American history

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United States - officially United States of America, republic (2000 pop. 281,421,906), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country inpopulation and the fourth largest country in area. It consists of 50 states and a federal district. The conterminous (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) United States stretches across central North America fromthe Atlantic Ocean on the east to the Pacific Ocean on the west, and from Canada on the north to Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico on the south. The state of Alaska is located in extreme NW North Americabetween the Arctic and Pacific oceans and is bordered by Canada on the east. The state of Hawaii, an island chain, is situated in the E central Pacific Ocean c.2,100 mi (3,400 km) SW of SanFrancisco. Washington, D.C., is the capital of the United States, and New York is its largest city.

The outlying territories and areas of the United States include: in the Caribbean Basin, Puerto Rico (acommonwealth associated with the United States) and the Virgin Islands of the United States (purchased from Denmark in 1917); in the Pacific Ocean, Guam (ceded by Spain after the Spanish-American War),the Northern Mariana Islands (a commonwealth associated with the United States), American Samoa, Wake Island, and several other islands. The United States also has compacts of free association withthe Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Political Geography

The conterminous United States may be divided into several regions: theNew England states ( Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut), the Middle Atlantic states ( New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and WestVirginia), the Southeastern states ( North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky), the states of the Midwest ( Ohio,...
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