Who named the 50 states of America
United States of America
The United States of America is a country in North America. It is also known as the United States for short. This comes from the English name "United States of America", USA for short. Lots of people just say "America", but that is a continent that is even bigger. The 50 stars in the flag stand for the states, the thirteen stripes for the former British colonies.
Only in China and India do more people live than in the USA, only Russia and Canada are bigger. The United States is a particularly rich and powerful country. A lot of inventions and other things come from here that you like elsewhere in the world. Most people in the United States speak English. However, especially in the south, many people have Spanish as their mother tongue.
Indians used to live where the USA is today. Since around the 17th century, more and more people came from Europe to live in colonies, especially from Great Britain. By 1776, they were fed up with still paying taxes to the King of Great Britain. After a civil war, Great Britain had to give up many areas in North America.
The colonies became independent states. A short time later they merged as the United States of America. This republic had a president who was also elected by the people - at least by the rich men. That was still very rare in the world back then. In the 19th century, many poor people moved from Europe to the United States. The state bought and conquered large areas of North America that previously belonged to the Indians or Europeans.
What does the country look like?
Most of the US is a huge land mass. It is about 4,600 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. That is more than ten times as far as between Hamburg and Cologne. A trip by car would take about 4 days. That is why Americans fly more often than Europeans.
There are long rivers like the Mississippi or Missouri and huge mountains like the Rocky Mountains, Cascades or Appalachians. Some areas are very cold, like Alaska, which extends into the Arctic. The southern United States has hot deserts and the Hawaiian Islands are in the tropics. Plus, the US knows almost every climate in between. That is why the animals and plants in the USA are very different. You can find large animals there, such as the ones that are mostly extinct in Europe, for example grizzly bears. In the USA they are partly protected in the huge national parks.
The most famous animal in the USA is probably the bald eagle. These eagles can be seen in the seal of the country. Raccoons are common, and mountain lions are found in the western United States. Brown bears and moose live in Alaska, as well as in Northern Europe and Northern Asia. There is a lot of swamp in the southern states. There you can meet alligators and turtles.
What happened in the US before?
The first inhabitants of the area we know today as the USA came from Asia. They probably immigrated more than 10,000 years ago via a narrow land connection between what is now Russia and Alaska. The first Europeans in North America were Vikings in the Middle Ages, but they probably only got as far as today's Canada. The city of St. Augustine in Florida, in the south, is now considered the oldest city in the USA. It was founded in 1565 by a group of Spaniards and has been settled ever since.
The English, French and Dutch also founded colonies in North America. After all, many residents of the British colonies wanted their own state. The conflict led to the American War of Independence in 1775. The insurgent colonists won and founded the United States of America in 1787. Unlike almost all countries in Europe, the USA was a republic. The head of state was not a king or emperor, but an elected president.
First of all, the USA wanted to become master of North America. They conquered large areas from the Indians and Spaniards. But they did not succeed in driving the British out. That is why there is still the state of Canada to the north of the USA, which used to belong to the British. Alaska bought the US from Russia. In addition, the US conquered or bought some areas in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean.
The United States disagreed at all on one thing: the southern sub-states were home to many slaves. For example, they had to grow cotton there, which brought in a lot of money for the owners of the slaves. Slavery was badly considered in the northern states. Finally, in 1861, war broke out between the north and south. In the following four years, 600,000 people died in the American Civil War, more than any other war in the United States. The north won and slavery was abolished.
In the years after 1900, the American government cared more about what was happening in Europe. The USA fought against Germany, Japan, Italy and their allies in World War I and World War II. Then she helped the west of Europe that it was protected from the Soviet Union, today's Russia. In some countries, such as Vietnam, the US has waged other wars.
On September 11, 2001, terrorists killed around 3,000 people in New York and Washington. After that, the terrorists were persecuted and American soldiers occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. Again it was argued whether this was a good idea. Some people think it's good that the US is getting involved. Because the United Nations does not have the power to be the police of the entire world. Other people are very much against it. They claim that the US is fighting in other countries because the US sees advantages for itself.
What do you need to know about the people of the USA?
Many millions of Indians used to live in North America. The whites of Europe killed many of them or made sure that they had a bad life. If there were only 100 Americans, then just one of them would be Indian. Some live in special areas, the reserves, where they can determine a little about themselves.
Most of the rest of the Americans are called “whites”. A little more than one in ten is “black”. Their skin color is a little darker than that of the "whites" or very dark. Slaves from Africa are often found among their ancestors. That is why one often reads and hears the term "African American" in reports about them. Other Americans have ancestors from Asia, such as China, Japan or Korea. The whites come from many parts of Europe or from South America. The United States is called the melting pot of nations: when you heat metals, they mix. This is how a new nation is said to have come into being, the USA.
The 300 million Americans don't just look different. They also have different languages and cultures. Most speak English, but almost one in five Americans is native Spanish. Over a million Americans say they speak German at home. The USA is also the land of different religions: some immigrants came to the USA because they were not allowed to practice their religion in their homeland.
Because the US is so big, there are many areas that are very sparsely populated. The people there live very modestly. For example, they are used to driving many kilometers to go shopping. Often these Americans also live in simple dwellings such as trailers. These are caravans that are always in the same place. Anyone who talks disparagingly about these Americans calls them “rednecks”, in German “red necks”.
Who is in charge in the USA?
The US is a very old democracy. Its constitution, the most important law, is from 1787. However, at first only rich men were allowed to make decisions. Little by little, more people got the right to vote.
The laws are made by Congress. That's the name of the parliament. Americans elect parts of parliament every two years, never all of parliament at once.
In addition, the Americans can determine who their president should be. The president is not only the head of state, but also the head of government. Elections will take place again after four years. You can only be president for eight years. This is to prevent a president from becoming too powerful. It is already said that the American president is the most powerful man in the world because the United States is so strong.
In general, Americans are allowed to vote quite a lot. The states, such as Texas or Alaska, have their own parliaments and heads. Often one also elects the judges in the place in which one lives. Finally there are referendums. In it, the citizens decide whether, for example, a new bridge should be built in their city.
What is the US known for?
American culture can be seen all over the world today: movies from Hollywood, hamburgers and other fast food, daring clothes and shrill music. This culture is popular with a great many people. Some people turn up their noses at this and think Americans are stupid.
But “serious” culture also often comes from the USA. Many famous writers are or were American. In the United States, “white” and “black” music have intermingled and resulted in many styles of music. Jazz became particularly well known.
The US is also an important country in the world in terms of science. This also applies to a large extent to space travel and the world of computers. Some universities in the USA are world famous. Many other universities and schools, however, have little money. That is why most Americans tend to go to poor schools and some Americans to very good, expensive ones.
The sports from the USA are also known. Baseball and American football are the most popular. Then come basketball and ice hockey. Football is not as popular in the US as it is in the rest of the world. A sport that is particularly popular in the southeast is NASCAR. These are special car races.
What do people in the USA do for a living?
The US is one of the richest countries in the world. Hardly any other country earns so much. It looks a little different if you ask how rich Americans are on average. The country is still one of the 15 most prosperous countries. However, the number of poor Americans is growing. If you compare the years 2000 and 2015, then in 2015 twice as many people lived in extremely poor neighborhoods and areas. Many things that people need for their daily life often do not work well there and sometimes not at all. In addition, many live very, very close together. Such areas are called slums, in other words: slamm. The number of slums in the USA has been growing steadily for several years.
There is a lot of fertile land that is grown. There are also natural resources such as oil and coal. Many children are born in the United States and many people immigrate. So there are enough people who can work in business.
American companies also sell many goods abroad. Some companies are known all over the world, such as the Internet company Google or the car manufacturer Ford. The USA sell most of them in its neighboring countries Canada and Mexico. Then come China, Japan, Germany and Great Britain.
There is also an article on "United States of America" for beginners on MiniKlexikon.de and other search results from Blinde Kuh and Ask Finn.
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