United States Facts

United States Facts and History

North America

he United States of America (USA) is the largest democracy in the world and it has the highest gross national product of any country. They sent the first humans to the moon, are leaders in many areas of science and technology, and produced the largest number of Nobel Prize winners.

But they also waged war in Vietnam, were at least partly responsible for the overthrow of President Allende in Chile and the installation of the criminal regime in Pinochet. You became the victim of September 11, 2001 and started the war in Iraq. Often they wanted the good and gave birth to bad, to quote Goethe’s Faust something freely.

And the Germans shouldn’t forget that it was also Americans who, with numerous sacrifices of their own, helped liberate the country from Nazi rule. Not least, after the end of the war, the Americans helped develop stable democracies in Germany and Japan. But they also dropped the first two and so far only atomic bombs against a country’s civilian population. It was Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

Also, nobody will forget that it was America that became a country of emigration for many Europeans in the 18th and 19th centuries. And nowadays the green card, of which a large number are raffled off every year, is a coveted “ticket” to the promised land. Numerous ethnic groups live in the country, which often stay among each other (e.g. China-Town in New York). Even so, they all always feel like Americans first.

The country is so large and so diverse that any commonplace about the country is forbidden from the outset. But across all borders, at least everyone agrees: the country offers a landscape in a class of its own!

And at this point the wonderful singer and politically and union active Woody Guthrie should be remembered, from whom – among many others – the two unforgettable songs “This land is my land” and “So long it`s been good to know you” come. Guthrie died in 1967 in Queens/New York of the terrible hereditary disease Huntington’s disease.

On November 5, 2008, the Democrat Barack Hussein Obama became the first black man to be elected 44th President of the USA.

He officially took office on January 20, 2009 in the presence of more than two million people after taking his oath of office.

The oath of office was taken from him by the Chief Justice of the United States with his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible.

His successor was Donald Trump of the Republicans, who has a critical relationship with Europe and especially Germany.

Name of the country United States of America (United States of America)
Form of government Federal Presidential Democracy
Geographical location The home country of the USA is in North America and the 50th state of Hawaii is in the Pacific.
National anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” (since 1931)
National holiday July 4th – Independence Day (Independence Day: 1776)
Head of State and Government Donald Trump became the 45th President of the USA on January 20, 2017.
Population about 330 million (Credit: Countryaah: United States Population)
Ethnicities Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Aborigines
Religions approx. 62% of the population are officially registered in religious communities; majority Protestants (Evangelicals) and Catholicsminorities: Orthodox Christians, Muslims and Jews
Languages English (official language) and increasingly Spanish, in Louisiana also French
Capital Washington DC (DC = District of Columbia)
Surface 9,826,630 km²
Highest mountain Mount McKinley in Alaska with an altitude of 6,193 m
Longest river Mississippi with a length of around 6,020 km
Largest lake Upper Lake with an area of 82,103 km²
International license plate United States
National currency US dollars = 100 cents, all dollar bills with a length of 15.5 cm and a width of 6.5 cm are the same size. Their weight is around 1 g.
Time difference to CET – 6 to – 11 a.m.
International phone code 001
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .us

USA: history

Before the year 1000

The American continent was probably settled between 30,000 and 8,000 BC. From Northeast Asia over a land bridge (Beringland) at the place of today’s Bering Strait. From Alaska the entire double continent was settled in several waves as far as Tierra del Fuego. The oldest secured archaeological find comes from Chile and is 13,800 BC. Dated.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, the Native Americans developed urban civilizations in Central and South America. In North America, the area of today’s USA or Canadas, they founded complex communities, so-called Templemound cultures, in the eastern catchment area of the Mississippi. These disintegrated before the Europeans arrived. They were replaced by smaller village communities that lived mainly from agriculture. In the southwest of what is now the USA, multi-storey clay building settlements with up to 500 rooms, the pueblos, were built. Most of the history of the Native Americans has been transmitted orally. Fact reports and myths often flow into one another. However, archaeological and geological finds have finally shown that the so-called Indian “oral history” has preserved events that go back many centuries.

From the year 1000 to the 17th century

Around the year 1000, the Vikings reached the north of the American continent under their leader Leif Erikson. They established a branch in what is now Newfoundland, which they called Vinland. Today, Christopher Columbus, who first set foot on American soil in 1492, is considered the discoverer of America. The ensuing occupation and economic development of the North American continent was a result of rivalries between the European trading powers Spain, France, Great Britain and the Netherlandsn coined. In the middle of the 16th century, European immigrants began to settle in North America. In 1565, Spanish settlers founded the first European settlement on the continent in what is now St. Augustine in Florida.

The first English permanent settlement was established in Jamestown on the James River in the US state of Virginia on May 13, 1607. Jamestown is about 250 km south of Washington. The settlement was later named after King James I or Jacob (1566-1625), the successor to Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603).

In the 17th century, economic grievances in Europe with impoverishment of the rural population and high unemployment in the cities led to large flows of immigrants. Many of the immigrants were Puritans. The first English settlement in Virginia was Jamestown in 1606. A great wave of immigration followed in 1620 with the Mayflower in what is now Massachusetts by the so-called Pilgrim Fathers. They founded the Plymouth settlement. In 1630 a larger settlement emerged in the region of what is now Boston. As early as 1635, some of the settlers there also emigrated to the Connecticut area.

The English colonies developed three main regions on the American mainland: The south (Maryland, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia) was characterized by plantation economy (tobacco, rice) and slavery. In the New England colonies (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire) trade, fishing and shipping flourished. The third region was the Central Atlantic colonies (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware), where both trade and agriculture were carried out.

The number of indigenous people living in North America at the time of the arrival of Europeans is now estimated to be around three million. Many Indian tribes were already decimated at the beginning of the colonial period by infectious diseases (especially smallpox). In the 17th century the European colonialists began to displace and exterminate the Indians, the full extent of which is still unknown to the public. In order to make the murder of the aborigines appear as insignificant as possible, the population figures for the period before 1492 were downplayed by American authorities into the 20th century. In 1890, the US census registered just under 240,000 Native Americans living in the US. Today there are again about 1.5 million Indians living in the United States of America.

In the 18th and 19th centuries

At the beginning of the 18th century, the North American continent included not only Spanish and French mandate areas but also 13 English colonies. The colonial area stretched from New Hampshire in the north to Georgia in the south. There was considerable tension between the colonial powers Great Britain and France. They ended in a war that is closely related to the Seven Years War in Europe from 1756-1763. The reason for the fight on American soil was the spread of British traders and settlers via the Appalachians into that of Franceclaimed Ohio valley in 1754. This led to armed conflicts between the British, French and Indians (“French and Indian War”). Between 1758 and 1760 the British conquered the most important French positions and on September 13, 1759 they were victorious in the battle of the Plains of Abraham near Québec (Canada). After Spain entered the war in 1761, the British occupied Cuba and the Philippines. In the Peace Agreement of Paris (“Paris Peace”) in 1763, France accepted the loss of its possessions in North America with the exception of the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and some islands in the Lesser Antilles. Great Britainexpanded its leading role as a colonial power as a result of the war.

In the years that followed, relations between motherland Great Britain and its colonies in North America deteriorated. The British government stationed stronger troops on American soil and introduced new tax laws (“Stamp Act” of 1765). The colonists saw this as a conspiracy against their freedoms and constitutional rights and responded with a boycott. There were sometimes violent clashes that led to the War of Independence from 1775 – 1783. On July 2, 1776, the American Congress passed the constitutional separation of the 13 colonies from the British Crown. The declaration of independence followed on July 4, 1776. The initially rather weak American military forces were replaced by France in 1778supported and were finally able to prevail. North America gained recognition of its independence in the Peace of Paris in 1783. The new constitutions of the states that emerged from the colonies were republican and were based on the principles of popular sovereignty, the separation of powers, frequent changes of offices and the influence of citizens. In 1777 the states united to form a loose confederation (United States). In 1787 a new constitution was drawn up at the Philadelphia Convention. In 1789, George Washington was elected the first President of the United States.

The following decades were marked by an economic upswing. In the first half of the 19th century in particular, the country expanded its borders to the south, southwest and west. In 1819 Florida, which until then had been under Spanish sovereignty, was accepted into the confederation. With the expansion, which led to strong settlement movements within the country, the violent expulsion of the Indians from the area east of the Mississippi was connected. The traffic routes have been expanded to enable internal migration. From 1830 the construction of a rail network for the railroad began. Agriculture expanded in the southern states. In particular, cotton cultivation (“King Cotton” 1855) was expanded and with it the system of slavery.

Tensions rose between the north and south of the country, particularly over the issue of slavery. In 1854 the Republican Party was founded, which, under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, opposed the further spread of slavery. When Lincoln was elected president in 1860, eleven southern states decided to leave the Union. The remaining states, citing the indissolubility of the federal constitution, disputed the right to such an exit. In 1861 the southern states attacked Fort Sumter in Charleston, triggering the American Civil War. This ended in 1865 with the surrender of the southern states, unity was restored and slavery was abolished. However, an increasingly violent racism developed against the black population,

At the end of the 19th century, the development of the continental settlement area of the USA was completed. With the extermination of the large bison herds by the railway construction, the livelihood of the Plains Indians was destroyed. They were forced into reservations west of the Mississippi. The natives won their last great battle at Little Bighorn in 1876. In 1886 and 1890, with the Apaches under Chief Geronimo and the Sioux, the last tribes submitted to the former colonists.

The country’s industrialization and urbanization progressed. While 28% of Americans lived in cities in 1880, by 1900 it was 40%. The importance of agriculture declined. In terms of foreign policy, the USA increasingly strived for the status of a world power. The Spanish-American War in 1898, in which the USA secured supremacy in the Caribbean, but also the mediation of the Russo-Japanese peace of 1905 initiated by Franklin Roosevelt are examples of this.

In the 20th century

At the beginning of the First World War, the USA initially pursued a policy of neutrality with the aim of mediation. However, when Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917, the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies. The USA’s accession to the League of Nations (Versailles Treaty) in 1920 as a result of the war failed due to internal political resistance.

In the 1920s, the country experienced major economic and social problems. Religious fundamentalism and racial hatred shaped the intellectual climate. The global economic crisis of 1929-1932 also reached the USA. Industrial production shrank to 58% within a few years.

After the rise of National Socialism in Germany and fascism in Italy, President Roosevelt sought the support of Western democracies in the fight against fascism in 1939/40. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the USA decided to join the Second World War.

After the Second World War until today

With the end of the Second World War, the USA had established its position as a world political and economic power. The time after that is marked by numerous military and political conflicts with countries around the globe. Under President Harry S. Truman, the East-West conflict on the Cold War intensified at the end of the 1940s. In terms of foreign and domestic politics, the USA has since then pursued a strongly anti-communist stance. The CIA supported an invasion of Cubans in exile against Fidel Castro’s revolutionary regime in Cuba. The uprising in the Bay of Pigs failed on April 17, 1961. In October 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred, in which the two superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union, were on the verge of using nuclear weapons. Never before in world history has nuclear war been as likely as it was at this point in time. In 1964, the US entered the war in Vietnam that lasted until 1973 and cost tens of thousands of victims on both sides.In the US itself, the struggle for equality for the African American population led to the desegregation of schools in 1954 and reached under leadership in the 1960s Martin Luther Kings its climax.

From October 1973 – triggered by the Yom Kippur War – the crisis region of the Near and Middle East increasingly became the focus of American attention. During Ronald Reagan’s second term in office as President of the United States of America, the Soviet-American relationship eased against the backdrop of the new policy of the socialist countries pursued by USSR President Michael Gorbachev. With the unification of the two German states in October 1990 and the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the Cold War ended. Since then, the USA has been the only remaining world power.

In 2000, George Walker Bush came(born 1946) came to power as President. His swearing-in took place on January 20, 2001. During his presidency there was an attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2002, followed by the invasion of Iraq with the known consequences. Bush was certainly one of the most controversial presidents in US history. Under his reign, the country experienced a moral and economic decline unlike any other in non-war years. He was also one of the most unpopular presidents the country had in Europe since World War II.

On January 20, 2009, Barack Hussein Obama took his oath of office in the presence of over two million people in Washington, officially taking office as the 44th President of the United States.

United States Facts