The United States of America
is a federal republic
of 50 states
, a capital district
, and a number of other territories. It is located mostly in central North America
. The U.S. has three land borders, two with Canada
and one with Mexico
, and is otherwise bounded by the Pacific Ocean
, the Bering Sea
, the Arctic Ocean
and the Atlantic Ocean
. Of the 50 states, only Alaska
are not contiguous with any other state. The U.S. also has a collection of districts, territories, and possessions
around the world. Each state has a high level of local autonomy according to the system of federalism. The U.S. traces its national origin to the declaration
by 13 British
colonies in 1776
that they were free and independent states. They were recognized as such by the Treaty of Paris
in 1783. Since then, the nation has grown to become a global superpower
and exerts a high level of economic, political, military, and cultural influence.
The United States Constitution
is the supreme law
of the United States of America
. It was adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention
, and later ratified
by conventions in each state
in the name of "the People"; it has since been amended
seventeen times, besides the 10 added through the Bill of Rights
. The Constitution has a central place in United States law
and political culture
. The handwritten, or "engrossed", original document
is on display at the National Archives and Records Administration
in Washington, D.C.
The United States Constitution has 4,543 words, including the signatures.
Several of the ideas in the Constitution were new, and a large number of ideas were drawn from the literature of Republicanism in the United States, from the experiences of the 13 states, and from the British experience with mixed government. The most important influence from the European continent was from Montesquieu, who emphasized the need to have balanced forces pushing against each other to prevent tyranny.
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Selected society biography
George Herbert Walker Bush
(June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018) was an American politician and businessman who served as the 41st president of the United States
from 1989 to 1993. A member of the Republican Party
, Bush also served in the U.S. House of Representatives
, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
, as Director of Central Intelligence
, and as the 43rd vice president
Bush was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut and attended Phillips Academy before serving in the United States Navy during World War II. After the war, he graduated from Yale University and moved to West Texas, where he established a successful oil company. After an unsuccessful run for the United States Senate, he won election to the 7th congressional district of Texas in 1966. President Richard Nixon appointed Bush to the position of Ambassador to the United Nations in 1971 and to the position of chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1973. In 1974, President Gerald Ford appointed him as the Chief of the Liaison Office to the People's Republic of China, and in 1976 Bush became the Director of Central Intelligence. Bush ran for president in 1980, but was defeated in the Republican presidential primaries by Ronald Reagan. He was then elected vice president in 1980 and 1984 as Reagan's running mate.
In the 1988 presidential election, Bush defeated Democrat Michael Dukakis, becoming the first incumbent vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1836. Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency, as he navigated the final years of the Cold War and played a key role in the reunification of Germany. Bush presided over the invasion of Panama and the Gulf War, ending the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in the latter conflict. Though the agreement was not ratified until after he left office, Bush negotiated and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which created a trade bloc consisting of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Domestically, Bush reneged on a 1988 campaign promise by signing a bill that increased taxes and helped reduce the federal budget deficit. He also signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and appointed David Souter and Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Bush lost the 1992 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton following an economic recession and the decreased emphasis of foreign policy in a post–Cold War political climate.
Anniversaries for July 6
Cranberry harvest in New Jersey
The cuisine of New Jersey is derived from the state's long immigrant history and its close proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia. Due to its geographical location, New Jersey can generally be divided by New York City cuisine in the northern and central parts of the state and Philadelphia cuisine in the southern parts. Restaurants in the state often make use of locally grown ingredients such as asparagus, blueberries, cranberries, tomatoes, corn, and peaches. New Jersey is home to approximately 525 diners, the most of any state. Various foods invented in the state, such as the pork roll, and salt water taffy, remain popular there today. Read more...
is the fourth-largest city in the United States of America
and the largest city within the state of Texas
. As of the 2006 U.S. Census estimate, the city has a population of 2.14 million. Houston is the economic center of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown
metropolitan area—the sixth-largest metropolitan area
in the U.S. with a population of more than 5.5 million.
The city was incorporated on June 5, 1837 and named after then-President of the Republic of Texas—former General Sam Houston. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with oil discovery in 1901, has induced continual surges in the city's population. In the mid-twentieth century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where Mission Control Center is located.
Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in the energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and technology; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits—attracting more than 7 million visitors a year to the Houston Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and is one of five U.S. cities that offer year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.
Selected culture biography
Edgar Allan Poe
(January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet
, short-story writer
and literary critic
, and is considered part of the American Romantic Movement
. Best known for his tales of mystery
and the macabre
, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction
genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction
. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today.
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