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|United States of America|
$15.065 trillion (2011)
$15.065 trillion (2011)
|v · d · e|
The United States of America, also referred to as the United States, U.S., U.S.A., or America, is a country located mostly North America comprising of 50 states and one federal district. The 48 contiguous states are bordered by Canada to the north, Mexico to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The only states not included in the contiguous United States are Alaska and Hawaii.
- For more information, see wikipedia:United States#Etymology
During 1507, German cartographer, Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere "America", after Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. The British colonies first used the country's modern name in the 1776 Declaration of Independence, which declares the country the "unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America". On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, which states "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America'." The Franco-American treaties of 1778 used "United States of North America", but from July 11, 1778, "United States of America" was used on the country's bills of exchange, and has been the official name since.
The short form, "United States" is also standard. Other common forms include the "U.S.", the "USA", and "America". Colloquial names include the "U.S. of A." and internationally, the "States". "Colombia", derived from Christopher Columbus, was once a common name for the United States, and is featured in "District of Colombia".
The first people known to have settled in the United States were Native Americans, having immigrated from Asia to the America's through a land bridge that connected Alaska to Siberia, Russia. During the 16th century, Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish communities were established in the present-day United States. In 1607, the Kingdom of Great Britain established British America. After several laws were passed by Britain after the French and Indian War, a number of citizens of the territory rebelled, which lead to the American Revolutionary War, lasting from 1775 to 1783, when the United States was declared a federal state under terms of the Treaty of Paris. The new country began as a confederacy, but in 1789, a new constitution was developed, turning the United States into a federalist constitutional republic.
Afterwards, the United States had claimed land from Britain ceded under terms of the Treaty of Paris. During 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was bought from France by President Thomas Jefferson, which greatly expanded the area of the United States. A few years later, due to tensions between the allies of the United States, Britain and France, the War of 1812 began, and ended a few years later in 1815 after limited US involvement. As the United States expanded to the west, tension was caused on issue of slavery between the northern and southern states. In 1861, several states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America, which resulted in the American Civil War. When the war ended in 1865, slavery had been abolished and the seceded states returned to the union.
In 1917, the United States entered World War I, but left the war early in 1918. After this time, women's suffrage was allowed in the United States, after being prohibited for about 140 years. In the 1930s, the United States, along with many other countries, was going through a depression, which eventually became known as the Great Depression. This lasted up until the late 1930s or early 1940s.
At the start of World War II, the United States had managed to remain neutral, but after the Empire of Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States became involved and fought alongside the allies until the war's end in 1945. Immediately after World War II, the United States had become conflicted with the Soviet Union, which marked the beginning of the Cold War. This ended in 1991, due to the disestablishment of the USSR. In 1955, the African-American Civil Rights Movement was enacted to stop racial segregation in the United States. It became successful in 1968, and the United States has remained unsegregated since.
In 1991, the United States assisted the coalition forces in the Gulf War against Iraqi forces led by Saddam Hussein, ending in a coalition victory. On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorists managed to hijack four airplanes and crash two into the World Trade Center and one into The Pentagon killing approximately 3,000 people. The fourth plane was reportedly headed to the White House, but failed due to a passenger revolt, which caused the plane to crash near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. These attacks, resulting in the War on Terror and War in Afghanistan, were planned by al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, who was killed on May 2, 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
|USD||United States dollar||
|100 Cents = 1 Dollar|
- For more information, see Early American currency
During Britain's early rule over British America, three general types of currency were circulated: commodity money, coins, and banknotes. The commodity money was used when money was scarce. Examples of such included tobacco, beaver skin, and wampum. Similarly to Britain, money was denominated in pounds, shillings, and pence. Eventually, Colonial currency was introduced, with the values varying through each of the colonies. Eventually, use of the Spanish dollar was introduced to the colonies, and was used alongside the colonial currencies.
Eventually, the colonies began issuing banknotes to serve a convenient medium of exchange. During 1690, the Province of Massachusetts Bay created "the first authorized paper money issued by any government in the Western World", which was issued to pay for an expedition in King William's War. Soon, other colonies followed the example of Massachusetts Bay, issuing their own currency in later conflicts.
When the American Revolution began in 1775, the Continental Congress began the issue of Continental currency, which had denominations from 1/6 dollars to 80 dollars, with many odd denominations between. During the revolution, which lasted up until 1873, the Continental Congress issued $241,552,780 in currency.
After the American Revolution's end in 1783, the Treaty of Paris declared the United States a federal state. The country, having been a confederation during its first years, had the states issue their own currency. In 1876, the idea of the dollar was approved by Congress, and in 1792, the United States Mint began producing coins. These were pegged to the Mexican peso, which was also circulating in the country during the time until 1857. The first coins struck were silver Flowing Hair half-dollars.
During the Civil War, the United States issued the Demand Note ("Greenback"), which ceased issuance in 1862. Afterwards, the United States introduced the United States Note, which was circulated until 1971. These were replaced by Federal Reserve Notes, which are still found in circulation today.
The United States on foreign currencyEdit
The United States has been referenced often on foreign currencies. Many of these instances are on commemorative coins related to international sporting events, such as the 1990 Afghanistan 100 afghani coin for the United States' soccer (football) championship against Italy that year. Less commonly, coins commemorate tragic events of the United States, such as a 2001 10 ruble coin from Spitsbergen, which used the September 11 attacks to demote terrorism.
A countries coins and banknotes are sometimes produced within the United States for use in that country. Several times throughout history, the United States Mint has minted coins for other countries and its dependencies (such as the Philippines). Similarly, banknotes have also been printed for foreign use, most notably by the American Banknote Company.
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