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United States of America

On this site you will find free pictures and information about of the United States of America.

The United States of America was founded by the “Thirteen Colonies” formed by Britain between 1608 and 1732. In 1775, they rebelled against British rule and proclaimed independence on 4 July 1776. They then constituted the first 13 states of the USA.

Today, the United States of America is a federal constitutional republic with a government elected by the people. The USA is made up of 50 states, 48 of which are geographically connected and lie in central North America between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. Alaska, the largest state, is in the northwest of the American continent with Canada to its east. The state of Hawaii is in the mid-Pacific. Other US territories are scattered around the Caribbean and western Pacific. The US capital is Washington, D.C. and its largest city New York with a population of over 8 million.

The United States covers an area of over 10.50 million km2 and has a population of around 300 million. It is one of the world's most ethnically and socially diverse nations, the product of large-scale immigration from almost every corner of the world. Recently it reached the point for the first time in its history where English is not the first language of a majority of its citizens.

The first people of the lands now known as the United States and Canada were Native American tribes often referred to as ‘Indians’, but also including the Inuit peoples of Alaska. The centuries following the arrival of Europeans saw ethnic violence and full scale wars during which Native Americans suffered huge numbers of casualties at the hands of the better armed immigrants. It is only in the modern era that Native American culture has become valued and studied, and the First Peoples have regained some of their respect.

The vast size and wide-ranging geographical features of the United States mean that almost every type of climate is encountered. Though temperate in most regions, the climate ranges from tropical in Hawaii and southern Florida to Mediterranean in coastal California, arid in the deserts in the southwest and arctic in Alaska. The USA landscape is as diverse as its climate. From coastal plains to the relatively flat, fertile farmlands of the interior and the great plains, to the rolling hills of Piedmont and the vast range of the Appalachian Mountains, to the Rocky Mountains where peaks reach altitudes of well over 4000 metres. Amongst all this, the country has room for some 50 national parks. Founded in 1872, Yellowstone was the world’s first national park.

The country is so vast and varied that it would take a number of lifetimes to explore it completely. It certainly has something for everyone. It’s just a question of knowing where to start and what you want to see. What better way than to take a virtual tour of the USA on the Internet. You’ll find that each state lists its own special attractions.

Some people use an interest in the history of modern popular music as a starting point. The French city of New Orleans is the home of traditional jazz and mardi gras; the Blues came out of the states of the “deep south” like Georgia, Alabama and the Mississippi Delta, with their history of slavery and cotton. Nashville is still the centre of Country Music with its world famous ‘Grand ole Opry House’ and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It is said that everyone of a certain age remembers where they were when Elvis Presley died, and anyone interested in the history of rock and roll can visit Graceland, his estate and mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. No similar iconic home exists belonging to Buddy Holly, who also had a lasting influence on modern pop music, but the Buddy Holly Centre in his home town of Lubbock, Texas is dedicated to preserving his memory. It is very different in Hibbing, Minnesota, which was Bob Dylan’s home town, but which scarcely recognises his existence. Dylan himself is rumoured to hate the place, but perhaps the town will celebrate him once he is dead!

What they do record with pride in Hibbing is the origin of another American institution, the Greyhound Bus. The company was founded there in 1914 by unemployed Swedish immigrant Carl Wickman, and went on to provide budget travel throughout the United States. It is a fact that far fewer than half of the population of the USA have a passport and therefore cannot travel abroad; but maybe they have so much to explore in their own country that they do not feel the need. If so, Carl Wickman certainly helped make it possible for them to do it.

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