North America: United States

About United States

The United States became the world's first modern democracy after its break with Great Britain (1776) and the adoption of a constitution (1789). During the 19th century, many new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65) and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation-state. The economy is marked by steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Washington, DC
Population: 278,058,881 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 12.7% (1999 est.)
Language: English, Spanish
Date of independence: 4 July 1776 (from Great Britain)
Form of government: federal republic
Title of Leader: president
Natural Resources: coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals
Environmental Issues: air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; the US is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; very limited natural fresh water resources
Agricultural Products: wheat, other grains, corn, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; forest products; fish
Imports: crude oil and refined petroleum products, machinery, automobiles, consumer goods, industrial raw materials, food and beverages
Exports: capital goods, automobiles, industrial supplies and raw materials, consumer goods, agricultural products
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Canada 19%, Japan 11%, Mexico 11%, China 8%, Germany 5%, UK, Taiwan (2000)
EXPORTS: Canada 23%, Mexico 14%, Japan 8%, UK 5%, Germany 4%, France, Netherlands (2000)


United States Headlines

 The White House in Washington DC

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