COLONIAL AMERICA, A HISTORY, 1565–1776, third edition (London: Blackwell, 2002) pp 95-103. It later grew because of Irish, Italian, Polish, German and Hispanic immigration. Rhode Island has the highest percentage of Catholics, with 40 percent of the total population.WEB,weblink U.S. Religion Map and Religious Populations – U.S. Religious Landscape Study – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Religions.pewforum.org, February 26, 2014, Utah is the only state where Mormonism is the religion of the majority of the population.WEB,weblink Religious Landscape Study, May 11, 2015, The Mormon Corridor also extends to parts of Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming.BOOK, Walsh, Margaret, The American West. Visions and Revisions,weblink January 2005, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-59671-8, 124, Eastern Orthodoxy is claimed by 5% of people in Alaska,WEB,weblink Adults in Alaska, May 11, 2015, Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, a former Russian colony, and maintains a presence on the U.S. mainland due to recent immigration from Eastern Europe. Finally, a number of other Christian groups are active across the country, including the Oneness Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Restorationists, Churches of Christ, Christian Scientists, Unitarians and many others.The Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the Southern United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average. By contrast, religion plays the least important role in New England and in the Western United States.

Family structure

{{As of|2007}}, 58% of Americans age 18 and over were married, 6% were widowed, 10% were divorced, and 25% had never been married.WEB,weblink U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States 2009, Table 55—Marital Status of the Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1990 to 2007, October 11, 2009, Women now work mostly outside the home and receive a majority of bachelor's degrees.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070609151527weblink">weblink June 9, 2007, Women's Advances in Education, Columbia University, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, 2006, June 6, 2007, The U.S. teenage pregnancy rate is 26.5 per 1,000 women. The rate has declined by 57% since 1991.WEB,weblink Births: Final Data for 2013, tables 2, 3, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, July 23, 2015, In 2013, the highest teenage birth rate was in Alabama, and the lowest in Wyoming.WEB, Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing,weblink U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, July 23, 2015, Abortion is legal throughout the U.S., owing to Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. While the abortion rate is falling, the abortion ratio of 241 per 1,000 live births and abortion rate of 15 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 remain higher than those of most Western nations.WEB,weblink Strauss, Lilo T., Abortion Surveillance—United States, 2003, June 17, 2007, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive Health, MMWR, November 24, 2006, etal, In 2013, the average age at first birth was 26 and 40.6% of births were to unmarried women.WEB,weblink FASTSTATS â€“ Births and Natality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 21, 2013, January 13, 2014, The total fertility rate (TFR) in 2016 was 1.82 births per 1000 woman.WEB, National Vital Statistics Volume 67, Number 1, January 31, 2018,weblink Center for Desease Control – CDC, February 3, 2018, Adoption in the United States is common and relatively easy from a legal point of view (compared to other Western countries).NEWS, Jardine, Cassandra, Why adoption is so easy in America,weblink The Daily Telegraph, London, October 31, 2007, In 2001, with over 127,000 adoptions, the U.S. accounted for nearly half of the total number of adoptions worldwide.WEB,weblink Child Adoption: Trends and policies, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2009, October 25, 2015, Same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, owing to the Supreme Court's 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, and it is legal for same-sex couples to adopt. Polygamy is illegal throughout the U.S.NEWS,weblink Some Muslims in U.S. Quietly Engage in Polygamy, National Public Radio: All Things Considered, July 23, 2009, May 27, 2008, Barbara Bradley, Hagerty,

Health

{{See also|Health care in the United States|Health care reform in the United States|Health insurance in the United States}}File:MGH Main Entrance.jpg|thumb|right|Massachusetts General HospitalMassachusetts General HospitalThe United States has a life expectancy of 79.8 years at birth, up from 75.2 years in 1990.WEB,weblink WHO Life expectancy data by country, WHO, 2012, June 1, 2013, WEB,weblink Country Comparison: Life Expectancy at Birth, CIA, The World Factbook, October 25, 2011, JOURNAL, Christopher J.L., Murray, The State of US Health, 1990–2010: Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors, Journal of the American Medical Association,weblink 10.1001/jama.2013.13805, July 10, 2013, 310, 6, 591–608, 23842577, 5436627,weblink July 25, 2013, yes, mdy, Life expectancy ranged from a high of 81.3 years in Hawaii to a low of 73.4 years in American Samoa.WEB,weblink Measure of America report, 2013 (Fact table, page 18)., January 8, 2018, WEB,weblink CIA World Factbook American Samoa., January 8, 2018, The infant mortality rate of 6.17 per thousand places the United States 56th-lowest out of 224 countries.WEB,weblink Country Comparison: Infant Mortality Rate, Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook,weblink April 11, 2014, May 17, 2014, no, Increasing obesity in the United States and health improvements elsewhere contributed to lowering the country's rank in life expectancy from 11th in the world in 1987, to 42nd in 2007.NEWS, MacAskill, Ewen,weblink US Tumbles Down the World Ratings List for Life Expectancy, August 13, 2007, The Guardian, August 15, 2007, London, Obesity rates have more than doubled in the last 30 years, are the highest in the industrialized world, and are among the highest anywhere.WEB, Mexico Obesity Rate Surpasses The United States', Making It Fattest Country in the Americas,weblink Huffington Post, BOOK, Schlosser, Eric, 2002, Fast Food Nation, Perennial, New York, 978-0-06-093845-1, 240, Approximately one-third of the adult population is obese and an additional third is overweight.WEB,weblink Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2003–2004, June 5, 2007, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Obesity-related type 2 diabetes is considered epidemic by health care professionals.WEB,weblink Fast Food, Central Nervous System Insulin Resistance, and Obesity, 2005, June 17, 2007, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, American Heart Association, In 2010, coronary artery disease, lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and traffic accidents caused the most years of life lost in the U.S. Low back pain, depression, musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, and anxiety caused the most years lost to disability. The most deleterious risk factors were poor diet, tobacco smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, physical inactivity, and alcohol use. Alzheimer's disease, drug abuse, kidney disease, cancer, and falls caused the most additional years of life lost over their age-adjusted 1990 per-capita rates. U.S. teenage pregnancy and abortion rates are substantially higher than in other Western nations, especially among blacks and Hispanics.WEB, About Teen Pregnancy,weblink Center for Disease Control, January 24, 2015, Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016, and is a leading cause of death in the United States.WEB, Suicide rising across the US,weblink Center for Disease Control, September 22, 2018, Drug overdoses, two-thirds of which are from opioids, are the leading cause of death for those under the age of 50.NEWS,weblink Drug Deaths in America Are Rising Faster Than Ever, Katz, Josh, June 5, 2017, The New York Times, The Upshot, September 22, 2018, The CDC reported in November 2018 that increased deaths from suicides and drug overdoses have decreased life expectancy in the U.S.NEWS, November 29, 2018, Suicides and Drug Overdose Deaths Push Down US Life Expectancy,weblink Voice of America, December 2, 2018, The U.S. is a global leader in medical innovation. America solely developed or contributed significantly to 9 of the top 10 most important medical innovations since 1975 as ranked by a 2001 poll of physicians, while the European Union and Switzerland together contributed to five.WEB, Whitman, Glen, Raad, Raymond, Bending the Productivity Curve: Why America Leads the World in Medical Innovation,weblink The Cato Institute, October 9, 2012, Since 1966, more Americans have received the Nobel Prize in Medicine than the rest of the world combined. From 1989 to 2002, four times more money was invested in private biotechnology companies in America than in Europe.NEWS, Cowen, Tyler, Poor U.S. Scores in Health Care Don't Measure Nobels and Innovation,weblink October 9, 2012, The New York Times, October 5, 2006, The U.S. health-care system far outspends any other nation, measured in both per capita spending and percentage of GDP.WEB,weblink The U.S. Healthcare System: The Best in the World or Just the Most Expensive?, 2001, November 29, 2006, University of Maine, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/20070309142240weblink">weblink March 9, 2007, {{cbignore}}Health-care coverage in the United States is a combination of public and private efforts and is not universal. In 2014, 13.4% of the population did not carry health insurance.WEB, In U.S., Uninsured Rate Holds at 13.4%,weblink Gallup, The subject of uninsured and underinsured Americans is a major political issue.NEWS, Abelson, Reed,weblink Ranks of Underinsured Are Rising, Study Finds, June 10, 2008, The New York Times, October 25, 2008, JOURNAL, Blewett, Lynn A., How Much Health Insurance Is Enough? Revisiting the Concept of Underinsurance, December 2006, 63, 6, 663–700, 10.1177/1077558706293634, 17099121, 1077-5587, Medical Care Research and Review, etal, In 2006, Massachusetts became the first state to mandate universal health insurance.NEWS, Fahrenthold, David A.,weblink Mass. Bill Requires Health Coverage, April 5, 2006, The Washington Post, June 19, 2007, Federal legislation passed in early 2010 would ostensibly create a near-universal health insurance system around the country by 2014,{{Update inline|date=April 2018}} though the bill and its ultimate effect are issues of controversy.WEB, Health Care Law 54% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law,weblink Rasmussen Reports, October 13, 2012, NEWS, Debate on ObamaCare to intensify in the wake of landmark Supreme Court ruling,weblink Fox News, June 29, 2012, October 14, 2012,

Education

File:University-of-Virginia-Rotunda.jpg|thumb|The University of Virginia, founded by Thomas JeffersonThomas JeffersonAmerican public education is operated by state and local governments, regulated by the United States Department of Education through restrictions on federal grants. In most states, children are required to attend school from the age of six or seven (generally, kindergarten or first grade) until they turn 18 (generally bringing them through twelfth grade, the end of high school); some states allow students to leave school at 16 or 17.WEB,weblink Ages for Compulsory School Attendance â€¦, June 10, 2007, U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, About 12% of children are enrolled in parochial or nonsectarian private schools. Just over 2% of children are homeschooled.WEB,weblink Statistics About Non-Public Education in the United States, June 5, 2007, U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Non-Public Education, The U.S. spends more on education per student than any nation in the world, spending more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student.NEWS, AP, U.S. education spending tops global list, study shows,weblink CBS, October 5, 2013, June 25, 2013, Some 80% of U.S. college students attend public universities.WEB, Public Education for the Common Good, Rosenstone, Steven J., University of Minnesota,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140801114734weblink">weblink December 17, 2009, March 6, 2009, August 1, 2014, The United States has many competitive private and public institutions of higher education. The majority of the world's top universities listed by different ranking organizations are in the U.S.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110717074903weblink">weblink July 17, 2011, QS World University Rankings, Topuniversities, July 10, 2011, WEB,weblink Top 200 â€“ The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010–2011, Times Higher Education, July 10, 2011, WEB,weblink Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014, Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, May 29, 2015, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150119210953weblink">weblink January 19, 2015, mdy, There are also local community colleges with generally more open admission policies, shorter academic programs, and lower tuition. Of Americans 25 and older, 84.6% graduated from high school, 52.6% attended some college, 27.2% earned a bachelor's degree, and 9.6% earned graduate degrees.WEB,weblink Educational Attainment in the United States: 2003, U.S. Census Bureau, August 1, 2006, The basic literacy rate is approximately 99%.For more detail on U.S. literacy, see A First Look at the Literacy of America's Adults in the 21st century, U.S. Department of Education (2003). The United Nations assigns the United States an Education Index of 0.97, tying it for 12th in the world.WEB, Human Development Indicators, 2005, United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Reports, January 14, 2008,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070620235428weblink">weblink June 20, 2007, As for public expenditures on higher education, the U.S. trails some other OECD nations but spends more per student than the OECD average, and more than all nations in combined public and private spending.WEB, Education at a Glance 2013,weblink OECD, October 5, 2013, {{As of|2018}}, student loan debt exceeded 1.5 trillion dollars, more than Americans owe on credit cards.NEWS, Student Loan Debt Exceeds One Trillion Dollars,weblink September 8, 2013, NPR, April 4, 2012, NEWS, Krupnick, Matt, October 4, 2018, Student loan crisis threatens a generation's American dream,weblink The Guardian, October 4, 2018,

Government and politics

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}}The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation. It is a representative democracy, "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law".Scheb, John M.; Scheb, John M. II (2002). An Introduction to the American Legal System. Florence, KY: Delmar, p. 6. {{ISBN|0-7668-2759-3}}. The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the U.S. Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document.WEB,weblink Constitution of the United States, The Office of the Secretary of the Senate, February 11, 2012, Killian, Johnny H., For 2016, the U.S. ranked 21st on the Democracy IndexREPORT, Democracy Index 2016,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170202071508weblink">weblink yes, February 2, 2017, The Economist Intelligence Unit, March 5, 2017, (tied with Italy) and 18th on the Corruption Perceptions Index.WEB, Corruption Perceptions Index 2016,weblink Transparency International, March 5, 2017, In the American federalist system, citizens are usually subject to three levels of government: federal, state, and local. The local government's duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments. In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district. There is no proportional representation at the federal level, and it is rare at lower levels.BOOK, Mikhail Filippov, Peter C. Ordeshook, Olga Shvetsova, Designing Federalism: A Theory of Self-Sustainable Federal Institutions,weblink February 9, 2004, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-01648-3, 242, BOOK, Barbara Bardes, Mack Shelley, Steffen Schmidt, American Government and Politics Today: Essentials 2013–2014 Edition,weblink January 1, 2013, Cengage Learning, 978-1-285-60571-5, 265–266, The federal government is composed of three branches:
  • Legislative: The bicameral Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives, makes federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse,WEB, The Legislative Branch, United States Diplomatic Mission to Germany,weblink August 20, 2012, and has the power of impeachment, by which it can remove sitting members of the government.WEB, The Process for impeachment, ThinkQuest,weblink August 20, 2012,
  • Executive: The President is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills before they become law (subject to Congressional override), and appoints the members of the Cabinet (subject to Senate approval) and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies.WEB, The Executive Branch,weblink The White House, February 11, 2017,
  • Judicial: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the President with Senate approval, interpret laws and overturn those they find unconstitutional.BOOK, Kermit L. Hall, Kevin T. McGuire, Institutions of American Democracy: The Judicial Branch,weblink September 9, 2005, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-988374-5, BOOK, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Learn about the United States: Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test,weblink March 18, 2013, Government Printing Office, 978-0-16-091708-0, 4, BOOK, Bryon Giddens-White, The Supreme Court and the Judicial Branch,weblink July 1, 2005, Heinemann Library, 978-1-4034-6608-2, BOOK, Charles L. Zelden, The Judicial Branch of Federal Government: People, Process, and Politics,weblink 2007, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-85109-702-9, October 25, 2015, WEB,weblink Federal Courts, United States Courts, October 19, 2014,
The House of Representatives has 435 voting members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states by population every tenth year. At the 2010 census, seven states had the minimum of one representative, while California, the most populous state, had 53.NEWS,weblink Census 2010: Gains and Losses in Congress, Bloch, Matt, Ericson, Matthew, Quealy, Kevin, The New York Times, May 30, 2013, The District of Columbia and the five major U.S. territories each have one member of Congress — these members are not allowed to vote.The Senate has 100 members with each state having two senators, elected at-large to six-year terms; one-third of Senate seats are up for election every other year. The District of Columbia and the five major U.S. territories do not have senators. The President serves a four-year term and may be elected to the office no more than twice. The President is not elected by direct vote, but by an indirect electoral college system in which the determining votes are apportioned to the states and the District of Columbia.WEB, What is the Electoral College, National Archives,weblink August 21, 2012, The Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice of the United States, has nine members, who serve for life.NEWS, Beyond politics: Why Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, Roger, Cossack,weblink CNN, July 13, 2000,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120712085825weblink">weblink July 12, 2012, yes, The state governments are structured in roughly similar fashion; Nebraska uniquely has a unicameral legislature.WEB,weblink Nebraska (state, United States) : Agriculture, Britannica Online Encyclopedia, November 11, 2012, The governor (chief executive) of each state is directly elected. Some state judges and cabinet officers are appointed by the governors of the respective states, while others are elected by popular vote.The original text of the Constitution establishes the structure and responsibilities of the federal government and its relationship with the individual states. Article One protects the right to the "great writ" of habeas corpus. The Constitution has been amended 27 times;Feldstein, Fabozzi, 2011, p. 9 the first ten amendments, which make up the Bill of Rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment form the central basis of Americans' individual rights. All laws and governmental procedures are subject to judicial review and any law ruled by the courts to be in violation of the Constitution is voided. The principle of judicial review, not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, was established by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803)Schultz, 2009, pp. 164, 453, 503 in a decision handed down by Chief Justice John Marshall.Schultz, 2009, p. 38

Political divisions

{{Further|Territorial evolution of the United States|United States territorial acquisitions}}File:US.EEZ Pacific centered NOAA map.png|thumb|left|Map of U.S. Economic Exclusion Zone,Map of the U.S. EEZ omits U.S. claimed Serranilla Bank and Bajo Nuevo BankBajo Nuevo BankThe United States is a federal republic of 50 states, a federal district, five territories and several uninhabited island possessions.WEB, Common Core Document of the United States of America,weblink United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State, July 10, 2015, December 30, 2011, {{sfn|The New York Times|2007|p=670}}{{sfn|Onuf|2010|p=xvii}} The states and territories are the principal administrative districts in the country. These are divided into subdivisions of counties and independent cities. The District of Columbia is a federal district that contains the capital of the United States, Washington DC.See {{usc|8|1101}}(a)(36) and {{usc|8|1101}}(a)(38) U.S. Federal Code, Immigration and Nationality Act. {{USC|8|1101a}} The states and the District of Columbia choose the President of the United States. Each state has presidential electors equal to the number of their Representatives and Senators in Congress; the District of Columbia has three (because of the 23rd Amendment).WEB, Electoral College Fast Facts {{!, U.S. House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives |url=http://history.house.gov/Institution/Electoral-College/Electoral-College/ |website=history.house.gov |accessdate=August 21, 2015}} Territories of the United States such as Puerto Rico do not have presidential electors, and so people in those territories cannot vote for the president.WEB, Watch John Oliver Cast His Ballot for Voting Rights for U.S. Territories,weblink Time, January 1, 2018, March 9, 2015, Congressional Districts are reapportioned among the states following each decennial Census of Population. Each state then draws single-member districts to conform with the census apportionment. The total number of voting Representatives is 435. There are also 6 non-voting representatives who represent the District of Columbia and the five major U.S. territories.U.S. House of Representatives. History, Art & Archives, Determining Apportionment and Reapportioning. viewed August 21, 2015.The United States also observes tribal sovereignty of the American Indian nations to a limited degree, as it does with the states' sovereignty. American Indians are U.S. citizens and tribal lands are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress and the federal courts. Like the states they have a great deal of autonomy, but also like the states, tribes are not allowed to make war, engage in their own foreign relations, or print and issue currency.WEB, Frequently Asked Questions,weblink U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Affairs, January 16, 2016, Citizenship is granted at birth in all states, the District of Columbia, and all major U.S. territories except American Samoa.WEB,weblink How Come American Samoans Still Don't Have U.S. Citizenship at Birth?, Joshua, Keating, June 5, 2015, Slate, WEB, American Samoa and the Citizenship Clause: A Study in Insular Cases Revisionism,weblink harvardlawreview.org, January 5, 2018, {{US statehood dates}}{{US territory dates}}

Parties and elections

File:Obama meets with Congressional Leadership July 2011.jpg|265|thumb|Congressional leadership meeting with President (Barack Obama|Obama]] in 2011.AV MEDIA, Debt And Deficit Negotiations,weblink 2011,weblink August 20, 2016, Image 4 of 20, Photograph, The White House, February 20, 2017, ){{multiple image
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}}The United States has operated under a two-party system for most of its history.NEWS, Etheridge, Eric, Deleith, Asger, A Republic or a Democracy?, New York Times blogs, The US system seems essentially a two-party system. ..., August 19, 2009,weblink November 7, 2010, For elective offices at most levels, state-administered primary elections choose the major party nominees for subsequent general elections. Since the general election of 1856, the major parties have been the Democratic Party, founded in 1824, and the Republican Party, founded in 1854. Since the Civil War, only one third-party presidential candidate—former president Theodore Roosevelt, running as a Progressive in 1912—has won as much as 20% of the popular vote. The President and Vice-president are elected through the Electoral College system.BOOK, Avaliktos, Neal, The Election Process Revisited,weblink January 1, 2004, Nova Publishers, 978-1-59454-054-7, 111, Within American political culture, the center-right Republican Party is considered "conservative" and the center-left Democratic Party is considered "liberal".BOOK, David Mosler, Robert Catley, America and Americans in Australia, 1998, Greenwood Publishing Group, 83,weblink April 11, 2016, 978-0-275-96252-4, BOOK, Grigsby, Ellen, Analyzing Politics: An Introduction to Political Science, Cengage Learning, 2008, 978-0-495-50112-1, 106–7, The states of the Northeast and West Coast and some of the Great Lakes states, known as "blue states", are relatively liberal. The "red states" of the South and parts of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains are relatively conservative.Republican Donald Trump, the winner of the 2016 presidential election, is serving as the 45th President of the United States.NEWS, Flegenheimer, Matt, Barbaro, Michael, Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment,weblink November 9, 2016, The New York Times, November 11, 2016, Leadership in the Senate includes Republican Vice President Mike Pence, Republican President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.WEB, U.S. Senate: Leadership & Officers,weblink www.senate.gov, August 25, 2015, Leadership in the House includes Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.WEB, Leadership {{!, House.gov |url=http://www.house.gov/leadership/ |website=www.house.gov |accessdate=August 25, 2015}}In the 115th United States Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate are controlled by the Republican Party. The Senate consists of 51 Republicans, and 47 Democrats with 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats; the House consists of 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats.WEB,weblink Congressional Profile Resources, Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, Office of the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, In state governorships, there are 33 Republicans, 16 Democrats, and 1 Independent.MultiState Associates Incorporated.2015 Governors and Legislatures. Viewed January 14, 2015. Among the DC mayor and the 5 territorial governors, there are 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat, 1 New Progressive, and 2 Independents.WEB, U.S. Governors,weblink National Governors Association, January 14, 2015, NEWS, Bowser is elected D.C. mayor, defeating independents Catania and Schwartz,weblink January 14, 2015, Washington Post, November 5, 2015, en,

Foreign relations

File:67º Período de Sesiones de la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas (8020913157).jpg|thumb|upright |The United Nations Headquarters was built in Midtown ManhattanMidtown ManhattanThe United States has an established structure of foreign relations. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and New York City is home to the United Nations Headquarters. It is a member of the G7,WEB,weblink What is the G8?, University of Toronto, February 11, 2012, G20, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Almost all countries have embassies in Washington, D.C., and many have consulates around the country. Likewise, nearly all nations host American diplomatic missions. However, Iran, North Korea, Bhutan, and the Republic of China (Taiwan) do not have formal diplomatic relations with the United States (although the U.S. still maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan and supplies it with military equipment).WEB,weblink Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990,, Kan, Shirley A., August 29, 2014, Federation of American Scientist, October 19, 2014, NEWS, Taiwan's Force Modernization: The American Side,weblink Defense Industry Daily, September 11, 2014, October 19, 2014, The United States has a "Special Relationship" with the United KingdomBOOK,weblink America's 'Special Relationships': Foreign and Domestic Aspects of the Politics of Alliance, 45, John, Axel, Schäfer, Dumbrell, 2009, 978-0-203-87270-3, October 25, 2015, and strong ties with Canada,WEB,weblink Canada–U.S. Relations, Ek, Carl, Ian F. Fergusson, yes, Congressional Research Service, September 3, 2010, August 28, 2011, Australia,WEB,weblink Australia: Background and U.S. Relations, Vaughn, Bruce, Congressional Research Service, August 8, 2008, August 28, 2011, New Zealand,WEB,weblink New Zealand: Background and Bilateral Relations with the United States, Vaughn, Bruce, Congressional Research Service, May 27, 2011, August 28, 2011, the Philippines,WEB,weblink The Republic of the Philippines and U.S. Interests, Lum, Thomas, Congressional Research Service, January 3, 2011, August 3, 2011, Japan,WEB,weblink PDF, Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress, Chanlett-Avery, Emma, Congressional Research Service, June 8, 2011, August 28, 2011, etal, South Korea,WEB,weblink U.S.–South Korea Relations: Issues for Congress, Mark E. Manyin, Emma Chanlett-Avery, Mary Beth Nikitin, Congressional Research Service, July 8, 2011, August 28, 2011, Israel,WEB,weblink Israel: Background and U.S. Relations, Zanotti, Jim, Congressional Research Service, July 31, 2014, September 12, 2014, and several European Union countries, including France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. It works closely with fellow NATO members on military and security issues and with its neighbors through the Organization of American States and free trade agreements such as the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. In 2008, the United States spent a net $25.4 billion on official development assistance, the most in the world. As a share of America's large gross national income (GNI), however, the U.S. contribution of 0.18% ranked last among 22 donor states. By contrast, private overseas giving by Americans is relatively generous.WEB, Shah, Anup, U.S. and Foreign Aid Assistance, April 13, 2009, GlobalIssues.org,weblink October 11, 2009, The U.S. exercises full international defense authority and responsibility for three sovereign nations through Compact of Free Association with Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau. These are Pacific island nations, once part of the U.S.-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands after World War II, which gained independence in subsequent years.BOOK, Charles L. Zelden, The Judicial Branch of Federal Government: People, Process, and Politics,weblink 2007, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-85109-702-9, 217, October 25, 2015, BOOK, Loren Yager, Emil Friberg, Leslie Holen, Foreign Relations: Migration from Micronesian Nations Has Had Significant Impact on Guam, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,weblink July 2003, DIANE Publishing, 978-0-7567-3394-0, 7, On October 25, 2017, Vice President Mike Pence announced at a In Defense of Christians annual dinner meeting in Washington that the United States would stop funding United Nations relief efforts, cases tackling the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, but insisted that the U.S. would instead help and aid Christians directly through the United States Agency for International Development.WEB, Trump to bypass U.N. and send aid directly to persecuted Christians in Middle East,weblink The Washington Times, October 26, 2017, Pence said that he will be visiting the Middle East in December and will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss peace agreements.WEB, Mike Pence: US to stop funding 'ineffective' UN efforts to help Christians persecuted in Middle East,weblink The Washington Examiner, October 26, 2017, WEB, Pence says US to stop funding 'ineffective' UN relief efforts,weblink The Hill, October 26, 2017,

Government finance

{{See also|Taxation in the United States|United States federal budget}}(File:Federal Debt Held by the Public 1790-2013.png|thumb|upright=1.9|U.S. federal debt held by the public as a percentage of GDP, from 1790 to 2013.WEB, Budget Office, Congressional, The Long-Term Budget Outlook 2013,weblink cbo.gov, Congress of the United States Congressional Budget Office, 10, January 21, 2016, )(File:Government Revenue and spending GDP.png|400px|right)Taxes in the United States are levied at the federal, state, and local government levels. These include taxes on income, payroll, property, sales, imports, estates and gifts, as well as various fees. Taxation in the United States is based on citizenship, not residency.WEB, Konish, Lorie, More Americans are considering cutting their ties with the US — here's why,weblink CNBC, August 23, 2018, June 30, 2018, Both non-resident citizens and Green Card holders living abroad are taxed on their income irrespective of where they live or where there income is earned. It is the only country in the world, other than Eritrea, to do so.WEB, Power, Julie, Tax fears: US-Aussie dual citizens provide IRS with details of $184 billion,weblink The Sydney Morning Herald, August 23, 2018, en, March 3, 2018, In 2010 taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.8% of GDP.NEWS, Porter, Eduardo, America's Aversion to Taxes,weblink In 1965, taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.7 percent of the nation's output. In 2010, they amounted to 24.8 percent. Excluding Chile and Mexico, the United States raises less tax revenue, as a share of the economy, than every other industrial country., The New York Times, August 14, 2012, August 15, 2012, During FY2012, the federal government collected approximately $2.45 trillion in tax revenue, up $147 billion or 6% versus FY2011 revenues of $2.30 trillion. Primary receipt categories included individual income taxes ($1,132B or 47%), Social Security/Social Insurance taxes ($845B or 35%), and corporate taxes ($242B or 10%). Based on CBO estimates,WEB,weblink The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2010, Congressional Budget Office, Congressional Budget Office (CBO), December 4, 2013, January 6, 2014, under 2013 tax law the top 1% will be paying the highest average tax rates since 1979, while other income groups will remain at historic lows.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Tax Code May Be the Most Progressive Since 1979,, January 4, 2013, January 6, 2014, Annie, Lowrey, U.S. taxation has historically been generally progressive, especially the federal income taxes, though by most measures it became noticeably less progressive after 1980.BOOK, Slemrod, Joel, Tax Progressivity and Income Inequality, JOURNAL, Piketty, Thomas, Saez, Emmanuel, How Progressive is the U.S. Federal Tax System? A Historical and International Perspective, 2007, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21, 1, 3–24, 10.1257/jep.21.1.3, It has sometimes been described as among the most progressive in the developed world, but this characterization is controversial.JOURNAL, Isabelle Joumard, Mauro Pisu, Debbie Bloch, Tackling income inequality The role of taxes and transfers, OECD Journal: Economic Studies, 2012, 27,weblink September 24, 2015, Various studies have compared the progressivity of tax systems of European countries with that of the United States (see for instance Prasad and Deng, 2009; Piketty and Saez, 2007; Joumard, 2001). Though they use different definitions, methods and databases, they reach the same conclusion: the US tax system is more progressive than those of the continental European countries., Taxation in the US:
  • JOURNAL, Prasad, M., Deng, Y., Taxation and the worlds of welfare, Socio-Economic Review, April 2, 2009, 7, 3, 431–457, 10.1093/ser/mwp005,weblink May 5, 2013, 10419/95615,
  • NEWS, Matthews, Dylan, Other countries don't have a "47%",weblink The Washington Post, October 29, 2013, September 19, 2012,
  • WEB, How Much Do People Pay in Federal Taxes?,weblink Peter G. Peterson Foundation, October 2, 2015,
  • WEB, T13-0174 – Average Effective Federal Tax Rates by Filing Status; by Expanded Cash Income Percentile, 2014,weblink The Tax Policy Center, October 2, 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150924113422weblink">weblink September 24, 2015, yes, mdy-all, WEB, Huang, Chye-Ching, Frentz, Nathaniel, What Do OECD Data Really Show About U.S. Taxes and Reducing Inequality?,weblink Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, September 13, 2015, NEWS, Matthews, Dylan, Other countries don't have a "47%",weblink The Washington Post, October 29, 2013, September 19, 2012, The highest 10% of income earners pay a majority of federal taxes,NEWS, Jane Wells, The rich do not pay the most taxes, they pay ALL the taxes,weblink CNBC, December 11, 2013, January 14, 2015, NEWS, Steve Hargreaves, The rich pay majority of U.S. income taxes,weblink CNN, March 12, 2013, January 14, 2015, WEB, Top 10 Percent of Earners Paid 68 Percent of Federal Income Taxes,weblink 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150106065112weblink">weblink January 6, 2015, 2014 Federal Budget in Pictures, The Heritage Foundation, February 25, 2017, yes, NEWS, Stephen Dinan, CBO: The wealthy pay 70 percent of taxes,weblink Washington Times, July 10, 2012, January 14, 2015, NEWS, The Tax Man Cometh! But For Whom?,weblink NPR, April 15, 2012, January 14, 2015, and about half of all taxes.NEWS, Wamhoff, Steve, Who Pays Taxes in America in 2014?,weblink January 17, 2015, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, April 7, 2014, Payroll taxes for Social Security are a flat regressive tax, with no tax charged on income above $118,500 (for 2015 and 2016) and no tax at all paid on unearned income from things such as stocks and capital gains.WEB, Agadoni, Laura, Characteristics of a Regressive Tax,weblink Houston Chronicle Small Business blog, WEB,weblink TPC Tax Topics &124; Payroll Taxes, Taxpolicycenter.org, January 13, 2014, The historic reasoning for the regressive nature of the payroll tax is that entitlement programs have not been viewed as welfare transfers.WEB, The Design of the Original Social Security Act,weblink Social Security Online, U.S. Social Security Administration, April 3, 2013, WEB, Blahous, Charles, The Dark Side of the Payroll Tax Cut,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131016140415weblink">weblink October 16, 2013, Defining Ideas, Hoover Institution, April 3, 2013, February 24, 2012, However, according to the Congressional Budget Office the net effect of Social Security is that the benefit to tax ratio ranges from roughly 70% for the top earnings quintile to about 170% for the lowest earning quintile, making the system progressive.WEB,weblink Is Social SecurityProgressove? CBO,
The top 10% paid 51.8% of total federal taxes in 2009, and the top 1%, with 13.4% of pre-tax national income, paid 22.3% of federal taxes.WEB, The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009,weblink April 3, 2013, Congressional Budget Office, July 2012, In 2013 the Tax Policy Center projected total federal effective tax rates of 35.5% for the top 1%, 27.2% for the top quintile, 13.8% for the middle quintile, and −2.7% for the bottom quintile.NEWS, Stephen, Ohlemacher, Tax bills for rich families approach 30-year high,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141029082458weblink">weblink April 3, 2013, The Seattle Times, Associated Press, March 3, 2013, October 29, 2014, NEWS, Who will pay what in 2013 taxes?,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141029085558weblink">weblink April 3, 2013, The Seattle Times, Associated Press, March 3, 2013, October 29, 2014, The incidence of corporate income tax has been a matter of considerable ongoing controversy for decades.Tax incidence of corporate tax in the United States:
  • WEB, Harris, Benjamin H., November 2009, Corporate Tax Incidence and Its Implications for Progressivity,weblink Tax Policy Center, October 9, 2013,
  • WEB, Gentry, William M., December 2007, A Review of the Evidence on the Incidence of the Corporate Income Tax,weblinkweblink November 1, 2013, OTA Paper 101, Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 9, 2013, yes, mdy-all,
  • BOOK, Fullerton, Don, Handbook of Public Economics, 2002, Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, 1788–1839,weblink Metcalf, Gilbert E., A.J. Auerbach and M. Feldstein, October 9, 2013, Tax Incidence,
  • JOURNAL, Musgrave, R.A., Carroll, J.J., Cook, L.D., Frane, L., Distribution of Tax Payments by Income Groups: A Case Study for 1948, National Tax Journal, March 1951, 4, 1, 1–53,weblink October 9, 2013, State and local taxes vary widely, but are generally less progressive than federal taxes as they rely heavily on broadly borne regressive sales and property taxes that yield less volatile revenue streams, though their consideration does not eliminate the progressive nature of overall taxation.WEB, Malm, Elizabeth, Comments on Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States,weblink Tax Foundation, April 3, 2013, February 20, 2013,
During FY 2012, the federal government spent $3.54 trillion on a budget or cash basis, down $60 billion or 1.7% vs. FY 2011 spending of $3.60 trillion. Major categories of FY 2012 spending included: Medicare & Medicaid ($802B or 23% of spending), Social Security ($768B or 22%), Defense Department ($670B or 19%), non-defense discretionary ($615B or 17%), other mandatory ($461B or 13%) and interest ($223B or 6%).WEB,weblink CBO Historical Tables-February 2013, Congressional Budget Office, February 5, 2013, April 23, 2013, The total national debt of the United States in the United States was $18.527 trillion (106% of the GDP) in 2014.WEB,weblink IMF, United States General government gross debt, Imf.org, September 14, 2006, August 5, 2014, {{efn|In January 2015, U.S. federal government debt held by the public was approximately $13 trillion, or about 72% of U.S. GDP. Intra-governmental holdings stood at $5 trillion, giving a combined total debt of $18.080 trillion.WEB,weblink Debt to the Penny (Daily History Search Application), TreasuryDirect, January 6, 2015, NEWS, Burgess Everett, The next debt ceiling fight,weblink Politico, January 6, 2015, January 6, 2015, By 2012, total federal debt had surpassed 100% of U.S. GDP.WEB, Thornton, Daniel L., The U.S. Deficit/Debt Problem: A Longer–Run Perspective,weblink Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, May 7, 2013, Nov–Dec 2012, The U.S. has a credit rating of AA+ from Standard & Poor's, AAA from Fitch, and AAA from Moody's.NEWS, Lopez, Luciana, Fitch backs away from downgrade of U.S. credit rating,weblink March 26, 2013, Reuters, January 28, 2013, }}

Military

File:US Navy 060618-N-8492C-212 An Air Force B-2 bomber along with other aircrafts from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fly over the Kitty Hawk, Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike groups.jpg|thumb|The carrier strike groups of the Kitty Hawk, Ronald Reagan, and Abraham Lincoln with aircraft from the Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force.]]The President holds the title of commander-in-chief of the nation's armed forces and appoints its leaders, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The United States Department of Defense administers the armed forces, including the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force. The Coast Guard is run by the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and by the Department of the Navy during times of war. In 2008, the armed forces had 1.4 million personnel on active duty. The Reserves and National Guard brought the total number of troops to 2.3 million. The Department of Defense also employed about 700,000 civilians, not including contractors.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130113101605weblink">weblink The Air Force in Facts and Figures (Armed Forces Manpower Trends, End Strength in Thousands), Air Force Magazine, May 2009, October 9, 2009, January 13, 2013, Military service is voluntary, though conscription may occur in wartime through the Selective Service System.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120915102215weblink">weblink What does Selective Service provide for America?, Selective Service System, February 11, 2012, September 15, 2012, American forces can be rapidly deployed by the Air Force's large fleet of transport aircraft, the Navy's 11 active aircraft carriers, and Marine expeditionary units at sea with the Navy's Atlantic and Pacific fleets. The military operates 865 bases and facilities abroad,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100228030019weblink">weblink February 28, 2010, Base Structure Report, Fiscal Year 2008 Baseline, Department of Defense, October 9, 2009, and maintains deployments greater than 100 active duty personnel in 25 foreign countries.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130724211511weblink">weblink Active Duty Military Personnel Strengths by Regional Area and by Country (309A), Department of Defense, March 31, 2010, October 7, 2010, July 24, 2013, The military budget of the United States in 2011 was more than $700 billion, 41% of global military spending and equal to the next 14 largest national military expenditures combined. At 4.7% of GDP, the rate was the second-highest among the top 15 military spenders, after Saudi Arabia.WEB, The 15 Countries with the Highest Military Expenditure in 2011,weblink 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130109085820weblink">weblink January 9, 2013, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, PDF, February 27, 2017, U.S. defense spending as a percentage of GDP ranked 23rd globally in 2012 according to the CIA.WEB, Compare,weblinkweblink yes, December 20, 2012, CIA World Factbook, RealClearWorld, February 4, 2013, Defense's share of U.S. spending has generally declined in recent decades, from Cold War peaks of 14.2% of GDP in 1953 and 69.5% of federal outlays in 1954 to 4.7% of GDP and 18.8% of federal outlays in 2011.WEB, Fiscal Year 2013 Historical Tables,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120417053737weblink">weblink yes, April 17, 2012, Budget of the U.S. Government, White House OMB, November 24, 2012, (File:US Global Military Presence.svg|thumb|US global military presence.)The proposed base Department of Defense budget for 2012, $553 billion, was a 4.2% increase over 2011; an additional $118 billion was proposed for the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.WEB,weblink Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request Overview, Department of Defense, February 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110725214533weblink">weblink July 25, 2011, yes, The last American troops serving in Iraq departed in December 2011;NEWS, Basu, Moni,weblink Deadly Iraq War Ends with Exit of Last U.S. Troops, CNN, December 18, 2011, February 5, 2012, 4,484 service members were killed during the Iraq War.WEB,weblink Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, February 5, 2012, February 5, 2012, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110321080348weblink">weblink March 21, 2011, mdy, Approximately 90,000 U.S. troops were serving in Afghanistan in April 2012;NEWS, John, Cherian, Turning Point, April 7, 2012, The Hindu Group,weblink Frontline (magazine), Frontline, December 2, 2012,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121202001115weblink">weblink December 2, 2012, There are currently 90,000 U.S. troops deployed in the country., by November 8, 2013 2,285 had been killed during the War in Afghanistan.WEB,weblink Department of Defence Defence Casualty Analysis System, Department of Defense, November 2013, November 11, 2013,

Law enforcement and crime

{{See also|Law of the United States|Second Amendment to the United States Constitution|Human rights in the United States#Justice system|Incarceration in the United States|Capital punishment in the United States}}File:NYPD impala.JPG|thumb|left|Law enforcement in the U.S. is maintained primarily by local police departments. The New York City Police DepartmentNew York City Police DepartmentLaw enforcement in the United States is primarily the responsibility of local police and sheriff's departments, with state police providing broader services. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is the largest in the country. Federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Marshals Service have specialized duties, including protecting civil rights, national security and enforcing U.S. federal courts' rulings and federal laws.WEB, U.S. Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, Who Governs & What They Do, Chiff.com,weblink August 21, 2012, At the federal level and in almost every state, a legal system operates on a common law. State courts conduct most criminal trials; federal courts handle certain designated crimes as well as certain appeals from the state criminal courts. Plea bargaining in the United States is very common; the vast majority of criminal cases in the country are settled by plea bargain rather than jury trial.WEB,weblink Plea Bargains, Findlaw, January 6, 2015, WEB,weblink Interview with Judge Michael McSpadden, PBS, December 16, 2003, In 2015, there were 15,696 murders which was 1,532 more than in 2014, a 10.8% increase, the largest since 1971.NEWS,weblink Murders up 10.8% in biggest percentage increase since 1971, FBI data shows, Beckett, Lois, September 26, 2016, Aufrichtig, Aliza, The Guardian, en-GB, 0261-3077, Davis, Kenan, December 22, 2016, The murder rate in 2015 was 4.9 per 100,000 people.WEB,weblink Murders Rose At Their Fastest Pace In A Quarter-Century Last Year, FiveThirtyEight, September 26, 2016, In 2016 the murder rate increased by 8.6%, with 17,250 murders that year.NEWS, Beckett, Lois, Chalabi, Mona, September 25, 2017, US murder rate rose in 2016 – but experts question claims of long-term trend,weblink The Guardian, September 25, 2017, The national clearance rate for homicides in 2015 was 64.1%, compared to 90% in 1965.NEWS, Kaste, Martin, March 30, 2015, Open Cases: Why One-Third Of Murders In America Go Unresolved,weblink NPR, May 8, 2017, In 2012 there were 4.7 murders per 100,000 persons in the United States, a 54% decline from the modern peak of 10.2 in 1980.WEB, Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics,weblink U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation, November 16, 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130703191609weblink">weblink July 3, 2013, mdy-all, WEB,weblink Crime in the United States, 2011, FBI '(Uniform Crime Statistics—Murder)', January 23, 2013, WEB,weblink UNODC Homicide Statistics, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), January 23, 2013, NEWS, Murder, September 2010, Federal Bureau of Investigation,weblink Crime in the United States, 2009, December 3, 2012,weblink September 20, 2010, There were 5.0 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2009 ... compared with the 2000 rate, a 10.4 percent decrease was recorded., In 2001–2, the United States had above-average levels of violent crime and particularly high levels of gun violence compared to other developed nations.WEB,weblink Eighth United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2001–2002), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), March 31, 2005, May 18, 2008, A cross-sectional analysis of the World Health Organization Mortality Database from 2010 showed that United States "homicide rates were 7.0 times higher than in other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher."JOURNAL, Grinshteyn, Erin, Hemenway, David, March 2016,weblink Violent Death Rates: The US Compared with Other High-income OECD Countries, 2010, The American Journal of Medicine, 129, 3, 226–273, 10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.10.025, 26551975, June 18, 2017, Gun ownership rights continue to be the subject of contentious political debate.From 1980 through 2008 males represented 77% of homicide victims and 90% of offenders. Blacks committed 52.5% of all homicides during that span, at a rate almost eight times that of whites ("whites" includes most Hispanics), and were victimized at a rate six times that of whites. Most homicides were intraracial, with 93% of black victims killed by blacks and 84% of white victims killed by whites.WEB, Alexia Cooper, Erica L. Smith, Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980–2008,weblink U.S. Department of Justice, November 14, 2015, 3, 12, November 2011, In 2012, Louisiana had the highest rate of murder and non-negligent manslaughter in the U.S., and New Hampshire the lowest.NEWS, Fuchs, Erin, Why Louisiana Is The Murder Capital of America,weblink Business Insider, October 1, 2013, The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports estimates that there were 3,246 violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents in 2012, for a total of over 9 million total crimes.NEWS, David, Agren, Mexico crime belies government claims of progress,weblink Florida Today â€“ USA Today, Melbourne, Florida, 4B, October 19, 2014, October 19, 2014, Capital punishment is sanctioned in the United States for certain federal and military crimes, and used in 31 states.NEWS, Connor, Tracy, Chuck, Elizabeth, Nebraska's Death Penalty Repealed With Veto Override,weblink June 11, 2015, NBC News, May 28, 2015, NEWS, Simpson, Ian, Maryland becomes latest U.S. state to abolish death penalty,weblink May 2, 2013, April 6, 2016, Reuters, No executions took place from 1967 to 1977, owing in part to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down arbitrary imposition of the death penalty. In 1976, that Court ruled that, under appropriate circumstances, capital punishment may constitutionally be imposed. Since the decision there have been more than 1,300 executions, a majority of these taking place in three states: Texas, Virginia, and Oklahoma.WEB,weblink Searchable Execution Database, October 10, 2012, Death Penalty Information Center, Meanwhile, several states have either abolished or struck down death penalty laws. In 2015, the country had the fifth-highest number of executions in the world, following China, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.WEB,weblink Death Sentences and Executions 2015, June 3, 2017, 2015, Amnesty International USA, The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate and largest prison population in the world.BOOK, Schmidt, Steffen W., Shelley, Mack C., Bardes, Barbara A., American Government & Politics Today,weblink 2008, Cengage Learning, 978-0-495-50228-9, 591, October 25, 2015, WEB, Walmsley, Roy,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070628215935weblink">weblink June 28, 2007, World Prison Population List, 2005, King's College London, International Centre for Prison Studies, For the latest data, see WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070804061423weblink">weblink August 4, 2007, Prison Brief for United States of America, June 21, 2006, King's College London, International Centre for Prison Studies, WEB,weblink The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences, United States National Research Council, National Research Council, 2014, May 10, 2014, . WEB,weblink Nation Behind Bars: A Human Rights Solution, Human Rights Watch, May 2014, May 10, 2014, Haymes et al, 2014, p. 389 At the start of 2008, more than 2.3 million people were incarcerated, more than one in every 100 adults.BOOK, Barkan, Steven E., Bryjak, George J., Fundamentals of Criminal Justice: A Sociological View,weblink 2011, Jones & Bartlett, 978-1-4496-5439-9, 23, October 25, 2015, In December 2012, the combined U.S. adult correctional systems supervised about 6,937,600 offenders. About 1 in every 35 adult residents in the United States was under some form of correctional supervision in December 2012, the lowest rate observed since 1997.WEB, Glaze, Lauren E., Herberman, Erinn J., Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012,weblink December 2013, The prison population has quadrupled since 1980,BOOK, Iadicola, Peter, Shupe, Anson, Violence, Inequality, and Human Freedom,weblink October 26, 2012, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-1-4422-0949-7, 456, and state and local spending on prisons and jails has grown three times as much as that spent on public education during the same period.WEB, Brown, Emma, Douglas-Gabriel, Danielle, Since 1980, spending on prisons has grown three times as much as spending on public education,weblink The Washington Post, July 12, 2016, July 7, 2016, However, the imprisonment rate for all prisoners sentenced to more than a year in state or federal facilities is 478 per 100,000 in 2013WEB, Prisoners in 2013,weblink Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the rate for pre-trial/remand prisoners is 153 per 100,000 residents in 2012.WEB, United States of America – International Centre for Prison Studies,weblink International Centre for Prison Studies, The country's high rate of incarceration is largely due to changes in sentencing guidelines and drug policies.BOOK, Clear, Todd R., Cole, George F., Reisig, Michael Dean, American Corrections,weblink 2008, Cengage Learning, 978-0-495-55323-6, 485, October 25, 2015, According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the majority of inmates held in federal prisons are convicted of drug offenses.WEB, Federal Bureau of Prisons: Statistics,weblink Federal Bureau of Prisons, March 4, 2015, The privatization of prisons and prison services which began in the 1980s has been a subject of debate.WEB, Moore, Adrian T., PRIVATE PRISONS: Quality Corrections at a Lower Cost,weblink Reason.org, Reason Foundation, April 29, 2015, WEB, Benefield, Nathan, Private Prisons Increase Capacity, Save Money, Improve Service,weblink Commonwealth Foundation.org, Commonwealth Foundation, April 29, 2015, October 24, 2007, JOURNAL, William G. Archambeault, Donald R. Deis, Jr., Cost Effectiveness Comparisons of Private Versus Public Prisons in Louisiana: A Comprehensive Analysis of Allen, Avoyelles, and Winn Correctional Centers, Journal of the Oklahoma Criminal Justice Research Consortium, 1997–1998, 4,weblink April 29, 2015, JOURNAL, Volokh, Alexander, A Tale of Two Systems: Cost, Quality, and Accountability in Private Prisons, Harvard Law Review, May 1, 2002, 115, 1868,weblink April 29, 2015, BOOK, Donna, Selman, Leighton, Paul, 2010, Punishment for Sale: Private Prisons, Big Business, and the Incarceration Binge,weblink New York City, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, xi, 1-4422-0173-8, BOOK, Harcourt, Bernard, Bernard Harcourt, The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order, Harvard University Press, 2012,weblink 235 & 236, 978-0-674-06616-8, JOURNAL, Neoliberalism's penal and debtor states, John L. Campbell, Theoretical Criminology, 2010, 14, 1, 59–73, 10.1177/1362480609352783,weblink NEWS, Davidson, Joe, Private federal prisons — less safe, less secure,weblink Washington Post, August 13, 2016, August 12, 2016, BOOK, Gottschalk, Marie, 2014, Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics,weblink Princeton University Press, 70, 0-691-16405-3, Marie Gottschalk, NEWS, Kerwin, Peter, Study finds private prisons keep inmates longer, without reducing future crime,weblink University of Wisconsin–Madison News, June 11, 2015, June 10, 2015, In 2018, Oklahoma had the highest incarceration rate (1,079 per 100,000 people), and Massachusetts the lowest (324 per 100,000 people).NEWS, June 7, 2018, Report: Oklahoma now 'world's prison capital',weblink KAKE, December 16, 2018, WEB,weblink States of Incarceration: The Global Context 2018, Wagner, Peter, Sawyer, Wendy, June 2018, Prison Policy Initiative, December 16, 2018, Among the U.S. territories, the highest incarceration rate was in the U.S. Virgin Islands (542 per 100,000 people) and the lowest was in Puerto Rico (313 per 100,000 people).WEB,weblink Virgin Islands (USA) – World Prison Brief, www.prisonstudies.org, WEB,weblink Puerto Rico (USA) – World Prison Brief, www.prisonstudies.org,

Economy

{{See also|Economic history of the United States}}{| class="infobox" style="font-size: 90%; border: 1px solid #999; float: right; margin-left: 1em; width:325px" style="background:#f5f5f5"! colspan="3" | Economic indicatorsgross domestic product>GDP $20.66 trillion (Q3 2018) style="text-align:right;"WEBSITE=BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS ACCESS-DATE=AUGUST 25, 2018, Consumer price index>CPI inflation 2.2% (November 2018) style="text-align:right;" PUBLISHER=BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS DATE=SEPTEMBER 2017, Employment-to-population ratio >HTTP://DATA.BLS.GOV/TIMESERIES/LNS12300000 >TITLE=LABOR FORCE STATISTICS FROM THE CURRENT POPULATION SURVEY ACCESSDATE=NOVEMBER 6, 2017, August 2016, Unemployment in the United States>Unemployment 3.7% (November 2018) style="text-align:right;" WEBSITE=BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS ACCESSDATE=NOVEMBER 6, 2017, Labor force#Labor force in the United States>Labor force participation rate 62.9% (November 2018) HTTP://DATA.BLS.GOV/TIMESERIES/LNS11300000 >TITLE=LABOR FORCE STATISTICS FROM THE CURRENT POPULATION SURVEY DATE=OCTOBER 2017 PUBLISHER=UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, November 6, 2017, National debt of the United States>Total public debt $21.85 trillion (November 2018) style="text-align:right;" PUBLISHER=TREASURY DIRECT DATE=NOVEMBER 9, 2016, Wealth in the United States>Household net worth $109.0 trillion (Q3 2018) style="text-align:right;" DATE=2017 WEBSITE=FEDERAL RESERVE DEADURL=YES ARCHIVEDATE=NOVEMBER 1, 2017, mdy-all, The United States has a capitalist mixed economyBOOK, The United States of America,weblink PediaPress, 24, GGKEY:2CYQCESKTB7, which is fueled by abundant natural resources and high productivity.Wright, Gavin; Czelusta, Jesse (2007). "Resource-Based Growth Past and Present", in Natural Resources: Neither Curse Nor Destiny, ed. Daniel Lederman and William Maloney. World Bank. p. 185. {{ISBN|0-8213-6545-2}}. According to the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. GDP of $16.8 trillion constitutes 24% of the gross world product at market exchange rates and over 19% of the gross world product at purchasing power parity (PPP).WEB,weblink International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database: United States, October 2014, November 2, 2014, The nominal GDP of the U.S. is estimated to be $17.528 trillion {{as of|2014|lc=y}}WEB,weblink European Union GDP, April 2014, June 14, 2014, International Monetary Fund, International Monetary Fund, From 1983 to 2008, U.S. real compounded annual GDP growth was 3.3%, compared to a 2.3% weighted average for the rest of the G7.JOURNAL, Hagopian, Kip, Ohanian, Lee, The Mismeasure of Inequality, Policy Review, August 1, 2012,weblink August 22, 2013, The country ranks ninth in the world in nominal GDP per capita according to the United Nations (first in the Americas)WEB,weblink United Nations Statistics Division – National Accounts, unstats.un.org, 2018-06-01, and sixth in GDP per capita at PPP. The U.S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141007054940weblink">weblink Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves, International Monetary Fund, April 9, 2012, October 7, 2014, The United States is the largest importer of goods and second-largest exporter, though exports per capita are relatively low. In 2010, the total U.S. trade deficit was $635 billion.WEB, Trade Statistics,weblink Greyhill Advisors, October 6, 2011, Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and Germany are its top trading partners.WEB,weblink Top Ten Countries with which the U.S. Trades, U.S. Census Bureau, August 2009, October 12, 2009, In 2010, oil was the largest import commodity, while transportation equipment was the country's largest export. Japan is the largest foreign holder of U.S. public debt.WEB, Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities, treasury.gov,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20151017031710weblink">weblink October 17, 2015, October 25, 2015, The largest holder of the U.S. debt are American entities, including federal government accounts and the Federal Reserve, who hold the majority of the debt.WEB, Who Holds Our Debt?,weblink WEB, The TRUTH About Who Really Owns All of America's Debt,weblink WEB, This surprising chart shows which countries own the most U.S. debt,weblink WEB, National debt: Whom does the US owe?,weblink {{efn|The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI, found that the United States' arms industry was the world's biggest exporter of major weapons from 2005 to 2009,NEWS, World's Top 5 arms exporters,weblink United Press International, March 18, 2015, and remained the largest exporter of major weapons during a period between 2010 and 2014, followed by Russia, China (PRC), and Germany.NEWS, China becomes the world's third largest arms exporter,weblink BBC News, March 15, 2015, March 18, 2015, NEWS, Shankar, Sneha, US Remains World's Largest Exporter of Arms While India Leaps Ahead To Become Largest Importer: Study,weblink International Business Times, March 17, 2015, March 18, 2015, }}In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 86.4% of the economy, with federal government activity accounting for 4.3% and state and local government activity (including federal transfers) the remaining 9.3%.WEB,weblink GDP by Industry, Greyhill Advisors, October 13, 2011, The number of employees at all levels of government outnumber those in manufacturing by 1.7 to 1.WEB,weblink Table B-1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail [In thousands], bls.gov, While its economy has reached a postindustrial level of development and its service sector constitutes 67.8% of GDP, the United States remains an industrial power.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080312123609weblink">weblink March 12, 2008, USA Economy in Brief, U.S. Dept. of State, International Information Programs, The leading business field by gross business receipts is wholesale and retail trade; by net income it is manufacturing.WEB,weblinkweblink February 9, 2012, Table 724—Number of Tax Returns, Receipts, and Net Income by Type of Business and Industry: 2005, XLS, U.S. Census Bureau, October 12, 2009, yes, In the franchising business model, McDonald's and Subway are the two most recognized brands in the world. Coca-Cola is the most recognized soft drink company in the world.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060325195617weblink">weblink yes, March 25, 2006, Sony, LG, Wal-Mart among Most Extendible Brands, Cheskin, June 6, 2005, June 19, 2007, Chemical products are the leading manufacturing field.WEB,weblinkweblink February 9, 2012, Table 964—Gross Domestic Product in Current and Real (2000) Dollars by Industry: 2006, U.S. Census Bureau, May 2008, October 12, 2009, yes, The United States is the largest producer of oil in the world, as well as its second-largest importer.WEB, U.S. surges past Saudis to become world's top oil supplier -PIRA,weblink Reuters, It is the world's number one producer of electrical and nuclear energy, as well as liquid natural gas, sulfur, phosphates, and salt. The National Mining Association provides data pertaining to coal and minerals that include beryllium, copper, lead, magnesium, zinc, titanium and others.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121216090931weblink">weblink yes, December 16, 2012, Coal Statistics, National Mining Association, January 13, 2014, WEB,weblink Minerals Production, National Mining Association, January 13, 2014, Agriculture accounts for just under 1% of GDP, yet the United States is the world's top producer of cornWEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080112182404weblink">weblink January 12, 2008, Corn, U.S. Grains Council, March 13, 2008, yes, and soybeans.WEB,weblink Soybean Demand Continues to Drive Production, Worldwatch Institute, November 6, 2007, March 13, 2008, The National Agricultural Statistics Service maintains agricultural statistics for products that include peanuts, oats, rye, wheat, rice, cotton, corn, barley, hay, sunflowers, and oilseeds. In addition, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides livestock statistics regarding beef, poultry, pork, and dairy products. The country is the primary developer and grower of genetically modified food, representing half of the world's biotech crops.WEB,weblink ISAAA Brief 39-2008: Executive Summary—Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2008, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, 15, July 16, 2010, Consumer spending comprises 68% of the U.S. economy in 2015."Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE)/Gross Domestic Product (GDP)" FRED Graph, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis In August 2010, the American labor force consisted of 154.1 million people. With 21.2 million people, government is the leading field of employment. The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with 16.4 million people. About 12% of workers are unionized, compared to 30% in Western Europe.WEB, Thomas, Fuller,weblink In the East, many EU work rules don't apply, International Herald Tribune,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20050616015106weblink">weblink June 16, 2005, June 15, 2005, yes, The World Bank ranks the United States first in the ease of hiring and firing workers.WEB,weblink June 28, 2007, Doing Business in the United States, 2006, World Bank, The United States is ranked among the top three in the Global Competitiveness Report as well. It has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than European nations tend to.WEB, Isabelle Joumard, Mauro Pisu, Debbie Bloch, Tackling income inequality The role of taxes and transfers,weblink OECD, May 21, 2015, 2012, The United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers paid vacationRay, Rebecca; Sanes, Milla; Schmitt, John (May 2013). No-Vacation Nation Revisited. Center for Economic and Policy Research. Retrieved September 8, 2013. and is one of just a few countries in the world without paid family leave as a legal right, with the others being Papua New Guinea, Suriname and Liberia.Bernard. Tara Siegel (February 22, 2013). "In Paid Family Leave, U.S. Trails Most of the Globe". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2013. While federal law does not require sick leave, it is a common benefit for government workers and full-time employees at corporations. 74% of full-time American workers get paid sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although only 24% of part-time workers get the same benefits.WEB, Vasel, Kathryn, Who doesn't get paid sick leave?,weblink CNN, In 2009, the United States had the third-highest workforce productivity per person in the world, behind Luxembourg and Norway. It was fourth in productivity per hour, behind those two countries and the Netherlands.WEB,weblink Total Economy Database, Summary Statistics, 1995–2010, The Conference Board, Total Economy Database, September 2010, September 20, 2009, The 2008–2012 global recession significantly affected the United States, with output still below potential according to the Congressional Budget Office.WEB,weblink Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 12, 2013, March 27, 2013, It brought high unemployment (which has been decreasing but remains above pre-recession levels), along with low consumer confidence, the continuing decline in home values and increase in foreclosures and personal bankruptcies, an escalating federal debt crisis, inflation, and rising petroleum and food prices.

Science and technology

File:Apollo 15 flag, rover, LM, Irwin cropped.jpg|thumb|Astronaut James Irwin walking on the Moon next to Apollo 15's landing module and lunar rover in 1971. The effort to reach the Moon was triggered by the Space RaceSpace RaceThe United States has been a leader in technological innovation since the late 19th century and scientific research since the mid-20th century. Methods for producing interchangeable parts were developed by the U.S. War Department by the Federal Armories during the first half of the 19th century. This technology, along with the establishment of a machine tool industry, enabled the U.S. to have large-scale manufacturing of sewing machines, bicycles and other items in the late 19th century and became known as the American system of manufacturing. Factory electrification in the early 20th century and introduction of the assembly line and other labor-saving techniques created the system called mass production.{{Hounshell1984}}In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone. Thomas Edison's research laboratory, one of the first of its kind, developed the phonograph, the first long-lasting light bulb, and the first viable movie camera.WEB, Thomas Edison's Most Famous Inventions,weblink Thomas A Edison Innovation Foundation, January 21, 2015, The latter led to emergence of the worldwide entertainment industry. In the early 20th century, the automobile companies of Ransom E. Olds and Henry Ford popularized the assembly line. The Wright brothers, in 1903, made the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight.WEB, Benedetti, François,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070912065254weblink">weblink September 12, 2007, 100 Years Ago, the Dream of Icarus Became Reality, Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), December 17, 2003, August 15, 2007, The rise of fascism and Nazism in the 1920s and 1930s led many European scientists, including Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and John von Neumann, to immigrate to the United States.BOOK, Fraser, Gordon, The Quantum Exodus: Jewish Fugitives, the Atomic Bomb, and the Holocaust, 2012, Oxford University Press, New York, 978-0-19-959215-9,weblink During World War II, the Manhattan Project developed nuclear weapons, ushering in the Atomic Age, while the Space Race produced rapid advances in rocketry, materials science, and aeronautics.BOOK,weblink 10 Little Americans, Google Books, September 15, 2014, 978-0-615-14052-0, WEB,weblink NASA's Apollo technology has changed the history, Sharon Gaudin, September 15, 2014, The invention of the transistor in the 1950s, a key active component in practically all modern electronics, led to many technological developments and a significant expansion of the U.S. technology industry.NEWS, Celebrating July 2: 10 Days That Changed History, The New York Times, Adam, Goodheart, July 2, 2006,weblink Silicon Valley: 110 Year Renaissance, McLaughlin, Weimers, Winslow 2008.BOOK, Roadmap to Entrepreneurial Success, Robert W. Price, AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, 2004, 978-0-8144-7190-6, 42,weblink This, in turn, led to the establishment of many new technology companies and regions around the country such as Silicon Valley in California. Advancements by American microprocessor companies such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and Intel along with both computer software and hardware companies that include Adobe Systems, Apple Inc., IBM, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems created and popularized the personal computer. The ARPANET was developed in the 1960s to meet Defense Department requirements, and became the first of a series of networks which evolved into the Internet.BOOK, Sawyer, Robert Keith, Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation,weblink 2012, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-973757-4, 256, These advancements then lead to greater personalization of technology for individual use.JOURNAL, Bennett, W. Lance Bennett, W. Lance, Segerberg, Alexandra, Digital Media and the Personalization of Collective Action, Information, Communication & Society, September 2011, 14, 6, 770–799, 10.1080/1369118X.2011.579141,weblink Submitted manuscript, {{As of|2013}}, 83.8% of American households owned at least one computer, and 73.3% had high-speed Internet service.WEB,weblink Computer and Internet Use Main, U.S. Census Bureau, July 22, 2015, 91% of Americans also own a mobile phone {{as of|2013|05|lc=y}}.NEWS,weblink Cell phone ownership hits 91% of adults, Pew Research Center, May 19, 2013, July 22, 2015, The United States ranks highly with regard to freedom of use of the internet.WEB, Freedom on the Net 2014,weblink Freedom House, In the 21st century, approximately two-thirds of research and development funding comes from the private sector.WEB,weblinkweblink February 10, 2012, Research and Development (R&D) Expenditures by Source and Objective: 1970 to 2004, U.S. Census Bureau, June 19, 2007, yes, The United States leads the world in scientific research papers and impact factor.NEWS,weblink MacLeod, Donald, Britain Second in World Research Rankings, March 21, 2006, The Guardian, May 14, 2006, London,

Income, poverty and wealth

{{Further|Income in the United States|Poverty in the United States|Affluence in the United States|United States counties by per capita income|Income inequality in the United States}}Americans have the highest average household and employee income among OECD nations, and in 2007 had the second-highest median household income.BOOK, Household Income,weblink Society at a Glance 2014: OECD Social Indicators, May 29, 2014, 10.1787/soc_glance-2014-en, March 18, 2014, Society at a Glance, 9789264200722, Development, Organization for Economic Cooperation and, Staff, Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (Oecd), WEB,weblink Income, OECD Better Life Index, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, May 26, 2017, In the United States, the average household net adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 41 071 a year, much higher than the OECD average of USD 29 016 and the highest figure in the OECD., WEB, OECD Better Life Index,weblink OECD, November 25, 2012, According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income was $59,039 in 2016.WEB,weblink U.S. middle-class incomes reached highest-ever level in 2016, Census Bureau says, Heather, Long, September 12, 2017, September 18, 2017, www.WashingtonPost.com, Accounting for 4.4% of the global population, Americans collectively possess 41.6% of the world's total wealth,WEB, Sherman, Erik, America is the richest, and most unequal, country,weblink Fortune, August 30, 2016, and Americans make up roughly half of the world's population of millionaires.WEB, McCarthy, Niall, The Countries With The Most Millionaires,weblink Statista, August 30, 2016, The Global Food Security Index ranked the U.S. number one for food affordability and overall food security in March 2013.WEB, Global Food Security Index,weblink The Economist Intelligence Unit, London, April 8, 2013, March 5, 2013, Americans on average have over twice as much living space per dwelling and per person as European Union residents, and more than every EU nation.WEB, Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poor,weblink Heritage Foundation, April 8, 2013, Rector, Robert, Sheffield, Rachel, September 13, 2011, For 2013 the United Nations Development Programme ranked the United States 5th among 187 countries in its Human Development Index and 28th in its inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI).WEB,weblink Human Development Report 2014, United Nations Development Programme, 168, July 26, 2014, File:South San Jose (crop).jpg|thumb|A tract housing development in San Jose, CaliforniaSan Jose, CaliforniaAfter years of stagnant growth, in 2016, according to the Census, median household income reached a record high after two consecutive years of record growth, although income inequality remains at record highs with top fifth of earners taking home more than half of all overall income. There has been a widening gap between productivity and median incomes since the 1970s.Mishel, Lawrence (April 26, 2012). The wedges between productivity and median compensation growth. Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved October 18, 2013. However, the gap between total compensation and productivity is not as wide because of increased employee benefits such as health insurance.WEB, Anderson, Richard G., How Well Do Wages Follow Productivity Growth?, 2007,weblink St. Louis Federal Reserve, October 25, 2015, The rise in the share of total annual income received by the top 1 percent, which has more than doubled from 9 percent in 1976 to 20 percent in 2011, has significantly affected income inequality,Alvaredo, Facundo; Atkinson, Anthony B.; Piketty, Thomas; Saez, Emmanuel (2013). "The Top 1 Percent in International and Historical Perspective". Journal of Economic Perspectives. Retrieved August 16, 2013. leaving the United States with one of the widest income distributions among OECD nations.JOURNAL, Smeeding, T.M., 2005, Public Policy: Economic Inequality and Poverty: The United States in Comparative Perspective, Social Science Quarterly, 86, 955–983, 10.1111/j.0038-4941.2005.00331.x, WEB, Tcherneva, Pavlina R., When a rising tide sinks most boats: trends in US income inequality,weblink levyinstitute.org, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, April 10, 2015, April 2015, WEB,weblink Saez, E., Table A1: Top Fractiles Income Shares (Excluding Capital Gains) in the U.S., 1913–2005, UC Berkeley, October 2007, July 24, 2008, WEB,weblink Field Listing—Distribution of Family Income—Gini Index, CIA, The World Factbook, June 14, 2007, June 17, 2007, Focus on Top Incomes and Taxation in OECD Countries: Was the crisis a game changer? OECD, May 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014. According to a 2018 study by the OECD, the United States has much higher income inequality and a larger percentage of low-income workers than almost any other developed nation. This is largely because at-risk workers get almost no government support and are further set back by a very weak collective bargaining system.NEWS, Van Dam, Andrew, July 4, 2018, Is it great to be a worker in the U.S.? Not compared with the rest of the developed world.,weblink The Washington Post, July 12, 2018, The top 1 percent of income-earners accounted for 52 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2015, where income is defined as market income excluding government transfers,Saez, Emmanuel (June 30, 2016). "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States". University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved September 15, 2017. The extent and relevance of income inequality is a matter of debate.JOURNAL, Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, Martin Gilens, Benjamin I. Page, yes, Perspectives on Politics, 2014, 12, 3, 564–581, 10.1017/S1537592714001595,weblink BOOK, Economic Inequality and Political Representation, Larry Bartels, The Unsustainable American State, 2009, 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392135.003.0007,weblink 167–196, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160304091537weblink">weblink March 4, 2016, 978-0-19-539213-5, 10.1.1.172.7597, JOURNAL, Responsiveness in an Era of Inequality: The Case of the U.S. Senate, Thomas J. Hayes, Political Research Quarterly, 2012, 66, 3, 585–599, 10.1177/1065912912459567, 1900856, NEWS, Dunsmuir, Lindsay, October 11, 2017, IMF calls for fiscal policies that tackle rising inequality,weblink Reuters, August 2, 2018, "While overall global inequality has fallen in recent decades because of the economic rise of countries such as China and India, inequality within countries has risen sharply, especially in large countries like the United States and China. The Fund warned that excessive inequality could lower economic growth as well as polarize politics.", JOURNAL, Winship, Scott, Overstating the Costs of Inequality, National Affairs, Spring 2013, 15,weblinkweblink January 13, 2014, April 29, 2015, yes, WEB, Income Inequality in America: Fact and Fiction,weblink Manhattan Institute, April 29, 2015, May 2014, JOURNAL, Brunner, Eric, Ross, Stephen L, Washington, Ebonya, Does Less Income Mean Less Representation?, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, May 2013, 5, 2, 53–76, 10.1257/pol.5.2.53,weblink July 12, 2015, 10.1.1.360.9508, NEWS, Feldstein, Martin, Piketty's Numbers Don't Add Up: Ignoring dramatic changes in tax rules since 1980 creates the false impression that income inequality is rising.,weblink July 12, 2015, Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2014, {| class="floatright" style="margin:auto; text-align:right;"|+ United States' families median net worth source: Fed Survey of Consumer FinancesWEB, Weston, Liz, Americans Are Pissed – This Chart Might Explain Why,weblink nerdwallet.com, May 10, 2016, ! in 2013 dollars !! 1998 !! 2013 !! change| -20.8%| -26.5%| -52.7%| -19.1%| +74.9%Wealth, like income and taxes, is highly concentrated; the richest 10% of the adult population possess 72% of the country's household wealth, while the bottom half claim only 2%.Piketty, Thomas (2014). Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Belknap Press. {{ISBN|0-674-43000-X}} p. 257 According to a September 2017 report by the Federal Reserve, the top 1% controlled 38.6% of the country's wealth in 2016.NEWS, Egan, Matt, September 27, 2017, Record inequality: The top 1% controls 38.6% of America's wealth,weblink CNNMoney, October 12, 2017, Between June 2007 and November 2008 the global recession led to falling asset prices around the world. Assets owned by Americans lost about a quarter of their value.JOURNAL, Altman, Roger C.,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081223095528weblink">weblink December 23, 2008, The Great Crash, 2008, Foreign Affairs, February 27, 2009, Since peaking in the second quarter of 2007, household wealth was down $14 trillion, but has since increased $14 trillion over 2006 levels."Americans' wealth drops $1.3 trillion". CNN Money. June 11, 2009.WEB,weblink Households and Nonprofit Organizations; Net Worth, Level, stlouisfed.org, October 25, 2015, At the end of 2014, household debt amounted to $11.8 trillion,WEB,weblink Household Debt and Credit Report, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, June 26, 2015, none, down from $13.8 trillion at the end of 2008.WEB,weblink U.S. household wealth falls $11.2 trillion in 2008, Reuters, October 4, 2014, There were about 578,424 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the U.S. in January 2014, with almost two-thirds staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.WEB, The 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress,weblink The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, August 6, 2015, 2014, In 2011 16.7 million children lived in food-insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels, though only 1.1% of U.S. children, or 845,000, saw reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns at some point during the year, and most cases were not chronic.WEB, Household Food Security in the United States in 2011,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121007231515weblink">weblink yes, October 7, 2012, USDA, April 8, 2013, September 2012, According to a 2014 report by the Census Bureau, one in five young adults lives in poverty, up from one in seven in 1980.New Census Bureau Statistics Show How Young Adults Today Compare With Previous Generations in Neighborhoods Nationwide. U.S. Census Bureau, December 4, 2014. {{as of|2017|September}}, 40 million people, roughly 12.7% of the U.S. population, were living in poverty, with 18.5 million of those living in deep poverty (a family income below one-half of the poverty threshold). In 2016, 13.3 million children were living in poverty, which made up 32.6% of the impoverished population.WEB,weblink Statement on Visit to the USA, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Alston, Philp, December 15, 2017, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR, December 22, 2017, Philip Alston, In 2017, the region with the lowest poverty rate was New Hampshire (7.3%), and the region with the highest poverty rate was American Samoa (65%).Forbes.com. Places: New Hampshire. Retrieved January 5, 2018.Census.gov. Quick Facts: New Hampshire. Retrieved January 5, 2018.Pireport.org. American Samoa Governor Says Small Economies 'Cannot Afford Any Reduction In Medicaid'. Fili Sagapolutele. February 3, 2017. Retrieved January 8, 2018. Among the states, the highest poverty rate was in Mississippi (21.9%).247wallst.com. America's Happiest (And Most Miserable) States. Samuel Stebbins, Michael B. Sauter, Evan Comen and Thomas C. Frohlich. February 1, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2018. According to the UN, around five million people in the U.S. live in "third world" conditions.NEWS, June 4, 2018, "Contempt for the poor in US drives cruel policies," says UN expert,weblink OHCHR, June 5, 2018,

Infrastructure

Transportation

File:Map of current Interstates.svg|thumb|The 46876|mi|km}}.WEB, Interstate FAQ (Question #3), Federal Highway Administration, 2006,weblink March 4, 2009, File:Class1rr.png|thumb| Class 1 freight rail-lines in North America]]Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles, which operate on a network of {{convert|4|e6mi|abbr=off|sp=us}} of public roads,WEB, Public Road and Street Mileage in the United States by Type of Surface,weblink United States Department of Transportation, January 13, 2015, including one of the world's longest highway systems at {{convert|57000|mi|-2|abbr=on}}.NEWS,weblink China Expressway System to Exceed US Interstates, New Geography, Grand Forks, ND, January 22, 2011, September 16, 2011, The world's second-largest automobile market,NEWS,weblink China overtakes US in car sales, The Guardian, January 8, 2010, July 10, 2011, London, the United States has the highest rate of per-capita vehicle ownership in the world, with 765 vehicles per 1,000 Americans (1996).WEB,weblink Motor vehicles statistics â€“ countries compared worldwide, NationMaster, July 10, 2011, About 40% of personal vehicles are vans, SUVs, or light trucks.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20050513103251weblink">weblink yes, May 13, 2005, Household, Individual, and Vehicle Characteristics, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2001 National Household Travel Survey, August 15, 2007, The average American adult (accounting for all drivers and non-drivers) spends 55 minutes driving every day, traveling {{convert|29|mi|km|0}}.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20050513103255weblink">weblink yes, May 13, 2005, Daily Passenger Travel, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2001 National Household Travel Survey, August 15, 2007, In 2017, there were 255,009,283 motor vehicles—including cars, vans, buses, freight, and other trucks, but excluding motorcycles and other two-wheelers—or 910 vehicles per 1,000 people.WEB,weblink Vehicle Statistics: Cars Per Capita, Capitol Tires, File:High Speed Railroad Map of the United States 2013.svg|thumb|Map showing Amtrak (passenger) rail speeds in the United States.REPORT, Todorovich, Petra, Hagler, Yoav, High Speed Rail in America, America 2050, January 2011,weblink PDF, May 5, 2011, ]]Mass transit accounts for 9% of total U.S. work trips.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140912143021weblink">weblink Renne, John L., Wells, Jan S., Emerging European-Style Planning in the United States: Transit-Oriented Development, 2, 2003, Rutgers University, June 11, 2007, September 12, 2014, WEB,weblink NatGeo surveys countries' transit use: guess who comes in last, Benfield, Kaid, Natural Resources Defense Council, May 18, 2009, January 6, 2015, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150120234533weblink">weblink January 20, 2015, mdy-all, Transport of goods by rail is extensive, though relatively low numbers of passengers (approximately 31 million annually) use intercity rail to travel, partly because of the low population density throughout much of the U.S. interior.WEB,weblink Intercity Passenger Rail: National Policy and Strategies Needed to Maximize Public Benefits from Federal Expenditures, November 13, 2006, U.S. Government Accountability Office, June 20, 2007, NEWS,weblink The Economist Explains: Why Americans Don't Ride Trains, August 29, 2013, The Economist, May 12, 2015, However, ridership on Amtrak, the national intercity passenger rail system, grew by almost 37% between 2000 and 2010.WEB, Amtrak Ridership Records,weblink Amtrak, June 8, 2011, February 29, 2012, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120509091022weblink">weblink May 9, 2012, mdy-all, Also, light rail development has increased in recent years.NEWS,weblink 3 Reasons Light Rail Is an Efficient Transportation Option for U.S. Cities, McGill, Tracy, MetaEfficient, January 1, 2011, June 14, 2013, Bicycle usage for work commutes is minimal.WEB, Brian, McKenzie,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140513133037weblink">weblink yes, May 13, 2014, Modes Less Traveled—Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008–2012, U.S. Census Bureau, May 2014, The civil airline industry is entirely privately owned and has been largely deregulated since 1978, while most major airports are publicly owned.WEB, Privatization,weblink downsizinggovernment.org, Cato Institute, December 27, 2014, The three largest airlines in the world by passengers carried are U.S.-based; American Airlines is number one after its 2013 acquisition by US Airways.WEB,weblink Scheduled Passengers Carried, International Air Transport Association (IATA), 2011, February 17, 2012, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150102034843weblink">weblink January 2, 2015, Of the world's 50 busiest passenger airports, 16 are in the United States, including the busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and the fourth-busiest, O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.WEB,weblink Preliminary World Airport Traffic and Rankings 2013 – High Growth Dubai Moves Up to 7th Busiest Airport, Airports Council International,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140401052319weblink">weblink April 1, 2014, March 31, 2014, May 17, 2014, no, In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks of 2001, the Transportation Security Administration was created to police airports and commercial airliners.

Energy

{{Further|Energy policy of the United States}}File:UnitedStatesPowerGrid.jpg|thumb|The U.S. power transmission grid consists of about {{convert|300000|km|mi|abbr=on}} of lines operated by approximately 500 companies. The North American Electric Reliability CorporationNorth American Electric Reliability CorporationThe United States energy market is about 29,000 terawatt hours per year.IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20131007042901weblink |date=October 7, 2013 }}, 2006 {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20091012043312weblink |date=October 12, 2009 }} IEA October, crude oil p. 11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15 Energy consumption per capita is 7.8 tons (7076 kg) of oil equivalent per year, the 10th-highest rate in the world. In 2005, 40% of this energy came from petroleum, 23% from coal, and 22% from natural gas. The remainder was supplied by nuclear power and renewable energy sources.WEB,weblink Diagram 1: Energy Flow, 2007, EIA Annual Energy Review, 2007, U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration, June 25, 2008, The United States is the world's largest consumer of petroleum.WEB,weblink Country Comparison: Refined Petroleum Products âˆ’ Consumption, Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, May 18, 2014, The United States has 27% of global coal reserves.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130724221536weblink">weblink July 24, 2013, BP Statistical Review of World Energy, British Petroleum, XLS, June 2007, February 22, 2010, It is the world's largest producer of natural gas and crude oil.NEWS, Ames, Paul, May 30, 2013, Could fracking make the Persian Gulf irrelevant?,weblink Salon, May 30, 2012, Since November, the United States has replaced Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producer of crude oil. It had already overtaken Russia as the leading producer of natural gas., For decades, nuclear power has played a limited role relative to many other developed countries, in part because of public perception in the wake of a 1979 accident. In 2007, several applications for new nuclear plants were filed.NEWS,weblink Atomic Renaissance, The Economist, London, September 6, 2007, September 6, 2007,

Water supply and sanitation

{{Update|section|date=September 2018}}Issues that affect water supply in the United States include droughts in the West, water scarcity, pollution, a backlog of investment, concerns about the affordability of water for the poorest, and a rapidly retiring workforce. Increased variability and intensity of rainfall as a result of climate change is expected to produce both more severe droughts and flooding, with potentially serious consequences for water supply and for pollution from combined sewer overflows.WEB, American Metropolitan Water Association, Implications of Climate Change for Urban Water Utilities – Main Report, December 2007,weblink PDF, February 26, 2009, WEB, National Academies' Water Information Center, Drinking Water Basics,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080917075648weblink">weblink yes, September 17, 2008, February 26, 2009, {{efn|Droughts are likely to particularly affect the 66 percent of Americans whose communities depend on surface water.WEB, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Water on Tap: What You Need to Know, 2003,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090223172052weblink">weblink February 23, 2009, February 23, 2009, , p. 11 As for drinking water quality, there are concerns about disinfection by-products, lead, perchlorates and pharmaceutical substances, but generally drinking water quality in the U.S. is good.WEB, McLendon, Russell, How polluted is U.S. drinking water?,weblink Mother Nature Network, October 20, 2015, }}

Culture

File:American 1902 Fourth of July fireworks.jpg|thumb|upright=1.25|American children of many ethnic backgrounds celebrate noisily in a 1902 Puck cartoon.]]The United States is home to many cultures and a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values.Adams, J.Q.; Strother-Adams, Pearlie (2001). Dealing with Diversity. Chicago: Kendall/Hunt. {{ISBN|0-7872-8145-X}}.Thompson, William; Hickey, Joseph (2005). Society in Focus. Boston: Pearson. {{ISBN|0-205-41365-X}}. Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans or their ancestors settled or immigrated within the past five centuries.Fiorina, Morris P.; Peterson, Paul E. (2000). The New American Democracy. London: Longman, p. 97. {{ISBN|0-321-07058-5}}. Mainstream American culture is a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of European immigrants with influences from many other sources, such as traditions brought by slaves from Africa.Holloway, Joseph E. (2005). Africanisms in American Culture, 2d ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 18–38. {{ISBN|0-253-34479-4}}. Johnson, Fern L. (1999). Speaking Culturally: Language Diversity in the United States. Thousand Oaks, Calif., London, and New Delhi: Sage, p. 116. {{ISBN|0-8039-5912-5}}. More recent immigration from Asia and especially Latin America has added to a cultural mix that has been described as both a homogenizing melting pot, and a heterogeneous salad bowl in which immigrants and their descendants retain distinctive cultural characteristics.Core American culture was established by Protestant British colonists and shaped by the frontier settlement process, with the traits derived passed down to descendants and transmitted to immigrants through assimilation. Americans have traditionally been characterized by a strong work ethic, competitiveness, and individualism,WEB, Huffington Post,weblink Is Individualism Good or Bad?, July 10, 2013, Richard Koch, as well as a unifying belief in an "American creed" emphasizing liberty, equality, private property, democracy, rule of law, and a preference for limited government.BOOK, Huntington, Samuel P., Samuel P. Huntington, Who are We?: The Challenges to America's National Identity, 2004, Simon & Schuster,weblink Chapters 2–4, 978-0-684-87053-3, October 25, 2015, : also see American's Creed, written by William Tyler Page and adopted by Congress in 1918. Americans are extremely charitable by global standards. According to a 2006 British study, Americans gave 1.67% of GDP to charity, more than any other nation studied, more than twice the second place British figure of 0.73%, and around twelve times the French figure of 0.14%.NEWS, AP, Americans give record $295B to charity,weblink October 4, 2013, USA Today, June 25, 2007, WEB, International comparisons of charitable giving,weblink Charities Aid Foundation, October 4, 2013, November 2006, The American Dream, or the perception that Americans enjoy high social mobility, plays a key role in attracting immigrants.WEB, Clifton, Jon, More Than 100 Million Worldwide Dream of a Life in the U.S. More than 25% in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Dominican Republic want to move to the U.S,weblink Gallup, January 10, 2014, March 21, 2013, Whether this perception is realistic has been a topic of debate.WEB,weblink A Family Affair: Intergenerational Social Mobility across OECD Countries, OECD, Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth, 2010, September 20, 2010, WEB,weblink Intergenerational Mobility in Europe and North America, Blanden, Jo, Gregg, Paul, Machin, Stephen, Centre for Economic Performance, April 2005,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060623094610weblink">weblink June 23, 2006, Gould, Elise (October 10, 2012). "U.S. lags behind peer countries in mobility." Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved July 15, 2013.CAP: Understanding Mobility in America. April 26, 2006WEB, Schneider, Donald, A Guide to Understanding International Comparisons of Economic Mobility,weblink The Heritage Foundation, August 22, 2013, July 29, 2013, JOURNAL, Winship, Scott, Overstating the Costs of Inequality, National Affairs, Spring 2013,weblinkweblink January 13, 2014, January 10, 2014, yes, While mainstream culture holds that the United States is a classless society,BOOK, Gutfeld, Amon, 2002, American Exceptionalism: The Effects of Plenty on the American Experience, Sussex Academic Press, Brighton and Portland, 65, 978-1-903900-08-6, scholars identify significant differences between the country's social classes, affecting socialization, language, and values.BOOK, Zweig, Michael, 2004, What's Class Got To Do With It, American Society in the Twenty-First Century, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 978-0-8014-8899-3, WEB,weblink Effects of Social Class and Interactive Setting on Maternal Speech, Education Resource Information Center, January 27, 2007, Americans' self-images, social viewpoints, and cultural expectations are associated with their occupations to an unusually close degree.BOOK, Eichar, Douglas, 1989, Occupation and Class Consciousness in America, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 978-0-313-26111-4, While Americans tend greatly to value socioeconomic achievement, being ordinary or average is generally seen as a positive attribute.BOOK, O'Keefe, Kevin, 2005, The Average American, PublicAffairs, New York, 978-1-58648-270-1,

Food

File:Motherhood and apple pie.jpg|thumb|Apple pieApple pieMainstream American cuisine is similar to that in other Western countries. Wheat is the primary cereal grain with about three-quarters of grain products made of wheat flourWEB, Wheat Info,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20091011012758weblink">weblink yes, October 11, 2009, Wheatworld.org, January 15, 2015, and many dishes use indigenous ingredients, such as turkey, venison, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup which were consumed by Native Americans and early European settlers.WEB, Traditional Indigenous Recipes,weblink American Indian Health and Diet Project, September 15, 2014, These homegrown foods are part of a shared national menu on one of America's most popular holidays; Thanksgiving, when some Americans make traditional foods to celebrate the occasion.BOOK, Sidney Wilfred Mintz, Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom: Excursions Into Eating, Culture, and the Past,weblink 1996, Beacon Press, 978-0-8070-4629-6, 134–, October 25, 2015, File:Roast turkey.jpg|thumb|Roasted turkey is a traditional menu item of an American Thanksgiving dinner.BOOK, Angus K. Gillespie, Jay Mechling, American Wildlife in Symbol and Story,weblink January 1, 1995, Univ. of Tennessee Press, 978-1-57233-259-1, 31–, ]]Characteristic dishes such as apple pie, fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrants. French fries, Mexican dishes such as burritos and tacos, and pasta dishes freely adapted from Italian sources are widely consumed.WEB,weblink Klapthor, James N., What, When, and Where Americans Eat in 2003, Newswise/Institute of Food Technologists, August 23, 2003, June 19, 2007, Americans drink three times as much coffee as tea.NEWS, H, D, The coffee insurgency,weblink The Economist, January 15, 2015, Marketing by U.S. industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages.Smith, 2004, pp. 131–132Levenstein, 2003, pp. 154–55American eating habits owe a great deal to that of their British culinary roots with some variations. Although American lands could grow newer vegetables that Britain could not, most colonists would not eat these new foods until accepted by Europeans.BOOK, Harvey A. Levenstein, Revolution at the Table: The Transformation of the American Diet, 3,weblink 1988, University of California Press, 978-0-520-23439-0, October 25, 2015, Over time American foods changed to a point that food critic, John L. Hess stated in 1972: "Our founding fathers were as far superior to our present political leaders in the quality of their food as they were in the quality of their prose and intelligence".BOOK, Jennifer Jensen Wallach, How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture,weblink 2013, Rowman & Littlefield, xi, 978-1-4422-0874-2, October 25, 2015, The American fast food industry, the world's largest,WEB, Breadsley, Eleanor, Why McDonald's in France Doesn't Feel Like Fast Food,weblink NPR, January 15, 2015, pioneered the drive-through format in the 1940s.WEB, When Was the First Drive-Thru Restaurant Created?,weblink Wisegeek.org, January 15, 2015, Fast food consumption has sparked health concerns. During the 1980s and 1990s, Americans' caloric intake rose 24%; frequent dining at fast food outlets is associated with what public health officials call the American "obesity epidemic".Boslaugh, Sarah (2010). "Obesity Epidemic", in Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices, ed. Roger Chapman. Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, pp. 413–14. {{ISBN|978-0-7656-1761-3}}. Highly sweetened soft drinks are widely popular, and sugared beverages account for nine percent of American caloric intake.WEB, Fast Food, Central Nervous System Insulin Resistance, and Obesity, American Heart Association, 2005, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology,weblink June 9, 2007, WEB, Let's Eat Out: Americans Weigh Taste, Convenience, and Nutrition, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture,weblinkweblink December 7, 2009, June 9, 2007, yes, mdy-all,

Literature, philosophy, and visual art

File:Mark Twain, Brady-Handy photo portrait, Feb 7, 1871, cropped.jpg|thumb|upright|left|Mark Twain, American author and humorist.]]In the 18th and early 19th centuries, American art and literature took most of its cues from Europe. Writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry David Thoreau established a distinctive American literary voice by the middle of the 19th century. Mark Twain and poet Walt Whitman were major figures in the century's second half; Emily Dickinson, virtually unknown during her lifetime, is now recognized as an essential American poet.Bloom, Harold. 1999. Emily Dickinson. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House. p. 9. {{ISBN|0-7910-5106-4}}. A work seen as capturing fundamental aspects of the national experience and character—such as Herman Melville's Moby-Dick (1851), Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925) and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)—may be dubbed the "Great American Novel".JOURNAL, Buell, Lawrence, The Unkillable Dream of the Great American Novel: Moby-Dick as Test Case, Spring–Summer 2008, 20, 1–2, 132–155, 10.1093/alh/ajn005, American Literary History, 0896-7148,weblink Submitted manuscript, Twelve U.S. citizens have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, most recently Bob Dylan in 2016. William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck are often named among the most influential writers of the 20th century.Quinn, Edward (2006). A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms. Infobase, p. 361. {{ISBN|0-8160-6243-9}}. Seed, David (2009). A Companion to Twentieth-Century United States Fiction. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons, p. 76. {{ISBN|1-4051-4691-5}}. Meyers, Jeffrey (1999). Hemingway: A Biography. New York: Da Capo, p. 139. {{ISBN|0-306-80890-0}}. Popular literary genres such as the Western and hardboiled crime fiction developed in the United States. The Beat Generation writers opened up new literary approaches, as have postmodernist authors such as John Barth, Thomas Pynchon, and Don DeLillo.BOOK, Lesher, Linda Parent, The Best Novels of the Nineties: A Reader's Guide,weblink February 1, 2000, McFarland, 978-1-4766-0389-6, 109, The transcendentalists, led by Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, established the first major American philosophical movement. After the Civil War, Charles Sanders Peirce and then William James and John Dewey were leaders in the development of pragmatism. In the 20th century, the work of W. V. O. Quine and Richard Rorty, and later Noam Chomsky, brought analytic philosophy to the fore of American philosophical academia. John Rawls and Robert Nozick led a revival of political philosophy, and Martha Nussbaum is its most important figure today. Cornel West and Judith Butler have led a continental tradition in American philosophical academia. Chicago school economists like Milton Friedman, James M. Buchanan, and Thomas Sowell have affected various fields in social and political philosophy.NEWS, Summers, Lawrence H., The Great Liberator,weblink May 17, 2013, The New York Times, November 19, 2006, NEWS, McFadden, Robert D., James M. Buchanan, Economic Scholar and Nobel Laureate, Dies at 93,weblink May 17, 2013, The New York Times, January 9, 2013, In the visual arts, the Hudson River School was a mid-19th-century movement in the tradition of European naturalism. The realist paintings of Thomas Eakins are now widely celebrated. The 1913 Armory Show in New York City, an exhibition of European modernist art, shocked the public and transformed the U.S. art scene.Brown, Milton W. (1988 1963). The Story of the Armory Show. New York: Abbeville. {{ISBN|0-89659-795-4}}. Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, and others experimented with new, individualistic styles. Major artistic movements such as the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and the pop art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein developed largely in the United States. The tide of modernism and then postmodernism has brought fame to American architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and Frank Gehry.BOOK, Janson, Horst Woldemar, Janson, Anthony F., History of Art: The Western Tradition,weblink 2003, Prentice Hall Professional, 978-0-13-182895-7, 955, Americans have long been important in the modern artistic medium of photography, with major photographers including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Ansel Adams.BOOK, Davenport, Alma, The History of Photography: An Overview,weblink 1991, UNM Press, 978-0-8263-2076-6, 67, File:Times Square 1-2.JPG|thumb|Times Square in New York City, the hub of the Broadway theater (Theater District, Manhattan|district]]BOOK, Ken Bloom, Broadway: Its History, People, and Places : an Encyclopedia,weblink 2004, Taylor & Francis, 978-0-415-93704-7, 322–, )One of the first major promoters of American theater was impresario P. T. Barnum, who began operating a lower Manhattan entertainment complex in 1841. The team of Harrigan and Hart produced a series of popular musical comedies in New York starting in the late 1870s. In the 20th century, the modern musical form emerged on Broadway; the songs of musical theater composers such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Stephen Sondheim have become pop standards. Playwright Eugene O'Neill won the Nobel literature prize in 1936; other acclaimed U.S. dramatists include multiple Pulitzer Prize winners Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and August Wilson.BOOK, Moran, Eugene V., A People's History of English and American Literature,weblink January 1, 2002, Nova Publishers, 978-1-59033-303-7, 228, Choreographers Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham helped create modern dance, while George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins were leaders in 20th-century ballet.

Music

Although little known at the time, Charles Ives's work of the 1910s established him as the first major U.S. composer in the classical tradition, while experimentalists such as Henry Cowell and John Cage created a distinctive American approach to classical composition. Aaron Copland and George Gershwin developed a new synthesis of popular and classical music.The rhythmic and lyrical styles of African-American music have deeply influenced American music at large, distinguishing it from European and African traditions. Elements from folk idioms such as the blues and what is now known as old-time music were adopted and transformed into popular genres with global audiences. Jazz was developed by innovators such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington early in the 20th century. Country music developed in the 1920s, and rhythm and blues in the 1940s.Biddle, Julian (2001). What Was Hot!: Five Decades of Pop Culture in America. New York: Citadel, p. ix. {{ISBN|0-8065-2311-5}}.Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were among the mid-1950s pioneers of rock and roll. Rock bands such as Metallica, the Eagles, and Aerosmith are among the highest grossing in worldwide sales.WEB, Hartman, Graham, Metallica's 'Black album' is Top-Selling Disc of last 20 years,weblink Loudwire, October 12, 2015, January 5, 2012, NEWS, Vorel, Jim, Eagles tribute band landing at Kirkland,weblink October 12, 2015, Herald & Review, September 27, 2012, NEWS, Aerosmith will rock Salinas with July concert,weblink October 12, 2015, February 2, 2015, In the 1960s, Bob Dylan emerged from the folk revival to become one of America's most celebrated songwriters and James Brown led the development of funk.More recent American creations include hip hop and house music. American pop stars such as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Madonna have become global celebrities, as have contemporary musical artists such as Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Eminem and Kanye West.* WEB,weblink Taylor Swift: Teen idol to 'biggest pop artist in the world', September 24, 2015, The Tennessean,
  • WEB, Lynch, Gerald, Britney Spears is the most searched for celebrity of the decade,weblink Tech Digest, October 12, 2015,
  • WEB,weblink Katy Perry: now the world's richest (famous) woman, the Guardian, October 25, 2015,
  • NEWS,weblink Beyoncé: The Woman on Top of the World, Rosen, Jody, The New York Times,
  • WEB,weblink BBC – Imagine – Jay-Z: He Came, He Saw, He Conquered, bbc.co.uk, October 25, 2015, WEB,weblink Introducing the King of Hip-Hop, Rolling Stone, October 25, 2015,
  • WEB,weblink The enigma of Kanye West – and how the world's biggest pop star ended up being its most reviled, too, Ben Westhoff, the Guardian,

Cinema

File:HollywoodSign.jpg|thumb|The Hollywood Sign in Los AngelesLos AngelesHollywood, a northern district of Los Angeles, California, is one of the leaders in motion picture production.PRESS RELEASE,weblink Nigeria surpasses Hollywood as world's second-largest film producer, United Nations, May 5, 2009, February 17, 2013, The world's first commercial motion picture exhibition was given in New York City in 1894, using Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope.BOOK, Billboard,weblink April 29, 1944, Nielsen Business Media, Inc., 68, 0006-2510, The next year saw the first commercial screening of a projected film, also in New York, and the United States was in the forefront of sound film's development in the following decades. Since the early 20th century, the U.S. film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood, although in the 21st century an increasing number of films are not made there, and film companies have been subject to the forces of globalization.WEB,weblink John Landis Rails Against Studios: 'They're Not in the Movie Business Anymore', The Hollywood Reporter, January 24, 2015, Director D. W. Griffith, the top American filmmaker during the silent film period, was central to the development of film grammar, and producer/entrepreneur Walt Disney was a leader in both animated film and movie merchandising.BOOK, Krasniewicz, Louise, Disney, Walt, Walt Disney: A Biography,weblink 2010, ABC-CLIO, 978-0-313-35830-2, 10, Directors such as John Ford redefined the image of the American Old West and history, and, like others such as John Huston, broadened the possibilities of cinema with location shooting, with great influence on subsequent directors. The industry enjoyed its golden years, in what is commonly referred to as the "Golden Age of Hollywood", from the early sound period until the early 1960s,WEB, Matthews, Charles, Book explores Hollywood 'Golden Age' of the 1960s-'70s,weblink The Washington Post, August 6, 2015, June 3, 2011, with screen actors such as John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe becoming iconic figures.WEB, Banner, Lois, Marilyn Monroe, the eternal shape shifter,weblink Los Angeles Times, August 6, 2015, August 5, 2012, WEB, Rick, Jewell, John Wayne, an American Icon,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080822102812weblink">weblink yes, August 22, 2008, University of Southern California, August 6, 2015, August 8, 2008, In the 1970s, film directors such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Altman were a vital component in what became known as "New Hollywood" or the "Hollywood Renaissance",BOOK, Greven, David, Psycho-Sexual: Male Desire in Hitchcock, De Palma, Scorsese, and Friedkin,weblink January 2, 2013, University of Texas Press, 978-0-292-74204-8, 23, grittier films influenced by French and Italian realist pictures of the post-war period.BOOK, Morrison, James, Passport to Hollywood: Hollywood Films, European Directors,weblink September 11, 1998, SUNY Press, 978-0-7914-3938-8, 11, Since, directors such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and James Cameron have gained renown for their blockbuster films, often characterized by high production costs, and in return, high earnings at the box office, with Cameron's Avatar (2009) earning more than $2 billion.BOOK, Turow, Joseph, Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication,weblink September 22, 2011, Taylor & Francis, 978-1-136-86402-5, 434, Notable films topping the American Film Institute's AFI 100 list include Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (1941), which is frequently cited as the greatest film of all time,Village Voice: 100 Best Films of the 20th century (2001) {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20140331174817weblink |date=March 31, 2014 }}. Filmsite.WEB,weblink Sight & Sound Top Ten Poll 2002, British Film Institute,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20021105130210weblink">weblink November 5, 2002, 2002, yes, Casablanca (1942), The Godfather (1972), Gone with the Wind (1939), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Graduate (1967), On the Waterfront (1954), Schindler's List (1993), Singin' in the Rain (1952), It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Sunset Boulevard (1950).WEB,weblink AFI's 100 Years, American Film Institute, January 24, 2015, The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, have been held annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1929,BOOK, Drowne, Kathleen Morgan, Huber, Patrick, The 1920's,weblink January 1, 2004, Greenwood Publishing Group, 978-0-313-32013-2, 236, and the Golden Globe Awards have been held annually since January 1944.BOOK, Kroon, Richard W., A/V A to Z: An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Media, Entertainment and Other Audiovisual Terms,weblink April 30, 2014, McFarland, 978-0-7864-5740-3, 338,

Sports

(File:Map of Cities in the USA and Canada with MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL or NHL Teams.png|thumb|left|All cities in the U.S. and Canada with at least one team in the MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL or NHL, 2018)American football is by several measures the most popular spectator sport;WEB, Krane, David K., Professional Football Widens Its Lead Over Baseball as Nation's Favorite Sport,weblink Harris Interactive, October 30, 2002, September 14, 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100709111448weblink">weblink July 9, 2010, MacCambridge, Michael (2004). America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation. New York: Random House. {{ISBN|0-375-50454-0}}. the National Football League (NFL) has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world, and the Super Bowl is watched by millions globally. Baseball has been regarded as the U.S. national sport since the late 19th century, with Major League Baseball (MLB) being the top league. Basketball and ice hockey are the country's next two leading professional team sports, with the top leagues being the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL). These four major sports, when played professionally, each occupy a season at different but overlapping, times of the year. College football and basketball attract large audiences.WEB,weblink Passion for College Football Remains Robust, National Football Foundation, March 19, 2013, April 1, 2014, In soccer, the country hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the men's national soccer team qualified for ten World Cups and the women's team has won the FIFA Women's World Cup three times; Major League Soccer is the sport's highest league in the United States (featuring 19 American and 3 Canadian teams).The market for professional sports in the United States is roughly $69 billion, roughly 50% larger than that of all of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa combined.Global sports market to hit $141 billion in 2012. Reuters. Retrieved on July 24, 2013.{{multiple image|perrow = 2|total_width=350| image1 = Arian Foster fumble.jpg| image2 = David-ortiz-batters-box.JPG| image3 = Trevor Booker Troy Murphy.jpg| image4 = 151005-F-ZJ145-361 (22030960390).jpg| footer = The most popular American sports are American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey"Top 10 Most Popular Sports in America 2017", Retrieved on June 8, 2017.}}Eight Olympic Games have taken place in the United States (2028 Summer Olympics will mark the ninth time). {{as of|2017}}, the United States has won 2,522 medals at the Summer Olympic Games, more than any other country, and 305 in the Winter Olympic Games, the second most behind Norway.NEWS, The 10 most fascinating facts about the all-time Winter Olympics medal standings, Chris, Chase, February 7, 2014, USA Today,weblink February 28, 2014, NEWS, With Sochi Olympics approaching, a history of Winter Olympic medals, February 6, 2014, Dan, Loumena, Los Angeles Times,weblink February 28, 2014, While most major U.S. sports such as baseball and American football have evolved out of European practices, basketball, volleyball, skateboarding, and snowboarding are American inventions, some of which have become popular worldwide. Lacrosse and surfing arose from Native American and Native Hawaiian activities that predate Western contact.Liss, Howard. Lacrosse (Funk & Wagnalls, 1970) pg 13. The most watched individual sports are golf and auto racing, particularly NASCAR.WEB, As American as Mom, Apple Pie and Football? Football continues to trump baseball as America's Favorite Sport,weblink Harris Interactive, July 2, 2014, January 16, 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140309053431weblink">weblink March 9, 2014, WEB, Cowen, Tyler, Grier, Kevin, What Would the End of Football Look Like?,weblink Grantland/ESPN, February 9, 2012, February 12, 2012, Rugby union is considered the fastest growing sport in the U.S., with registered players, numbered at 115,000+ and a further 1.2 million participants.WEB,weblink Will U.S. learn to love rugby?, Rob, Hodgetts,

Mass media

File:ABC 77 W66 jeh.JPG|thumb|The corporate headquarters of the American Broadcasting CompanyAmerican Broadcasting CompanyThe four major broadcasters in the U.S. are the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), and Fox. The four major broadcast television networks are all commercial entities. Cable television offers hundreds of channels catering to a variety of niches.NEWS, Streaming TV Services: What They Cost, What You Get,weblink October 12, 2015, NY Times; Associated Press, October 12, 2015, Americans listen to radio programming, also largely commercial, on average just over two-and-a-half hours a day.WEB,weblink TV Fans Spill into Web Sites, June 7, 2007, eMarketer, June 10, 2007, In 1998, the number of U.S. commercial radio stations had grown to 4,793 AM stations and 5,662 FM stations. In addition, there are 1,460 public radio stations. Most of these stations are run by universities and public authorities for educational purposes and are financed by public or private funds, subscriptions, and corporate underwriting. Much public-radio broadcasting is supplied by NPR (formerly National Public Radio). NPR was incorporated in February 1970 under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967; its television counterpart, PBS, was also created by the same legislation. (NPR and PBS are operated separately from each other.) {{As of|2014|09|30|df=US}}, there are 15,433 licensed full-power radio stations in the U.S. according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).WEB, Waits, Jennifer, Number of U.S. Radio Stations on the Rise, Especially LPFM, according to New FCC Count, Radio Survivor, October 17, 2014, January 6, 2015,weblink Well-known newspapers include The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today.BOOK, Brenda Shaffer, The Limits of Culture: Islam and Foreign Policy,weblink 2006, MIT Press, 978-0-262-19529-4, 116, Although the cost of publishing has increased over the years, the price of newspapers has generally remained low, forcing newspapers to rely more on advertising revenue and on articles provided by a major wire service, such as the Associated Press or Reuters, for their national and world coverage. With very few exceptions, all the newspapers in the U.S. are privately owned, either by large chains such as Gannett or McClatchy, which own dozens or even hundreds of newspapers; by small chains that own a handful of papers; or in a situation that is increasingly rare, by individuals or families. Major cities often have "alternative weeklies" to complement the mainstream daily papers, for example, New York City's The Village Voice or Los Angeles' LA Weekly, to name two of the best-known. Major cities may also support a local business journal, trade papers relating to local industries, and papers for local ethnic and social groups. Early versions of the American newspaper comic strip and the American comic book began appearing in the 19th century. In 1938, Superman, the comic book superhero of DC Comics, developed into an American icon.BOOK, Daniels, Les, Les Daniels, 1998, Superman: The Complete History, 11, 1st, Titan Books, 978-1-85286-988-5, Aside from web portals and search engines, the most popular websites are Facebook, YouTube, Pseudopedia, Yahoo!, eBay, Amazon, and Twitter.WEB,weblink Top Sites in United States, 2014, Alexa, October 20, 2014, More than 800 publications are produced in Spanish, the second most commonly used language in the United States behind English.WEB,weblink Spanish Newspapers in United States, W3newspapers, August 5, 2014, WEB,weblink Spanish Language Newspapers in the USA : Hispanic Newspapers : Periódiscos en Español en los EE.UU, Onlinenewspapers.com, August 5, 2014,

See also

{{Wikipedia books}}

References

Footnotes

{{notelist| colwidth = 30em| notes ={{efn| name = languageSpanish language>Spanish in Puerto Rico, Samoan language in American Samoa, Chamorro language>Chamorro in both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Carolinian is also an official language in the Northern Mariana Islands.}}{{efn| name = time| See Time in the United States for details about laws governing time zones in the United States.}}{{efn| name = driveUnited States Virgin Islands>U.S. Virgin Islands.}}}}

Citations

{{reflist}}

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External links

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Government
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