US United States

US United States (Capital – Washington DC)

us-united-states-flag-navsingh.org.ukThe United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (U.S.), America, and sometimes the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is located in the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and theCaribbean. At 3.80 million square miles (9.85 million km2) and with around 318 million people, the United States is the world’s fourth-largest country by total area and third-largest by population. It is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States are also extremely diverse, and the country is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Paleo-Indians migrated from Eurasia to what is now the U.S. mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the East Coast. Disputes between Great Britain and the colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, as the colonies were fighting Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The United States is the only country that ever won its independence from Great Britain by war.The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.

Driven by the doctrine of manifest destiny, the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century. This involved displacing native tribes, acquiring new territories, and gradually admitting new states, until by 1848 the nation spanned the continent. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War ended legal slavery in the country.By the end of that century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean, and the economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country’s status as a global military power. The United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, and as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union left the United States as the sole superpower.

The United States is a developed country and has the world’s largest national economy, benefiting from an abundance of natural resources and high worker productivity. While the U.S. economy is considered post-industrial, the country continues to be one of the world’s largest manufacturers. Accounting for 37% of global military spending, it is the world’s foremost economic andmilitary power, a prominent political and cultural force, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations

Languages spoken at home by more than 1,000,000 persons in the U.S. as of 2010

Language Percent of population Number of speakers
English (only) 80% 233,780,338
Combined total of all languages
other than English
20% 57,048,617
Spanish
(excluding Puerto Rico and Spanish Creole)
12% 35,437,985
Chinese
(including Cantonese and Mandarin)
0.9% 2,567,779
Tagalog 0.5% 1,542,118
Vietnamese 0.4% 1,292,448
French 0.4% 1,288,833
Korean 0.4% 1,108,408
German 0.4% 1,107,869

Source: Wikipedia

Religious affiliation in the U.S. (2007)

Affiliation % of U.S. population
Christian 78.5
Evangelical Protestant 26.3
Catholic 23.9
Mainline Protestant 18.1
Black Protestant 6.9
Mormon 1.7
Other Christian 1.6
Judaism 1.7
Buddhism 0.7
Islam 0.6
Hinduism 0.4
Other faith 1.2
Unaffiliated 16.1
Don’t know/refused answer 0.8
Total 100

Source: Wikipedia

Food

Mainstream 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 flour 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. These home grown 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.

 Roasted turkey is a traditional menu item of an American Thanksgiving dinner.

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. Americans generally prefer coffee to tea. Marketing by U.S. industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages.

American eating habits owe a great deal to that of their British culinary roots with some variations. Even though American lands could grow newer vegetables England could not, most colonist would not eat these new foods until accepted by Europeans. 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”.

The American fast food industry, the world’s largest, pioneered the drive-through format in the 1940s. 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”.Highly sweetened soft drinks are widely popular, and sugared beverages account for nine percent of American caloric intake.

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