The USA polarizes like hardly any other country: Many people love the scenic, hospitable country on the other side of the Atlantic, others are extremely critical of pure capitalism.
- The first 13 States the United States declared themselves independent in 1776.
- Today the country comprises 50 states and several outlying areas.
- The capital of the USA has been the newly built Washington since 1800.
Washington – haven of freedom or capitalist abyss? Like no other Country share the United States opinions worldwide. The third largest country in the world is a permanent guest in the media and exerts an unbroken fascination.
USA: The Early History
For many millennia, the natives of the North American continent lived undisturbed and developed numerous different cultures. With the discovery of America at the end of the 15th century, the colonization of the later continued United States a. The first permanent settlement was established by the Spanish in Florida in 1565. In 1607 the English followed, who settled in Virginia. In 1620 the Puritan Pilgrim Fathers reached Plymouth near what is now the metropolis of Boston. They celebrated their early salvation from starvation by indigenous Indian tribes with a harvest festival, later known as Thanksgiving became the largest family celebration in the USA.
The eastern part of the newly discovered continent was divided among several European powers. In the 13 colonies belonging to the British crown, displeasure with the government in London fermented from the middle of the 17th century due to high tax demands. With the Boston Tea Party in 1773 there was an open conflict, which culminated in the declaration of independence of July 4, 1776. The day is today in the United States when Independence Day american national day. However, the colonies first had to fight for their independence in a five-year war against the colonial power.
USA: The birth of a state
The 13 colonies became the first 13 states of the United States of America (USA), to which more should be added soon. First President of the USA became George Washington, the victorious general of the War of Independence. Contrasts between the northern ones crystallized early on States to finance minister Alexander Hamilton and the southern states for foreign ministers Thomas Jefferson out. The dispute over the capital of the country ended with a compromise: On the border between north and south, a new capital was built on the Potomac River, bearing the name of the president: Washington.
Slavery and civil war
From the 17th century onwards, Africans were brought into the colonies as slaves to do the hard work in the endless fields of the plantations. In the agricultural southern states, slaves made over a third of the population population out. The push of the industrial north to abolish slavery eventually led to an open rift between north and south. As the opponent of slavery in 1860 Abraham Lincoln to the president of United States was elected, the South declared itself independent. A five-year civil war broke out that killed around 600,000 Americans and resulted in the defeat of the South. The Country was reunited and slavery abolished.
USA: The early 20th century
After the end of the civil war the economic rise of the United States. The railroad opened up the endless expanses of the West, which were gradually added to the USA as new states. The Native Americans have been severely decimated and displaced into reservations. At the same time, millions of new immigrants, mainly from Europe, poured into the country every year, which promised freedom, land ownership and wealth. The first megacities developed on the east coast. In addition, the United States became involved in foreign policy for the first time, conquering its own colonies in the Caribbean and the Philippines in Southeast Asia, Puerto Rico.
During the First World War the Country initially neutral. It was only when a German submarine sank the RMS Lusitania and 128 Americans were killed that the US entered the war on the side of the Western Allied powers. The war was followed by a cultural boom in the Roaring Twenties, which brought forth jazz, Broadway musicals, Art Deco architecture and early Hollywood films, among others.
The second half of the century
The stock market crash of 1929 ended this upswing abruptly and caused great misery due to a lack of social security. In World War II they wanted United States initially remain neutral again until the Country was attacked on its own territory during the Japanese Air Force raid on Pearl Harbor (Hawaii). Soon the Americans were fighting on two fronts: in the Pacific against Japan and in Europe against Nazi Germany and its allies.
This war went almost seamlessly into the Cold War against the Communist Soviet Union. At the same time, the USA experienced a new economic miracle in the 1950s and saw itself as the leader of the free capitalist world. To prevent the further spread of communism, the state waged wars in Korea and Vietnam. The latter in particular, which ended in defeat in 1973, led to violent protests at home. Under Martin Luther King Meanwhile, resistance formed against the systematic disadvantage of the blacks population. 1964 became the Civil Rights Act passed, which fundamentally prohibited discrimination against minorities and abolished racial segregation.
In the late 20th century, the United States shaped by the economic upswing and optimism. Both came to an abrupt end with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The USA started a war against the responsible Islamist terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Iraq, which has not yet been ended. In 2007, the collapse of the real estate and credit market was followed by a severe economic crisis.
Under the Democratic President Barack Obama were cautious reforms in the direction of a European welfare state like the health insurance “Obamacare” for the less affluent population carried out. These met with tremendous opposition from conservative Republicans and their voters. The split in the US culminated in the election of the Republican businessman in 2016 Donald Trumpwho advertised protectionism and patriotism. However, he was unable to achieve his goals and was voted out of office in 2020.
The politics the United States is ruled by a two-party system: Conservative Republicans and Liberal Democrats are increasingly irreconcilable. At the head of the country is the president, who is im White house resides from Washington. In November 2020, the Democrat Joe Biden elected 46th President of the United States. Politics is determined by Congress, which is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Because the United States of America is a federal system, the 50 states can set many laws themselves.
Domestic politics in the United States is dominated by numerous conflicts, including questions about the right to private gun ownership and female self-determination. When it comes to climate protection, the Country regularly one of the last places in the world. Attempts at change are usually met with fierce opposition from large American corporations, which are dependent on fossil fuels.
USA: population and language
Through centuries of immigration, today’s population the United States a melting pot of nations. The most important ethnic groups at a glance (as of 2019):
|rank||Ethnicity (according to own information)||percent|
|2||Hispanic / Latino||18.3|
Most important language the US is English. Through immigration from Latin Americans, Spanish has become an important second language with around 37.4 million speakers. In the reservations of the indigenous people, the respective languages are the official language. The state of South Dakota has Sioux as a second official language alongside English as a whole Country set.
USA: geography and cities
The geography the United States is very diverse due to the extent of the country and ranges from tropical Florida in the south to the snow-covered glacier landscapes of Alaska. In the east and west is that Country traversed by the mountain ranges of the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains. The Great Plains of the Midwest stretch in between. The highest mountain in the country is the 6,190 meter high Denali in Alaska.
82 percent of American population live in urban areas. The biggest Cities of the USA at a glance (as of 2016):
|1||New York City||8,537,673|
In the economically strong conurbation around the metropolis new York More than 20 million people live in total.