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United States of America — description of the country

United States of America

United States of America (this article is in Russian Соединенные Штаты Америки), United States — nation[ru] in North America. About 9363.2 thousand Km2. The population of 281.4 million. People (2000). The urban population is 75.2% (1990).

The racial makeup (1991,%): 83.4 white, blacks 12.4, other (immigrants from Asia and Oceania, the American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts) 4.1. The official language - English. Believers mostly Protestant (56%) and Catholics (25%).

United States - the federation of 50 states (the 48 contiguous, and Alaska and Hawaii) and federal (capital) the District of Columbia. Capital - Washington. Head of state and government - the president, elected for 4 years. Legislature — Congress (House and Senate).

On March 9, 1454 in Florence, in the family of the notary public of the Republic Anastasio (Nastaggio) Vespucci was born Amerigo Vespucci— a Florentine traveler, after whom America was named. Having set sail in 1501-1502 to the shores of Brazil and the West Indies, he proved that these territories are not the eastern edge of Asia (as originally assumed from Columbus' travels), but a separate continent, described as the "New World". In 1507, the new continent was named America after the Latin version of Vespucci's name. Amerigo Vespucci died on February 22, 1512 in Seville.

April 25, 1607 at Cape Henry (Virginia) landed the first English settlers in America.

September 8, 1636 was founded Harvard University (Harvard) — one of the most famous universities in the United States and around the world, the oldest University in the United States. Located in Cambridge (part of the Boston Metropolitan area), Massachusetts. Named after the English missionary and philanthropist John Harvard. 75 Nobel laureates have been associated with the University as students, faculty or staff. Harvard University ranks first in the country in the number of billionaires among graduates, and its library is the largest academic in the United States and the third largest in the country.

On July 17 1754, the king's College opened in new York. There were ten students and one Professor in this higher educational institution. Thirty years later, the College changed its name to Columbia, and then became a University. Now it is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in America.

July 17, 1775 in the United States was opened the world's first military hospital.

On September 9, 1776, the United Colonies of America were renamed the United States of America.

On July 16, 1790, the us Congress decided to allocate a special area for the construction of the new capital of the country — Washington.

About half of the main area (neighboring states) - mountain ranges, plains and plateaus of the Cordilleras; eastern outskirts of the belt of the Cordillera mountain ranges form the Rocky Mountains higher than 4,000 meters, the West - Coast Mountains, stretches along the Pacific coast. In the east of the country - Appalachian Mountains (altitude up to 2037 m). Between the Cordilleras and the Appalachians - vast inland plains (Central, Great). Along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico - Atlantic region and Gulf Coastal Plain.

The highest point in the country - Mount McKinley (6193 m) in Alaska. Deposits of coal, oil, natural gas, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, uranium mining and chemical raw materials. The climate is mostly temperate and subtropical continental. The average January temperature of -25 C in Alaska to 20 C on the peninsula of Florida, July 14-22 C on the west coast, 16-26 C - on the east. Rainfall of 100 mm on the inland plateaus and plateaus up to 4000 mm per year in the coastal strip.

The main rivers of the United States - Mississippi tributaries Missouri and Ohio, Columbia, Colorado, Yukon. In the north-east - the Great Lakes system. Alaska - tundra and sparse forests, in the north-east - coniferous and mixed, in the south - subtropical broadleaf and mixed. On the domestic plateau Cordillera - semi-desert.

The territory of present-day United States of America was inhabited by ancient Indians (Alaska - Eskimo). In the 16th century, the beginning of European colonization of North America, in which the indigenous population displacement and exterminated; to work on the plantations of slaves imported from Africa. During the War of Independence in North America 1775-1783, respectively, it was independent states - the United States (1776).

April 8, 1766 in America was patented the world's first fire escape. The importance of this invention is difficult to overestimate, because it has repeatedly saved people's lives[ru].

In 1787, the constitution was adopted. The first US president, George Washington became.

On April 30, 1789, the inauguration ceremony of the first us President took place.

The U.S. Supreme court was founded on September 24, 1789. The chief judge was John Jay, a 44-year-old diplomat and one of the founding fathers of the state. September 26 other members of the court (a Total of 6 people. Since 1869 — 9 people) were approved by Congress.

September 25, 1789 James Madison at a meeting of the U.S. Congress of the first convocation were proposed the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which enshrine the fundamental rights and freedoms of man and citizen (bill of rights). Bill of Rights)). ((See para. also on the topic: Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms).

29 September, 1789 created the United States Department of War (formerly War Office) with a regular army of several hundred people.

The Library of Congress was founded on April 24, 1800.

On April 30, 1803, the United States purchased Louisiana from France. The transaction price was $ 23 million (7 cents per hectare). The Louisiana purchase was an important milestone in the political life of the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Despite the absence of articles in the us Constitution regarding the acquisition of foreign territories, Jefferson still decided to make a deal, since France and Spain prevented the Americans from trading through the port of New Orleans.

In 1819 Spain was forced to cede it to Florida in 1840-1850-ies captured more than half of the territory of Mexico, in 1867, bought Alaska from Russia[ru] and the Aleutian Islands. In 1820-1850-ies were formed Democratic and Republican parties.

The struggle between the North and South resulted in the American Civil War of 1861-1865. The victory of the North in the war led to the destruction of slavery and paved the way for the rapid development of capitalism. In 1881 he founded the American Federation of Labor, in 1905 - the trade union "Industrial Workers of the World." As a result, the United States launched the Spanish-American War of 1898 the United States took over the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, actually turned Cuba into a colony. Since the beginning of the 20th century the United States has repeatedly carried out armed incursions into the territory of the Latin American countries. In 1917-1918, the United States participated in the side of the Allies in World War I[ru], after which he took the leading position among the nations of the world.

March 19, 1831 was the first in the history of the U.S. Bank robbery. This case was a revolution in the minds of Americans, which opened their gates to the world of easy prey. The daredevil was an English immigrant Edward Smith. The hero coveted the money stored in the City Bank of New York. From storage he managed to take out 245 thousand dollars. But to live in a new Smith was not destined: soon he was captured by the guards. The thief was imprisoned for five years in sing sing-maximum security prison (new York). And the poor man was forced to return every single cent.

March 30, 1840, traveling to Antarctica, Charles Wilkes declared it part of the United States. Later it was called Wilkes Land. And only in 1959 Antarctica was recognized as an international zone. Antarctica — the sixth, opened last in a row, the mainland in the extreme South of our planet[ru].

On April 24, 1846, the Mexican-American war began.

On may 29, 1848, Wisconsin joined the United States and became the 30th state. The nature of Wisconsin annually attracts many people who want to spend their holidays in this area. Thanks to its many farms, it has more milk per capita than any other state. In addition to the stunning yields, the state is also a leader in the production of cheese. Like many other States, Wisconsin has very unusual laws. So, in most public institutions, it is forbidden to serve a substitute for butter, in restaurants without cheese, you can not serve apple pie, it is forbidden to kiss the train; you can't get a tattoo in Brookfield unless it's medically justified.

On March 27, 1854, Abraham Gessner patented kerosene in the United States.

April 3, 1860 in the United States opened a regular transcontinental postal service "Pony Express".

April 12, 1861 began the Civil war in the United States.

On February 1, 1865, Negro slavery was abolished in the United States. The President kept his promise. Lincoln signed a congressional resolution on introduction of the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery: "Neither the United States nor in any other place that is subject to their power, should not exist neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime the Commission of which the offender needs to be properly convicted". Since then, in the United States this date is celebrated as national.

On July 9, 1868, the 14th amendment to the us Constitution came into force, guaranteeing the citizenship of the country to all persons born in its territory.

On may 6, 1882, the U.S. Congress passed the "Chinese exclusion Act", which prohibited any Chinese immigration and naturalization of Chinese to the United States. The act was valid until 1943.

On June 17, 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York. The French people presented the statue to the United States of America as a sign of friendship between France and the United States.

On may 1, 1886, American workers organized a strike, demanding an 8-hour working day. The strike and accompanying demonstration ended in a bloody clash with the police.

October 28, 1886 in the presence of thousands of spectators the Grand opening of the statue of Liberty, which was made by U.S. President Grover Cleveland. The statue of Liberty, the full name of "Liberty enlightening the world" is one of the most famous sculptures in the USA and in the world, often called "the symbol of new York and the United States", "a symbol of freedom and democracy," "Lady Liberty". The statue of Liberty is located on Liberty island, about 3 km southwest of the southern tip of Manhattan, one of new York's boroughs. Until 1956 the island was called "Bedlow island".

Statue of Liberty in the United States

On April 23, 1896, the first movie show was held in America. The first public session was held in new York at the Bayel and Koster music hall. The session consisted of small humorous and dance numbers. Now the US film industry is not only the largest in the world in terms of the number of films produced and box office receipts, but also has a decisive influence on the content and technology of world cinema, on the economic and cultural aspects of the film process.

On April 24, 1898, Spain declared war on the United States. During the war, American forces captured Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, which belonged to Spain. The war began after America intervened in the Cuban war of independence. The us Navy played a crucial role, as after the sinking of two Spanish squadrons, Madrid asked for peace.

On March 17, 1899, American astronomer William Pickering discovered Saturn's[horo] moon Phoebe.

On October 27, 1904, the first underground subway line was opened in New York (USA), consisting of 28 stations. At the opening ceremony of the underground subway line, the first train to leave City Hall station was driven by the city's mayor, George McClellan. The train traveled to the final station in 26 minutes. The metro opened for all passengers in the evening at 19:00. By the morning of the next day, more than 110 thousand people had used the metro. According to 2019 data, 5.5 million people use the New York City subway every day.

On may 15, 1905, Las Vegas was founded as one of the world's largest entertainment and gambling centers.

April 3, 1910 was first conquered the highest peak of North America McKinley (6193 m) in Alaska.

On December 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve system (fed) was created as a specially created independent Federal Agency to perform the functions of the Central Bank and exercise centralized control over the commercial banking system of the United States of America. According to data for 2020, the fed consisted of 12 Federal reserve banks located in major cities, about three thousand commercial so-called member banks, a Board of governors appointed by the President, the Federal open market operations Committee, and Advisory boards.

On March 31, 1917, the US bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark. The United States for a long time nurtured this idea, but was refused. The agreement was reached during the First World War. The islands discovered by Christopher Columbus[ru], were eventually sold for $ 25 million. During its history, the US acquired about half of all the land that make up the modern territory of the state.

July 13, 1923 in Los Angeles on the hillside appeared the famous inscription "Hollywood".

December 4, 1929 the American League of Physical Culture was founded - the first nudist organization in the USA.

On may 27, 1930, U.S. citizen Richard drew patented Scotch tape. According to legend, the workers testing the tape in the garage, called it Scotch (Scotch), which means "stingy": glue on it in order to save money was applied only to the edges.

The global economic crisis of 1929-1933 led to a sharp drop in production and a rise in unemployment (in 1932 to 17 million. People); Franklin Roosevelt's government has sought to overcome the crisis with the help of "New Deal". In December 1941, after the Japanese attack on the American base in the Pacific, the United States entered World War II[ru]; together with the Soviet Union[ru] and Great Britain[ru] were the main participants in the anti-Hitler coalition.

On April 3, 1948, U.S. President Harry Truman approved the Marshall Plan.

September 24, 1960 in the United States launched the world's first nuclear aircraft carrier "enterprise".

In 1960 the administration of President John F. Kennedy launched a program (policy "New Frontier") technology advances, education and poverty reduction. In the second half of the 1960s it carried out a program of social and economic measures to create a "Great Society" (funding to increase employment, care for the elderly, pension benefits, public primary and secondary schools, universities, medical centers and others.). Despite the adoption in 1965, the Voting Rights Act of African Americans in the years deteriorated sharply racial problems. The city hosts a wide Negro civil rights movement. Since 1965, the United States took over the direct management of the war in Vietnam (Paris Agreement ending the war was signed in 1973).

April 24, 1962 in the United States was the world's first television signal transmission between cities via satellite.

On July 15, 1965, a law was passed in the United States requiring a health warning to be printed on cigarette packets

On April 21, 1969, the first human eye[ru] transplant took place. The transplant took place in Houston, Texas. Doctors[ru] transplanted an eye from a donor who died[ru] from a brain tumor to 54-year-old John Madden. But, unfortunately, the eye did not take root and after 9 days the bleeding started, as the donor organ did not take root.

In the context of the "cold war" Soviet-American relations were complicated and tense. The United States in the early 1970s, made a number of steps towards dtente, normalization and development of relations with the countries of Eastern Europe. He signed a number of Soviet-American agreements aimed at preventing the danger of nuclear war, the limitation of strategic arms. From 1985 to define a new stage in Soviet-American relations. The Soviet-American summit in late 1980 - early 1990's led to the signing of a number of agreements on the reduction of strategic nuclear and conventional weapons, as well as the conclusion of a trade agreement. Since the mid-1990s. the country entered a period of economic boom caused by the advancing compared with other countries in the development of high technologies. After the collapse of the socialist system of the United States (1991) began to put forward the concept of a unipolar world with a sole leader - the United States.

After the September 11, 2001, suicide bombers in occupied them passenger aircraft attacked World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, President George W. Bush called for the international community to combat international terrorism and led coalition launched a military operation "Retribution "in Afghanistan to destroy the terrorist bases.

United States - a highly developed industrial-agrarian country. Share in GDP in 1993 was agriculture 2%, industry 19%, transportation, communications and utilities 9%. Leading industries in the United States: mechanical engineering, chemical, oil refining, food-processing, light. Particularly rapidly growing production of aviation and aerospace equipment, electronic equipment, instruments, new construction materials.

In 1991 the United States produced 8.8 mln. Cars[ru] 88.3 million. Tons of steel, 22 million. Tons of plastics and synthetic resins. The smelting of primary non-ferrous metals (1991, thous. Tonnes): 1631 Copper, aluminum 4394, zinc 518, 466. Production of lead (1995): oil 2.3 billion. Barrels, coal 937 million. Mt. ie, natural gas 559.2 billion. m3; a significant portion of demand for mineral raw materials and fuel is covered by imports.

Electricity production in the US (1995) 3345 Bln. KW. h, t. h. (%) at TPP - 68, HPP - 9,8, NPP - 21.7. The highly mechanized agriculture bulk of production comes from large private farms of industrial type. The structure of agricultural land (excluding Alaska, according to data for 1992) on arable land accounts for 30%, 28% woods, pastures and other 42%. The share of irrigated land by 12%. About 47% of commercial agricultural production crop yields, more than 53% - livestock.

US occupies one of the leading places in the world for the production of corn and soybeans (main forage crops), wheat, cotton, tobacco, meat and milk. Cultivation of forage grasses, fruit, vegetables. Collecting (1992, mln. Tonnes): 67 Wheat, corn 190, 59 soybeans, raw cotton 3.9. Livestock (1997, mln.): 101,5 cattle, pigs 56,2, sheep 7.9. Development of poultry, in particular broiler production (6.1 bn. Units in 1991). The fish catch in 1994 5.9 mln. MT. m.

The length of railways in 1997 was 222 thousand. Km of roads 6.3 million. Km (including the city). Development of internal waterways, especially in the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, Great Lakes, coastal channel. The tonnage of merchant marine 16.8 million. Gross registered tonnes (1995).

The major US ports: Sea - New York, New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, Newport News, Norfolk; lake - Chicago, Duluth, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit. Developed pipeline transportation. Export: industrial machinery, aircraft, automobiles[ru], electronic equipment, military equipment, chemicals, coal, corn, soybeans. The main foreign trade partners: Canada, Japan, Mexico, the countries of Western Europe. Foreign tourism (45.4 million. Per year). Currency - US dollar. The average salary of men 36.5 thousand. Dollars per year, women - 26.3 thousand. Dollars (2001).

Chronology of us Central banks

About the dollar

April 1, 1778 a businessman from new Orleans Oliver Pollock invented the dollar sign. It was later approved as the us national currency in 1785. Pollock took a sample sign Spanish peseta. In the sign of peseta two lines on top of the letter s symbolized the pillars of Hercules, on which rests the national emblem of Spain. Two columns, entwined with ribbon symbolized the end of the earth, the end of a dead end. And the inscription on the tape read "nec plus ultra" - "nowhere else"...

There is a version that the letter s came from the end of the plural in the words "dollar" or "peso". In Spanish, it looks like this: 1 dolar-2 dolares and 1 peso-2 pesos, hence the symbol S. There is also the assumption that the dollar symbol comes from a small figure 8, which was put on Spanish pesos equal to 8 reals, and two vertical lines were added to avoid confusion.

Interpretations and associations that had a great multitude who had seen in the squiggle Latin s, nailed to the sustainability of exclamation marks, someone's transcribed as "sale" — "sale". Americans were confident that the dollar sign was formed as a combination of the first letters of the name of the state U and S (United States), superimposed on each other, whose lower part of the letter[ru] U gradually disappeared.

It took many years, and the Americans, in order to save time when writing, began to cross the dollar sign only one dash I, and today was known to all the dollar sign $.

The word "dollar" comes from the German Thaler, obtained from the reduction of Joachimsthaler mnze (coin from the valley of SV. Joachim). Variants of this name in different countries was: tallero — in Italy, Calero — in Spain, the Daler in Scandinavia, the dollar — in England.

On July 6, 1785, the us Congress decided to call the us currency the "dollar".

April 2, 1792 in the United States was created the first mint was introduced silver dollar.

April 19, 1933 was the abolition of the gold standard in the United States.

On March 17, 1950, the discovery of the 98th chemical element, California, was announced in the United States .

November 15, 1994 the United States and Croatia signed an agreement on military cooperation. In the framework of the United States provided assistance in the preparation of the Croatian armed forces. Military advisers from the US private military company MPRI participated in the preparation of the Croatian special units and the Guards Brigade. Special intelligence center for gathering information and listening to the Serbian side of the negotiations has been established.

On February 2, 2019, the United States ceased its obligations under the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF) and began the procedure for withdrawing from the agreement.

Dow Jones Index

On may 26, 1896, the Dow index, one of several stock indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & company founder Charles Dow, was published for the first time. Dow Jones is the oldest existing American market index. This index was created to track the development of the industrial component of the us stock markets. The index covers the 30 largest U.S. companies. The prefix "industrial" is a tribute to history — currently, many of the companies included in the index do not belong to this industry. Initially, the index was calculated as the arithmetic mean of the share prices of the companies covered. Now, for the calculation used scalable average-the sum of prices is divided into a divisor, which changes whenever included in the index shares are split (split) or consolidation (consolidation). This allows the index to remain comparable with the changes in the internal structure of its shares.

Independence Day (Independence Day)

Independence Day is considered the day of birth of the United States as a free and independent country. Most Americans simply call it a holiday for his date - Fourth of July (Fourth of July).

July 4, 1776, Congress approved the Declaration of Independence (Declaration of Independence), which was signed by the president of the Second Continental Congress, John Hancock (John Hancock) and secretary of the Continental Congress Charles Thomson (Charles Thomson). While the inhabitants of the 13 British colonies that were located along the eastern coast of the United States of today's territory, waged war with the English king and Parliament, because they believed that those treated unfairly. The war began in 1775.

During hostilities the colonists realized that fighting not just for better treatment, and for freedom from British rule. This was clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence, which was signed by the leaders of the colonies. For the first time in an official document the colonies were called the United States of America.

Currently, the Fourth of July national holiday filled with fireworks, picnics and other outdoor activities, as well as concerts and patriotic speeches, festivals and historical reconstructions.

To join the celebration of the friendly and neighboring regions of Canada, as well as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, England, Guatemala, and the Philippines.

US Presidents Day

Every year on the third Monday in February the United States celebrate Presidents' Day. The history of today's holiday, dedicated to the outstanding leaders of the country, is still in February 1782, when the city of Richmond (Virginia, USA) held the first public celebration of George Washington's Birthday (Washington's Birthday), the first United States President, born[ru] February 22, 1732.

By the beginning of the XIX century, this day became a real national holiday, which was known for performing luxury balls, in which prominent public figures delivered their speech. Ordinary Americans at this time of feasting in noisy taverns. There have been memorable occasions. How, for example, the celebration in 1850 in Los Angeles, California. The city authorities have organized ball, which invited only the highest members of society. Offended gutter launched in retaliation to the gym burning core, killing several and injuring a decent number of guests of honor... In 1885, 22 February was declared a national holiday in honor of the birthday George Washington.

In 1971 came into force a legislative act of Congress, the purpose of which was to simplify the calendar motley US federal holidays, shifting the celebration of some of them on Monday. Under this law, and was Washington's Birthday, which was officially celebrated on the third Monday of February.

But that is not all. Back in 1860, he came to power another great American - Abraham Lincoln (Авраам Линкольн), who, as president, joined the combatants in the civil war, southern and northern states of the country and the abolition of slavery. His birthday (12 February) for the first time mentioned in 1865, when both houses of Congress gathered to honor his memory. Although this day has never been declared a national holiday, it is still celebrated in many American states.

President Richard Milhous Nixon (Ричард Никсон) in 1971 had the idea to rename the Washington's Birthday to Presidents' Day, offering to honor not alone in Washington (in law) or Lincoln (as is customary in some states), but also others who have served their country as US President. Although the proposal was not developed into a law, it is deeply rooted in the public consciousness. Thus, the third Monday in February, many celebrated as the day of all US presidents, although officially the holiday is birthday of George Washington.

Employees of state institutions in this day rest. For the same stores and supermarkets - this is just another reason to use a three-day weekend and arrange the sale of winter patterns, interweaving the legend of advertising presidents from different times.

See also: 100 Most Common U.S. Surnames[ru].

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