Officially known as the United States of America, the United States, America (not to be confused for the continent of the Americas), the States, the Union, the USA or the US is a federal presidential constitutional republic that have 50 States and claims dependencies in the West Indies and the pacific. The country is described as pro-democratic and pro-capitalist and it is one of the global superpowers along side Russia.
The country was known as the Thirteen Colonies when it was a colony of Great Britain. It composes of today's US states of Maine (Massachusetts), New Hampshire, Vermont (New York), Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia (Virginia), Kentucky (Virginia), North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. It later separated from Great Britain on July 4th, 1776, in which is celebrated annually with fireworks and barbecues. It later expanded Westward and gained control of New France by the Louisiana purchase during the Napoleonic Era in 1803. Great Britain later retaliated the US and fought a second war between 1810 and 1812, but the Americans still won and it also made Florida secede from Spain and later become a US state. The US national anthem was based on the bombing of Baltimore, to be the last battle fought in the war of 1812. California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas were taken off from Mexico during the Mexican-American war in 1848. Also during the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865, 11 out of 34 States wanted to secede from the Union to form the Confederate States of America while the remaining 23 wanted a unified nation. This lead to the Emancipation Proclamation that abolished slavery, ratification of the 14th amendment of the US constitution and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln shortly after the war.
During the Industrial Revolution, urbanisation of cities in the North and immigrants of the South and Eastern Europe happens. Many children worked in factories. Also, Alaska was purchased from Russia and the last Hawaiian monarch was overthrown by an American coup d'état in 1893 so it could become an American state in 1898. The last indigenous armed conflict would be the Wounded Knee Massacre. The same year during the Spanish-American war, the US gained the commonwealth territories of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam, which all but the Philippines, which became independent 50 years later, remained under American possession to this day.
During World War I in 1914, the US remained a neutral state until 1917 when the US joined the Allied Powers to help Britain and France fight the war against the Central Powers in Europe. Later in the 1920's, they were women's rights movements for the right to vote, giving rise to the 19th amendment of the US constitution, which states that the rights to vote should not be denied on the account on ones sex. By the 1930's the Wall Street Crash of 1929 brought the start of the Great Depression, which ended in 1937. During the early stages of World War II at the Nazi German invasion of Poland, the US remained neutral until the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 1941, in which caused the US to join the Allies to fight against the Axles, which caused the US to nuke the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
During the Cold War the US fought against the communist USSR, nominating NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The Soviets were the first to launch the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 and the first to launch a manned spaceflight in 1961, which prompted John F. Kennedy to launch the first man on the moon via NASA's Apollo program. At the time, the US had a great economic expansion. With growing white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan, many civil right movement use nonviolence against segregation and racism, while black nationalists had a more military scope. Following JFK's assassination, civil rights, Medicare and Medicaid bills were passed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. During the Vietnam war, there was a new start of antimilitarianism, black nationalism and sexual revolution in the new wave of feminism for social, political and economic equality for women.
In the 1970s energy crisis, which also affected Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, oil prices increases which had a negative impact on the First World economy. The Nixon Administration restored normal relations with China and oversaw the beginning of a period of generally eased relations with the Soviet Union. As a result of the Watergate scandal, in 1974 Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign, to avoid being impeached on charges including obstruction of justice and abuse of power. The Carter Administration of the late 1970s was marked by the Iran hostage crisis, stagflation, and an increase of tensions with the Soviet Union following the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. The election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980 heralded a rightward shift in American politics, reflected in major changes in taxation and spending priorities. His second term in office brought both the Iran–Contra scandal and significant diplomatic progress with the Soviet Union. The subsequent Soviet collapse ended the Cold War.
On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorists under the leadership of Osama bin Laden struck the World Trade Center in New York City and The Pentagon near Washington, D.C., killing nearly 3,000 people. In response, the George W. Bush administration launched the global War on Terror, invading Afghanistan and removing the Taliban government and al-Qaeda training camps. However, Taliban insurgents were never completely defeated and continue to fight a guerrilla war against U.S. forces. In 2003, the United States and several allied forces launched an invasion of Iraq to engineer regime change there, beginning the Iraq War. American combat troops fought in the country for eight years. In 2008, amid a global economic recession and two wars, the first African-American president, Barack Obama, was elected. On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed during an American Navy SEAL raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.