Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Holiday Blues" from Kara Homes

"Holiday blues: Kara Homes bankruptcy turns lives of prospective buyers upside down"
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 12/17/06

"Mark File is living a "borderline nightmare."

Thinking he was only a week or so away from moving into a new home at Horizons at Birch Hill in Old Bridge, File sold his former house in June and moved his wife and two children into a hotel in Somerset.

Months later, they were still living in a hotel room because their home still wasn't ready. And then on Oct. 5, builder Kara Homes Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection, the day before his home was scheduled for a final inspection.

"It is still depressing going into the holidays," said File, 53, who is now renting a condominium in the same development where his new home stands, unoccupied.

"Sometimes, you feel, like, that you got knocked off your feet somehow," File said. "You didn't see it coming. You don't feel like you deserved it. It is not a nice feeling for the holidays."

File is among the 300 home buyers who had signed contracts and made deposits for homes that were in various stages of construction when Kara filed for bankruptcy. The company said it ran out of cash, blaming a slowdown in the real estate market."

Full article...

105 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you buy/sell a house in a very volatile real estate market.

Sunday, December 17, 2006 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homeowners are consumers and it is unconscionable that Kara Homes can get away with this. I am a prospective homeowner who has nothing left. I will go to the ends of the earth to make sure every single person at Kara Homes pays dearly for the living hell my life is now...

Sunday, December 17, 2006 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blame the person responsible-Zudi Karagjozi. His lousy management is the reason that all these woes exist. Every single issue traces right back to him.

Sunday, December 17, 2006 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be great if some of the ripped-off buyers showed up in court & asked for an explanation as to why the people responsible for the Kara Homes meltdown are all still gainfully employed. It's a joke, I mean these ass-clowns are worrying about saving themselves and everyone else gets completely hosed. Zudi's mismanagement was criminal, look what he's done to all these people.

Sunday, December 17, 2006 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kara dicked everyone over because Zudi was more concerned with covering his own sorry ass than with honoring commitments to his customers. He sold homes while knowing he was barely solvent at the time. He cares about one thing, the contents of his pockets & nothing more.

Sunday, December 17, 2006 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zuhdi, do the right thing. Shoot yourself.

Sunday, December 17, 2006 1:44:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

You begin to understand from this article and the comments posted above just how bad this situation is. The focus of the news articles has been on Kara's reorganizational efforts focused solely on its borrowing money to cover the payroll for Kara's employees and "workout" specialists. That to me is only a small part of the story and frankly not worth the press coverage it has been given.

At least from this outsider's view, buyers would do best to follow the lead of the buyers Peter and Judith Tiano. They have filed a motion to force KARA to relieve them of contract responsibility. This action recognizes Kara's inability to perform and the fact that declining real estate values bring into question whether buying at yesterday's price makes sense.

An additional factor buyers should consider before waiting and buying is that they are likely never going to have a source of recovery on warranty or construction defect issues.

Sunday, December 17, 2006 4:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many buyers are not willing to file a motion to relieve them of contract responsibility unless they are assured of getting something back. The problem is there is no cash to get their deposits back...

Sunday, December 17, 2006 6:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this quote on someone's personal blog. It expresses a somewhat different view of the situation. If this person only knew of the disruptive situation many people face as a result of Kara's financial ineptness, I think they would change there minds.

"Couldn't think of anything to do so we drove around and looked at all the Kara homes and the Christmas lights. I want a house like those some day. They're so massive and beautiful...that's my dream home."
http://tinyurl.com/y7eguw

Monday, December 18, 2006 9:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Kara Homes asks court for permission to sell four developments."

SCProf, I am a Kara customer who has put down a significant deposit on one of the developments Kara is looking to sell. My contract expired in Nov, and I haven't heard anything from them. If they sell the development, is that a good thing or a bad thing for me? What could possibly happen? Thanks.

http://tinyurl.com/yhbpex

Monday, December 18, 2006 3:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should Kara Homes be allowed to borrow more money? Why are they not being forced into selling off some of their assets to fund themselves? Why are they not shedding bloated corporate salaries? Why are the buyers and creditors being forced to shoulder this burden while Zudi struggles to preserve his precious brand name? Is everyone just supposed to wait & wait while Kara Homes begs for emergency loans to cover themselves? It's outrageous and unjust. Zudi is supposedly sitting on 350 million dollars worth of assets, why can't Kara liquidate some of this and put it towards getting these buyers into their rightfully purchased properties? This ridiculous fight for survival is coming at the expense of everyone Zudi ripped off and it's just a crime.

Monday, December 18, 2006 3:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's high time that the court starts de-prioritizing whatever is in Kara's best interests and starts prioritizing everyone else.

Monday, December 18, 2006 3:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kara Homes should be forced to sell off any and all undeveloped property, right now. Enough with the loans to make payroll, nothing's less important than keeping them alive on someone else's dime. Time to stop coddling them and looking out for their best interests. If Kara can't sustain themselves, shut them down.

Monday, December 18, 2006 3:51:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

Anon 3:06

Reading between the lines, my guess is that there simply isn't any equity in these properties for the Debtor. That is the values of all of these properties is actually less than the amount owed Magyar Bank. An obvious benefit to the bank is it gets this property quicker than it would if it went through the normal foreclosure process.

What I cannot tell without having access to the Motion is whether or not the sale is free and clear of any interest mechanics lien claimants have (assuming there are mechanics liens filed on the properties where construction has been done). That would be the way I would want it if I were the Bank. And yes if I were the Bank I would also want to be sure that the property was clear of any sort of equitable lien in favor of existing buyers by way of their deposit.

I guess what I'm saying is this "sale" isn't a particularly good thing for you. What it appears to do is to narrow your avenues of recovery. Along those lines, I remain concerned with regard to what is likely the fact that buyers are not being given "equal" treatment as creditors of this Estate. Let me explain by presenting an example.

Say you have Buyer A who put down a $100K deposit and Buyer B who did the same. Let's even have them do it on the same day. Let's have that date say be April 1, 2006 (April Fools' Day of course). Now Buyer A's home is done as of the date of the bankruptcy filing but Buyer B's home is only 80% complete. Both are in the same position at the bankruptcy closing date, that is Kara spent their deposits and there was no deposit bond out there providing a source of recovery. In essence, they are both unsecured creditors of the Kara bankruptcy estate.

So, Kara goes to Court and gets permission to sell the completed home to Buyer A. Does Buyer A get credit for the $100K deposit? If so, how is that treating Buyer A and Buyer B equally through the proceeding if Buyer B's home is never completed and eventually the construction lender forecloses? Wouldn't the proper way to handle the situation be to have Buyer A retain their unsecured claim and be required to put in another $100K at closing?

Monday, December 18, 2006 6:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear SC prof,

You are so wise and all knowing. Should I get a lawyer to help me through these trouble times or should I just depend on you to freely give me your wisdom. While I know going to a true legal professional in the state that this matter is taking place in would seem prudent, I'm sure, trusting in you is the way to go. Please great and wonderful SC guide me through this difficult time.

Monday, December 18, 2006 6:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SC

Please elaborate on buyer A and buyer B. I really don't understand the analogy completely. Sorry I'm a little slow. Can you please explain how the deposits are supose to get distributed in a situation as this one. Also, why does buyer A have to add additonal money?

thanks

Monday, December 18, 2006 7:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 6:58:30 PM

Stop acting like a j/o! If you have nothing constructive or informative to add to this blog then keep your comments to yourself. The rest of us would like SC Prof to continue helping us out.

Monday, December 18, 2006 7:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anon 7:40,
Funny thing about a blog-some consider me a "jack-off", some consider SC a "jack Off", others consider you a "jack off". The reality of the situation is it's a BLOG. It's not your lawyer, it's not the court. It's a faceless nameless way of blowing off steam. If you don't want someone cutting into your little conversation with the king of bankruptcy, e-mail him, he already posted his e-mail address on another blog.
If you want to put credence in the Mr. Hand clone from Cali feel free. My problem is,I have a great deal of difficulty putting any value in an "internet expert". If you want to blindly follow someones advice, that you know nothing about, feel free to. I on the other hand prefer to slam the janitor from the west.

Monday, December 18, 2006 8:40:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

Anon 6:58, if you have been involved on this Blog for any length of time at all I'm sure you would have read me repeat the advice for Kara buyers to seek competent legal advice. Bankruptcy is a complicated area of the law, not well understood by a general practitioner. Wouldn't you, as a buyer, prefer to consult with an attorney where you had some level of understanding of bankruptcy law, rather than be the apparent bumbling idiot that seems to frequent this Blog all too often trying but failing to dissuade me from continuing to post my thoughts.

Anon 7:14, you are not slow. Sometimes providing examples in complex bankruptcy settings is challenging at best. I think what I'm trying to point to is that Buyer A's deposit does him some good if he is given credit for it towards the purchase price of the home. Since Buyer B's sale never closes, all he can receive is what he will get as an unsecured creditor. I just don't think that will be much.

So, if they are to be treated equally, then Buyer A should not get credit for his deposit but should get the same thing Buyer B gets through the bankruptcy distribution to unsecured creditors. Does that help in you to understand?

Monday, December 18, 2006 8:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soon the judge will begin to realize that everything Kara says publicly is total bullshit & he'll tire of their nonsense too. Everything is always, "soon" or, "we believe", or "hopefully". Just like it always was. Lots of promises and proposals and you can guarantee they'll go nowhere. How pathetic is it when obtaining a high interest loan is regarded as some kind of triumph of the will? What a sorry and pitiful spectacle that wheezy windbag created. Pretty sad stuff. I wonder if in twenty years Zudi is bragging about this period of his life. Somehow I doubt it.

Monday, December 18, 2006 9:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey SC

Thank you. I now get it. Your are trying to show fairness to both parties. It is very tricky. I do have so many questions to ask. I know a bk lawyer is supose to answer these types of questions. The problem is the bk lawyers I've been taking to don't have the answers either. That's why we try to deciper as much as we can in anyway we can inorder to come up with a solution. It really does help. Please continue to help make sense out of all this.

Anon 7:14:31PM

Monday, December 18, 2006 9:40:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

Anon 9:40. Glad I can help. The situation in terms of helping people understand would be better if the Unsecured Creditors' Committee could be pursuaded to post copies (in PDF format) of the motions filed by the Debtor in this case. Newspaper reports, while helpful, leave all of us in a bit of a guessing game.

At the risk of upsetting Kara creditors, I think you need to look at the Committee's Blog (http://www.karahomescreditors.blogspot.com/ ) to see the proposed employment of additional professionals and payment of fees to Bear Stearns. I feel for you creditors. This case, in my humble opinion, is going to become a money maker for Bear Stearns at your expense. Let me see if I have this right. We BS loan the Debtor money so we can pay BS for services rendered. Comments?

Monday, December 18, 2006 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

Sorry, my last sentence didn't make sense. What I meant to say is:
BS loans the Debtor money @ 15% per annum so the Debtor can pay BS fees.

Monday, December 18, 2006 10:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SC

I know what your saying about reading the kara creditors blog. I check it everyday. They don't update it very often. What do you expect from a govermental agency anyway. I also called trenton and spoke to one of the committee members. She referred me to Kara's lawyer. It's enough to make your head spin. Once again, any help is better than no help at all.
thanks for sharing.

Monday, December 18, 2006 10:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:44, if you are an unsecured creditor, I'd call the committee's attorney and tell him what a crappy job he has been doing keeping you informed. He is going to make a lot of money on this case potentially (hence the support of Bear Stearns because there has to be money there to pay his fees). Tell him to do his job and keep creditors like you fully informed.

He is private counsel employed by the Committee. That Committee serves as his boss. Get them on the ball by telling them to do their job, which is to represent your interest and keep you informed.

Monday, December 18, 2006 11:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SC

Sorry I didn't check the creditors site today. I just read the updates. I see your point concerning BS making money at our expense. This is a hard call. Sometimes I'm afraid to post an opinion. I guess I look at it this way; It takes money to make more money. That was painful. From a business point of view, (and I'm not being cute) BS wouldn't take the job if they weren't getting paid. I guess Kara is a big gambler and the judge is letting it roll.
Maybe there is benefits for everyone in the end. I just don't know. Maybe I'm in denial. I try to focus on the money factor, instead of getting caught up in the emotions of it all. It's hard though. Your turn.

Monday, December 18, 2006 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks 11:29. Good point concerning committees consel. Their office don't correspondence very much. I'll try persuing their office. It's seems as though people involved in this case are quite spectical discussing the facts. I guess ones must keep pushing to get answers.

Monday, December 18, 2006 11:42:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

Anon 11:29, you make a valid point. Unfortunately I have my doubts whether the Committee's attorney will be as informative as he should be. If he were, then as I mentioned above he could post appropriate pleadings to the blog site (a very simple process is involved in FTPing pleadings up to a web server, and providing a link to them). It is one thing to get the blog poster's slant on things (which appears IMHO to be more sales oriented than information oriented), and another thing to view and read the actual motions.

Additionally and more importantly it would give you information that you can use to make an informed decision on how you think this case should be handled. I think it would also be a good idea to see a Committee that would be willing to provide a forum on its blog site where creditors like you could post your questions and let the Committee explain its (or perhaps its attorney's) view on things.

You know this whole idea of creditor discussion is new. In the past decisions relating to how a case was handled had very little creditor input. Perhaps you creditors can change things by utilizing this information tool we call the Internet to have your questions answered and your voices heard about what is best for you.

Take care,

SCProfessor

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger I Love Broadband over PowerLine said...

Huge Charges Hit Hovnanian

By TSC Staff
12/18/2006 6:49 PM EST

Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV - commentary - Cramer's Take - Rating) swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter loss as bottom-line results were hit by big land impairment charges and write-offs, as well as weaker demand.
The Red Bank, N.J.-based homebuilder posted a loss of $115.3 million, or $1.88 a share, reversing a year-earlier profit of $168.1 million, or $2.53 a share. The results included charges of $141 million from walking away from land deposits and $174 million related to impairments.

Revenue for the quarter ended Oct. 31 slid to $1.75 billion from $1.77 billion. Homebuilding gross margins sank to 23.1% from 26.4% as the company had to cut prices and offer incentives to move inventory.

"We did not anticipate the suddenness or magnitude of the fall in pricing that occurred this year in many of our communities," said President and CEO Ara Hovnanian in a statement. "Our profitability and the pace of new home sales in our markets continues to be adversely impacted by high contract cancellation rates, increases in the number of resale listings and increases in the number of new homes available for sale."

The company's contract cancellation rate for the fourth quarter was 35%, up from 25% in the fourth quarter of 2005 and 33% in the third quarter of fiscal 2006.

Hovnanian did say that it has seen a "glimmer" of hopeful indicators in recent months, including declines in resale inventories, improving consumer confidence and healthy levels of buyer traffic at many communities.

"We believe that the overall U.S. housing market may hit the bottom in the first half of 2007," Ara Hovnanian said. "However, the housing market is likely to bounce along the bottom for several quarters before pricing and sales pace improves."

For fiscal 2007, Hovnanian forecast earnings of $1.50 to $2 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call project earnings of $2.71 a share.

The company anticipates 16,000 to18,000 home deliveries in the year, including 1,000 to 1,500 deliveries from joint ventures. In fiscal 2006, Hovnanian delivered 20,201 homes, including 2,261 from joint ventures.

Shares of Hovnanian were down $1.64, or 4.7%, to $33.61 in after-hours trading.



Source: http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/newsanalysis/homebuildersconstruction/10328594.html?cm_ven=YAHOO&cm_cat=FREE&cm_ite=NA

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Open Letter to Judge Kaplan:

Let me see if I have this right.

1. Kara Homes, as the result of mismanagement files bankruptcy, but still operates with it failed management staff.

2. Kara is totally out of money and finds a loan shark (Bear Stearns) to loan it money at 15% per year to operate. Conditions of the borrowing are that Bear Stearns must have its own guy (Perry) in there to run the place.

3. Bear Stearns in addition to being the lender intends to look around and see if it can pick up bank loans that are first liens on the real estate at a discount.

4. Bear Stearns is now asking to be paid for going around looking for lenders to loan Kara money so it can finish out the projects.

5. If Bear Stearns finds loans it wants more money based on its success in finding financing.

6. More lawyers are needed to help get this unknown financing in place because we wouldn't want even a small amount of money to fall out of this case and in the hands of us creditors so we have to eat up what's left with more lawyer fees.

WTF. Hey I know we got screwed by Zudi and his clowns. Now we get screwed a second time by this loan shark outfit that Kara brought in because it would save the company. Talk about getting screwed twice without the benefit of intercourse.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 1:02:00 AM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

I found a little more information on the "sale" of the 4 subdivisions to Magyar Bank. Seems the "bank is willing to offer $300,000 in cash, and credit bid what it's owed for the properties." (See http://tinyurl.com/y3abrg). Why the additional $300K, well that is the cost of buying your peace and getting away from this protracted bankruptcy proceeding as quickly as possible. Believe me when I tell you that is indeed a cheap price to pay to get your collateral and run. Good job Maygar Bank. Give your lawyer a bonus for putting it together.

Putting this in perspective, $300K only represents 3.49% of their loan amount of $8.6M. That's a real bargain given the cost of protracted litigation where the value of the colleratal is going down quickly because of market conditions and the attorneys fees for this fight would be quite a big ticket item. Expect other lenders to follow and make the same deal shortly. If I were a construction lender I'd take the same deal in a heartbeat. Get away and get away fast.

That of course brings into play who has the rights to the $300K. Is it the Debtor, existing mechanics lien claimants, or buyers who have posted deposits?

While most of the decisions in bankruptcy involve issues that relate to application of Federal Bankruptcy law, the Court will look to New Jersey State Law on issues of the priority of secured creditors relative to real property. This of course creates the rub on the $300,000. If multiple perfected mechanics lien claimants exist, then my thought would they would be entitled to the proceeds of the sale. However sense the sale is "in bulk" a question arises how would that $300K be distributed among the claimants?

More interesting is if New Jersey has a law similar to states on the West Coast which give priority to perfected mechanics lien claimants over construction lenders, where construction commences before the mortgage is perfected through recordation. That would make things rather exciting because it could raise the issue of whether the bank or the mechanics lien claimants have priority. And what of undisbursed construction loan funds? Do they exist? Has any mechanics lien claimant filed a stop notice? All good questions and ones that may peak the interests of claimants and their counsel.

Unfortunately for buyers with deposits, their interest at best would be an equitable lien on the property and IMHO, sadly wouldn't hold up to a challenge in a bankruptcy proceeding. That of course leaves them in the position of that unfortunate unsecured creditor.

I hope this information doesn't confuse things more than they already are.

Take care all.

SCProfessor

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 7:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Reverb said...

scprof- You mentioned that Kara, upon going into BK had spent all of the buyer deposits and does not have funds to pay them back. One question: normally when buyers purchase a home pre-construction, their deposit goes into escrow, and is put towards down payment only at closing. The sponsor (Kara) should not have access to buyer deposit funds. Does anybody know whether the purchase process was set up differently? I would think that deposits would have to be released if Kara is in breach with regards to fulfilling contracts to build.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's time for the court to stop playing nice & put an end to this silly charade. Close the failed business, sell off the assets & stop the corporate welfare already.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

Anon 11:07, you have described the process here in California and that process is mandated by our State Department of Real Estate for first sales out of a subdivision (defined as 5 or more contiguous or non-contiguous lots).

As I understand it that is not the case in New Jersey. One of the points I've repeatedly expressed is if nothing else comes out of this bankruptcy, the 300 or so buyers should contact their New Jersey state legislator and get a similar law in place so this does not happen again.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reverb- i thought our deposits were being held in escrow too, but unfortunately that's not the case. i think Kara has some BS provision in their contracts that allows them to utilize the deposits for building purposes. the question becomes, did they use the deposits for corresponding homes, or did they tap those funds for general business purposes? my guess is the latter. while that probably supports a fraud case against Kara, it doesn't help us recover our deposits.

another blogger raised an important point. "Kara required by NJ law to bond deposits for all developments." can anyone confirm this is in fact the case?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Reverb said...

wow, unbelieveable.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

I saw the post on the supposed requirement for deposit bonds and asked a week ago or so for additional information. I also suggested that it would make sense for buyers to contact the attorney(s) who have already instituted claim proceedings on deposit related bonds since they have obviously taken steps towards collecting on behalf of their clients and may be able to answer this question more easily.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prospective home buyers have put up a total of $1.71 million in deposits in the four developments, court papers state. Magyar does not want the contracts, leaving the customers to negotiate new deals to buy the homes.

"It is not written in stone," Bruck said. "It will be up to them (the prospective buyers) if they want to make a deal."

"In the meantime, Kara sales workers will contact them about what is happening in an effort to see if they still want the houses, Bruck said. "If so, then they'll talk to Magyar and they'll work out their deals. Different project buyers could agree to buy the land with the contracts, Bruck said.

A lawyer for Magyar would not comment on the proposed sale.

Bruck said homeowners with deposits have claims in the bankruptcy case. "Once we know who the buyer is, then that will be the time to address the issues of the deposits," Bruck said.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Kara customers are going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. You can (a) Negotiate a deal with Magyar to sell your house to you (but they would probably rather sell to someone who hasn't already made a deposit of $50K+ on the house) so they can make more profit, or (b)Tell Kara you no longer want the house because you don't know how long it will take to complete, if ever, and you've already been homeless for 6 months. Either way, these poor people are going to lose their deposit money. This is the most unjust action I have ever seen, and it seems like it is all legal.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 12:41:00 PM  
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006 3:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow that Zudi is a business wizard all right. He found a company that found a company that might find a company that'll loan his company more money. All he'll have to sacrifice is some property he never paid for anyway. He's got it all figured out. After all he's only as strong as his weakest link. I predict within six months, he'll double. He used to be in a band, you know.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 4:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the stories keep seeping to the surface, Zudi's sliminess will be exposed fully for everyone to see. The stories will keep coming and coming and soon his precious "brand name" will be synonymous with "rip-off" and "scam". The truth will spread and spread and it'll follow him everywhere forever. His stupid mythology and his grandiose exterior will be burst and he'll be forever known as the guy who stole people's deposits and hid behind his lawyers. The way he approached bankruptcy was typically Zudi-self centered, revolving around what suited him best, with zero concern paid to anyone else, portraying himself as the poor earnest victim to the hilt. It might all be legal but it makes it no less reprehensible and despicable. This society needs to make people like Zudi more accountable for their actions & stop encouraging his ilk by giving them handouts and catering to their greedy needs.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 5:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In previous editions of this blog I asked where the justice is too. Lawmakers just don't give a @#$% unless there is some political capital to be made on this. Just keep up the preasure and maybe something will happen and Kara's goons get investigated, indicted and convicted.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 9:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real Zudi has revealed himself since October. Everyone always suspected he was just a big-mouthed blowhard all along & everyone was correct. He had all year to demonstrate his business genius & all he could think of was running up the white flag. They've actually accomplished more in the last two months than they did all year. Those happen to be the months where Zudi was not in full control. Coincidence?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 10:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will any of the funding go towards finishing the clubhouses?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 2:39:00 AM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

The motion that has been filed relating to the sale of the 4 projects is available online at:
http://tinyurl.com/ybqfb4

It is interesting reading for those of us who hold an interest in bankruptcy cases such as this. I mentioned in an earlier posting yesterday that I assumed this "sale" would be structured in a manner providing the bank holding the first mortgage with ownership of the property "free and clear" of liens and those liens would be transferred to proceeds. That appears, based upon my reading of the actual motion to be true. So, the idea is to put the $300K on the table and have Kara, the mechanics lien claimants, and the buyers fight over it. Added to this fight is Riverside Capital Management, the holder of a second mortgage on at least some of the properties.

Boy do I sense problems with this whole scenario. First of all, it makes assumptions that have not been judicially determined. That is the relative priority of the liens and encumbrances on the property. Debtor’s counsel just makes the assumption that the Bank’s mortgage is first. Yes, that might be a probable conclusion but IMHO, before this sale can get anyway close to being approved, there must be a hearing and determination of its priority over the alleged junior encumbrances. That of course is based on New Jersey State law. So, up front, we have the cart going before the course because the Bank, though this sale is being allowed to buy the property with a credit bid on its debt.

Also my sense in this is while clearly the bank could end up with this property through a judicial foreclosure and wipe out junior encumbrances, I have difficulty with this bootstrap approach, simply sidestepping State mandated foreclosure procedures designed to protect and preserve the interests of property owners and junior encumbrance holders.

This isn’t to say that I don’t think Judge Kaplan won’t buy off on this motion and allow it to go through. I’m just saying it is far from a sure thing and I think the consent of Riverside Capital and the mechanics lien claimants may be key in order to avoid their well positioned objections. Incidentally the exhibit listing the mechanics lien claimants was not part of the copy of the motion posted on the Internet so we have no idea how big they were. We do however see a characteristic approach by the Debtor with regard to these encumbrances. The debtor portrays them as being wholly without merit while of course making no such claim about the Bank’s so-called first lien. A clear indication that the Debtor is being “bought off” by the Bank through this potential $300,000 that it may get.

Again, those of you who are of a mind to like to read these sort of court filings, enjoy and post your thoughts.

Take care,

SCProfessor

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 2:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SC Prof- On Monday, Kara filed a motion to pay an expense reimbursement to Bear Stearns in connection with exploring and seeking to secure a $40 million construction financing facility that would be secured by a first priority priming lien on the Debtors' assets. What is a first priority priming lien and why would the banks allow it?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 7:50:00 AM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

Anon 7:50:

An excellent article that answers your question about a loan secured by a priming lien can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/ynaa5j

Read the article. It should explain the purpose and answer your questions relating to what priming liens are all about. Expect secured creditors not to lie down and accept it unless they receive adequate assurances that it is going to work. Problem with this sort of blanket approach is it may work in some projects and not in others.

I sense a challenge here because while all these affiliate bankruptcies are collected together for purpose of easing the burden of administration they are still separate bankruptcies with different secured creditors. That obstacle alone, IMHO, makes this convincing the Court to buy off on this sort of priming lien a challenge.

SCProfessor

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 8:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon refering to SCProf as Mr. Hand:

Each Blog I’ve been on has at least one poster who serves the role of being a pain in the ass. As a Kara Homes buyer who has reached a point of acceptance on loosing my money because of Zuhdi or Zudi, or jerk or whatever he goes by, I’m thankful that I can look to Scprof’s postings for not only helpful understanding but reference sources I can look up to help me understand what he is talking about. I don’t need your help and advice in understanding that everything he says isn’t necessarily the Gospel truth. And I don’t need to see your stupid posts personally attacking him either. So grow up and stop it.

P.S. I emailed Scprof and told him that I was sorry about your abusive postings. He emailed me back point me to a post on wikipedia about judge Hand. He said that he viewed you calling him Mr. Hand as being a compliment in his eyes although he could never come close to being as good as that judge.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No matter how it goes or what happens to him, Zud will gain one thing from this that he'll have forever-an enemy for life. Wherever he goes or whatever he does, I'll be there, dogging his every step and stopping at nothing to remind everyone associated with him about what he did & what kind of man he really is. I will be a relentless, annoying pest & I will seize every opportunity to jab and pick and pester him forever more. Merry Xmas, Zudi!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 1:48:00 PM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

Hey anon 11:27 the reference wasn't to judge hand it was to Mr. Hand the teacher in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I still think your hero is no more than a cali jackoff junior high teacher. Feel free to worship at the feet of MR. HAND-I'm sure those of us that realize he is no more than a wanna be laugh at you now as much as we laugh at him.
By the way could you tell the all mighty one to stop quoting west coast BK law on a Jersey case.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 7:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 1:48 - IS that you Murphy - the constant reminder of another one of Zudi's bad choices??

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 7:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 7:01, you sound like Murphy. Who knows more about hand action than you. Don't dirty the good name of koolaid with your lousy trash talk. And Leave SC alone. He is helping out which is something you can't or won't do. Putz!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 8:18:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

ExKoolAid:

Apparently you need a reminder that Bankruptcy Law is Federal Law. In certain specific instances (perfection of security interests for example), the Bankruptcy Judge will look to New Jersey State Law for determination of specific issues. However, the Bankruptcy Code that serves as a basis for the day-to-day decisions he makes was passed into law by the U.S. Congress and not the New Jersey legislature. The Bankruptcy Court that services my local jurisdiction sits as the same Bankruptcy Court that services your jurisdiction, applying the same laws.

Once again, nice try at discrediting my postings. To bad it is based upon an improper understanding of the nature of applicable law. I guess I should have expected as much from someone who is a fan of film classics like Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I'd suggest broading your horizons by taking a U. S. Government class at your local community college.

SCProfessor

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 8:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 8:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey SC,
Not a fan of the movie just a quick attempt at humor regarding your strange, attraction to this case. I am still baffled as to why such a wise individual as your self cares so much about a New Jersey bankruptcy. I understand you are "just trying to help", But are you really helping? You are giving advice to people who are considering it as gospel. They don't realize it's the vague, semi-informed rhetoric that it is.
It's funny that you call me out on my knowledge of federal bankruptcy law, which I have never claimed to be an expert on, yet when someone calls you out on this specific case, which you are far from an expert on, your little cali panites crawl up your butt.
SC go on offering your free, USELESS, advice to the guilable masses, the same that followed Z into the ground. The people that trust you are the same moronic, simpletons that trusted the King Kara. It's funny how those that got screwed over by believing his line of BS trust another sideshow huckster such as yourself for advice.
SSDD

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a joke. Get off the Blog idiot.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flash sucks.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 12:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Spicoli said...

Mr. Hand was the best teacher I ever had. At first he seemed kind of bogus, but he turned out to be totally awesome. Bitchin.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 12:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So once again a nice discussion about the crimes and incompetence of the Great Bloviator devolves into a poorly worded tinkling contest and, even lamer, an argument about who is qualified to discuss bankruptcy on an Internet blog. Looks like the company mottos should have been, "Kara Cares, But We're Easily Distracted" & "DediCATed to qualty AND Desing".

Thursday, December 21, 2006 1:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ExKoolAid (aka Anon 10:11):

Based upon the content of your posting, it is clear that there is a mental defect relating to your short term memory. If you will look at the posting Scprof made on December 8th at 2:01p.m. (10 days ago) and your typical insulting response at 9:12p.m. that same day perhaps it will help you recall why he is interested in this case. You can reach those postings by pointing your internet window to:
http://shorebubble.blogspot.com/2006/11/kara-unsecured-creditors-blog_30.html

Anon 8:18, I don’t think that this poster’s adoption of the name ExKoolAid has anything to do with the KoolAid drink mix. I think he adopted this name to remind all of us former Kara employers that he was the former (Ex) right hand man (Aid) to Mr. Hip, Slick and (Kool) Zuhdi Karagjozi. Could ExKoolAid be Hektor, dispatched here to try and remove some of the heat Zuhdi is feeling about the way people on this Blog are maligning his reputation in the community? Hey Hektor it’s a little to late to save Zuhdi’s reputation. Get back to watching another movie. Speaking of movies, I here Hollywood is planning to do a bunch of new Three Stooges movies. Maybe you and Zuhdi should tryout for one of the lead role. Hey guys, who among the inner circle would best fit that available third stooge role?

Thursday, December 21, 2006 1:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant to say, "I think he adopted this name to remind all of us former Kara employees...."

Thursday, December 21, 2006 1:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem likely that the SC prof. Basher would be Hektor, there are not enough spelling errors in his posts. Also Uncle H is more concerned now with dumping the models he got stuck owning (and no longer receiving rent on) than in defending his idiot nephew.
My guess is a lower level idiot that is still there. Maybe Phil M or Tom G.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 6:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the anti-SC Prof person is Robbie S. I do not think Phil M is smart enough to post to a blog. Come on, Phil M will get his day when the Tradwinds Homes start caving in on themselves.

Tom G again not smart enough to post to a blog. He is too busy trying to get into Jerry F's wifes pants. (yeah Tom we all know you have been hitting on Jerry's wife while you make him stay at work late)

If it is not Robbie than my second guess would be Shannon P (Hektors daughter-in-law and resident scank)
But she was nice to look at when you looked at the all of the other women at Kara. (You have Tracy R - nasty poor white trash chick, Sandy the attorney - how big are those hips anyway?)

Thursday, December 21, 2006 7:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who the SCProf is, But I'm glad he/she is posting another way of getting additional opinions about what is going on, I will agree with the previous posts, Phil M. not able to write a paragraph that long and keep his thoughts together and Hektor just couldn't do it period, I still don't think either one of them know that the company is in Chapter 11 BK.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 2:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Well
The end is near so I will take this time to thank all for your posts. Please say good bye to zudi and the gang . How long before the crew start to sell info on Zudi. How he got start up money. Is Zudi going to write a book on the rise and fall of Kara Homes. I would like to thank Uncle Hector and Robbie for killing my company.
Zudi needs to go go

Thursday, December 21, 2006 4:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DO you belive that Zudi is going to give the existing sales people 70K a year as a salary starting the New Year.

How can the BK Court allow such a waste of money. Kara can't even sell anything right now.

SC Prof, is this really legal. 70K a year for people who lied to their customers. That is just wrong.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 5:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the sales people are used to making $150k to lie to people so this is a big paycut for them. I really feel bad for those guys.....

Thursday, December 21, 2006 5:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The even bigger question is why Kara Homes needs a vastly overpaid veep to oversee a sales force that isn't even allowed to sell anything right now. They could pay three or four real employees with what he takes home. It's like corporate welfare for shitty businessmen up there. You have two companies now, Kara Homes Inc. & ZudiCo. ZudiCo. is doing what ZudiCo. always did, and that is looking out for themselves at all times. ZudiCo.'s managers are devoting all their energies into trying to offload the properties that Kara Homes Inc. was bankrolling for them. Now they have actual businessmen running Kara Homes Inc., so ZudiCo. has to cut & run & dump those investments asap, otherwise they'll end up having to foot the bill themselves and we know that's not the ZudiCo. way of doing things. They only spend other people's money at ZudiCo.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 5:55:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

Anon 5:03 said, "SC Prof, is this really legal. 70K a year for people who lied to their customers. That is just wrong."

Sorry but it isn't a question of legality. It is a business decision, which incidentally Zudi isn't making. He sits in the position of a single vote on a three member board. What decisions that Board makes, well I'm suspecting things like what is going to be served at their once a month lunch meeting. Traxi, through their CRO is making the decisions.

Now as for your comment relating to "people who lied to their customers," I'm trying to figure out why you are targeting the sales people. If there has been one consistent view on this Blog held by buyers, former employees, existing employees, subcontractors, and others, the blame for this entire sad situation rests with Zudi.

If you want to focus your writing energy on pointing blame, best to focus it on Zudi where it belongs. The real question, in terms of drawing a paycheck, is why is Traxi still keeping him on the payroll? My answer is it is a way of keeping his mouth shut and out of the way.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 7:13:00 PM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

The Asbury Park Press posted an article this afternoon relating to the possibility that Bear Stearns may loan $40,000,000 to help complete homes. The draft of a motion relating to this is also posted by Asbury Park Press. Links to both of these are provided below. I’ll take a look at the motion and give you my thoughts tomorrow.

To view the article, point your browser to:
http://tinyurl.com/yfj9xo

To view the motion, point your browser to:
http://tinyurl.com/ymoeat

Take care,

SCProfessor

Thursday, December 21, 2006 7:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SC and the rest of the Blogger brain trust,
A few quick points:

1. The 3 member board is not yet in place and they have not voted on any of the recent changes at the firm.

2. The sales raises have not yet been part of any petition to the court. If this increase is going to be requested, the earliest it could come up in front of Judge Kaplan would be the 2nd week of January. While I for one think this increase is insane, the rationale behind it is the sales people can't collect comissions at this time, so if they don't want them to leave, they have to increase the base compensation package.
3. The anger focused at Mr. Jablonski is warranted, that at the members of his staff that remain is not.
4. I don't understand the constant attacks at Tracey Russel, Denise Carrol and others on this board. Why do the constant attacks on them hit such a personal level is beyond me. Are your lives so small and shallow that the only validation you get is from bringing down others. If you need a release slam Zhudi, he put you all where you are today. Why do you need to go after people who were like yourselves, working day to day trying to make a living. It's sad and I hope all of you that have posted these vile attacks on a personal level have the miserable holiday you deserve. Maybe if you lost the anger and tried to recover you would be employed, not sitting at home slamming people on the internet that you never would have the nerve to slam to their faces. You are all pathetic, vile trolls who deserve to be where you are, now-jobless, broke and bitter.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 8:11:00 PM  
Anonymous disgruntled goat said...

anon 8:11- at least a few of us jobless, broke and bitter types feel exactly as you do regarding the unnecessary and uncalled for personal attacks. I worked with a lot of fine people at Kara & I wish them the best of luck. It's too bad that some people never advanced past scribbling graffiti on the Jr. high bathroom walls. Unfortunately it's one of the consequences of Internet anonymity. Wait and see, one day the feds will shut the whole goddamned thing down & we'll have people like that to blame.

Even when it comes to Zudi and his band of merry buccaneers, it's not personal. I don't know anything about their personal lives, I don't want to know anything about their personal lives. The main target of my wrath was and is the architect of the disaster. Sure, some of his underlings no doubt played a part in this drama, but every issue comes right back to poor management and that buck stops on ZK's desk every single time. Again, it's not personal. His business, public comments, bio, quotes, those are all fair game. But about their personal lives I could not possibly care any less.

The salespeople do not deserve to be singled out as some kind of villains, they were just doing their jobs and they were screwed over just like everyone else was. It IS interesting that they still feel they need to carry the hefty salary of their sales VP, but questioning that is nothing new. I'm certainly no expert on running a company so I guess he brings something to the table that isn't always readily apparent to the untrained eye.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have personally been dealing with Diane Carroll and she has been nothing but professional.

The courts have tied her hands, and she is trying valiantly to close the houses the courts granted KARA permission to close.

I should close by mid January or sooner, I am keeping my fingers crossed, maybe, hopefully this mess will work out for everyone.

Denise is doing her best.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense, but I would imagine that giving the Kara salespeople a raise would greatly anger more than a few of the other remaining employees, don't you think? Not getting any commissions would be a valid excuse I suppose, but they weren't getting them before the bankruptcy either and no one was giving them any raises then. "Insane" was a good way to put it. Maybe they ought to emerge from Chap 11 first before they go around awarding raises. If those people can find better jobs elsewhere that should be Kara's problem to worry about later IMO. It really is a pretty flimsy rationale. In a situation like Kara is in now, it doesn't seem smart to show that kind of preference towards one department but not the others. You'd think that right now a one-for-all attitude is what you'd want esp. after such a dismal year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 10:45,
It's just another case of zman giving that tool Jablonski what he wants. If anyone left at the asylum has any sense whatsoever they need to have Tommy J removed from the building. What the hell he's already building a development up North with Fry and Barbosa. He even has Kara contractors working on it for him.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IT IS JUST INCONCEIVABLE TO ME THAT ZUDI IS ABLE TO MANAGE TO KEEP THIS WHOLE SHARADE GOING. I HEARD THAT HE SAID BY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR HE WILL HAVE 5000 LOTS TIED UP. WOW THAT IS PRETTY IMPRESSIVE FOR A GUY THAT STIFFED US ALL OUT OF PAY AND VACATION PAY. I WOULD BET THAT ZUDI AND HIS FAMILY ARE COZY AROUND A BIG TREE WITH LOTS OF TOYS FOR THE KIDS...I AM SURE THAT THIS DOWN TURN HAS NOT AFFECTED THE CHILDREN AT ALL.
I LOVED WORKING FOR KARA. I DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE,BUT WHAT CHOICE DO I HAVE.............NONE.
I WAS PROMISED I WOULD HAVE SECURITY, ETC........WHAT A JOKE. AS USUAL , IT WAS CALLED AND SAID "no
/PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 11:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that it is wrong to pay sales people 70K a year for not doing anything. As a contractor owed money by Kara and now considered a Unsecured Creditor I want the money going to the sales people going to pay off my invoices.

You have sales people that out right lied to homebuyers about the stength of the company and they are making 70K!!! People bought houses 2 weeks before filing BK and the sales people had no clue, come on I was on site everyone was talking about when they were filing.

As far as the attacks on employees what the hell, the internet is fair game and to that idiot that said the goverment will shut this down in the future, you are an IDIOT. The internet is a global arena. It is never going to be shut down you moron.

I have never met Denise but I have had dealing with that Tracy person everyone keeps talking about. She was not a nice person and I worked with Fry when she was banging him up north while married. I remember Fry telling me she was crazy in the sack. He said she was the only girl he ever had that took all 3 routes if you get what I mean.

Happy Kwanza everyone!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Friday, December 22, 2006 1:01:00 AM  
Anonymous disgruntled goat said...

Re: anon 12:07
sarcasm
noun
witty language used to convey insults or scorn; "he used sarcasm to upset his opponent"; "irony is wasted on the stupid"; "Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own"

Merry Xmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006 1:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, December 22, 2006 1:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cant we all just get along 'til tuesday??

Friday, December 22, 2006 2:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No we can not get along. I have money owed me for work on homes that were closed in August so what do I have to be happy about , Christmas Sucks for my FAMILY thanks to Zudi & Kara Homes I Drove by zudi's house it does not look like a persons home that has just Fucked a lot of people. He has the house all Decorated Lights the works Christmas tree in window of conservertory looks nice it does not look as tho Zudi and his family are lacking anything for christmas.Zudi is having one of his famous partys Talk is he is having sales and the remaining employees to his home to give out new years Thank You envelopes. so make sure you ask Robbie what time to be at Zudi's.
I was told if you can not make it ask Zudi for your envelope he wants
to thank all for staying with the
company till we go Belly up. I might ramble but its like everyone else I was ok till I started working for Kara. It was a great Company back in 2000 before Tom G, Bruce L,
Mike O,Rob P, Hector P, Robbie S, George B, and all the other clowns that blew smoke up Zudi's Ass. We all thought Zudi was smarter then that.Zudi made 30 million at old bridge alone in 2002 what happened are the houses going to be standing in the year 2010 I hope so Maybe we all need to be like Phil M and just do it..
put it up we wwill fix it later I See Nothing I NO Nothing with that attitude you can become vp look at Phil M. My regards to all Happy Holidays. IN GOD I TRUST THIS TO SHALL PASS AND GOD WILL PROVIDE.
There are people worse off..

Friday, December 22, 2006 4:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can just feel the love here!!!!!!

Oh and to the person posting about Tracy, you are so right!!!! She is a dirty girl. Have you ever been by her house it looks like a tenament. She is poor white trash personified. Oh yeah, ask John K about how kinky she is, he will tell you. I did not know that TR's little boy is John K's son.

She she is a slut. Someone should email this blog to TR's huband along with the old blogs. I wonder what he would do to know if wife sleeps around and is a slut?

Merry Xmass

Friday, December 22, 2006 7:41:00 AM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

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Friday, December 22, 2006 8:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, December 22, 2006 8:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, December 22, 2006 8:38:00 AM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, December 22, 2006 8:39:00 AM  
Blogger exkoolaid said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, December 22, 2006 8:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the mad poster is back!!!

Either that or it is TR trying to hide her infidelity!!!!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous SCProfessor said...

The application for upfront fees filed by counsel for the Debtor to pay $75K to Bear Stearns (BS) is for the purpose of paying the costs associated with its due diligence allegedly designed to provide necessary information to possibly make a $40,000,000 priming loan to cover some of the completion costs on the 300 homes out there that have buyer contracts.

The description of the $40,000,000 is vague at best and there is a lot of “maybe” surrounding it but enough fluff that its potential fruition will undoubtedly cause the Judge to approve this motion. The reason is that he has already approved the $2.6M loan. That loan was designed to meet payroll obligations for, if my memory serves me correctly, something like eleven or thirteen weeks. Burn rate was something like $70K to $90K a week. So, what we are talking about is one week’s worth of expenses, used up, to do the work that will potentially bring in $40,000,000.

Bank of America (and apparently many of the other construction lenders) has filed objections to this funding. BofA’s claim is “the $75,000 payment to Bear Stearns would eat away at what little operating money Kara has left. ‘If it has an interest in providing construction financing, Bear Stearns, not (Kara's) estates, should bear the cost of analyzing the benefits Bear Stearns will derive from providing such financing.” [see news article at http://tinyurl.com/y8kc3o ]. Yeah, BofA may be right, but is BS had lent $75K less than it did, wouldn’t we be in the same position?

Now if I were the Banks, I’d be using an entirely different approach. I’d be claiming that what is really going on here is BS is seeking to make a killing at the expense of secured creditors. BS pervious admitted goal was to purchase secured claims at a discount. By bringing forth the concept of making a loan that would be entitled to a priming lien that effectively pushes lenders out of their first priority secured position, it will result in an overall impairment of their security. This potential threat is being used, not to reorganize this Debtor, but to “pick the pockets" of the Estate’s secured creditors.

In any event, my sense is the Judge will approve this $75,000 deal. In the scheme of things, at worse it will shorten the Debtor’s business life by one week. At best, well it is going to make BS a lot of money while it allegedly continues that glimmer of hope for unsecured creditors that there will be a pot of gold at the end of the Kara rainbow.

One final point that seems to have everyone up in arms. That is the payment of pre-petition wages to existing employees. Now I’m not saying this is good or bad. Seems to me it increases the “burn” rate and shortens the Debtor’s business life. But let’s face it, the Debtor is just pooping along and most of these people that would get paid, with the exception of Zudi and his inner circle, well I’d rather see them get it than BS or Traxi.
Having said that, probably the best way to kill the Motion is by pointing out to the Court that it wasn’t mentioned in the Unsecured Creditor’s Committee Blog. Reason for mentioning that is that the Blog is now Court sanctioned. That is, as stated in the Blog, relating to a December 11th hearing:

“2. Motion for an Order to comply with Section 1102 of the Bankruptcy Code: This motion was granted without objection. The motion provides for the establishment of this website and the posting of information relevant to the bankruptcy cases for general unsecured creditors to access and for the Committee to fulfill their duties and obligations.”

Now if it were me, and I was an unsecured creditor, I’d request to speak to the Court when the Motion for payment of these pre-petition wages is called, and show “shock and dismay” at its existence on the Court’s calendar, since no mention of this item was contained on the Court sanctioned website of this hearing which is clearly “information relevant to the bankruptcy cases for general unsecured creditors.” That fact alone would probably give the judge reason to continue the motion until ample notice has been given via the website of this motion. And also, while you are up there standing before the Court, see if you can get the Court of order the Unsecured Creditors Committee attorney to post links to the actual motions (in PDF format). That would really help creditors to be able if they choose not to just accept the “summary’ provided by the Committee’s spokesperson on the Blog, to reach logical conclusions based on the actual motion.

Take care,

SCProfessor

Friday, December 22, 2006 10:34:00 AM  
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Friday, December 22, 2006 5:15:00 PM  
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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:14:00 PM  
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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:22:00 PM  
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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:27:00 PM  
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Friday, December 22, 2006 6:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop, Trace.

Friday, December 22, 2006 7:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Friday, December 22, 2006 7:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it rather offensive that the "blog administrator" finds jibberish postings more offensive than unfounded personnel assaults. What a fly-night BS (not Bear stearns but rather BULL SHIT) job is being done by the moderator of this blog. Who ever is running this forum is as much of a piece of whale crap as those that are attacking people personally.

Friday, December 22, 2006 8:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is something going on with Kara Homes?

I ask this because a number of people on my sight today have arrived here by typing into Google "Kara Home bankruptcy."

I'm not saying that they have filed, only that the search term has been used a number of times today.

posted by Little Silvered at 8:50 PM
95 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Kara Homes is just about through at this point. They've laid off a ton of people and can't even afford to get their garbage hauled away. They owe lots of people lots of money and can't get anyone to do any work for them because it's common knowledge that they don't pay their vendors. Anyone dumb enough to buy from Kara right now will get a shoddily built crap shack in a development that'll never be finished.
10:07 PM
njcoast said...

Kara Homes sold 4 of the Tradewinds properties last month without even getting homes on them. Looks like they're throwing things overboard as they try to bale out the boat.
10:32 AM
Anonymous said...

Can you post this article from NYT Business? Pretty interesting. I am not sure how to shorten link.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/04/business/04real.html?ex=1317614400&en=3892a9d60b0de698&ei=5089&partner=rssyahoo&emc=rss
1:08 PM
Disgruntled Goat said...

Kara has declared Chapter 11 as of Wed. October 4. I know this because until today, I worked there. The company is completely out of money. They did not even make payroll this week, no one received a paycheck this week. They have no intention of making good on the massive amount of money they owe to vendors & subs. They have no capability to finish the work they've started, either. Even if they did, there's no one to physically do the work as most of the staff has been let go or quit.

If Zudi screwed you too, give him a call on his cell phone, (732) 565 5632 & ask him what's up.
1:59 PM
njcoast said...

WOW! That sure is news! Remember last summer when this blog was dicussing the problems of Kara Homes and some one went on a rant of how we had no idea what we were talking about?! Amazing how the worm has turned!
2:20 PM
Disgruntled Goat said...

Oh, the worm has turned all right. Fast-tracker Zudi didn't even have the guts to face his staff this morning during the bankruptcy annoncement, he hid behind his lawyers like the coward he is. He allowed his employees to continue working for him despite knowing he could not pay them. So he waited until payday, then booted his staff out the door minus the two weeks salary they are owed. It really isn't too suprising, given how he's treated his customers and his vendors in the past. He also owes his staff a ton of bonus & commission money they earned and have been waiting on for months (and in some cases, years).
3:06 PM
grim said...

Can we get some kind of confirmation on this?

jb
4:07 PM
Anonymous said...

:::snip:::

FEB. 2, 2005 -- Inc. magazine has ranked Kara Homes 38th in its annual "Inc. 500" list of the fastest growing privately held companies in America.

Inc. cited Kara Homes' rapid growth, 615.8% last year, to $195.7 million in revenues during 2003. East Brunswick, NJ-based Kara Homes ranked Number 8 among private companies out of the "Inc. 500" in revenues and the builder anticipates 2004 sales to amount to $350M compared to $260M during 2003.

Inc. Magazine reported the company's total revenue growth since its first year in business at a staggering 2,463%.

"We are very excited by this recognition of the hard work, professionalism and dedication of our staff in helping so many people find their dream homes," said Zudi Karagjozi, founder and president of Kara Homes.

"Our company has grown rapidly since we started building in New Jersey just five years ago. Our buyers recognize the quality of construction, value and the extraordinary locations of Kara Homes communities."
5:16 PM
disgruntled goat said...

I wish there was a way I could verify this info, but soon that won't be necessary. It will all be completely verifiable very shortly. I may be disgruntled, but I am not like Zudi's (former) marketing team, I don't write fiction. I also pay people who peform work for me, which is another trait Zudi & I do not share.
12:51 AM
Anonymous said...

KARA HOMES

Kara Homes anticipates filing for bankruptcy
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 10/5/06
STAFF REPORT

East Brunswick builder Kara Homes Inc., one of the biggest home builders in Monmouth and Ocean counties, anticipates filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a company official said in a letter given to laid-off employees earlier this week.

Roberta W. Schultz, vice president of human resources and organizational development at Kara Homes, said in the note that the employees' jobs were terminated as of the end of the day Tuesday.

Editor's note: Are you a Kara Homes customer or employee who will be affected by Kara Homes' bankruptcy filing? For information or to talk to a reporter, e-mail Press staff writer David P. Willis at dwillis@app.com or call him at (732) 643-4039.
11:45 AM
Anonymous said...

I am under contract with Kara Homes in Jackson. Now I do not even know if I will get my $200K deposit back or my lot. Zudi is living in a $6M house in Rumson while I am homeless. Where is the justice? I want him put in jail for fraud.
1:34 PM
Anonymous said...

www.karamoldhomes.com
5:46 PM
Anonymous said...

Kara laid off over 100 people and the people who are staying are not getting paid. (what are they thinking)

If you want you can call management directly to complain
Zudi-732 735 5632
Hector (the uncle in charge) 732-433-4337
Roberta Schultz 908 421 4654
5:58 PM
disgruntled goat said...

The local press is only waiting on official documentation, then the story will be there for all to see. Zudi will not be able to hide behind one of his clever press releases this time around.

To the poster who has a deposit on a Kara home, my advice would be to get a lawyer, quickly. The chances of that particular job getting finished anytime soon is about zero. Even if they somehow manage to complete those homes, you can be sure they will be rushed, slipshod & full of issues that no one will help you address. Sorry, but that is the truth & not Kara's version of the truth.

The company has to post security guards at their field offices this week due to other disgruntled persons looting their offices and trailers. Which is to be expected if you decide to dick everyone out of their paychecks.
6:46 PM
Anonymous said...

From what I am hearing, John Fig? the head bean counter at Kara is at odds with Zudi the owner of Kara on how to proceed. Zudi does not want to listen to the bean counters he thinks he can save the day.
Zudi
Delusional, maybe
Effective leader- NOT
But he does have a 6 million dollar house in Rumson, nice cars a boat, servants at home and a wife who could stand to loose a few pounds
4:10 PM
Anonymous said...

If Zudi listened to the bean counters, he would have never been in this position in the first place. Problem was, he believed his press clippings instead of his advisors.
4:56 PM
Anonymous said...

Zuhdi never listened to anyone. Plenty of his people tried to point out the incredible waste all over the place but he wasn't interested. He was too busy being charismatic.
5:01 PM
Anonymous said...

Well we will see how long Zudi stays out of jail. He will definitely go down for fraud. Notice the karahomes.com website is still selling homes. FRAUD!!!!
5:06 PM
Anonymous said...

Hovnanian has ceased moving forward on a bunch of projects it has committed to also.....
5:27 PM
Anonymous said...

No one has updated that Kara website for many moons now. The people who did that stuff were all fired...er, I mean let go. That Robbie has every base covered.
5:35 PM
Anonymous said...

Maybe Zudi can drive his Aston Martin to federal prison!!!!

I wonder if his other lackies like Brandt and Kelly would go to jail with him??
5:39 PM
Anonymous said...

take a look at the filing statement on app.com. It has all of the employees salaries. the higher ones are after the 25-50 percent cut they took a few months ago. How f'd up is a home builder that has it's highest paid employee the VP of SALES. If you want to know why zoodee and the band of theives is in the crapper now two words sales EGO
6:23 PM
Anonymous said...

take a look at the filing statement on app.com. It has all of the employees salaries. The higher ones are after the 25-50 percent cut they took a few months ago. How f'd up is a home builder that has it's highest paid employee the VP of SALES. If you want to know why zoodee and the band of theives is in the crapper now three words JABLONSKI-NEPOTISM-EGO. Guess what what z man being the fastest growing builder isn't a good thing. I know it was nice to get your face on the cover of all those magazines, now the only place that face is will be on the front page of the papers with he lead "chapter 11/Bankrupt builder", or hidden under a coat doing the "perp walk" on your way into court. Anyone who blames this circus on the market is a moron. Captain Kara and his coconspirators haven't finished falling yet and it's gonna hurt when they hit bottom. You can't write this stuff.
6:29 PM
Anonymous said...

All of these names being mentioned what happened to the only qualified person that zman had in managment-Mike Alawich. OH that's right that Albanian Ara Hov wannabe zoodee let him go and blamed his failure on him because as always those with humungos egos have to have fall guy's or their fragile little heads would exlode
7:06 PM
Anonymous said...

Boy oh boy........how about that picnic. or was it a funeral?
8:21 PM
Anonymous said...

chapter 1
Young albanian man leaves queens-goes to cali becomes genius of marketing and desing/psuedo rock star
Chapter 2
goes on road trip with buds from hood discovers jersey real estate
chapter 3
decides to become slum lord cum land mogul
chapter 4
begins empire the all great and might ego has started to role
chapter 5
still has ocasional roll back into attempts at rock and roll
chapter 6
The empire grows not in proportion to the growth of the ego
chapter 7
the only thing growing faster than the empire is the debt and the problems
chapter 8
things are getting a little tight lets flip on the old charisma button
chapter 9
charisma failing lets try brains and balls uh ooh don't have those I'm screwed
chapter 10
the fun part of most roller coasters isn't the ride up the hill it's the fall to the bottom
chapter 11
I think that says it all. Actually this might have been 4 chapters too many
9:28 PM
disgruntled goat said...

Don't even get me started on Jablonski. He might as well be a cardboard cutout. He was an absolute genius back when houses sold themselves and he has the trophy to prove it. Tom always led the company in convention attendance year after year. I'm sure we'll all remember the thrill of occasionally seeing him stand around being important.

Observe how Zudi even included minor employee expenses in his utterly embarrassing filing. Kara Homes neglected to even list the expense money they owe me, or my earned PTO. In fact, when I saw the number I was suprised because they owe me considerably more than that. Guess they just estimated it, or took a wild guess. Then again, look who we're talking about here, this is the same business that managed to get themselves into a $100000+ hole with their portable crapper vendors.

Oh yeah, the picnic. The afternoon when Kara paid us to have a burger or two and take some time to get to know the families of the coworkers we'd soon be losing touch with. The upside was that at least Zudi didn't sing, show motivational videos, or share his reading list with us.
10:14 PM
Little Silvered said...

Albanian, Armenian, whatever.
11:11 PM
Anonymous said...

Hey goat-what is PTO
11:53 PM
Anonymous said...

He's albanian, definetly albania. Yeah yeah Debt for equity, debt for equity is good. gotta stretch stretch I gotta stretch. Anyone seen my doodle pad yeah debt for equity
11:55 PM
Anonymous said...

I have to belive that Jablonski has something on Zudi. Why else would he give him that much money.

The sales dept is a mess at Kara. While I was working at Kara the sales staff walked on water in Zudi's eyes.

Tom Jablonski is so clueless that he has this miserable trashy sales manager running his department. This girl has to be the most ignorant person you will ever meet . But since she is sleeping with one of Zudi's best friends (JK) she is safe and sound.

The whole place is a mess!!!! Even though I am out of a job and out of 3 weeks pay at least I am not listening to Zudi talk about how great he is and how he single handedly changed the face of real estate!!! hahahahahahaa
1:11 AM
disgruntled goat said...

PTO = paid time off
1:19 AM
disgruntled goat said...

And here comes the savagery. Comes with the territory when you are ripping people off.

I would expect a lot more ire directed towards Kara Homes this weekend, as the effects of idle time, financial difficulties and alcohol drive more ex-employees to find a forum in which to rant.

I don't know anything about innuendo or anyone's personal affairs. My venom is directed towards Zudi and the inner circle at Kara Homes. Zudi made a fool out of me and now I will return the favor by doing the same to him in any way I can, no matter how trivial or petty it may be.
2:23 AM
Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the security at the sites for rampaging employees, but the money going to waste in material is staggering. There is at least 2-3 months salaries and bonuses rotting away. Don't think for a minute that this material won't be used if Kara does move forward. Kara's biggest problem is they themselves are not builders,from corporate to site supers they are cluless. They contract with vendors who barely or can't speak English then expect Kara personal to somehow maintain an open dialouge. We build houses in America not grass huts,lack of heat/air,mold,cracked this broken that,still gets installed.As long as they settle.
Anyone who has been into a "finished" home has to ask how did that pass the infamous quality control teams inspection.
8:41 AM
Anonymous said...

So lets recap what has happend so far. Zoodee the gypsy prince and the rest of the family (uncle-COO, uncles best- freind VP HR, Aunt-over paid psudo acountant, cousin-design girl, best freind1-VP Land, Best freind2-VP Land2) are still working for the firm along with 55 other "chosen ones"-is it really working if they are not compensated, that is a topic for another day. What is the next step-they have no subs, no material and alot to get done. Where does the money come from. Maybe z's main sales man CF can front him some cash-I doubt that though because he's suing him. I'm sure the lord of charisma and spin will be able to convince someone to come up with the pesos he'll need to get back that fine group of third world sub-contractors that have been throwing together the MacMansions for kara-sell homes for years. So they come back, they finish a few homes, can the close them while there in chapter 11 and if they do where does the money go. There sure must be some intresting conversations going in East Brunswick over these issues. I feel confident that with the great minds up there they can surely pull this one off.
I bet it looks like something out the Wizard of OZ up there Robbie looking for her heart-John kelly singing if I only had a brain-zoodi hoping for some courage and Hector just wants to go home.
4:06 PM
Anonymous said...

anon. that is so great.........and soooo true!
8:01 PM
disgruntled goat said...

Supposedly, the Fraudster is still doing the dance, flitting around the office in his wrinkled clothes pretending he still has something to rebuild upon. He's still using the "I'll pay you back, somehow" line he trots out whenever anyone asks for the money he owes them, as if it's up to him anymore. Of course, when he's finished using his remaining few employees, he'll toss them under the bus like he does with everyone else he's exploited for a buck.

Rumor has it that Uncle Duh flew the coop & is in hiding someplace. maybe true, maybe not. The rest of his loyal cronies are still up there in E.Brunswick wasting oxygen, so nothing's changed on that front. I wouldn't be suprised to learn they're up there right now telling Roberta what they need shredded.
1:08 AM
Anonymous said...

The $6 million dollar man's 7,800 SF 'gift' from the industry, now in little wifey's name in Rumson, you know, the mansion on the swamp he got for free in '01 from the trades and vendors by being promised they were gonna get lots of work and then stringing along and burning everybody that did the work, did he pay any taxes on all the free labor and materials? It's gotta be huge. He should have moved to Florida when he had the chance. King, you were right.
1:38 PM
Anonymous said...

Look on ebay for Kara Home tee shirts. Opening bid ?? Time to raise some cash.
6:55 AM
Anonymous said...

Maybe someone should check into the assorted properties that Zudi,Hector,Schultz, and Kelly have added to there personal holdings since working for Kara.
I think it's time for Kelly to go back being a shoe salesman again,since he is a expert in the building business and knows so much. Time to smell feet again Kelly u loser. Hopefully you to will spend a little time in jail!!! Sell the house in Emerald and go back to where you came from.
8:15 AM
Anonymous said...

Wonder where Perrotti will sleep now that his leather couches are gone
2:56 PM
Anonymous said...

Leave Perotti alone he is sleeping with several women at Kara so he always has a place to stay.

I just wonder how Zudi's secratery is going to pay for that boob job now that she is not getting a pay check. Does she really think no one noticed!!!!
3:11 PM
Anonymous said...

Well maybe he can sleep in the barn with the horse loving C/A that couldn't be bothered doing anything other than talk on the phone, and make visits to the township.
3:16 PM
Anonymous said...

I heard that Uncle Hector's coke addicted son was let go. I guess after several weeks in rehab he couldn't handle driving around to sites and doing nothing.

Does anyone know if his wife is still living with Roberta?? I heard she left him due to his coke binges.
3:20 PM
Anonymous said...

Please stop referring to her as Roberta....it makes her sound feminine....Robbie fits her much better!!
3:27 PM
Anonymous said...

Being a very informed person on the matter of Kara Homes...There is no more to say then BYE FOR NOW...or maybe forever. Good luck to all those that were laid off and not paid. And even better luck to those that are there picking up the pieces of the mess that was created! The people that are still there are true SAINTS...they have not been paid in 3 weeks either!
3:53 PM
Anonymous said...

Is Saint the new term for idiot? Maybe they have been drinking too much of the magic Zudhi juice at the Weds night meetings....wonder if they are meeting this week. I guess they won't have to argue over which subs to pay this week and who to screw
4:17 PM
Anonymous said...

If you know so much please fill us all in on anything that has not been stated as of yet.

Don't just leave the discussion
4:17 PM
PennyLess said...

Who is going to meet? It is a CONSTRUCTION meeting..they fired (I mean) let all of construction go. And lets not forget in order to be in the construction business, you have to be CONSTRUCTING..not taking people's life savings/children's college funds to have super cool picnics and expensive over the top Xmas parties.
4:37 PM
Very Informed said...

In regards to what I stated before...Let's just say if you are owed any money, you are not going to get it. The K man did a lot of bad things and taking deposits and using them to pay people were one of the...Escro account HA! Only people that stand a chance getting their money back are those that are apart of a DCA community. By Law he cant touch that money. And for the employees that were so conveintly let go before the walls came down, good luck getting antyhing more then 20 cents on the dollar for what you are owed..if that!
4:40 PM
Anonymous said...

So I guess the employees let go at the end of January with 6 weeks severance pay, all vacation time paid and one month of medical should consider themselves the luck ones. Just knowing that Zudi / Robbie deemed the first group as expendable makes it all the sweeter. It all went down hill after the first round of lay offs....wonder why (maybe it was the new area president??)
4:52 PM
Anonymous said...

Heard the Kara Christmas party this year is at the Essex County court house.....
4:53 PM
Anonymous said...

Anyone remember Zudhi's classic speak lines? "we are building the jet plane while we are flying through the sky" "we missed our year end closing numbers, and that is affecting my kids college fund" "it was all constructions fault" "kara cares and it shows"
7:11 PM
Anonymous said...

so who do we have left in construction at the fastest builder in the universe-fastest falling builder.
Perotti and his band of rednecks and big bad mama in the south. The golden boy, smart-ass-ass kiss in old bridge. Phil the mechanic who couldn't build a n outhouse if he was given the first 4 walls and half the roof and the LARGE site supers. Wow these are the keepers, times are tough in the indusrty
8:02 PM
Anonymous said...

OK time for one of the "saints/idiots" to post some sort of rebutal. While I understand that all of you who were let go on Tuesday are angry, there is no reason to attack those you used to work with that are still there. Those of us that are still trying to fight through this are doing what we have to do for our families, what do you get out of slamming us. The cheap personal shots are nothing but cowardice. You didn't have the guts to say these things when you were still getting a check. You guys question the manhood of certain members of the management staff now, where were your balls when you worked here. OOHH that's right you had something to loose then, now on a faceless-nameless website under a made up name you can talk all the crap you want, bring up any rumor you want and be the man you wanted to be before but didn't have balls to because you wanted to keep the job you are bitching about now. Stop the whinning, spend your time e-mailing resumes instead of posting here and move on with your lives. The Kara part of your careers is done, crap happens-deal with it and focus on your next step.
8:37 PM
Anonymous said...

Why don't you all that were let go spend more time working on your resume and getting a job than spending your time bashing Kara Homes. If it was so bad, why didn't you leave sooner. I am sure you made a good salary and now because you were let go, Kara Homes is no good. Obviously, you were not doing your job or you would still be there. Leave the ones that are still there alone. Get a life!!
10:27 PM
Anonymous said...

Hey Saint/Idiot - guess you are still sipping the zudhi juice. The people that had the balls and spoke up against Zudhi, Robbie and the chosen few were the first to be let go. Maybe if you had the "balls" to stand up at a meeting and disagree with all the BS you would be gone too. It takes more balls to go against a group that month after month lied to its subs, lied to their employees and lied to the homeowners. Facts are facts and while it may have been great collecting your paychecks in the past, when subs were actually being paid something, how can you still sit there in your trailer and support KH? Do you even realize how many lives are being affected by zudhi & co selfish choices? Sure people want to vent, and they should! Most of the people in southern construction worked their asses off and got lied to and taken advantage of. The arrogant area president, screwed around and then took no responsibilities for ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE decisions that screwed many many people. 99% written in the past 4 days on this site is the truth. Unfortunately Zudi and his team turned a blind eye to all the BS that happened in the field and in his corp offices and kept up the pretense of everything is prefect. I guess if you repeat a lie enough times you really do believe it. You said you are still with KH to do what you have to for your family, I guess that makes you part of the inner circle. You will probally never know what it is like to wonder where your next mortgage/car/credit card payment will come from. Lastly, if you want to talk about a guy with no balls, where the hell is ZK these days? No public comment from the man who loved the media spotlight? No communication to his former employees? I bet all the nameless / faceless posters would love to have just one more maniditory KH company meeting and see who has balls and who doesn't.
10:55 PM
Anonymous said...

While I truly do feel bad for those that are unemployeed now, I am far from "the inner circle". I have the same mortgage/credit card/car payments that all of those that are no longer working for kara have. I am far from a Kool aid drinker. I understand the position that this has put many, many people in. The point I'm trying to make is that why do this posts have to slam people over personal matters. If you have a gripe with Kara take it up with the labor board or your lawyer. Why make anonymous posts about former co-workers that don't know who they are defending themselves against. It seems that all of the faceless/ball-less anonymous poster that are on here slamming have no problem bringing up current employees names yet they can't say who they are. I understand that it's hard to be unemployeed, but as I said before-go on with your life.
11:34 PM
Anonymous said...

At least the employees can move on. The homeowners have had their money stolen AND have no house to live in!!! Enough about the employees. Three weeks pay is far from people's life savings.
11:42 AM
Anonymous said...

Hey Ed Dever, is that you?
Wow! you really are one angry dude.
I guess this explains why they called you "Special Ed"
6:57 PM
Anonymous said...

kara homes sucks and it was poor upper management. If everyone would focus on work instead of getting into each others pants and they might have been successful place. What can you say about a president who pays for his employees to get boob jobs when he cannot make payroll. Sounds good employees can't make their mort. payments but the family that destroyed his company can run back and fourth to Michigan on company money as well. How about a one way ticket we have enough ass x@?/ in New Jersey. Hey Hektor try a shower every now and then it really works.
8:51 AM
Anonymous said...

I’m absolutely amazed yet even more embarrassed that I even worked along side such an incredible bunch of gutless wonders in my life. You throw around comments about people on a personal level having no regard for the repercussions that may destroy peoples lives even more so than what Kara Homes has already done. Yet it is obvious that you are too scared to attach a name to a post. You attack people’s spouses and children by sending anonymous e-mails to their homes and places of work yet still don’t have the balls to acknowledge you own inadequacies for sticking around as long as you did. Good for you if it makes you feel better about yourselves! Continue hiding behind a nameless, faceless, gutless posting. Ya know… sometimes bad things happen to good people.
I don’t defend Kara for putting the screws to innocent people, buyers or homeowners; it truly could be viewed as a crime against humanity. However, your inability to move on only shows your weaknesses. I can tell you personally that it’s not easy cutting your losses and walking away with NOTHING. No family, No home, No money! But sometimes you just have to pick up the pieces and start over again from scratch and do whatever it is that you have to do to survive. If you insist on dwelling on this you might as well stick a gun in your mouth now! It’s simply no way to live if you can’t let go. It only proves your weakness and you loose even more of your dignity as you continue to dwell on this rather than move on.
1:06 PM
Anonymous said...

Tracey is that you?!
5:38 PM
Anonymous said...

Could be Tracey,who knows better about doing whatever you have to do to survive.
9:05 PM
Anonymous said...

You people just don"t get it!
Stew in your filth, it seems to be what you live for and enjoy most because you have nothing else better to live for. It's more enjoyable than your spouses and your children isn't it? Fine example your setting! May be a link to this blog should be sent to the elementary and high schools where your children go to see how their parents pioneered the example of what not to do! How would you like that? Dare me!?!?
I feel sorry for the whole lot of you. Good luck and Good Bye.

For the record: No this isn't Tracy.
9:58 PM
Anonymous said...

You know it's Tracy-after she finished banging Chris Fry in Lake Hopatcong she moved onto John Kelly in the office-SLUT! And how much you want to bet that that last kid of hers is Kelly's. Uncle Hektor-I hope you're happy now you stupid ass senile old clueless asshole. You certainly helped Ego-Man go down in flames faster-all the while banging your old dike-ster life partner Robbie. Picture that 3-some-Uncle, Aunt, and grandmother. If you only knew the insanity of this company you would easily see why it was inevitable. The subs were already in too deep and kept getting small payments while they tried to hang on and hoping he would somehow stay a float. They are screwed now. And the poor innocent homebuyers-they deserve first payments and their lives back. You know that scumbag has all his property in his wife's name because he saw this coming. Or maybe it was a clever method of TAX EVASION AND FRAUD after he forced every sub to do the work for free and certainly didn't put it on his tax return-HELLO IRS-COME AND TAKE A GOOD HARD LOOK!! And then there is the funneling of cash out to secret accounts-do you really think he only went to Albania to adopt a child? He went to check on his fortunes that were so cleverly smuggled back to the Albanian mob. And can you believe he paid for 2 boob jobs for his secretary and his closing coordinator as recently as last month? Do you think it's a coincidence that she got a check for $7500 and that's what it cost to have her babies lifted up at attention? Maybe he's doing them also after Princess Stephanie gets off her knees. More to come...
10:40 PM
Anonymous said...

Wow, you are on fire!!! Can we take it you tried to hook up with Tracy but she wasn't interested. I don't know why anyone would she is really beat looking but she is thinner than JK's wife I guess.

Has anyone seen Tom J's wife, I hear she is a real porker??? Did anyone look at what he was making yearly on the Chapter 11 filing document??? He must have caught ZK sleeping with his wife and is holding him for ransom.

I did not know the closing person got a boob job. Last I heard she was one the girls sleeping with Perotti while he was married. There is/was all kinds of sex going on in Karaland. I guess since I focused on doing my work I was let go for not sleeping with someone.
Who do you thing George B is sleeping with?? Maybe is old assistant!!! hahahahaa
11:42 PM
Anonymous said...

Go ahead, I dare you, no I double dare you to email this blog to the schools. You must be an absolute IDIOT to think that will stop these postings. I have a better idea, why don't you email the blog to the newspapers, and the TV stations, the IRS, so everyone knows exactly what type of company Kara really was. Everyone who worked at Kara corporate knew what was going on in the field, and the field knew the crap that corporate got away with. The subs and the homeowners were the ones in the middle. How many times were the invoices "lost" after being approved in the field and sent to accounting. How many times were the invoices re approved, re coded, and re sent only to have them mysteriously be LOST again. And the answer to the subs was always the same, "we only have X amount of open invoices in the system, resend then to us." Hopefully some agancy will open up an investigation and seek out all the former employees for their insight. Then we will see how smug ZK, Robbie, etc are .
10:46 AM
Anonymous said...

SO PETTY, YOU PEOPLE NEED A LIFE!
9:20 PM
Anonymous said...

I don't really know tracey to comment on her, but, the girl in the closing department was always very professinal in my dealings with her.
2:30 PM
disgruntled goat said...

I told ya this would get really ugly. The people still working there merely wish to be paid. They will remain long enough to serve whatever purpose they serve, then they'll get the boot too. They won't get their back pay any sooner than anyone else will, despite what they have been led to believe.
8:04 PM
Anonymous said...

Stephanie Babek-Wohlrab seems to have escaped much notice, but McGreevey's former cash cow was a big wrench thrown into the Kara machine. She showed up one day & immediately began throwing her weight around on decisions she had no qualifications to make.
8:07 PM
Anonymous said...

Another quick cheap shot: Robbie Schultz is really a man.
10:05 PM
Anonymous said...

After all is said and done Kara Homes will bounce back. Dozens of people will have gotten the screws.
Honest businessmen will have had to shut their doors, people will have lost their life savings. But Zudhi and his band of thieves will emerge victorious.
12:21 AM
Christina Torsiello said...

I think that there have been a lot of good points made here. It goes without saying that there were a lot of things wrong with the way this company was being run. I think the cheap shots are ridiculous, immature and most importantly irrelevant. This has been an unfortunate experience for a hell of a lot of people. I feel for all of us. P.S. I am not afraid to attach my name to this as it appears even the people who made comments about the ones who went anonymous were also listed as anonymous. Good luck to ALL of us!!
12:00 PM
Anonymous said...

If you happen to be a homebuyer who deposited money with a builder that was not being held in escrow, shame on your attorney. A qualified knowledgeable attorney would never let a builder utilize deposit monies for just this type of situation. Now on you have is your name as a creditor on a bankruptcy petition
11:05 AM
Anonymous said...

yes i worked with all the assholes in stafford framemikewho sold weed to all the other fools don the drunk scott pornothe asskisser chris zito dumb asshole wanabe all hiried by the manwoman robbie schultz whatever happened to fat ass potter that peice of dogcrap all you flaming assholes will have to get a job ai mac donalds if they would have you
2:20 PM
Anonymous said...

THINGS JUST HAVEN'T BEEN THE SAME SINCE SERRATELLI AND HIS GUYS HAVE LEFT MURPHY AND FARANO.THEY BUILT ME A HOUSE IN ISLAND WOODS AND IT WAS A GREAT.TRIED TO BUY ANOTHER AND CANCLED BECAUSE CONSTRUCTION WAS NOTHING BUT ASAHOLES GUESS I AM LUCKY..I CANCELED AND GOT MY MONEY BACK.
6:10 PM
Anonymous said...

COULD NOT HAPPEN TO A NICER GUY(ZUDI). IT WAS NOT ONLY THE HOUSE IN RUMSON THAT HE GOT FOR FREE BUT THE ONE HE SOLD A WEEK BEFORE ALL OF THIS IN LBI.HAVE FUN IN JAIL ZUDI YOU CAN CHEW YOUR NAILS MORE .YOU SCUMBUCKET..
6:14 PM
Coleen said...

Thank you for acknowledging the fact that I was doing my job. Yes that did include being on the phone most of the day fielding disgruntled homeowners wanting warranty work done & trying to get contractors to come & do work. This did usually end up in lengthly bashing of Kara and listening patiently when no one else was doing anything. I guess trying to be pro-active is a dirty word. And if Perotti or anyone else needs a place to stay there are several stalls available in the barn. I prefer supporting my 11 yr. olds sport with horses & not being a drunk, drug addict or sex maniac. So as one door closes another will open. We all need to move on as much as it sucks, I was at least hoping for a better outcome. But it is what it is, and we all with have to answer to a bigger power one day and knowing I have done all that I could I can sleep at night, finally. Hey Christine, thanks for having the guts to also use your name. What a bunch of weenies.
10:43 PM
Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that in the bankruptcy filing they only have us down for two weeks pay? I thought that we had three weeks of pay we weren't paid for. Does anyone know how many weeks we worked and didn't get paid for?
12:28 PM
Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that in the bankruptcy filing they only have us down for two weeks pay? I thought that we had three weeks of pay we weren't paid for. Does anyone know how many weeks we worked and didn't get paid for?
12:34 PM
Anonymous said...

The United States of America (also known as the United States, the U.S., the U.S.A., and America) is a country in North America that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and a sea border with Russia. The United States is a federal republic, with its capital in Washington, D.C.

The present-day continental United States has been inhabited for at least 15,000 years by indigenous tribes.[2] After European exploration and settlement in the 16th century, the English established their own colonies—and gained control of others that had been begun by other European nations—in the eastern portion of the continent in the 17th and early 18th centuries. On July 4, 1776, at war with Britain over fair governance, thirteen of these colonies declared their independence. In 1783, the war ended in British acceptance of the new nation. Since then, the United States of America has more than quadrupled in size: it now consists of 50 states and one federal district; it also has numerous overseas territories.

At over 3.7 million square miles (over 9.5 million km²), the U.S. is the third or fourth largest country by total area, depending on whether China's figures include its disputed areas. It is the world's third most populous nation, with 300 million people.

The date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, is generally considered to be the date on which the U.S. was founded. The first federal government was constituted under the Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781. The Articles were replaced by the Constitution, adopted in 1787. Since its establishment, the liberal democratic nature of the government has grown as suffrage has been extended to more citizens. American military, economic, cultural, and political influence increased throughout the 20th century. With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, the nation emerged as the world's sole remaining superpower.[3] Today, the United States plays a major role in world affairs.

Contents [hide]
1 Name
2 Geography
2.1 Terrain
2.2 Climate
3 History
3.1 Native Americans
3.2 European colonization
3.3 American Revolution
3.4 Westward expansion
3.5 Civil War
3.6 Reconstruction and industrialization
3.7 World War
3.8 Cold War and civil rights
3.9 September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
4 Government and politics
4.1 Foreign relations and military
5 Administrative divisions
6 Ecology
6.1 Flora and fauna
7 Economy
7.1 Innovation
7.2 Transit
8 Demographics
8.1 Largest cities
8.2 Indigenous peoples
8.3 Language
8.4 Religion
8.5 Education
8.6 Health
9 Culture
9.1 Cuisine
9.2 Music
9.3 Cinema
9.4 Sports
10 See also
11 Notes
12 Further reading
13 External links
13.1 Government
13.2 Overviews
13.3 History
13.4 Maps
13.5 Immigration
13.6 Other



Name
See also: List of meanings of countries' names

The earliest known use of the name America is from 1507, when a globe and a large map created by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in Saint-Die-des-Vosges described the combined continents of North and South America. Although the origin of the name is uncertain,[4] the most widely held belief is that expressed in an accompanying book, Cosmographiae Introductio, which explains it as a feminized version of the Latin name of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (Americus Vespucius); in Latin, the other continents' names were all feminine. Vespucci theorized, correctly, that Christopher Columbus, on reaching islands in the Caribbean Sea in 1492, had come not to India but to a "New World".

The Americas were also known as Columbia, after Columbus, prompting the name District of Columbia for the land set aside as the U.S. capital. Columbia remained a popular name for the United States until the early 20th century, when it fell into relative disuse; but it is still used poetically and appears in various names and titles. One female personification of the country is called Columbia; she is similar to Britannia.[5][6][7][8] Columbus Day is a holiday in the U.S. and other countries in the Americas commemorating Columbus' October 1492 landing.

The term "united States of America" was first used officially in the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776. On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first of which stated "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America.'"

The adjectival and demonymic forms for the United States are American, a point of controversy among some, particularly Latin Americans.


Geography
Main article: Geography of the United States

A satellite composite image of the contiguous U.S. Deciduous vegetation and grasslands prevail in the east, transitioning to prairies, boreal forests, and the Rocky Mountains in the west, and deserts in the southwest. In the northeast, the coasts of the Great Lakes and Atlantic seaboard host much of the country's population.
Mount Hood, a dormant volcano in the Pacific Northwest.The United States is the world's third largest country by land area, after Russia and Canada.[9] Its contiguous portion is bounded by the North Atlantic Ocean to the east, the North Pacific Ocean to the west, Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Canada to the north. The state of Alaska also borders Canada, with the Pacific Ocean to its south and the Arctic Ocean to its north. West of Alaska, across the narrow Bering Strait, is Russia. The state of Hawaii occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of the North American mainland.


Terrain
The U.S. has an extremely varied geography, particularly in the West. The eastern seaboard has a coastal plain which is widest in the south and narrows in the north. The coastal plain does not exist north of New Jersey, although there are glacial outwash plains on Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. In the extreme southeast, Florida is home to the ecologically unique Everglades.

Beyond the coastal plain, the rolling hills of the piedmont region end at the Appalachian Mountains, which rise above 6,000 feet (1,830 m) in North Carolina, Tennessee, and New Hampshire. From the west slope of the Appalachians, the Interior Plains of the Midwest are relatively flat and are the location of the Great Lakes as well as the Mississippi-Missouri River, the world's 4th longest river system.[10] West of the Mississippi River, the Interior Plains slope uphill and blend into the vast and often featureless Great Plains.

The abrupt rise of the Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extends north to south across the continental U.S., reaching altitudes over 14,000 feet (4,270 m) in Colorado.[11] In the past, the Rocky Mountains had a higher level of volcanic activity; nowadays, the range only has one area of volcanism (the supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, possibly the world's largest volcano), although rift volcanism has occurred relatively recently near the Rockies' southern margin in New Mexico.[12] Dozens of high mountain ranges, salt flats such as the Bonneville Salt Flats, and valleys are found in the Great Basin region located west of the Rockies and east of the Sierra Nevada, which also has deep chasms, including the Snake River. At the southwestern end of the Great Basin, Death Valley lies 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, the second lowest dry land on Earth. It is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and is situated near the Mojave Desert.

North of the Great Basin and east of the Cascade Range in the Northwest is the Columbia River Plateau, a large igneous province shaped by one of the largest flood basalts on Earth. It is marked by dark black rocks. Surrounding the Four Corners region lies the Colorado Plateau, named after the Colorado River, which flows through it. The Plateau is generally high in elevation, has highly eroded sandstone, and the soil is a blood red in some locations. Many national parks, such as Arches, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion are in the area. West of the Great Basin, the Sierra Nevada mountain range has Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the coterminous U.S. Along the Pacific coast, the Coast Ranges and the volcanic Cascade Range extend from north to south across the country. The northwestern Pacific coast shares the world's largest temperate rain forest with Canada.

Alaska has numerous mountain ranges, including Mount McKinley (Denali), the highest peak in North America. Numerous volcanoes can be found throughout the Alexander and Aleutian Islands extending south and west of the Alaskan mainland.

The Hawaiian islands are tropical, volcanic islands extending over 1,500 miles (2,400 km), and consisting of six larger islands and another dozen smaller ones that are inhabited.


Wasatch Range, in Utah, part of the Rocky Mountains, next to the Great Salt Lake. Mark Twain described the two as America's Great Wall and Dead Sea.
Climate
The climate of the U.S. is as varied as its landscape. In northern Alaska, tundra and arctic conditions predominate, and the temperature has fallen as low as minus 80 °F (−62 °C).[13] On the other end of the spectrum, Death Valley, California once reached 134 °F (56.7 °C), the second-highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.[14]

On average, the mountains of the western states receive the highest levels of snowfall on Earth. The greatest annual snowfall level is at Mount Rainier in Washington, at 692 inches (1,758 cm); the record there was 1,122 inches (2,850 cm) in the winter of 1971–72. Other places with significant snowfall outside the Cascade Range are the Wasatch Mountains, near the Great Salt Lake, and the Sierra Nevada, near Lake Tahoe. In the east, while snowfall does not approach western levels, the region near the Great Lakes and the mountains of the Northeast receive the most. Along the northwestern Pacific coast, rainfall is greater than anywhere else in the continental U.S., with Quinault Ranger in Washington having an average of 137 inches (348 cm).[15] Hawaii receives even more, with 460 inches (1,168 cm) measured annually on Mount Waialeale, in Kauai. The Mojave Desert, in the southwest, is home to the driest locale in the U.S. Yuma Valley, Arizona, has an average of 2.63 inches (6.68 cm) of precipitation each year.[16]

In central portions of the U.S., tornadoes are more common than anywhere else on Earth[17] and touch down most commonly in the spring and summer. Deadly and destructive hurricanes occur almost every year along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. The Appalachian region and the Midwest experience the worst floods, though virtually no area in the U.S. is immune to flooding. The Southwest has the worst droughts; one is thought to have lasted over 500 years and to have decimated the Anasazi people.[18] The West is affected by large wildfires each year.


History
Main article: History of the United States

Native Americans
Before the European colonization of the Americas, a process that began at the end of the 15th century, the present-day continental U.S. was inhabited exclusively by various indigenous tribes, including Alaskan natives, who migrated to the continent over a period that may have begun 35,000 years ago and may have ended as recently as 11,000 years ago.[19]


European colonization

The Mayflower, which transported Pilgrims to the New World, arrived in 1620.The first confirmed European landing in the present-day United States was by Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon, who landed in 1513 in Florida, and as part of his claim, the first European settlement was established by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles on the site of a Timucuan Indian village in 1565 at St. Augustine, Florida. The French colonized some of the northeastern portions, and the Spanish colonized most of the southern and western United States. The first successful English settlement was at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, followed in 1620 by the Pilgrims' landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and then the arrival of the colony of Massachusetts Bay, started by the Puritans. In 1609 and 1617, respectively, the Dutch settled in part of what became New York and New Jersey. In 1638, the Swedes founded New Sweden, in part of what became Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania after passing through Dutch hands. Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, England (and later Great Britain) established new colonies, took over Dutch colonies, and split others. With the division of the Carolinas in 1729, and the colonization of Georgia in 1732, the British colonies in North America—excluding present-day Canada—numbered thirteen.


American Revolution

Presenting the Declaration of Independence to the Continental CongressMain articles: American Revolution and American Revolutionary War
Tensions between American colonials and the British during the revolutionary period of the 1760s and 1770s led to open military conflict in 1775. The British Colonies of East and West Florida and Quebec did not join in the rebellion against Great Britain. George Washington commanded the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) as the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Second Continental Congress had been formed to confront British actions and created the Continental Army, but it did not have the authority to levy taxes or make federal laws. In 1777, the Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, uniting the states under a weak federal government, which operated from 1781 until 1788, when enough states had ratified the United States Constitution. The Constitution, which strengthened the union and the federal government, has since remained the supreme law of the land.[20]

Following the war, United Empire Loyalists, soldiers and civilians, were evacuated from the colonies and resettled in other colonies of the British Empire, most notably to Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland in what is now Canada.


Westward expansion
Main article: Manifest Destiny

National Atlas map depicting dates of select territorial acquisitions. Full Oregon and other claims are not included.From 1803 to 1848, the size of the new nation nearly tripled as settlers (many embracing the concept of Manifest Destiny as an inevitable consequence of American exceptionalism) pushed beyond national boundaries even before the Louisiana Purchase.[21] The expansion was tempered somewhat by the stalemate in the War of 1812, but it was subsequently reinvigorated by victory in the Mexican-American War in 1848.


Civil War

The Battle of Gettysburg, a major turning point of the American Civil War. The victory of the Union kept the country united.Main article: American Civil War
As new territories were being incorporated, the nation was divided over the issue of states' rights, the role of the federal government, and—by the 1820s—the expansion of slavery, which had been legal in all thirteen colonies but was rarer in the north, where it was abolished by 1804. The Northern states were opposed to the expansion of slavery whereas the Southern states saw the opposition as an attack on their way of life, since their economy was dependent on slave labor. The failure to permanently resolve these issues led to the Civil War, following the secession of many slave states in the South to form the Confederate States of America after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln.[22] The 1865 Union victory in the Civil War effectively ended slavery and settled the question of whether a state had the right to secede. The event was a major turning point in American history, with an increase in federal power.[23]


Reconstruction and industrialization

Landing at Ellis Island, 1902. Today, the majority of Americans are the descendants of European immigrants who arrived in the 18th, 19th and early 20th; many of whom arrived at Ellis Island.After the Civil War, an unprecedented influx of immigrants, who helped to provide labor for American industry and create diverse communities in undeveloped areas—together with high tariff protections, national infrastructure building, and national banking regulations—hastened the country's rise to international power. The growing power of the United States enabled it to acquire new territories, including the annexation of Puerto Rico after victory in the Spanish-American War,[24] which marked the debut of the United States as a major world power.


World War

An abandoned farm in South Dakota during the Great Depression, 1936.Main articles: World War I and World War II
At the start of the First World War in 1914, the United States remained neutral. In 1917, however, the United States joined the Allied Powers, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers. For historical reasons, American sympathies were very much in favor of the British and French, even though a sizable number of citizens, mostly Irish and German, were opposed to intervention.[25] After the war, the Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles because of a fear that it would pull the United States into European affairs. Instead, the country pursued a policy of unilateralism that bordered at times on isolationism.[26]

During most of the 1920s, the United States enjoyed a period of unbalanced prosperity as farm prices fell and industrial profits grew. A rise in debt and an inflated stock market culminated in a crash in 1929, triggering the Great Depression. After his election as President in 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted his plan for a New Deal, which increased government intervention in the economy in response to the Great Depression.

The nation did not fully recover until 1941, when the United States was driven to join the Allies against the Axis Powers after a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. World War II was the costliest war in American history, but it helped to pull the economy out of depression because the required production of military materiel provided much-needed jobs, and women entered the workforce in large numbers for the first time. During this war, scientists working for the United States federal government succeeded in producing nuclear weapons, making the United States the world's first nuclear power. Toward the end of World War II, after the end of World War II in Europe, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Japan surrendered soon after, on 2 September 1945, which ended World War II.[27]


Cold War and civil rights

U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon during the first manned landing, 1969.Main articles: Cold War and American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union became superpowers in an era of ideological rivalry dubbed the Cold War. The United States promoted liberal democracy and capitalism, while the Soviet Union communism and a centrally planned economy. The result was a series of proxy wars, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the tense nuclear showdown of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

The perception that the United States was losing the space race spurred government efforts to raise proficiency in mathematics and science in schools[28] and led to President John F. Kennedy's call for the United States to land "a man on the moon" by the end of the 1960s, which was realized in 1969.[29]

Meanwhile, American society experienced a period of sustained economic expansion. At the same time, discrimination across the United States, especially in the South, was increasingly challenged by a growing civil-rights movement headed by prominent African Americans such as Martin Luther King, Jr., which led to the abolition of the Jim Crow laws in the South.[30]

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States continued to intervene militarily overseas, for example in the Gulf War. It remains the worlds only Superpower.


September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
Main articles: September 11, 2001 attacks and Iraq War
On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center towers and damaged The Pentagon with hijacked commercial airplanes. U.S. foreign policy then focused on the threat of terrorist attacks. In response, the government under George W. Bush began a series of military and legal operations termed the War on Terror, beginning with the overthrow of Afghanistan's Taliban government in October 2001. The events on 9/11 led to a preemptive policy against threats to U.S. security, known as the Bush Doctrine.

Beginning in September, 2002, the Bush administration began to press for regime change in the rogue state of Iraq. The United States and allies subsequently launched the controversial invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Although the Bush administration justified its invasion with a charge that Iraq had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction, and was seeking nuclear weapons,[31] only a limited number of non-nuclear stockpiles were found, and the Bush administration later admitted having acted on flawed intelligence. As of October 2006, the Iraq War remains an ongoing and controversial event.


Government and politics
Main articles: Federal government of the United States and Politics of the United States

The United States CapitolThe United States is the longest-surviving extant constitutional republic, with the oldest wholly written constitution in the world. Its government operates as a representative democracy through a congressional system under a set of powers specified by its Constitution. There are three levels of government: federal, state, and local. Officials at all three levels are either elected by voters in a secret ballot or appointed by other elected officials. Executive and legislative offices are decided by a plurality vote of citizens in their respective districts, with judicial and cabinet-level offices nominated by the Executive branch and approved by the Legislature. In some states, judicial posts are filled by popular election rather than executive appointment.

The federal government comprises three branches, which are designed to check and balance one another's powers:

Legislative: The Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Executive: The President, who appoints, with Senate approval, the Cabinet and other officers to help administer federal law.
Judiciary: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the President with Senate approval.
The United States Congress is a bicameral legislature. The House has 435 members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states according to population every tenth year. Each state is guaranteed at least one representative: currently, seven states have one each; California, the most populous state, has 53. Each state has two senators, elected at large to six-year terms; one third of Senate seats are up for election every second year.

Under the country's federal system, the relationship between the state and national governments is complex; under U.S. law, states are considered sovereign entities. However, the American Civil War and Texas v. White established that states do not have the right to secede, and, under the Constitution, they are not allowed to conduct foreign policy. Federal law overrides state law in the areas in which the federal government is empowered to act; but the powers of the federal government are subject to limits outlined in the Constitution. All powers not granted to the federal government in the Constitution are left to the states or the people themselves. However, the "Necessary and Proper" and "Commerce" clauses of the Constitution legally allow the extension of federal powers into other affairs, though this is the topic of considerable debate over states' rights.

The Constitution contains a dedication to "preserve liberty" with a "Bill of Rights" and other amendments, which guarantee freedom of speech, religion, and the press; the right to a fair trial; the right to keep and bear arms; universal suffrage; and property rights. However, the extent to which these rights are protected and universal in practice is heavily debated. The Constitution also guarantees to every State "a Republican Form of Government". However, the meaning of that guarantee has been only slightly explicated.[32]

There are two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Republicans are generally socially conservative and economically classical-liberals with some right-leaning centrists. The Democrats are generally socially liberal and economically progressive with some left-leaning centrists. Growing numbers of Americans identify with neither party—with some claiming the title Independent and others joining emerging parties, including the Green, Libertarian, and Reform parties. Except for a Democrat plurality in the Senate in 2001–02,[33] the Republican Party has held the majority in both houses of Congress since the 1994 elections; since 2001, the President has been George W. Bush, a Republican.


Foreign relations and military
Main articles: Foreign relations of the United States and Military of the United States

President of the United States, George W. Bush (right) at Camp David in March 2003, hosting the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair.The United States has vast economic, political, and military influence on a global scale, which makes its foreign policy a subject of great interest and discussion around the world. Almost all countries have embassies in Washington, D.C., and consulates around the country. However, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan do not have formal diplomatic relations with the United States.[34] The United States is a founding member of the United Nations (with a permanent seat on the Security Council), among many other international organizations.

In 1949, in an effort to contain communism during the Cold War, the United States, Canada, and ten Western European nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, a mutual-defense alliance in which they have since been joined by 14 other European states—including Turkey, which straddles the Eurasian border, and some former Soviet states. In an example of realpolitik, the United States also established diplomatic relations with Communist countries that were antagonistic to the Soviet Union, like the People's Republic of China during the Sino-Soviet split. Recently, the foreign policy of the United States has focused on combating terrorism as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Other transnational issues include immigration reform and the shipment of illegal drugs into the country.[35]


Supercarriers like the USS Nimitz are a major component of the U.S. system of force projection.The United States has a long-standing tradition of civilian control over military affairs. The Department of Defense administers the U.S. armed forces, which comprise the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force. The Coast Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime but is placed under the Department of the Navy in times of war.

The military of the United States comprises 1.4 million personnel on active duty,[36] along with several hundred thousand each in the Reserves and the National Guard. Service in the military is voluntary, though conscription may occur in times of war through the Selective Service System. The United States is considered to have the most powerful military in the world, partly because of the size of its defense budget; American defense expenditures in 2005 were estimated to be greater than the next 14 largest national military budgets combined,[37] even though the U.S. military budget is only about 4% of the country's gross domestic product.[38][39] The U.S. military maintains over 700 bases and facilities on every continent except Antarctica.[40]

The American military is committed to having a technological edge over its potential enemies and has an extensive research program to maintain such an edge. Defense-related research over the years yielded such major breakthroughs as space exploration, computers, the Internet, hypertext, nuclear power, the Global Positioning System, stealth aircraft, "smart" weapons, better bullet-proof vests, microwaves, and more recently ground-based lasers intended to target and destroy inbound missiles. These force multipliers have traditionally borne more materiel expense than personnel expense. Military technology maintains a close relationship with the civilian economy and has contributed to general technological and economic development of the United States, and often, via technology transfer, other countries as well. Conversely, the military has also benefited from the American civilian infrastructure.


Administrative divisions
Main article: Political divisions of the United States

Map of United States, showing state names.[41]The conterminous, or contiguous, forty-eight states—all the states but Alaska and Hawaii—are also called the continental United States. Some include Alaska in the "continental" states, because, although it is separated from the "lower forty-eight" by Canada, it is part of the North American mainland. All of these terms commonly include the District of Columbia. Hawaii, the fiftieth state, occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

The United States also holds several other territories, districts, and possessions, notably the federal district of the District of Columbia—which contains the nation's capital city, Washington—and several overseas insular areas, the most significant of which are American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. Palmyra Atoll is the United States' only incorporated territory; but it is unorganized and uninhabited. The United States Minor Outlying Islands consist of uninhabited islands and atolls in the Pacific and Caribbean Sea. In addition, since 1898, the United States Navy has leased an extensive naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Former U.S. possessions include the Panama Canal Zone, which was a U.S. territory from 1903 until 1979. Additionally, the Philippine Islands were American territory from 1898 until 1935, when the United States established the Commonwealth of the Philippines as a transition between territorial status and full Philippine independence, which occurred in 1946. Because it was part of the United States at the time of World War II, the Philippines is the only independent nation with a memorial pillar at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

In addition to the actual states and territories of the United States, there are also nations which are associated states of the U.S. The Federated States of Micronesia (since 1986), Palau (since 1994), and the Marshall Islands (since 1986) are associated with the United States under what is known as the Compact of Free Association, giving the states international sovereignty and ultimate control over their territory. However, the governments of those areas have agreed to allow the United States to provide defense and financial assistance. The U.S. also treats these nations uniquely by giving them access to many U.S. domestic programs, including disaster response and recovery and hazard mitigation programs under FEMA. The freely associated states are all dependent on U.S. financial assistance to meet both government operational and capital needs. The Office of Insular Affairs administers this financial assistance. The freely associated states also actively participate in all Office of Insular Affairs technical assistance activities. Together with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, each of these associated states were once part of the U.S.-administered UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which existed from 1947 until 1986 in the case of the Marshall Islands, the Northern Marianas, and the Federated States of Micronesia; Palau's trusteeship ended in 1994.


Ecology

Flora and fauna

The Bald Eagle is on the Great Seal of the United States. Protection of this once endangered species has helped save it from extinction.The U.S. has over 17,000 identified native plant and tree species, including 5,000 just in California (which is home to the tallest, the most massive, and the oldest trees in the world).[42] With habitats ranging from tropical to arctic, the flora of the U.S. is the most diverse of any country; yet, thousands of non-native exotic species sometimes adversely affect indigenous plant and animal communities. Over 400 species of mammal, 700 species of bird, 500 species of reptile and amphibian, and 90,000 species of insect have been documented.[43] Many plants and animals are very localized in their distribution, and some are in danger of extinction. The U.S. passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to protect native plant and animal species and their habitats.

Conservation has a long history in the U.S.; in 1872, the world's first National Park was established at Yellowstone. Another 57 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks and forests have since been designated.[44] In some parts of the country, wilderness areas have been established to ensure long-term protection of pristine habitats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service monitors endangered and threatened species and has set aside numerous areas for species and habitat preservation. Altogether, the U.S. government regulates 1,020,779 square miles (2,643,807 km²), which is 28.8% of the total land area of the U.S.[45] The bulk of this land is protected park and forestland, but some is leased for oil and gas exploration, mining, and cattle ranching.


Economy
Main articles: Economy of the United States, American middle class, Household income in the United States, and Homeownership in the United States
The economic history of the United States is a story of economic growth that began with marginally successful colonial economies and progressed to the largest industrial economy in the world in the 20th and early 21st century.


Wall Street, in New York City, represents the status of the U.S. as a major global financial power.The economic system of the United States can be described as a capitalist mixed economy, in which corporations, other private firms, and individuals make most microeconomic decisions, and governments prefer to take a smaller role in the domestic economy, although the combined role of all levels of government is relatively large, at 36% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The U.S. has a small social safety net, and regulation of businesses is slightly less than the average of developed countries.[46] The United States' median household income in 2005 was $43,318.[47]

Economic activity varies greatly across the country. For example, New York City is the center of the American financial, publishing, broadcasting, and advertising industries, while Los Angeles is the most important center for film and television production. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest are major centers for technology. The Midwest is known for its reliance on manufacturing and heavy industry, with Detroit serving as the historic center of the American automotive industry, and Chicago serving as the business and financial capital of the region. The Southeast is a major area for agriculture, tourism, and the lumber industry, and, because of wages and costs below the national average, it continues to attract manufacturing.


A farm near Klingerstown, Pennsylvania. Farming accounts for less than 1% of the total GDP of the United States but still is a major economic activity.The largest sector in the United States economy is services, which employs roughly three quarters of the work force.[48]

The economy is fueled by an abundance in natural resources such as coal, petroleum, and precious metals. However, the country still depends for much of its energy on foreign countries. In agriculture, the country is a top producer of corn, soy beans, rice, and wheat, with the Great Plains labeled as the "breadbasket of the world" for its tremendous agricultural output.[49] The U.S. has a large tourist industry, ranking third in the world,[50] and is also a major exporter in goods such as airplanes, steel, weapons, and electronics. Canada accounts for 19% (more than any other nation) of the United States' foreign trade, followed by China, Mexico, and Japan.

While the per capita income of the United States is among the highest in the world, the wealth is comparatively concentrated, with approximately 40% of the population earning less than an average resident of western Europe and the top 20% earning substantially more.[51] Since 1975, the U.S. has a "two-tier" labor market in which virtually all the real income gains have gone to the top 20% of households.[52] This polarization is the result of a relatively high level of economic freedom.[53]

The social mobility of U.S. residents relative to that of other countries is the subject of much debate. Some analysts have found that social mobility in the United States is low relative to other OECD states, specifically compared to Western Europe, Scandinavia and Canada.[54][55][56] Low social mobility may stem in part from the U.S. educational system. Public education in the United States is funded mainly by local property taxes supplemented by state revenues. This frequently results in a wide difference in funding between poor districts or poor states and more affluent jurisdictions.[57][58] In addition, the practice of legacy preference at elite universities gives preference to the children of alumni, who are often wealthy. This practice reduces available spaces for better-qualified lower income students.[59] Some analysts argue that relative social mobility in the U.S. peaked in the 1960s and declined rapidly beginning in the 1980s.[60] Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan has also suggested that that the growing income inequality and low class mobility of the U.S. economy may eventually threaten the entire system in the near future.[61]


Innovation
Main article: Science and technology in the United States

The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a manned mission to space.The United States is an influential country in scientific and technological research and the production of innovative technological products. During World War II, the U.S. was the first to develop the atomic bomb, ushering in the atomic age. Beginning early the Cold War, the U.S. achieved successes in space science and technology, leading to a space race which led to rapid advances in rocketry, weaponry, material science, computers, and many other areas. This technological progress was epitomized by the first visit of a man to the moon, when Neil Armstrong stepped off of Apollo 11 in July 1969.[62] The U.S. was also perhaps the most instrumental nation in the development of the Internet, through the funding of its predecessor, Arpanet, and the actual physical presence of much of the Internet.

In the sciences, Americans have a large share of Nobel Prizes, especially in the fields of physiology and medicine. The National Institutes of Health, a focal point for biomedical research in the United States, has contributed to the completion of the Human Genome Project.[63] The main governmental organization for aviation and space research is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Major corporations, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, also play an important role.


Transit
Main article: Transportation in the United States
The automobile industry developed earlier and more rapidly in the United States than in most other countries. The backbone of the nation's transportation infrastructure is a network of high-capacity highways. From data taken in 2004, there are about 3,981,521 miles (6,407,637 km) of roadways in the U.S., the most in the world.[64]

Mass transit systems exist in large cities, such as New York, which operates one of the busiest subway systems in the world. With a few exceptions, American cities are less dense than those in other parts of the world. Low density partly results from and largely necessitates automobile ownership by most households.

Whereas the freight rail network is among the world's best (and most congested), the passenger rail network is underdeveloped by European and Japanese standards. This is partly because of the longer distances traveled in the U.S.; a destination two thousand miles (3,000 km) away is reached more quickly by air than by rail. Government subsidies of air travel played a role in the bankruptcy of passenger-rail corporations in the 1970s. The U.S. had been unique in its high number of private passenger railroads. During the 1970s, government intervention reorganized freight railroads. The passenger service was consolidated under the government-backed corporation Amtrak. No other country has more miles of rail than the U.S.[65]

Air travel is the preferred means of travel for long distances. In terms of passengers, seventeen of the world's thirty busiest airports in 2004 were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). In terms of cargo, in the same year, twelve of the world's thirty busiest airports were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Memphis International Airport.

Several major seaports are in the United States; the three busiest are California's Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, and the Port of New York and New Jersey, all among the world's busiest. The interior of the U.S. also has a major shipping channel, via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Mississippi River. The first water link between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, the Erie Canal, allowed the rapid expansion of agriculture and industry in the Midwest and made New York City the economic center of the U.S.


Demographics
Main articles: Demographics of the United States and Immigration to the United States

2000 Population Density MapOn October 17, 2006 at 7:46 a.m. EST, the United States' population stood at an estimated 300,000,000, with an annual growth rate of about 0.59%.[66] This figure includes persons living in the U.S. without legal permission to do so, estimated at 12 million, and excludes U.S. citizens living abroad, estimated at 3 million to 7 million. Thus any population estimate needs to be seen as a somewhat rough figure, according to the US Departement of Commerce.[67] According to the 2000 census, about 79% of the population lived in urban areas.[68]

About 15.8% of households have annual incomes of at least $100,000, and the top 10% of households had annual gross incomes exceeding $118,200 in 2003.[69] Overall, the top quintile, those households earning more than $86,867 a year, earned 49.8% of all income in 2003.[70]

In the 2000 census, the country had 31 ethnic groups with at least one million members each, with numerous others represented in smaller amounts.[71] By the federal government's categorization of race, most Americans (80.4% in 2004)[72] are white. These white Americans are mostly European Americans—the descendants of European immigrants to the United States—along with some non-Europeans counted as white in government nomenclature (those with origins in the original peoples of the Middle East and North Africa). To the exclusion of Hispanic-origin European Americans, non-Hispanic whites constituted 67.4% of the population. The non-Hispanic white population is proportionally declining, because of both immigration by, and a higher birth rate among, ethnic and racial minorities.[73] If current immigration trends continue, the number of non-Hispanic whites is expected to be reduced to a plurality by 2040-2050. The largest ethnic group of European ancestry is German at 15.2%, followed by Irish (10.8%), English (8.7%), Italian (5.6%) and Scandinavian (3.7%). Many immigrants also hail from French Canada, as well as from such Slavic countries as Poland and Russia.[74] African Americans, or Blacks, largely descend from Africans who arrived as slaves during the 17th through 19th centuries, and number about 35 million or 12.9% of the population. At about 1.5% of the total population, Native Americans and Alaska Natives number about 4.4 million,[75] approximately 35% of whom were living on reservations in 2005.[76]

Current demographic trends include the immigration of Hispanics from Latin America into the Southwest, a region that is home to about 60% of the 35 million Hispanics in the United States. Immigrants from Mexico make up about 66% of the Hispanic community,[77] and are second only to the German-descent population in the single-ethnicity category. The Hispanic population, which has been growing at an annual rate of about 4.46% since the 1990s, is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades, because of both immigration and a higher birth rate among Latinos than among the general population.[78]





Largest cities
Main article: List of United States cities by population

New York City

Los Angeles

Chicago
The United States has dozens of major cities, which play an important role in U.S. culture, heritage, and economy. In 2004, 251 incorporated places had populations of at least 100,000 and nine had populations greater than 1,000,000, including several important global cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In addition, there are fifty metropolitan areas with populations over 1,000,000.

Rank City Population
within
city limits Population
Density
per sq mi Metropolitan
Area Region
millions rank
1 New York City, New York 8,143,197 26,402.9 18.7 1 Northeast
2 Los Angeles, California 4,097,340 8,198.0 12.9 2 West
3 Chicago, Illinois 2,842,518 12,750.3 9.4 3 Midwest
4 Houston, Texas 2,016,582 3,371.7 5.2 7 South
5 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,463,281 11,233.6 5.8 4 Northeast
6 Phoenix, Arizona 1,461,575 2,782.0 3.7 14 West
7 San Antonio, Texas 1,256,509 2,808.5 1.8 29 South
8 San Diego, California 1,255,540 3,771.9 2.9 17 West
9 Dallas, Texas 1,213,825 3,469.9 5.7 5 South
10 San Jose, California 912,332 5,117.9 1.7 30 West


Indigenous peoples

Chief Quanah Parker.Main article: Native Americans in the United States
The Native Americans of the United States (also known as Indians or American Indians, among others), are an ethnic group who have populated the land that is today the United States since at least 9,000 BC, more than one hundred centuries before the arrival of European settlers. [citation needed] Like other countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, the impact of European colonization of the Americas changed the lives and cultures of the Native Americans. In the 15th to 19th centuries, their populations were ravaged by displacement, disease, warfare with the Europeans, and enslavement.

In the 19th century, the incessant westward expansion of the United States incrementally compelled large numbers of Native Americans to resettle further west, sometimes by force, almost always reluctantly. Under President Andrew Jackson, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which authorized the President to conduct treaties to exchange Native American land east of the Mississippi River for lands west of the river. As many as 100,000 Native Americans eventually relocated in the West as a result of this Indian Removal policy. In theory, relocation was supposed to be voluntary (and many Native Americans did remain in the East), but in practice great pressure was put on Native American leaders to sign removal treaties.

Conflicts, generally known as "Indian Wars", broke out between U.S. forces and many different tribes. U.S. government authorities entered numerous treaties during this period but later abrogated many for various reasons. On January 31, 1876, the United States government ordered all remaining Native Americans to move into reservations or reserves.

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 gave United States citizenship to Native Americans, in part because of an interest by many to see them merged with the American mainstream, and also because of the heroic service of many Native American veterans in the First World War.

According to the 2003 census estimates, there are 2,786,652 Native Americans in the United States. However, numerous indigenous peoples from Latin American countries, particularly Mexico, have migrated to the U.S. over the years. Other tribes, such as the Yaqui have persisted on both sides of the U.S./Mexican border crossing freely for many years until the current border clampdown (see illegal immigration).


Language
Main article: Languages in the United States
Although the United States has no official language, English is the de facto national language. In 2003, about 214.8 million, or 81.6%, of the population aged five years and older spoke only English at home.[79] Although not all Americans speak English, it is the most common language for daily interaction among both native and non-native speakers. Knowledge of English is required of immigrants seeking naturalization. Some Americans advocate making English the official language, which is the law in twenty-seven states. Three states also grant official status to other languages alongside English: French in Louisiana, Hawaiian in Hawaii, and Spanish in New Mexico.[80] Besides English, languages spoken at home by at least one million Americans aged five years and up are Spanish or Spanish Creole, spoken by 29.7 million; Chinese, 2.2 million; French (including Patois and Cajun), 1.4 million; Tagalog, 1.3 million; Vietnamese, 1.1 million; and German, 1.1 million.[73][81]


Religion

Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oaks, North Carolina. The Bible Belt is well known for its large devout Protestant Christian population.Main article: Religion in the United States
The United States government keeps no official register of Americans' religious status. However, in a private survey conducted in 2001 and mentioned in the Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States, 76.7% of American adults identified themselves as Christian; about 52% of adults described themselves as members of various Protestant denominations, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1.3%); Roman Catholics, at 24.5%, were the most populous individual sect. Judaism (1.4%) and other faiths also have firm places in American culture. About 14.2% of respondents described themselves as having no religion. The religious distribution of the 5.4% who elected not to describe themselves for the survey is unknown.[66]

The country has a relatively high level of religiosity among developed nations. About 46% of American adults say that they attend religious services at least once a week, compared with 14% of adults in Great Britain, 8% in France, and 7% in Sweden. Moreover, 58% of Americans say they often think about the meaning and purpose of life, compared with 25% of the British, 26% of the Japanese, and 31% of West Germans.[82] However, this rate is not uniform across the country: regular attendance to religious services is markedly more common in the Bible Belt, composed largely of Southern and southern Midwestern states, than in the Northeast or the West.[83]

Religion among some Americans is highly dynamic: over the period 1990–2001, those groups whose portion of the population at least doubled were, in descending order of growth, Wiccans, nondenominational Christians, Deists, Sikhs, Evangelical Christians, Disciples of Christ, New Age adherents, Hindus, Full Gospel adherents, Quakers, Bahá'ís, independent Christians, those who refused to answer the question, Buddhists, and Foursquare Gospel adherents.[66]

Over the same period, the group whose portion of the population grew by the most percentage points was those who claimed no religion, making up 8.2% of the adult population in 1990, but 14.2% in 2001.[66] This group includes atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists and those who answered to the effect of "No religion". The number of those with no religion varies widely with location, reaching a high in Washington, at 25%, and the rest of the relatively agnostic western United States, and a low in North Dakota, at 3%, followed by the Bible Belt.[84]

One comprehensive study showed that in the U.S. women are generally more religious than men, with 42% identifying as "religious" and 36% as "somewhat religious," versus 31% and 41% for men, respectively. Younger Americans were twice as likely to choose "secular" than their older counterparts, at 14% and 7%, respectively. Among racial and ethnic groups, blacks had the highest religious figures, at 49% "religious" and 31% "somewhat religious"; Asians had the lowest numbers, at 28% "religious" and 34% "somewhat religious".[85]


Education
Main articles: Education in the United States and Educational attainment in the United States
Education in the United States has been a state or local, not federal, responsibility. The Department of Education of the federal government, however, exerts some influence through its ability to control funding. Students are generally obliged to attend school starting with kindergarten, and ending with the 12th grade, which is normally completed at age 18, but many states may allow students to drop out as early as age 16. Besides public schools, parents may also choose to educate their own children at home or to send their children to parochial or private schools. After high school, students may choose to attend universities, either public or private. Public universities receive funding from the federal and state governments, as well as from other sources, but most students still have to pay student loans after graduation. Tuition at private universities is generally much higher than at public universities.


America's 19 World Heritage Sites include the University of Virginia, one of many highly regarded public universities supported by taxpayers at the state level of government.There are many competitive institutions of higher education in the United States, both private and public. The United States has 168 universities in the world's top 500, 17 of which are in the top 20.[86] There are also many smaller universities and liberal arts colleges, and local community colleges of varying quality across the country with open admission policies.

The United States ranks 24th out of 29 surveyed countries in the reading and science literacy as well as mathematical abilities of its high school students when compared with other developed nations.[87] The United States also has a low literacy rate compared to other developed countries, with a reading literacy rate at 86 - 98% of the population over age 15.[88] As for educational attainment, 27.2% of the population aged 25 and above have earned a bachelor's degree or higher, and 84.6% have graduated high school.[89]


Health
Main article: Health care in the United States
The World Health Organization ranks the United States' health level 72nd among the world's nations.[90] Infant mortality is 5 per 1,000; among developed nations, only Latvia ranks lower, at 6 per 1,000. However, this statistic is contested by some experts, because other nations may not define infant mortality as broadly as the United States.[91] Obesity is also a public-health problem, which is estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars every year.[92]

Unlike many Western governments, the U.S. government does not operate a publicly funded health care system. Private insurance plays a major role in covering health care costs.[93] Health insurance in the United States is traditionally a benefit of employment. However, emergency care facilities are required to provide service regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Medical bills are the most common reason for personal bankruptcy in the United States.[94] The nation spends a substantial amount on medical research through such federal agencies as the National Institutes of Health.[95]


Culture
Main article: Culture of the United States

Elvis Presley in 1957
American cultural icons, such as apple pie, baseball, and the American flag.The culture of the United States began as the culture of its first English colonists. The culture quickly evolved as an independent frontier culture supplemented by indigenous and Spanish–Mexican cowboy culture and by the cultures of subsequent waves of immigrants, first from Europe and Africa and later from Asia. Overall, significant cultural influences came from Europe, especially from the German, English and Irish cultures and later from Italian, Greek and Ashkenazi cultures. Descendants of enslaved West Africans preserved some cultural traditions from West Africa in the early United States. Geographical place names largely reflect the combined English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Native American components of U.S. American history.[73]

Some have described the United States as a melting pot in which immigrants eventually assimilate into a unified American culture that incorporates contributions from immigrant cultures. A more recently proposed model is that of the salad bowl, in which immigrant cultures retain some of the unique characteristics of their culture without merging into a completely unified American culture.[96] Modern American sociologists tend to view pluralism, rather than assimilation, as the way for American society to achieve ethnic and racial harmony and state that the workings of pluralism are visible within modern American society, disregarding the idea of the melting pot.[73]

An important component of American culture is the American Dream: the idea that, through hard work, courage, and self-determination, regardless of social class, a person can gain a better life.[97]


Cuisine
Main article: Cuisine of the United States
American cuisine embraces Native American ingredients such as turkey, potatoes, corn, and squash, which have become integral parts of American culture. Such popular icons as apple pie, pizza, and hamburgers are either derived from or are actual European dishes. Burritos and tacos have their origins in Mexico. Soul food, which originated among African slaves, is popular in the U.S. as well. However, many foods now enjoyed worldwide either originated in the United States or were altered by American chefs.


Music
Main article: Music of the United States
Music also traces to the country's diverse cultural roots through an array of styles. Rock, hip hop, country, blues, and jazz are among the country's most internationally renowned genres. Since the late 19th century, popular recorded music from the United States has become increasingly known across the world, such that some forms of American popular music are heard almost everywhere.[98]


Cinema
Main article: Cinema of the United States
The birth of cinema, as well as its development, largely took place in the United States. In 1878, the first recorded instance of sequential photographs capturing and reproducing motion was Eadweard Muybridge's series of a running horse, which the British-born photographer produced in Palo Alto, California, using a row of still cameras. Since then, the American film industry, based in Hollywood, California, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world. Other genres that originated in the United States and spread worldwide include the comic book and Disney's animated films.


Sports
Main article: Sports in the United States

Pro Bowl, 2006. American Football is the most popular spectator sport in the United States.[99]Sports are a national pastime, and playing sports, especially American football, baseball, and basketball, is very popular at the high-school level. Professional sports in the U.S. is big business and contains most of the world's highest paid athletes.[100] The "Big Four" sports are baseball, American football, ice hockey, and basketball. Baseball is popularly termed "the national pastime"; but, since the early 1990s, American football has largely been considered the most popular sport in America.

Other sports, including auto racing, lacrosse, soccer, golf, and tennis, have significant followings. The United States is among the most influential regions in shaping three popular board-based recreational sports: surfboarding, skateboarding, and snowboarding. Eight Olympiads have taken place in the United States; in medals won, the United States ranks third all-time in the Winter Games, with 218 (78 gold, 81 silver, and 59 bronze),[101][102] and first in the Summer Games, with 2,321 (943 gold, 736 silver, and 642 bronze).[103][104]

See also: Arts and entertainment in the United States, Media of the United States, Dance of the United States, Architecture of the United States, Holidays of the United States, Lists of Americans, and Social structure of the United States

See also
Main article: List of United States-related topics
Life in the United States
Arts and entertainment • Culture • Economy • Crime • Education • Educational attainment • Geography • Health care • Holidays • Household income • Homeownership • Human rights
Labor unions • Languages • Middle class • Passenger vehicle transport • Politics • Poverty • Racism • Religion • Social issues • Social structure • Sports • Standard of living




Demographics of the United States
Demographics of the United States • Demographic history
Economic - Social

Educational attainment • Household income • Homeownership • Immigration • Income quintiles • Language • Middle classes • poverty • Religion • Social structure • Unemployment by state • Wealth
Race - Ethnicity - Ancestry
Race • Ethnicity on the US Census • Maps of American ancestries • 2000 Census • Race on the US Census • Racism
Asian Americans • African Americans • Mexican Americans • Native Americans • Pacific Islander American
White Americans • Caucasian Americans • European Americans


Articles of Confederation
United States Constitution
History of the United States
International rankings of the United States
Historical Columbia
Superpower

Notes
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^ Income in the United States, US Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Income distribution, US Census Breau. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Table 2. Ancestries With 100,000 or More People in 2000: 1990 and 2000. Ancestry: 2000 - Census 2000 Brief. URL accessed May 29, 2006.
^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
^ a b c d Adams, J.Q., Pearlie Strother-Adams (2001). Dealing with Diversity. Chicago, IL: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. 0-7872-8145-X.
^ Figure 2 - Fifteen Largest Ancestries: 2000. 2000. U.S. Census Bureau. URL accessed 30 May 2006.
^ Native American population in the United States. Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
^ "Tribal trends" by Douglas Clement. March 2006. fedgazette. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Population & Economic Strength. United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ "Latino Religion in the U.S.: Demographic Shifts and Trends" by Bruce Murray. January 5, 2006. FacsNet. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006, Section 1 Population (English) (pdf) pp. 59 pages. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 16 October, 2006.
^ 27 States Have Made English Official (25 State Laws Still in Effect). Englishfirst.org. URL accessed 21 May 2006.
^ Statistical Abstract of the United States: page 47: Table 47: Languages Spoken at Home by Language: 2003. Retrieved on 2006-07-11.
^ "U-M study: U.S. among the most religious nations in the world". 17 November 2003. University of Michigan News Service. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "Who Goes to Church?". 2004. ABC News. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ American Religious Identification Survey
^ American Religious Identification Survey
^ ARWU2005 Statistics by Shanghai Jiao Tong university. URL accessed on 05 October 2006
^ Programme for International Student Assessment 2003, URL accessed on July 11, 2006
^ A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st Century, U.S. Department of Education, 2003. Accessed 05 October 2006. 2% of the population still do not have basic literacy and 14% have Below Basic prose literacy.
^ Educational attainment according to the US Census Bureau, 2003. Retrieved on 2006-08-01.
^ "Health system performance in all Member States" 1997. World Health Organization. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "U.S. gets poor grades for newborns' survival- Nation ranks near bottom among modern nations, better only than Latvia". 9 May 2006. Associated Press. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "Obesity cost US $75bn, says study" by Jannat Jalil. 21 January 2004. BBC News. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ http://www.urban.org/publications/307319.html Health Policy for Low-Income People in Texas
^ "Illness And Injury As Contributors To Bankruptcy", by David U. Himmelstein, Elizabeth Warren, Deborah Thorne, and Steffie Woolhandler, published at Health Affairs journal in 2005, Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Chapter Seven A REPUBLIC OF SCIENCE- Inquiry and innovation in science and medicine. USINFO.STATE.GOV. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Joyce Millet, Understanding American Culture: From Melting Pot to Salad Bowl. culturalsavvy.com. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Boritt, Gabor S. Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream. Page 1. December 1994. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06445-3.
^ Provine, Rob with Okon Hwang and Andy Kershaw. "Our Life Is Precisely a Song" in the Rough Guide to World Music, Volume 2, pg. 167. ISBN 1-85828-636-0.
^ Maccambridge, Michael. America's Game : The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation. 26 October 2004. Random House. ISBN 0-375-50454-0
^ "The Best-Paid Athletes". 24 June 2004. Forbes.com. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ All-Time Medal Standings, 1924–2002. Information Please. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ Turin 2006 Medal Table. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ All-Time Medal Standings 1896–2000. Information Please. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ Athens 2004 Medal Table. Accessed 14 September 2006.

Further reading
United States Portal
Johnson, Paul M. A History of the American People. 1104 pages. Harper Perennial: March 1, 1999. ISBN 0-06-093034-9.
Litwak, Robert S. Rogue States and U.S. Foreign Policy : Containment after the Cold War. 300 pages. Woodrow Wilson Center Press: February 1, 2000. ISBN 0-943875-97-8.
Nye, Joseph S. The Paradox of American Power : Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone. 240 pages. Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed edition: 1 May 2003. ISBN 0-19-516110-6.
Susser, Ida (Editor), and Patterson, Thomas C. (Editor). Cultural Diversity in the United States: A Critical Reader. 476 pages. Blackwell Publishers: December 2000. ISBN 0-631-22213-8.
Whalen, Edward. The United States Of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy. 320 pages. The Penguin Press HC: 4 November 2004. ISBN 1-59420-033-5.
Pierson, Paul. Politics in Time : History, Institutions, and Social Analysis. 208 pages. Princeton University Press: 9 August 2004. ISBN 0-691-11715-2.

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United States: Membership in International Organizations
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v·d·ePolitical divisions of the United States[ Show ]
States: Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
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Minor outlying islands: Baker Island | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Palmyra Atoll | Wake Island

v·d·eCountries of Central America, Caribbean and North America[ Show ]
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dependencies
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UK: Anguilla ∙ Bermuda ∙ British Virgin Islands ∙ Cayman Islands ∙ Montserrat ∙ Turks and Caicos Islands •
U.S.: Navassa Island ∙ Puerto Rico ∙ U.S. Virgin Islands

v·d·e UN Security Council Members[ Show ]
Permanent Members: China • France • Russia • United Kingdom • United States

Term ending 31 December 2006: Argentina • Denmark • Greece • Japan • Tanzania

Term ending 31 December 2007: Congo-Brazzaville• Ghana • Peru • Qatar • Slovakia
v·d·e Group of Eight (G8)[ Show ]
Canada · France · Germany · Italy · Japan · Russia · United Kingdom · United States

Cold War[ Show ]
Main events (1945–1961) Main events (1962–1991) Specific articles Primary participants and other events
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Cambodian Civil War
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Portal:Cold War



Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States"
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This page was last modified 11:31, 18 October 2006. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.)
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Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers
1:45 PM
Anonymous said...

The United States of America (also known as the United States, the U.S., the U.S.A., and America) is a country in North America that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and a sea border with Russia. The United States is a federal republic, with its capital in Washington, D.C.

The present-day continental United States has been inhabited for at least 15,000 years by indigenous tribes.[2] After European exploration and settlement in the 16th century, the English established their own colonies—and gained control of others that had been begun by other European nations—in the eastern portion of the continent in the 17th and early 18th centuries. On July 4, 1776, at war with Britain over fair governance, thirteen of these colonies declared their independence. In 1783, the war ended in British acceptance of the new nation. Since then, the United States of America has more than quadrupled in size: it now consists of 50 states and one federal district; it also has numerous overseas territories.

At over 3.7 million square miles (over 9.5 million km²), the U.S. is the third or fourth largest country by total area, depending on whether China's figures include its disputed areas. It is the world's third most populous nation, with 300 million people.

The date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, is generally considered to be the date on which the U.S. was founded. The first federal government was constituted under the Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781. The Articles were replaced by the Constitution, adopted in 1787. Since its establishment, the liberal democratic nature of the government has grown as suffrage has been extended to more citizens. American military, economic, cultural, and political influence increased throughout the 20th century. With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, the nation emerged as the world's sole remaining superpower.[3] Today, the United States plays a major role in world affairs.

Contents [hide]
1 Name
2 Geography
2.1 Terrain
2.2 Climate
3 History
3.1 Native Americans
3.2 European colonization
3.3 American Revolution
3.4 Westward expansion
3.5 Civil War
3.6 Reconstruction and industrialization
3.7 World War
3.8 Cold War and civil rights
3.9 September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
4 Government and politics
4.1 Foreign relations and military
5 Administrative divisions
6 Ecology
6.1 Flora and fauna
7 Economy
7.1 Innovation
7.2 Transit
8 Demographics
8.1 Largest cities
8.2 Indigenous peoples
8.3 Language
8.4 Religion
8.5 Education
8.6 Health
9 Culture
9.1 Cuisine
9.2 Music
9.3 Cinema
9.4 Sports
10 See also
11 Notes
12 Further reading
13 External links
13.1 Government
13.2 Overviews
13.3 History
13.4 Maps
13.5 Immigration
13.6 Other



Name
See also: List of meanings of countries' names

The earliest known use of the name America is from 1507, when a globe and a large map created by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in Saint-Die-des-Vosges described the combined continents of North and South America. Although the origin of the name is uncertain,[4] the most widely held belief is that expressed in an accompanying book, Cosmographiae Introductio, which explains it as a feminized version of the Latin name of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (Americus Vespucius); in Latin, the other continents' names were all feminine. Vespucci theorized, correctly, that Christopher Columbus, on reaching islands in the Caribbean Sea in 1492, had come not to India but to a "New World".

The Americas were also known as Columbia, after Columbus, prompting the name District of Columbia for the land set aside as the U.S. capital. Columbia remained a popular name for the United States until the early 20th century, when it fell into relative disuse; but it is still used poetically and appears in various names and titles. One female personification of the country is called Columbia; she is similar to Britannia.[5][6][7][8] Columbus Day is a holiday in the U.S. and other countries in the Americas commemorating Columbus' October 1492 landing.

The term "united States of America" was first used officially in the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776. On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first of which stated "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America.'"

The adjectival and demonymic forms for the United States are American, a point of controversy among some, particularly Latin Americans.


Geography
Main article: Geography of the United States

A satellite composite image of the contiguous U.S. Deciduous vegetation and grasslands prevail in the east, transitioning to prairies, boreal forests, and the Rocky Mountains in the west, and deserts in the southwest. In the northeast, the coasts of the Great Lakes and Atlantic seaboard host much of the country's population.
Mount Hood, a dormant volcano in the Pacific Northwest.The United States is the world's third largest country by land area, after Russia and Canada.[9] Its contiguous portion is bounded by the North Atlantic Ocean to the east, the North Pacific Ocean to the west, Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Canada to the north. The state of Alaska also borders Canada, with the Pacific Ocean to its south and the Arctic Ocean to its north. West of Alaska, across the narrow Bering Strait, is Russia. The state of Hawaii occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of the North American mainland.


Terrain
The U.S. has an extremely varied geography, particularly in the West. The eastern seaboard has a coastal plain which is widest in the south and narrows in the north. The coastal plain does not exist north of New Jersey, although there are glacial outwash plains on Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. In the extreme southeast, Florida is home to the ecologically unique Everglades.

Beyond the coastal plain, the rolling hills of the piedmont region end at the Appalachian Mountains, which rise above 6,000 feet (1,830 m) in North Carolina, Tennessee, and New Hampshire. From the west slope of the Appalachians, the Interior Plains of the Midwest are relatively flat and are the location of the Great Lakes as well as the Mississippi-Missouri River, the world's 4th longest river system.[10] West of the Mississippi River, the Interior Plains slope uphill and blend into the vast and often featureless Great Plains.

The abrupt rise of the Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extends north to south across the continental U.S., reaching altitudes over 14,000 feet (4,270 m) in Colorado.[11] In the past, the Rocky Mountains had a higher level of volcanic activity; nowadays, the range only has one area of volcanism (the supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, possibly the world's largest volcano), although rift volcanism has occurred relatively recently near the Rockies' southern margin in New Mexico.[12] Dozens of high mountain ranges, salt flats such as the Bonneville Salt Flats, and valleys are found in the Great Basin region located west of the Rockies and east of the Sierra Nevada, which also has deep chasms, including the Snake River. At the southwestern end of the Great Basin, Death Valley lies 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, the second lowest dry land on Earth. It is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and is situated near the Mojave Desert.

North of the Great Basin and east of the Cascade Range in the Northwest is the Columbia River Plateau, a large igneous province shaped by one of the largest flood basalts on Earth. It is marked by dark black rocks. Surrounding the Four Corners region lies the Colorado Plateau, named after the Colorado River, which flows through it. The Plateau is generally high in elevation, has highly eroded sandstone, and the soil is a blood red in some locations. Many national parks, such as Arches, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion are in the area. West of the Great Basin, the Sierra Nevada mountain range has Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the coterminous U.S. Along the Pacific coast, the Coast Ranges and the volcanic Cascade Range extend from north to south across the country. The northwestern Pacific coast shares the world's largest temperate rain forest with Canada.

Alaska has numerous mountain ranges, including Mount McKinley (Denali), the highest peak in North America. Numerous volcanoes can be found throughout the Alexander and Aleutian Islands extending south and west of the Alaskan mainland.

The Hawaiian islands are tropical, volcanic islands extending over 1,500 miles (2,400 km), and consisting of six larger islands and another dozen smaller ones that are inhabited.


Wasatch Range, in Utah, part of the Rocky Mountains, next to the Great Salt Lake. Mark Twain described the two as America's Great Wall and Dead Sea.
Climate
The climate of the U.S. is as varied as its landscape. In northern Alaska, tundra and arctic conditions predominate, and the temperature has fallen as low as minus 80 °F (−62 °C).[13] On the other end of the spectrum, Death Valley, California once reached 134 °F (56.7 °C), the second-highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.[14]

On average, the mountains of the western states receive the highest levels of snowfall on Earth. The greatest annual snowfall level is at Mount Rainier in Washington, at 692 inches (1,758 cm); the record there was 1,122 inches (2,850 cm) in the winter of 1971–72. Other places with significant snowfall outside the Cascade Range are the Wasatch Mountains, near the Great Salt Lake, and the Sierra Nevada, near Lake Tahoe. In the east, while snowfall does not approach western levels, the region near the Great Lakes and the mountains of the Northeast receive the most. Along the northwestern Pacific coast, rainfall is greater than anywhere else in the continental U.S., with Quinault Ranger in Washington having an average of 137 inches (348 cm).[15] Hawaii receives even more, with 460 inches (1,168 cm) measured annually on Mount Waialeale, in Kauai. The Mojave Desert, in the southwest, is home to the driest locale in the U.S. Yuma Valley, Arizona, has an average of 2.63 inches (6.68 cm) of precipitation each year.[16]

In central portions of the U.S., tornadoes are more common than anywhere else on Earth[17] and touch down most commonly in the spring and summer. Deadly and destructive hurricanes occur almost every year along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. The Appalachian region and the Midwest experience the worst floods, though virtually no area in the U.S. is immune to flooding. The Southwest has the worst droughts; one is thought to have lasted over 500 years and to have decimated the Anasazi people.[18] The West is affected by large wildfires each year.


History
Main article: History of the United States

Native Americans
Before the European colonization of the Americas, a process that began at the end of the 15th century, the present-day continental U.S. was inhabited exclusively by various indigenous tribes, including Alaskan natives, who migrated to the continent over a period that may have begun 35,000 years ago and may have ended as recently as 11,000 years ago.[19]


European colonization

The Mayflower, which transported Pilgrims to the New World, arrived in 1620.The first confirmed European landing in the present-day United States was by Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon, who landed in 1513 in Florida, and as part of his claim, the first European settlement was established by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles on the site of a Timucuan Indian village in 1565 at St. Augustine, Florida. The French colonized some of the northeastern portions, and the Spanish colonized most of the southern and western United States. The first successful English settlement was at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, followed in 1620 by the Pilgrims' landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and then the arrival of the colony of Massachusetts Bay, started by the Puritans. In 1609 and 1617, respectively, the Dutch settled in part of what became New York and New Jersey. In 1638, the Swedes founded New Sweden, in part of what became Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania after passing through Dutch hands. Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, England (and later Great Britain) established new colonies, took over Dutch colonies, and split others. With the division of the Carolinas in 1729, and the colonization of Georgia in 1732, the British colonies in North America—excluding present-day Canada—numbered thirteen.


American Revolution

Presenting the Declaration of Independence to the Continental CongressMain articles: American Revolution and American Revolutionary War
Tensions between American colonials and the British during the revolutionary period of the 1760s and 1770s led to open military conflict in 1775. The British Colonies of East and West Florida and Quebec did not join in the rebellion against Great Britain. George Washington commanded the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) as the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Second Continental Congress had been formed to confront British actions and created the Continental Army, but it did not have the authority to levy taxes or make federal laws. In 1777, the Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, uniting the states under a weak federal government, which operated from 1781 until 1788, when enough states had ratified the United States Constitution. The Constitution, which strengthened the union and the federal government, has since remained the supreme law of the land.[20]

Following the war, United Empire Loyalists, soldiers and civilians, were evacuated from the colonies and resettled in other colonies of the British Empire, most notably to Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland in what is now Canada.


Westward expansion
Main article: Manifest Destiny

National Atlas map depicting dates of select territorial acquisitions. Full Oregon and other claims are not included.From 1803 to 1848, the size of the new nation nearly tripled as settlers (many embracing the concept of Manifest Destiny as an inevitable consequence of American exceptionalism) pushed beyond national boundaries even before the Louisiana Purchase.[21] The expansion was tempered somewhat by the stalemate in the War of 1812, but it was subsequently reinvigorated by victory in the Mexican-American War in 1848.


Civil War

The Battle of Gettysburg, a major turning point of the American Civil War. The victory of the Union kept the country united.Main article: American Civil War
As new territories were being incorporated, the nation was divided over the issue of states' rights, the role of the federal government, and—by the 1820s—the expansion of slavery, which had been legal in all thirteen colonies but was rarer in the north, where it was abolished by 1804. The Northern states were opposed to the expansion of slavery whereas the Southern states saw the opposition as an attack on their way of life, since their economy was dependent on slave labor. The failure to permanently resolve these issues led to the Civil War, following the secession of many slave states in the South to form the Confederate States of America after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln.[22] The 1865 Union victory in the Civil War effectively ended slavery and settled the question of whether a state had the right to secede. The event was a major turning point in American history, with an increase in federal power.[23]


Reconstruction and industrialization

Landing at Ellis Island, 1902. Today, the majority of Americans are the descendants of European immigrants who arrived in the 18th, 19th and early 20th; many of whom arrived at Ellis Island.After the Civil War, an unprecedented influx of immigrants, who helped to provide labor for American industry and create diverse communities in undeveloped areas—together with high tariff protections, national infrastructure building, and national banking regulations—hastened the country's rise to international power. The growing power of the United States enabled it to acquire new territories, including the annexation of Puerto Rico after victory in the Spanish-American War,[24] which marked the debut of the United States as a major world power.


World War

An abandoned farm in South Dakota during the Great Depression, 1936.Main articles: World War I and World War II
At the start of the First World War in 1914, the United States remained neutral. In 1917, however, the United States joined the Allied Powers, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers. For historical reasons, American sympathies were very much in favor of the British and French, even though a sizable number of citizens, mostly Irish and German, were opposed to intervention.[25] After the war, the Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles because of a fear that it would pull the United States into European affairs. Instead, the country pursued a policy of unilateralism that bordered at times on isolationism.[26]

During most of the 1920s, the United States enjoyed a period of unbalanced prosperity as farm prices fell and industrial profits grew. A rise in debt and an inflated stock market culminated in a crash in 1929, triggering the Great Depression. After his election as President in 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted his plan for a New Deal, which increased government intervention in the economy in response to the Great Depression.

The nation did not fully recover until 1941, when the United States was driven to join the Allies against the Axis Powers after a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. World War II was the costliest war in American history, but it helped to pull the economy out of depression because the required production of military materiel provided much-needed jobs, and women entered the workforce in large numbers for the first time. During this war, scientists working for the United States federal government succeeded in producing nuclear weapons, making the United States the world's first nuclear power. Toward the end of World War II, after the end of World War II in Europe, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Japan surrendered soon after, on 2 September 1945, which ended World War II.[27]


Cold War and civil rights

U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon during the first manned landing, 1969.Main articles: Cold War and American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union became superpowers in an era of ideological rivalry dubbed the Cold War. The United States promoted liberal democracy and capitalism, while the Soviet Union communism and a centrally planned economy. The result was a series of proxy wars, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the tense nuclear showdown of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

The perception that the United States was losing the space race spurred government efforts to raise proficiency in mathematics and science in schools[28] and led to President John F. Kennedy's call for the United States to land "a man on the moon" by the end of the 1960s, which was realized in 1969.[29]

Meanwhile, American society experienced a period of sustained economic expansion. At the same time, discrimination across the United States, especially in the South, was increasingly challenged by a growing civil-rights movement headed by prominent African Americans such as Martin Luther King, Jr., which led to the abolition of the Jim Crow laws in the South.[30]

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States continued to intervene militarily overseas, for example in the Gulf War. It remains the worlds only Superpower.


September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
Main articles: September 11, 2001 attacks and Iraq War
On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center towers and damaged The Pentagon with hijacked commercial airplanes. U.S. foreign policy then focused on the threat of terrorist attacks. In response, the government under George W. Bush began a series of military and legal operations termed the War on Terror, beginning with the overthrow of Afghanistan's Taliban government in October 2001. The events on 9/11 led to a preemptive policy against threats to U.S. security, known as the Bush Doctrine.

Beginning in September, 2002, the Bush administration began to press for regime change in the rogue state of Iraq. The United States and allies subsequently launched the controversial invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Although the Bush administration justified its invasion with a charge that Iraq had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction, and was seeking nuclear weapons,[31] only a limited number of non-nuclear stockpiles were found, and the Bush administration later admitted having acted on flawed intelligence. As of October 2006, the Iraq War remains an ongoing and controversial event.


Government and politics
Main articles: Federal government of the United States and Politics of the United States

The United States CapitolThe United States is the longest-surviving extant constitutional republic, with the oldest wholly written constitution in the world. Its government operates as a representative democracy through a congressional system under a set of powers specified by its Constitution. There are three levels of government: federal, state, and local. Officials at all three levels are either elected by voters in a secret ballot or appointed by other elected officials. Executive and legislative offices are decided by a plurality vote of citizens in their respective districts, with judicial and cabinet-level offices nominated by the Executive branch and approved by the Legislature. In some states, judicial posts are filled by popular election rather than executive appointment.

The federal government comprises three branches, which are designed to check and balance one another's powers:

Legislative: The Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Executive: The President, who appoints, with Senate approval, the Cabinet and other officers to help administer federal law.
Judiciary: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the President with Senate approval.
The United States Congress is a bicameral legislature. The House has 435 members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states according to population every tenth year. Each state is guaranteed at least one representative: currently, seven states have one each; California, the most populous state, has 53. Each state has two senators, elected at large to six-year terms; one third of Senate seats are up for election every second year.

Under the country's federal system, the relationship between the state and national governments is complex; under U.S. law, states are considered sovereign entities. However, the American Civil War and Texas v. White established that states do not have the right to secede, and, under the Constitution, they are not allowed to conduct foreign policy. Federal law overrides state law in the areas in which the federal government is empowered to act; but the powers of the federal government are subject to limits outlined in the Constitution. All powers not granted to the federal government in the Constitution are left to the states or the people themselves. However, the "Necessary and Proper" and "Commerce" clauses of the Constitution legally allow the extension of federal powers into other affairs, though this is the topic of considerable debate over states' rights.

The Constitution contains a dedication to "preserve liberty" with a "Bill of Rights" and other amendments, which guarantee freedom of speech, religion, and the press; the right to a fair trial; the right to keep and bear arms; universal suffrage; and property rights. However, the extent to which these rights are protected and universal in practice is heavily debated. The Constitution also guarantees to every State "a Republican Form of Government". However, the meaning of that guarantee has been only slightly explicated.[32]

There are two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Republicans are generally socially conservative and economically classical-liberals with some right-leaning centrists. The Democrats are generally socially liberal and economically progressive with some left-leaning centrists. Growing numbers of Americans identify with neither party—with some claiming the title Independent and others joining emerging parties, including the Green, Libertarian, and Reform parties. Except for a Democrat plurality in the Senate in 2001–02,[33] the Republican Party has held the majority in both houses of Congress since the 1994 elections; since 2001, the President has been George W. Bush, a Republican.


Foreign relations and military
Main articles: Foreign relations of the United States and Military of the United States

President of the United States, George W. Bush (right) at Camp David in March 2003, hosting the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair.The United States has vast economic, political, and military influence on a global scale, which makes its foreign policy a subject of great interest and discussion around the world. Almost all countries have embassies in Washington, D.C., and consulates around the country. However, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan do not have formal diplomatic relations with the United States.[34] The United States is a founding member of the United Nations (with a permanent seat on the Security Council), among many other international organizations.

In 1949, in an effort to contain communism during the Cold War, the United States, Canada, and ten Western European nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, a mutual-defense alliance in which they have since been joined by 14 other European states—including Turkey, which straddles the Eurasian border, and some former Soviet states. In an example of realpolitik, the United States also established diplomatic relations with Communist countries that were antagonistic to the Soviet Union, like the People's Republic of China during the Sino-Soviet split. Recently, the foreign policy of the United States has focused on combating terrorism as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Other transnational issues include immigration reform and the shipment of illegal drugs into the country.[35]


Supercarriers like the USS Nimitz are a major component of the U.S. system of force projection.The United States has a long-standing tradition of civilian control over military affairs. The Department of Defense administers the U.S. armed forces, which comprise the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force. The Coast Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime but is placed under the Department of the Navy in times of war.

The military of the United States comprises 1.4 million personnel on active duty,[36] along with several hundred thousand each in the Reserves and the National Guard. Service in the military is voluntary, though conscription may occur in times of war through the Selective Service System. The United States is considered to have the most powerful military in the world, partly because of the size of its defense budget; American defense expenditures in 2005 were estimated to be greater than the next 14 largest national military budgets combined,[37] even though the U.S. military budget is only about 4% of the country's gross domestic product.[38][39] The U.S. military maintains over 700 bases and facilities on every continent except Antarctica.[40]

The American military is committed to having a technological edge over its potential enemies and has an extensive research program to maintain such an edge. Defense-related research over the years yielded such major breakthroughs as space exploration, computers, the Internet, hypertext, nuclear power, the Global Positioning System, stealth aircraft, "smart" weapons, better bullet-proof vests, microwaves, and more recently ground-based lasers intended to target and destroy inbound missiles. These force multipliers have traditionally borne more materiel expense than personnel expense. Military technology maintains a close relationship with the civilian economy and has contributed to general technological and economic development of the United States, and often, via technology transfer, other countries as well. Conversely, the military has also benefited from the American civilian infrastructure.


Administrative divisions
Main article: Political divisions of the United States

Map of United States, showing state names.[41]The conterminous, or contiguous, forty-eight states—all the states but Alaska and Hawaii—are also called the continental United States. Some include Alaska in the "continental" states, because, although it is separated from the "lower forty-eight" by Canada, it is part of the North American mainland. All of these terms commonly include the District of Columbia. Hawaii, the fiftieth state, occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

The United States also holds several other territories, districts, and possessions, notably the federal district of the District of Columbia—which contains the nation's capital city, Washington—and several overseas insular areas, the most significant of which are American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. Palmyra Atoll is the United States' only incorporated territory; but it is unorganized and uninhabited. The United States Minor Outlying Islands consist of uninhabited islands and atolls in the Pacific and Caribbean Sea. In addition, since 1898, the United States Navy has leased an extensive naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Former U.S. possessions include the Panama Canal Zone, which was a U.S. territory from 1903 until 1979. Additionally, the Philippine Islands were American territory from 1898 until 1935, when the United States established the Commonwealth of the Philippines as a transition between territorial status and full Philippine independence, which occurred in 1946. Because it was part of the United States at the time of World War II, the Philippines is the only independent nation with a memorial pillar at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

In addition to the actual states and territories of the United States, there are also nations which are associated states of the U.S. The Federated States of Micronesia (since 1986), Palau (since 1994), and the Marshall Islands (since 1986) are associated with the United States under what is known as the Compact of Free Association, giving the states international sovereignty and ultimate control over their territory. However, the governments of those areas have agreed to allow the United States to provide defense and financial assistance. The U.S. also treats these nations uniquely by giving them access to many U.S. domestic programs, including disaster response and recovery and hazard mitigation programs under FEMA. The freely associated states are all dependent on U.S. financial assistance to meet both government operational and capital needs. The Office of Insular Affairs administers this financial assistance. The freely associated states also actively participate in all Office of Insular Affairs technical assistance activities. Together with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, each of these associated states were once part of the U.S.-administered UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which existed from 1947 until 1986 in the case of the Marshall Islands, the Northern Marianas, and the Federated States of Micronesia; Palau's trusteeship ended in 1994.


Ecology

Flora and fauna

The Bald Eagle is on the Great Seal of the United States. Protection of this once endangered species has helped save it from extinction.The U.S. has over 17,000 identified native plant and tree species, including 5,000 just in California (which is home to the tallest, the most massive, and the oldest trees in the world).[42] With habitats ranging from tropical to arctic, the flora of the U.S. is the most diverse of any country; yet, thousands of non-native exotic species sometimes adversely affect indigenous plant and animal communities. Over 400 species of mammal, 700 species of bird, 500 species of reptile and amphibian, and 90,000 species of insect have been documented.[43] Many plants and animals are very localized in their distribution, and some are in danger of extinction. The U.S. passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to protect native plant and animal species and their habitats.

Conservation has a long history in the U.S.; in 1872, the world's first National Park was established at Yellowstone. Another 57 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks and forests have since been designated.[44] In some parts of the country, wilderness areas have been established to ensure long-term protection of pristine habitats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service monitors endangered and threatened species and has set aside numerous areas for species and habitat preservation. Altogether, the U.S. government regulates 1,020,779 square miles (2,643,807 km²), which is 28.8% of the total land area of the U.S.[45] The bulk of this land is protected park and forestland, but some is leased for oil and gas exploration, mining, and cattle ranching.


Economy
Main articles: Economy of the United States, American middle class, Household income in the United States, and Homeownership in the United States
The economic history of the United States is a story of economic growth that began with marginally successful colonial economies and progressed to the largest industrial economy in the world in the 20th and early 21st century.


Wall Street, in New York City, represents the status of the U.S. as a major global financial power.The economic system of the United States can be described as a capitalist mixed economy, in which corporations, other private firms, and individuals make most microeconomic decisions, and governments prefer to take a smaller role in the domestic economy, although the combined role of all levels of government is relatively large, at 36% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The U.S. has a small social safety net, and regulation of businesses is slightly less than the average of developed countries.[46] The United States' median household income in 2005 was $43,318.[47]

Economic activity varies greatly across the country. For example, New York City is the center of the American financial, publishing, broadcasting, and advertising industries, while Los Angeles is the most important center for film and television production. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest are major centers for technology. The Midwest is known for its reliance on manufacturing and heavy industry, with Detroit serving as the historic center of the American automotive industry, and Chicago serving as the business and financial capital of the region. The Southeast is a major area for agriculture, tourism, and the lumber industry, and, because of wages and costs below the national average, it continues to attract manufacturing.


A farm near Klingerstown, Pennsylvania. Farming accounts for less than 1% of the total GDP of the United States but still is a major economic activity.The largest sector in the United States economy is services, which employs roughly three quarters of the work force.[48]

The economy is fueled by an abundance in natural resources such as coal, petroleum, and precious metals. However, the country still depends for much of its energy on foreign countries. In agriculture, the country is a top producer of corn, soy beans, rice, and wheat, with the Great Plains labeled as the "breadbasket of the world" for its tremendous agricultural output.[49] The U.S. has a large tourist industry, ranking third in the world,[50] and is also a major exporter in goods such as airplanes, steel, weapons, and electronics. Canada accounts for 19% (more than any other nation) of the United States' foreign trade, followed by China, Mexico, and Japan.

While the per capita income of the United States is among the highest in the world, the wealth is comparatively concentrated, with approximately 40% of the population earning less than an average resident of western Europe and the top 20% earning substantially more.[51] Since 1975, the U.S. has a "two-tier" labor market in which virtually all the real income gains have gone to the top 20% of households.[52] This polarization is the result of a relatively high level of economic freedom.[53]

The social mobility of U.S. residents relative to that of other countries is the subject of much debate. Some analysts have found that social mobility in the United States is low relative to other OECD states, specifically compared to Western Europe, Scandinavia and Canada.[54][55][56] Low social mobility may stem in part from the U.S. educational system. Public education in the United States is funded mainly by local property taxes supplemented by state revenues. This frequently results in a wide difference in funding between poor districts or poor states and more affluent jurisdictions.[57][58] In addition, the practice of legacy preference at elite universities gives preference to the children of alumni, who are often wealthy. This practice reduces available spaces for better-qualified lower income students.[59] Some analysts argue that relative social mobility in the U.S. peaked in the 1960s and declined rapidly beginning in the 1980s.[60] Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan has also suggested that that the growing income inequality and low class mobility of the U.S. economy may eventually threaten the entire system in the near future.[61]


Innovation
Main article: Science and technology in the United States

The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a manned mission to space.The United States is an influential country in scientific and technological research and the production of innovative technological products. During World War II, the U.S. was the first to develop the atomic bomb, ushering in the atomic age. Beginning early the Cold War, the U.S. achieved successes in space science and technology, leading to a space race which led to rapid advances in rocketry, weaponry, material science, computers, and many other areas. This technological progress was epitomized by the first visit of a man to the moon, when Neil Armstrong stepped off of Apollo 11 in July 1969.[62] The U.S. was also perhaps the most instrumental nation in the development of the Internet, through the funding of its predecessor, Arpanet, and the actual physical presence of much of the Internet.

In the sciences, Americans have a large share of Nobel Prizes, especially in the fields of physiology and medicine. The National Institutes of Health, a focal point for biomedical research in the United States, has contributed to the completion of the Human Genome Project.[63] The main governmental organization for aviation and space research is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Major corporations, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, also play an important role.


Transit
Main article: Transportation in the United States
The automobile industry developed earlier and more rapidly in the United States than in most other countries. The backbone of the nation's transportation infrastructure is a network of high-capacity highways. From data taken in 2004, there are about 3,981,521 miles (6,407,637 km) of roadways in the U.S., the most in the world.[64]

Mass transit systems exist in large cities, such as New York, which operates one of the busiest subway systems in the world. With a few exceptions, American cities are less dense than those in other parts of the world. Low density partly results from and largely necessitates automobile ownership by most households.

Whereas the freight rail network is among the world's best (and most congested), the passenger rail network is underdeveloped by European and Japanese standards. This is partly because of the longer distances traveled in the U.S.; a destination two thousand miles (3,000 km) away is reached more quickly by air than by rail. Government subsidies of air travel played a role in the bankruptcy of passenger-rail corporations in the 1970s. The U.S. had been unique in its high number of private passenger railroads. During the 1970s, government intervention reorganized freight railroads. The passenger service was consolidated under the government-backed corporation Amtrak. No other country has more miles of rail than the U.S.[65]

Air travel is the preferred means of travel for long distances. In terms of passengers, seventeen of the world's thirty busiest airports in 2004 were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). In terms of cargo, in the same year, twelve of the world's thirty busiest airports were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Memphis International Airport.

Several major seaports are in the United States; the three busiest are California's Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, and the Port of New York and New Jersey, all among the world's busiest. The interior of the U.S. also has a major shipping channel, via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Mississippi River. The first water link between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, the Erie Canal, allowed the rapid expansion of agriculture and industry in the Midwest and made New York City the economic center of the U.S.


Demographics
Main articles: Demographics of the United States and Immigration to the United States

2000 Population Density MapOn October 17, 2006 at 7:46 a.m. EST, the United States' population stood at an estimated 300,000,000, with an annual growth rate of about 0.59%.[66] This figure includes persons living in the U.S. without legal permission to do so, estimated at 12 million, and excludes U.S. citizens living abroad, estimated at 3 million to 7 million. Thus any population estimate needs to be seen as a somewhat rough figure, according to the US Departement of Commerce.[67] According to the 2000 census, about 79% of the population lived in urban areas.[68]

About 15.8% of households have annual incomes of at least $100,000, and the top 10% of households had annual gross incomes exceeding $118,200 in 2003.[69] Overall, the top quintile, those households earning more than $86,867 a year, earned 49.8% of all income in 2003.[70]

In the 2000 census, the country had 31 ethnic groups with at least one million members each, with numerous others represented in smaller amounts.[71] By the federal government's categorization of race, most Americans (80.4% in 2004)[72] are white. These white Americans are mostly European Americans—the descendants of European immigrants to the United States—along with some non-Europeans counted as white in government nomenclature (those with origins in the original peoples of the Middle East and North Africa). To the exclusion of Hispanic-origin European Americans, non-Hispanic whites constituted 67.4% of the population. The non-Hispanic white population is proportionally declining, because of both immigration by, and a higher birth rate among, ethnic and racial minorities.[73] If current immigration trends continue, the number of non-Hispanic whites is expected to be reduced to a plurality by 2040-2050. The largest ethnic group of European ancestry is German at 15.2%, followed by Irish (10.8%), English (8.7%), Italian (5.6%) and Scandinavian (3.7%). Many immigrants also hail from French Canada, as well as from such Slavic countries as Poland and Russia.[74] African Americans, or Blacks, largely descend from Africans who arrived as slaves during the 17th through 19th centuries, and number about 35 million or 12.9% of the population. At about 1.5% of the total population, Native Americans and Alaska Natives number about 4.4 million,[75] approximately 35% of whom were living on reservations in 2005.[76]

Current demographic trends include the immigration of Hispanics from Latin America into the Southwest, a region that is home to about 60% of the 35 million Hispanics in the United States. Immigrants from Mexico make up about 66% of the Hispanic community,[77] and are second only to the German-descent population in the single-ethnicity category. The Hispanic population, which has been growing at an annual rate of about 4.46% since the 1990s, is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades, because of both immigration and a higher birth rate among Latinos than among the general population.[78]





Largest cities
Main article: List of United States cities by population

New York City

Los Angeles

Chicago
The United States has dozens of major cities, which play an important role in U.S. culture, heritage, and economy. In 2004, 251 incorporated places had populations of at least 100,000 and nine had populations greater than 1,000,000, including several important global cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In addition, there are fifty metropolitan areas with populations over 1,000,000.

Rank City Population
within
city limits Population
Density
per sq mi Metropolitan
Area Region
millions rank
1 New York City, New York 8,143,197 26,402.9 18.7 1 Northeast
2 Los Angeles, California 4,097,340 8,198.0 12.9 2 West
3 Chicago, Illinois 2,842,518 12,750.3 9.4 3 Midwest
4 Houston, Texas 2,016,582 3,371.7 5.2 7 South
5 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,463,281 11,233.6 5.8 4 Northeast
6 Phoenix, Arizona 1,461,575 2,782.0 3.7 14 West
7 San Antonio, Texas 1,256,509 2,808.5 1.8 29 South
8 San Diego, California 1,255,540 3,771.9 2.9 17 West
9 Dallas, Texas 1,213,825 3,469.9 5.7 5 South
10 San Jose, California 912,332 5,117.9 1.7 30 West


Indigenous peoples

Chief Quanah Parker.Main article: Native Americans in the United States
The Native Americans of the United States (also known as Indians or American Indians, among others), are an ethnic group who have populated the land that is today the United States since at least 9,000 BC, more than one hundred centuries before the arrival of European settlers. [citation needed] Like other countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, the impact of European colonization of the Americas changed the lives and cultures of the Native Americans. In the 15th to 19th centuries, their populations were ravaged by displacement, disease, warfare with the Europeans, and enslavement.

In the 19th century, the incessant westward expansion of the United States incrementally compelled large numbers of Native Americans to resettle further west, sometimes by force, almost always reluctantly. Under President Andrew Jackson, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which authorized the President to conduct treaties to exchange Native American land east of the Mississippi River for lands west of the river. As many as 100,000 Native Americans eventually relocated in the West as a result of this Indian Removal policy. In theory, relocation was supposed to be voluntary (and many Native Americans did remain in the East), but in practice great pressure was put on Native American leaders to sign removal treaties.

Conflicts, generally known as "Indian Wars", broke out between U.S. forces and many different tribes. U.S. government authorities entered numerous treaties during this period but later abrogated many for various reasons. On January 31, 1876, the United States government ordered all remaining Native Americans to move into reservations or reserves.

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 gave United States citizenship to Native Americans, in part because of an interest by many to see them merged with the American mainstream, and also because of the heroic service of many Native American veterans in the First World War.

According to the 2003 census estimates, there are 2,786,652 Native Americans in the United States. However, numerous indigenous peoples from Latin American countries, particularly Mexico, have migrated to the U.S. over the years. Other tribes, such as the Yaqui have persisted on both sides of the U.S./Mexican border crossing freely for many years until the current border clampdown (see illegal immigration).


Language
Main article: Languages in the United States
Although the United States has no official language, English is the de facto national language. In 2003, about 214.8 million, or 81.6%, of the population aged five years and older spoke only English at home.[79] Although not all Americans speak English, it is the most common language for daily interaction among both native and non-native speakers. Knowledge of English is required of immigrants seeking naturalization. Some Americans advocate making English the official language, which is the law in twenty-seven states. Three states also grant official status to other languages alongside English: French in Louisiana, Hawaiian in Hawaii, and Spanish in New Mexico.[80] Besides English, languages spoken at home by at least one million Americans aged five years and up are Spanish or Spanish Creole, spoken by 29.7 million; Chinese, 2.2 million; French (including Patois and Cajun), 1.4 million; Tagalog, 1.3 million; Vietnamese, 1.1 million; and German, 1.1 million.[73][81]


Religion

Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oaks, North Carolina. The Bible Belt is well known for its large devout Protestant Christian population.Main article: Religion in the United States
The United States government keeps no official register of Americans' religious status. However, in a private survey conducted in 2001 and mentioned in the Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States, 76.7% of American adults identified themselves as Christian; about 52% of adults described themselves as members of various Protestant denominations, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1.3%); Roman Catholics, at 24.5%, were the most populous individual sect. Judaism (1.4%) and other faiths also have firm places in American culture. About 14.2% of respondents described themselves as having no religion. The religious distribution of the 5.4% who elected not to describe themselves for the survey is unknown.[66]

The country has a relatively high level of religiosity among developed nations. About 46% of American adults say that they attend religious services at least once a week, compared with 14% of adults in Great Britain, 8% in France, and 7% in Sweden. Moreover, 58% of Americans say they often think about the meaning and purpose of life, compared with 25% of the British, 26% of the Japanese, and 31% of West Germans.[82] However, this rate is not uniform across the country: regular attendance to religious services is markedly more common in the Bible Belt, composed largely of Southern and southern Midwestern states, than in the Northeast or the West.[83]

Religion among some Americans is highly dynamic: over the period 1990–2001, those groups whose portion of the population at least doubled were, in descending order of growth, Wiccans, nondenominational Christians, Deists, Sikhs, Evangelical Christians, Disciples of Christ, New Age adherents, Hindus, Full Gospel adherents, Quakers, Bahá'ís, independent Christians, those who refused to answer the question, Buddhists, and Foursquare Gospel adherents.[66]

Over the same period, the group whose portion of the population grew by the most percentage points was those who claimed no religion, making up 8.2% of the adult population in 1990, but 14.2% in 2001.[66] This group includes atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists and those who answered to the effect of "No religion". The number of those with no religion varies widely with location, reaching a high in Washington, at 25%, and the rest of the relatively agnostic western United States, and a low in North Dakota, at 3%, followed by the Bible Belt.[84]

One comprehensive study showed that in the U.S. women are generally more religious than men, with 42% identifying as "religious" and 36% as "somewhat religious," versus 31% and 41% for men, respectively. Younger Americans were twice as likely to choose "secular" than their older counterparts, at 14% and 7%, respectively. Among racial and ethnic groups, blacks had the highest religious figures, at 49% "religious" and 31% "somewhat religious"; Asians had the lowest numbers, at 28% "religious" and 34% "somewhat religious".[85]


Education
Main articles: Education in the United States and Educational attainment in the United States
Education in the United States has been a state or local, not federal, responsibility. The Department of Education of the federal government, however, exerts some influence through its ability to control funding. Students are generally obliged to attend school starting with kindergarten, and ending with the 12th grade, which is normally completed at age 18, but many states may allow students to drop out as early as age 16. Besides public schools, parents may also choose to educate their own children at home or to send their children to parochial or private schools. After high school, students may choose to attend universities, either public or private. Public universities receive funding from the federal and state governments, as well as from other sources, but most students still have to pay student loans after graduation. Tuition at private universities is generally much higher than at public universities.


America's 19 World Heritage Sites include the University of Virginia, one of many highly regarded public universities supported by taxpayers at the state level of government.There are many competitive institutions of higher education in the United States, both private and public. The United States has 168 universities in the world's top 500, 17 of which are in the top 20.[86] There are also many smaller universities and liberal arts colleges, and local community colleges of varying quality across the country with open admission policies.

The United States ranks 24th out of 29 surveyed countries in the reading and science literacy as well as mathematical abilities of its high school students when compared with other developed nations.[87] The United States also has a low literacy rate compared to other developed countries, with a reading literacy rate at 86 - 98% of the population over age 15.[88] As for educational attainment, 27.2% of the population aged 25 and above have earned a bachelor's degree or higher, and 84.6% have graduated high school.[89]


Health
Main article: Health care in the United States
The World Health Organization ranks the United States' health level 72nd among the world's nations.[90] Infant mortality is 5 per 1,000; among developed nations, only Latvia ranks lower, at 6 per 1,000. However, this statistic is contested by some experts, because other nations may not define infant mortality as broadly as the United States.[91] Obesity is also a public-health problem, which is estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars every year.[92]

Unlike many Western governments, the U.S. government does not operate a publicly funded health care system. Private insurance plays a major role in covering health care costs.[93] Health insurance in the United States is traditionally a benefit of employment. However, emergency care facilities are required to provide service regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Medical bills are the most common reason for personal bankruptcy in the United States.[94] The nation spends a substantial amount on medical research through such federal agencies as the National Institutes of Health.[95]


Culture
Main article: Culture of the United States

Elvis Presley in 1957
American cultural icons, such as apple pie, baseball, and the American flag.The culture of the United States began as the culture of its first English colonists. The culture quickly evolved as an independent frontier culture supplemented by indigenous and Spanish–Mexican cowboy culture and by the cultures of subsequent waves of immigrants, first from Europe and Africa and later from Asia. Overall, significant cultural influences came from Europe, especially from the German, English and Irish cultures and later from Italian, Greek and Ashkenazi cultures. Descendants of enslaved West Africans preserved some cultural traditions from West Africa in the early United States. Geographical place names largely reflect the combined English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Native American components of U.S. American history.[73]

Some have described the United States as a melting pot in which immigrants eventually assimilate into a unified American culture that incorporates contributions from immigrant cultures. A more recently proposed model is that of the salad bowl, in which immigrant cultures retain some of the unique characteristics of their culture without merging into a completely unified American culture.[96] Modern American sociologists tend to view pluralism, rather than assimilation, as the way for American society to achieve ethnic and racial harmony and state that the workings of pluralism are visible within modern American society, disregarding the idea of the melting pot.[73]

An important component of American culture is the American Dream: the idea that, through hard work, courage, and self-determination, regardless of social class, a person can gain a better life.[97]


Cuisine
Main article: Cuisine of the United States
American cuisine embraces Native American ingredients such as turkey, potatoes, corn, and squash, which have become integral parts of American culture. Such popular icons as apple pie, pizza, and hamburgers are either derived from or are actual European dishes. Burritos and tacos have their origins in Mexico. Soul food, which originated among African slaves, is popular in the U.S. as well. However, many foods now enjoyed worldwide either originated in the United States or were altered by American chefs.


Music
Main article: Music of the United States
Music also traces to the country's diverse cultural roots through an array of styles. Rock, hip hop, country, blues, and jazz are among the country's most internationally renowned genres. Since the late 19th century, popular recorded music from the United States has become increasingly known across the world, such that some forms of American popular music are heard almost everywhere.[98]


Cinema
Main article: Cinema of the United States
The birth of cinema, as well as its development, largely took place in the United States. In 1878, the first recorded instance of sequential photographs capturing and reproducing motion was Eadweard Muybridge's series of a running horse, which the British-born photographer produced in Palo Alto, California, using a row of still cameras. Since then, the American film industry, based in Hollywood, California, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world. Other genres that originated in the United States and spread worldwide include the comic book and Disney's animated films.


Sports
Main article: Sports in the United States

Pro Bowl, 2006. American Football is the most popular spectator sport in the United States.[99]Sports are a national pastime, and playing sports, especially American football, baseball, and basketball, is very popular at the high-school level. Professional sports in the U.S. is big business and contains most of the world's highest paid athletes.[100] The "Big Four" sports are baseball, American football, ice hockey, and basketball. Baseball is popularly termed "the national pastime"; but, since the early 1990s, American football has largely been considered the most popular sport in America.

Other sports, including auto racing, lacrosse, soccer, golf, and tennis, have significant followings. The United States is among the most influential regions in shaping three popular board-based recreational sports: surfboarding, skateboarding, and snowboarding. Eight Olympiads have taken place in the United States; in medals won, the United States ranks third all-time in the Winter Games, with 218 (78 gold, 81 silver, and 59 bronze),[101][102] and first in the Summer Games, with 2,321 (943 gold, 736 silver, and 642 bronze).[103][104]

See also: Arts and entertainment in the United States, Media of the United States, Dance of the United States, Architecture of the United States, Holidays of the United States, Lists of Americans, and Social structure of the United States

See also
Main article: List of United States-related topics
Life in the United States
Arts and entertainment • Culture • Economy • Crime • Education • Educational attainment • Geography • Health care • Holidays • Household income • Homeownership • Human rights
Labor unions • Languages • Middle class • Passenger vehicle transport • Politics • Poverty • Racism • Religion • Social issues • Social structure • Sports • Standard of living




Demographics of the United States
Demographics of the United States • Demographic history
Economic - Social

Educational attainment • Household income • Homeownership • Immigration • Income quintiles • Language • Middle classes • poverty • Religion • Social structure • Unemployment by state • Wealth
Race - Ethnicity - Ancestry
Race • Ethnicity on the US Census • Maps of American ancestries • 2000 Census • Race on the US Census • Racism
Asian Americans • African Americans • Mexican Americans • Native Americans • Pacific Islander American
White Americans • Caucasian Americans • European Americans


Articles of Confederation
United States Constitution
History of the United States
International rankings of the United States
Historical Columbia
Superpower

Notes
^ Extrapolation from U.S. POPClock
^ "Indian, American", 2001 Standard Edition CD-ROM of The World Book Encyclopedia: "Most scientists think the first Indians came to the Americas from Asia at least 15,000 years ago. Other scientists believe the Indians may have arrived as early as 35,000 years ago. [* * *] By 12,500 years ago, Indians had spread throughout the New World and were living from the Arctic in the north all the way to southern South America."
^ History and the Hyperpower by Eliot A. Cohen. July/August 2004. Council on Foreign Relations. URL accessed July 14, 2006.
^ Theories on the origin of America's name
^ http://www.nasa.gov/columbia/home/index.html
^ http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/C/htmlC/columbiabroa/columbiabroa.htm
^ http://www.reelclassics.com/Studios/Columbia/columbia.htm
^ http://memory.loc.gov/cocoon/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200000004/default.html
^ Rank Order- Area. 20 April 2006. CIA World Factbook. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Mississippi River. 2004. Visit Bemidji- First City on the Mississippi. URL accessed May 3, 2006.
^ Peakbagger.com, Colorado 14,000-foot Peaks, URL accessed May 3, 2006.
^ Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program, New Mexico volcanoes, URL accessed August 26, 2006.
^ Williams, Jack Each state's low temperature record, USA today, URL accessed 13 June, 2006.
^ Weather and Climate (PDF). Official website for Death Valley National Park pp. 1-2. National Park Service U. S. Department of the Interior (January 2002). Retrieved on October 5, 2006.
^ National Atlas, Average Annual Precipitation, 1961-1990, URL accessed 15 June 2006.
^ Hereford, Richard, et al, Precipitation History of the Mojave Desert Region, 1893–2001, U.S. Geological Survey, Fact Sheet 117-03, URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ NOVA, Tornado Heaven, Hunt for the Supertwister, URL accessed 15 June 2006.
^ O'Connor, Jim E. and John E. Costa, Large Floods in the United States: Where They Happen and Why, U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1245, URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ "Paleoamerican Origins". 1999. Smithsonian Institution. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ Yanak, Ted and Cornelison, Pam. The Great American History Fact-finder: The Who, What, Where, When, and Why of American History. Page 114. Houghton Mifflin; 2nd Updated edition: 27 August 2004. ISBN 0-618-43941-2
^ Manifest Destiny- An interpretation of How the West was Won. Crossroads of Earth Resources and Society. URL accessed on 4 May 2006.
^ Morrison, Michael A Slavery and the American West: The Eclipse of Manifest Destiny and the Coming of the Civil War. Page 176. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4796-8.
^ De Rosa, Marshall L. The Politics of Dissolution: The Quest for a National Identity and the American Civil War. Page 266. Transaction Publishers: 1 January 1997. ISBN 1-56000-349-9
^ Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western Civilization: Volume II: Since 1500. Page 708. Wadsworth Publishing: 10 January 2005. ISBN 0-534-64604-2
^ Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, The Reader's Companion to American History. Page 576. 21 October 1991. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-51372-3.
^ McDuffie, Jerome, Piggrem, Gary Wayne, and Woodworth, Steven E. U.S. History Super Review. Page 418. Research & Education Association: 21 June 2005. ISBN 0-7386-0070-9
^ Walker, John F, and Vatter, Harold G The Rise of Big Government in the United States. Page 63. M.E. Sharpe: May 1997. ISBN 0-7656-0067-6.
^ Rudolph, John L. Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education. Page 1. Palgrave Macmillan: 3 May 2002. ISBN 0-312-29571-5.
^ Rudolph, John L. Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education. Page 1. Palgrave Macmillan: 3 May 2002. ISBN 0-312-29571-5.
^ Klarman, Michael J. From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality. Page 552. Oxford University Press, USA: 4 May 2006. ISBN 0-19-531018-7.
^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html
^ http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article04/
^ Secretary of the Senate. United States Senate Art & History: Party Division in the United States Senate, 1789—Present. Retrieved 21 June 2006.
^ "Table 2 Aliens From Countries That Sponsor Terrorism Who Were Ordered Removed - 1 October 2000 through 31 December 2001". February 2003. U.S. Department of Justice. URL accessed May 30, 2006.
^ "Transnational Issues". 20 April 2006. CIA World factbook. Accessed 30 April 2006.
^ "Active Duty Military Personnel Strength Levels". 2002. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ Anup Shah, High Military Expenditure in Some Places. Last updated 27 March 2006. globalissues.org. Retrieved 30 June 2006.
^ Military. 1 June 2006. CIA Factbook. Retrieved 3 June 2006.
^ Truth and Politics. Relative Size of US Military Spending from 1940 to 2003. Retrieved on 26 May 2006.
^ U.S. Department of Defense Base Structure Report, Fiscal Year 2005 Baseline. Retrieved 1 June 2006.
^ Alaska and Hawaii are shown at different scales; the Aleutian Islands and the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are omitted from this map.
^ Morse, Larry E., et al, Native Vascular Plants, Our Living Resources, U.S. Department of the Interior, URL accessed 14 June 2006.
^ National Biological Service, Our Living Resources, URL accessed 14 June 2006.
^ National Park Service, National Park Service Announces Addition of Two New Units, National Park Service News release (28 February 2006), URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ Republican Study Committee, Federal Land and Buildings Ownership, (19 May 2005), URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ Index of Economic Freedom 2006 by Heritage Foundation. URL accessed 13 May 2006.
^ US Census Bureau news release in regards to median income. Retrieved on 2006-06-29.
^ "Toward a Learning Economy" by Stephen A. Herzenberg, John A. Alic, and Howard Wial. 2006. Toward a Learning Economy. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Frazier, Ian. Great Plains. Page 9. 4 May 2001. Picador; 1st Picado edition. ISBN 0-312-27850-0
^ The United States International Travel Industry- Key Facts About Inbound Tourism. 8 May 2000. ITA Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Income Distribution in Europe and the United States by A B Atkinson. September 1995. Nuffield College in Oxford. URL accessed June 3, 2006.
^ Economy. June 13, 2006. CIA World Factbook. URL accessed June 15, 2006.
^ [1]. September 2005. Fraser Institute. Accessed 18 July 2006.
^ "Ever Higher Society, Ever Harder to Ascend: Whatever Happened to the Belief That Any American Could Get to the Top" The Economist. December 29, 2004. URL accessed 21 August 2006.
^ "Intergenerational Mobility in Europe and North America" Jo Blanden, Paul Gregg, and Stephen Malchin. April 2005. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility" Miles Corak. March 2006. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "What Research Says About Unequal Funding for Schools in America" Bruce Biddle and David C. Berliner. Winter 2002. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "An Economic Perspective on Urban Education" William G. Gale, Meghan McNally, and Janet Rothenberg Pack. June 2003. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ Alumni ties more important than grades Wall Street Journal
^ New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: May 15, 2005. pg. 1.1
^ "Rich-Poor Gap Gaining Attention" Peter Greier. Christian Science Monitor. 14 June 2005. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ Apollo 30th Anniversary. 20 September 2002. NASA. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ The National Human Genome Research Institute. 2006. National Human Genome Research Institute- National Institutes of health. Accessed May 2, 2006.
^ Rank Order- Roadways. 20 April 2006. CIA World Factbook. Accessed 30 April 2006.
^ https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2121rank.html
^ a b c d People. 12 June 2006. American Fact Finder. Accessed 13 June 2006.
^ Yahoo, News; rough nature of US population estimates. Retrieved on 2006-10-17.
^ "United States -- Urban/Rural and Inside/Outside Metropolitan Area". United States Census 2000. URL accessed 29 May 2006.
^ Income in the United States, US Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Income distribution, US Census Breau. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Table 2. Ancestries With 100,000 or More People in 2000: 1990 and 2000. Ancestry: 2000 - Census 2000 Brief. URL accessed May 29, 2006.
^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
^ a b c d Adams, J.Q., Pearlie Strother-Adams (2001). Dealing with Diversity. Chicago, IL: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. 0-7872-8145-X.
^ Figure 2 - Fifteen Largest Ancestries: 2000. 2000. U.S. Census Bureau. URL accessed 30 May 2006.
^ Native American population in the United States. Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
^ "Tribal trends" by Douglas Clement. March 2006. fedgazette. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Population & Economic Strength. United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ "Latino Religion in the U.S.: Demographic Shifts and Trends" by Bruce Murray. January 5, 2006. FacsNet. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006, Section 1 Population (English) (pdf) pp. 59 pages. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 16 October, 2006.
^ 27 States Have Made English Official (25 State Laws Still in Effect). Englishfirst.org. URL accessed 21 May 2006.
^ Statistical Abstract of the United States: page 47: Table 47: Languages Spoken at Home by Language: 2003. Retrieved on 2006-07-11.
^ "U-M study: U.S. among the most religious nations in the world". 17 November 2003. University of Michigan News Service. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "Who Goes to Church?". 2004. ABC News. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ American Religious Identification Survey
^ American Religious Identification Survey
^ ARWU2005 Statistics by Shanghai Jiao Tong university. URL accessed on 05 October 2006
^ Programme for International Student Assessment 2003, URL accessed on July 11, 2006
^ A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st Century, U.S. Department of Education, 2003. Accessed 05 October 2006. 2% of the population still do not have basic literacy and 14% have Below Basic prose literacy.
^ Educational attainment according to the US Census Bureau, 2003. Retrieved on 2006-08-01.
^ "Health system performance in all Member States" 1997. World Health Organization. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "U.S. gets poor grades for newborns' survival- Nation ranks near bottom among modern nations, better only than Latvia". 9 May 2006. Associated Press. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "Obesity cost US $75bn, says study" by Jannat Jalil. 21 January 2004. BBC News. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ http://www.urban.org/publications/307319.html Health Policy for Low-Income People in Texas
^ "Illness And Injury As Contributors To Bankruptcy", by David U. Himmelstein, Elizabeth Warren, Deborah Thorne, and Steffie Woolhandler, published at Health Affairs journal in 2005, Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Chapter Seven A REPUBLIC OF SCIENCE- Inquiry and innovation in science and medicine. USINFO.STATE.GOV. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Joyce Millet, Understanding American Culture: From Melting Pot to Salad Bowl. culturalsavvy.com. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Boritt, Gabor S. Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream. Page 1. December 1994. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06445-3.
^ Provine, Rob with Okon Hwang and Andy Kershaw. "Our Life Is Precisely a Song" in the Rough Guide to World Music, Volume 2, pg. 167. ISBN 1-85828-636-0.
^ Maccambridge, Michael. America's Game : The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation. 26 October 2004. Random House. ISBN 0-375-50454-0
^ "The Best-Paid Athletes". 24 June 2004. Forbes.com. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ All-Time Medal Standings, 1924–2002. Information Please. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ Turin 2006 Medal Table. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ All-Time Medal Standings 1896–2000. Information Please. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ Athens 2004 Medal Table. Accessed 14 September 2006.

Further reading
United States Portal
Johnson, Paul M. A History of the American People. 1104 pages. Harper Perennial: March 1, 1999. ISBN 0-06-093034-9.
Litwak, Robert S. Rogue States and U.S. Foreign Policy : Containment after the Cold War. 300 pages. Woodrow Wilson Center Press: February 1, 2000. ISBN 0-943875-97-8.
Nye, Joseph S. The Paradox of American Power : Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone. 240 pages. Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed edition: 1 May 2003. ISBN 0-19-516110-6.
Susser, Ida (Editor), and Patterson, Thomas C. (Editor). Cultural Diversity in the United States: A Critical Reader. 476 pages. Blackwell Publishers: December 2000. ISBN 0-631-22213-8.
Whalen, Edward. The United States Of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy. 320 pages. The Penguin Press HC: 4 November 2004. ISBN 1-59420-033-5.
Pierson, Paul. Politics in Time : History, Institutions, and Social Analysis. 208 pages. Princeton University Press: 9 August 2004. ISBN 0-691-11715-2.

External links
Find more information on United States by searching Wikipedia's sister projects:

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Government
Official U.S. government Web portal - Gateway to governmental sites
White House - Official site of the President of the United States
Senate - Official site of the United States Senate
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Supreme Court - Official site of the Supreme Court of the United States

Overviews
U.S. Census Housing and Economic Statistics Updated regularly by U.S. Bureau of the Census.
Portrait of the United States - Published by the United States Information Agency, September 1997.
CIA World Factbook Entry for United States
Encyclopaedia Britannica, United States - Country Page
Info links for each state
Population, employment, income, and farm characteristics by State
Tours to USA

History
Historical Documents
National Motto: History and Constitutionality
Historicalstatistics.org - Links to historical statistics of USA

Maps
WikiSatellite view of United States at WikiMapia
The National Atlas of the United States.
United States map

Immigration
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS.gov.
U.S. citizenship sample civics questions for naturalization interview Immihelp.com - from an immigrant to future immigrants.
Civic Orientation - Sample Questions for Naturalization

Other
Voter turnout, Gender quotas, Electoral system design and Political party financing in United States



United States: Membership in International Organizations
AfDB • ANZUS • APEC • ARF • AsDB • ASEAN (dialogue partner) • Australia Group • BIS • CE (observer) • CERN (observer) • CP • EAPC • EBRD • FAO • G5 • G7 • G8 • G10 • IADB • IAEA • IBRD • ICAO • ICC • ICCt (signatory) • ICFTU • ICRM • IDA • IEA • IFAD • IFC • IFRCS • IHO • ILO • IMF • IMO • Interpol • IOC • IOM • ISO • ITU • MIGA • MINUSTAH • NAM (guest) • NATO • NEA • NSG • OAS • OECD • OPCW • OSCE • Paris Club • PCA • United Nations • UN Security Council (permanent member) • UNCTAD • UNESCO • UNHCR • UNITAR • UNMEE • UNMIK • UNMIL • UNMOVIC • UNOMIG • UNRWA • UNTSO • UPU • WCL • WCO • WHO • WIPO • WMO • World Trade Organization • ZC
History Timeline ( Colonial Era | American Revolution | Westward Expansion | Civil War | World War I | Great Depression | World War II | Cold War | Vietnam War | Civil Rights) | Foreign relations | Military | Demographic and Postal history
Politics Law ( Constitution and Bill of Rights | Declaration of Independence) | Political parties ( Democrats & Republicans) | Elections (Electoral College) | Political scandals | Political divisions | Red state vs. blue state divide
Government Federal agencies | Legislative branch (Congress: House | Senate) Executive branch ( President & Vice-President | Cabinet | Attorney-General | Secretary of State) | Law enforcement ( FBI | Intelligence:CIA | DIA | NIMA | NRO | NSA) | Judicial branch ( Supreme Court) | Military ( Army | Navy | Marines | Air Force | Coast Guard )
Geography Appalachian Mtns. | Rocky Mtns. | Grand Canyon | Great Plains | Midwest | The South | Mississippi River | New England | Mid-Atlantic | Pacific Northwest | Mountains | Valleys | Islands | Rivers | States | Cities | Counties | Regions | Extreme points | National Park System
Economy Banking | Companies | Standard of living | U.S. Dollar | Wall Street | Household income | Homeownership | Poverty | Federal Reserve
Society Demographics | U.S. Census Bureau | Languages | Religion | Social structure | Standard of living | Media | Education | Holidays | Folklore | Middle class | Educational attainment | Professional and working class conflict | Crime
Arts Music ( Classical | Folk | Popular) | Film & TV (Hollywood) | Literature ( Poetry | Transcendentalism | Harlem Renaissance | Beat Generation) | Visual arts ( Abstract expressionism) | Cuisine | Dance | Architecture
Other United States territory | Communications | Transportation ( Highways and Interstates | Railroads) | Uncle Sam | Flag | American Dream | Media | Education | Tourism | Social issues ( Immigration | Affirmative action | Racial profiling | Human rights | War on Drugs | Pornography | Same-sex marriage | Prisons | Capital punishment) | Anti-Americanism | American exceptionalism | American Folklore | American English | United States Mexico barrier | Passenger vehicle transport

v·d·ePolitical divisions of the United States[ Show ]
States: Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
Federal district: District of Columbia
Insular areas: American Samoa | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands
Minor outlying islands: Baker Island | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Palmyra Atoll | Wake Island

v·d·eCountries of Central America, Caribbean and North America[ Show ]
Sovereign Countries
Antigua and Barbuda • Bahamas • Barbados • Belize • Canada • Costa Rica • Cuba • Dominica • Dominican Republic • El Salvador • Grenada • Guatemala • Haiti • Honduras • Jamaica • Mexico • Nicaragua • Panama • Saint Kitts and Nevis • Saint Lucia • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines • Trinidad and Tobago • United States


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dependencies
Denmark: Greenland • France: Guadeloupe ∙ Martinique ∙ Saint-Pierre and Miquelon • Netherlands: Aruba ∙ Netherlands Antilles •
UK: Anguilla ∙ Bermuda ∙ British Virgin Islands ∙ Cayman Islands ∙ Montserrat ∙ Turks and Caicos Islands •
U.S.: Navassa Island ∙ Puerto Rico ∙ U.S. Virgin Islands

v·d·e UN Security Council Members[ Show ]
Permanent Members: China • France • Russia • United Kingdom • United States

Term ending 31 December 2006: Argentina • Denmark • Greece • Japan • Tanzania

Term ending 31 December 2007: Congo-Brazzaville• Ghana • Peru • Qatar • Slovakia
v·d·e Group of Eight (G8)[ Show ]
Canada · France · Germany · Italy · Japan · Russia · United Kingdom · United States

Cold War[ Show ]
Main events (1945–1961) Main events (1962–1991) Specific articles Primary participants and other events
General timeline:

Timeline of events
1940s:

Yalta Conference
Potsdam Conference
Gouzenko Affair
Iran Crisis
Chinese Civil War
Greek Civil War
Marshall Plan
Berlin Blockade
1950s:

Korean War
First Indochina War
Iranian Coup
Guatemalan Coup
East German Uprising
First Taiwan Strait Crisis
Hungarian Revolution
Suez Crisis
Sputnik Crisis
Second Taiwan Strait Crisis
Cuban Revolution
1960s:

Vietnam War
Congo Crisis
Sino-Soviet Split
U-2 Crisis of 1960
Bay of Pigs Invasion
1960s (continued):

Cuban Missile Crisis
Berlin Wall is Built
Overthrow of Sukarno
Secret War in Laos
Regime of the Colonels in Greece
Prague Spring
Détente
Sino-Soviet Border Conflict
1970s:

Cambodian Civil War
Ping Pong Diplomacy
1972 Nixon Visit to China
Overthrow of Allende
SALT I
Angolan Civil War
Mozambican Civil War
Third Indochina War
SALT II
Iranian Revolution
1980s:

Soviet-Afghan War
Salvadoran Civil War
Polish Solidarity Movement
Invasion of Grenada
Fall of the Berlin Wall
Revolutions of 1989
1990s:

Dissolution of the USSR


Concepts:

Communism
Capitalism
Iron Curtain
Containment
Truman Doctrine
Maoism
Revisionism
Peaceful coexistence
Domino Theory
Eisenhower Doctrine
Rollback
Arms race
Nuclear arms race
McCarthyism
Space Race
Kennedy Doctrine
Johnson Doctrine
Brezhnev Doctrine
Ostpolitik
Nixon Doctrine
Wars of national liberation
Carter Doctrine
Reagan Doctrine
Glasnost
Perestroika

Contemporaneous conflicts:

Nicaragua
Arab-Israeli Conflict


NATO
Warsaw Pact
Non-Aligned Movement
People's Republic of China


Other specific articles:

Red Scare
Bricker Amendment
Operation Condor
Soviet espionage in US
CIA
Operation Gladio
KGB
Stasi
European Community
Comecon
Portal:Cold War



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1:45 PM
Anonymous said...

The United States of America (also known as the United States, the U.S., the U.S.A., and America) is a country in North America that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and a sea border with Russia. The United States is a federal republic, with its capital in Washington, D.C.

The present-day continental United States has been inhabited for at least 15,000 years by indigenous tribes.[2] After European exploration and settlement in the 16th century, the English established their own colonies—and gained control of others that had been begun by other European nations—in the eastern portion of the continent in the 17th and early 18th centuries. On July 4, 1776, at war with Britain over fair governance, thirteen of these colonies declared their independence. In 1783, the war ended in British acceptance of the new nation. Since then, the United States of America has more than quadrupled in size: it now consists of 50 states and one federal district; it also has numerous overseas territories.

At over 3.7 million square miles (over 9.5 million km²), the U.S. is the third or fourth largest country by total area, depending on whether China's figures include its disputed areas. It is the world's third most populous nation, with 300 million people.

The date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, is generally considered to be the date on which the U.S. was founded. The first federal government was constituted under the Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781. The Articles were replaced by the Constitution, adopted in 1787. Since its establishment, the liberal democratic nature of the government has grown as suffrage has been extended to more citizens. American military, economic, cultural, and political influence increased throughout the 20th century. With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, the nation emerged as the world's sole remaining superpower.[3] Today, the United States plays a major role in world affairs.

Contents [hide]
1 Name
2 Geography
2.1 Terrain
2.2 Climate
3 History
3.1 Native Americans
3.2 European colonization
3.3 American Revolution
3.4 Westward expansion
3.5 Civil War
3.6 Reconstruction and industrialization
3.7 World War
3.8 Cold War and civil rights
3.9 September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
4 Government and politics
4.1 Foreign relations and military
5 Administrative divisions
6 Ecology
6.1 Flora and fauna
7 Economy
7.1 Innovation
7.2 Transit
8 Demographics
8.1 Largest cities
8.2 Indigenous peoples
8.3 Language
8.4 Religion
8.5 Education
8.6 Health
9 Culture
9.1 Cuisine
9.2 Music
9.3 Cinema
9.4 Sports
10 See also
11 Notes
12 Further reading
13 External links
13.1 Government
13.2 Overviews
13.3 History
13.4 Maps
13.5 Immigration
13.6 Other



Name
See also: List of meanings of countries' names

The earliest known use of the name America is from 1507, when a globe and a large map created by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in Saint-Die-des-Vosges described the combined continents of North and South America. Although the origin of the name is uncertain,[4] the most widely held belief is that expressed in an accompanying book, Cosmographiae Introductio, which explains it as a feminized version of the Latin name of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (Americus Vespucius); in Latin, the other continents' names were all feminine. Vespucci theorized, correctly, that Christopher Columbus, on reaching islands in the Caribbean Sea in 1492, had come not to India but to a "New World".

The Americas were also known as Columbia, after Columbus, prompting the name District of Columbia for the land set aside as the U.S. capital. Columbia remained a popular name for the United States until the early 20th century, when it fell into relative disuse; but it is still used poetically and appears in various names and titles. One female personification of the country is called Columbia; she is similar to Britannia.[5][6][7][8] Columbus Day is a holiday in the U.S. and other countries in the Americas commemorating Columbus' October 1492 landing.

The term "united States of America" was first used officially in the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776. On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first of which stated "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America.'"

The adjectival and demonymic forms for the United States are American, a point of controversy among some, particularly Latin Americans.


Geography
Main article: Geography of the United States

A satellite composite image of the contiguous U.S. Deciduous vegetation and grasslands prevail in the east, transitioning to prairies, boreal forests, and the Rocky Mountains in the west, and deserts in the southwest. In the northeast, the coasts of the Great Lakes and Atlantic seaboard host much of the country's population.
Mount Hood, a dormant volcano in the Pacific Northwest.The United States is the world's third largest country by land area, after Russia and Canada.[9] Its contiguous portion is bounded by the North Atlantic Ocean to the east, the North Pacific Ocean to the west, Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Canada to the north. The state of Alaska also borders Canada, with the Pacific Ocean to its south and the Arctic Ocean to its north. West of Alaska, across the narrow Bering Strait, is Russia. The state of Hawaii occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of the North American mainland.


Terrain
The U.S. has an extremely varied geography, particularly in the West. The eastern seaboard has a coastal plain which is widest in the south and narrows in the north. The coastal plain does not exist north of New Jersey, although there are glacial outwash plains on Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. In the extreme southeast, Florida is home to the ecologically unique Everglades.

Beyond the coastal plain, the rolling hills of the piedmont region end at the Appalachian Mountains, which rise above 6,000 feet (1,830 m) in North Carolina, Tennessee, and New Hampshire. From the west slope of the Appalachians, the Interior Plains of the Midwest are relatively flat and are the location of the Great Lakes as well as the Mississippi-Missouri River, the world's 4th longest river system.[10] West of the Mississippi River, the Interior Plains slope uphill and blend into the vast and often featureless Great Plains.

The abrupt rise of the Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extends north to south across the continental U.S., reaching altitudes over 14,000 feet (4,270 m) in Colorado.[11] In the past, the Rocky Mountains had a higher level of volcanic activity; nowadays, the range only has one area of volcanism (the supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, possibly the world's largest volcano), although rift volcanism has occurred relatively recently near the Rockies' southern margin in New Mexico.[12] Dozens of high mountain ranges, salt flats such as the Bonneville Salt Flats, and valleys are found in the Great Basin region located west of the Rockies and east of the Sierra Nevada, which also has deep chasms, including the Snake River. At the southwestern end of the Great Basin, Death Valley lies 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, the second lowest dry land on Earth. It is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and is situated near the Mojave Desert.

North of the Great Basin and east of the Cascade Range in the Northwest is the Columbia River Plateau, a large igneous province shaped by one of the largest flood basalts on Earth. It is marked by dark black rocks. Surrounding the Four Corners region lies the Colorado Plateau, named after the Colorado River, which flows through it. The Plateau is generally high in elevation, has highly eroded sandstone, and the soil is a blood red in some locations. Many national parks, such as Arches, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion are in the area. West of the Great Basin, the Sierra Nevada mountain range has Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the coterminous U.S. Along the Pacific coast, the Coast Ranges and the volcanic Cascade Range extend from north to south across the country. The northwestern Pacific coast shares the world's largest temperate rain forest with Canada.

Alaska has numerous mountain ranges, including Mount McKinley (Denali), the highest peak in North America. Numerous volcanoes can be found throughout the Alexander and Aleutian Islands extending south and west of the Alaskan mainland.

The Hawaiian islands are tropical, volcanic islands extending over 1,500 miles (2,400 km), and consisting of six larger islands and another dozen smaller ones that are inhabited.


Wasatch Range, in Utah, part of the Rocky Mountains, next to the Great Salt Lake. Mark Twain described the two as America's Great Wall and Dead Sea.
Climate
The climate of the U.S. is as varied as its landscape. In northern Alaska, tundra and arctic conditions predominate, and the temperature has fallen as low as minus 80 °F (−62 °C).[13] On the other end of the spectrum, Death Valley, California once reached 134 °F (56.7 °C), the second-highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.[14]

On average, the mountains of the western states receive the highest levels of snowfall on Earth. The greatest annual snowfall level is at Mount Rainier in Washington, at 692 inches (1,758 cm); the record there was 1,122 inches (2,850 cm) in the winter of 1971–72. Other places with significant snowfall outside the Cascade Range are the Wasatch Mountains, near the Great Salt Lake, and the Sierra Nevada, near Lake Tahoe. In the east, while snowfall does not approach western levels, the region near the Great Lakes and the mountains of the Northeast receive the most. Along the northwestern Pacific coast, rainfall is greater than anywhere else in the continental U.S., with Quinault Ranger in Washington having an average of 137 inches (348 cm).[15] Hawaii receives even more, with 460 inches (1,168 cm) measured annually on Mount Waialeale, in Kauai. The Mojave Desert, in the southwest, is home to the driest locale in the U.S. Yuma Valley, Arizona, has an average of 2.63 inches (6.68 cm) of precipitation each year.[16]

In central portions of the U.S., tornadoes are more common than anywhere else on Earth[17] and touch down most commonly in the spring and summer. Deadly and destructive hurricanes occur almost every year along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. The Appalachian region and the Midwest experience the worst floods, though virtually no area in the U.S. is immune to flooding. The Southwest has the worst droughts; one is thought to have lasted over 500 years and to have decimated the Anasazi people.[18] The West is affected by large wildfires each year.


History
Main article: History of the United States

Native Americans
Before the European colonization of the Americas, a process that began at the end of the 15th century, the present-day continental U.S. was inhabited exclusively by various indigenous tribes, including Alaskan natives, who migrated to the continent over a period that may have begun 35,000 years ago and may have ended as recently as 11,000 years ago.[19]


European colonization

The Mayflower, which transported Pilgrims to the New World, arrived in 1620.The first confirmed European landing in the present-day United States was by Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon, who landed in 1513 in Florida, and as part of his claim, the first European settlement was established by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles on the site of a Timucuan Indian village in 1565 at St. Augustine, Florida. The French colonized some of the northeastern portions, and the Spanish colonized most of the southern and western United States. The first successful English settlement was at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, followed in 1620 by the Pilgrims' landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and then the arrival of the colony of Massachusetts Bay, started by the Puritans. In 1609 and 1617, respectively, the Dutch settled in part of what became New York and New Jersey. In 1638, the Swedes founded New Sweden, in part of what became Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania after passing through Dutch hands. Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, England (and later Great Britain) established new colonies, took over Dutch colonies, and split others. With the division of the Carolinas in 1729, and the colonization of Georgia in 1732, the British colonies in North America—excluding present-day Canada—numbered thirteen.


American Revolution

Presenting the Declaration of Independence to the Continental CongressMain articles: American Revolution and American Revolutionary War
Tensions between American colonials and the British during the revolutionary period of the 1760s and 1770s led to open military conflict in 1775. The British Colonies of East and West Florida and Quebec did not join in the rebellion against Great Britain. George Washington commanded the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) as the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Second Continental Congress had been formed to confront British actions and created the Continental Army, but it did not have the authority to levy taxes or make federal laws. In 1777, the Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, uniting the states under a weak federal government, which operated from 1781 until 1788, when enough states had ratified the United States Constitution. The Constitution, which strengthened the union and the federal government, has since remained the supreme law of the land.[20]

Following the war, United Empire Loyalists, soldiers and civilians, were evacuated from the colonies and resettled in other colonies of the British Empire, most notably to Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland in what is now Canada.


Westward expansion
Main article: Manifest Destiny

National Atlas map depicting dates of select territorial acquisitions. Full Oregon and other claims are not included.From 1803 to 1848, the size of the new nation nearly tripled as settlers (many embracing the concept of Manifest Destiny as an inevitable consequence of American exceptionalism) pushed beyond national boundaries even before the Louisiana Purchase.[21] The expansion was tempered somewhat by the stalemate in the War of 1812, but it was subsequently reinvigorated by victory in the Mexican-American War in 1848.


Civil War

The Battle of Gettysburg, a major turning point of the American Civil War. The victory of the Union kept the country united.Main article: American Civil War
As new territories were being incorporated, the nation was divided over the issue of states' rights, the role of the federal government, and—by the 1820s—the expansion of slavery, which had been legal in all thirteen colonies but was rarer in the north, where it was abolished by 1804. The Northern states were opposed to the expansion of slavery whereas the Southern states saw the opposition as an attack on their way of life, since their economy was dependent on slave labor. The failure to permanently resolve these issues led to the Civil War, following the secession of many slave states in the South to form the Confederate States of America after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln.[22] The 1865 Union victory in the Civil War effectively ended slavery and settled the question of whether a state had the right to secede. The event was a major turning point in American history, with an increase in federal power.[23]


Reconstruction and industrialization

Landing at Ellis Island, 1902. Today, the majority of Americans are the descendants of European immigrants who arrived in the 18th, 19th and early 20th; many of whom arrived at Ellis Island.After the Civil War, an unprecedented influx of immigrants, who helped to provide labor for American industry and create diverse communities in undeveloped areas—together with high tariff protections, national infrastructure building, and national banking regulations—hastened the country's rise to international power. The growing power of the United States enabled it to acquire new territories, including the annexation of Puerto Rico after victory in the Spanish-American War,[24] which marked the debut of the United States as a major world power.


World War

An abandoned farm in South Dakota during the Great Depression, 1936.Main articles: World War I and World War II
At the start of the First World War in 1914, the United States remained neutral. In 1917, however, the United States joined the Allied Powers, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers. For historical reasons, American sympathies were very much in favor of the British and French, even though a sizable number of citizens, mostly Irish and German, were opposed to intervention.[25] After the war, the Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles because of a fear that it would pull the United States into European affairs. Instead, the country pursued a policy of unilateralism that bordered at times on isolationism.[26]

During most of the 1920s, the United States enjoyed a period of unbalanced prosperity as farm prices fell and industrial profits grew. A rise in debt and an inflated stock market culminated in a crash in 1929, triggering the Great Depression. After his election as President in 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted his plan for a New Deal, which increased government intervention in the economy in response to the Great Depression.

The nation did not fully recover until 1941, when the United States was driven to join the Allies against the Axis Powers after a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. World War II was the costliest war in American history, but it helped to pull the economy out of depression because the required production of military materiel provided much-needed jobs, and women entered the workforce in large numbers for the first time. During this war, scientists working for the United States federal government succeeded in producing nuclear weapons, making the United States the world's first nuclear power. Toward the end of World War II, after the end of World War II in Europe, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Japan surrendered soon after, on 2 September 1945, which ended World War II.[27]


Cold War and civil rights

U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon during the first manned landing, 1969.Main articles: Cold War and American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union became superpowers in an era of ideological rivalry dubbed the Cold War. The United States promoted liberal democracy and capitalism, while the Soviet Union communism and a centrally planned economy. The result was a series of proxy wars, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the tense nuclear showdown of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

The perception that the United States was losing the space race spurred government efforts to raise proficiency in mathematics and science in schools[28] and led to President John F. Kennedy's call for the United States to land "a man on the moon" by the end of the 1960s, which was realized in 1969.[29]

Meanwhile, American society experienced a period of sustained economic expansion. At the same time, discrimination across the United States, especially in the South, was increasingly challenged by a growing civil-rights movement headed by prominent African Americans such as Martin Luther King, Jr., which led to the abolition of the Jim Crow laws in the South.[30]

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States continued to intervene militarily overseas, for example in the Gulf War. It remains the worlds only Superpower.


September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
Main articles: September 11, 2001 attacks and Iraq War
On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center towers and damaged The Pentagon with hijacked commercial airplanes. U.S. foreign policy then focused on the threat of terrorist attacks. In response, the government under George W. Bush began a series of military and legal operations termed the War on Terror, beginning with the overthrow of Afghanistan's Taliban government in October 2001. The events on 9/11 led to a preemptive policy against threats to U.S. security, known as the Bush Doctrine.

Beginning in September, 2002, the Bush administration began to press for regime change in the rogue state of Iraq. The United States and allies subsequently launched the controversial invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Although the Bush administration justified its invasion with a charge that Iraq had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction, and was seeking nuclear weapons,[31] only a limited number of non-nuclear stockpiles were found, and the Bush administration later admitted having acted on flawed intelligence. As of October 2006, the Iraq War remains an ongoing and controversial event.


Government and politics
Main articles: Federal government of the United States and Politics of the United States

The United States CapitolThe United States is the longest-surviving extant constitutional republic, with the oldest wholly written constitution in the world. Its government operates as a representative democracy through a congressional system under a set of powers specified by its Constitution. There are three levels of government: federal, state, and local. Officials at all three levels are either elected by voters in a secret ballot or appointed by other elected officials. Executive and legislative offices are decided by a plurality vote of citizens in their respective districts, with judicial and cabinet-level offices nominated by the Executive branch and approved by the Legislature. In some states, judicial posts are filled by popular election rather than executive appointment.

The federal government comprises three branches, which are designed to check and balance one another's powers:

Legislative: The Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Executive: The President, who appoints, with Senate approval, the Cabinet and other officers to help administer federal law.
Judiciary: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the President with Senate approval.
The United States Congress is a bicameral legislature. The House has 435 members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states according to population every tenth year. Each state is guaranteed at least one representative: currently, seven states have one each; California, the most populous state, has 53. Each state has two senators, elected at large to six-year terms; one third of Senate seats are up for election every second year.

Under the country's federal system, the relationship between the state and national governments is complex; under U.S. law, states are considered sovereign entities. However, the American Civil War and Texas v. White established that states do not have the right to secede, and, under the Constitution, they are not allowed to conduct foreign policy. Federal law overrides state law in the areas in which the federal government is empowered to act; but the powers of the federal government are subject to limits outlined in the Constitution. All powers not granted to the federal government in the Constitution are left to the states or the people themselves. However, the "Necessary and Proper" and "Commerce" clauses of the Constitution legally allow the extension of federal powers into other affairs, though this is the topic of considerable debate over states' rights.

The Constitution contains a dedication to "preserve liberty" with a "Bill of Rights" and other amendments, which guarantee freedom of speech, religion, and the press; the right to a fair trial; the right to keep and bear arms; universal suffrage; and property rights. However, the extent to which these rights are protected and universal in practice is heavily debated. The Constitution also guarantees to every State "a Republican Form of Government". However, the meaning of that guarantee has been only slightly explicated.[32]

There are two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Republicans are generally socially conservative and economically classical-liberals with some right-leaning centrists. The Democrats are generally socially liberal and economically progressive with some left-leaning centrists. Growing numbers of Americans identify with neither party—with some claiming the title Independent and others joining emerging parties, including the Green, Libertarian, and Reform parties. Except for a Democrat plurality in the Senate in 2001–02,[33] the Republican Party has held the majority in both houses of Congress since the 1994 elections; since 2001, the President has been George W. Bush, a Republican.


Foreign relations and military
Main articles: Foreign relations of the United States and Military of the United States

President of the United States, George W. Bush (right) at Camp David in March 2003, hosting the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair.The United States has vast economic, political, and military influence on a global scale, which makes its foreign policy a subject of great interest and discussion around the world. Almost all countries have embassies in Washington, D.C., and consulates around the country. However, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan do not have formal diplomatic relations with the United States.[34] The United States is a founding member of the United Nations (with a permanent seat on the Security Council), among many other international organizations.

In 1949, in an effort to contain communism during the Cold War, the United States, Canada, and ten Western European nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, a mutual-defense alliance in which they have since been joined by 14 other European states—including Turkey, which straddles the Eurasian border, and some former Soviet states. In an example of realpolitik, the United States also established diplomatic relations with Communist countries that were antagonistic to the Soviet Union, like the People's Republic of China during the Sino-Soviet split. Recently, the foreign policy of the United States has focused on combating terrorism as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Other transnational issues include immigration reform and the shipment of illegal drugs into the country.[35]


Supercarriers like the USS Nimitz are a major component of the U.S. system of force projection.The United States has a long-standing tradition of civilian control over military affairs. The Department of Defense administers the U.S. armed forces, which comprise the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force. The Coast Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime but is placed under the Department of the Navy in times of war.

The military of the United States comprises 1.4 million personnel on active duty,[36] along with several hundred thousand each in the Reserves and the National Guard. Service in the military is voluntary, though conscription may occur in times of war through the Selective Service System. The United States is considered to have the most powerful military in the world, partly because of the size of its defense budget; American defense expenditures in 2005 were estimated to be greater than the next 14 largest national military budgets combined,[37] even though the U.S. military budget is only about 4% of the country's gross domestic product.[38][39] The U.S. military maintains over 700 bases and facilities on every continent except Antarctica.[40]

The American military is committed to having a technological edge over its potential enemies and has an extensive research program to maintain such an edge. Defense-related research over the years yielded such major breakthroughs as space exploration, computers, the Internet, hypertext, nuclear power, the Global Positioning System, stealth aircraft, "smart" weapons, better bullet-proof vests, microwaves, and more recently ground-based lasers intended to target and destroy inbound missiles. These force multipliers have traditionally borne more materiel expense than personnel expense. Military technology maintains a close relationship with the civilian economy and has contributed to general technological and economic development of the United States, and often, via technology transfer, other countries as well. Conversely, the military has also benefited from the American civilian infrastructure.


Administrative divisions
Main article: Political divisions of the United States

Map of United States, showing state names.[41]The conterminous, or contiguous, forty-eight states—all the states but Alaska and Hawaii—are also called the continental United States. Some include Alaska in the "continental" states, because, although it is separated from the "lower forty-eight" by Canada, it is part of the North American mainland. All of these terms commonly include the District of Columbia. Hawaii, the fiftieth state, occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

The United States also holds several other territories, districts, and possessions, notably the federal district of the District of Columbia—which contains the nation's capital city, Washington—and several overseas insular areas, the most significant of which are American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. Palmyra Atoll is the United States' only incorporated territory; but it is unorganized and uninhabited. The United States Minor Outlying Islands consist of uninhabited islands and atolls in the Pacific and Caribbean Sea. In addition, since 1898, the United States Navy has leased an extensive naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Former U.S. possessions include the Panama Canal Zone, which was a U.S. territory from 1903 until 1979. Additionally, the Philippine Islands were American territory from 1898 until 1935, when the United States established the Commonwealth of the Philippines as a transition between territorial status and full Philippine independence, which occurred in 1946. Because it was part of the United States at the time of World War II, the Philippines is the only independent nation with a memorial pillar at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

In addition to the actual states and territories of the United States, there are also nations which are associated states of the U.S. The Federated States of Micronesia (since 1986), Palau (since 1994), and the Marshall Islands (since 1986) are associated with the United States under what is known as the Compact of Free Association, giving the states international sovereignty and ultimate control over their territory. However, the governments of those areas have agreed to allow the United States to provide defense and financial assistance. The U.S. also treats these nations uniquely by giving them access to many U.S. domestic programs, including disaster response and recovery and hazard mitigation programs under FEMA. The freely associated states are all dependent on U.S. financial assistance to meet both government operational and capital needs. The Office of Insular Affairs administers this financial assistance. The freely associated states also actively participate in all Office of Insular Affairs technical assistance activities. Together with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, each of these associated states were once part of the U.S.-administered UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which existed from 1947 until 1986 in the case of the Marshall Islands, the Northern Marianas, and the Federated States of Micronesia; Palau's trusteeship ended in 1994.


Ecology

Flora and fauna

The Bald Eagle is on the Great Seal of the United States. Protection of this once endangered species has helped save it from extinction.The U.S. has over 17,000 identified native plant and tree species, including 5,000 just in California (which is home to the tallest, the most massive, and the oldest trees in the world).[42] With habitats ranging from tropical to arctic, the flora of the U.S. is the most diverse of any country; yet, thousands of non-native exotic species sometimes adversely affect indigenous plant and animal communities. Over 400 species of mammal, 700 species of bird, 500 species of reptile and amphibian, and 90,000 species of insect have been documented.[43] Many plants and animals are very localized in their distribution, and some are in danger of extinction. The U.S. passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to protect native plant and animal species and their habitats.

Conservation has a long history in the U.S.; in 1872, the world's first National Park was established at Yellowstone. Another 57 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks and forests have since been designated.[44] In some parts of the country, wilderness areas have been established to ensure long-term protection of pristine habitats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service monitors endangered and threatened species and has set aside numerous areas for species and habitat preservation. Altogether, the U.S. government regulates 1,020,779 square miles (2,643,807 km²), which is 28.8% of the total land area of the U.S.[45] The bulk of this land is protected park and forestland, but some is leased for oil and gas exploration, mining, and cattle ranching.


Economy
Main articles: Economy of the United States, American middle class, Household income in the United States, and Homeownership in the United States
The economic history of the United States is a story of economic growth that began with marginally successful colonial economies and progressed to the largest industrial economy in the world in the 20th and early 21st century.


Wall Street, in New York City, represents the status of the U.S. as a major global financial power.The economic system of the United States can be described as a capitalist mixed economy, in which corporations, other private firms, and individuals make most microeconomic decisions, and governments prefer to take a smaller role in the domestic economy, although the combined role of all levels of government is relatively large, at 36% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The U.S. has a small social safety net, and regulation of businesses is slightly less than the average of developed countries.[46] The United States' median household income in 2005 was $43,318.[47]

Economic activity varies greatly across the country. For example, New York City is the center of the American financial, publishing, broadcasting, and advertising industries, while Los Angeles is the most important center for film and television production. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest are major centers for technology. The Midwest is known for its reliance on manufacturing and heavy industry, with Detroit serving as the historic center of the American automotive industry, and Chicago serving as the business and financial capital of the region. The Southeast is a major area for agriculture, tourism, and the lumber industry, and, because of wages and costs below the national average, it continues to attract manufacturing.


A farm near Klingerstown, Pennsylvania. Farming accounts for less than 1% of the total GDP of the United States but still is a major economic activity.The largest sector in the United States economy is services, which employs roughly three quarters of the work force.[48]

The economy is fueled by an abundance in natural resources such as coal, petroleum, and precious metals. However, the country still depends for much of its energy on foreign countries. In agriculture, the country is a top producer of corn, soy beans, rice, and wheat, with the Great Plains labeled as the "breadbasket of the world" for its tremendous agricultural output.[49] The U.S. has a large tourist industry, ranking third in the world,[50] and is also a major exporter in goods such as airplanes, steel, weapons, and electronics. Canada accounts for 19% (more than any other nation) of the United States' foreign trade, followed by China, Mexico, and Japan.

While the per capita income of the United States is among the highest in the world, the wealth is comparatively concentrated, with approximately 40% of the population earning less than an average resident of western Europe and the top 20% earning substantially more.[51] Since 1975, the U.S. has a "two-tier" labor market in which virtually all the real income gains have gone to the top 20% of households.[52] This polarization is the result of a relatively high level of economic freedom.[53]

The social mobility of U.S. residents relative to that of other countries is the subject of much debate. Some analysts have found that social mobility in the United States is low relative to other OECD states, specifically compared to Western Europe, Scandinavia and Canada.[54][55][56] Low social mobility may stem in part from the U.S. educational system. Public education in the United States is funded mainly by local property taxes supplemented by state revenues. This frequently results in a wide difference in funding between poor districts or poor states and more affluent jurisdictions.[57][58] In addition, the practice of legacy preference at elite universities gives preference to the children of alumni, who are often wealthy. This practice reduces available spaces for better-qualified lower income students.[59] Some analysts argue that relative social mobility in the U.S. peaked in the 1960s and declined rapidly beginning in the 1980s.[60] Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan has also suggested that that the growing income inequality and low class mobility of the U.S. economy may eventually threaten the entire system in the near future.[61]


Innovation
Main article: Science and technology in the United States

The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a manned mission to space.The United States is an influential country in scientific and technological research and the production of innovative technological products. During World War II, the U.S. was the first to develop the atomic bomb, ushering in the atomic age. Beginning early the Cold War, the U.S. achieved successes in space science and technology, leading to a space race which led to rapid advances in rocketry, weaponry, material science, computers, and many other areas. This technological progress was epitomized by the first visit of a man to the moon, when Neil Armstrong stepped off of Apollo 11 in July 1969.[62] The U.S. was also perhaps the most instrumental nation in the development of the Internet, through the funding of its predecessor, Arpanet, and the actual physical presence of much of the Internet.

In the sciences, Americans have a large share of Nobel Prizes, especially in the fields of physiology and medicine. The National Institutes of Health, a focal point for biomedical research in the United States, has contributed to the completion of the Human Genome Project.[63] The main governmental organization for aviation and space research is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Major corporations, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, also play an important role.


Transit
Main article: Transportation in the United States
The automobile industry developed earlier and more rapidly in the United States than in most other countries. The backbone of the nation's transportation infrastructure is a network of high-capacity highways. From data taken in 2004, there are about 3,981,521 miles (6,407,637 km) of roadways in the U.S., the most in the world.[64]

Mass transit systems exist in large cities, such as New York, which operates one of the busiest subway systems in the world. With a few exceptions, American cities are less dense than those in other parts of the world. Low density partly results from and largely necessitates automobile ownership by most households.

Whereas the freight rail network is among the world's best (and most congested), the passenger rail network is underdeveloped by European and Japanese standards. This is partly because of the longer distances traveled in the U.S.; a destination two thousand miles (3,000 km) away is reached more quickly by air than by rail. Government subsidies of air travel played a role in the bankruptcy of passenger-rail corporations in the 1970s. The U.S. had been unique in its high number of private passenger railroads. During the 1970s, government intervention reorganized freight railroads. The passenger service was consolidated under the government-backed corporation Amtrak. No other country has more miles of rail than the U.S.[65]

Air travel is the preferred means of travel for long distances. In terms of passengers, seventeen of the world's thirty busiest airports in 2004 were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). In terms of cargo, in the same year, twelve of the world's thirty busiest airports were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Memphis International Airport.

Several major seaports are in the United States; the three busiest are California's Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, and the Port of New York and New Jersey, all among the world's busiest. The interior of the U.S. also has a major shipping channel, via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Mississippi River. The first water link between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, the Erie Canal, allowed the rapid expansion of agriculture and industry in the Midwest and made New York City the economic center of the U.S.


Demographics
Main articles: Demographics of the United States and Immigration to the United States

2000 Population Density MapOn October 17, 2006 at 7:46 a.m. EST, the United States' population stood at an estimated 300,000,000, with an annual growth rate of about 0.59%.[66] This figure includes persons living in the U.S. without legal permission to do so, estimated at 12 million, and excludes U.S. citizens living abroad, estimated at 3 million to 7 million. Thus any population estimate needs to be seen as a somewhat rough figure, according to the US Departement of Commerce.[67] According to the 2000 census, about 79% of the population lived in urban areas.[68]

About 15.8% of households have annual incomes of at least $100,000, and the top 10% of households had annual gross incomes exceeding $118,200 in 2003.[69] Overall, the top quintile, those households earning more than $86,867 a year, earned 49.8% of all income in 2003.[70]

In the 2000 census, the country had 31 ethnic groups with at least one million members each, with numerous others represented in smaller amounts.[71] By the federal government's categorization of race, most Americans (80.4% in 2004)[72] are white. These white Americans are mostly European Americans—the descendants of European immigrants to the United States—along with some non-Europeans counted as white in government nomenclature (those with origins in the original peoples of the Middle East and North Africa). To the exclusion of Hispanic-origin European Americans, non-Hispanic whites constituted 67.4% of the population. The non-Hispanic white population is proportionally declining, because of both immigration by, and a higher birth rate among, ethnic and racial minorities.[73] If current immigration trends continue, the number of non-Hispanic whites is expected to be reduced to a plurality by 2040-2050. The largest ethnic group of European ancestry is German at 15.2%, followed by Irish (10.8%), English (8.7%), Italian (5.6%) and Scandinavian (3.7%). Many immigrants also hail from French Canada, as well as from such Slavic countries as Poland and Russia.[74] African Americans, or Blacks, largely descend from Africans who arrived as slaves during the 17th through 19th centuries, and number about 35 million or 12.9% of the population. At about 1.5% of the total population, Native Americans and Alaska Natives number about 4.4 million,[75] approximately 35% of whom were living on reservations in 2005.[76]

Current demographic trends include the immigration of Hispanics from Latin America into the Southwest, a region that is home to about 60% of the 35 million Hispanics in the United States. Immigrants from Mexico make up about 66% of the Hispanic community,[77] and are second only to the German-descent population in the single-ethnicity category. The Hispanic population, which has been growing at an annual rate of about 4.46% since the 1990s, is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades, because of both immigration and a higher birth rate among Latinos than among the general population.[78]





Largest cities
Main article: List of United States cities by population

New York City

Los Angeles

Chicago
The United States has dozens of major cities, which play an important role in U.S. culture, heritage, and economy. In 2004, 251 incorporated places had populations of at least 100,000 and nine had populations greater than 1,000,000, including several important global cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In addition, there are fifty metropolitan areas with populations over 1,000,000.

Rank City Population
within
city limits Population
Density
per sq mi Metropolitan
Area Region
millions rank
1 New York City, New York 8,143,197 26,402.9 18.7 1 Northeast
2 Los Angeles, California 4,097,340 8,198.0 12.9 2 West
3 Chicago, Illinois 2,842,518 12,750.3 9.4 3 Midwest
4 Houston, Texas 2,016,582 3,371.7 5.2 7 South
5 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,463,281 11,233.6 5.8 4 Northeast
6 Phoenix, Arizona 1,461,575 2,782.0 3.7 14 West
7 San Antonio, Texas 1,256,509 2,808.5 1.8 29 South
8 San Diego, California 1,255,540 3,771.9 2.9 17 West
9 Dallas, Texas 1,213,825 3,469.9 5.7 5 South
10 San Jose, California 912,332 5,117.9 1.7 30 West


Indigenous peoples

Chief Quanah Parker.Main article: Native Americans in the United States
The Native Americans of the United States (also known as Indians or American Indians, among others), are an ethnic group who have populated the land that is today the United States since at least 9,000 BC, more than one hundred centuries before the arrival of European settlers. [citation needed] Like other countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, the impact of European colonization of the Americas changed the lives and cultures of the Native Americans. In the 15th to 19th centuries, their populations were ravaged by displacement, disease, warfare with the Europeans, and enslavement.

In the 19th century, the incessant westward expansion of the United States incrementally compelled large numbers of Native Americans to resettle further west, sometimes by force, almost always reluctantly. Under President Andrew Jackson, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which authorized the President to conduct treaties to exchange Native American land east of the Mississippi River for lands west of the river. As many as 100,000 Native Americans eventually relocated in the West as a result of this Indian Removal policy. In theory, relocation was supposed to be voluntary (and many Native Americans did remain in the East), but in practice great pressure was put on Native American leaders to sign removal treaties.

Conflicts, generally known as "Indian Wars", broke out between U.S. forces and many different tribes. U.S. government authorities entered numerous treaties during this period but later abrogated many for various reasons. On January 31, 1876, the United States government ordered all remaining Native Americans to move into reservations or reserves.

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 gave United States citizenship to Native Americans, in part because of an interest by many to see them merged with the American mainstream, and also because of the heroic service of many Native American veterans in the First World War.

According to the 2003 census estimates, there are 2,786,652 Native Americans in the United States. However, numerous indigenous peoples from Latin American countries, particularly Mexico, have migrated to the U.S. over the years. Other tribes, such as the Yaqui have persisted on both sides of the U.S./Mexican border crossing freely for many years until the current border clampdown (see illegal immigration).


Language
Main article: Languages in the United States
Although the United States has no official language, English is the de facto national language. In 2003, about 214.8 million, or 81.6%, of the population aged five years and older spoke only English at home.[79] Although not all Americans speak English, it is the most common language for daily interaction among both native and non-native speakers. Knowledge of English is required of immigrants seeking naturalization. Some Americans advocate making English the official language, which is the law in twenty-seven states. Three states also grant official status to other languages alongside English: French in Louisiana, Hawaiian in Hawaii, and Spanish in New Mexico.[80] Besides English, languages spoken at home by at least one million Americans aged five years and up are Spanish or Spanish Creole, spoken by 29.7 million; Chinese, 2.2 million; French (including Patois and Cajun), 1.4 million; Tagalog, 1.3 million; Vietnamese, 1.1 million; and German, 1.1 million.[73][81]


Religion

Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oaks, North Carolina. The Bible Belt is well known for its large devout Protestant Christian population.Main article: Religion in the United States
The United States government keeps no official register of Americans' religious status. However, in a private survey conducted in 2001 and mentioned in the Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States, 76.7% of American adults identified themselves as Christian; about 52% of adults described themselves as members of various Protestant denominations, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1.3%); Roman Catholics, at 24.5%, were the most populous individual sect. Judaism (1.4%) and other faiths also have firm places in American culture. About 14.2% of respondents described themselves as having no religion. The religious distribution of the 5.4% who elected not to describe themselves for the survey is unknown.[66]

The country has a relatively high level of religiosity among developed nations. About 46% of American adults say that they attend religious services at least once a week, compared with 14% of adults in Great Britain, 8% in France, and 7% in Sweden. Moreover, 58% of Americans say they often think about the meaning and purpose of life, compared with 25% of the British, 26% of the Japanese, and 31% of West Germans.[82] However, this rate is not uniform across the country: regular attendance to religious services is markedly more common in the Bible Belt, composed largely of Southern and southern Midwestern states, than in the Northeast or the West.[83]

Religion among some Americans is highly dynamic: over the period 1990–2001, those groups whose portion of the population at least doubled were, in descending order of growth, Wiccans, nondenominational Christians, Deists, Sikhs, Evangelical Christians, Disciples of Christ, New Age adherents, Hindus, Full Gospel adherents, Quakers, Bahá'ís, independent Christians, those who refused to answer the question, Buddhists, and Foursquare Gospel adherents.[66]

Over the same period, the group whose portion of the population grew by the most percentage points was those who claimed no religion, making up 8.2% of the adult population in 1990, but 14.2% in 2001.[66] This group includes atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists and those who answered to the effect of "No religion". The number of those with no religion varies widely with location, reaching a high in Washington, at 25%, and the rest of the relatively agnostic western United States, and a low in North Dakota, at 3%, followed by the Bible Belt.[84]

One comprehensive study showed that in the U.S. women are generally more religious than men, with 42% identifying as "religious" and 36% as "somewhat religious," versus 31% and 41% for men, respectively. Younger Americans were twice as likely to choose "secular" than their older counterparts, at 14% and 7%, respectively. Among racial and ethnic groups, blacks had the highest religious figures, at 49% "religious" and 31% "somewhat religious"; Asians had the lowest numbers, at 28% "religious" and 34% "somewhat religious".[85]


Education
Main articles: Education in the United States and Educational attainment in the United States
Education in the United States has been a state or local, not federal, responsibility. The Department of Education of the federal government, however, exerts some influence through its ability to control funding. Students are generally obliged to attend school starting with kindergarten, and ending with the 12th grade, which is normally completed at age 18, but many states may allow students to drop out as early as age 16. Besides public schools, parents may also choose to educate their own children at home or to send their children to parochial or private schools. After high school, students may choose to attend universities, either public or private. Public universities receive funding from the federal and state governments, as well as from other sources, but most students still have to pay student loans after graduation. Tuition at private universities is generally much higher than at public universities.


America's 19 World Heritage Sites include the University of Virginia, one of many highly regarded public universities supported by taxpayers at the state level of government.There are many competitive institutions of higher education in the United States, both private and public. The United States has 168 universities in the world's top 500, 17 of which are in the top 20.[86] There are also many smaller universities and liberal arts colleges, and local community colleges of varying quality across the country with open admission policies.

The United States ranks 24th out of 29 surveyed countries in the reading and science literacy as well as mathematical abilities of its high school students when compared with other developed nations.[87] The United States also has a low literacy rate compared to other developed countries, with a reading literacy rate at 86 - 98% of the population over age 15.[88] As for educational attainment, 27.2% of the population aged 25 and above have earned a bachelor's degree or higher, and 84.6% have graduated high school.[89]


Health
Main article: Health care in the United States
The World Health Organization ranks the United States' health level 72nd among the world's nations.[90] Infant mortality is 5 per 1,000; among developed nations, only Latvia ranks lower, at 6 per 1,000. However, this statistic is contested by some experts, because other nations may not define infant mortality as broadly as the United States.[91] Obesity is also a public-health problem, which is estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars every year.[92]

Unlike many Western governments, the U.S. government does not operate a publicly funded health care system. Private insurance plays a major role in covering health care costs.[93] Health insurance in the United States is traditionally a benefit of employment. However, emergency care facilities are required to provide service regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Medical bills are the most common reason for personal bankruptcy in the United States.[94] The nation spends a substantial amount on medical research through such federal agencies as the National Institutes of Health.[95]


Culture
Main article: Culture of the United States

Elvis Presley in 1957
American cultural icons, such as apple pie, baseball, and the American flag.The culture of the United States began as the culture of its first English colonists. The culture quickly evolved as an independent frontier culture supplemented by indigenous and Spanish–Mexican cowboy culture and by the cultures of subsequent waves of immigrants, first from Europe and Africa and later from Asia. Overall, significant cultural influences came from Europe, especially from the German, English and Irish cultures and later from Italian, Greek and Ashkenazi cultures. Descendants of enslaved West Africans preserved some cultural traditions from West Africa in the early United States. Geographical place names largely reflect the combined English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Native American components of U.S. American history.[73]

Some have described the United States as a melting pot in which immigrants eventually assimilate into a unified American culture that incorporates contributions from immigrant cultures. A more recently proposed model is that of the salad bowl, in which immigrant cultures retain some of the unique characteristics of their culture without merging into a completely unified American culture.[96] Modern American sociologists tend to view pluralism, rather than assimilation, as the way for American society to achieve ethnic and racial harmony and state that the workings of pluralism are visible within modern American society, disregarding the idea of the melting pot.[73]

An important component of American culture is the American Dream: the idea that, through hard work, courage, and self-determination, regardless of social class, a person can gain a better life.[97]


Cuisine
Main article: Cuisine of the United States
American cuisine embraces Native American ingredients such as turkey, potatoes, corn, and squash, which have become integral parts of American culture. Such popular icons as apple pie, pizza, and hamburgers are either derived from or are actual European dishes. Burritos and tacos have their origins in Mexico. Soul food, which originated among African slaves, is popular in the U.S. as well. However, many foods now enjoyed worldwide either originated in the United States or were altered by American chefs.


Music
Main article: Music of the United States
Music also traces to the country's diverse cultural roots through an array of styles. Rock, hip hop, country, blues, and jazz are among the country's most internationally renowned genres. Since the late 19th century, popular recorded music from the United States has become increasingly known across the world, such that some forms of American popular music are heard almost everywhere.[98]


Cinema
Main article: Cinema of the United States
The birth of cinema, as well as its development, largely took place in the United States. In 1878, the first recorded instance of sequential photographs capturing and reproducing motion was Eadweard Muybridge's series of a running horse, which the British-born photographer produced in Palo Alto, California, using a row of still cameras. Since then, the American film industry, based in Hollywood, California, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world. Other genres that originated in the United States and spread worldwide include the comic book and Disney's animated films.


Sports
Main article: Sports in the United States

Pro Bowl, 2006. American Football is the most popular spectator sport in the United States.[99]Sports are a national pastime, and playing sports, especially American football, baseball, and basketball, is very popular at the high-school level. Professional sports in the U.S. is big business and contains most of the world's highest paid athletes.[100] The "Big Four" sports are baseball, American football, ice hockey, and basketball. Baseball is popularly termed "the national pastime"; but, since the early 1990s, American football has largely been considered the most popular sport in America.

Other sports, including auto racing, lacrosse, soccer, golf, and tennis, have significant followings. The United States is among the most influential regions in shaping three popular board-based recreational sports: surfboarding, skateboarding, and snowboarding. Eight Olympiads have taken place in the United States; in medals won, the United States ranks third all-time in the Winter Games, with 218 (78 gold, 81 silver, and 59 bronze),[101][102] and first in the Summer Games, with 2,321 (943 gold, 736 silver, and 642 bronze).[103][104]

See also: Arts and entertainment in the United States, Media of the United States, Dance of the United States, Architecture of the United States, Holidays of the United States, Lists of Americans, and Social structure of the United States

See also
Main article: List of United States-related topics
Life in the United States
Arts and entertainment • Culture • Economy • Crime • Education • Educational attainment • Geography • Health care • Holidays • Household income • Homeownership • Human rights
Labor unions • Languages • Middle class • Passenger vehicle transport • Politics • Poverty • Racism • Religion • Social issues • Social structure • Sports • Standard of living




Demographics of the United States
Demographics of the United States • Demographic history
Economic - Social

Educational attainment • Household income • Homeownership • Immigration • Income quintiles • Language • Middle classes • poverty • Religion • Social structure • Unemployment by state • Wealth
Race - Ethnicity - Ancestry
Race • Ethnicity on the US Census • Maps of American ancestries • 2000 Census • Race on the US Census • Racism
Asian Americans • African Americans • Mexican Americans • Native Americans • Pacific Islander American
White Americans • Caucasian Americans • European Americans


Articles of Confederation
United States Constitution
History of the United States
International rankings of the United States
Historical Columbia
Superpower

Notes
^ Extrapolation from U.S. POPClock
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^ History and the Hyperpower by Eliot A. Cohen. July/August 2004. Council on Foreign Relations. URL accessed July 14, 2006.
^ Theories on the origin of America's name
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^ Klarman, Michael J. From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality. Page 552. Oxford University Press, USA: 4 May 2006. ISBN 0-19-531018-7.
^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html
^ http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article04/
^ Secretary of the Senate. United States Senate Art & History: Party Division in the United States Senate, 1789—Present. Retrieved 21 June 2006.
^ "Table 2 Aliens From Countries That Sponsor Terrorism Who Were Ordered Removed - 1 October 2000 through 31 December 2001". February 2003. U.S. Department of Justice. URL accessed May 30, 2006.
^ "Transnational Issues". 20 April 2006. CIA World factbook. Accessed 30 April 2006.
^ "Active Duty Military Personnel Strength Levels". 2002. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ Anup Shah, High Military Expenditure in Some Places. Last updated 27 March 2006. globalissues.org. Retrieved 30 June 2006.
^ Military. 1 June 2006. CIA Factbook. Retrieved 3 June 2006.
^ Truth and Politics. Relative Size of US Military Spending from 1940 to 2003. Retrieved on 26 May 2006.
^ U.S. Department of Defense Base Structure Report, Fiscal Year 2005 Baseline. Retrieved 1 June 2006.
^ Alaska and Hawaii are shown at different scales; the Aleutian Islands and the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are omitted from this map.
^ Morse, Larry E., et al, Native Vascular Plants, Our Living Resources, U.S. Department of the Interior, URL accessed 14 June 2006.
^ National Biological Service, Our Living Resources, URL accessed 14 June 2006.
^ National Park Service, National Park Service Announces Addition of Two New Units, National Park Service News release (28 February 2006), URL accessed 13 June 2006.
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^ Index of Economic Freedom 2006 by Heritage Foundation. URL accessed 13 May 2006.
^ US Census Bureau news release in regards to median income. Retrieved on 2006-06-29.
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^ Frazier, Ian. Great Plains. Page 9. 4 May 2001. Picador; 1st Picado edition. ISBN 0-312-27850-0
^ The United States International Travel Industry- Key Facts About Inbound Tourism. 8 May 2000. ITA Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Income Distribution in Europe and the United States by A B Atkinson. September 1995. Nuffield College in Oxford. URL accessed June 3, 2006.
^ Economy. June 13, 2006. CIA World Factbook. URL accessed June 15, 2006.
^ [1]. September 2005. Fraser Institute. Accessed 18 July 2006.
^ "Ever Higher Society, Ever Harder to Ascend: Whatever Happened to the Belief That Any American Could Get to the Top" The Economist. December 29, 2004. URL accessed 21 August 2006.
^ "Intergenerational Mobility in Europe and North America" Jo Blanden, Paul Gregg, and Stephen Malchin. April 2005. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility" Miles Corak. March 2006. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "What Research Says About Unequal Funding for Schools in America" Bruce Biddle and David C. Berliner. Winter 2002. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "An Economic Perspective on Urban Education" William G. Gale, Meghan McNally, and Janet Rothenberg Pack. June 2003. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ Alumni ties more important than grades Wall Street Journal
^ New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: May 15, 2005. pg. 1.1
^ "Rich-Poor Gap Gaining Attention" Peter Greier. Christian Science Monitor. 14 June 2005. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ Apollo 30th Anniversary. 20 September 2002. NASA. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ The National Human Genome Research Institute. 2006. National Human Genome Research Institute- National Institutes of health. Accessed May 2, 2006.
^ Rank Order- Roadways. 20 April 2006. CIA World Factbook. Accessed 30 April 2006.
^ https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2121rank.html
^ a b c d People. 12 June 2006. American Fact Finder. Accessed 13 June 2006.
^ Yahoo, News; rough nature of US population estimates. Retrieved on 2006-10-17.
^ "United States -- Urban/Rural and Inside/Outside Metropolitan Area". United States Census 2000. URL accessed 29 May 2006.
^ Income in the United States, US Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Income distribution, US Census Breau. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Table 2. Ancestries With 100,000 or More People in 2000: 1990 and 2000. Ancestry: 2000 - Census 2000 Brief. URL accessed May 29, 2006.
^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
^ a b c d Adams, J.Q., Pearlie Strother-Adams (2001). Dealing with Diversity. Chicago, IL: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. 0-7872-8145-X.
^ Figure 2 - Fifteen Largest Ancestries: 2000. 2000. U.S. Census Bureau. URL accessed 30 May 2006.
^ Native American population in the United States. Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
^ "Tribal trends" by Douglas Clement. March 2006. fedgazette. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Population & Economic Strength. United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ "Latino Religion in the U.S.: Demographic Shifts and Trends" by Bruce Murray. January 5, 2006. FacsNet. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006, Section 1 Population (English) (pdf) pp. 59 pages. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 16 October, 2006.
^ 27 States Have Made English Official (25 State Laws Still in Effect). Englishfirst.org. URL accessed 21 May 2006.
^ Statistical Abstract of the United States: page 47: Table 47: Languages Spoken at Home by Language: 2003. Retrieved on 2006-07-11.
^ "U-M study: U.S. among the most religious nations in the world". 17 November 2003. University of Michigan News Service. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "Who Goes to Church?". 2004. ABC News. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ American Religious Identification Survey
^ American Religious Identification Survey
^ ARWU2005 Statistics by Shanghai Jiao Tong university. URL accessed on 05 October 2006
^ Programme for International Student Assessment 2003, URL accessed on July 11, 2006
^ A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st Century, U.S. Department of Education, 2003. Accessed 05 October 2006. 2% of the population still do not have basic literacy and 14% have Below Basic prose literacy.
^ Educational attainment according to the US Census Bureau, 2003. Retrieved on 2006-08-01.
^ "Health system performance in all Member States" 1997. World Health Organization. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "U.S. gets poor grades for newborns' survival- Nation ranks near bottom among modern nations, better only than Latvia". 9 May 2006. Associated Press. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "Obesity cost US $75bn, says study" by Jannat Jalil. 21 January 2004. BBC News. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ http://www.urban.org/publications/307319.html Health Policy for Low-Income People in Texas
^ "Illness And Injury As Contributors To Bankruptcy", by David U. Himmelstein, Elizabeth Warren, Deborah Thorne, and Steffie Woolhandler, published at Health Affairs journal in 2005, Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Chapter Seven A REPUBLIC OF SCIENCE- Inquiry and innovation in science and medicine. USINFO.STATE.GOV. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Joyce Millet, Understanding American Culture: From Melting Pot to Salad Bowl. culturalsavvy.com. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Boritt, Gabor S. Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream. Page 1. December 1994. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06445-3.
^ Provine, Rob with Okon Hwang and Andy Kershaw. "Our Life Is Precisely a Song" in the Rough Guide to World Music, Volume 2, pg. 167. ISBN 1-85828-636-0.
^ Maccambridge, Michael. America's Game : The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation. 26 October 2004. Random House. ISBN 0-375-50454-0
^ "The Best-Paid Athletes". 24 June 2004. Forbes.com. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ All-Time Medal Standings, 1924–2002. Information Please. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ Turin 2006 Medal Table. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ All-Time Medal Standings 1896–2000. Information Please. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ Athens 2004 Medal Table. Accessed 14 September 2006.

Further reading
United States Portal
Johnson, Paul M. A History of the American People. 1104 pages. Harper Perennial: March 1, 1999. ISBN 0-06-093034-9.
Litwak, Robert S. Rogue States and U.S. Foreign Policy : Containment after the Cold War. 300 pages. Woodrow Wilson Center Press: February 1, 2000. ISBN 0-943875-97-8.
Nye, Joseph S. The Paradox of American Power : Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone. 240 pages. Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed edition: 1 May 2003. ISBN 0-19-516110-6.
Susser, Ida (Editor), and Patterson, Thomas C. (Editor). Cultural Diversity in the United States: A Critical Reader. 476 pages. Blackwell Publishers: December 2000. ISBN 0-631-22213-8.
Whalen, Edward. The United States Of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy. 320 pages. The Penguin Press HC: 4 November 2004. ISBN 1-59420-033-5.
Pierson, Paul. Politics in Time : History, Institutions, and Social Analysis. 208 pages. Princeton University Press: 9 August 2004. ISBN 0-691-11715-2.

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United States: Membership in International Organizations
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v·d·ePolitical divisions of the United States[ Show ]
States: Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
Federal district: District of Columbia
Insular areas: American Samoa | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands
Minor outlying islands: Baker Island | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Palmyra Atoll | Wake Island

v·d·eCountries of Central America, Caribbean and North America[ Show ]
Sovereign Countries
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dependencies
Denmark: Greenland • France: Guadeloupe ∙ Martinique ∙ Saint-Pierre and Miquelon • Netherlands: Aruba ∙ Netherlands Antilles •
UK: Anguilla ∙ Bermuda ∙ British Virgin Islands ∙ Cayman Islands ∙ Montserrat ∙ Turks and Caicos Islands •
U.S.: Navassa Island ∙ Puerto Rico ∙ U.S. Virgin Islands

v·d·e UN Security Council Members[ Show ]
Permanent Members: China • France • Russia • United Kingdom • United States

Term ending 31 December 2006: Argentina • Denmark • Greece • Japan • Tanzania

Term ending 31 December 2007: Congo-Brazzaville• Ghana • Peru • Qatar • Slovakia
v·d·e Group of Eight (G8)[ Show ]
Canada · France · Germany · Italy · Japan · Russia · United Kingdom · United States

Cold War[ Show ]
Main events (1945–1961) Main events (1962–1991) Specific articles Primary participants and other events
General timeline:

Timeline of events
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Yalta Conference
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Vietnam War
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Cuban Missile Crisis
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Détente
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Cambodian Civil War
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Other specific articles:

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Portal:Cold War



Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States"
Categories: Articles that are too long | Articles with unsourced statements | Demographics of the United States | North American countries | United States | English-speaking countries | Former British colonies | Seafaring nations | Spanish-speaking countries | Constitutional republics | 1776 establishments | G8 nations

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This page was last modified 11:31, 18 October 2006. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.)
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Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers
1:45 PM
Anonymous said...

The United States of America (also known as the United States, the U.S., the U.S.A., and America) is a country in North America that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and a sea border with Russia. The United States is a federal republic, with its capital in Washington, D.C.

The present-day continental United States has been inhabited for at least 15,000 years by indigenous tribes.[2] After European exploration and settlement in the 16th century, the English established their own colonies—and gained control of others that had been begun by other European nations—in the eastern portion of the continent in the 17th and early 18th centuries. On July 4, 1776, at war with Britain over fair governance, thirteen of these colonies declared their independence. In 1783, the war ended in British acceptance of the new nation. Since then, the United States of America has more than quadrupled in size: it now consists of 50 states and one federal district; it also has numerous overseas territories.

At over 3.7 million square miles (over 9.5 million km²), the U.S. is the third or fourth largest country by total area, depending on whether China's figures include its disputed areas. It is the world's third most populous nation, with 300 million people.

The date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, is generally considered to be the date on which the U.S. was founded. The first federal government was constituted under the Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781. The Articles were replaced by the Constitution, adopted in 1787. Since its establishment, the liberal democratic nature of the government has grown as suffrage has been extended to more citizens. American military, economic, cultural, and political influence increased throughout the 20th century. With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, the nation emerged as the world's sole remaining superpower.[3] Today, the United States plays a major role in world affairs.

Contents [hide]
1 Name
2 Geography
2.1 Terrain
2.2 Climate
3 History
3.1 Native Americans
3.2 European colonization
3.3 American Revolution
3.4 Westward expansion
3.5 Civil War
3.6 Reconstruction and industrialization
3.7 World War
3.8 Cold War and civil rights
3.9 September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
4 Government and politics
4.1 Foreign relations and military
5 Administrative divisions
6 Ecology
6.1 Flora and fauna
7 Economy
7.1 Innovation
7.2 Transit
8 Demographics
8.1 Largest cities
8.2 Indigenous peoples
8.3 Language
8.4 Religion
8.5 Education
8.6 Health
9 Culture
9.1 Cuisine
9.2 Music
9.3 Cinema
9.4 Sports
10 See also
11 Notes
12 Further reading
13 External links
13.1 Government
13.2 Overviews
13.3 History
13.4 Maps
13.5 Immigration
13.6 Other



Name
See also: List of meanings of countries' names

The earliest known use of the name America is from 1507, when a globe and a large map created by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in Saint-Die-des-Vosges described the combined continents of North and South America. Although the origin of the name is uncertain,[4] the most widely held belief is that expressed in an accompanying book, Cosmographiae Introductio, which explains it as a feminized version of the Latin name of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (Americus Vespucius); in Latin, the other continents' names were all feminine. Vespucci theorized, correctly, that Christopher Columbus, on reaching islands in the Caribbean Sea in 1492, had come not to India but to a "New World".

The Americas were also known as Columbia, after Columbus, prompting the name District of Columbia for the land set aside as the U.S. capital. Columbia remained a popular name for the United States until the early 20th century, when it fell into relative disuse; but it is still used poetically and appears in various names and titles. One female personification of the country is called Columbia; she is similar to Britannia.[5][6][7][8] Columbus Day is a holiday in the U.S. and other countries in the Americas commemorating Columbus' October 1492 landing.

The term "united States of America" was first used officially in the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776. On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first of which stated "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America.'"

The adjectival and demonymic forms for the United States are American, a point of controversy among some, particularly Latin Americans.


Geography
Main article: Geography of the United States

A satellite composite image of the contiguous U.S. Deciduous vegetation and grasslands prevail in the east, transitioning to prairies, boreal forests, and the Rocky Mountains in the west, and deserts in the southwest. In the northeast, the coasts of the Great Lakes and Atlantic seaboard host much of the country's population.
Mount Hood, a dormant volcano in the Pacific Northwest.The United States is the world's third largest country by land area, after Russia and Canada.[9] Its contiguous portion is bounded by the North Atlantic Ocean to the east, the North Pacific Ocean to the west, Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Canada to the north. The state of Alaska also borders Canada, with the Pacific Ocean to its south and the Arctic Ocean to its north. West of Alaska, across the narrow Bering Strait, is Russia. The state of Hawaii occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of the North American mainland.


Terrain
The U.S. has an extremely varied geography, particularly in the West. The eastern seaboard has a coastal plain which is widest in the south and narrows in the north. The coastal plain does not exist north of New Jersey, although there are glacial outwash plains on Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. In the extreme southeast, Florida is home to the ecologically unique Everglades.

Beyond the coastal plain, the rolling hills of the piedmont region end at the Appalachian Mountains, which rise above 6,000 feet (1,830 m) in North Carolina, Tennessee, and New Hampshire. From the west slope of the Appalachians, the Interior Plains of the Midwest are relatively flat and are the location of the Great Lakes as well as the Mississippi-Missouri River, the world's 4th longest river system.[10] West of the Mississippi River, the Interior Plains slope uphill and blend into the vast and often featureless Great Plains.

The abrupt rise of the Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extends north to south across the continental U.S., reaching altitudes over 14,000 feet (4,270 m) in Colorado.[11] In the past, the Rocky Mountains had a higher level of volcanic activity; nowadays, the range only has one area of volcanism (the supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, possibly the world's largest volcano), although rift volcanism has occurred relatively recently near the Rockies' southern margin in New Mexico.[12] Dozens of high mountain ranges, salt flats such as the Bonneville Salt Flats, and valleys are found in the Great Basin region located west of the Rockies and east of the Sierra Nevada, which also has deep chasms, including the Snake River. At the southwestern end of the Great Basin, Death Valley lies 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, the second lowest dry land on Earth. It is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and is situated near the Mojave Desert.

North of the Great Basin and east of the Cascade Range in the Northwest is the Columbia River Plateau, a large igneous province shaped by one of the largest flood basalts on Earth. It is marked by dark black rocks. Surrounding the Four Corners region lies the Colorado Plateau, named after the Colorado River, which flows through it. The Plateau is generally high in elevation, has highly eroded sandstone, and the soil is a blood red in some locations. Many national parks, such as Arches, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion are in the area. West of the Great Basin, the Sierra Nevada mountain range has Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the coterminous U.S. Along the Pacific coast, the Coast Ranges and the volcanic Cascade Range extend from north to south across the country. The northwestern Pacific coast shares the world's largest temperate rain forest with Canada.

Alaska has numerous mountain ranges, including Mount McKinley (Denali), the highest peak in North America. Numerous volcanoes can be found throughout the Alexander and Aleutian Islands extending south and west of the Alaskan mainland.

The Hawaiian islands are tropical, volcanic islands extending over 1,500 miles (2,400 km), and consisting of six larger islands and another dozen smaller ones that are inhabited.


Wasatch Range, in Utah, part of the Rocky Mountains, next to the Great Salt Lake. Mark Twain described the two as America's Great Wall and Dead Sea.
Climate
The climate of the U.S. is as varied as its landscape. In northern Alaska, tundra and arctic conditions predominate, and the temperature has fallen as low as minus 80 °F (−62 °C).[13] On the other end of the spectrum, Death Valley, California once reached 134 °F (56.7 °C), the second-highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.[14]

On average, the mountains of the western states receive the highest levels of snowfall on Earth. The greatest annual snowfall level is at Mount Rainier in Washington, at 692 inches (1,758 cm); the record there was 1,122 inches (2,850 cm) in the winter of 1971–72. Other places with significant snowfall outside the Cascade Range are the Wasatch Mountains, near the Great Salt Lake, and the Sierra Nevada, near Lake Tahoe. In the east, while snowfall does not approach western levels, the region near the Great Lakes and the mountains of the Northeast receive the most. Along the northwestern Pacific coast, rainfall is greater than anywhere else in the continental U.S., with Quinault Ranger in Washington having an average of 137 inches (348 cm).[15] Hawaii receives even more, with 460 inches (1,168 cm) measured annually on Mount Waialeale, in Kauai. The Mojave Desert, in the southwest, is home to the driest locale in the U.S. Yuma Valley, Arizona, has an average of 2.63 inches (6.68 cm) of precipitation each year.[16]

In central portions of the U.S., tornadoes are more common than anywhere else on Earth[17] and touch down most commonly in the spring and summer. Deadly and destructive hurricanes occur almost every year along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. The Appalachian region and the Midwest experience the worst floods, though virtually no area in the U.S. is immune to flooding. The Southwest has the worst droughts; one is thought to have lasted over 500 years and to have decimated the Anasazi people.[18] The West is affected by large wildfires each year.


History
Main article: History of the United States

Native Americans
Before the European colonization of the Americas, a process that began at the end of the 15th century, the present-day continental U.S. was inhabited exclusively by various indigenous tribes, including Alaskan natives, who migrated to the continent over a period that may have begun 35,000 years ago and may have ended as recently as 11,000 years ago.[19]


European colonization

The Mayflower, which transported Pilgrims to the New World, arrived in 1620.The first confirmed European landing in the present-day United States was by Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon, who landed in 1513 in Florida, and as part of his claim, the first European settlement was established by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles on the site of a Timucuan Indian village in 1565 at St. Augustine, Florida. The French colonized some of the northeastern portions, and the Spanish colonized most of the southern and western United States. The first successful English settlement was at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, followed in 1620 by the Pilgrims' landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and then the arrival of the colony of Massachusetts Bay, started by the Puritans. In 1609 and 1617, respectively, the Dutch settled in part of what became New York and New Jersey. In 1638, the Swedes founded New Sweden, in part of what became Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania after passing through Dutch hands. Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, England (and later Great Britain) established new colonies, took over Dutch colonies, and split others. With the division of the Carolinas in 1729, and the colonization of Georgia in 1732, the British colonies in North America—excluding present-day Canada—numbered thirteen.


American Revolution

Presenting the Declaration of Independence to the Continental CongressMain articles: American Revolution and American Revolutionary War
Tensions between American colonials and the British during the revolutionary period of the 1760s and 1770s led to open military conflict in 1775. The British Colonies of East and West Florida and Quebec did not join in the rebellion against Great Britain. George Washington commanded the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) as the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Second Continental Congress had been formed to confront British actions and created the Continental Army, but it did not have the authority to levy taxes or make federal laws. In 1777, the Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, uniting the states under a weak federal government, which operated from 1781 until 1788, when enough states had ratified the United States Constitution. The Constitution, which strengthened the union and the federal government, has since remained the supreme law of the land.[20]

Following the war, United Empire Loyalists, soldiers and civilians, were evacuated from the colonies and resettled in other colonies of the British Empire, most notably to Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland in what is now Canada.


Westward expansion
Main article: Manifest Destiny

National Atlas map depicting dates of select territorial acquisitions. Full Oregon and other claims are not included.From 1803 to 1848, the size of the new nation nearly tripled as settlers (many embracing the concept of Manifest Destiny as an inevitable consequence of American exceptionalism) pushed beyond national boundaries even before the Louisiana Purchase.[21] The expansion was tempered somewhat by the stalemate in the War of 1812, but it was subsequently reinvigorated by victory in the Mexican-American War in 1848.


Civil War

The Battle of Gettysburg, a major turning point of the American Civil War. The victory of the Union kept the country united.Main article: American Civil War
As new territories were being incorporated, the nation was divided over the issue of states' rights, the role of the federal government, and—by the 1820s—the expansion of slavery, which had been legal in all thirteen colonies but was rarer in the north, where it was abolished by 1804. The Northern states were opposed to the expansion of slavery whereas the Southern states saw the opposition as an attack on their way of life, since their economy was dependent on slave labor. The failure to permanently resolve these issues led to the Civil War, following the secession of many slave states in the South to form the Confederate States of America after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln.[22] The 1865 Union victory in the Civil War effectively ended slavery and settled the question of whether a state had the right to secede. The event was a major turning point in American history, with an increase in federal power.[23]


Reconstruction and industrialization

Landing at Ellis Island, 1902. Today, the majority of Americans are the descendants of European immigrants who arrived in the 18th, 19th and early 20th; many of whom arrived at Ellis Island.After the Civil War, an unprecedented influx of immigrants, who helped to provide labor for American industry and create diverse communities in undeveloped areas—together with high tariff protections, national infrastructure building, and national banking regulations—hastened the country's rise to international power. The growing power of the United States enabled it to acquire new territories, including the annexation of Puerto Rico after victory in the Spanish-American War,[24] which marked the debut of the United States as a major world power.


World War

An abandoned farm in South Dakota during the Great Depression, 1936.Main articles: World War I and World War II
At the start of the First World War in 1914, the United States remained neutral. In 1917, however, the United States joined the Allied Powers, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers. For historical reasons, American sympathies were very much in favor of the British and French, even though a sizable number of citizens, mostly Irish and German, were opposed to intervention.[25] After the war, the Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles because of a fear that it would pull the United States into European affairs. Instead, the country pursued a policy of unilateralism that bordered at times on isolationism.[26]

During most of the 1920s, the United States enjoyed a period of unbalanced prosperity as farm prices fell and industrial profits grew. A rise in debt and an inflated stock market culminated in a crash in 1929, triggering the Great Depression. After his election as President in 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted his plan for a New Deal, which increased government intervention in the economy in response to the Great Depression.

The nation did not fully recover until 1941, when the United States was driven to join the Allies against the Axis Powers after a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. World War II was the costliest war in American history, but it helped to pull the economy out of depression because the required production of military materiel provided much-needed jobs, and women entered the workforce in large numbers for the first time. During this war, scientists working for the United States federal government succeeded in producing nuclear weapons, making the United States the world's first nuclear power. Toward the end of World War II, after the end of World War II in Europe, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Japan surrendered soon after, on 2 September 1945, which ended World War II.[27]


Cold War and civil rights

U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon during the first manned landing, 1969.Main articles: Cold War and American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union became superpowers in an era of ideological rivalry dubbed the Cold War. The United States promoted liberal democracy and capitalism, while the Soviet Union communism and a centrally planned economy. The result was a series of proxy wars, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the tense nuclear showdown of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

The perception that the United States was losing the space race spurred government efforts to raise proficiency in mathematics and science in schools[28] and led to President John F. Kennedy's call for the United States to land "a man on the moon" by the end of the 1960s, which was realized in 1969.[29]

Meanwhile, American society experienced a period of sustained economic expansion. At the same time, discrimination across the United States, especially in the South, was increasingly challenged by a growing civil-rights movement headed by prominent African Americans such as Martin Luther King, Jr., which led to the abolition of the Jim Crow laws in the South.[30]

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States continued to intervene militarily overseas, for example in the Gulf War. It remains the worlds only Superpower.


September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
Main articles: September 11, 2001 attacks and Iraq War
On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center towers and damaged The Pentagon with hijacked commercial airplanes. U.S. foreign policy then focused on the threat of terrorist attacks. In response, the government under George W. Bush began a series of military and legal operations termed the War on Terror, beginning with the overthrow of Afghanistan's Taliban government in October 2001. The events on 9/11 led to a preemptive policy against threats to U.S. security, known as the Bush Doctrine.

Beginning in September, 2002, the Bush administration began to press for regime change in the rogue state of Iraq. The United States and allies subsequently launched the controversial invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Although the Bush administration justified its invasion with a charge that Iraq had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction, and was seeking nuclear weapons,[31] only a limited number of non-nuclear stockpiles were found, and the Bush administration later admitted having acted on flawed intelligence. As of October 2006, the Iraq War remains an ongoing and controversial event.


Government and politics
Main articles: Federal government of the United States and Politics of the United States

The United States CapitolThe United States is the longest-surviving extant constitutional republic, with the oldest wholly written constitution in the world. Its government operates as a representative democracy through a congressional system under a set of powers specified by its Constitution. There are three levels of government: federal, state, and local. Officials at all three levels are either elected by voters in a secret ballot or appointed by other elected officials. Executive and legislative offices are decided by a plurality vote of citizens in their respective districts, with judicial and cabinet-level offices nominated by the Executive branch and approved by the Legislature. In some states, judicial posts are filled by popular election rather than executive appointment.

The federal government comprises three branches, which are designed to check and balance one another's powers:

Legislative: The Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Executive: The President, who appoints, with Senate approval, the Cabinet and other officers to help administer federal law.
Judiciary: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the President with Senate approval.
The United States Congress is a bicameral legislature. The House has 435 members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states according to population every tenth year. Each state is guaranteed at least one representative: currently, seven states have one each; California, the most populous state, has 53. Each state has two senators, elected at large to six-year terms; one third of Senate seats are up for election every second year.

Under the country's federal system, the relationship between the state and national governments is complex; under U.S. law, states are considered sovereign entities. However, the American Civil War and Texas v. White established that states do not have the right to secede, and, under the Constitution, they are not allowed to conduct foreign policy. Federal law overrides state law in the areas in which the federal government is empowered to act; but the powers of the federal government are subject to limits outlined in the Constitution. All powers not granted to the federal government in the Constitution are left to the states or the people themselves. However, the "Necessary and Proper" and "Commerce" clauses of the Constitution legally allow the extension of federal powers into other affairs, though this is the topic of considerable debate over states' rights.

The Constitution contains a dedication to "preserve liberty" with a "Bill of Rights" and other amendments, which guarantee freedom of speech, religion, and the press; the right to a fair trial; the right to keep and bear arms; universal suffrage; and property rights. However, the extent to which these rights are protected and universal in practice is heavily debated. The Constitution also guarantees to every State "a Republican Form of Government". However, the meaning of that guarantee has been only slightly explicated.[32]

There are two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Republicans are generally socially conservative and economically classical-liberals with some right-leaning centrists. The Democrats are generally socially liberal and economically progressive with some left-leaning centrists. Growing numbers of Americans identify with neither party—with some claiming the title Independent and others joining emerging parties, including the Green, Libertarian, and Reform parties. Except for a Democrat plurality in the Senate in 2001–02,[33] the Republican Party has held the majority in both houses of Congress since the 1994 elections; since 2001, the President has been George W. Bush, a Republican.


Foreign relations and military
Main articles: Foreign relations of the United States and Military of the United States

President of the United States, George W. Bush (right) at Camp David in March 2003, hosting the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair.The United States has vast economic, political, and military influence on a global scale, which makes its foreign policy a subject of great interest and discussion around the world. Almost all countries have embassies in Washington, D.C., and consulates around the country. However, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan do not have formal diplomatic relations with the United States.[34] The United States is a founding member of the United Nations (with a permanent seat on the Security Council), among many other international organizations.

In 1949, in an effort to contain communism during the Cold War, the United States, Canada, and ten Western European nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, a mutual-defense alliance in which they have since been joined by 14 other European states—including Turkey, which straddles the Eurasian border, and some former Soviet states. In an example of realpolitik, the United States also established diplomatic relations with Communist countries that were antagonistic to the Soviet Union, like the People's Republic of China during the Sino-Soviet split. Recently, the foreign policy of the United States has focused on combating terrorism as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Other transnational issues include immigration reform and the shipment of illegal drugs into the country.[35]


Supercarriers like the USS Nimitz are a major component of the U.S. system of force projection.The United States has a long-standing tradition of civilian control over military affairs. The Department of Defense administers the U.S. armed forces, which comprise the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force. The Coast Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime but is placed under the Department of the Navy in times of war.

The military of the United States comprises 1.4 million personnel on active duty,[36] along with several hundred thousand each in the Reserves and the National Guard. Service in the military is voluntary, though conscription may occur in times of war through the Selective Service System. The United States is considered to have the most powerful military in the world, partly because of the size of its defense budget; American defense expenditures in 2005 were estimated to be greater than the next 14 largest national military budgets combined,[37] even though the U.S. military budget is only about 4% of the country's gross domestic product.[38][39] The U.S. military maintains over 700 bases and facilities on every continent except Antarctica.[40]

The American military is committed to having a technological edge over its potential enemies and has an extensive research program to maintain such an edge. Defense-related research over the years yielded such major breakthroughs as space exploration, computers, the Internet, hypertext, nuclear power, the Global Positioning System, stealth aircraft, "smart" weapons, better bullet-proof vests, microwaves, and more recently ground-based lasers intended to target and destroy inbound missiles. These force multipliers have traditionally borne more materiel expense than personnel expense. Military technology maintains a close relationship with the civilian economy and has contributed to general technological and economic development of the United States, and often, via technology transfer, other countries as well. Conversely, the military has also benefited from the American civilian infrastructure.


Administrative divisions
Main article: Political divisions of the United States

Map of United States, showing state names.[41]The conterminous, or contiguous, forty-eight states—all the states but Alaska and Hawaii—are also called the continental United States. Some include Alaska in the "continental" states, because, although it is separated from the "lower forty-eight" by Canada, it is part of the North American mainland. All of these terms commonly include the District of Columbia. Hawaii, the fiftieth state, occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

The United States also holds several other territories, districts, and possessions, notably the federal district of the District of Columbia—which contains the nation's capital city, Washington—and several overseas insular areas, the most significant of which are American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. Palmyra Atoll is the United States' only incorporated territory; but it is unorganized and uninhabited. The United States Minor Outlying Islands consist of uninhabited islands and atolls in the Pacific and Caribbean Sea. In addition, since 1898, the United States Navy has leased an extensive naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Former U.S. possessions include the Panama Canal Zone, which was a U.S. territory from 1903 until 1979. Additionally, the Philippine Islands were American territory from 1898 until 1935, when the United States established the Commonwealth of the Philippines as a transition between territorial status and full Philippine independence, which occurred in 1946. Because it was part of the United States at the time of World War II, the Philippines is the only independent nation with a memorial pillar at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

In addition to the actual states and territories of the United States, there are also nations which are associated states of the U.S. The Federated States of Micronesia (since 1986), Palau (since 1994), and the Marshall Islands (since 1986) are associated with the United States under what is known as the Compact of Free Association, giving the states international sovereignty and ultimate control over their territory. However, the governments of those areas have agreed to allow the United States to provide defense and financial assistance. The U.S. also treats these nations uniquely by giving them access to many U.S. domestic programs, including disaster response and recovery and hazard mitigation programs under FEMA. The freely associated states are all dependent on U.S. financial assistance to meet both government operational and capital needs. The Office of Insular Affairs administers this financial assistance. The freely associated states also actively participate in all Office of Insular Affairs technical assistance activities. Together with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, each of these associated states were once part of the U.S.-administered UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which existed from 1947 until 1986 in the case of the Marshall Islands, the Northern Marianas, and the Federated States of Micronesia; Palau's trusteeship ended in 1994.


Ecology

Flora and fauna

The Bald Eagle is on the Great Seal of the United States. Protection of this once endangered species has helped save it from extinction.The U.S. has over 17,000 identified native plant and tree species, including 5,000 just in California (which is home to the tallest, the most massive, and the oldest trees in the world).[42] With habitats ranging from tropical to arctic, the flora of the U.S. is the most diverse of any country; yet, thousands of non-native exotic species sometimes adversely affect indigenous plant and animal communities. Over 400 species of mammal, 700 species of bird, 500 species of reptile and amphibian, and 90,000 species of insect have been documented.[43] Many plants and animals are very localized in their distribution, and some are in danger of extinction. The U.S. passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to protect native plant and animal species and their habitats.

Conservation has a long history in the U.S.; in 1872, the world's first National Park was established at Yellowstone. Another 57 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks and forests have since been designated.[44] In some parts of the country, wilderness areas have been established to ensure long-term protection of pristine habitats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service monitors endangered and threatened species and has set aside numerous areas for species and habitat preservation. Altogether, the U.S. government regulates 1,020,779 square miles (2,643,807 km²), which is 28.8% of the total land area of the U.S.[45] The bulk of this land is protected park and forestland, but some is leased for oil and gas exploration, mining, and cattle ranching.


Economy
Main articles: Economy of the United States, American middle class, Household income in the United States, and Homeownership in the United States
The economic history of the United States is a story of economic growth that began with marginally successful colonial economies and progressed to the largest industrial economy in the world in the 20th and early 21st century.


Wall Street, in New York City, represents the status of the U.S. as a major global financial power.The economic system of the United States can be described as a capitalist mixed economy, in which corporations, other private firms, and individuals make most microeconomic decisions, and governments prefer to take a smaller role in the domestic economy, although the combined role of all levels of government is relatively large, at 36% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The U.S. has a small social safety net, and regulation of businesses is slightly less than the average of developed countries.[46] The United States' median household income in 2005 was $43,318.[47]

Economic activity varies greatly across the country. For example, New York City is the center of the American financial, publishing, broadcasting, and advertising industries, while Los Angeles is the most important center for film and television production. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest are major centers for technology. The Midwest is known for its reliance on manufacturing and heavy industry, with Detroit serving as the historic center of the American automotive industry, and Chicago serving as the business and financial capital of the region. The Southeast is a major area for agriculture, tourism, and the lumber industry, and, because of wages and costs below the national average, it continues to attract manufacturing.


A farm near Klingerstown, Pennsylvania. Farming accounts for less than 1% of the total GDP of the United States but still is a major economic activity.The largest sector in the United States economy is services, which employs roughly three quarters of the work force.[48]

The economy is fueled by an abundance in natural resources such as coal, petroleum, and precious metals. However, the country still depends for much of its energy on foreign countries. In agriculture, the country is a top producer of corn, soy beans, rice, and wheat, with the Great Plains labeled as the "breadbasket of the world" for its tremendous agricultural output.[49] The U.S. has a large tourist industry, ranking third in the world,[50] and is also a major exporter in goods such as airplanes, steel, weapons, and electronics. Canada accounts for 19% (more than any other nation) of the United States' foreign trade, followed by China, Mexico, and Japan.

While the per capita income of the United States is among the highest in the world, the wealth is comparatively concentrated, with approximately 40% of the population earning less than an average resident of western Europe and the top 20% earning substantially more.[51] Since 1975, the U.S. has a "two-tier" labor market in which virtually all the real income gains have gone to the top 20% of households.[52] This polarization is the result of a relatively high level of economic freedom.[53]

The social mobility of U.S. residents relative to that of other countries is the subject of much debate. Some analysts have found that social mobility in the United States is low relative to other OECD states, specifically compared to Western Europe, Scandinavia and Canada.[54][55][56] Low social mobility may stem in part from the U.S. educational system. Public education in the United States is funded mainly by local property taxes supplemented by state revenues. This frequently results in a wide difference in funding between poor districts or poor states and more affluent jurisdictions.[57][58] In addition, the practice of legacy preference at elite universities gives preference to the children of alumni, who are often wealthy. This practice reduces available spaces for better-qualified lower income students.[59] Some analysts argue that relative social mobility in the U.S. peaked in the 1960s and declined rapidly beginning in the 1980s.[60] Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan has also suggested that that the growing income inequality and low class mobility of the U.S. economy may eventually threaten the entire system in the near future.[61]


Innovation
Main article: Science and technology in the United States

The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a manned mission to space.The United States is an influential country in scientific and technological research and the production of innovative technological products. During World War II, the U.S. was the first to develop the atomic bomb, ushering in the atomic age. Beginning early the Cold War, the U.S. achieved successes in space science and technology, leading to a space race which led to rapid advances in rocketry, weaponry, material science, computers, and many other areas. This technological progress was epitomized by the first visit of a man to the moon, when Neil Armstrong stepped off of Apollo 11 in July 1969.[62] The U.S. was also perhaps the most instrumental nation in the development of the Internet, through the funding of its predecessor, Arpanet, and the actual physical presence of much of the Internet.

In the sciences, Americans have a large share of Nobel Prizes, especially in the fields of physiology and medicine. The National Institutes of Health, a focal point for biomedical research in the United States, has contributed to the completion of the Human Genome Project.[63] The main governmental organization for aviation and space research is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Major corporations, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, also play an important role.


Transit
Main article: Transportation in the United States
The automobile industry developed earlier and more rapidly in the United States than in most other countries. The backbone of the nation's transportation infrastructure is a network of high-capacity highways. From data taken in 2004, there are about 3,981,521 miles (6,407,637 km) of roadways in the U.S., the most in the world.[64]

Mass transit systems exist in large cities, such as New York, which operates one of the busiest subway systems in the world. With a few exceptions, American cities are less dense than those in other parts of the world. Low density partly results from and largely necessitates automobile ownership by most households.

Whereas the freight rail network is among the world's best (and most congested), the passenger rail network is underdeveloped by European and Japanese standards. This is partly because of the longer distances traveled in the U.S.; a destination two thousand miles (3,000 km) away is reached more quickly by air than by rail. Government subsidies of air travel played a role in the bankruptcy of passenger-rail corporations in the 1970s. The U.S. had been unique in its high number of private passenger railroads. During the 1970s, government intervention reorganized freight railroads. The passenger service was consolidated under the government-backed corporation Amtrak. No other country has more miles of rail than the U.S.[65]

Air travel is the preferred means of travel for long distances. In terms of passengers, seventeen of the world's thirty busiest airports in 2004 were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). In terms of cargo, in the same year, twelve of the world's thirty busiest airports were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Memphis International Airport.

Several major seaports are in the United States; the three busiest are California's Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, and the Port of New York and New Jersey, all among the world's busiest. The interior of the U.S. also has a major shipping channel, via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Mississippi River. The first water link between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, the Erie Canal, allowed the rapid expansion of agriculture and industry in the Midwest and made New York City the economic center of the U.S.


Demographics
Main articles: Demographics of the United States and Immigration to the United States

2000 Population Density MapOn October 17, 2006 at 7:46 a.m. EST, the United States' population stood at an estimated 300,000,000, with an annual growth rate of about 0.59%.[66] This figure includes persons living in the U.S. without legal permission to do so, estimated at 12 million, and excludes U.S. citizens living abroad, estimated at 3 million to 7 million. Thus any population estimate needs to be seen as a somewhat rough figure, according to the US Departement of Commerce.[67] According to the 2000 census, about 79% of the population lived in urban areas.[68]

About 15.8% of households have annual incomes of at least $100,000, and the top 10% of households had annual gross incomes exceeding $118,200 in 2003.[69] Overall, the top quintile, those households earning more than $86,867 a year, earned 49.8% of all income in 2003.[70]

In the 2000 census, the country had 31 ethnic groups with at least one million members each, with numerous others represented in smaller amounts.[71] By the federal government's categorization of race, most Americans (80.4% in 2004)[72] are white. These white Americans are mostly European Americans—the descendants of European immigrants to the United States—along with some non-Europeans counted as white in government nomenclature (those with origins in the original peoples of the Middle East and North Africa). To the exclusion of Hispanic-origin European Americans, non-Hispanic whites constituted 67.4% of the population. The non-Hispanic white population is proportionally declining, because of both immigration by, and a higher birth rate among, ethnic and racial minorities.[73] If current immigration trends continue, the number of non-Hispanic whites is expected to be reduced to a plurality by 2040-2050. The largest ethnic group of European ancestry is German at 15.2%, followed by Irish (10.8%), English (8.7%), Italian (5.6%) and Scandinavian (3.7%). Many immigrants also hail from French Canada, as well as from such Slavic countries as Poland and Russia.[74] African Americans, or Blacks, largely descend from Africans who arrived as slaves during the 17th through 19th centuries, and number about 35 million or 12.9% of the population. At about 1.5% of the total population, Native Americans and Alaska Natives number about 4.4 million,[75] approximately 35% of whom were living on reservations in 2005.[76]

Current demographic trends include the immigration of Hispanics from Latin America into the Southwest, a region that is home to about 60% of the 35 million Hispanics in the United States. Immigrants from Mexico make up about 66% of the Hispanic community,[77] and are second only to the German-descent population in the single-ethnicity category. The Hispanic population, which has been growing at an annual rate of about 4.46% since the 1990s, is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades, because of both immigration and a higher birth rate among Latinos than among the general population.[78]





Largest cities
Main article: List of United States cities by population

New York City

Los Angeles

Chicago
The United States has dozens of major cities, which play an important role in U.S. culture, heritage, and economy. In 2004, 251 incorporated places had populations of at least 100,000 and nine had populations greater than 1,000,000, including several important global cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In addition, there are fifty metropolitan areas with populations over 1,000,000.

Rank City Population
within
city limits Population
Density
per sq mi Metropolitan
Area Region
millions rank
1 New York City, New York 8,143,197 26,402.9 18.7 1 Northeast
2 Los Angeles, California 4,097,340 8,198.0 12.9 2 West
3 Chicago, Illinois 2,842,518 12,750.3 9.4 3 Midwest
4 Houston, Texas 2,016,582 3,371.7 5.2 7 South
5 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,463,281 11,233.6 5.8 4 Northeast
6 Phoenix, Arizona 1,461,575 2,782.0 3.7 14 West
7 San Antonio, Texas 1,256,509 2,808.5 1.8 29 South
8 San Diego, California 1,255,540 3,771.9 2.9 17 West
9 Dallas, Texas 1,213,825 3,469.9 5.7 5 South
10 San Jose, California 912,332 5,117.9 1.7 30 West


Indigenous peoples

Chief Quanah Parker.Main article: Native Americans in the United States
The Native Americans of the United States (also known as Indians or American Indians, among others), are an ethnic group who have populated the land that is today the United States since at least 9,000 BC, more than one hundred centuries before the arrival of European settlers. [citation needed] Like other countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, the impact of European colonization of the Americas changed the lives and cultures of the Native Americans. In the 15th to 19th centuries, their populations were ravaged by displacement, disease, warfare with the Europeans, and enslavement.

In the 19th century, the incessant westward expansion of the United States incrementally compelled large numbers of Native Americans to resettle further west, sometimes by force, almost always reluctantly. Under President Andrew Jackson, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which authorized the President to conduct treaties to exchange Native American land east of the Mississippi River for lands west of the river. As many as 100,000 Native Americans eventually relocated in the West as a result of this Indian Removal policy. In theory, relocation was supposed to be voluntary (and many Native Americans did remain in the East), but in practice great pressure was put on Native American leaders to sign removal treaties.

Conflicts, generally known as "Indian Wars", broke out between U.S. forces and many different tribes. U.S. government authorities entered numerous treaties during this period but later abrogated many for various reasons. On January 31, 1876, the United States government ordered all remaining Native Americans to move into reservations or reserves.

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 gave United States citizenship to Native Americans, in part because of an interest by many to see them merged with the American mainstream, and also because of the heroic service of many Native American veterans in the First World War.

According to the 2003 census estimates, there are 2,786,652 Native Americans in the United States. However, numerous indigenous peoples from Latin American countries, particularly Mexico, have migrated to the U.S. over the years. Other tribes, such as the Yaqui have persisted on both sides of the U.S./Mexican border crossing freely for many years until the current border clampdown (see illegal immigration).


Language
Main article: Languages in the United States
Although the United States has no official language, English is the de facto national language. In 2003, about 214.8 million, or 81.6%, of the population aged five years and older spoke only English at home.[79] Although not all Americans speak English, it is the most common language for daily interaction among both native and non-native speakers. Knowledge of English is required of immigrants seeking naturalization. Some Americans advocate making English the official language, which is the law in twenty-seven states. Three states also grant official status to other languages alongside English: French in Louisiana, Hawaiian in Hawaii, and Spanish in New Mexico.[80] Besides English, languages spoken at home by at least one million Americans aged five years and up are Spanish or Spanish Creole, spoken by 29.7 million; Chinese, 2.2 million; French (including Patois and Cajun), 1.4 million; Tagalog, 1.3 million; Vietnamese, 1.1 million; and German, 1.1 million.[73][81]


Religion

Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oaks, North Carolina. The Bible Belt is well known for its large devout Protestant Christian population.Main article: Religion in the United States
The United States government keeps no official register of Americans' religious status. However, in a private survey conducted in 2001 and mentioned in the Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States, 76.7% of American adults identified themselves as Christian; about 52% of adults described themselves as members of various Protestant denominations, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1.3%); Roman Catholics, at 24.5%, were the most populous individual sect. Judaism (1.4%) and other faiths also have firm places in American culture. About 14.2% of respondents described themselves as having no religion. The religious distribution of the 5.4% who elected not to describe themselves for the survey is unknown.[66]

The country has a relatively high level of religiosity among developed nations. About 46% of American adults say that they attend religious services at least once a week, compared with 14% of adults in Great Britain, 8% in France, and 7% in Sweden. Moreover, 58% of Americans say they often think about the meaning and purpose of life, compared with 25% of the British, 26% of the Japanese, and 31% of West Germans.[82] However, this rate is not uniform across the country: regular attendance to religious services is markedly more common in the Bible Belt, composed largely of Southern and southern Midwestern states, than in the Northeast or the West.[83]

Religion among some Americans is highly dynamic: over the period 1990–2001, those groups whose portion of the population at least doubled were, in descending order of growth, Wiccans, nondenominational Christians, Deists, Sikhs, Evangelical Christians, Disciples of Christ, New Age adherents, Hindus, Full Gospel adherents, Quakers, Bahá'ís, independent Christians, those who refused to answer the question, Buddhists, and Foursquare Gospel adherents.[66]

Over the same period, the group whose portion of the population grew by the most percentage points was those who claimed no religion, making up 8.2% of the adult population in 1990, but 14.2% in 2001.[66] This group includes atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists and those who answered to the effect of "No religion". The number of those with no religion varies widely with location, reaching a high in Washington, at 25%, and the rest of the relatively agnostic western United States, and a low in North Dakota, at 3%, followed by the Bible Belt.[84]

One comprehensive study showed that in the U.S. women are generally more religious than men, with 42% identifying as "religious" and 36% as "somewhat religious," versus 31% and 41% for men, respectively. Younger Americans were twice as likely to choose "secular" than their older counterparts, at 14% and 7%, respectively. Among racial and ethnic groups, blacks had the highest religious figures, at 49% "religious" and 31% "somewhat religious"; Asians had the lowest numbers, at 28% "religious" and 34% "somewhat religious".[85]


Education
Main articles: Education in the United States and Educational attainment in the United States
Education in the United States has been a state or local, not federal, responsibility. The Department of Education of the federal government, however, exerts some influence through its ability to control funding. Students are generally obliged to attend school starting with kindergarten, and ending with the 12th grade, which is normally completed at age 18, but many states may allow students to drop out as early as age 16. Besides public schools, parents may also choose to educate their own children at home or to send their children to parochial or private schools. After high school, students may choose to attend universities, either public or private. Public universities receive funding from the federal and state governments, as well as from other sources, but most students still have to pay student loans after graduation. Tuition at private universities is generally much higher than at public universities.


America's 19 World Heritage Sites include the University of Virginia, one of many highly regarded public universities supported by taxpayers at the state level of government.There are many competitive institutions of higher education in the United States, both private and public. The United States has 168 universities in the world's top 500, 17 of which are in the top 20.[86] There are also many smaller universities and liberal arts colleges, and local community colleges of varying quality across the country with open admission policies.

The United States ranks 24th out of 29 surveyed countries in the reading and science literacy as well as mathematical abilities of its high school students when compared with other developed nations.[87] The United States also has a low literacy rate compared to other developed countries, with a reading literacy rate at 86 - 98% of the population over age 15.[88] As for educational attainment, 27.2% of the population aged 25 and above have earned a bachelor's degree or higher, and 84.6% have graduated high school.[89]


Health
Main article: Health care in the United States
The World Health Organization ranks the United States' health level 72nd among the world's nations.[90] Infant mortality is 5 per 1,000; among developed nations, only Latvia ranks lower, at 6 per 1,000. However, this statistic is contested by some experts, because other nations may not define infant mortality as broadly as the United States.[91] Obesity is also a public-health problem, which is estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars every year.[92]

Unlike many Western governments, the U.S. government does not operate a publicly funded health care system. Private insurance plays a major role in covering health care costs.[93] Health insurance in the United States is traditionally a benefit of employment. However, emergency care facilities are required to provide service regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Medical bills are the most common reason for personal bankruptcy in the United States.[94] The nation spends a substantial amount on medical research through such federal agencies as the National Institutes of Health.[95]


Culture
Main article: Culture of the United States

Elvis Presley in 1957
American cultural icons, such as apple pie, baseball, and the American flag.The culture of the United States began as the culture of its first English colonists. The culture quickly evolved as an independent frontier culture supplemented by indigenous and Spanish–Mexican cowboy culture and by the cultures of subsequent waves of immigrants, first from Europe and Africa and later from Asia. Overall, significant cultural influences came from Europe, especially from the German, English and Irish cultures and later from Italian, Greek and Ashkenazi cultures. Descendants of enslaved West Africans preserved some cultural traditions from West Africa in the early United States. Geographical place names largely reflect the combined English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Native American components of U.S. American history.[73]

Some have described the United States as a melting pot in which immigrants eventually assimilate into a unified American culture that incorporates contributions from immigrant cultures. A more recently proposed model is that of the salad bowl, in which immigrant cultures retain some of the unique characteristics of their culture without merging into a completely unified American culture.[96] Modern American sociologists tend to view pluralism, rather than assimilation, as the way for American society to achieve ethnic and racial harmony and state that the workings of pluralism are visible within modern American society, disregarding the idea of the melting pot.[73]

An important component of American culture is the American Dream: the idea that, through hard work, courage, and self-determination, regardless of social class, a person can gain a better life.[97]


Cuisine
Main article: Cuisine of the United States
American cuisine embraces Native American ingredients such as turkey, potatoes, corn, and squash, which have become integral parts of American culture. Such popular icons as apple pie, pizza, and hamburgers are either derived from or are actual European dishes. Burritos and tacos have their origins in Mexico. Soul food, which originated among African slaves, is popular in the U.S. as well. However, many foods now enjoyed worldwide either originated in the United States or were altered by American chefs.


Music
Main article: Music of the United States
Music also traces to the country's diverse cultural roots through an array of styles. Rock, hip hop, country, blues, and jazz are among the country's most internationally renowned genres. Since the late 19th century, popular recorded music from the United States has become increasingly known across the world, such that some forms of American popular music are heard almost everywhere.[98]


Cinema
Main article: Cinema of the United States
The birth of cinema, as well as its development, largely took place in the United States. In 1878, the first recorded instance of sequential photographs capturing and reproducing motion was Eadweard Muybridge's series of a running horse, which the British-born photographer produced in Palo Alto, California, using a row of still cameras. Since then, the American film industry, based in Hollywood, California, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world. Other genres that originated in the United States and spread worldwide include the comic book and Disney's animated films.


Sports
Main article: Sports in the United States

Pro Bowl, 2006. American Football is the most popular spectator sport in the United States.[99]Sports are a national pastime, and playing sports, especially American football, baseball, and basketball, is very popular at the high-school level. Professional sports in the U.S. is big business and contains most of the world's highest paid athletes.[100] The "Big Four" sports are baseball, American football, ice hockey, and basketball. Baseball is popularly termed "the national pastime"; but, since the early 1990s, American football has largely been considered the most popular sport in America.

Other sports, including auto racing, lacrosse, soccer, golf, and tennis, have significant followings. The United States is among the most influential regions in shaping three popular board-based recreational sports: surfboarding, skateboarding, and snowboarding. Eight Olympiads have taken place in the United States; in medals won, the United States ranks third all-time in the Winter Games, with 218 (78 gold, 81 silver, and 59 bronze),[101][102] and first in the Summer Games, with 2,321 (943 gold, 736 silver, and 642 bronze).[103][104]

See also: Arts and entertainment in the United States, Media of the United States, Dance of the United States, Architecture of the United States, Holidays of the United States, Lists of Americans, and Social structure of the United States

See also
Main article: List of United States-related topics
Life in the United States
Arts and entertainment • Culture • Economy • Crime • Education • Educational attainment • Geography • Health care • Holidays • Household income • Homeownership • Human rights
Labor unions • Languages • Middle class • Passenger vehicle transport • Politics • Poverty • Racism • Religion • Social issues • Social structure • Sports • Standard of living




Demographics of the United States
Demographics of the United States • Demographic history
Economic - Social

Educational attainment • Household income • Homeownership • Immigration • Income quintiles • Language • Middle classes • poverty • Religion • Social structure • Unemployment by state • Wealth
Race - Ethnicity - Ancestry
Race • Ethnicity on the US Census • Maps of American ancestries • 2000 Census • Race on the US Census • Racism
Asian Americans • African Americans • Mexican Americans • Native Americans • Pacific Islander American
White Americans • Caucasian Americans • European Americans


Articles of Confederation
United States Constitution
History of the United States
International rankings of the United States
Historical Columbia
Superpower

Notes
^ Extrapolation from U.S. POPClock
^ "Indian, American", 2001 Standard Edition CD-ROM of The World Book Encyclopedia: "Most scientists think the first Indians came to the Americas from Asia at least 15,000 years ago. Other scientists believe the Indians may have arrived as early as 35,000 years ago. [* * *] By 12,500 years ago, Indians had spread throughout the New World and were living from the Arctic in the north all the way to southern South America."
^ History and the Hyperpower by Eliot A. Cohen. July/August 2004. Council on Foreign Relations. URL accessed July 14, 2006.
^ Theories on the origin of America's name
^ http://www.nasa.gov/columbia/home/index.html
^ http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/C/htmlC/columbiabroa/columbiabroa.htm
^ http://www.reelclassics.com/Studios/Columbia/columbia.htm
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^ Rank Order- Area. 20 April 2006. CIA World Factbook. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Mississippi River. 2004. Visit Bemidji- First City on the Mississippi. URL accessed May 3, 2006.
^ Peakbagger.com, Colorado 14,000-foot Peaks, URL accessed May 3, 2006.
^ Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program, New Mexico volcanoes, URL accessed August 26, 2006.
^ Williams, Jack Each state's low temperature record, USA today, URL accessed 13 June, 2006.
^ Weather and Climate (PDF). Official website for Death Valley National Park pp. 1-2. National Park Service U. S. Department of the Interior (January 2002). Retrieved on October 5, 2006.
^ National Atlas, Average Annual Precipitation, 1961-1990, URL accessed 15 June 2006.
^ Hereford, Richard, et al, Precipitation History of the Mojave Desert Region, 1893–2001, U.S. Geological Survey, Fact Sheet 117-03, URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ NOVA, Tornado Heaven, Hunt for the Supertwister, URL accessed 15 June 2006.
^ O'Connor, Jim E. and John E. Costa, Large Floods in the United States: Where They Happen and Why, U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1245, URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ "Paleoamerican Origins". 1999. Smithsonian Institution. Accessed 2 May 2006.
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^ Manifest Destiny- An interpretation of How the West was Won. Crossroads of Earth Resources and Society. URL accessed on 4 May 2006.
^ Morrison, Michael A Slavery and the American West: The Eclipse of Manifest Destiny and the Coming of the Civil War. Page 176. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4796-8.
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^ http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article04/
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^ "Table 2 Aliens From Countries That Sponsor Terrorism Who Were Ordered Removed - 1 October 2000 through 31 December 2001". February 2003. U.S. Department of Justice. URL accessed May 30, 2006.
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^ Anup Shah, High Military Expenditure in Some Places. Last updated 27 March 2006. globalissues.org. Retrieved 30 June 2006.
^ Military. 1 June 2006. CIA Factbook. Retrieved 3 June 2006.
^ Truth and Politics. Relative Size of US Military Spending from 1940 to 2003. Retrieved on 26 May 2006.
^ U.S. Department of Defense Base Structure Report, Fiscal Year 2005 Baseline. Retrieved 1 June 2006.
^ Alaska and Hawaii are shown at different scales; the Aleutian Islands and the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are omitted from this map.
^ Morse, Larry E., et al, Native Vascular Plants, Our Living Resources, U.S. Department of the Interior, URL accessed 14 June 2006.
^ National Biological Service, Our Living Resources, URL accessed 14 June 2006.
^ National Park Service, National Park Service Announces Addition of Two New Units, National Park Service News release (28 February 2006), URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ Republican Study Committee, Federal Land and Buildings Ownership, (19 May 2005), URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ Index of Economic Freedom 2006 by Heritage Foundation. URL accessed 13 May 2006.
^ US Census Bureau news release in regards to median income. Retrieved on 2006-06-29.
^ "Toward a Learning Economy" by Stephen A. Herzenberg, John A. Alic, and Howard Wial. 2006. Toward a Learning Economy. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Frazier, Ian. Great Plains. Page 9. 4 May 2001. Picador; 1st Picado edition. ISBN 0-312-27850-0
^ The United States International Travel Industry- Key Facts About Inbound Tourism. 8 May 2000. ITA Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Income Distribution in Europe and the United States by A B Atkinson. September 1995. Nuffield College in Oxford. URL accessed June 3, 2006.
^ Economy. June 13, 2006. CIA World Factbook. URL accessed June 15, 2006.
^ [1]. September 2005. Fraser Institute. Accessed 18 July 2006.
^ "Ever Higher Society, Ever Harder to Ascend: Whatever Happened to the Belief That Any American Could Get to the Top" The Economist. December 29, 2004. URL accessed 21 August 2006.
^ "Intergenerational Mobility in Europe and North America" Jo Blanden, Paul Gregg, and Stephen Malchin. April 2005. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility" Miles Corak. March 2006. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "What Research Says About Unequal Funding for Schools in America" Bruce Biddle and David C. Berliner. Winter 2002. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "An Economic Perspective on Urban Education" William G. Gale, Meghan McNally, and Janet Rothenberg Pack. June 2003. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ Alumni ties more important than grades Wall Street Journal
^ New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: May 15, 2005. pg. 1.1
^ "Rich-Poor Gap Gaining Attention" Peter Greier. Christian Science Monitor. 14 June 2005. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ Apollo 30th Anniversary. 20 September 2002. NASA. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ The National Human Genome Research Institute. 2006. National Human Genome Research Institute- National Institutes of health. Accessed May 2, 2006.
^ Rank Order- Roadways. 20 April 2006. CIA World Factbook. Accessed 30 April 2006.
^ https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2121rank.html
^ a b c d People. 12 June 2006. American Fact Finder. Accessed 13 June 2006.
^ Yahoo, News; rough nature of US population estimates. Retrieved on 2006-10-17.
^ "United States -- Urban/Rural and Inside/Outside Metropolitan Area". United States Census 2000. URL accessed 29 May 2006.
^ Income in the United States, US Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Income distribution, US Census Breau. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Table 2. Ancestries With 100,000 or More People in 2000: 1990 and 2000. Ancestry: 2000 - Census 2000 Brief. URL accessed May 29, 2006.
^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
^ a b c d Adams, J.Q., Pearlie Strother-Adams (2001). Dealing with Diversity. Chicago, IL: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. 0-7872-8145-X.
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^ Native American population in the United States. Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
^ "Tribal trends" by Douglas Clement. March 2006. fedgazette. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Population & Economic Strength. United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ "Latino Religion in the U.S.: Demographic Shifts and Trends" by Bruce Murray. January 5, 2006. FacsNet. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006, Section 1 Population (English) (pdf) pp. 59 pages. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 16 October, 2006.
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^ "Who Goes to Church?". 2004. ABC News. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ American Religious Identification Survey
^ American Religious Identification Survey
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^ A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st Century, U.S. Department of Education, 2003. Accessed 05 October 2006. 2% of the population still do not have basic literacy and 14% have Below Basic prose literacy.
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^ http://www.urban.org/publications/307319.html Health Policy for Low-Income People in Texas
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^ Athens 2004 Medal Table. Accessed 14 September 2006.

Further reading
United States Portal
Johnson, Paul M. A History of the American People. 1104 pages. Harper Perennial: March 1, 1999. ISBN 0-06-093034-9.
Litwak, Robert S. Rogue States and U.S. Foreign Policy : Containment after the Cold War. 300 pages. Woodrow Wilson Center Press: February 1, 2000. ISBN 0-943875-97-8.
Nye, Joseph S. The Paradox of American Power : Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone. 240 pages. Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed edition: 1 May 2003. ISBN 0-19-516110-6.
Susser, Ida (Editor), and Patterson, Thomas C. (Editor). Cultural Diversity in the United States: A Critical Reader. 476 pages. Blackwell Publishers: December 2000. ISBN 0-631-22213-8.
Whalen, Edward. The United States Of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy. 320 pages. The Penguin Press HC: 4 November 2004. ISBN 1-59420-033-5.
Pierson, Paul. Politics in Time : History, Institutions, and Social Analysis. 208 pages. Princeton University Press: 9 August 2004. ISBN 0-691-11715-2.

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Overviews
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Immigration
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U.S. citizenship sample civics questions for naturalization interview Immihelp.com - from an immigrant to future immigrants.
Civic Orientation - Sample Questions for Naturalization

Other
Voter turnout, Gender quotas, Electoral system design and Political party financing in United States



United States: Membership in International Organizations
AfDB • ANZUS • APEC • ARF • AsDB • ASEAN (dialogue partner) • Australia Group • BIS • CE (observer) • CERN (observer) • CP • EAPC • EBRD • FAO • G5 • G7 • G8 • G10 • IADB • IAEA • IBRD • ICAO • ICC • ICCt (signatory) • ICFTU • ICRM • IDA • IEA • IFAD • IFC • IFRCS • IHO • ILO • IMF • IMO • Interpol • IOC • IOM • ISO • ITU • MIGA • MINUSTAH • NAM (guest) • NATO • NEA • NSG • OAS • OECD • OPCW • OSCE • Paris Club • PCA • United Nations • UN Security Council (permanent member) • UNCTAD • UNESCO • UNHCR • UNITAR • UNMEE • UNMIK • UNMIL • UNMOVIC • UNOMIG • UNRWA • UNTSO • UPU • WCL • WCO • WHO • WIPO • WMO • World Trade Organization • ZC
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Politics Law ( Constitution and Bill of Rights | Declaration of Independence) | Political parties ( Democrats & Republicans) | Elections (Electoral College) | Political scandals | Political divisions | Red state vs. blue state divide
Government Federal agencies | Legislative branch (Congress: House | Senate) Executive branch ( President & Vice-President | Cabinet | Attorney-General | Secretary of State) | Law enforcement ( FBI | Intelligence:CIA | DIA | NIMA | NRO | NSA) | Judicial branch ( Supreme Court) | Military ( Army | Navy | Marines | Air Force | Coast Guard )
Geography Appalachian Mtns. | Rocky Mtns. | Grand Canyon | Great Plains | Midwest | The South | Mississippi River | New England | Mid-Atlantic | Pacific Northwest | Mountains | Valleys | Islands | Rivers | States | Cities | Counties | Regions | Extreme points | National Park System
Economy Banking | Companies | Standard of living | U.S. Dollar | Wall Street | Household income | Homeownership | Poverty | Federal Reserve
Society Demographics | U.S. Census Bureau | Languages | Religion | Social structure | Standard of living | Media | Education | Holidays | Folklore | Middle class | Educational attainment | Professional and working class conflict | Crime
Arts Music ( Classical | Folk | Popular) | Film & TV (Hollywood) | Literature ( Poetry | Transcendentalism | Harlem Renaissance | Beat Generation) | Visual arts ( Abstract expressionism) | Cuisine | Dance | Architecture
Other United States territory | Communications | Transportation ( Highways and Interstates | Railroads) | Uncle Sam | Flag | American Dream | Media | Education | Tourism | Social issues ( Immigration | Affirmative action | Racial profiling | Human rights | War on Drugs | Pornography | Same-sex marriage | Prisons | Capital punishment) | Anti-Americanism | American exceptionalism | American Folklore | American English | United States Mexico barrier | Passenger vehicle transport

v·d·ePolitical divisions of the United States[ Show ]
States: Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
Federal district: District of Columbia
Insular areas: American Samoa | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands
Minor outlying islands: Baker Island | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Palmyra Atoll | Wake Island

v·d·eCountries of Central America, Caribbean and North America[ Show ]
Sovereign Countries
Antigua and Barbuda • Bahamas • Barbados • Belize • Canada • Costa Rica • Cuba • Dominica • Dominican Republic • El Salvador • Grenada • Guatemala • Haiti • Honduras • Jamaica • Mexico • Nicaragua • Panama • Saint Kitts and Nevis • Saint Lucia • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines • Trinidad and Tobago • United States


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Dependencies
Denmark: Greenland • France: Guadeloupe ∙ Martinique ∙ Saint-Pierre and Miquelon • Netherlands: Aruba ∙ Netherlands Antilles •
UK: Anguilla ∙ Bermuda ∙ British Virgin Islands ∙ Cayman Islands ∙ Montserrat ∙ Turks and Caicos Islands •
U.S.: Navassa Island ∙ Puerto Rico ∙ U.S. Virgin Islands

v·d·e UN Security Council Members[ Show ]
Permanent Members: China • France • Russia • United Kingdom • United States

Term ending 31 December 2006: Argentina • Denmark • Greece • Japan • Tanzania

Term ending 31 December 2007: Congo-Brazzaville• Ghana • Peru • Qatar • Slovakia
v·d·e Group of Eight (G8)[ Show ]
Canada · France · Germany · Italy · Japan · Russia · United Kingdom · United States

Cold War[ Show ]
Main events (1945–1961) Main events (1962–1991) Specific articles Primary participants and other events
General timeline:

Timeline of events
1940s:

Yalta Conference
Potsdam Conference
Gouzenko Affair
Iran Crisis
Chinese Civil War
Greek Civil War
Marshall Plan
Berlin Blockade
1950s:

Korean War
First Indochina War
Iranian Coup
Guatemalan Coup
East German Uprising
First Taiwan Strait Crisis
Hungarian Revolution
Suez Crisis
Sputnik Crisis
Second Taiwan Strait Crisis
Cuban Revolution
1960s:

Vietnam War
Congo Crisis
Sino-Soviet Split
U-2 Crisis of 1960
Bay of Pigs Invasion
1960s (continued):

Cuban Missile Crisis
Berlin Wall is Built
Overthrow of Sukarno
Secret War in Laos
Regime of the Colonels in Greece
Prague Spring
Détente
Sino-Soviet Border Conflict
1970s:

Cambodian Civil War
Ping Pong Diplomacy
1972 Nixon Visit to China
Overthrow of Allende
SALT I
Angolan Civil War
Mozambican Civil War
Third Indochina War
SALT II
Iranian Revolution
1980s:

Soviet-Afghan War
Salvadoran Civil War
Polish Solidarity Movement
Invasion of Grenada
Fall of the Berlin Wall
Revolutions of 1989
1990s:

Dissolution of the USSR


Concepts:

Communism
Capitalism
Iron Curtain
Containment
Truman Doctrine
Maoism
Revisionism
Peaceful coexistence
Domino Theory
Eisenhower Doctrine
Rollback
Arms race
Nuclear arms race
McCarthyism
Space Race
Kennedy Doctrine
Johnson Doctrine
Brezhnev Doctrine
Ostpolitik
Nixon Doctrine
Wars of national liberation
Carter Doctrine
Reagan Doctrine
Glasnost
Perestroika

Contemporaneous conflicts:

Nicaragua
Arab-Israeli Conflict


NATO
Warsaw Pact
Non-Aligned Movement
People's Republic of China


Other specific articles:

Red Scare
Bricker Amendment
Operation Condor
Soviet espionage in US
CIA
Operation Gladio
KGB
Stasi
European Community
Comecon
Portal:Cold War



Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States"
Categories: Articles that are too long | Articles with unsourced statements | Demographics of the United States | North American countries | United States | English-speaking countries | Former British colonies | Seafaring nations | Spanish-speaking countries | Constitutional republics | 1776 establishments | G8 nations

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1:46 PM
Anonymous said...

The United States of America (also known as the United States, the U.S., the U.S.A., and America) is a country in North America that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and a sea border with Russia. The United States is a federal republic, with its capital in Washington, D.C.

The present-day continental United States has been inhabited for at least 15,000 years by indigenous tribes.[2] After European exploration and settlement in the 16th century, the English established their own colonies—and gained control of others that had been begun by other European nations—in the eastern portion of the continent in the 17th and early 18th centuries. On July 4, 1776, at war with Britain over fair governance, thirteen of these colonies declared their independence. In 1783, the war ended in British acceptance of the new nation. Since then, the United States of America has more than quadrupled in size: it now consists of 50 states and one federal district; it also has numerous overseas territories.

At over 3.7 million square miles (over 9.5 million km²), the U.S. is the third or fourth largest country by total area, depending on whether China's figures include its disputed areas. It is the world's third most populous nation, with 300 million people.

The date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, is generally considered to be the date on which the U.S. was founded. The first federal government was constituted under the Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781. The Articles were replaced by the Constitution, adopted in 1787. Since its establishment, the liberal democratic nature of the government has grown as suffrage has been extended to more citizens. American military, economic, cultural, and political influence increased throughout the 20th century. With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, the nation emerged as the world's sole remaining superpower.[3] Today, the United States plays a major role in world affairs.

Contents [hide]
1 Name
2 Geography
2.1 Terrain
2.2 Climate
3 History
3.1 Native Americans
3.2 European colonization
3.3 American Revolution
3.4 Westward expansion
3.5 Civil War
3.6 Reconstruction and industrialization
3.7 World War
3.8 Cold War and civil rights
3.9 September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
4 Government and politics
4.1 Foreign relations and military
5 Administrative divisions
6 Ecology
6.1 Flora and fauna
7 Economy
7.1 Innovation
7.2 Transit
8 Demographics
8.1 Largest cities
8.2 Indigenous peoples
8.3 Language
8.4 Religion
8.5 Education
8.6 Health
9 Culture
9.1 Cuisine
9.2 Music
9.3 Cinema
9.4 Sports
10 See also
11 Notes
12 Further reading
13 External links
13.1 Government
13.2 Overviews
13.3 History
13.4 Maps
13.5 Immigration
13.6 Other



Name
See also: List of meanings of countries' names

The earliest known use of the name America is from 1507, when a globe and a large map created by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in Saint-Die-des-Vosges described the combined continents of North and South America. Although the origin of the name is uncertain,[4] the most widely held belief is that expressed in an accompanying book, Cosmographiae Introductio, which explains it as a feminized version of the Latin name of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (Americus Vespucius); in Latin, the other continents' names were all feminine. Vespucci theorized, correctly, that Christopher Columbus, on reaching islands in the Caribbean Sea in 1492, had come not to India but to a "New World".

The Americas were also known as Columbia, after Columbus, prompting the name District of Columbia for the land set aside as the U.S. capital. Columbia remained a popular name for the United States until the early 20th century, when it fell into relative disuse; but it is still used poetically and appears in various names and titles. One female personification of the country is called Columbia; she is similar to Britannia.[5][6][7][8] Columbus Day is a holiday in the U.S. and other countries in the Americas commemorating Columbus' October 1492 landing.

The term "united States of America" was first used officially in the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776. On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first of which stated "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America.'"

The adjectival and demonymic forms for the United States are American, a point of controversy among some, particularly Latin Americans.


Geography
Main article: Geography of the United States

A satellite composite image of the contiguous U.S. Deciduous vegetation and grasslands prevail in the east, transitioning to prairies, boreal forests, and the Rocky Mountains in the west, and deserts in the southwest. In the northeast, the coasts of the Great Lakes and Atlantic seaboard host much of the country's population.
Mount Hood, a dormant volcano in the Pacific Northwest.The United States is the world's third largest country by land area, after Russia and Canada.[9] Its contiguous portion is bounded by the North Atlantic Ocean to the east, the North Pacific Ocean to the west, Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Canada to the north. The state of Alaska also borders Canada, with the Pacific Ocean to its south and the Arctic Ocean to its north. West of Alaska, across the narrow Bering Strait, is Russia. The state of Hawaii occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of the North American mainland.


Terrain
The U.S. has an extremely varied geography, particularly in the West. The eastern seaboard has a coastal plain which is widest in the south and narrows in the north. The coastal plain does not exist north of New Jersey, although there are glacial outwash plains on Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. In the extreme southeast, Florida is home to the ecologically unique Everglades.

Beyond the coastal plain, the rolling hills of the piedmont region end at the Appalachian Mountains, which rise above 6,000 feet (1,830 m) in North Carolina, Tennessee, and New Hampshire. From the west slope of the Appalachians, the Interior Plains of the Midwest are relatively flat and are the location of the Great Lakes as well as the Mississippi-Missouri River, the world's 4th longest river system.[10] West of the Mississippi River, the Interior Plains slope uphill and blend into the vast and often featureless Great Plains.

The abrupt rise of the Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extends north to south across the continental U.S., reaching altitudes over 14,000 feet (4,270 m) in Colorado.[11] In the past, the Rocky Mountains had a higher level of volcanic activity; nowadays, the range only has one area of volcanism (the supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, possibly the world's largest volcano), although rift volcanism has occurred relatively recently near the Rockies' southern margin in New Mexico.[12] Dozens of high mountain ranges, salt flats such as the Bonneville Salt Flats, and valleys are found in the Great Basin region located west of the Rockies and east of the Sierra Nevada, which also has deep chasms, including the Snake River. At the southwestern end of the Great Basin, Death Valley lies 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, the second lowest dry land on Earth. It is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and is situated near the Mojave Desert.

North of the Great Basin and east of the Cascade Range in the Northwest is the Columbia River Plateau, a large igneous province shaped by one of the largest flood basalts on Earth. It is marked by dark black rocks. Surrounding the Four Corners region lies the Colorado Plateau, named after the Colorado River, which flows through it. The Plateau is generally high in elevation, has highly eroded sandstone, and the soil is a blood red in some locations. Many national parks, such as Arches, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion are in the area. West of the Great Basin, the Sierra Nevada mountain range has Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the coterminous U.S. Along the Pacific coast, the Coast Ranges and the volcanic Cascade Range extend from north to south across the country. The northwestern Pacific coast shares the world's largest temperate rain forest with Canada.

Alaska has numerous mountain ranges, including Mount McKinley (Denali), the highest peak in North America. Numerous volcanoes can be found throughout the Alexander and Aleutian Islands extending south and west of the Alaskan mainland.

The Hawaiian islands are tropical, volcanic islands extending over 1,500 miles (2,400 km), and consisting of six larger islands and another dozen smaller ones that are inhabited.


Wasatch Range, in Utah, part of the Rocky Mountains, next to the Great Salt Lake. Mark Twain described the two as America's Great Wall and Dead Sea.
Climate
The climate of the U.S. is as varied as its landscape. In northern Alaska, tundra and arctic conditions predominate, and the temperature has fallen as low as minus 80 °F (−62 °C).[13] On the other end of the spectrum, Death Valley, California once reached 134 °F (56.7 °C), the second-highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.[14]

On average, the mountains of the western states receive the highest levels of snowfall on Earth. The greatest annual snowfall level is at Mount Rainier in Washington, at 692 inches (1,758 cm); the record there was 1,122 inches (2,850 cm) in the winter of 1971–72. Other places with significant snowfall outside the Cascade Range are the Wasatch Mountains, near the Great Salt Lake, and the Sierra Nevada, near Lake Tahoe. In the east, while snowfall does not approach western levels, the region near the Great Lakes and the mountains of the Northeast receive the most. Along the northwestern Pacific coast, rainfall is greater than anywhere else in the continental U.S., with Quinault Ranger in Washington having an average of 137 inches (348 cm).[15] Hawaii receives even more, with 460 inches (1,168 cm) measured annually on Mount Waialeale, in Kauai. The Mojave Desert, in the southwest, is home to the driest locale in the U.S. Yuma Valley, Arizona, has an average of 2.63 inches (6.68 cm) of precipitation each year.[16]

In central portions of the U.S., tornadoes are more common than anywhere else on Earth[17] and touch down most commonly in the spring and summer. Deadly and destructive hurricanes occur almost every year along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. The Appalachian region and the Midwest experience the worst floods, though virtually no area in the U.S. is immune to flooding. The Southwest has the worst droughts; one is thought to have lasted over 500 years and to have decimated the Anasazi people.[18] The West is affected by large wildfires each year.


History
Main article: History of the United States

Native Americans
Before the European colonization of the Americas, a process that began at the end of the 15th century, the present-day continental U.S. was inhabited exclusively by various indigenous tribes, including Alaskan natives, who migrated to the continent over a period that may have begun 35,000 years ago and may have ended as recently as 11,000 years ago.[19]


European colonization

The Mayflower, which transported Pilgrims to the New World, arrived in 1620.The first confirmed European landing in the present-day United States was by Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon, who landed in 1513 in Florida, and as part of his claim, the first European settlement was established by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles on the site of a Timucuan Indian village in 1565 at St. Augustine, Florida. The French colonized some of the northeastern portions, and the Spanish colonized most of the southern and western United States. The first successful English settlement was at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, followed in 1620 by the Pilgrims' landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and then the arrival of the colony of Massachusetts Bay, started by the Puritans. In 1609 and 1617, respectively, the Dutch settled in part of what became New York and New Jersey. In 1638, the Swedes founded New Sweden, in part of what became Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania after passing through Dutch hands. Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, England (and later Great Britain) established new colonies, took over Dutch colonies, and split others. With the division of the Carolinas in 1729, and the colonization of Georgia in 1732, the British colonies in North America—excluding present-day Canada—numbered thirteen.


American Revolution

Presenting the Declaration of Independence to the Continental CongressMain articles: American Revolution and American Revolutionary War
Tensions between American colonials and the British during the revolutionary period of the 1760s and 1770s led to open military conflict in 1775. The British Colonies of East and West Florida and Quebec did not join in the rebellion against Great Britain. George Washington commanded the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) as the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Second Continental Congress had been formed to confront British actions and created the Continental Army, but it did not have the authority to levy taxes or make federal laws. In 1777, the Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, uniting the states under a weak federal government, which operated from 1781 until 1788, when enough states had ratified the United States Constitution. The Constitution, which strengthened the union and the federal government, has since remained the supreme law of the land.[20]

Following the war, United Empire Loyalists, soldiers and civilians, were evacuated from the colonies and resettled in other colonies of the British Empire, most notably to Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland in what is now Canada.


Westward expansion
Main article: Manifest Destiny

National Atlas map depicting dates of select territorial acquisitions. Full Oregon and other claims are not included.From 1803 to 1848, the size of the new nation nearly tripled as settlers (many embracing the concept of Manifest Destiny as an inevitable consequence of American exceptionalism) pushed beyond national boundaries even before the Louisiana Purchase.[21] The expansion was tempered somewhat by the stalemate in the War of 1812, but it was subsequently reinvigorated by victory in the Mexican-American War in 1848.


Civil War

The Battle of Gettysburg, a major turning point of the American Civil War. The victory of the Union kept the country united.Main article: American Civil War
As new territories were being incorporated, the nation was divided over the issue of states' rights, the role of the federal government, and—by the 1820s—the expansion of slavery, which had been legal in all thirteen colonies but was rarer in the north, where it was abolished by 1804. The Northern states were opposed to the expansion of slavery whereas the Southern states saw the opposition as an attack on their way of life, since their economy was dependent on slave labor. The failure to permanently resolve these issues led to the Civil War, following the secession of many slave states in the South to form the Confederate States of America after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln.[22] The 1865 Union victory in the Civil War effectively ended slavery and settled the question of whether a state had the right to secede. The event was a major turning point in American history, with an increase in federal power.[23]


Reconstruction and industrialization

Landing at Ellis Island, 1902. Today, the majority of Americans are the descendants of European immigrants who arrived in the 18th, 19th and early 20th; many of whom arrived at Ellis Island.After the Civil War, an unprecedented influx of immigrants, who helped to provide labor for American industry and create diverse communities in undeveloped areas—together with high tariff protections, national infrastructure building, and national banking regulations—hastened the country's rise to international power. The growing power of the United States enabled it to acquire new territories, including the annexation of Puerto Rico after victory in the Spanish-American War,[24] which marked the debut of the United States as a major world power.


World War

An abandoned farm in South Dakota during the Great Depression, 1936.Main articles: World War I and World War II
At the start of the First World War in 1914, the United States remained neutral. In 1917, however, the United States joined the Allied Powers, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers. For historical reasons, American sympathies were very much in favor of the British and French, even though a sizable number of citizens, mostly Irish and German, were opposed to intervention.[25] After the war, the Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles because of a fear that it would pull the United States into European affairs. Instead, the country pursued a policy of unilateralism that bordered at times on isolationism.[26]

During most of the 1920s, the United States enjoyed a period of unbalanced prosperity as farm prices fell and industrial profits grew. A rise in debt and an inflated stock market culminated in a crash in 1929, triggering the Great Depression. After his election as President in 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted his plan for a New Deal, which increased government intervention in the economy in response to the Great Depression.

The nation did not fully recover until 1941, when the United States was driven to join the Allies against the Axis Powers after a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. World War II was the costliest war in American history, but it helped to pull the economy out of depression because the required production of military materiel provided much-needed jobs, and women entered the workforce in large numbers for the first time. During this war, scientists working for the United States federal government succeeded in producing nuclear weapons, making the United States the world's first nuclear power. Toward the end of World War II, after the end of World War II in Europe, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Japan surrendered soon after, on 2 September 1945, which ended World War II.[27]


Cold War and civil rights

U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon during the first manned landing, 1969.Main articles: Cold War and American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union became superpowers in an era of ideological rivalry dubbed the Cold War. The United States promoted liberal democracy and capitalism, while the Soviet Union communism and a centrally planned economy. The result was a series of proxy wars, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the tense nuclear showdown of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

The perception that the United States was losing the space race spurred government efforts to raise proficiency in mathematics and science in schools[28] and led to President John F. Kennedy's call for the United States to land "a man on the moon" by the end of the 1960s, which was realized in 1969.[29]

Meanwhile, American society experienced a period of sustained economic expansion. At the same time, discrimination across the United States, especially in the South, was increasingly challenged by a growing civil-rights movement headed by prominent African Americans such as Martin Luther King, Jr., which led to the abolition of the Jim Crow laws in the South.[30]

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States continued to intervene militarily overseas, for example in the Gulf War. It remains the worlds only Superpower.


September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
Main articles: September 11, 2001 attacks and Iraq War
On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center towers and damaged The Pentagon with hijacked commercial airplanes. U.S. foreign policy then focused on the threat of terrorist attacks. In response, the government under George W. Bush began a series of military and legal operations termed the War on Terror, beginning with the overthrow of Afghanistan's Taliban government in October 2001. The events on 9/11 led to a preemptive policy against threats to U.S. security, known as the Bush Doctrine.

Beginning in September, 2002, the Bush administration began to press for regime change in the rogue state of Iraq. The United States and allies subsequently launched the controversial invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Although the Bush administration justified its invasion with a charge that Iraq had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction, and was seeking nuclear weapons,[31] only a limited number of non-nuclear stockpiles were found, and the Bush administration later admitted having acted on flawed intelligence. As of October 2006, the Iraq War remains an ongoing and controversial event.


Government and politics
Main articles: Federal government of the United States and Politics of the United States

The United States CapitolThe United States is the longest-surviving extant constitutional republic, with the oldest wholly written constitution in the world. Its government operates as a representative democracy through a congressional system under a set of powers specified by its Constitution. There are three levels of government: federal, state, and local. Officials at all three levels are either elected by voters in a secret ballot or appointed by other elected officials. Executive and legislative offices are decided by a plurality vote of citizens in their respective districts, with judicial and cabinet-level offices nominated by the Executive branch and approved by the Legislature. In some states, judicial posts are filled by popular election rather than executive appointment.

The federal government comprises three branches, which are designed to check and balance one another's powers:

Legislative: The Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Executive: The President, who appoints, with Senate approval, the Cabinet and other officers to help administer federal law.
Judiciary: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the President with Senate approval.
The United States Congress is a bicameral legislature. The House has 435 members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states according to population every tenth year. Each state is guaranteed at least one representative: currently, seven states have one each; California, the most populous state, has 53. Each state has two senators, elected at large to six-year terms; one third of Senate seats are up for election every second year.

Under the country's federal system, the relationship between the state and national governments is complex; under U.S. law, states are considered sovereign entities. However, the American Civil War and Texas v. White established that states do not have the right to secede, and, under the Constitution, they are not allowed to conduct foreign policy. Federal law overrides state law in the areas in which the federal government is empowered to act; but the powers of the federal government are subject to limits outlined in the Constitution. All powers not granted to the federal government in the Constitution are left to the states or the people themselves. However, the "Necessary and Proper" and "Commerce" clauses of the Constitution legally allow the extension of federal powers into other affairs, though this is the topic of considerable debate over states' rights.

The Constitution contains a dedication to "preserve liberty" with a "Bill of Rights" and other amendments, which guarantee freedom of speech, religion, and the press; the right to a fair trial; the right to keep and bear arms; universal suffrage; and property rights. However, the extent to which these rights are protected and universal in practice is heavily debated. The Constitution also guarantees to every State "a Republican Form of Government". However, the meaning of that guarantee has been only slightly explicated.[32]

There are two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Republicans are generally socially conservative and economically classical-liberals with some right-leaning centrists. The Democrats are generally socially liberal and economically progressive with some left-leaning centrists. Growing numbers of Americans identify with neither party—with some claiming the title Independent and others joining emerging parties, including the Green, Libertarian, and Reform parties. Except for a Democrat plurality in the Senate in 2001–02,[33] the Republican Party has held the majority in both houses of Congress since the 1994 elections; since 2001, the President has been George W. Bush, a Republican.


Foreign relations and military
Main articles: Foreign relations of the United States and Military of the United States

President of the United States, George W. Bush (right) at Camp David in March 2003, hosting the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair.The United States has vast economic, political, and military influence on a global scale, which makes its foreign policy a subject of great interest and discussion around the world. Almost all countries have embassies in Washington, D.C., and consulates around the country. However, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan do not have formal diplomatic relations with the United States.[34] The United States is a founding member of the United Nations (with a permanent seat on the Security Council), among many other international organizations.

In 1949, in an effort to contain communism during the Cold War, the United States, Canada, and ten Western European nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, a mutual-defense alliance in which they have since been joined by 14 other European states—including Turkey, which straddles the Eurasian border, and some former Soviet states. In an example of realpolitik, the United States also established diplomatic relations with Communist countries that were antagonistic to the Soviet Union, like the People's Republic of China during the Sino-Soviet split. Recently, the foreign policy of the United States has focused on combating terrorism as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Other transnational issues include immigration reform and the shipment of illegal drugs into the country.[35]


Supercarriers like the USS Nimitz are a major component of the U.S. system of force projection.The United States has a long-standing tradition of civilian control over military affairs. The Department of Defense administers the U.S. armed forces, which comprise the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force. The Coast Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime but is placed under the Department of the Navy in times of war.

The military of the United States comprises 1.4 million personnel on active duty,[36] along with several hundred thousand each in the Reserves and the National Guard. Service in the military is voluntary, though conscription may occur in times of war through the Selective Service System. The United States is considered to have the most powerful military in the world, partly because of the size of its defense budget; American defense expenditures in 2005 were estimated to be greater than the next 14 largest national military budgets combined,[37] even though the U.S. military budget is only about 4% of the country's gross domestic product.[38][39] The U.S. military maintains over 700 bases and facilities on every continent except Antarctica.[40]

The American military is committed to having a technological edge over its potential enemies and has an extensive research program to maintain such an edge. Defense-related research over the years yielded such major breakthroughs as space exploration, computers, the Internet, hypertext, nuclear power, the Global Positioning System, stealth aircraft, "smart" weapons, better bullet-proof vests, microwaves, and more recently ground-based lasers intended to target and destroy inbound missiles. These force multipliers have traditionally borne more materiel expense than personnel expense. Military technology maintains a close relationship with the civilian economy and has contributed to general technological and economic development of the United States, and often, via technology transfer, other countries as well. Conversely, the military has also benefited from the American civilian infrastructure.


Administrative divisions
Main article: Political divisions of the United States

Map of United States, showing state names.[41]The conterminous, or contiguous, forty-eight states—all the states but Alaska and Hawaii—are also called the continental United States. Some include Alaska in the "continental" states, because, although it is separated from the "lower forty-eight" by Canada, it is part of the North American mainland. All of these terms commonly include the District of Columbia. Hawaii, the fiftieth state, occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

The United States also holds several other territories, districts, and possessions, notably the federal district of the District of Columbia—which contains the nation's capital city, Washington—and several overseas insular areas, the most significant of which are American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. Palmyra Atoll is the United States' only incorporated territory; but it is unorganized and uninhabited. The United States Minor Outlying Islands consist of uninhabited islands and atolls in the Pacific and Caribbean Sea. In addition, since 1898, the United States Navy has leased an extensive naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Former U.S. possessions include the Panama Canal Zone, which was a U.S. territory from 1903 until 1979. Additionally, the Philippine Islands were American territory from 1898 until 1935, when the United States established the Commonwealth of the Philippines as a transition between territorial status and full Philippine independence, which occurred in 1946. Because it was part of the United States at the time of World War II, the Philippines is the only independent nation with a memorial pillar at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

In addition to the actual states and territories of the United States, there are also nations which are associated states of the U.S. The Federated States of Micronesia (since 1986), Palau (since 1994), and the Marshall Islands (since 1986) are associated with the United States under what is known as the Compact of Free Association, giving the states international sovereignty and ultimate control over their territory. However, the governments of those areas have agreed to allow the United States to provide defense and financial assistance. The U.S. also treats these nations uniquely by giving them access to many U.S. domestic programs, including disaster response and recovery and hazard mitigation programs under FEMA. The freely associated states are all dependent on U.S. financial assistance to meet both government operational and capital needs. The Office of Insular Affairs administers this financial assistance. The freely associated states also actively participate in all Office of Insular Affairs technical assistance activities. Together with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, each of these associated states were once part of the U.S.-administered UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which existed from 1947 until 1986 in the case of the Marshall Islands, the Northern Marianas, and the Federated States of Micronesia; Palau's trusteeship ended in 1994.


Ecology

Flora and fauna

The Bald Eagle is on the Great Seal of the United States. Protection of this once endangered species has helped save it from extinction.The U.S. has over 17,000 identified native plant and tree species, including 5,000 just in California (which is home to the tallest, the most massive, and the oldest trees in the world).[42] With habitats ranging from tropical to arctic, the flora of the U.S. is the most diverse of any country; yet, thousands of non-native exotic species sometimes adversely affect indigenous plant and animal communities. Over 400 species of mammal, 700 species of bird, 500 species of reptile and amphibian, and 90,000 species of insect have been documented.[43] Many plants and animals are very localized in their distribution, and some are in danger of extinction. The U.S. passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to protect native plant and animal species and their habitats.

Conservation has a long history in the U.S.; in 1872, the world's first National Park was established at Yellowstone. Another 57 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks and forests have since been designated.[44] In some parts of the country, wilderness areas have been established to ensure long-term protection of pristine habitats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service monitors endangered and threatened species and has set aside numerous areas for species and habitat preservation. Altogether, the U.S. government regulates 1,020,779 square miles (2,643,807 km²), which is 28.8% of the total land area of the U.S.[45] The bulk of this land is protected park and forestland, but some is leased for oil and gas exploration, mining, and cattle ranching.


Economy
Main articles: Economy of the United States, American middle class, Household income in the United States, and Homeownership in the United States
The economic history of the United States is a story of economic growth that began with marginally successful colonial economies and progressed to the largest industrial economy in the world in the 20th and early 21st century.


Wall Street, in New York City, represents the status of the U.S. as a major global financial power.The economic system of the United States can be described as a capitalist mixed economy, in which corporations, other private firms, and individuals make most microeconomic decisions, and governments prefer to take a smaller role in the domestic economy, although the combined role of all levels of government is relatively large, at 36% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The U.S. has a small social safety net, and regulation of businesses is slightly less than the average of developed countries.[46] The United States' median household income in 2005 was $43,318.[47]

Economic activity varies greatly across the country. For example, New York City is the center of the American financial, publishing, broadcasting, and advertising industries, while Los Angeles is the most important center for film and television production. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest are major centers for technology. The Midwest is known for its reliance on manufacturing and heavy industry, with Detroit serving as the historic center of the American automotive industry, and Chicago serving as the business and financial capital of the region. The Southeast is a major area for agriculture, tourism, and the lumber industry, and, because of wages and costs below the national average, it continues to attract manufacturing.


A farm near Klingerstown, Pennsylvania. Farming accounts for less than 1% of the total GDP of the United States but still is a major economic activity.The largest sector in the United States economy is services, which employs roughly three quarters of the work force.[48]

The economy is fueled by an abundance in natural resources such as coal, petroleum, and precious metals. However, the country still depends for much of its energy on foreign countries. In agriculture, the country is a top producer of corn, soy beans, rice, and wheat, with the Great Plains labeled as the "breadbasket of the world" for its tremendous agricultural output.[49] The U.S. has a large tourist industry, ranking third in the world,[50] and is also a major exporter in goods such as airplanes, steel, weapons, and electronics. Canada accounts for 19% (more than any other nation) of the United States' foreign trade, followed by China, Mexico, and Japan.

While the per capita income of the United States is among the highest in the world, the wealth is comparatively concentrated, with approximately 40% of the population earning less than an average resident of western Europe and the top 20% earning substantially more.[51] Since 1975, the U.S. has a "two-tier" labor market in which virtually all the real income gains have gone to the top 20% of households.[52] This polarization is the result of a relatively high level of economic freedom.[53]

The social mobility of U.S. residents relative to that of other countries is the subject of much debate. Some analysts have found that social mobility in the United States is low relative to other OECD states, specifically compared to Western Europe, Scandinavia and Canada.[54][55][56] Low social mobility may stem in part from the U.S. educational system. Public education in the United States is funded mainly by local property taxes supplemented by state revenues. This frequently results in a wide difference in funding between poor districts or poor states and more affluent jurisdictions.[57][58] In addition, the practice of legacy preference at elite universities gives preference to the children of alumni, who are often wealthy. This practice reduces available spaces for better-qualified lower income students.[59] Some analysts argue that relative social mobility in the U.S. peaked in the 1960s and declined rapidly beginning in the 1980s.[60] Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan has also suggested that that the growing income inequality and low class mobility of the U.S. economy may eventually threaten the entire system in the near future.[61]


Innovation
Main article: Science and technology in the United States

The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a manned mission to space.The United States is an influential country in scientific and technological research and the production of innovative technological products. During World War II, the U.S. was the first to develop the atomic bomb, ushering in the atomic age. Beginning early the Cold War, the U.S. achieved successes in space science and technology, leading to a space race which led to rapid advances in rocketry, weaponry, material science, computers, and many other areas. This technological progress was epitomized by the first visit of a man to the moon, when Neil Armstrong stepped off of Apollo 11 in July 1969.[62] The U.S. was also perhaps the most instrumental nation in the development of the Internet, through the funding of its predecessor, Arpanet, and the actual physical presence of much of the Internet.

In the sciences, Americans have a large share of Nobel Prizes, especially in the fields of physiology and medicine. The National Institutes of Health, a focal point for biomedical research in the United States, has contributed to the completion of the Human Genome Project.[63] The main governmental organization for aviation and space research is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Major corporations, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, also play an important role.


Transit
Main article: Transportation in the United States
The automobile industry developed earlier and more rapidly in the United States than in most other countries. The backbone of the nation's transportation infrastructure is a network of high-capacity highways. From data taken in 2004, there are about 3,981,521 miles (6,407,637 km) of roadways in the U.S., the most in the world.[64]

Mass transit systems exist in large cities, such as New York, which operates one of the busiest subway systems in the world. With a few exceptions, American cities are less dense than those in other parts of the world. Low density partly results from and largely necessitates automobile ownership by most households.

Whereas the freight rail network is among the world's best (and most congested), the passenger rail network is underdeveloped by European and Japanese standards. This is partly because of the longer distances traveled in the U.S.; a destination two thousand miles (3,000 km) away is reached more quickly by air than by rail. Government subsidies of air travel played a role in the bankruptcy of passenger-rail corporations in the 1970s. The U.S. had been unique in its high number of private passenger railroads. During the 1970s, government intervention reorganized freight railroads. The passenger service was consolidated under the government-backed corporation Amtrak. No other country has more miles of rail than the U.S.[65]

Air travel is the preferred means of travel for long distances. In terms of passengers, seventeen of the world's thirty busiest airports in 2004 were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). In terms of cargo, in the same year, twelve of the world's thirty busiest airports were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Memphis International Airport.

Several major seaports are in the United States; the three busiest are California's Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, and the Port of New York and New Jersey, all among the world's busiest. The interior of the U.S. also has a major shipping channel, via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Mississippi River. The first water link between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, the Erie Canal, allowed the rapid expansion of agriculture and industry in the Midwest and made New York City the economic center of the U.S.


Demographics
Main articles: Demographics of the United States and Immigration to the United States

2000 Population Density MapOn October 17, 2006 at 7:46 a.m. EST, the United States' population stood at an estimated 300,000,000, with an annual growth rate of about 0.59%.[66] This figure includes persons living in the U.S. without legal permission to do so, estimated at 12 million, and excludes U.S. citizens living abroad, estimated at 3 million to 7 million. Thus any population estimate needs to be seen as a somewhat rough figure, according to the US Departement of Commerce.[67] According to the 2000 census, about 79% of the population lived in urban areas.[68]

About 15.8% of households have annual incomes of at least $100,000, and the top 10% of households had annual gross incomes exceeding $118,200 in 2003.[69] Overall, the top quintile, those households earning more than $86,867 a year, earned 49.8% of all income in 2003.[70]

In the 2000 census, the country had 31 ethnic groups with at least one million members each, with numerous others represented in smaller amounts.[71] By the federal government's categorization of race, most Americans (80.4% in 2004)[72] are white. These white Americans are mostly European Americans—the descendants of European immigrants to the United States—along with some non-Europeans counted as white in government nomenclature (those with origins in the original peoples of the Middle East and North Africa). To the exclusion of Hispanic-origin European Americans, non-Hispanic whites constituted 67.4% of the population. The non-Hispanic white population is proportionally declining, because of both immigration by, and a higher birth rate among, ethnic and racial minorities.[73] If current immigration trends continue, the number of non-Hispanic whites is expected to be reduced to a plurality by 2040-2050. The largest ethnic group of European ancestry is German at 15.2%, followed by Irish (10.8%), English (8.7%), Italian (5.6%) and Scandinavian (3.7%). Many immigrants also hail from French Canada, as well as from such Slavic countries as Poland and Russia.[74] African Americans, or Blacks, largely descend from Africans who arrived as slaves during the 17th through 19th centuries, and number about 35 million or 12.9% of the population. At about 1.5% of the total population, Native Americans and Alaska Natives number about 4.4 million,[75] approximately 35% of whom were living on reservations in 2005.[76]

Current demographic trends include the immigration of Hispanics from Latin America into the Southwest, a region that is home to about 60% of the 35 million Hispanics in the United States. Immigrants from Mexico make up about 66% of the Hispanic community,[77] and are second only to the German-descent population in the single-ethnicity category. The Hispanic population, which has been growing at an annual rate of about 4.46% since the 1990s, is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades, because of both immigration and a higher birth rate among Latinos than among the general population.[78]





Largest cities
Main article: List of United States cities by population

New York City

Los Angeles

Chicago
The United States has dozens of major cities, which play an important role in U.S. culture, heritage, and economy. In 2004, 251 incorporated places had populations of at least 100,000 and nine had populations greater than 1,000,000, including several important global cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In addition, there are fifty metropolitan areas with populations over 1,000,000.

Rank City Population
within
city limits Population
Density
per sq mi Metropolitan
Area Region
millions rank
1 New York City, New York 8,143,197 26,402.9 18.7 1 Northeast
2 Los Angeles, California 4,097,340 8,198.0 12.9 2 West
3 Chicago, Illinois 2,842,518 12,750.3 9.4 3 Midwest
4 Houston, Texas 2,016,582 3,371.7 5.2 7 South
5 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,463,281 11,233.6 5.8 4 Northeast
6 Phoenix, Arizona 1,461,575 2,782.0 3.7 14 West
7 San Antonio, Texas 1,256,509 2,808.5 1.8 29 South
8 San Diego, California 1,255,540 3,771.9 2.9 17 West
9 Dallas, Texas 1,213,825 3,469.9 5.7 5 South
10 San Jose, California 912,332 5,117.9 1.7 30 West


Indigenous peoples

Chief Quanah Parker.Main article: Native Americans in the United States
The Native Americans of the United States (also known as Indians or American Indians, among others), are an ethnic group who have populated the land that is today the United States since at least 9,000 BC, more than one hundred centuries before the arrival of European settlers. [citation needed] Like other countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, the impact of European colonization of the Americas changed the lives and cultures of the Native Americans. In the 15th to 19th centuries, their populations were ravaged by displacement, disease, warfare with the Europeans, and enslavement.

In the 19th century, the incessant westward expansion of the United States incrementally compelled large numbers of Native Americans to resettle further west, sometimes by force, almost always reluctantly. Under President Andrew Jackson, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which authorized the President to conduct treaties to exchange Native American land east of the Mississippi River for lands west of the river. As many as 100,000 Native Americans eventually relocated in the West as a result of this Indian Removal policy. In theory, relocation was supposed to be voluntary (and many Native Americans did remain in the East), but in practice great pressure was put on Native American leaders to sign removal treaties.

Conflicts, generally known as "Indian Wars", broke out between U.S. forces and many different tribes. U.S. government authorities entered numerous treaties during this period but later abrogated many for various reasons. On January 31, 1876, the United States government ordered all remaining Native Americans to move into reservations or reserves.

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 gave United States citizenship to Native Americans, in part because of an interest by many to see them merged with the American mainstream, and also because of the heroic service of many Native American veterans in the First World War.

According to the 2003 census estimates, there are 2,786,652 Native Americans in the United States. However, numerous indigenous peoples from Latin American countries, particularly Mexico, have migrated to the U.S. over the years. Other tribes, such as the Yaqui have persisted on both sides of the U.S./Mexican border crossing freely for many years until the current border clampdown (see illegal immigration).


Language
Main article: Languages in the United States
Although the United States has no official language, English is the de facto national language. In 2003, about 214.8 million, or 81.6%, of the population aged five years and older spoke only English at home.[79] Although not all Americans speak English, it is the most common language for daily interaction among both native and non-native speakers. Knowledge of English is required of immigrants seeking naturalization. Some Americans advocate making English the official language, which is the law in twenty-seven states. Three states also grant official status to other languages alongside English: French in Louisiana, Hawaiian in Hawaii, and Spanish in New Mexico.[80] Besides English, languages spoken at home by at least one million Americans aged five years and up are Spanish or Spanish Creole, spoken by 29.7 million; Chinese, 2.2 million; French (including Patois and Cajun), 1.4 million; Tagalog, 1.3 million; Vietnamese, 1.1 million; and German, 1.1 million.[73][81]


Religion

Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oaks, North Carolina. The Bible Belt is well known for its large devout Protestant Christian population.Main article: Religion in the United States
The United States government keeps no official register of Americans' religious status. However, in a private survey conducted in 2001 and mentioned in the Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States, 76.7% of American adults identified themselves as Christian; about 52% of adults described themselves as members of various Protestant denominations, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1.3%); Roman Catholics, at 24.5%, were the most populous individual sect. Judaism (1.4%) and other faiths also have firm places in American culture. About 14.2% of respondents described themselves as having no religion. The religious distribution of the 5.4% who elected not to describe themselves for the survey is unknown.[66]

The country has a relatively high level of religiosity among developed nations. About 46% of American adults say that they attend religious services at least once a week, compared with 14% of adults in Great Britain, 8% in France, and 7% in Sweden. Moreover, 58% of Americans say they often think about the meaning and purpose of life, compared with 25% of the British, 26% of the Japanese, and 31% of West Germans.[82] However, this rate is not uniform across the country: regular attendance to religious services is markedly more common in the Bible Belt, composed largely of Southern and southern Midwestern states, than in the Northeast or the West.[83]

Religion among some Americans is highly dynamic: over the period 1990–2001, those groups whose portion of the population at least doubled were, in descending order of growth, Wiccans, nondenominational Christians, Deists, Sikhs, Evangelical Christians, Disciples of Christ, New Age adherents, Hindus, Full Gospel adherents, Quakers, Bahá'ís, independent Christians, those who refused to answer the question, Buddhists, and Foursquare Gospel adherents.[66]

Over the same period, the group whose portion of the population grew by the most percentage points was those who claimed no religion, making up 8.2% of the adult population in 1990, but 14.2% in 2001.[66] This group includes atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists and those who answered to the effect of "No religion". The number of those with no religion varies widely with location, reaching a high in Washington, at 25%, and the rest of the relatively agnostic western United States, and a low in North Dakota, at 3%, followed by the Bible Belt.[84]

One comprehensive study showed that in the U.S. women are generally more religious than men, with 42% identifying as "religious" and 36% as "somewhat religious," versus 31% and 41% for men, respectively. Younger Americans were twice as likely to choose "secular" than their older counterparts, at 14% and 7%, respectively. Among racial and ethnic groups, blacks had the highest religious figures, at 49% "religious" and 31% "somewhat religious"; Asians had the lowest numbers, at 28% "religious" and 34% "somewhat religious".[85]


Education
Main articles: Education in the United States and Educational attainment in the United States
Education in the United States has been a state or local, not federal, responsibility. The Department of Education of the federal government, however, exerts some influence through its ability to control funding. Students are generally obliged to attend school starting with kindergarten, and ending with the 12th grade, which is normally completed at age 18, but many states may allow students to drop out as early as age 16. Besides public schools, parents may also choose to educate their own children at home or to send their children to parochial or private schools. After high school, students may choose to attend universities, either public or private. Public universities receive funding from the federal and state governments, as well as from other sources, but most students still have to pay student loans after graduation. Tuition at private universities is generally much higher than at public universities.


America's 19 World Heritage Sites include the University of Virginia, one of many highly regarded public universities supported by taxpayers at the state level of government.There are many competitive institutions of higher education in the United States, both private and public. The United States has 168 universities in the world's top 500, 17 of which are in the top 20.[86] There are also many smaller universities and liberal arts colleges, and local community colleges of varying quality across the country with open admission policies.

The United States ranks 24th out of 29 surveyed countries in the reading and science literacy as well as mathematical abilities of its high school students when compared with other developed nations.[87] The United States also has a low literacy rate compared to other developed countries, with a reading literacy rate at 86 - 98% of the population over age 15.[88] As for educational attainment, 27.2% of the population aged 25 and above have earned a bachelor's degree or higher, and 84.6% have graduated high school.[89]


Health
Main article: Health care in the United States
The World Health Organization ranks the United States' health level 72nd among the world's nations.[90] Infant mortality is 5 per 1,000; among developed nations, only Latvia ranks lower, at 6 per 1,000. However, this statistic is contested by some experts, because other nations may not define infant mortality as broadly as the United States.[91] Obesity is also a public-health problem, which is estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars every year.[92]

Unlike many Western governments, the U.S. government does not operate a publicly funded health care system. Private insurance plays a major role in covering health care costs.[93] Health insurance in the United States is traditionally a benefit of employment. However, emergency care facilities are required to provide service regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Medical bills are the most common reason for personal bankruptcy in the United States.[94] The nation spends a substantial amount on medical research through such federal agencies as the National Institutes of Health.[95]


Culture
Main article: Culture of the United States

Elvis Presley in 1957
American cultural icons, such as apple pie, baseball, and the American flag.The culture of the United States began as the culture of its first English colonists. The culture quickly evolved as an independent frontier culture supplemented by indigenous and Spanish–Mexican cowboy culture and by the cultures of subsequent waves of immigrants, first from Europe and Africa and later from Asia. Overall, significant cultural influences came from Europe, especially from the German, English and Irish cultures and later from Italian, Greek and Ashkenazi cultures. Descendants of enslaved West Africans preserved some cultural traditions from West Africa in the early United States. Geographical place names largely reflect the combined English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Native American components of U.S. American history.[73]

Some have described the United States as a melting pot in which immigrants eventually assimilate into a unified American culture that incorporates contributions from immigrant cultures. A more recently proposed model is that of the salad bowl, in which immigrant cultures retain some of the unique characteristics of their culture without merging into a completely unified American culture.[96] Modern American sociologists tend to view pluralism, rather than assimilation, as the way for American society to achieve ethnic and racial harmony and state that the workings of pluralism are visible within modern American society, disregarding the idea of the melting pot.[73]

An important component of American culture is the American Dream: the idea that, through hard work, courage, and self-determination, regardless of social class, a person can gain a better life.[97]


Cuisine
Main article: Cuisine of the United States
American cuisine embraces Native American ingredients such as turkey, potatoes, corn, and squash, which have become integral parts of American culture. Such popular icons as apple pie, pizza, and hamburgers are either derived from or are actual European dishes. Burritos and tacos have their origins in Mexico. Soul food, which originated among African slaves, is popular in the U.S. as well. However, many foods now enjoyed worldwide either originated in the United States or were altered by American chefs.


Music
Main article: Music of the United States
Music also traces to the country's diverse cultural roots through an array of styles. Rock, hip hop, country, blues, and jazz are among the country's most internationally renowned genres. Since the late 19th century, popular recorded music from the United States has become increasingly known across the world, such that some forms of American popular music are heard almost everywhere.[98]


Cinema
Main article: Cinema of the United States
The birth of cinema, as well as its development, largely took place in the United States. In 1878, the first recorded instance of sequential photographs capturing and reproducing motion was Eadweard Muybridge's series of a running horse, which the British-born photographer produced in Palo Alto, California, using a row of still cameras. Since then, the American film industry, based in Hollywood, California, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world. Other genres that originated in the United States and spread worldwide include the comic book and Disney's animated films.


Sports
Main article: Sports in the United States

Pro Bowl, 2006. American Football is the most popular spectator sport in the United States.[99]Sports are a national pastime, and playing sports, especially American football, baseball, and basketball, is very popular at the high-school level. Professional sports in the U.S. is big business and contains most of the world's highest paid athletes.[100] The "Big Four" sports are baseball, American football, ice hockey, and basketball. Baseball is popularly termed "the national pastime"; but, since the early 1990s, American football has largely been considered the most popular sport in America.

Other sports, including auto racing, lacrosse, soccer, golf, and tennis, have significant followings. The United States is among the most influential regions in shaping three popular board-based recreational sports: surfboarding, skateboarding, and snowboarding. Eight Olympiads have taken place in the United States; in medals won, the United States ranks third all-time in the Winter Games, with 218 (78 gold, 81 silver, and 59 bronze),[101][102] and first in the Summer Games, with 2,321 (943 gold, 736 silver, and 642 bronze).[103][104]

See also: Arts and entertainment in the United States, Media of the United States, Dance of the United States, Architecture of the United States, Holidays of the United States, Lists of Americans, and Social structure of the United States

See also
Main article: List of United States-related topics
Life in the United States
Arts and entertainment • Culture • Economy • Crime • Education • Educational attainment • Geography • Health care • Holidays • Household income • Homeownership • Human rights
Labor unions • Languages • Middle class • Passenger vehicle transport • Politics • Poverty • Racism • Religion • Social issues • Social structure • Sports • Standard of living




Demographics of the United States
Demographics of the United States • Demographic history
Economic - Social

Educational attainment • Household income • Homeownership • Immigration • Income quintiles • Language • Middle classes • poverty • Religion • Social structure • Unemployment by state • Wealth
Race - Ethnicity - Ancestry
Race • Ethnicity on the US Census • Maps of American ancestries • 2000 Census • Race on the US Census • Racism
Asian Americans • African Americans • Mexican Americans • Native Americans • Pacific Islander American
White Americans • Caucasian Americans • European Americans


Articles of Confederation
United States Constitution
History of the United States
International rankings of the United States
Historical Columbia
Superpower

Notes
^ Extrapolation from U.S. POPClock
^ "Indian, American", 2001 Standard Edition CD-ROM of The World Book Encyclopedia: "Most scientists think the first Indians came to the Americas from Asia at least 15,000 years ago. Other scientists believe the Indians may have arrived as early as 35,000 years ago. [* * *] By 12,500 years ago, Indians had spread throughout the New World and were living from the Arctic in the north all the way to southern South America."
^ History and the Hyperpower by Eliot A. Cohen. July/August 2004. Council on Foreign Relations. URL accessed July 14, 2006.
^ Theories on the origin of America's name
^ http://www.nasa.gov/columbia/home/index.html
^ http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/C/htmlC/columbiabroa/columbiabroa.htm
^ http://www.reelclassics.com/Studios/Columbia/columbia.htm
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^ Williams, Jack Each state's low temperature record, USA today, URL accessed 13 June, 2006.
^ Weather and Climate (PDF). Official website for Death Valley National Park pp. 1-2. National Park Service U. S. Department of the Interior (January 2002). Retrieved on October 5, 2006.
^ National Atlas, Average Annual Precipitation, 1961-1990, URL accessed 15 June 2006.
^ Hereford, Richard, et al, Precipitation History of the Mojave Desert Region, 1893–2001, U.S. Geological Survey, Fact Sheet 117-03, URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ NOVA, Tornado Heaven, Hunt for the Supertwister, URL accessed 15 June 2006.
^ O'Connor, Jim E. and John E. Costa, Large Floods in the United States: Where They Happen and Why, U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1245, URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ "Paleoamerican Origins". 1999. Smithsonian Institution. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ Yanak, Ted and Cornelison, Pam. The Great American History Fact-finder: The Who, What, Where, When, and Why of American History. Page 114. Houghton Mifflin; 2nd Updated edition: 27 August 2004. ISBN 0-618-43941-2
^ Manifest Destiny- An interpretation of How the West was Won. Crossroads of Earth Resources and Society. URL accessed on 4 May 2006.
^ Morrison, Michael A Slavery and the American West: The Eclipse of Manifest Destiny and the Coming of the Civil War. Page 176. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4796-8.
^ De Rosa, Marshall L. The Politics of Dissolution: The Quest for a National Identity and the American Civil War. Page 266. Transaction Publishers: 1 January 1997. ISBN 1-56000-349-9
^ Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western Civilization: Volume II: Since 1500. Page 708. Wadsworth Publishing: 10 January 2005. ISBN 0-534-64604-2
^ Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, The Reader's Companion to American History. Page 576. 21 October 1991. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-51372-3.
^ McDuffie, Jerome, Piggrem, Gary Wayne, and Woodworth, Steven E. U.S. History Super Review. Page 418. Research & Education Association: 21 June 2005. ISBN 0-7386-0070-9
^ Walker, John F, and Vatter, Harold G The Rise of Big Government in the United States. Page 63. M.E. Sharpe: May 1997. ISBN 0-7656-0067-6.
^ Rudolph, John L. Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education. Page 1. Palgrave Macmillan: 3 May 2002. ISBN 0-312-29571-5.
^ Rudolph, John L. Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education. Page 1. Palgrave Macmillan: 3 May 2002. ISBN 0-312-29571-5.
^ Klarman, Michael J. From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality. Page 552. Oxford University Press, USA: 4 May 2006. ISBN 0-19-531018-7.
^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html
^ http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article04/
^ Secretary of the Senate. United States Senate Art & History: Party Division in the United States Senate, 1789—Present. Retrieved 21 June 2006.
^ "Table 2 Aliens From Countries That Sponsor Terrorism Who Were Ordered Removed - 1 October 2000 through 31 December 2001". February 2003. U.S. Department of Justice. URL accessed May 30, 2006.
^ "Transnational Issues". 20 April 2006. CIA World factbook. Accessed 30 April 2006.
^ "Active Duty Military Personnel Strength Levels". 2002. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ Anup Shah, High Military Expenditure in Some Places. Last updated 27 March 2006. globalissues.org. Retrieved 30 June 2006.
^ Military. 1 June 2006. CIA Factbook. Retrieved 3 June 2006.
^ Truth and Politics. Relative Size of US Military Spending from 1940 to 2003. Retrieved on 26 May 2006.
^ U.S. Department of Defense Base Structure Report, Fiscal Year 2005 Baseline. Retrieved 1 June 2006.
^ Alaska and Hawaii are shown at different scales; the Aleutian Islands and the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are omitted from this map.
^ Morse, Larry E., et al, Native Vascular Plants, Our Living Resources, U.S. Department of the Interior, URL accessed 14 June 2006.
^ National Biological Service, Our Living Resources, URL accessed 14 June 2006.
^ National Park Service, National Park Service Announces Addition of Two New Units, National Park Service News release (28 February 2006), URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ Republican Study Committee, Federal Land and Buildings Ownership, (19 May 2005), URL accessed 13 June 2006.
^ Index of Economic Freedom 2006 by Heritage Foundation. URL accessed 13 May 2006.
^ US Census Bureau news release in regards to median income. Retrieved on 2006-06-29.
^ "Toward a Learning Economy" by Stephen A. Herzenberg, John A. Alic, and Howard Wial. 2006. Toward a Learning Economy. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Frazier, Ian. Great Plains. Page 9. 4 May 2001. Picador; 1st Picado edition. ISBN 0-312-27850-0
^ The United States International Travel Industry- Key Facts About Inbound Tourism. 8 May 2000. ITA Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Income Distribution in Europe and the United States by A B Atkinson. September 1995. Nuffield College in Oxford. URL accessed June 3, 2006.
^ Economy. June 13, 2006. CIA World Factbook. URL accessed June 15, 2006.
^ [1]. September 2005. Fraser Institute. Accessed 18 July 2006.
^ "Ever Higher Society, Ever Harder to Ascend: Whatever Happened to the Belief That Any American Could Get to the Top" The Economist. December 29, 2004. URL accessed 21 August 2006.
^ "Intergenerational Mobility in Europe and North America" Jo Blanden, Paul Gregg, and Stephen Malchin. April 2005. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility" Miles Corak. March 2006. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "What Research Says About Unequal Funding for Schools in America" Bruce Biddle and David C. Berliner. Winter 2002. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ "An Economic Perspective on Urban Education" William G. Gale, Meghan McNally, and Janet Rothenberg Pack. June 2003. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ Alumni ties more important than grades Wall Street Journal
^ New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: May 15, 2005. pg. 1.1
^ "Rich-Poor Gap Gaining Attention" Peter Greier. Christian Science Monitor. 14 June 2005. "URL accessed 21 August 2006."
^ Apollo 30th Anniversary. 20 September 2002. NASA. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ The National Human Genome Research Institute. 2006. National Human Genome Research Institute- National Institutes of health. Accessed May 2, 2006.
^ Rank Order- Roadways. 20 April 2006. CIA World Factbook. Accessed 30 April 2006.
^ https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2121rank.html
^ a b c d People. 12 June 2006. American Fact Finder. Accessed 13 June 2006.
^ Yahoo, News; rough nature of US population estimates. Retrieved on 2006-10-17.
^ "United States -- Urban/Rural and Inside/Outside Metropolitan Area". United States Census 2000. URL accessed 29 May 2006.
^ Income in the United States, US Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Income distribution, US Census Breau. Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Table 2. Ancestries With 100,000 or More People in 2000: 1990 and 2000. Ancestry: 2000 - Census 2000 Brief. URL accessed May 29, 2006.
^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
^ a b c d Adams, J.Q., Pearlie Strother-Adams (2001). Dealing with Diversity. Chicago, IL: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. 0-7872-8145-X.
^ Figure 2 - Fifteen Largest Ancestries: 2000. 2000. U.S. Census Bureau. URL accessed 30 May 2006.
^ Native American population in the United States. Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
^ "Tribal trends" by Douglas Clement. March 2006. fedgazette. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
^ Population & Economic Strength. United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ "Latino Religion in the U.S.: Demographic Shifts and Trends" by Bruce Murray. January 5, 2006. FacsNet. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006, Section 1 Population (English) (pdf) pp. 59 pages. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 16 October, 2006.
^ 27 States Have Made English Official (25 State Laws Still in Effect). Englishfirst.org. URL accessed 21 May 2006.
^ Statistical Abstract of the United States: page 47: Table 47: Languages Spoken at Home by Language: 2003. Retrieved on 2006-07-11.
^ "U-M study: U.S. among the most religious nations in the world". 17 November 2003. University of Michigan News Service. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "Who Goes to Church?". 2004. ABC News. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ American Religious Identification Survey
^ American Religious Identification Survey
^ ARWU2005 Statistics by Shanghai Jiao Tong university. URL accessed on 05 October 2006
^ Programme for International Student Assessment 2003, URL accessed on July 11, 2006
^ A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st Century, U.S. Department of Education, 2003. Accessed 05 October 2006. 2% of the population still do not have basic literacy and 14% have Below Basic prose literacy.
^ Educational attainment according to the US Census Bureau, 2003. Retrieved on 2006-08-01.
^ "Health system performance in all Member States" 1997. World Health Organization. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "U.S. gets poor grades for newborns' survival- Nation ranks near bottom among modern nations, better only than Latvia". 9 May 2006. Associated Press. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ "Obesity cost US $75bn, says study" by Jannat Jalil. 21 January 2004. BBC News. URL accessed 05 October 2006.
^ http://www.urban.org/publications/307319.html Health Policy for Low-Income People in Texas
^ "Illness And Injury As Contributors To Bankruptcy", by David U. Himmelstein, Elizabeth Warren, Deborah Thorne, and Steffie Woolhandler, published at Health Affairs journal in 2005, Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Chapter Seven A REPUBLIC OF SCIENCE- Inquiry and innovation in science and medicine. USINFO.STATE.GOV. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Joyce Millet, Understanding American Culture: From Melting Pot to Salad Bowl. culturalsavvy.com. Accessed 05 October 2006.
^ Boritt, Gabor S. Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream. Page 1. December 1994. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06445-3.
^ Provine, Rob with Okon Hwang and Andy Kershaw. "Our Life Is Precisely a Song" in the Rough Guide to World Music, Volume 2, pg. 167. ISBN 1-85828-636-0.
^ Maccambridge, Michael. America's Game : The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation. 26 October 2004. Random House. ISBN 0-375-50454-0
^ "The Best-Paid Athletes". 24 June 2004. Forbes.com. Accessed 2 May 2006.
^ All-Time Medal Standings, 1924–2002. Information Please. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ Turin 2006 Medal Table. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ All-Time Medal Standings 1896–2000. Information Please. Accessed 14 September 2006.
^ Athens 2004 Medal Table. Accessed 14 September 2006.

Further reading
United States Portal
Johnson, Paul M. A History of the American People. 1104 pages. Harper Perennial: March 1, 1999. ISBN 0-06-093034-9.
Litwak, Robert S. Rogue States and U.S. Foreign Policy : Containment after the Cold War. 300 pages. Woodrow Wilson Center Press: February 1, 2000. ISBN 0-943875-97-8.
Nye, Joseph S. The Paradox of American Power : Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone. 240 pages. Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed edition: 1 May 2003. ISBN 0-19-516110-6.
Susser, Ida (Editor), and Patterson, Thomas C. (Editor). Cultural Diversity in the United States: A Critical Reader. 476 pages. Blackwell Publishers: December 2000. ISBN 0-631-22213-8.
Whalen, Edward. The United States Of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy. 320 pages. The Penguin Press HC: 4 November 2004. ISBN 1-59420-033-5.
Pierson, Paul. Politics in Time : History, Institutions, and Social Analysis. 208 pages. Princeton University Press: 9 August 2004. ISBN 0-691-11715-2.

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This page was last modified 11:31, 18 October 2006. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.)
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1:46 PM
Anonymous said...

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5:08 PM
Anonymous said...

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6:34 PM
Anonymous said...

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8:00 PM
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8:07 PM
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8:34 PM
Anonymous said...

he Bible refers to the collections of sacred writings of both the Jewish and the Christian religions.[1]

In reference to the Judaic sacred writings it is often referred to as the Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible, which includes the sacred texts common to both the Christian and Jewish canons.[2] In a Christian context it refers to the full canon of the Christian holy books, also called the Holy Bible, Scriptures, or Word of God. The Tanakh is included in the Christian Old Testament. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox canons include additonal books not found in either the Tanakh or the Protestant Old Testament canon.

More than 14,000 manuscripts and fragments of the Hebrew Tanakh exist, as do numerous copies of the Greek Septuagint, and 5,300 manuscripts of the Greek New Testament, more than any other work of antiquity.[3]
Contents
[hide]

* 1 Derivation
* 2 Distribution
* 3 The Hebrew Bible
o 3.1 Torah
+ 3.1.1 The two Torahs
+ 3.1.2 The four sources according to the Documentary hypothesis
o 3.2 Nevi'im
o 3.3 Ketuvim
o 3.4 Translations and editions
o 3.5 Differing Christian usages of the Old Testament
* 4 The New Testament
o 4.1 Original language
o 4.2 Historic editions
* 5 Theology
* 6 Historic editions
* 7 The canonization of the Bible
* 8 Bible versions and translations
* 9 Bible versions and translations
o 9.1 Differences in Bible Translations
* 10 Inclusive Language
* 11 The introduction of chapters and verses
* 12 Advocacy of the Bible
* 13 Criticism of the Bible
* 14 Notes and references
* 15 See also
o 15.1 Biblical analysis
o 15.2 Perspectives on the Bible
o 15.3 History and the Bible
o 15.4 Biblical scholarship and analysis
* 16 External links
o 16.1 Bible Societies and Translations
o 16.2 Bible texts
+ 16.2.1 Hebrew
+ 16.2.2 Greek
+ 16.2.3 Latin
+ 16.2.4 English
+ 16.2.5 Others
o 16.3 Commentaries
o 16.4 Analysis

[edit]

Derivation

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary the word bible is from the early 1300s, from Anglo-Latin biblia, traced from the same word through Medieval Latin and Late Latin, as used in the phrase biblia sacra ("holy books"). This then stemmed from the term (Greek: τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια ta biblia ta hagia, "the holy books"), which derived from biblion ("paper" or "scroll", the ordinary word for "book"), which was originally a diminutive of byblos ("Egyptian papyrus"), possibly so called from the name of the Phoenician port from which Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece[4]. Biblical scholar Mark Hamilton states that the Greek phrase ta biblia ("the books") was "an expression Hellenistic Jews used to describe their sacred books several centuries before the time of Jesus[5]," and would have referred to the Septuagint[6]. The Online Etymology Dictionary concludes that the Christian scripture was refered to in Greek as Ta Biblia as early as 223 CE. The word "Bible" replaced Old English biblioðece ("the Scriptures") from the Greek bibliotheke (lit. "book-repository" from biblion + theke, meaning "case, chest, or sheath"), used of the Bible by Jerome and the common Latin word for it until Biblia began to displace it 9c. Use of the word in a figurative sense, as in "any authoritative book" is from 1804.
[edit]

Distribution

The Bible is the most famous widely distributed book in the world; both Hebrew Scripture [citation needed] and the Christian Bible have been translated more times and into more languages — more than 2,100 languages in all — than any other book. It is said that more than six billion copies of the Bible have been sold since 1815, making it the best-selling book of all-time[1].

Because of Christian influence within the late Roman era to the Age of Enlightenment, the Bible has influenced not only religion but language, law and the natural philosophy of mainstream Near Eastern, Western, Indian, and North African Civilizations. The further spread of Christianity expanded Biblical influence to South and North American, African, and Asian cultures.
[edit]

The Hebrew Bible
Part of Category:Judaism

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Main articles: Hebrew Bible and Tanakh

The Hebrew Bible (Hebrew: תנ"ך) is a term that refers to the common portions of the Jewish and Christian biblical canons. Its use is favored by some academic Biblical scholars as a neutral term that is preferred in academic writing both to "Old Testament" and to "Tanakh" (an acronym used commonly by Jews but unfamiliar to many English speakers and others) (Alexander 1999, p. 17).

"Hebrew" in "Hebrew Bible" may refer to either the Hebrew language or to the Hebrew people who historically used Hebrew as a spoken language, and have continuously used the language in prayer and study, or both.

Because "Hebrew Bible" refers to the common portions of the Jewish and Christian biblical canons, it does not encompass the deuterocanonical books (largely from the Koine Greek Septuagint translation (LXX), included in the canon of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches). Thus the term "Hebrew Bible" corresponds most fully to the Old Testament in use by Protestant denominations (adhering to Jerome's Hebraica veritas doctrine). Nevertheless, the term can be used accurately by all Christian denominations in general contexts, except where reference to specific translations or books is called for.

The Hebrew Bible consists of 39 books. Tanakh is an acronym for the three parts of the Hebrew Bible: the Torah ("Teaching/Law" also known as the Pentateuch), Nevi'im ("Prophets"), and Ketuvim ("Writings", or Hagiographa).

(see Table of books of Judeo-Christian Scripture)
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Torah

Main article: Torah

The holy Jewish scripture: The Torah. In the background are the Star of David and a Menorah, two important symbols of Judaism.
Enlarge
The holy Jewish scripture: The Torah. In the background are the Star of David and a Menorah, two important symbols of Judaism.

The Torah, or "Teaching," is also known as the five books of Moses, thus Chumash or Pentateuch (Hebrew and Greek for "five," respectively).

The Pentateuch is composed of the following five books:

* I Genesis (Bereisheet בראשית),
* II Exodus (Shemot שמות),
* III Leviticus (Vayikra ויקרא),
* IV Numbers (Bemidbar במדבר), and
* V Deuteronomy (Devarim דברים)

The Hebrew book titles come from the first words in the respective texts. The Hebrew title for Numbers, however, comes from the fifth word of that text.

The Torah focuses on three moments in the changing relationship between God and people.

* The first eleven chapters of Genesis provide accounts of the creation (or ordering) of the world, and the history of God's early relationship with humanity.
* The remaining thirty-nine chapters of Genesis provide an account of God's covenant with the Hebrew patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (also called Israel), and Jacob's children (the "Children of Israel"), especially Joseph. It tells of how God commanded Abraham to leave his family and home in the city of Ur, eventually to settle in the land of Canaan, and how the Children of Israel later moved to Egypt.
* The remaining four books of the Torah tell the story of Moses, who lived hundreds of years after the patriarchs. His story coincides with the story of the liberation of the Children of Israel from slavery in Ancient Egypt, to the renewal of their covenant with God at Mount Sinai, and their wanderings in the desert until a new generation would be ready to enter the land of Canaan. The Torah ends with the death of Moses.

Traditionally, the Torah contains the 613 mitzvot, or commandments, of God, revealed during the passage from slavery in the land of Egypt to freedom in the land of Canaan. These commandments provide the basis for Halakha (Jewish religious law).

The Torah is divided into fifty-four portions which are read in turn in Jewish liturgy, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Deuteronomy, each Sabbath. The cycle ends and recommences at the end of Sukkot, which is called Simchat Torah.
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The two Torahs

By the Hellenistic period of Jewish history, Jews were divided over the nature of the Torah. Some (for example, the Sadducees) believed that the Chumash contained the entire Torah, that is, the entire contents of what God revealed to Moses at Sinai and in the desert. Others, principally the Pharisees, believed that the Chumash represented only that portion of the revelation that had been written down (i.e., the Written Torah or the Written Law), but that the rest of God's revelation had been passed down orally (thus composing the Oral Law or Oral Torah). Orthodox and Masorti and Conservative Judaism state that the Talmud contains some of the Oral Torah. Reform Judaism also gives credence to the Talmud containing the Oral Torah, but, as with the written Torah, asserts that both were inspired by, but not dictated by, God.
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The four sources according to the Documentary hypothesis

Main article: Documentary hypothesis

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The documentary hypothesis posits that the Written Torah has its origins in sources who lived during the time of the monarchy or later, labeled J (Yahwists), E (Elohim), D (Deuteronomists), and P (Priests). These in turn may go back to oral traditions and/or draw on (and sometimes parody) earlier ancient Near Eastern mythology. Julius Wellhausen, who in the late 19th century gave this hypothesis a definitive formulation, suggested that these sources were edited together or redacted during the time of Ezra, perhaps by Ezra himself. Since that time Wellhausen's theory has been widely debated by critical scholars (e.g. Yehezkel Kaufman). The general evidence for opposition to JEDP is as follows: There is no existing proof for a redactor ever having lived. (However, the Written Torah dates back more than 2000 years; written material from the Ancient Near East is relatively scarce, the Bible itself and Josephus being major historical sources from that time and place). Also, the division of what text fits into any particular division of JEDP is purely arbitrary and based mostly on the particular scholar's speculation.

Scholars who accept the documentary hypothesis differ as to whether these sources were or were not divinely inspired, and also differ over the nature and extent of their obligation to the 613 commandments and to the body of law represented in the Oral Torah. Nonetheless, each branch of Judaism recognizes both the Written and Oral Torahs as central to Jewish tradition, whether it be conceived of as sacred, national, or cultural.
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Nevi'im

Main article: Nevi'im

The Nevi'im, or "Prophets," tells the story of the rise of the Hebrew monarchy, its division into two kingdoms, and the prophets who, in God's name, judged the kings and the Children of Israel. It ends with the conquest of the Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians and the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah by the Babylonians, and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Portions of the prophetic books are read by Jews on the Sabbath (Shabbat). The Book of Jonah is read on Yom Kippur.

According to Jewish tradition, Nevi'im is divided into eight books. Contemporary translations subdivide these into seventeen books.

The eight books are:

* I. Joshua or Yehoshua [יהושע]
* II. Judges or Shoftim [שופטים]
* III. Samuel or Shmu'el [שמואל] (often divided into two books; Samuel may be considered the last of the judges or the first of the prophets, as his sons were named judges but were rejected by the Hebrew nation)
* IV. Kings or Melakhim [מלכים] (often divided into two books)
* V. Isaiah or Yeshayahu [ישעיהו]
* VI. Jeremiah or Yirmiyahu [ירמיהו]
* VII. Ezekiel or Yehezq'el [יחזקאל]
* VIII. Trei Asar (The Twelve Minor Prophets) תרי עשר
1. Hosea or Hoshea [הושע]
2. Joel or Yo'el [יואל]
3. Amos [עמוס]
4. Obadiah or Ovadyah [עבדיה]
5. Jonah or Yonah [יונה]
6. Micah or Mikhah [מיכה]
7. Nahum or Nachum [נחום]
8. Habakkuk or Habaquq [חבקוק]
9. Zephaniah or Tsefania [צפניה]
10. Haggai [חגי]
11. Zechariah or Zekharia [זכריה]
12. Malachi or Malakhi [מלאכי]

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Ketuvim

Main article: Ketuvim

The Ketuvim, or "Writings," may have been written during or after the Babylonian Exile but no one can be sure. According to Rabbinic tradition, many of the psalms in the book of Psalms are attributed to David; King Solomon is believed to have written Song of Songs in his youth, Proverbs at the prime of his life, and Ecclesiastes at old age; and the prophet Jeremiah is thought to have written Lamentations. The Book of Job is the only biblical book that centers entirely on a non-Jew. The book of Ruth tells the story of a non-Jew (specifically, a Moabite) who married a Jew and, upon his death, followed in the ways of the Jews; according to the Bible, she was the great-grandmother of King David. Five of the books, called "The Five Scrolls" (Megilot), are read on Jewish holidays: Song of Songs on Passover; the Book of Ruth on Shavuot; Lamentations on the Ninth of Av; Ecclesiastes on Sukkot; and the Book of Esther on Purim. Collectively, the Ketuvim contain lyrical poetry, philosophical reflections on life, and the stories of the prophets and other Jewish leaders during the Babylonian exile. It ends with the Persian decree allowing Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.

Ketuvim contains eleven books:

* I. Tehillim (Psalms) תהלים
* II. Mishlei (Book of Proverbs) משלי
* III. 'Iyyov (Book of Job) איוב
* IV. Shir ha-Shirim (Song of Songs) שיר השירים
* V. Ruth (Book of Ruth) רות
* VI. Eikhah (Lamentations) איכה [Also called Kinnot (קינות) in Hebrew.]
* VII. Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) קהלת
* VIII. Esther (Book of Esther) אסתר
* IX. Daniel (Book of Daniel) דניאל
* X. Ezra (often divided into two books, Book of Ezra and Book of Nehemiah (עזרא (נחמיה
* XI. Divrei ha-Yamim (Chronicles, often divided into two books) דברי

הימים
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Translations and editions

The Tanakh was mainly written in Biblical Hebrew, with some portions (notably in Daniel and Ezra) in Aramaic.

Some time in the 2nd or 3rd century BC, the Torah was translated into Koine Greek, and over the next century, other books were translated (or composed) as well. This translation became known as the Septuagint and was widely used by Greek-speaking Jews, and later by Christians. It differs somewhat from the later standardized Hebrew (Masoretic Text). This translation was promoted by way of a legend that seventy separate translators all produced identical texts, indicating that the translation was divinely inspired.

From the 800s to the 1400s, Jewish scholars today known as Karaites Masoretes compared the text of all known Biblical manuscripts in an effort to create a unified, standardized text. A series of highly similar texts eventually emerged, and any of these texts are known as Masoretic Texts (MT). The Masoretes also added vowel points (called niqqud) to the text, since the original text only contained consonant letters. This sometimes required the selection of an interpretation, since some words differ only in their vowels— their meaning can vary in accordance with the vowels chosen. In antiquity, variant Hebrew readings existed, some of which have survived in the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Dead Sea scrolls, and other ancient fragments, as well as being attested in ancient versions in other languages.

Versions of the Septuagint contain several passages and whole books beyond what was included in the Masoretic texts of the Tanakh. In some cases these additions were originally composed in Greek, while in other cases they are translations of Hebrew books or variants not present in the Masoretic texts. Recent discoveries have shown that more of the Septuagint additions have a Hebrew origin than was once thought. While there are no complete surviving manuscripts of the Hebrew texts on which the Septuagint was based, many scholars believe that they represent a different textual tradition ("vorlage") from the one that became the basis for the Masoretic texts.[citation needed]

Jews also produced non-literal translations or paraphrases known as targums, primarily in Aramaic. They frequently expanded on the text with additional details taken from Rabbinic oral tradition.
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Differing Christian usages of the Old Testament

The Septuagint (Greek translation, from Alexandria in Egypt under the Ptolemies) was generally abandoned in favor of the Masoretic text as the basis for translations of the Old Testament into Western languages from Saint Jerome's Vulgate to the present day. In Eastern Christianity, translations based on the Septuagint still prevail. Some modern Western translations make use of the Septuagint to clarify passages in the Masoretic text that seem to have suffered corruption in transcription. They also sometimes adopt variants that appear in texts discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

A number of deuterocanonical books which are part of the Greek Septuagint but are not found in the Hebrew Bible are often referred to as the Apocrypha. Evangelicals and those of the Modern Protestant traditions do not accept the Apocrypha as canonical, although Protestant Bibles included them until around the 1820s. However theRoman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches) include the Apocrypha as part of the Old Testament. The Roman Catholic Church recognizes seven such books (Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch), as well as some passages in Esther and Daniel. Various Orthodox Churches include a few others, typically 3 Maccabees, Psalm 151, 1 Esdras, Odes, Psalms of Solomon, and occasionally 4 Maccabees.
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The New Testament
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A Bible handwritten in Latin, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. This Bible was transcribed in Belgium in 1407 for reading aloud in a monastery.
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A Bible handwritten in Latin, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. This Bible was transcribed in Belgium in 1407 for reading aloud in a monastery.

The Bible as used by the majority of Christians includes the Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament, which relates the life and teachings of Jesus, the letters of the Apostle Paul and other disciples to the early church and the Book of Revelation.

The New Testament is a collection of 27 books, produced by Christians, with Jesus as its central figure, written primarily in Koine Greek in the early Christian period. Nearly all Christians recognize the New Testament (as stated below) as canonical scripture. These books can be grouped into:

* The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke being known as the Synoptic Gospels)
o Gospel According to Matthew
o Gospel According to Mark
o Gospel According to Luke
o Gospel According to John

* Acts of the Apostles
* Pauline Epistles
o Epistle to the Romans
o First Epistle to the Corinthians
o Second Epistle to the Corinthians
o Epistle to the Galatians
o Epistle to the Philippians
o Epistle to Philemon
o First Epistle to the Thessalonians
o Second Epistle to the Thessalonians
o Epistle to the Ephesians
o Epistle to the Colossians



*
o Pastoral Epistles
+ First Epistle to Timothy
+ Second Epistle to Timothy
+ Epistle to Titus
* Epistle to the Hebrews
* General Epistles
o Epistle of James
o First Epistle of Peter
o Second Epistle of Peter
o First Epistle of John
o Second Epistle of John
o Third Epistle of John
o Epistle of Jude
* Revelation

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Original language

The New Testament was probably completely composed in Greek, the language of the earliest manuscripts. Some scholars believe that parts of the Greek New Testament (in particular, the Gospel of Matthew) are actually a translation of an Aramaic original. Of these, a small number accept the Syriac Peshitta as representative of the original. See further Aramaic primacy.
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Historic editions
The Codex Gigas from the 13th century, held at the Royal Library in Sweden.
Enlarge
The Codex Gigas from the 13th century, held at the Royal Library in Sweden.

Concerning ancient manuscripts, the three main textual traditions are sometimes called the Western text-type, the Alexandrian text-type, and Byzantine text-type. Together they compose the majority of New Testament manuscripts. There are also several ancient versions in other languages, most important of which are the Syriac (including the Peshitta and the Diatessaron gospel harmony), Ge'ez and the Latin (both the Vetus Latina and the Vulgate).

The earliest surviving complete manuscript of the entire Bible is the Codex Amiatinus, a Latin Vulgate edition produced in eighth century England at the double monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow.

The earliest printed edition of the New Testament in Greek appeared in 1516 from the Froben press. It was compiled by Desiderius Erasmus on the basis of the few recent Greek manuscripts, all of Byzantine tradition, at his disposal, which he completed by translating from the Vulgate parts for which he did not have a Greek text. He produced four later editions of the text.

Erasmus was a Roman Catholic, but his preference for the textual tradition represented in Byzantine Greek text of the time rather than that in the Latin Vulgate led to him being viewed with suspicion by some authorities of his church.

The first edition with critical apparatus (variant readings in manuscripts) was produced by the printer Robert Estienne of Paris in 1550. The type of text printed in this edition and in those of Erasmus became known as the Textus Receptus (Latin for "received text"), a name given to it in the Elzevier edition of 1633, which termed it the text nunc ab omnibus receptum ("now received by all"). Upon it, the churches of the Protestant Reformation based their translations into vernacular languages, such as the King James Version.

The discovery of older manuscripts, such as the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus, led scholars to revise their opinion of this text. Karl Lachmann’s critical edition of 1831, based on manuscripts dating from the fourth century and earlier, was intended primarily to demonstrate that the Textus Receptus must finally be corrected by the earlier texts. Later critical texts are based on further scholarly research and the finding of papyrus fragments, which date in some cases from within a few decades of the composition of the New Testament writings.[citation needed] It is on the basis of these that nearly all modern translations or revisions of older translations have been made, though some still prefer the Textus Receptus or the similar "Byzantine Majority Text".
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Theology

While individual books within the Christian Bible present narratives set in certain historical periods, most Christian denominations teach that the Bible itself has an overarching message.

There are among Christians wide differences of opinion as to how particular incidents as described in the Bible are to be interpreted and as to what meaning should be attached to various prophecies. However, Christians in general are in agreement as to the Bible's basic message. A general outline, as described by C.S. Lewis, is as follows:[7]

1. At some point in the past, mankind learned to depart from God's will and began to sin.
2. Because no one is free from sin, humanity cannot deal with God directly, so God revealed Himself in ways people could understand.
3. God called Abraham and his progeny to be the means for saving all of mankind.
4. To this end, He gave the Law to Moses.
5. The resulting nation of Israel went through cycles of sin and repentance, yet the prophets show an increasing understanding of the Law as a moral, not just a ceremonial, force.
6. Jesus brought a perfect understanding of the Mosaic Law, that of love and salvation.
7. By His death and resurrection, all who believe are saved and reconciled to God.

Many people who identify themselves as Christians, Muslims, or Jews regard the Bible as inspired by God yet written by a variety of imperfect men over thousands of years. Belief in sacred texts is attested to in Jewish antiquity,[8] and this belief can also be seen in the earliest of Christian writings. Various texts of the Bible mention Divine agency in relation to prophetic writings,[9] the most explicit being: 2 Timothy 3:16: "All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice." However, the Bible neither gives a list of which texts are inspired and their exact contents, nor a precise theological definition of what inspiration entails. In their book A General Introduction to the Bible, Norman Geisler and William Nix wrote: "The process of inspiration is a mystery of the providence of God, but the result of this process is a verbal, plenary, inerrant, and authoritative record."[10] Some Biblical scholars,[11][12][13] particularly Evangelicals, associate inspiration with only the original text; for example the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy which asserted that inspiration applied only to the autographic text of Scripture.[14]
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Historic editions
The Codex Gigas from the 13th century, held at the Royal Library in Sweden.
Enlarge
The Codex Gigas from the 13th century, held at the Royal Library in Sweden.

Concerning ancient manuscripts, the three main textual traditions are sometimes called the Western text-type, the Alexandrian text-type, and Byzantine text-type. Together they compose the majority of New Testament manuscripts. There are also several ancient versions in other languages, most important of which are the Syriac (including the Peshitta and the Diatessaron gospel harmony), Ge'ez and the Latin (both the Vetus Latina and the Vulgate).

The earliest surviving complete manuscript of the entire Bible is the Codex Amiatinus, a Latin Vulgate edition produced in eighth century England at the double monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow.

The earliest printed edition of the New Testament in Greek appeared in 1516 from the Froben press. It was compiled by Desiderius Erasmus on the basis of the few recent Greek manuscripts, all of Byzantine tradition, at his disposal, which he completed by translating from the Vulgate parts for which he did not have a Greek text. He produced four later editions of the text.

Erasmus was a Roman Catholic, but his preference for the textual tradition represented in Byzantine Greek text of the time rather than that in the Latin Vulgate led to him being viewed with suspicion by some authorities of his church.

The first edition with critical apparatus (variant readings in manuscripts) was produced by the printer Robert Estienne of Paris in 1550. The type of text printed in this edition and in those of Erasmus became known as the Textus Receptus (Latin for "received text"), a name given to it in the Elzevier edition of 1633, which termed it the text nunc ab omnibus receptum ("now received by all"). Upon it, the churches of the Protestant Reformation based their translations into vernacular languages, such as the King James Version.

The discovery of older manuscripts, such as the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus, led scholars to revise their opinion of this text. Karl Lachmann’s critical edition of 1831, based on manuscripts dating from the fourth century and earlier, was intended primarily to demonstrate that the Textus Receptus must finally be corrected by the earlier texts. Later critical texts are based on further scholarly research and the finding of papyrus fragments, which date in some cases from within a few decades of the composition of the New Testament writings.[citation needed] It is on the basis of these that nearly all modern translations or revisions of older translations have been made, though some still prefer the Textus Receptus or the similar "Byzantine Majority Text".
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The canonization of the Bible

Main article: Biblical Canon

It has been theorized that canonical status of some books of the Hebrew Bible was still being discussed between 200 BC and AD 100, and that it had yet to reach definitive form. It is unclear at what point during this period the Jewish canon was fixed, though the Jewish canon which did eventually form did not include all the books found in the various editions of the Septuagint.

The Old Testament canon entered into Christian use in the Greek Septuagint translations and original books, and their differing lists of texts. In addition to the Septuagint, Christianity subsequently added various writings that would become the New Testament. Somewhat different lists of accepted works continued to develop in antiquity. In the fourth century a series of synods produced a list of texts equal to the 27-book canon of the New Testament that would be subsequently used to today. Also c. 400, Jerome produced a definitive Latin edition of the Bible (see Vulgate), the canon of which, at the insistence of the Pope, was in accord with the earlier Synods. With the benefit of hindsight it can be said that this process effectively set the New Testament canon, although there are examples of other canonical lists in use after this time. A definitive list did not come from an Ecumenical Council until the Council of Trent (1545-1563).

During the Protestant Reformation, certain reformers proposed different canonical lists than what was currently in use. Though not without debate, the list of New Testament books would come to remain the same; however, the Old Testament texts present in the Septuagint, but not included in the Jewish canon, fell out of favour. In time they would come to be removed from most Protestant canons. Hence, in a Catholic context these texts are referred to as deuterocanonical books, whereas in a Protestant context they are referred to as Apocrypha, the label applied to all texts excluded from the Biblical canon. (Confusingly, Catholics and Protestants both describe certain other books, such as the ‘’Acts of Peter’’, as apocryphal).

Thus, the Protestant Old Testament of today has a 39-book canon—the number varies from that of the books in the Tanakh (though not in content) because of a different method of division—while the Roman Catholic Church recognizes 46 books as part of the canonical Old Testament. The term “Hebrew Scriptures” is only synonymous with the Protestant Old Testament, not the Catholic, which contains the Hebrew Scriptures and additional texts. Both Catholics and Protestants have the same 27-book New Testament Canon.

Canonicity, which involves the discernment of which texts are divinely inspired, is distinct from questions of human authorship and the formation of the books of the Bible.
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Bible versions and translations

In scholarly writing, ancient translations are frequently referred to as "versions", with the term "translation" being reserved for medieval or modern translations. Bible versions are discussed below, while Bible translations can be found on a separate page.

The original texts of the Tanakh were in Hebrew, although some portions were in Aramaic. In addition to the authoritative Masoretic Text, Jews still refer to the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, and the Targum Onkelos, an Aramaic version of the Bible.

The primary Biblical text for early Christians was the Septuagint or (LXX). In addition they translated the Hebrew Bible into several other languages. Translations were made into Syriac, Coptic, Ge'ez and Latin, among other languages. The Latin translations were historically the most important for the Church in the West, while the Greek-speaking East continued to use the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament and had no need to translate the New Testament.

The earliest Latin translation was the Old Latin text, or Vetus Latina, which, from internal evidence, seems to have been made by several authors over a period of time. It was based on the Septuagint, and thus included books not in the Hebrew Bible.

Pope Damasus I assembled the first list of books of the Bible at the Council of Rome in 382 A.D. He commissioned Saint Jerome to produce a reliable and consistent text by translating the original Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin. This translation became known as the Latin Vulgate Bible and was declared by the Church to be the only authentic and official Bible.

Bible translations for many languages have been made through the various influences of Catholicism, Orthodox, Protestant, etc especially since the Protestant Reformation. The Bible has seen a notably large number of English language translations.

The work of Bible translation continues, including by Christian organisations such as Wycliffe Bible Translators (wycliffe.net), New Tribes Missions (ntm.org) and the Bible Societies (biblesociety.org). Of the world's 6,900 languages, 2,400 have some or all of the Bible, 1,600 (spoken by more than a billion people) have translation underway, and some 2,500 (spoken by 270m people) are judged as needing translation to begin.[15]
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Bible versions and translations

In scholarly writing, ancient translations are frequently referred to as "versions", with the term "translation" being reserved for medieval or modern translations. Bible versions are discussed below, while Bible translations can be found on a separate page.

The original texts of the Tanakh were in Hebrew, although some portions were in Aramaic. In addition to the authoritative Masoretic Text, Jews still refer to the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, and the Targum Onkelos, an Aramaic version of the Bible.

The primary Biblical text for early Christians was the Septuagint or (LXX). In addition they translated the Hebrew Bible into several other languages. Translations were made into Syriac, Coptic, Ge'ez and Latin, among other languages. The Latin translations were historically the most important for the Church in the West, while the Greek-speaking East continued to use the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament and had no need to translate the New Testament.

The earliest Latin translation was the Old Latin text, or Vetus Latina, which, from internal evidence, seems to have been made by several authors over a period of time. It was based on the Septuagint, and thus included books not in the Hebrew Bible.

Pope Damasus I assembled the first list of books of the Bible at the Council of Rome in 382 A.D. He commissioned Saint Jerome to produce a reliable and consistent text by translating the original Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin. This translation became known as the Latin Vulgate Bible and was declared by the Church to be the only authentic and official Bible.

Bible translations for many languages have been made through the various influences of Catholicism, Orthodox, Protestant, etc especially since the Protestant Reformation. The Bible has seen a notably large number of English language translations.

The work of Bible translation continues, including by Christian organisations such as Wycliffe Bible Translators (wycliffe.net), New Tribes Missions (ntm.org) and the Bible Societies (biblesociety.org). Of the world's 6,900 languages, 2,400 have some or all of the Bible, 1,600 (spoken by more than a billion people) have translation underway, and some 2,500 (spoken by 270m people) are judged as needing translation to begin.[16]
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Differences in Bible Translations

See also: Bible translations: Approaches.

As Hebrew and Greek, the original languages of the Bible, have idioms and concepts not easily translated, there is an on going critical tension about whether it is better to give a word for word translation or to give a translation that gives a parallel idiom in the target language. For instance in the English language Protestant translations of the Christian Bible, translations like the New Revised Standard Version and the New American Standard Version are seen as more "word for word" translations, whereas translations like the New International Version and New Living Version attempt to give relevant parallel idioms. The Living Bible and The Message are two paraphrases of the Bible that try to convey the original meaning in contemporary language. The further away one gets from word to word translation, the text becomes more readable while relying more on the theological understanding of the translator.
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Inclusive Language

Further, both Hebrew and Greek, like some of the Latin-origin languages, use the male gender of nouns and pronouns to refer to groups that contain both sexes. This creates some difficulty in determining whether a noun should be translated using terms that refer to men only, or men and women inclusively. Some translations avoid the issue by directly translating the word using male only terminology, whereas others try to use inclusive language where the translators believe it to be appropriate. One translation that attempts to use inclusive language is the New Revised Standard Version and the latest edition of the New International Version.
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The introduction of chapters and verses

Main article: Chapters and verses of the Bible; see Tanakh for the Jewish textual tradition.

The Hebrew Masoretic text contains verse endings as an important feature. According to the Talmudic tradition, the verse endings are of ancient origin. The Masoretic textual tradition also contains section endings called parashiyot, which are indicated by a space within a line (a "closed" section") or a new line beginning (an "open" section). The division of the text reflected in the parashiyot is usually thematic. The parashiyot are not numbered.

In early manuscripts (most importantly in Tiberian Masoretic manuscripts, such as the Aleppo codex) an "open" section may also be represented by a blank line, and a "closed" section by a new line that is slightly indented (the preceding line may also not be full). These latter conventions are no longer used in Torah scrolls and printed Hebrew Bibles. In this system the one rule differentiating "open" and "closed" sections is that "open" sections must always begin at the beginning of a new line, while "closed" sections never start at the beginning of a new line.

Another related feature of the Masoretic text is the division of the sedarim. This division is not thematic, but is almost entirely based upon the quantity of text.

The Byzantines also introduced a chapter division of sorts, called Kephalaia. It is not identical to the present chapters.

The current division of the Bible into chapters and the verse numbers within the chapters have no basis in any ancient textual tradition. Rather, they are medieval Christian inventions. They were later adopted by many Jews as well, as technical references within the Hebrew text. Such technical references became crucial to medieval rabbis in the historical context of forced debates with Christian clergy (who used the chapter and verse numbers), especially in late medieval Spain. Chapter divisions were first used by Jews in a 1330 manuscript, and for a printed edition in 1516. However, for the past generation, most Jewish editions of the complete Hebrew Bible have made a systematic effort to relegate chapter and verse numbers to the margins of the text.

The division of the Bible into chapters and verses has often elicited severe criticism from traditionalists and modern scholars alike. Critics charge that the text is often divided into chapters in an incoherent way, or at inappropriate rhetorical points, and that it encourages citing passages out of context, in effect turning the Bible into a kind of textual quarry for clerical citations. Nevertheless, the chapter divisions and verse numbers have become indispensable as technical references for Bible study.

Stephen Langton is reputed to have been the first to put the chapter divisions into a Vulgate edition of the Bible, in 1205. They were then inserted into Greek manuscripts of the New Testament in the 1400s. Robert Estienne (Robert Stephanus) was the first to number the verses within each chapter, his verse numbers entering printed editions in 1565 (New Testament) and 1571 (Hebrew Bible).[2][3]
[edit]

Advocacy of the Bible

Main articles: Advocacy of the Bible and Christian apologetics

Christian apologists advocate a high view of the Bible and sometimes advocate the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy.

Christian scholar Bernard Ramm is often quoted by conservative Christians for writing the following in his work Protestant Christian Evidences:

"Jews preserved it as no other manuscript has ever been preserved. With their massora they kept tabs on every letter, syllable, word and paragraph. They had special classes of men within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve and transmit these documents with practically perfect fidelity – scribes, lawyers, massorettes.

In regard to the New Testament, there are about 13,000 manuscripts, complete and incomplete, in Greek and other languages, that have survived from antiquity.

A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put. No other book has been so chopped, knifed, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. What book on philosophy or religion or psychology or belles lettres of classical or modern times has been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? With such venom and skepticism? With such thoroughness and erudition? Upon every chapter, line and tenet?

The Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions, and studied by millions."[17]

[edit]

Criticism of the Bible

Main articles: Biblical criticism and Criticism of the Bible

Theologians and clerics, most notably Abraham Ibn Ezra, have long noticed apparent contradictions within the Biblical text. Benedict Spinoza concluded from a study of such contradictions that the Torah could not have had a single author, and thus, neither God nor Moses could be the authors of the Torah. By the 19th century, critical scholars, such as Hermann Gunkel and Julius Wellhausen argued that the various books of the Bible were written not by the presumed authors but by a heterogeneous set of authors over a long period. Although Biblical archeology has confirmed the existence of some of the people, places, and events mentioned in the Bible, many critical scholars have argued that the Bible be read not as an accurate historical document, but rather as a work of literature and theology that often draws on historical events — and often draws on non-Hebrew mythology — as primary source material. For these critics the Bible reveals much about the lives and times of its authors. Whether the ideas of these authors have any relevance to contemporary society is left to clerics and adherents of contemporary religions to decide.
[edit]

Notes and references

1. ^ Dictionary.com
2. ^ See Patrick H. Alexander The SBL Handbook of Style. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers. ISBN 1-56563-487-X.
3. ^ Reliability of Ancient Manuscripts. AllAboutTruth.org.
4. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary entry for word "Bible"
5. ^ "From Hebrew Bible to Christian Bible" by Mark Hamilton on PBS's site From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians
6. ^ Dictionary.com etymology of the word "Bible"
7. ^ A Summary of the Bible by Lewis, C.S: Believer's Web
8. ^ See Philo of Alexandria, De vita Moysis 3.23; Josephus, Contra Apion 1.8
9. ^ "Basis for belief of Inspiration". Biblegateway.
10. ^ [L. Geisler, William E. Nix] (1986). A General Introduction to the Bible:p86. Moody Publishers. ISBN 0-80-242916-5.
11. ^ for example, seeLeroy Zuck, Roy B. Zuck (1991). Basic Bible Interpretation:p68. Chariot Victor Pub. ISBN 0-89-693819-0.
12. ^ Roy B. Zuck, Donald Campbell (2002). Basic Bible Interpretation. Victor. ISBN 0-78-143877-2.
13. ^ Norman L. Geisler (1979, 1980). Inerrancy:p294. The Zondervan Corporation. ISBN 0-31-039281-0.
14. ^ International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (1978, ICBI.). "THE CHICAGO STATEMENT ON BIBLICAL INERRANCY" (pdf). International Council on Biblical Inerrancy.
15. ^ www.vision2025.org
16. ^ www.vision2025.org
17. ^ Bernard Ramm, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Chicago: Moody Press, 1957 pp.232-233

* Berlin, Adele, Marc Zvi Brettler and Michael Fishbane. The Jewish Study Bible. Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-19-529751-2
* Anderson, Bernhard W. Understanding the Old Testament (ISBN 0-13-948399-3)
* Asimov, Isaac Asimov's Guide to the Bible, New York, NY: Avenel Books, 1981 (ISBN 0-517-34582-X)
* Dever, William G. Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did they Come from? Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2003. ISBN 0-8028-0975-8.
* Ehrman, Bart D. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005. ISBN 0-06-073817-0.
* Geisler, Norman (editor), Inerrancy, Sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, Zondervan Publishing House, 1980, ISBN 0310392810.
* Head, Tom. The Absolute Beginner's Guide to the Bible. Indianapolis, IN: Que Publishing, 2005. ISBN 0-7897-3419-2.
* Hoffman, Joel M. In the Beginning. New York University Press. 2004. ISBN 0-8147-3690-4.
* Lindsell, Harold, The Battle for the Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, 1978, ISBN 0310276810.
* Lienhard, Joseph T. "The Bible, The Church, and Authority." Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1995.
* Miller, John W. The Origins of the Bible: Rethinking Canon History Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8091-3522-1.
* Riches, John. The Bible: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-19-285343-0
* Finkelstein, Israel and Silberman, Neil A. The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001. ISBN 0-684-86913-6.
* Taylor, Hawley O., "Mathematics and Prophecy," Modern Science and Christian Faith, Wheaton,: Van Kampen, 1948, pp.175-183.
* Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia, subject: prophecy, page 1410, Moody Bible Press, Chicago, 1986
* Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia, subject: Book of Ezekiel, page 580, Moody Bible Press, Chicago, 1986
* On gender neutrality. gender-neutral Bible translations.

[edit]

See also
Portal:Bible
Bible Portal
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Bible
Look up Bible in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Bible
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
The Bible and Works about the Bible
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
1911 Britannica entry
[edit]

Biblical analysis

* Books of the Bible
* Table of books of Judeo-Christian Scripture
* Bible translations
* Biblical canon
* Bible prophecy
* Bible chronology
* Ten Commandments
* Ritual Decalogue
* New Testament view on Jesus' life
* Lost books of the Old Testament
* Lost books of the New Testament
* Parsha

[edit]

Perspectives on the Bible

* Jewish Biblical exegesis
* Islamic view of the Bible
* Similarities between the Bible and the Qur'an

[edit]

History and the Bible

* The Bible and history
* History of the English Bible

[edit]

Biblical scholarship and analysis

* Biblical archaeology
* Dating the Bible
* Bible conspiracy theory
* Biblical inerrancy
* Advocacy of the Bible
* Internal consistency and the Bible
* Criticism of the Bible
* Animals in the Bible

[edit]

External links
[edit]

Bible Societies and Translations

* The International Bible Society
* World Bible Translation Center
* Wycliffe Bible Translators
* The Concordant Version

[edit]

Bible texts
[edit]

Hebrew

* Hebrew-English Bible (JPS 1917 translation; includes Hebrew audio)
* XML Hebrew-English (KJV) Bible
* Old Testament in Hebrew

[edit]

Greek

* See "External Links" under Septuagint and New Testament.

[edit]

Latin

* Latin Vulgate - Latin Vulgate with parallel Douay-Rheims and King James English translations
* SacredBible.org - Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
* Jerome's Latin Vulgate (405 A.D.)

[edit]

English

* AudioBible.com - Audio version of the King James Version
* American Standard Version
* English Standard Version — from the website of Good News / Crossway (the publisher of the ESV)
* King James Version — E-sword text for Microsoft Windows
* King James Version with dictionary
* King James Version
* New Revised Standard Version
* World English Bible
* LDS King James Version w/audio, extensive commentary and cross-references
* King James Version built using AJAX Technologies, with Strongs and Greek Morphilogical Codes by Robinson

[edit]

Others

* Bible Gateway at GospelCom.net - Hosts a number of translations in different languages
* TheFreeBible.com - Free Bible software downloads
* Interlinear (word-by-word) translation of the Christian Bible from the original Hebrew and Koine Greek
* Aramaic New Testament resources
* Over 40 Versions of the bible
* Eastern and Western Armenian Bible
* Online Bible (King James Version & Old Testament)
* Bible - Louis Segond de 1910

* Spanish Bible PDT version
* Complete Sayings of Christ (long download)

[edit]

Commentaries

* Biblical History The Jewish History Resource Center - Project of the Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
* Judaica Press Translation - Online Jewish translation of the books of the Bible - Includes the Tanakh and Rashi's entire commentary
* Reading and Understanding the Bible
* Source for Bible Answers
* Amazing Facts Bible Studies
* The Skeptic's Annotated Bible
* Biblical Errancy and Contradictions

[edit]

Analysis

* Topical References
* Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedia

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible"

Categories: Articles with unsourced statements | Judaism | Cleanup from September 2006 | All pages needing cleanup | Bible | Latter Day Saint texts | Christianity
9:03 PM
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October 17, 2006
Kelly Monaco: Picture Perfect Boobs

Image courtesy of Horror Movie Babes
Some of you may remember this babe from a little series called Baywatch. Others might know her from the many Playboy Pictorials she shot back in the late 90’s. Or you may be one of the few who recognize her from more recent work, but whatever the case, once you’ve seen them, it’s hard to forget her special assets: Kelly Monaco’s breasts!

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October 16, 2006
Naughty Julie Interview

A tease can please sometimes, but one can't help but appreciate a young babe who isn't afraid to go all the way too please her fans or her man, not to mention any number of women and other men too. You see what puts the naughty in Naughty Julie is the fact that she's a swinger. Sure, she looks like the girl-next-door except she's more of nympho than most people's neighbor. We asked her some questions and she tells us no lies.

Continue reading "Naughty Julie Interview"

Posted by groundhog at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)



October 13, 2006
Naughty Allie Interview

Naughty Allie is a self-described "sex-addicted nympho." Rather than enter a 12-step program, she's made the most of her sexual addiction by posting her own personal website of solo, lesbian and hardcore content for all to enjoy. Some might say that she's fortunate to have a husband so understanding of her mischievous needs. However, I think you'll agree that Jake is the lucky man in this scenario, very lucky indeed!

Continue reading "Naughty Allie Interview"

Posted by groundhog at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)



October 12, 2006
Margot Kidder's Nude Bath

Image courtesy of Horror Movie Babes.
It’s hard to think of her as anything other than Superman’s girlfriend. But before she was snuggling up to a blue-leotard wearing Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder took a bath for horror fans in this 1975 flick. Can you name it?

Continue reading "Margot Kidder's Nude Bath"

Posted by wolf at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)



October 11, 2006
Sexy Witch Turns Into Scrawny Bitch

I am not one of those people who pretend only to like so-called good TV. I'm not tuning in to public television or highbrow news discussion shows. I'm sure it all stretches back to that repressed upbringing of mine that I simply love crap. I blame my mother who controlled the airwaves in our house growing up. She sometimes even made my father change channels if she didn't approve of a show.

Continue reading "Sexy Witch Turns Into Scrawny Bitch"

Posted by groundhog at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)



October 10, 2006
Trouble for Naturally Busty Teens

Image courtesy of Busty Adventures.
There was a time growing up where my girlfriends went through a lot of trouble because of their boobs. It was that awkward time in grade school when we really began to figure out that there were some notable differences between the sexes. We had a good mix of naturally busty teens in our class, along with some flatter choices, as well. But it was the girls with bigger boobs that were tormented the most…

Continue reading "Trouble for Naturally Busty Teens"

Posted by wolf at 11:34 AM | Comments (1)



October 06, 2006
Prince Offers Double to Stop Tits & Ass Show

I'm hardly an investigative reporter. However, looking for a photo to illustrate this next story, I found something far more interesting illustrating the old adage, "Don't believe everything you read."

Continue reading "Prince Offers Double to Stop Tits & Ass Show"

Posted by groundhog at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)



October 05, 2006
Virginia Madsen's Naked Boob

Image courtesy of Horror Movie Babes.
October is upon us and it’s time to salute the many beautiful babes that have helped scare the hell out of us over the years. I was watching Firewall last night. And although clearly not a horror flick, it starred Harrison Ford as a father opposite his super-hot wife, Virginia Madsen. Can you name the film she did where she exposed her breasts for super-horny horror fans?

Continue reading "Virginia Madsen's Naked Boob"

Posted by wolf at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)



October 04, 2006
Wet Camel Toes

A friend sent me an email forward with a JPEG with a title reminiscent of Mr Camel Toe. The message said to look closely. When I opened it, it was a candid shot of a pretty girl standing somewhere along a canal in front of a sidewalk cafe. She was cute but her loose fitting pants didn't show much.

Continue reading "Wet Camel Toes"

Posted by groundhog at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)



October 03, 2006
Upskirt Sex Pic Models: Do They Know?

Image courtesy of Upskirt Mania.
Sure, porn stars are hot and it’s fun to watch them fuck, but I think the best fun is watching amateurs get down on camera. These are the people who live across the street or in the dorm room down the hall. They are just another cute face in the crowd until the doors close and the camera starts to role. Then along comes the upskirt sex pic craze and suddenly even those who wouldn’t take it off in front of the camera are getting solid smile time, often without even knowing it!

Continue reading "Upskirt Sex Pic Models: Do They Know?"

Posted by wolf at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)



October 02, 2006
Retro Porn Pics are Musty Must Sees

Picture courtesy of Vintage Pics
When I was younger, my grandmother always complained how the world was getting worse and worse. Sinners all headed to hell in a hand basket she'd tisk tisk. Perhaps, she was right since thanks to global warming the roasting for our sinful treatment of our environment might happen sooner than we think. However, otherwise, she was naïve. Just check out Vintage Pics and you'll see what I mean.

Continue reading "Retro Porn Pics are Musty Must Sees"

Posted by groundhog at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)



September 30, 2006
Interview with Sweet Amylee


LA may be the City of Angels but Montreal seems to be the premier city for the hottest individual models on the web. Sweet Amylee is one of these innocent looking Montreal babes that typically one barely dares to imagine will share a non-nude flirtation as she is so young and demure looking indeed. However, she pleases not just teases, as she adds cream to your dream with hardcore scenes. We asked this tasty French "tarte" a few questions and here are her answers.

Continue reading "Interview with Sweet Amylee"

Posted by groundhog at 04:38 AM | Comments (1)



September 29, 2006
Half-baked Scheme Screws Couple in 30 Minutes or Less

Folks enjoy a whiff of Mary Jane's spliff do unusual things. Need proof, check out Beaver Bong. It didn't score well last time it but too much of the chronic ain't so motivating. The inevitable slacking means it's lacking in new episodes. Nevertheless, it's a unique concept especially after a few tokes.

Continue reading "Half-baked Scheme Screws Couple in 30 Minutes or Less"

Posted by groundhog at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)



September 28, 2006
Surprised by Hentai Sex Videos

Picture courtesy of Hentai Anime
I have been around porn since I was a young boy. My father had porn, which I commandeered in the name of sexual education. My friends had porn, which we shared for the good of all. When I got the Internet, it was a constant stream of TGPs and porn sites that got me through my college years. Now I work in porn, but when I first started, I had no idea about the world of hentai sex videos and pictures that have enthralled other nations. Clearly, my understanding has changed.

Continue reading "Surprised by Hentai Sex Videos"

Posted by wolf at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)




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A while back, I wrote about the ultimate sex dolls. They creepily resemble wax museum figures, life-like and unmoving. However, they have fully posable steel skeletons coated in skin made from silicon, malleable and warm to the touch. For the most part, they've kept them realistic.

Continue reading "Real Sex Dolls Work Asian Escort Services"

Posted by groundhog at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)



October 17, 2006
Kelly Monaco: Picture Perfect Boobs

Image courtesy of Horror Movie Babes
Some of you may remember this babe from a little series called Baywatch. Others might know her from the many Playboy Pictorials she shot back in the late 90’s. Or you may be one of the few who recognize her from more recent work, but whatever the case, once you’ve seen them, it’s hard to forget her special assets: Kelly Monaco’s breasts!

Continue reading "Kelly Monaco: Picture Perfect Boobs"

Posted by wolf at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)



October 16, 2006
Naughty Julie Interview

A tease can please sometimes, but one can't help but appreciate a young babe who isn't afraid to go all the way too please her fans or her man, not to mention any number of women and other men too. You see what puts the naughty in Naughty Julie is the fact that she's a swinger. Sure, she looks like the girl-next-door except she's more of nympho than most people's neighbor. We asked her some questions and she tells us no lies.

Continue reading "Naughty Julie Interview"

Posted by groundhog at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)



October 13, 2006
Naughty Allie Interview

Naughty Allie is a self-described "sex-addicted nympho." Rather than enter a 12-step program, she's made the most of her sexual addiction by posting her own personal website of solo, lesbian and hardcore content for all to enjoy. Some might say that she's fortunate to have a husband so understanding of her mischievous needs. However, I think you'll agree that Jake is the lucky man in this scenario, very lucky indeed!

Continue reading "Naughty Allie Interview"

Posted by groundhog at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)



October 12, 2006
Margot Kidder's Nude Bath

Image courtesy of Horror Movie Babes.
It’s hard to think of her as anything other than Superman’s girlfriend. But before she was snuggling up to a blue-leotard wearing Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder took a bath for horror fans in this 1975 flick. Can you name it?

Continue reading "Margot Kidder's Nude Bath"

Posted by wolf at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)



October 11, 2006
Sexy Witch Turns Into Scrawny Bitch

I am not one of those people who pretend only to like so-called good TV. I'm not tuning in to public television or highbrow news discussion shows. I'm sure it all stretches back to that repressed upbringing of mine that I simply love crap. I blame my mother who controlled the airwaves in our house growing up. She sometimes even made my father change channels if she didn't approve of a show.

Continue reading "Sexy Witch Turns Into Scrawny Bitch"

Posted by groundhog at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)



October 10, 2006
Trouble for Naturally Busty Teens

Image courtesy of Busty Adventures.
There was a time growing up where my girlfriends went through a lot of trouble because of their boobs. It was that awkward time in grade school when we really began to figure out that there were some notable differences between the sexes. We had a good mix of naturally busty teens in our class, along with some flatter choices, as well. But it was the girls with bigger boobs that were tormented the most…

Continue reading "Trouble for Naturally Busty Teens"

Posted by wolf at 11:34 AM | Comments (1)



October 06, 2006
Prince Offers Double to Stop Tits & Ass Show

I'm hardly an investigative reporter. However, looking for a photo to illustrate this next story, I found something far more interesting illustrating the old adage, "Don't believe everything you read."

Continue reading "Prince Offers Double to Stop Tits & Ass Show"

Posted by groundhog at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)



October 05, 2006
Virginia Madsen's Naked Boob

Image courtesy of Horror Movie Babes.
October is upon us and it’s time to salute the many beautiful babes that have helped scare the hell out of us over the years. I was watching Firewall last night. And although clearly not a horror flick, it starred Harrison Ford as a father opposite his super-hot wife, Virginia Madsen. Can you name the film she did where she exposed her breasts for super-horny horror fans?

Continue reading "Virginia Madsen's Naked Boob"

Posted by wolf at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)



October 04, 2006
Wet Camel Toes

A friend sent me an email forward with a JPEG with a title reminiscent of Mr Camel Toe. The message said to look closely. When I opened it, it was a candid shot of a pretty girl standing somewhere along a canal in front of a sidewalk cafe. She was cute but her loose fitting pants didn't show much.

Continue reading "Wet Camel Toes"

Posted by groundhog at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)



October 03, 2006
Upskirt Sex Pic Models: Do They Know?

Image courtesy of Upskirt Mania.
Sure, porn stars are hot and it’s fun to watch them fuck, but I think the best fun is watching amateurs get down on camera. These are the people who live across the street or in the dorm room down the hall. They are just another cute face in the crowd until the doors close and the camera starts to role. Then along comes the upskirt sex pic craze and suddenly even those who wouldn’t take it off in front of the camera are getting solid smile time, often without even knowing it!

Continue reading "Upskirt Sex Pic Models: Do They Know?"

Posted by wolf at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)



October 02, 2006
Retro Porn Pics are Musty Must Sees

Picture courtesy of Vintage Pics
When I was younger, my grandmother always complained how the world was getting worse and worse. Sinners all headed to hell in a hand basket she'd tisk tisk. Perhaps, she was right since thanks to global warming the roasting for our sinful treatment of our environment might happen sooner than we think. However, otherwise, she was naïve. Just check out Vintage Pics and you'll see what I mean.

Continue reading "Retro Porn Pics are Musty Must Sees"

Posted by groundhog at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)



September 30, 2006
Interview with Sweet Amylee


LA may be the City of Angels but Montreal seems to be the premier city for the hottest individual models on the web. Sweet Amylee is one of these innocent looking Montreal babes that typically one barely dares to imagine will share a non-nude flirtation as she is so young and demure looking indeed. However, she pleases not just teases, as she adds cream to your dream with hardcore scenes. We asked this tasty French "tarte" a few questions and here are her answers.

Continue reading "Interview with Sweet Amylee"

Posted by groundhog at 04:38 AM | Comments (1)



September 29, 2006
Half-baked Scheme Screws Couple in 30 Minutes or Less

Folks enjoy a whiff of Mary Jane's spliff do unusual things. Need proof, check out Beaver Bong. It didn't score well last time it but too much of the chronic ain't so motivating. The inevitable slacking means it's lacking in new episodes. Nevertheless, it's a unique concept especially after a few tokes.

Continue reading "Half-baked Scheme Screws Couple in 30 Minutes or Less"

Posted by groundhog at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)



September 28, 2006
Surprised by Hentai Sex Videos

Picture courtesy of Hentai Anime
I have been around porn since I was a young boy. My father had porn, which I commandeered in the name of sexual education. My friends had porn, which we shared for the good of all. When I got the Internet, it was a constant stream of TGPs and porn sites that got me through my college years. Now I work in porn, but when I first started, I had no idea about the world of hentai sex videos and pictures that have enthralled other nations. Clearly, my understanding has changed.

Continue reading "Surprised by Hentai Sex Videos"

Posted by wolf at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)




Popular Porn


Teen Porn

Porn Movies

Hardcore Porn

Reality Porn

Porn Babes




Categories
Celeb Sex
Groundhogs Grumblings
Interviews
Porn Life
Rabbit's Rants
Sex Games
Sex Stories
Sexcapades
Sloth's Sanitorium

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Archives
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Recent Entries
Real Sex Dolls Work Asian Escort Services
Kelly Monaco: Picture Perfect Boobs
Naughty Julie Interview
Naughty Allie Interview
Margot Kidder's Nude Bath
Sexy Witch Turns Into Scrawny Bitch
Trouble for Naturally Busty Teens
Prince Offers Double to Stop Tits & Ass Show
Virginia Madsen's Naked Boob
Wet Camel Toes

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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11:13 PM
Anonymous said...

The Roman Empire was a phase of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by an autocratic form of government. The earlier Roman Republic had been devastated and weakened by the conflict between Gaius Marius and Sulla, followed by the civil war of Julius Caesar against Pompey. During all these struggles hundreds of senators had fallen in battle, been executed, murdered, or had taken their own lives. The Roman Senate had been refilled by loyal friends of the First Triumvirate, and later on, by supporters of the Second Triumvirate. At last, Octavian (later to be known as Augustus) defeated his rival Mark Antony and completed this gradual subversion by thoroughly reorganizing the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.
"Roman Empire" can also be used as translation of the expression, Imperium Romanum, probably the best-known Latin expression where the word imperium is used in the meaning of a territory; the "Roman Empire" denotes that part of the world under Roman rule. The expansion of this Roman territory beyond the borders of the initial city-state of Rome had started long before the state organization turned into an Empire. In its territorial peak after the conquest of Dacia by Trajan, the Roman Empire controlled approximately 5 900 000 km² (2,300,000 sq.mi.) of land surface, thereby being one of the largest ancient empires, exceeded only by the Persian Empire and the Han Empire.
The precise date at which the Roman Republic changed into the Roman Empire is disputed, with the dates of Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the battle of Actium (September 2, 31 BC), and the date in which the Roman Senate granted Octavian the title Augustus (January 16, 27 BC), all being advanced as candidates. To confuse matters even further, Octavian/Augustus officially proclaimed that he had saved the Roman Republic and carefully disguised his power under republican forms. Indeed, on the surface it might appear that the Republic was alive: consuls continued to be elected, tribunes of the plebeians continued to offer legislation, and senators still debated in the Roman Curia. However, it was Octavian who influenced everything and controlled the final decisions, and in final analysis, had the legions to back him up, if it ever became necessary.
The end of the Roman Empire is traditionally placed on 4 September 476, as the Western Roman Empire fell to Germanic invaders. However, this view does not recognize the Eastern Roman Empire, known to modern-day historians as the Byzantine Empire, which maintained Roman legal and cultural traditions. Developing a distinct Greek Christian character, it managed to survive and even thrive for a millennium after the fall of the West, eventually being conquered on 29 May 1453 by the Ottoman Empire.
From the time of Augustus to the Fall of the Western Empire, Rome dominated Western Eurasia, comprising the majority of its population. The legacy of Rome on culture, law, technology, arts, language, religion, government, military, and architecture upon Western civilization remains to the present day.
Contents
[hide]
• 1 Evolution of Imperial Rome
• 2 First emperor
• 3 Republic to Principate (31 BC – AD 14)
o 3.1 Sources
• 4 Julio-Claudian dynasty (14-69)
o 4.1 Tiberius (14–37)
o 4.2 Caligula (37–41)
o 4.3 Claudius (41–54)
o 4.4 Nero (54–68)
• 5 Rebellions
• 6 Year of the Four Emperors (68-69)
• 7 Flavian (69-96)
o 7.1 Vespasian (69–79)
o 7.2 Titus (79–81)
o 7.3 Domitian (81–96)
• 8 Antonine Dynasty (96–180)
o 8.1 Nerva (96-98)
o 8.2 Trajan (98-117)
o 8.3 Hadrian (117-138)
o 8.4 Antoninus Pius (138-161)
o 8.5 Marcus Aurelius (161-180)
• 9 Severan Dynasty (193–235)
• 10 Crisis of the Third Century (235–284)
• 11 Tetrarchy (285–324) and Constantine I (324-337)
• 12 After Constantine (337–395)
o 12.1 Sons of Constantine (337–361)
 12.1.1 Julian and Jovian (361–364)
• 13 Valentinian Dynasty (364–392)
o 13.1 Battle of Adrianople (378)
o 13.2 Disturbed peace in the West (383)
• 14 Theodosian Dynasty (392–395)
• 15 Fall of the Western Roman Empire (395–476)
• 16 Eastern Roman Empire (395–1461)
• 17 Legacy
• 18 See also
o 18.1 Emperors
 18.1.1 Roman provinces
o 18.2 Ancient historians of the Empire
o 18.3 Latin literature of the Empire
• 19 References
o 19.1 18th and 19th century historians
o 19.2 Modern historians
• 20 External links

[edit]
Evolution of Imperial Rome


The extent of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. ██ 133 BC ██ 44 BC (late Republic, after conquests by republican generals) ██ AD 14 (death of Augustus) ██ 117 (maximum extension)
Because the Roman Empire lasted such a "long time" (31 BC – 1453), historians use various alternative names to distinguish different periods or eras. Such names include Western Roman Empire, Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire, which are used throughout this article to refer to the Roman Empire or the Western or Eastern part thereof.
Traditionally, historians make a distinction between the Principate, the period following Augustus until the Crisis of the Third Century, and the Dominate, the period from Diocletian until the end of the Empire in the West. According to this distinction, during the Principate (from the Latin word princeps, meaning "first citizen") the realities of absolutism were formally concealed behind Republican forms; while during the Dominate (from the word dominus, meaning "lord") imperial power was clearly shown, with golden crowns and ornate imperial ritual. More recently historians have established that the situation was far more nuanced: certain historical forms continued until the Byzantine period, more than one thousand years after they were created, and displays of imperial majesty were common from the earliest days of the Empire.
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First emperor
Who was the first emperor? is one of the never ending questions about the Roman Empire. Under a purely technical point of view there is no clear first emperor as the title itself was not an official post in the Roman constitutional system - rather, it was an amalgam of separate roles.
Julius Caesar was a Dictator Perpetuus - a life-long dictator, which was a highly irregular form of dictator, an official position in the Roman republic. According to law, the rule of a dictator would normally never exceed 6 months. The form created by Caesar was therefore quite contrary to the basic principles of the Roman Republic. Nevertheless, officially his authority rested upon this republican title, however irregular it might have been, and therefore he is considered a republican official. At the very least he pretended to be one. Several senators, among them many former enemies who had been "graciously" pardoned by him, grew fearful that he would crown himself and try to establish a monarchy. Accordingly, they conspired to assassinate him, and on the Ides of March, on the 15th of March 44 BC, the life-long dictator perished under the blades of his assassins before he could be crowned.
Octavian, his grand-nephew, adopted son and political heir, is widely accepted as the first emperor. He had learned from the mistake of his predecessor and never claimed the widely feared title dictator, disguising his power under republican forms much more carefully. All this was intended to foster the illusion of a restoration of the Republic. He received several titles like Augustus - the honorable one, and Princeps - translated as first citizen of the Roman republic or as first leader of the Roman Senate. The latter had been a title awarded for those who had served the state well; Pompey had held that title.
In addition, Augustus (as he is named thereafter) was granted the right to wear the Civic Crown of laurel and oak. However, it must be noted that officially, none of these titles or the Civic Crown, granted Augustus any additional powers or authority; officially he was simply a highly-honored Roman citizen, holding the consulship. Augustus also became Pontifex Maximus after the death of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in 13 BC. He also received several additional and extraordinary powers without claiming too many titles. In the end he only needed the authority itself, not necessarily all the respective titles.
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Republic to Principate (31 BC – AD 14)
Further information: Praetorian Guard, Roman triumph, Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, Arminius, and Publius Quinctilius Varus


Octavian, widely known as Augustus, learned from the fate of Julius Caesar and avoided his mistake.
After the Battle of Actium which resulted in the defeat and subsequent suicides of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian, now sole ruler of Rome, continued or began a fullscale reformation of military, fiscal and political matters. These reforms were intended to stabilize and to pacify the Roman world and would also cement the acceptance of the new regime.
The Roman legions, who had reached an enormous number because of the civil wars, numbering about 60, were reduced to 28. Several legions, particularly those of doubtful loyalties, were simply disbanded, while others were amalgamated, a fact hinted by the title Gemina - Twin. He also created 9 special cohorts, ostensibly to maintain the peace in Italy, keeping at least 3 of them stationed at Rome. These cohorts became known as the Praetorian Guard.
In 27 BC, Octavian officially tried to relinquish all his extraordinary powers back to the Roman Senate. In a carefully staged way the senators, who by this time were mostly his partisans, refused and begged him to continue for the sake of the republic and the people of Rome. Reportedly, the suggestion of Octavian's stepping down as consul led to rioting amongst the Plebeians in Rome. A compromise was reached between the Senate and Octavian, known as the First Settlement.
Octavian split with the Senate the governorships of the provinces. The "unruly" provinces at the borders, where the vast majority of the legions were stationed, were administrated by imperial legates, chosen by the emperor himself. These provinces were classified as Imperial provinces. The governors of the peaceful Senatorial provinces were chosen by the Senate. These provinces were usually peaceful and only a single legion was stationed at the Senatorial province of Africa.
Before the Senate controlled the treasury, Augustus had mandated that the taxes of the Imperial provinces were destined to the Fiscus, which was administrated by persons chosen and answerable only to Augustus. The revenue of the Senatorial provinces continued to be sent to the Aerarium, under the supervision of the Senate. This effectively made Augustus richer than the Senate, and more than able to pay the salarium - salary of the legionaries, ensuring their continued loyalty. This was ensured by the Imperial province of Aegyptus. This province was incredibly wealthy and also the most important corn supplier for the whole empire. Senators were forbidden to even visit this province, as it was largely considered the personal fiefdom of the emperor himself.
Augustus renounced his consulship in 23 BC, but retained his consular imperium, leading to a second compromise between Augustus and the Senate known as the Second Settlement. Augustus was granted the authority of a tribune (tribunicia potestas), though not the title, which allowed him to convene the Senate and people at will and lay business before it, veto the actions of either the Assembly or the Senate, preside over elections, and gave him the right to speak first at any meeting. Also included in Augustus' tribunician authority were powers usually reserved for the Roman censor; these included the right to supervise public morals and scrutinize laws to ensure they were in the public interest, as well as the ability to hold a census and determine the membership of the Senate. No tribune of Rome ever had these powers, and there was no precedent within the Roman system for combining the powers of the tribune and the censor into a single position, nor was Augustus ever elected to the office of Censor. Whether censorial powers were granted to Augustus as part of his tribunician authority, or he simply assumed these responsibilities, is still a matter of debate.
In addition to tribunician authority, Augustus was granted sole imperium within the city of Rome itself; all armed forces in the city, formerly under the control of the praefects, were now under the sole authority of Augustus. Additionally, Augustus was granted imperium proconsulare maius - power over all proconsuls, the right to interfere in any province and override the decisions of any governor. With maius imperium, Augustus was the only individual able to grant a triumph to a successful general as he was ostensibly the leader of the entire Roman army.
All these reforms were highly abnormal in the eyes of Roman republican tradition, but the Senate was no longer composed of republican patricians who had had the courage to murder Caesar. Octavian had purged the Senate of any suspect elements and planted it with his own partisans. How free a hand the Senate had in all these transactions, and what backroom deals were made, remains unknown.
Attempting to secure the borders of the empire upon the rivers Danube and Elbe, Octavian ordered the invasions of Illyria, Moesia, and Pannonia (south of the Danube), and Germania (west of the Elbe). At first everything went as planned, but then disaster struck. The Illyrian tribes revolted and had to be crushed, and three full legions under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus were ambushed and destroyed at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9 by German barbarians under the leadership of Arminius. Being cautious, Augustus secured all territories west of Rhine and contented himself with retaliatory raids. The rivers Rhine and Danube became the borders of the Roman empire in the North.
[edit]
Sources
The Age of Augustus is paradoxically far more poorly documented than the Late Republican period that preceded it. While Livy wrote his magisterial history during Augustus's reign and his work covered all of Roman history through 9 BC, only epitomes survive of his coverage of the Late Republican and Augustan periods. Our important primary sources for this period include the:
• Res Gestae Divi Augusti, Augustus' highly partisan autobiography,
• Historiae Romanae by Velleius Paterculus, a disorganized work which remains the best annals of the Augustan period, and
• Controversiae and Suasoriae of Seneca the Elder.
Though primary accounts of this period are few, works of poetry, legislation and engineering from this period provide important insights into Roman life. Archaeology, including maritime archaeology, aerial surveys, epigraphic inscriptions on buildings, and Augustan coinage, has also provided valuable evidence about economic, social and military conditions.
Secondary sources on the Augustan Age include Tacitus, Dio Cassius, Plutarch and Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Seutonius. Josephus's Jewish Antiquities is the important source for Judea in this period, which became a province during Augustus' reign.
[edit]
Julio-Claudian dynasty (14-69)
Main article: Julio-Claudian dynasty
Topics in Roman government
Roman Kingdom

Roman Republic

Roman Empire
Principate
Dominate

Western Empire
Eastern Empire

Ordinary magistrates:

• Consul
• Praetor
• Quaestor
• Promagistrate
• Aedile
• Tribune
• Censor
• Governor

Extraordinary magistrates:

• Magister Equitum
• Consular tribune
• Dictator
• Triumviri
• Decemviri

Offices, titles, and honorifics:
• Pontifex Maximus
• Legatus
• Dux
• Officium
• Praefectus
• Vicarius
• Vigintisexviri
• Lictor
• Magister Militum
• Imperator
• Princeps senatus
• Emperor
• Augustus
• Caesar
• Tetrarch

Politics and law:

• Roman Senate
• Cursus honorum
• Roman assemblies
• Collegiality
• Roman law
• Roman citizenship
• Auctoritas
• Imperium

edit


Augustus, leaving no sons, was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius, the son of his wife Livia from her first marriage. Augustus was a scion of the gens Julia (the Julian family), one of the most ancient patrician clans of Rome, while Tiberius was a scion of the gens Claudia, only slightly less ancient than the Julians. Their three immediate successors were all descended both from the gens Claudia, through Tiberius's brother Nero Claudius Drusus, and from gens Julia, either through Julia the Elder, Augustus' daughter from his first marriage (Caligula and Nero), or through Augustus' sister Octavia Minor (Claudius). Historians thus refer to their dynasty as "Julio-Claudian".
[edit]
Tiberius (14–37)
Main article: Tiberius
The early years of Tiberius' reign were peaceful and relatively benign. Tiberius secured the power of Rome and enriched its treasury. However, Tiberius' reign soon became characterized by paranoia and slander. In 19, he was widely blamed for the death of his nephew, the popular Germanicus. In 23 his own son Drusus died. More and more, Tiberius retreated into himself. He began a series of treason trials and executions. He left power in the hands of the commander of the guard, Aelius Sejanus. Tiberius himself retired to live at his villa on the island of Capri in 26, leaving administration in the hands of Sejanus, who carried on the persecutions with relish. Sejanus also began to consolidate his own power; in 31 he was named co-consul with Tiberius and married Livilla, the emperor's niece. At this point he was "hoisted by his own petard": the Emperor's paranoia, which he had so ably exploited for his own gain, was turned against him. Sejanus was put to death, along with many of his cronies, the same year. The persecutions continued until Tiberius' death in 37.
[edit]
Caligula (37–41)
Main article: Caligula
At the time of Tiberius' death most of the people who might have succeeded him had been brutally murdered. The logical successor (and Tiberius' own choice) was his grandnephew, Germanicus' son Gaius (better known as Caligula or "little boots"). Caligula started out well, by putting an end to the persecutions and burning his uncle's records. Unfortunately, he quickly lapsed into illness. The Caligula that emerged in late 37 demonstrated features of mental instability that led modern commentators to diagnose him with such illnesses as encephalitis, which can cause mental derangement, hyperthyroidism, or even a nervous breakdown (perhaps brought on by the stress of his position). Whatever the cause, there was an obvious shift in his reign from this point on, leading his biographers to think him insane.
Suetonius reported a rumour that Caligula planned to appoint his favourite horse Incitatus to the Roman Senate. He ordered his soldiers to invade Britain to fight the Sea God Neptune, but changed his mind at the last minute and had them pick sea shells on the northern end of France instead. It is believed he carried on incestuous relations with his sisters. He ordered a statue of himself to be erected in the Temple at Jerusalem, which would have undoubtedly led to revolt had he not been dissuaded from this plan by his friend king Herod. He ordered people to be secretly killed, and then called for them to his palace. When they did not appear, he would jokingly remark that they must have committed suicide. In 41, Caligula was assassinated by the commander of the guard Cassius Chaerea. The only member of the imperial family left to take charge was his uncle, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus.
[edit]
Claudius (41–54)
Main article: Claudius
Claudius had long been considered a weakling and a fool by the rest of his family. He was, however, neither paranoid like his uncle Tiberius, nor insane like his nephew Caligula, and was therefore able to administer the empire with reasonable ability. He improved the bureaucracy and streamlined the citizenship and senatorial rolls. He also proceeded with the conquest and colonization of Britain (in 43), and incorporated more Eastern provinces into the empire. He ordered the construction of a winter port for Rome, at Ostia, thereby providing a place for grain from other parts of the Empire to be brought in inclement weather.
In his own family life, Claudius was less successful. His wife Messalina cuckolded him; when he found out, he had her executed and married his niece, Agrippina the Younger. She, along with several of his freedmen, held an inordinate amount of power over him, and although there are conflicting accounts about his death, she may very well have poisoned him in 54. Claudius was deified later that year. The death of Claudius paved the way for Agrippina's own son, the 17-year-old Lucius Domitius Nero.
[edit]
Nero (54–68)
Main article: Nero
Initially, Nero left the rule of Rome to his mother and his tutors, particularly Lucius Annaeus Seneca. However, as he grew older, his paranoia and desire for power increased and he had his mother and tutors executed. During Nero's reign, there were a series of major riots and rebellions throughout the Empire: in Britannia, Armenia, Parthia, and Iudaea. Nero's inability to manage the rebellions and his basic incompetence became evident quickly and, in 68, even the Imperial guard renounced him. Nero is best remembered by the rumour that he played the lyre and sang during the Great Fire of Rome in 64, and hence "fiddled while Rome burned". Nero is also remembered for his immense rebuilding of Rome following the fires. Nero also began one of the first wholesale persecutions of Christians. The civil wars which followed have led the year 69 to be known as the Year of the Four Emperors, in which Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian ruled in quick and violent succession, until Vespasian was able to solidify his power as emperor of Rome.
[edit]
Rebellions
In peacetime, it was relatively easy to rule the empire from its capital city, Rome. An eventual rebellion was expected and would happen from time to time: a general or a governor would gain the loyalty of his officers through a mixture of personal charisma, promises and simple bribes. A conquered tribe would rebel, or a conquered city would revolt. This would be a bad, but not a catastrophic event. The Roman legions were spread around the borders and the rebel leader would in normal circumstances have only one or two legions under his command. Loyal legions would be detached from other points of the empire and would eventually drown the rebellion in blood. This happened even more easily in cases of a small local native uprising as the rebels would normally have no great military experience. Unless the emperor was weak, incompetent, hated, and/or universally despised, these rebellions would be a local and isolated event.
During real wartime however, which could develop from a rebellion or an uprising, like the massive Jewish rebellion, this was totally and dangerously different. In a full-blown military campaign, the legions under the command of the generals like Vespasian were of a much greater number. Therefore a paranoid or wise emperor would hold some members of the general's family as hostages, to make certain of the latter's loyalty. In effect, Nero held Domitian and Quintus Petillius Cerialis the governor of Ostia, who were respectively the younger son and the brother-in-law of Vespasian. In normal circumstances this would be quite enough. In fact, the rule of Nero ended with the revolt of the Praetorian Guard who had been bribed in the name of Galba. It became all too obvious that the Praetorian Guard was a sword of Damocles, whose loyalty was all too often bought and who became increasingly greedy. Following their example the legions at the borders would also increasingly participate in the civil wars. This was a dangerous development as this would weaken the whole Roman Army.
The main enemy in the West were, arguably, the "barbarian tribes" behind the Rhine and the Danube. Augustus had tried to conquer them, but ultimately failed and these "barbarians" were greatly feared. But by and large they were left in peace, in order to fight amongst themselves, and were simply too divided to pose a serious threat.

The empire of Parthia, the arch-rival of Rome, at its greatest extent, superimposed over modern borders, c. 60 BC
In the East lay the empire of Parthia (Persia). Crassus, a member of the First Triumvirate during the late republic, attempted an invasion in 53 BC, but was defeated by Persian forces led by Surena in the Battle of Carrhae. It was simply too far away to be conquered and then to be held. Any Parthian invasion was confronted and usually defeated, but the threat itself was ultimately impossible to destroy. Parthia would eventually become Rome's greatest rival and foremost enemy.
In the case of a Roman civil war these two enemies would seize the opportunity to invade Roman territory in order to raid and plunder. The two respective military frontiers became a matter of major political importance because of the high number of legions stationed there. All too often the local generals would rebel, starting a new civil war. To control the western border from Rome was easy, as it was relatively close. To control both frontiers, at the same time, during wartime, was somewhat more difficult. If the emperor was near the border in the East, chances were high that an ambitious general would rebel in the West and vice-versa. It was no longer enough to be a good administrator; emperors were increasingly near the troops in order to control them and no single Emperor could be at the two frontiers at the same time. This problem would plague the ruling emperors time and time again and many future emperors would follow this path to power.
[edit]
Year of the Four Emperors (68-69)
Main article: Year of the Four Emperors
The forced suicide of emperor Nero, in 68, was followed by a brief period of civil war (the first Roman civil war since Antony's death in 30 BC) known as the year of the four emperors. Between June of 68 and December of 69, Rome witnessed the successive rise and fall of Galba, Otho and Vitellius until the final accession of Vespasian, first ruler of the Flavian dynasty. This period of civil war has become emblematic of the cyclic political disturbances in the history of the Roman Empire. The military and political anarchy created by this civil war had serious implications, such as the outbreak of the Batavian rebellion.
[edit]
Flavian (69-96)
Main article: Flavian Dynasty
The Flavians, although a relatively short-lived dynasty, helped restore stability to an empire on its knees. Although all three have been criticized, especially based on their more centralized style of rule, they issued reforms that created a stable enough empire to last well into the 3rd century. However, their background as a military dynasty led to further marginalization of the senate, and a conclusive move away from princeps, or first citizen, and toward imperator, or emperor.
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Vespasian (69–79)
Vespasian was a remarkably successful Roman general who had been given rule over much of the eastern part of the Roman Empire. He had supported the imperial claims of Galba, after whose death Vespasian became a major contender for the throne. Following the suicide of Otho, Vespasian was able to take control of Rome's winter grain supply in Egypt, placing him in a good position to defeat his remaining rival, Vitellius. On December 20, 69, some of Vespasian's partisans were able to occupy Rome. Vitellius was murdered by his own troops and, the next day, Vespasian, then sixty years old, was confirmed as Emperor by the Senate.
Although Vespasian was considered an autocrat by the senate, he mostly continued the weakening of that body that had been going since the reign of Tiberius. This was typified by his dating his accession to power from July 1, when his troops proclaimed him emperor, instead of December 21, when the Senate confirmed his appointment. Another example was his assumption of the censorship in 73, giving him power over who made up the senate. He used that power to expel dissident senators. At the same time, he increased the number of senators from 200, at that low level due to the actions of Nero and the year of crisis that followed, to 1000; most of the new senators coming not from Rome but from Italy and the urban centers within the western provinces.
Vespasian was able to liberate Rome from the financial burdens placed upon it by Nero's excesses and the civil wars. To do this, he not only increased taxes, but created new forms of taxation. Also, through his power as censor, he was able to carefully examine the fiscal status of every city and province, many paying taxes based upon information and structures more than a century old. Through this sound fiscal policy, he was able to build up a surplus in the treasury and embark on public works projects. It was he who first commissioned the Amphitheatrum Flavium (Colosseum); he also built a forum whose centerpiece was a temple to Peace. In addition, he allotted sizable subsidies to the arts, creating a chair of rhetoric at Rome.
Vespasian was also an effective emperor for the provinces in his decades of office, having posts all across the empire, both east and west. In the west he gave considerable favoritism to Spain in which he granted Latin rights to over three hundred towns and cities, promoting a new era of urbanization throughout the western (formerly barbarian) provinces. Through the additions he made to the Senate he allowed greater influence of the provinces in the Senate, helping to promote unity in the empire. He also extended the borders of the empire on every front, most of which was done to help strengthen the frontier defenses, one of Vespasian's main goals. The crisis of 69 had wrought havoc on the army. One of the most marked problems had been the support lent by provincial legions to men who supposedly represented the best will of their province. This was mostly caused by the placement of native auxiliary units in the areas they were recruited in, a practice Vespasian stopped. He mixed auxiliary units with men from other areas of the empire or moved the units away from where they were recruited to help stop this. Also, to reduce further the chances of another military coup, he broke up the legions and, instead of placing them in singular concentrations, broke them up along the border. Perhaps the most important military reform he undertook was the extension of legion recruitment from exclusively Italy to Gaul and Spain, in line with the Romanization of those areas.
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Titus (79–81)
Titus, the eldest son of Vespasian, had been groomed to rule. He had served as an effective general under his father, helping to secure the east and eventually taking over the command of Roman armies in Syria and Iudaea, quelling the significant Jewish revolt going on at the time. He shared the consul for several years with his father and received the best tutelage. Although there was some trepidation when he took office because of his known dealings with some of the less respectable elements of Roman society, he quickly proved his merit, even recalling many exiled by his father as a show of good faith.
However, his short reign was marked by disaster: in 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted in Pompeii, and in 80, a fire destroyed much of Rome. His generosity in rebuilding after these tragedies made him very popular. Titus was very proud of his work on the vast amphitheater begun by his father. He held the opening ceremonies in the still unfinished edifice during the year 80, celebrating with a lavish show that featured 100 gladiators and lasted 100 days. Titus died in 81, at the age of 41 of what is presumed to be illness; it was rumored that his brother Domitian murdered him in order to become his successor, although these claims have little merit. Whatever the case, he was greatly mourned and missed.
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Domitian (81–96)
Main article: Domitian
All of the Flavians had rather poor relations with the Senate, because of their autocratic rule, however Domitian was the only one who encountered significant problems. His continuous control as consul and censor throughout his rule; the former his father having shared in much the same way as his Julio-Claudian forerunners, the latter presenting difficulty even to obtain, were unheard of. In addition, he often appeared in full military regalia as an imperator, an affront to the idea of what the Principate-era emperor's power was based upon: the emperor as the princeps. His reputation in the Senate aside, he kept the people of Rome happy through various measures, including donations to every resident of Rome, wild spectacles in the newly finished Colosseum, and continuing the public works projects of his father and brother. He also apparently had the good fiscal sense of his father, because although he spent lavishly his successors came to power with a well-endowed treasury.
However, towards the end of his reign Domitian became extremely paranoid, which probably had its initial roots in the treatment he received by his father: although given significant responsibility, he was never trusted with anything important without supervision. This flowered into the severe and perhaps pathological repercussions following the short-lived rebellion in 89 of Antonius Saturninus, a governor and commander in Germany. Domitian's paranoia led to a large number of arrests, executions, and seizure of property (which might help explain his ability to spend so lavishly). Eventually it got to the point where even his closest advisers and family members lived in fear, leading them to his murder in 96 orchestrated by his enemies in the Senate, Stephanus (the steward of the deceased Julia Flavia), members of the Praetorian Guard and empress Domitia Longina.
[edit]
Antonine Dynasty (96–180)


Roman Empire as its greatest extent with the conquests of Trajan
The next century came to be known as the period of the "Five Good Emperors", in which the succession was peaceful though not dynastic and the Empire was prosperous. The emperors of this period were Nerva (96–98), Trajan (98–117), Hadrian (117–138), Antoninus Pius (138–161) and Marcus Aurelius (161–180), each being adopted by his predecessor as his successor during the former's lifetime. While their respective choices of successor were based upon the merits of the individual men they selected, it has been argued that the real reason for the lasting success of the adoptive scheme of succession lay more with the fact that none of them had a natural heir.
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Nerva (96-98)
After his accession, Nerva went to set a new tone: he released those imprisoned for treason, banned future prosecutions for treason, restored much confiscated property, and involved the Roman Senate in his rule. He probably did so as a means to remain relatively popular (and therefore alive), but this did not completely aid him. Support for Domitian in the army remained strong, and in October 97 the Praetorian Guard laid siege to the Imperial Palace on the Palatine Hill and took Nerva hostage. He was forced to submit to their demands, agreeing to hand over those responsible for Domitian's death and even giving a speech thanking the rebellious Praetorians. Nerva then adopted Trajan, a commander of the armies on the German frontier, as his successor shortly thereafter in order to bolster his own rule. Casperius Aelianus, the Guard Prefect responsible for the mutiny against Nerva, was later executed under Trajan.
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Trajan (98-117)


Delacroix. Trajan's justice
In 113, provoked by Parthia's decision to put an unacceptable king on the throne of Armenia, a kingdom over which the two great empires had shared hegemony since the time of Nero some fifty years earlier, Trajan marched first on Armenia. He deposed the king and annexed it to the Roman Empire. Then he turned south into Parthia itself, taking the cities of Babylon, Seleucia and finally the capital of Ctesiphon in 116. He continued southward to the Persian Gulf, whence he declared Mesopotamia a new province of the empire and lamented that he was too old to follow in the steps of Alexander the Great. But he did not stop there. Later in 116, he captured the great city of Susa. He deposed the Parthian King Osroes I and put his own puppet ruler Parthamaspates on the throne. Never again would the Roman Empire advance so far to the east.
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Hadrian (117-138)
Despite his own excellence as a military administrator, Hadrian's reign was marked by a general lack of major military conflicts. He surrendered Trajan's conquests in Mesopotamia, considering them to be indefensible. There was almost a war with Parthia around 121, but the threat was averted when Hadrian succeeded in negotiating a peace. Hadrian's army crushed a massive Jewish uprising in Judea (132-135) led by Simon Bar Kokhba.
Hadrian was the first emperor to extensively tour the provinces, donating money for local construction projects as he went. In Britain, he ordered the construction of a wall, the famous Hadrian's Wall as well as various other such defenses in Germany and Northern Africa. His domestic policy was one of relative peace and prosperity.
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Antoninus Pius (138-161)


Antoninus Pius


His reign was comparatively peaceful; there were several military disturbances throughout the Empire in his time, in Mauretania, Iudaea, and amongst the Brigantes in Britain, but none of them are considered serious. The unrest in Britain is believed to have led to the construction of the Antonine Wall from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde, although it was soon abandoned.
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Marcus Aurelius (161-180)


Marcus Aurelius


Germanic tribes and other peoples launched many raids along the long north European border, particularly into Gaul and across the Danube — Germans, in turn, may have been under attack from more warlike tribes farther east. His campaigns against them are commemorated on the Column of Marcus Aurelius. In Asia, a revitalized Parthian Empire renewed its assault. Marcus Aurelius sent his joint emperor Verus to command the legions in the East to face it. He was authoritative enough to command the full loyalty of the troops, but already powerful enough that he had little incentive to overthrow Marcus. The plan succeeded — Verus remained loyal until his death on campaign in 169.
The period of the "Five Good Emperors" was brought to an end by the reign of Commodus from 180 to 192. Commodus was the son of Marcus Aurelius, making him the first direct successor in a century, breaking the scheme of adoptive successors that had turned out so well. He was co-emperor with his father from 177. When he became sole emperor upon the death of his father in 180, it was at first seen as a hopeful sign by the people of the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, as generous and magnanimous as his father was, Commodus turned out to be just the opposite. In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, it is noted that Commodus at first ruled the empire well. However, after an assassination attempt, involving a conspiracy by certain members of his family, Commodus became paranoid and slipped into insanity. The Pax Romana, or "Roman Peace", ended with the reign of Commodus. One could argue that the assassination attempt began the long decline of the Roman Empire.
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Severan Dynasty (193–235)


Reconstruction of the centre of Rome during the reign of Septimius Severus, showing the Colosseum and the area to the south of it


Caracalla


The Severan dynasty includes the increasingly troubled reigns of Septimius Severus (193–211), Caracalla (211–217), Macrinus (217–218), Elagabalus (218–222), and Alexander Severus (222–235). The founder of the dynasty, Lucius Septimius Severus, belonged to a leading native family of Leptis Magna in Africa who allied himself with a prominent Syrian family by his marriage to Julia Domna. Their provincial background and cosmopolitan alliance, eventually giving rise to imperial rulers of Syrian background, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus, testifies to the broad political franchise and economic development of the Roman empire that had been achieved under the Antonines. A generally successful ruler, Septimius Severus cultivated the army's support with substantial remuneration in return for total loyalty to the emperor and substituted equestrian officers for senators in key administrative positions. In this way, he successfully broadened the power base of the imperial administration throughout the empire, also by abolishing the regular standing jury courts of Republican times.
Septimius Severus's son, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — nicknamed Caracalla — removed all legal and political distinction between Italians and provincials, enacting the Constitutio Antoniniana in 212 which extended full Roman citizenship to all free inhabitants of the empire. Caracalla was also responsible for erecting the famous Baths of Caracalla in Rome, their design serving as an architectural model for many subsequent monumental public buildings. Increasingly unstable and autocratic, Caracalla was assassinated by the praetorian prefect Macrinus in 217, who succeeded him briefly as the first emperor not of senatorial rank. The imperial court, however, was dominated by formidable women who arranged the succession of Elagabalus in 218, and Alexander Severus, the last of the dynasty, in 222. In the last phase of the Severan principate, the power of the Senate was somewhat revived and a number of fiscal reforms were enacted. Despite early successes against the Sassanian Empire in the East, Alexander Severus's increasing inability to control the army led eventually to its mutiny and his assassination in 235. The death of Alexander Severus ushered in a subsequent period of soldier-emperors and almost a half-century of civil war and strife.
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Crisis of the Third Century (235–284)
The Crisis of the 3rd Century is a commonly applied name for the crumbling and near collapse of the Roman Empire between 235 and 284. It is also called the period of the "military anarchy."
After Augustus declared an end to the Civil Wars of the 1st century BC, the Empire had enjoyed a period of limited external invasion, internal peace and economic prosperity (the Pax Romana). In the 3rd century, however, the Empire underwent military, political and economic crises and almost collapsed. There was constant barbarian invasion, civil war, and runaway hyperinflation. Part of the problem had its origins in the nature of the Augustan settlement. Augustus, intending to downplay his position, had not established rules for the succession of emperors. Already in the 1st and 2nd century disputes about the succession had lead to short civil wars, but in the 3rd century these civil wars became a constant factor, as no single candidate succeeded in quickly overcoming his opponents or holding on to the Imperial position for very long. Between 235 and 284 no fewer than 25 different emperors ruled Rome (the "Soldier-Emperors"). All but two of these emperors were either murdered or killed in battle. The organisation of the Roman military, concentrated on the borders, could provide no remedy against foreign invasions once the invaders had broken through. A decline in citizens' participation in local administration forced the Emperors to step in, gradually increasing the central government's responsibility.
This period ended with the accession of Diocletian. Diocletian, either by skill or sheer luck, solved many of the acute problems experienced during this crisis. However, the core problems would remain and cause the eventual destruction of the western empire. The transitions of this period mark the beginnings of Late Antiquity and the end of Classical Antiquity.
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Tetrarchy (285–324) and Constantine I (324-337)


The Tetrarchs, a porphyry sculpture sacked from a Byzantine palace in 1204, Treasury of St Mark's, Venice


The transition from a single united empire to the later divided Western and Eastern empires was a gradual transformation. In July 285, Diocletian defeated rival Emperor Carinus and briefly became sole emperor of the Roman Empire.
Diocletian saw that the vast Roman Empire was ungovernable by a single emperor in the face of internal pressures and military threats on two fronts. He therefore split the Empire in half along a north-west axis just east of Italy, and created two equal Emperors to rule under the title of Augustus. Diocletian was Augustus of the eastern half, and gave his long-time friend Maximian the title of Augustus in the western half. In doing so, Diocletian created what would become the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. The western empire would collapse less than 200 years later, and the eastern empire would become the Byzantine Empire, centred at Constantinople, which would survive another one thousand years.
In 293 authority was further divided, as each Augustus took a junior Emperor called Caesar to aid him in administrative matters, and to provide a line of succession; Galerius became Caesar under Diocletian and Constantius Chlorus Caesar under Maximian. This constituted what is called the Tetrarchy (in Greek: the leadership of four) by modern scholars. After Rome had been plagued by bloody disputes about the supreme authority, this finally formalized a peaceful succession of the Emperor: in each half the Caesar rose up to replace the Augustus and proclaimed a new Caesar. On May 1, 305, Diocletian and Maximian abdicated in favor of their Caesars. Galerius named the two new Caesars: his nephew Maximinus for himself and Flavius Valerius Severus for Constantius. The arrangement worked well at the start. The internal tensions within the Roman government were less acute than they had been. In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon notes that this arrangement worked well because of the affinity the four rulers had for each other. Gibbon says that this arrangement has been compared to a "chorus of music." With the withdrawal of Diocletian and Maximian, this harmony disappeared.
The Tetrarchy would effectively collapse with the death of Constantius Chlorus on July 25, 306. Constantius's troops in Eboracum immediately proclaimed his son Constantine an Augustus. In August 306, Galerius promoted Severus to the position of Augustus. A revolt in Rome supported another claimant to the same title: Maxentius, son of Maximian, who was proclaimed Augustus on October 28, 306. His election was supported by the Praetorian Guard. This left the Empire with five rulers: four Augusti (Galerius, Constantine, Severus and Maxentius) and a Caesar (Maximinus).
The year 307 saw the return of Maximian to the role of Augustus alongside his son Maxentius, creating a total of six rulers of the Empire. Galerius and Severus campaigned against them in Italy. Severus was killed under command of Maxentius on September 16, 307. The two Augusti of Italy also managed to ally themselves with Constantine by having Constantine marry Fausta, the daughter of Maximian and sister of Maxentius. At the end of 307, the Empire had four Augusti (Maximian, Galerius, Constantine and Maxentius) and a sole Caesar (Maximinus).
The five were briefly joined by another Augustus in 308. Domitius Alexander, vicarius of the Roman province of Africa under Maxentius, proclaimed himself Augustus. Before long he was captured by Rufius Volusianus and Zenas, and executed in 311. The conflicts among the various rivalrous Augusti was resolved in the Congress of Carnuntum with the participation of Diocletian, Maximian, and Galerius. The final decisions were taken on November 11, 308:
• Galerius remained Augustus of the Eastern Roman Empire.
• Maximinus remained Caesar of the Eastern Roman Empire.
• Maximian was forced to abdicate.
• Maxentius was still not recognized, his rule remained illegitimate.
• Constantine received official recognition but was demoted to Caesar of the Western Roman Empire.
• Licinius replaced Maximian as Augustus of the Western Roman Empire.
Problems continued. Maximinus demanded to be promoted to Augustus. He proclaimed himself to be one on May 1, 310; Constantine followed suit shortly thereafter. Maximian similarly proclaimed himself an Augustus for a third and final time. He was killed by his son-in-law Constantine in July, 310. The end of the year again found the Empire with four legitimate Augusti (Galerius, Maximinus, Constantine and Licinius) and one illegitimate one (Maxentius).
Galerius died in May 311 leaving Maximinus sole ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire. Meanwhile Maxentius declared a war on Constantine under the pretext of avenging his executed father. He was among the casualties of the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312.
This left the Empire in the hands of the three remaining Augusti, Maximinus, Constantine and Licinius. Licinius allied himself with Constantine, cementing the alliance by marriage to his younger half-sister Constantia in March 313 and joining open conflict with Maximinus. Maximinus met his death at Tarsus in Cilicia in August 313. The two remaining Augusti divided the Empire again in the pattern established by Diocletian: Constantine becoming Augustus of the Western Roman Empire and Licinius Augustus of the Eastern Roman Empire.
This division lasted ten years until 324. A final war between the last two remaining Augusti ended with the deposition of Licinius and the elevation of Constantine to sole Emperor of the Roman Empire. Deciding that the empire needed a new capital, Constantine chose the site of Byzantium for the new city. He refounded it as Nova Roma, but it was popularly called Constantinople: Constantine's City. Constantinople would serve as the capital of Constantine the Great from May 11, 330 to his death on May 22, 337. Constantine initiated Roman state support for Christianity, ultimately converting himself (see Constantine I and Christianity). Every subsequent Roman Emperor bar Julian would henceforth be Christian.
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After Constantine (337–395)
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Sons of Constantine (337–361)


A map of Rome in 350
The Empire was parted again among his three surviving sons. The Western Roman Empire was divided among the eldest son Constantine II and the youngest son Constans. The Eastern Roman Empire along with Constantinople were the share of middle son Constantius II.
Constantine II was killed in conflict with his youngest brother in 340. Constans was himself killed in conflict with the army-proclaimed Augustus Magnentius on January 18, 350. Magnentius was at first opposed in the city of Rome by self-proclaimed Augustus Nepotianus, a paternal first cousin of Constans. Nepotianus was killed alongside his mother Eutropia. His other first cousin Constantia convinced Vetriano to proclaim himself Caesar in opposition to Magnentius. Vetriano served a brief term from March 1 to December 25, 350. He was then forced to abdicate by the legitimate Augustus Constantius. The usurper Magnentius would continue to rule the Western Roman Empire until 353 while in conflict with Constantius. His eventual defeat and suicide left Constantius as sole Emperor.
Constantius's rule would however be opposed again in 360. He had named his paternal half-cousin and brother-in-law Julian as his Caesar of the Western Roman Empire in 355. During the following five years, Julian had a series of victories against invading Germanic tribes, including the Alamanni. This allowed him to secure the Rhine frontier. His victorious Gallic troops thus ceased campaigning. Constantius send orders for the troops to be transferred to the east as reinforcements for his own currently unsuccessful campaign against Shapur II of Persia. This order led the Gallic troops to an insurrection. They proclaimed their commanding officer Julian to be an Augustus. Both Augusti were not ready to lead their troops to another Roman Civil War. Constantius's timely demise on November 3, 361 prevented this war from ever occurring.
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Julian and Jovian (361–364)
Julian would serve as the sole Emperor for two years. He had received his baptism as a Christian years before, but apparently no longer considered himself one. His reign would see the ending of restriction and persecution of paganism introduced by his uncle and father-in-law Constantine the Great and his cousins and brothers-in-law Constantine II, Constans and Constantius II. He instead placed similar restrictions and unofficial persecution of Christianity. His edict of toleration in 362 ordered the reopening of pagan temples and the reinstitution of alienated temple properties, and, more problematically for the Christian Church, the recalling of previously exiled Christian bishops. Returning Orthodox and Arian bishops resumed their conflicts, thus further weakening the Church as a whole.
Julian himself was not a traditional pagan. His personal beliefs were largely influenced by Neoplatonism and Theurgy; he reputedly believed he was the reincarnation of Alexander the Great. He produced works of philosophy arguing his beliefs. His brief renaissance of paganism would, however, end with his death. Julian eventually resumed the war against Shapur II of Persia. He received a mortal wound in battle and died on June 26, 363. He was considered a hero by pagan sources of his time and a villain by Christian ones. Later historians have treated him as a controversial figure.
Julian died childless and with no designated successor. The officers of his army elected the rather obscure officer Jovian emperor. He is remembered for signing an unfavorable peace treaty with Persia and restoring the privileges of Christianity. He is considered a Christian himself, though little is known of his beliefs. Jovian himself died on February 17, 364.
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Valentinian Dynasty (364–392)
Main article: Valentinian Dynasty
The role of choosing a new Augustus fell again to army officers. On February 28, 364, Pannonian officer Valentinian I was elected Augustus in Nicaea, Bithynia. However, the army had been left leaderless twice in less than a year, and the officers demanded Valentinian to choose a co-ruler. On March 28 Valentinian chose his own younger brother Valens and the two new Augusti parted the Empire in the pattern established by Diocletian: Valentinian would administer the Western Roman Empire, while Valens took control over the Eastern Roman Empire.
Valens's election would soon be disputed. Procopius, a Cilician maternal cousin of Julian, had been considered a likely heir to his cousin but was never designated as such. He had been in hiding since the election of Jovian. In 365, while Valentinian was at Paris and then at Rheims to direct the operations of his generals against the Alamanni, Procopius managed to bribe two legions assigned to Constantinople and take control of the Eastern Roman capital. He was proclaimed Augustus on September 28 and soon extended his control to both Thrace and Bithynia. War between the two rival Eastern Roman Emperors continued until Procopius was defeated. Valens had him executed on May 27, 366.
On August 4, 367, a 3rd Augustus was proclaimed by the other two. His father Valentinian and uncle Valens chose the 8 year-old Gratian as a nominal co-ruler, obviously as a means to secure succession.
In April 375 Valentinian I led his army in a campaign against the Quadi, a Germanic tribe which had invaded his native province of Pannonia. During an audience to an embassy from the Quadi at Brigetio on the Danube, a town now part of modern-day Komárom, Hungary, Valentinian suffered a burst blood vessel in the skull while angrily yelling at the people gathered. This injury resulted in his death on November 17, 375.
Succession did not go as planned. Gratian was then a 16 year-old and arguably ready to act as Emperor, but the troops in Pannonia proclaimed his infant half-brother emperor under the title Valentinian II.
Gratian acquiesced in their choice and administrated the Gallic part of the Western Roman Empire. Italy, Illyria and Africa were officially administrated by his brother and his step-mother Justina. However the division was merely nominal as the actual authority still rested with Gratian.
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Battle of Adrianople (378)
Main article: Battle of Adrianople


"Barbarian" invasions of the Roman Empire, showing the Battle of Adrianople.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Roman Empire faced its own problems with Germanic tribes. The Visigoths, an East Germanic tribe, fled their former lands following an invasion by the Huns. Their leaders Alavius and Fritigern led them to seek refuge from the Eastern Roman Empire. Valens indeed let them settle as foederati on the southern bank of the Danube in 376. However, the newcomers faced problems from allegedly corrupted provincial commanders and a series of hardships. Their dissatisfaction led them to revolt against their Roman hosts.
For the following two years conflicts continued. Valens personally led a campaign against them in 378. Gratian provided his uncle with reinforcements from the Western Roman army. However this campaign proved disastrous for the Romans. The two armies approached each other near Adrianople. Valens was apparently overconfident of his numerical superiority of his own forces over the Goths. Some of his officers advised caution and to await to arrival of Gratian, others urged for an immediate attack and eventually prevailed over Valens, eager to have all of the glory for himself rushed into battle. On August 9, 378, the Battle of Adrianople resulted in the crushing defeat of the Romans and the death of Valens. Contemporary historian Ammianus Marcellinus estimated that two thirds of the Roman army were lost in the battle. The last third managed to retreat.
The battle had far reaching consequences. Veteran soldiers and valuable administrators were among the heavy casualties. There were few available replacements at the time, leaving the Empire with problems of finding suitable leadership. The Roman army would also start facing recruiting problems. In the following century much of the Roman army would consist of Germanic mercenaries.
For the moment however there was another concern. The death of Valens left Gratian and Valentinian II as the sole two Augusti. Gratian was now effectively responsible for the whole of the Empire. He sought however a replacement Augustus for the Eastern Roman Empire. His choice was Theodosius I, son of formerly distinguished general Count Theodosius. The elder Theodosius had been executed in early 375 for unclear reasons. The younger one was named Augustus of the Eastern Roman Empire on January 19, 379. His appointment would prove a deciding moment in the division of the Empire.
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Disturbed peace in the West (383)
Gratian governed the Western Roman Empire with energy and success for some years, but he gradually sank into indolence. He is considered to have become a figurehead while Frankish general Merobaudes and bishop Ambrose of Milan jointly acted as the power behind the throne. Gratian lost favor with factions of the Roman Senate by prohibiting traditional paganism at Rome and relinquishing his title of Pontifex Maximus. The senior Augustus also became unpopular to his own Roman troops because of his close association with so-called barbarians. He reportedly recruited Alans to his personal service and adopted the guise of a Scythian warrior for public appearances.
Meanwhile Gratian, Valentinian II and Theodosius were joined by a fourth Augustus. Theodosius proclaimed his oldest son Arcadius to be an Augustus in January, 383 in an obvious attempt to secure succession. The boy was only still five or six years old and held no actual authority. Nevertheless he was recognized as a co-ruler by all three Augusti.
The increasing unpopularity of Gratian would cause the four Augusti problems later that same year. Spanish Celt general Magnus Maximus, stationed in Roman Britain, was proclaimed Augustus by his troops in 383 and rebelling against Gratian he invaded Gaul. Gratian fled from Lutetia (Paris) to Lugdunum (Lyon), where he was assassinated on August 25, 383 at the age of twenty-five.
Maximus was a firm believer of the Nicene Creed and introduced state persecution on charges of heresy, which brought him in conflict with Pope Siricius who argued that the Augustus had no authority over church matters. But he was an Emperor with popular support and his reputation survived in Romano-British tradition and gained him a place in the Mabinogion, compiled about a thousand years after his death.
Following Gratian's death, Maximus had to deal with Valentinian II, actually only 12 years old, as the senior Augustus. The first few years the Alps would serve as the borders between the respective territories of the two rival Western Roman Emperors. Maximus controlled Britain, Gaul, Hispania and Africa. He chose Augusta Treverorum (Trier) as his capital.
Maximus soon entered negotiations with Valentinian II and Theodosius, attempting to gain their official recognition. By 384, negotiations were unfruitful and Maximus tried to press the matter by settling succession as only a legitimate Emperor could do: proclaiming his own infant son Flavius Victor an Augustus. The end of the year find the Empire having five Augusti (Valentinian II, Theodosius I, Arcadius, Magnus Maximus and Flavius Victor) with relations between them yet to be determined.
Theodosius was left a widower, in 385, following the sudden death of Aelia Flaccilla, his Augusta. He was remarried to the sister of Valentinean II, Galla, and the marriage secured closer relations between the two legitimate Augusti.
In 386 Maximus and Victor finally received official recognition by Theodosius but not by Valentinian. In 387, Maximus apparently decided to rid himself of his Italian rival. He crossed the Alps into the valley of the Po and threatened Milan. Valentinian and his mother fled to Thessaloniki from where they sought the support of Theodosius. Theodosius indeed campaigned west in 388 and was victorious against Maximus. Maximus himself was captured and executed in Aquileia on July 28, 388. Magister militum Arbogastes was sent to Trier with orders to also kill Flavius Victor. Theodosius restored Valentinian to power and through his influence had him converted to Orthodox Catholicism. Theodosius continued supporting Valentinian and protecting him from a variety of usurpations.
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Theodosian Dynasty (392–395)


The division of the Empire after the death of Theodosius I, ca.395 AD superimposed on modern borders. ██ Western Roman Empire ██ Eastern Roman Empire
Main article: Theodosian Dynasty
In 392 Valentinian was murdered in Vienne. Theodosius succeeded him, ruling the entire Roman Empire.
Theodosius had two sons and a daughter, Pulcheria, from his first wife, Aelia Flacilla. His daughter and wife died in 385. By his second wife, Galla, he had a daughter, Galla Placidia, the mother of Valentinian III, who would be Emperor of the West.
Theodosius was the last Emperor who ruled over the whole Empire. After his death in 395 he gave the two halves of the Empire to his two sons Arcadius and Honorius; Arcadius became ruler in the East, with his capital in Constantinople, and Honorius became ruler in the west, with his capital in Milan and later Ravenna. Though the Roman state would continue to have two emperors, the Eastern Romans considered themselves Roman in full. Latin was used in official writings as much as, if not more than, Greek. The two halves were nominally, culturally and historically, if not politically, the same state.
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Fall of the Western Roman Empire (395–476)
Main article: Decline of the Roman Empire
The year 476 is generally accepted as the end of the Western Roman Empire. Before this, in June 474, Julius Nepos became Western Emperor. The Master of Soldiers Orestes revolted and put his son Romulus Augustus on the throne and Nepos fled back to his princedom in Dalmatia in August 475. Romulus however, was not recognized by the Eastern Emperor Zeno and so was technically an usurper, Nepos still being the legal Western Emperor.
The Germanic Heruli, under their chieftain Odoacer, were refused land by Orestes, whom they killed. They then deposed Romulus Augustus in August 476. Odoacer then sent the Imperial Regalia back to the emperor Zeno, and the Roman Senate informed Zeno that he was now the Emperor of the whole empire. Zeno soon received two deputations. One was from Odoacer requesting that his control of Italy be formally recognized by the Empire, in which he would acknowledge Zeno's supremacy. The other deputation was from Nepos, asking for support to regain the throne. Zeno granted Odoacer the title Patrician.
Odoacer and the Roman Senate were told to take Nepos back. However, Nepos never returned from Dalmatia, even though Odoacer issued coins in his name. Upon Nepos' death in 480, Odoacer annexed Dalmatia to his kingdom.


Map of Ostrogothic Kingdom
The next seven decades played out as aftermath. Theodoric the Great as King of the Oastrogoths, couched his legitimacy in diplomatic terms as being the representative of the Emperor of the East. Consuls were appointed regularly through his reign: a formula for the consular appointment is provided in Cassiodorus's Book VI. The post of consul was last filled in the west by Theodoric's successor, Athalaric, until he died in 534. Ironically the Gothic War in Italy, which was meant as the reconquest of a lost province for the Emperor of the East and a re-establishment of the continuity of power, actually caused more damage and cut more ties of continuity with the Antique world than the attempts of Theodoric and his minister Cassiodorus to meld Roman and Gothic culture within a Roman form.
In essence, the "fall" of the Roman Empire to a contemporary depended a great deal on where they were and their status in the world. On the great villas of the Italian Campagna, the seasons rolled on without a hitch. The local overseer may have been representing an Ostrogoth, then a Lombard duke, then a Christian bishop, but the rhythm of life and the horizons of the imagined world remained the same. Even in the decayed cities of Italy consuls were still elected. In Auvergne, at Clermont, the Gallo-Roman poet and diplomat Sidonius Apollinaris, bishop of Clermont, realized that the local "fall of Rome" came in 475, with the fall of the city to the Visigoth Euric. In the north of Gaul, a Roman kingdom existed for some years and the Franks had their links to the Roman administration and military as well. In Hispania the last Arian Visigothic king Liuvigild considered himself the heir of Rome. Hispania Baetica was still essentially Roman when the Moors came in 711, but in the northwest, the invasion of the Suevi broke the last frail links with Roman culture in 409. In Aquitania and Provence, cities like Arles were not abandoned, but Roman culture in Britain collapsed in waves of violence after the last legions evacuated: the final legionary probably left Britain in 409.
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Eastern Roman Empire (395–1461)
Main article: Byzantine Empire
As the west would decline during the 5th century, the richer east would be spared much of the destruction, and in the 6th century the Eastern Empire under the emperor Justinian I reconquered the Italian peninsula from the Ostrogoths, North Africa from the Vandals (their kingdom collapsing in 533), southern Spain, and a narrow tract of the Illyrian coast. These gains were lost during subsequent reigns. Of the many accepted dates for the end of the Roman state, the latest is 610. This is when the Emperor Heraclius made sweeping reforms, forever changing the face of the empire. Greek was readopted as the language of government and Latin influence waned. By 610, the Classical Roman Empire had fallen into the rule of the Greeks and evolved into what modern historians now call the Middle Age Byzantine Empire, although the Empire was never called that way by its contemporaries (rather it was called Romania or Basileia Romaion). The Byzantines continued to call themselves Romans until their fall to Ottoman Turks in 15th century. The Greek ethnic self-descriptive name "Romans" survives to this day. Others have claimed the legacy of Rome at various times; the Seljuk Turkish name for the Sultan was Sultan of Rum, indicating their belief they were the legitimate descendants and rulers of the Roman State.
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Legacy
Several states claiming to be the Roman Empire's successor arose, before as well as after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Holy Roman Empire, an attempt to resurrect the Empire in the West, was established in 800 when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, though the empire and the imperial office did not become formalized for some decades. After the fall of Constantinople, the Russian Tsardom, as inheritor of the Byzantine Empire's Orthodox Christian tradition, counted itself as the third Rome (with Constantinople being the second). And when the Ottomans, who based their state around the Byzantine model, took Constantinople in 1453, Sultan Mehmed II established his capital there and claimed to sit on the throne of the Roman Empire, and he even went so far as to launch an invasion of Italy with the purpose of "re-uniting the Empire", although Papal and Neapolitan armies stopped his march on Rome at Otranto in 1480. Constantinople was not officially renamed to Istanbul until March 28, 1930.
But excluding these states claiming their heritage, the Roman state lasted (in some form) from the founding of Rome in 753 BC to the fall in 1461 of the Empire of Trebizond (a successor state and fragment of the Byzantine Empire which escaped conquest by the Ottomans in 1453), for a total of 2214 years. The Roman impact on Western and Eastern civilizations lives on. In time most of the Roman achievements have been duplicated by later civilizations. For example, the technology for cement was rediscovered 1755–1759 by John Smeaton.
The Empire contributed many things to the world, such as the (more-or-less) modern calendar, the institutions of Christianity and aspects of modern neo-classicistic architecture. The extensive system of roads, which were constructed by the Roman Army, still last to this day. Because of this network of roads, the amount of time necessary to travel between destinations in Europe did not decrease until the 19th century after the invention of steam power.
The Roman Empire also contributed its form of government, which influences various constitutions including those of most European countries, and that of the United States, whose framers remarked, in creating the Presidency, that they wanted to inaugurate an "Augustan Age." The modern world also inherited legal thinking from the Roman law, codified in Late Antiquity. Governing a vast territory, the Romans developed the science of public administration to an extent never before conceived or necessary, creating an extensive civil service and formalized methods of tax collection. The western world today derives its intellectual history from the Greeks, but it derives its methods of living, ruling and governing from those of the Romans.
[edit]
See also
• List of Ancient Rome-related topics
• Sino-Roman relations
• List of monarchies
• Borders of the Roman Empire
[edit]
Emperors
Roman Emperors by Epoch

see also: List of Roman Emperors • Concise list of Roman Emperors • Roman Empire

Principate
Crisis of the
3rd century
Dominate
Late Empire

• Julio-Claudian dynasty
• Four Emperors (68–69)
• Flavian dynasty
• Nervan-Antonian dynasty
• Five Emperors (192–193)
• Severan dynasty
• Barracks
Emperors
• Illyrian
Emperors

Gallic
Emperors

Tetrarchies

• Constantinian
dynasty
• Valentinian
dynasty

Britannic
Emperors

Theodosian
dynasty

Emperors of the
Western Empire

Byzantine
Emperors



→ (In Italy:)
Barbarian kings
→ (Much later in Western Europe:)
Holy Roman Emperors
→ (Continuing in Eastern Europe:)
Byzantine Emperors

[edit]
Roman provinces


Roman Imperial Provinces (120)


Achaea | Aegyptus | Africa | Alpes Cottiae | Alpes Maritimae | Alpes Poenninae | Arabia Petraea | Armenia Inferior | Asia | Assyria | Bithynia | Britannia | Cappadocia | Cilicia | Commagene | Corduene | Corsica et Sardinia | Creta et Cyrenaica | Cyprus | Dacia | Dalmatia | Epirus | Galatia | Gallia Aquitania | Gallia Belgica | Gallia Lugdunensis | Gallia Narbonensis | Germania Inferior | Germania Superior | Hispania Baetica | Hispania Lusitania | Hispania Tarraconensis | Italia | Iudaea | Lycaonia | Lycia | Macedonia | Mauretania Caesariensis | Mauretania Tingitana | Moesia | Noricum | Numidia | Osroene | Pannonia | Pamphylia | Pisidia | Pontus | Raetia | Sicilia | Sophene | Syria | Thracia

edit

[edit]
Ancient historians of the Empire
In Latin:
• Livy, wrote about the history of the Roman Republic, but during Augustus' reign
• Suetonius
• Gaius Cornelius Tacitus
• Ammianus Marcellinus
In Greek:
• Eusebius of Caesarea
• Sozomen
[edit]
Latin literature of the Empire
• Apuleius
• Augustine of Hippo
• Horace
• Juvenal
• Martial
• Ovid
• Petronius Arbiter
• Virgil
[edit]
References
[edit]
18th and 19th century historians
• Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, (1776–1788)
[edit]
Modern historians
• John Bagnell Bury, A History of the Roman Empire from its Foundation to the death of Marcus Aurelius, 1913
• J. A. Crook, Law and Life of Rome, 90 BC–AD 212, 1967, ISBN 0-801-492-734
• Suzanne Dixon, The Roman Family, 1992, ISBN 0-801-842-00X
• Donald R. Dudley, The Civilization of Rome, 2nd ed., 1985, ISBN 0-452-010-160
• A.H.M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire, 284–602, 1964, ISBN 0-801-832-853
• Andrew Lintott, Imperium Romanum: Politics and administration, 1993, ISBN 0-415-093-759
• Ramsay Macmullen, Roman Social Relations, 50 BC to AD 284, 1981, ISBN 0-300-027-028
• Michael Rostovtzeff, The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire 2nd ed., 1957
• Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution, 1939, ISBN 0-192-803-204
• Colin Wells, The Roman Empire, 2nd ed., 1992, ISBN 0-006-862-527
[edit]
External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Roman Empire
• Interactive Map of the Roman Empire from resourcesforhistory.com
• The Tabula Peutingeriana, a Medieval copy of a Roman map of the Roman Empire
• Rome Unleashed - Roman History Link
• www.roman-empire.net An extensive site on the Roman Empire.
• Grout, James, Encyclopaedia Romana
• J. O'Donnell, Worlds of Late Antiquity website: links, bibliographies: Augustine, Boethius, Cassiodorus etc.
• Portrait gallery of Roman emperors
• The Roman Empire in the First Century from PBS. Resources about Emperors, poets and philosophers of Rome, life in the 1st Century AD, and an "Emperor of Rome" game
• Rulers of ancient Rome a list of rulers in the Roman world from 753 BC - 476 AD
• Durnovaria town house pictures
• Prätorianer - Die Geschichte des römischen Reiches German website about the history of the Roman empire
• The Roman Law Library By Professor Yves Lassard and Alexandr Koptev

History of Ancient Rome
edit

Founding | Roman Kingdom | Roman Republic | Roman Empire | Western Roman Empire | Byzantine(Eastern Roman) Empire | Late Antiquity |

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This Wikipedia is written in English. Started in 2001, it currently contains 1,440,149 articles. Many other Wikipedias are available; the largest are listed below.

Nirvana was a popular American rock band from Aberdeen, Washington. With the lead single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from their 1991 album Nevermind, Nirvana exploded into the mainstream, bringing along with it an offshoot of punk and alternative rock referred to as grunge. As Nirvana's frontman, Kurt Cobain found himself referred to in the media as the "spokesman of a generation", with Nirvana the "flagship band" of "Generation X". Cobain was uncomfortable with the attention, and placed his focus on the band's music, challenging the band's audience with their third studio album In Utero. While Nirvana's mainstream popularity waned in the months following its release, their core audience cherished the band's dark interior, particularly after their 1993 performance on MTV Unplugged. Nirvana's brief run ended with the death of Cobain in 1994, but the band's popularity expanded in the years that followed. Since their debut, the band has sold more than fifty million albums worldwide, including more than ten million copies of Nevermind in the US alone. (more...)
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• ...that Hong San See, a Chinese temple and national monument in Singapore, was sited on a small hill for good fengshui and once commanded a good view of the sea?
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Photo credit: Moondigger
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This Wikipedia is written in English. Started in 2001, it currently contains 1,440,149 articles. Many other Wikipedias are available; the largest are listed below. The Roman Empire was a phase of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by an autocratic form of government. The earlier Roman Republic had been devastated and weakened by the conflict between Gaius Marius and Sulla, followed by the civil war of Julius Caesar against Pompey. During all these struggles hundreds of senators had fallen in battle, been executed, murdered, or had taken their own lives. The Roman Senate had been refilled by loyal friends of the First Triumvirate, and later on, by supporters of the Second Triumvirate. At last, Octavian (later to be known as Augustus) defeated his rival Mark Antony and completed this gradual subversion by thoroughly reorganizing the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.
"Roman Empire" can also be used as translation of the expression, Imperium Romanum, probably the best-known Latin expression where the word imperium is used in the meaning of a territory; the "Roman Empire" denotes that part of the world under Roman rule. The expansion of this Roman territory beyond the borders of the initial city-state of Rome had started long before the state organization turned into an Empire. In its territorial peak after the conquest of Dacia by Trajan, the Roman Empire controlled approximately 5 900 000 km² (2,300,000 sq.mi.) of land surface, thereby being one of the largest ancient empires, exceeded only by the Persian Empire and the Han Empire.
The precise date at which the Roman Republic changed into the Roman Empire is disputed, with the dates of Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the battle of Actium (September 2, 31 BC), and the date in which the Roman Senate granted Octavian the title Augustus (January 16, 27 BC), all being advanced as candidates. To confuse matters even further, Octavian/Augustus officially proclaimed that he had saved the Roman Republic and carefully disguised his power under republican forms. Indeed, on the surface it might appear that the Republic was alive: consuls continued to be elected, tribunes of the plebeians continued to offer legislation, and senators still debated in the Roman Curia. However, it was Octavian who influenced everything and controlled the final decisions, and in final analysis, had the legions to back him up, if it ever became necessary.
The end of the Roman Empire is traditionally placed on 4 September 476, as the Western Roman Empire fell to Germanic invaders. However, this view does not recognize the Eastern Roman Empire, known to modern-day historians as the Byzantine Empire, which maintained Roman legal and cultural traditions. Developing a distinct Greek Christian character, it managed to survive and even thrive for a millennium after the fall of the West, eventually being conquered on 29 May 1453 by the Ottoman Empire.
From the time of Augustus to the Fall of the Western Empire, Rome dominated Western Eurasia, comprising the majority of its population. The legacy of Rome on culture, law, technology, arts, language, religion, government, military, and architecture upon Western civilization remains to the present day.
Contents
[hide]
• 1 Evolution of Imperial Rome
• 2 First emperor
• 3 Republic to Principate (31 BC – AD 14)
o 3.1 Sources
• 4 Julio-Claudian dynasty (14-69)
o 4.1 Tiberius (14–37)
o 4.2 Caligula (37–41)
o 4.3 Claudius (41–54)
o 4.4 Nero (54–68)
• 5 Rebellions
• 6 Year of the Four Emperors (68-69)
• 7 Flavian (69-96)
o 7.1 Vespasian (69–79)
o 7.2 Titus (79–81)
o 7.3 Domitian (81–96)
• 8 Antonine Dynasty (96–180)
o 8.1 Nerva (96-98)
o 8.2 Trajan (98-117)
o 8.3 Hadrian (117-138)
o 8.4 Antoninus Pius (138-161)
o 8.5 Marcus Aurelius (161-180)
• 9 Severan Dynasty (193–235)
• 10 Crisis of the Third Century (235–284)
• 11 Tetrarchy (285–324) and Constantine I (324-337)
• 12 After Constantine (337–395)
o 12.1 Sons of Constantine (337–361)
 12.1.1 Julian and Jovian (361–364)
• 13 Valentinian Dynasty (364–392)
o 13.1 Battle of Adrianople (378)
o 13.2 Disturbed peace in the West (383)
• 14 Theodosian Dynasty (392–395)
• 15 Fall of the Western Roman Empire (395–476)
• 16 Eastern Roman Empire (395–1461)
• 17 Legacy
• 18 See also
o 18.1 Emperors
 18.1.1 Roman provinces
o 18.2 Ancient historians of the Empire
o 18.3 Latin literature of the Empire
• 19 References
o 19.1 18th and 19th century historians
o 19.2 Modern historians
• 20 External links

[edit]
Evolution of Imperial Rome


The extent of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. ██ 133 BC ██ 44 BC (late Republic, after conquests by republican generals) ██ AD 14 (death of Augustus) ██ 117 (maximum extension)
Because the Roman Empire lasted such a "long time" (31 BC – 1453), historians use various alternative names to distinguish different periods or eras. Such names include Western Roman Empire, Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire, which are used throughout this article to refer to the Roman Empire or the Western or Eastern part thereof.
Traditionally, historians make a distinction between the Principate, the period following Augustus until the Crisis of the Third Century, and the Dominate, the period from Diocletian until the end of the Empire in the West. According to this distinction, during the Principate (from the Latin word princeps, meaning "first citizen") the realities of absolutism were formally concealed behind Republican forms; while during the Dominate (from the word dominus, meaning "lord") imperial power was clearly shown, with golden crowns and ornate imperial ritual. More recently historians have established that the situation was far more nuanced: certain historical forms continued until the Byzantine period, more than one thousand years after they were created, and displays of imperial majesty were common from the earliest days of the Empire.
[edit]
First emperor
Who was the first emperor? is one of the never ending questions about the Roman Empire. Under a purely technical point of view there is no clear first emperor as the title itself was not an official post in the Roman constitutional system - rather, it was an amalgam of separate roles.
Julius Caesar was a Dictator Perpetuus - a life-long dictator, which was a highly irregular form of dictator, an official position in the Roman republic. According to law, the rule of a dictator would normally never exceed 6 months. The form created by Caesar was therefore quite contrary to the basic principles of the Roman Republic. Nevertheless, officially his authority rested upon this republican title, however irregular it might have been, and therefore he is considered a republican official. At the very least he pretended to be one. Several senators, among them many former enemies who had been "graciously" pardoned by him, grew fearful that he would crown himself and try to establish a monarchy. Accordingly, they conspired to assassinate him, and on the Ides of March, on the 15th of March 44 BC, the life-long dictator perished under the blades of his assassins before he could be crowned.
Octavian, his grand-nephew, adopted son and political heir, is widely accepted as the first emperor. He had learned from the mistake of his predecessor and never claimed the widely feared title dictator, disguising his power under republican forms much more carefully. All this was intended to foster the illusion of a restoration of the Republic. He received several titles like Augustus - the honorable one, and Princeps - translated as first citizen of the Roman republic or as first leader of the Roman Senate. The latter had been a title awarded for those who had served the state well; Pompey had held that title.
In addition, Augustus (as he is named thereafter) was granted the right to wear the Civic Crown of laurel and oak. However, it must be noted that officially, none of these titles or the Civic Crown, granted Augustus any additional powers or authority; officially he was simply a highly-honored Roman citizen, holding the consulship. Augustus also became Pontifex Maximus after the death of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in 13 BC. He also received several additional and extraordinary powers without claiming too many titles. In the end he only needed the authority itself, not necessarily all the respective titles.
[edit]
Republic to Principate (31 BC – AD 14)
Further information: Praetorian Guard, Roman triumph, Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, Arminius, and Publius Quinctilius Varus


Octavian, widely known as Augustus, learned from the fate of Julius Caesar and avoided his mistake.
After the Battle of Actium which resulted in the defeat and subsequent suicides of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian, now sole ruler of Rome, continued or began a fullscale reformation of military, fiscal and political matters. These reforms were intended to stabilize and to pacify the Roman world and would also cement the acceptance of the new regime.
The Roman legions, who had reached an enormous number because of the civil wars, numbering about 60, were reduced to 28. Several legions, particularly those of doubtful loyalties, were simply disbanded, while others were amalgamated, a fact hinted by the title Gemina - Twin. He also created 9 special cohorts, ostensibly to maintain the peace in Italy, keeping at least 3 of them stationed at Rome. These cohorts became known as the Praetorian Guard.
In 27 BC, Octavian officially tried to relinquish all his extraordinary powers back to the Roman Senate. In a carefully staged way the senators, who by this time were mostly his partisans, refused and begged him to continue for the sake of the republic and the people of Rome. Reportedly, the suggestion of Octavian's stepping down as consul led to rioting amongst the Plebeians in Rome. A compromise was reached between the Senate and Octavian, known as the First Settlement.
Octavian split with the Senate the governorships of the provinces. The "unruly" provinces at the borders, where the vast majority of the legions were stationed, were administrated by imperial legates, chosen by the emperor himself. These provinces were classified as Imperial provinces. The governors of the peaceful Senatorial provinces were chosen by the Senate. These provinces were usually peaceful and only a single legion was stationed at the Senatorial province of Africa.
Before the Senate controlled the treasury, Augustus had mandated that the taxes of the Imperial provinces were destined to the Fiscus, which was administrated by persons chosen and answerable only to Augustus. The revenue of the Senatorial provinces continued to be sent to the Aerarium, under the supervision of the Senate. This effectively made Augustus richer than the Senate, and more than able to pay the salarium - salary of the legionaries, ensuring their continued loyalty. This was ensured by the Imperial province of Aegyptus. This province was incredibly wealthy and also the most important corn supplier for the whole empire. Senators were forbidden to even visit this province, as it was largely considered the personal fiefdom of the emperor himself.
Augustus renounced his consulship in 23 BC, but retained his consular imperium, leading to a second compromise between Augustus and the Senate known as the Second Settlement. Augustus was granted the authority of a tribune (tribunicia potestas), though not the title, which allowed him to convene the Senate and people at will and lay business before it, veto the actions of either the Assembly or the Senate, preside over elections, and gave him the right to speak first at any meeting. Also included in Augustus' tribunician authority were powers usually reserved for the Roman censor; these included the right to supervise public morals and scrutinize laws to ensure they were in the public interest, as well as the ability to hold a census and determine the membership of the Senate. No tribune of Rome ever had these powers, and there was no precedent within the Roman system for combining the powers of the tribune and the censor into a single position, nor was Augustus ever elected to the office of Censor. Whether censorial powers were granted to Augustus as part of his tribunician authority, or he simply assumed these responsibilities, is still a matter of debate.
In addition to tribunician authority, Augustus was granted sole imperium within the city of Rome itself; all armed forces in the city, formerly under the control of the praefects, were now under the sole authority of Augustus. Additionally, Augustus was granted imperium proconsulare maius - power over all proconsuls, the right to interfere in any province and override the decisions of any governor. With maius imperium, Augustus was the only individual able to grant a triumph to a successful general as he was ostensibly the leader of the entire Roman army.
All these reforms were highly abnormal in the eyes of Roman republican tradition, but the Senate was no longer composed of republican patricians who had had the courage to murder Caesar. Octavian had purged the Senate of any suspect elements and planted it with his own partisans. How free a hand the Senate had in all these transactions, and what backroom deals were made, remains unknown.
Attempting to secure the borders of the empire upon the rivers Danube and Elbe, Octavian ordered the invasions of Illyria, Moesia, and Pannonia (south of the Danube), and Germania (west of the Elbe). At first everything went as planned, but then disaster struck. The Illyrian tribes revolted and had to be crushed, and three full legions under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus were ambushed and destroyed at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9 by German barbarians under the leadership of Arminius. Being cautious, Augustus secured all territories west of Rhine and contented himself with retaliatory raids. The rivers Rhine and Danube became the borders of the Roman empire in the North.
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Sources
The Age of Augustus is paradoxically far more poorly documented than the Late Republican period that preceded it. While Livy wrote his magisterial history during Augustus's reign and his work covered all of Roman history through 9 BC, only epitomes survive of his coverage of the Late Republican and Augustan periods. Our important primary sources for this period include the:
• Res Gestae Divi Augusti, Augustus' highly partisan autobiography,
• Historiae Romanae by Velleius Paterculus, a disorganized work which remains the best annals of the Augustan period, and
• Controversiae and Suasoriae of Seneca the Elder.
Though primary accounts of this period are few, works of poetry, legislation and engineering from this period provide important insights into Roman life. Archaeology, including maritime archaeology, aerial surveys, epigraphic inscriptions on buildings, and Augustan coinage, has also provided valuable evidence about economic, social and military conditions.
Secondary sources on the Augustan Age include Tacitus, Dio Cassius, Plutarch and Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Seutonius. Josephus's Jewish Antiquities is the important source for Judea in this period, which became a province during Augustus' reign.
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Julio-Claudian dynasty (14-69)
Main article: Julio-Claudian dynasty
Topics in Roman government
Roman Kingdom

Roman Republic

Roman Empire
Principate
Dominate

Western Empire
Eastern Empire

Ordinary magistrates:

• Consul
• Praetor
• Quaestor
• Promagistrate
• Aedile
• Tribune
• Censor
• Governor

Extraordinary magistrates:

• Magister Equitum
• Consular tribune
• Dictator
• Triumviri
• Decemviri

Offices, titles, and honorifics:
• Pontifex Maximus
• Legatus
• Dux
• Officium
• Praefectus
• Vicarius
• Vigintisexviri
• Lictor
• Magister Militum
• Imperator
• Princeps senatus
• Emperor
• Augustus
• Caesar
• Tetrarch

Politics and law:

• Roman Senate
• Cursus honorum
• Roman assemblies
• Collegiality
• Roman law
• Roman citizenship
• Auctoritas
• Imperium

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Augustus, leaving no sons, was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius, the son of his wife Livia from her first marriage. Augustus was a scion of the gens Julia (the Julian family), one of the most ancient patrician clans of Rome, while Tiberius was a scion of the gens Claudia, only slightly less ancient than the Julians. Their three immediate successors were all descended both from the gens Claudia, through Tiberius's brother Nero Claudius Drusus, and from gens Julia, either through Julia the Elder, Augustus' daughter from his first marriage (Caligula and Nero), or through Augustus' sister Octavia Minor (Claudius). Historians thus refer to their dynasty as "Julio-Claudian".
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Tiberius (14–37)
Main article: Tiberius
The early years of Tiberius' reign were peaceful and relatively benign. Tiberius secured the power of Rome and enriched its treasury. However, Tiberius' reign soon became characterized by paranoia and slander. In 19, he was widely blamed for the death of his nephew, the popular Germanicus. In 23 his own son Drusus died. More and more, Tiberius retreated into himself. He began a series of treason trials and executions. He left power in the hands of the commander of the guard, Aelius Sejanus. Tiberius himself retired to live at his villa on the island of Capri in 26, leaving administration in the hands of Sejanus, who carried on the persecutions with relish. Sejanus also began to consolidate his own power; in 31 he was named co-consul with Tiberius and married Livilla, the emperor's niece. At this point he was "hoisted by his own petard": the Emperor's paranoia, which he had so ably exploited for his own gain, was turned against him. Sejanus was put to death, along with many of his cronies, the same year. The persecutions continued until Tiberius' death in 37.
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Caligula (37–41)
Main article: Caligula
At the time of Tiberius' death most of the people who might have succeeded him had been brutally murdered. The logical successor (and Tiberius' own choice) was his grandnephew, Germanicus' son Gaius (better known as Caligula or "little boots"). Caligula started out well, by putting an end to the persecutions and burning his uncle's records. Unfortunately, he quickly lapsed into illness. The Caligula that emerged in late 37 demonstrated features of mental instability that led modern commentators to diagnose him with such illnesses as encephalitis, which can cause mental derangement, hyperthyroidism, or even a nervous breakdown (perhaps brought on by the stress of his position). Whatever the cause, there was an obvious shift in his reign from this point on, leading his biographers to think him insane.
Suetonius reported a rumour that Caligula planned to appoint his favourite horse Incitatus to the Roman Senate. He ordered his soldiers to invade Britain to fight the Sea God Neptune, but changed his mind at the last minute and had them pick sea shells on the northern end of France instead. It is believed he carried on incestuous relations with his sisters. He ordered a statue of himself to be erected in the Temple at Jerusalem, which would have undoubtedly led to revolt had he not been dissuaded from this plan by his friend king Herod. He ordered people to be secretly killed, and then called for them to his palace. When they did not appear, he would jokingly remark that they must have committed suicide. In 41, Caligula was assassinated by the commander of the guard Cassius Chaerea. The only member of the imperial family left to take charge was his uncle, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus.
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Claudius (41–54)
Main article: Claudius
Claudius had long been considered a weakling and a fool by the rest of his family. He was, however, neither paranoid like his uncle Tiberius, nor insane like his nephew Caligula, and was therefore able to administer the empire with reasonable ability. He improved the bureaucracy and streamlined the citizenship and senatorial rolls. He also proceeded with the conquest and colonization of Britain (in 43), and incorporated more Eastern provinces into the empire. He ordered the construction of a winter port for Rome, at Ostia, thereby providing a place for grain from other parts of the Empire to be brought in inclement weather.
In his own family life, Claudius was less successful. His wife Messalina cuckolded him; when he found out, he had her executed and married his niece, Agrippina the Younger. She, along with several of his freedmen, held an inordinate amount of power over him, and although there are conflicting accounts about his death, she may very well have poisoned him in 54. Claudius was deified later that year. The death of Claudius paved the way for Agrippina's own son, the 17-year-old Lucius Domitius Nero.
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Nero (54–68)
Main article: Nero
Initially, Nero left the rule of Rome to his mother and his tutors, particularly Lucius Annaeus Seneca. However, as he grew older, his paranoia and desire for power increased and he had his mother and tutors executed. During Nero's reign, there were a series of major riots and rebellions throughout the Empire: in Britannia, Armenia, Parthia, and Iudaea. Nero's inability to manage the rebellions and his basic incompetence became evident quickly and, in 68, even the Imperial guard renounced him. Nero is best remembered by the rumour that he played the lyre and sang during the Great Fire of Rome in 64, and hence "fiddled while Rome burned". Nero is also remembered for his immense rebuilding of Rome following the fires. Nero also began one of the first wholesale persecutions of Christians. The civil wars which followed have led the year 69 to be known as the Year of the Four Emperors, in which Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian ruled in quick and violent succession, until Vespasian was able to solidify his power as emperor of Rome.
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Rebellions
In peacetime, it was relatively easy to rule the empire from its capital city, Rome. An eventual rebellion was expected and would happen from time to time: a general or a governor would gain the loyalty of his officers through a mixture of personal charisma, promises and simple bribes. A conquered tribe would rebel, or a conquered city would revolt. This would be a bad, but not a catastrophic event. The Roman legions were spread around the borders and the rebel leader would in normal circumstances have only one or two legions under his command. Loyal legions would be detached from other points of the empire and would eventually drown the rebellion in blood. This happened even more easily in cases of a small local native uprising as the rebels would normally have no great military experience. Unless the emperor was weak, incompetent, hated, and/or universally despised, these rebellions would be a local and isolated event.
During real wartime however, which could develop from a rebellion or an uprising, like the massive Jewish rebellion, this was totally and dangerously different. In a full-blown military campaign, the legions under the command of the generals like Vespasian were of a much greater number. Therefore a paranoid or wise emperor would hold some members of the general's family as hostages, to make certain of the latter's loyalty. In effect, Nero held Domitian and Quintus Petillius Cerialis the governor of Ostia, who were respectively the younger son and the brother-in-law of Vespasian. In normal circumstances this would be quite enough. In fact, the rule of Nero ended with the revolt of the Praetorian Guard who had been bribed in the name of Galba. It became all too obvious that the Praetorian Guard was a sword of Damocles, whose loyalty was all too often bought and who became increasingly greedy. Following their example the legions at the borders would also increasingly participate in the civil wars. This was a dangerous development as this would weaken the whole Roman Army.
The main enemy in the West were, arguably, the "barbarian tribes" behind the Rhine and the Danube. Augustus had tried to conquer them, but ultimately failed and these "barbarians" were greatly feared. But by and large they were left in peace, in order to fight amongst themselves, and were simply too divided to pose a serious threat.

The empire of Parthia, the arch-rival of Rome, at its greatest extent, superimposed over modern borders, c. 60 BC
In the East lay the empire of Parthia (Persia). Crassus, a member of the First Triumvirate during the late republic, attempted an invasion in 53 BC, but was defeated by Persian forces led by Surena in the Battle of Carrhae. It was simply too far away to be conquered and then to be held. Any Parthian invasion was confronted and usually defeated, but the threat itself was ultimately impossible to destroy. Parthia would eventually become Rome's greatest rival and foremost enemy.
In the case of a Roman civil war these two enemies would seize the opportunity to invade Roman territory in order to raid and plunder. The two respective military frontiers became a matter of major political importance because of the high number of legions stationed there. All too often the local generals would rebel, starting a new civil war. To control the western border from Rome was easy, as it was relatively close. To control both frontiers, at the same time, during wartime, was somewhat more difficult. If the emperor was near the border in the East, chances were high that an ambitious general would rebel in the West and vice-versa. It was no longer enough to be a good administrator; emperors were increasingly near the troops in order to control them and no single Emperor could be at the two frontiers at the same time. This problem would plague the ruling emperors time and time again and many future emperors would follow this path to power.
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Year of the Four Emperors (68-69)
Main article: Year of the Four Emperors
The forced suicide of emperor Nero, in 68, was followed by a brief period of civil war (the first Roman civil war since Antony's death in 30 BC) known as the year of the four emperors. Between June of 68 and December of 69, Rome witnessed the successive rise and fall of Galba, Otho and Vitellius until the final accession of Vespasian, first ruler of the Flavian dynasty. This period of civil war has become emblematic of the cyclic political disturbances in the history of the Roman Empire. The military and political anarchy created by this civil war had serious implications, such as the outbreak of the Batavian rebellion.
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Flavian (69-96)
Main article: Flavian Dynasty
The Flavians, although a relatively short-lived dynasty, helped restore stability to an empire on its knees. Although all three have been criticized, especially based on their more centralized style of rule, they issued reforms that created a stable enough empire to last well into the 3rd century. However, their background as a military dynasty led to further marginalization of the senate, and a conclusive move away from princeps, or first citizen, and toward imperator, or emperor.
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Vespasian (69–79)
Vespasian was a remarkably successful Roman general who had been given rule over much of the eastern part of the Roman Empire. He had supported the imperial claims of Galba, after whose death Vespasian became a major contender for the throne. Following the suicide of Otho, Vespasian was able to take control of Rome's winter grain supply in Egypt, placing him in a good position to defeat his remaining rival, Vitellius. On December 20, 69, some of Vespasian's partisans were able to occupy Rome. Vitellius was murdered by his own troops and, the next day, Vespasian, then sixty years old, was confirmed as Emperor by the Senate.
Although Vespasian was considered an autocrat by the senate, he mostly continued the weakening of that body that had been going since the reign of Tiberius. This was typified by his dating his accession to power from July 1, when his troops proclaimed him emperor, instead of December 21, when the Senate confirmed his appointment. Another example was his assumption of the censorship in 73, giving him power over who made up the senate. He used that power to expel dissident senators. At the same time, he increased the number of senators from 200, at that low level due to the actions of Nero and the year of crisis that followed, to 1000; most of the new senators coming not from Rome but from Italy and the urban centers within the western provinces.
Vespasian was able to liberate Rome from the financial burdens placed upon it by Nero's excesses and the civil wars. To do this, he not only increased taxes, but created new forms of taxation. Also, through his power as censor, he was able to carefully examine the fiscal status of every city and province, many paying taxes based upon information and structures more than a century old. Through this sound fiscal policy, he was able to build up a surplus in the treasury and embark on public works projects. It was he who first commissioned the Amphitheatrum Flavium (Colosseum); he also built a forum whose centerpiece was a temple to Peace. In addition, he allotted sizable subsidies to the arts, creating a chair of rhetoric at Rome.
Vespasian was also an effective emperor for the provinces in his decades of office, having posts all across the empire, both east and west. In the west he gave considerable favoritism to Spain in which he granted Latin rights to over three hundred towns and cities, promoting a new era of urbanization throughout the western (formerly barbarian) provinces. Through the additions he made to the Senate he allowed greater influence of the provinces in the Senate, helping to promote unity in the empire. He also extended the borders of the empire on every front, most of which was done to help strengthen the frontier defenses, one of Vespasian's main goals. The crisis of 69 had wrought havoc on the army. One of the most marked problems had been the support lent by provincial legions to men who supposedly represented the best will of their province. This was mostly caused by the placement of native auxiliary units in the areas they were recruited in, a practice Vespasian stopped. He mixed auxiliary units with men from other areas of the empire or moved the units away from where they were recruited to help stop this. Also, to reduce further the chances of another military coup, he broke up the legions and, instead of placing them in singular concentrations, broke them up along the border. Perhaps the most important military reform he undertook was the extension of legion recruitment from exclusively Italy to Gaul and Spain, in line with the Romanization of those areas.
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Titus (79–81)
Titus, the eldest son of Vespasian, had been groomed to rule. He had served as an effective general under his father, helping to secure the east and eventually taking over the command of Roman armies in Syria and Iudaea, quelling the significant Jewish revolt going on at the time. He shared the consul for several years with his father and received the best tutelage. Although there was some trepidation when he took office because of his known dealings with some of the less respectable elements of Roman society, he quickly proved his merit, even recalling many exiled by his father as a show of good faith.
However, his short reign was marked by disaster: in 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted in Pompeii, and in 80, a fire destroyed much of Rome. His generosity in rebuilding after these tragedies made him very popular. Titus was very proud of his work on the vast amphitheater begun by his father. He held the opening ceremonies in the still unfinished edifice during the year 80, celebrating with a lavish show that featured 100 gladiators and lasted 100 days. Titus died in 81, at the age of 41 of what is presumed to be illness; it was rumored that his brother Domitian murdered him in order to become his successor, although these claims have little merit. Whatever the case, he was greatly mourned and missed.
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Domitian (81–96)
Main article: Domitian
All of the Flavians had rather poor relations with the Senate, because of their autocratic rule, however Domitian was the only one who encountered significant problems. His continuous control as consul and censor throughout his rule; the former his father having shared in much the same way as his Julio-Claudian forerunners, the latter presenting difficulty even to obtain, were unheard of. In addition, he often appeared in full military regalia as an imperator, an affront to the idea of what the Principate-era emperor's power was based upon: the emperor as the princeps. His reputation in the Senate aside, he kept the people of Rome happy through various measures, including donations to every resident of Rome, wild spectacles in the newly finished Colosseum, and continuing the public works projects of his father and brother. He also apparently had the good fiscal sense of his father, because although he spent lavishly his successors came to power with a well-endowed treasury.
However, towards the end of his reign Domitian became extremely paranoid, which probably had its initial roots in the treatment he received by his father: although given significant responsibility, he was never trusted with anything important without supervision. This flowered into the severe and perhaps pathological repercussions following the short-lived rebellion in 89 of Antonius Saturninus, a governor and commander in Germany. Domitian's paranoia led to a large number of arrests, executions, and seizure of property (which might help explain his ability to spend so lavishly). Eventually it got to the point where even his closest advisers and family members lived in fear, leading them to his murder in 96 orchestrated by his enemies in the Senate, Stephanus (the steward of the deceased Julia Flavia), members of the Praetorian Guard and empress Domitia Longina.
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Antonine Dynasty (96–180)


Roman Empire as its greatest extent with the conquests of Trajan
The next century came to be known as the period of the "Five Good Emperors", in which the succession was peaceful though not dynastic and the Empire was prosperous. The emperors of this period were Nerva (96–98), Trajan (98–117), Hadrian (117–138), Antoninus Pius (138–161) and Marcus Aurelius (161–180), each being adopted by his predecessor as his successor during the former's lifetime. While their respective choices of successor were based upon the merits of the individual men they selected, it has been argued that the real reason for the lasting success of the adoptive scheme of succession lay more with the fact that none of them had a natural heir.
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Nerva (96-98)
After his accession, Nerva went to set a new tone: he released those imprisoned for treason, banned future prosecutions for treason, restored much confiscated property, and involved the Roman Senate in his rule. He probably did so as a means to remain relatively popular (and therefore alive), but this did not completely aid him. Support for Domitian in the army remained strong, and in October 97 the Praetorian Guard laid siege to the Imperial Palace on the Palatine Hill and took Nerva hostage. He was forced to submit to their demands, agreeing to hand over those responsible for Domitian's death and even giving a speech thanking the rebellious Praetorians. Nerva then adopted Trajan, a commander of the armies on the German frontier, as his successor shortly thereafter in order to bolster his own rule. Casperius Aelianus, the Guard Prefect responsible for the mutiny against Nerva, was later executed under Trajan.
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Trajan (98-117)


Delacroix. Trajan's justice
In 113, provoked by Parthia's decision to put an unacceptable king on the throne of Armenia, a kingdom over which the two great empires had shared hegemony since the time of Nero some fifty years earlier, Trajan marched first on Armenia. He deposed the king and annexed it to the Roman Empire. Then he turned south into Parthia itself, taking the cities of Babylon, Seleucia and finally the capital of Ctesiphon in 116. He continued southward to the Persian Gulf, whence he declared Mesopotamia a new province of the empire and lamented that he was too old to follow in the steps of Alexander the Great. But he did not stop there. Later in 116, he captured the great city of Susa. He deposed the Parthian King Osroes I and put his own puppet ruler Parthamaspates on the throne. Never again would the Roman Empire advance so far to the east.
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Hadrian (117-138)
Despite his own excellence as a military administrator, Hadrian's reign was marked by a general lack of major military conflicts. He surrendered Trajan's conquests in Mesopotamia, considering them to be indefensible. There was almost a war with Parthia around 121, but the threat was averted when Hadrian succeeded in negotiating a peace. Hadrian's army crushed a massive Jewish uprising in Judea (132-135) led by Simon Bar Kokhba.
Hadrian was the first emperor to extensively tour the provinces, donating money for local construction projects as he went. In Britain, he ordered the construction of a wall, the famous Hadrian's Wall as well as various other such defenses in Germany and Northern Africa. His domestic policy was one of relative peace and prosperity.
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Antoninus Pius (138-161)


Antoninus Pius


His reign was comparatively peaceful; there were several military disturbances throughout the Empire in his time, in Mauretania, Iudaea, and amongst the Brigantes in Britain, but none of them are considered serious. The unrest in Britain is believed to have led to the construction of the Antonine Wall from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde, although it was soon abandoned.
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Marcus Aurelius (161-180)


Marcus Aurelius


Germanic tribes and other peoples launched many raids along the long north European border, particularly into Gaul and across the Danube — Germans, in turn, may have been under attack from more warlike tribes farther east. His campaigns against them are commemorated on the Column of Marcus Aurelius. In Asia, a revitalized Parthian Empire renewed its assault. Marcus Aurelius sent his joint emperor Verus to command the legions in the East to face it. He was authoritative enough to command the full loyalty of the troops, but already powerful enough that he had little incentive to overthrow Marcus. The plan succeeded — Verus remained loyal until his death on campaign in 169.
The period of the "Five Good Emperors" was brought to an end by the reign of Commodus from 180 to 192. Commodus was the son of Marcus Aurelius, making him the first direct successor in a century, breaking the scheme of adoptive successors that had turned out so well. He was co-emperor with his father from 177. When he became sole emperor upon the death of his father in 180, it was at first seen as a hopeful sign by the people of the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, as generous and magnanimous as his father was, Commodus turned out to be just the opposite. In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, it is noted that Commodus at first ruled the empire well. However, after an assassination attempt, involving a conspiracy by certain members of his family, Commodus became paranoid and slipped into insanity. The Pax Romana, or "Roman Peace", ended with the reign of Commodus. One could argue that the assassination attempt began the long decline of the Roman Empire.
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Severan Dynasty (193–235)


Reconstruction of the centre of Rome during the reign of Septimius Severus, showing the Colosseum and the area to the south of it


Caracalla


The Severan dynasty includes the increasingly troubled reigns of Septimius Severus (193–211), Caracalla (211–217), Macrinus (217–218), Elagabalus (218–222), and Alexander Severus (222–235). The founder of the dynasty, Lucius Septimius Severus, belonged to a leading native family of Leptis Magna in Africa who allied himself with a prominent Syrian family by his marriage to Julia Domna. Their provincial background and cosmopolitan alliance, eventually giving rise to imperial rulers of Syrian background, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus, testifies to the broad political franchise and economic development of the Roman empire that had been achieved under the Antonines. A generally successful ruler, Septimius Severus cultivated the army's support with substantial remuneration in return for total loyalty to the emperor and substituted equestrian officers for senators in key administrative positions. In this way, he successfully broadened the power base of the imperial administration throughout the empire, also by abolishing the regular standing jury courts of Republican times.
Septimius Severus's son, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — nicknamed Caracalla — removed all legal and political distinction between Italians and provincials, enacting the Constitutio Antoniniana in 212 which extended full Roman citizenship to all free inhabitants of the empire. Caracalla was also responsible for erecting the famous Baths of Caracalla in Rome, their design serving as an architectural model for many subsequent monumental public buildings. Increasingly unstable and autocratic, Caracalla was assassinated by the praetorian prefect Macrinus in 217, who succeeded him briefly as the first emperor not of senatorial rank. The imperial court, however, was dominated by formidable women who arranged the succession of Elagabalus in 218, and Alexander Severus, the last of the dynasty, in 222. In the last phase of the Severan principate, the power of the Senate was somewhat revived and a number of fiscal reforms were enacted. Despite early successes against the Sassanian Empire in the East, Alexander Severus's increasing inability to control the army led eventually to its mutiny and his assassination in 235. The death of Alexander Severus ushered in a subsequent period of soldier-emperors and almost a half-century of civil war and strife.
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Crisis of the Third Century (235–284)
The Crisis of the 3rd Century is a commonly applied name for the crumbling and near collapse of the Roman Empire between 235 and 284. It is also called the period of the "military anarchy."
After Augustus declared an end to the Civil Wars of the 1st century BC, the Empire had enjoyed a period of limited external invasion, internal peace and economic prosperity (the Pax Romana). In the 3rd century, however, the Empire underwent military, political and economic crises and almost collapsed. There was constant barbarian invasion, civil war, and runaway hyperinflation. Part of the problem had its origins in the nature of the Augustan settlement. Augustus, intending to downplay his position, had not established rules for the succession of emperors. Already in the 1st and 2nd century disputes about the succession had lead to short civil wars, but in the 3rd century these civil wars became a constant factor, as no single candidate succeeded in quickly overcoming his opponents or holding on to the Imperial position for very long. Between 235 and 284 no fewer than 25 different emperors ruled Rome (the "Soldier-Emperors"). All but two of these emperors were either murdered or killed in battle. The organisation of the Roman military, concentrated on the borders, could provide no remedy against foreign invasions once the invaders had broken through. A decline in citizens' participation in local administration forced the Emperors to step in, gradually increasing the central government's responsibility.
This period ended with the accession of Diocletian. Diocletian, either by skill or sheer luck, solved many of the acute problems experienced during this crisis. However, the core problems would remain and cause the eventual destruction of the western empire. The transitions of this period mark the beginnings of Late Antiquity and the end of Classical Antiquity.
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Tetrarchy (285–324) and Constantine I (324-337)


The Tetrarchs, a porphyry sculpture sacked from a Byzantine palace in 1204, Treasury of St Mark's, Venice


The transition from a single united empire to the later divided Western and Eastern empires was a gradual transformation. In July 285, Diocletian defeated rival Emperor Carinus and briefly became sole emperor of the Roman Empire.
Diocletian saw that the vast Roman Empire was ungovernable by a single emperor in the face of internal pressures and military threats on two fronts. He therefore split the Empire in half along a north-west axis just east of Italy, and created two equal Emperors to rule under the title of Augustus. Diocletian was Augustus of the eastern half, and gave his long-time friend Maximian the title of Augustus in the western half. In doing so, Diocletian created what would become the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. The western empire would collapse less than 200 years later, and the eastern empire would become the Byzantine Empire, centred at Constantinople, which would survive another one thousand years.
In 293 authority was further divided, as each Augustus took a junior Emperor called Caesar to aid him in administrative matters, and to provide a line of succession; Galerius became Caesar under Diocletian and Constantius Chlorus Caesar under Maximian. This constituted what is called the Tetrarchy (in Greek: the leadership of four) by modern scholars. After Rome had been plagued by bloody disputes about the supreme authority, this finally formalized a peaceful succession of the Emperor: in each half the Caesar rose up to replace the Augustus and proclaimed a new Caesar. On May 1, 305, Diocletian and Maximian abdicated in favor of their Caesars. Galerius named the two new Caesars: his nephew Maximinus for himself and Flavius Valerius Severus for Constantius. The arrangement worked well at the start. The internal tensions within the Roman government were less acute than they had been. In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon notes that this arrangement worked well because of the affinity the four rulers had for each other. Gibbon says that this arrangement has been compared to a "chorus of music." With the withdrawal of Diocletian and Maximian, this harmony disappeared.
The Tetrarchy would effectively collapse with the death of Constantius Chlorus on July 25, 306. Constantius's troops in Eboracum immediately proclaimed his son Constantine an Augustus. In August 306, Galerius promoted Severus to the position of Augustus. A revolt in Rome supported another claimant to the same title: Maxentius, son of Maximian, who was proclaimed Augustus on October 28, 306. His election was supported by the Praetorian Guard. This left the Empire with five rulers: four Augusti (Galerius, Constantine, Severus and Maxentius) and a Caesar (Maximinus).
The year 307 saw the return of Maximian to the role of Augustus alongside his son Maxentius, creating a total of six rulers of the Empire. Galerius and Severus campaigned against them in Italy. Severus was killed under command of Maxentius on September 16, 307. The two Augusti of Italy also managed to ally themselves with Constantine by having Constantine marry Fausta, the daughter of Maximian and sister of Maxentius. At the end of 307, the Empire had four Augusti (Maximian, Galerius, Constantine and Maxentius) and a sole Caesar (Maximinus).
The five were briefly joined by another Augustus in 308. Domitius Alexander, vicarius of the Roman province of Africa under Maxentius, proclaimed himself Augustus. Before long he was captured by Rufius Volusianus and Zenas, and executed in 311. The conflicts among the various rivalrous Augusti was resolved in the Congress of Carnuntum with the participation of Diocletian, Maximian, and Galerius. The final decisions were taken on November 11, 308:
• Galerius remained Augustus of the Eastern Roman Empire.
• Maximinus remained Caesar of the Eastern Roman Empire.
• Maximian was forced to abdicate.
• Maxentius was still not recognized, his rule remained illegitimate.
• Constantine received official recognition but was demoted to Caesar of the Western Roman Empire.
• Licinius replaced Maximian as Augustus of the Western Roman Empire.
Problems continued. Maximinus demanded to be promoted to Augustus. He proclaimed himself to be one on May 1, 310; Constantine followed suit shortly thereafter. Maximian similarly proclaimed himself an Augustus for a third and final time. He was killed by his son-in-law Constantine in July, 310. The end of the year again found the Empire with four legitimate Augusti (Galerius, Maximinus, Constantine and Licinius) and one illegitimate one (Maxentius).
Galerius died in May 311 leaving Maximinus sole ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire. Meanwhile Maxentius declared a war on Constantine under the pretext of avenging his executed father. He was among the casualties of the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312.
This left the Empire in the hands of the three remaining Augusti, Maximinus, Constantine and Licinius. Licinius allied himself with Constantine, cementing the alliance by marriage to his younger half-sister Constantia in March 313 and joining open conflict with Maximinus. Maximinus met his death at Tarsus in Cilicia in August 313. The two remaining Augusti divided the Empire again in the pattern established by Diocletian: Constantine becoming Augustus of the Western Roman Empire and Licinius Augustus of the Eastern Roman Empire.
This division lasted ten years until 324. A final war between the last two remaining Augusti ended with the deposition of Licinius and the elevation of Constantine to sole Emperor of the Roman Empire. Deciding that the empire needed a new capital, Constantine chose the site of Byzantium for the new city. He refounded it as Nova Roma, but it was popularly called Constantinople: Constantine's City. Constantinople would serve as the capital of Constantine the Great from May 11, 330 to his death on May 22, 337. Constantine initiated Roman state support for Christianity, ultimately converting himself (see Constantine I and Christianity). Every subsequent Roman Emperor bar Julian would henceforth be Christian.
[edit]
After Constantine (337–395)
[edit]
Sons of Constantine (337–361)


A map of Rome in 350
The Empire was parted again among his three surviving sons. The Western Roman Empire was divided among the eldest son Constantine II and the youngest son Constans. The Eastern Roman Empire along with Constantinople were the share of middle son Constantius II.
Constantine II was killed in conflict with his youngest brother in 340. Constans was himself killed in conflict with the army-proclaimed Augustus Magnentius on January 18, 350. Magnentius was at first opposed in the city of Rome by self-proclaimed Augustus Nepotianus, a paternal first cousin of Constans. Nepotianus was killed alongside his mother Eutropia. His other first cousin Constantia convinced Vetriano to proclaim himself Caesar in opposition to Magnentius. Vetriano served a brief term from March 1 to December 25, 350. He was then forced to abdicate by the legitimate Augustus Constantius. The usurper Magnentius would continue to rule the Western Roman Empire until 353 while in conflict with Constantius. His eventual defeat and suicide left Constantius as sole Emperor.
Constantius's rule would however be opposed again in 360. He had named his paternal half-cousin and brother-in-law Julian as his Caesar of the Western Roman Empire in 355. During the following five years, Julian had a series of victories against invading Germanic tribes, including the Alamanni. This allowed him to secure the Rhine frontier. His victorious Gallic troops thus ceased campaigning. Constantius send orders for the troops to be transferred to the east as reinforcements for his own currently unsuccessful campaign against Shapur II of Persia. This order led the Gallic troops to an insurrection. They proclaimed their commanding officer Julian to be an Augustus. Both Augusti were not ready to lead their troops to another Roman Civil War. Constantius's timely demise on November 3, 361 prevented this war from ever occurring.
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Julian and Jovian (361–364)
Julian would serve as the sole Emperor for two years. He had received his baptism as a Christian years before, but apparently no longer considered himself one. His reign would see the ending of restriction and persecution of paganism introduced by his uncle and father-in-law Constantine the Great and his cousins and brothers-in-law Constantine II, Constans and Constantius II. He instead placed similar restrictions and unofficial persecution of Christianity. His edict of toleration in 362 ordered the reopening of pagan temples and the reinstitution of alienated temple properties, and, more problematically for the Christian Church, the recalling of previously exiled Christian bishops. Returning Orthodox and Arian bishops resumed their conflicts, thus further weakening the Church as a whole.
Julian himself was not a traditional pagan. His personal beliefs were largely influenced by Neoplatonism and Theurgy; he reputedly believed he was the reincarnation of Alexander the Great. He produced works of philosophy arguing his beliefs. His brief renaissance of paganism would, however, end with his death. Julian eventually resumed the war against Shapur II of Persia. He received a mortal wound in battle and died on June 26, 363. He was considered a hero by pagan sources of his time and a villain by Christian ones. Later historians have treated him as a controversial figure.
Julian died childless and with no designated successor. The officers of his army elected the rather obscure officer Jovian emperor. He is remembered for signing an unfavorable peace treaty with Persia and restoring the privileges of Christianity. He is considered a Christian himself, though little is known of his beliefs. Jovian himself died on February 17, 364.
[edit]
Valentinian Dynasty (364–392)
Main article: Valentinian Dynasty
The role of choosing a new Augustus fell again to army officers. On February 28, 364, Pannonian officer Valentinian I was elected Augustus in Nicaea, Bithynia. However, the army had been left leaderless twice in less than a year, and the officers demanded Valentinian to choose a co-ruler. On March 28 Valentinian chose his own younger brother Valens and the two new Augusti parted the Empire in the pattern established by Diocletian: Valentinian would administer the Western Roman Empire, while Valens took control over the Eastern Roman Empire.
Valens's election would soon be disputed. Procopius, a Cilician maternal cousin of Julian, had been considered a likely heir to his cousin but was never designated as such. He had been in hiding since the election of Jovian. In 365, while Valentinian was at Paris and then at Rheims to direct the operations of his generals against the Alamanni, Procopius managed to bribe two legions assigned to Constantinople and take control of the Eastern Roman capital. He was proclaimed Augustus on September 28 and soon extended his control to both Thrace and Bithynia. War between the two rival Eastern Roman Emperors continued until Procopius was defeated. Valens had him executed on May 27, 366.
On August 4, 367, a 3rd Augustus was proclaimed by the other two. His father Valentinian and uncle Valens chose the 8 year-old Gratian as a nominal co-ruler, obviously as a means to secure succession.
In April 37Brigetio on the Danube, a town now part of modern-day Komárom, Hungary, Valentinian suffered a burst blood vessel in the skull while angrily yelling at the people gathered. This injury resulted in his death on November 17, 375.
Succession did not go as planned. Gratian was then a 16 year-old and arguably ready to act as Emperor, but the troops in Pannonia proclaimed his infant half-brother emperor under the title Valentinian II.
Gratian acquiesced in their choice and administrated the Gallic part of the Western Roman Empire. Italy, Illyria and Africa were officially administrated by his brother and his step-mother Justina. However the division was merely nominal as the actual authority still rested with Gratian.
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Battle of Adrianople (378)
Main article: Battle of Adrianople


"Barbarian" invasions of the Roman Empire, showing the Battle of Adrianople.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Roman Empire faced its own problems with Germanic tribes. The Visigoths, an East Germanic tribe, fled their former lands following an invasion by the Huns. Their leaders Alavius and Fritigern led them to seek refuge from the Eastern Roman Empire. Valens indeed let them settle as foederati on the southern bank of the Danube in 376. However, the newcomers faced problems from allegedly corrupted provincial commanders and a series of hardships. Their dissatisfaction led them to revolt against their Roman hosts.
For the following two years conflicts continued. Valens personally led a campaign against them in 378. Gratian provided his uncle with reinforcements from the Western Roman army. However this campaign proved disastrous for the Romans. The two armies approached each other near Adrianople. Valens was apparently overconfident of his numerical superiority of his own forces over the Goths. Some of his officers advised caution and to await to arrival of Gratian, others urged for an immediate attack and eventually prevailed over Valens, eager to have all of the glory for himself rushed into battle. On August 9, 378, the Battle of Adrianople resulted in the crushing defeat of the Romans and the death of Valens. Contemporary historian Ammianus Marcellinus estimated that two thirds of the Roman army were lost in the battle. The last third managed to retreat.
The battle had far reaching consequences. Veteran soldiers and valuable administrators were among the heavy casualties. There were few available replacements at the time, leaving the Empire with problems of finding suitable leadership. The Roman army would also start facing recruiting problems. In the following century much of the Roman army would consist of Germanic mercenaries.
For the moment however there was another concern. The death of Valens left Gratian and Valentinian II as the sole two Augusti. Gratian was now effectively responsible for the whole of the Empire. He sought however a replacement Augustus for the Eastern Roman Empire. His choice was Theodosius I, son of formerly distinguished general Count Theodosius. The elder Theodosius had been executed in early 375 for unclear reasons. The younger one was named Augustus of the Eastern Roman Empire on January 19, 379. His appointment would prove a deciding moment in the division of the Empire.
[edit]
Disturbed peace in the West (383)
Gratian governed the Western Roman Empire with energy and success for some years, but he gradually sank into indolence. He is considered to have become a figurehead while Frankish general Merobaudes and bishop Ambrose of Milan jointly acted as the power behind the throne. Gratian lost favor with factions of the Roman Senate by prohibiting traditional paganism at Rome and relinquishing his title of Pontifex Maximus. The senior Augustus also became unpopular to his own Roman troops because of his close association with so-called barbarians. He reportedly recruited Alans to his personal service and adopted the guise of a Scythian warrior for public appearances.
Meanwhile Gratian, Valentinian II and Theodosius were joined by a fourth Augustus. Theodosius proclaimed his oldest son Arcadius to be an Augustus in January, 383 in an obvious attempt to secure succession. The boy was only still five or six years old and held no actual authority. Nevertheless he was recognized as a co-ruler by all three Augusti.
The increasing unpopularity of Gratian would cause the four Augusti problems later that same year. Spanish Celt general Magnus Maximus, stationed in Roman Britain, was proclaimed Augustus by his troops in 383 and rebelling against Gratian he invaded Gaul. Gratian fled from Lutetia (Paris) to Lugdunum (Lyon), where he was assassinated on August 25, 383 at the age of twenty-five.
Maximus was a firm believer of the Nicene Creed and introduced state persecution on charges of heresy, which brought him in conflict with Pope Siricius who argued that the Augustus had no authority over church matters. But he was an Emperor with popular support and his reputation survived in Romano-British tradition and gained him a place in the Mabinogion, compiled about a thousand years after his death.
Following Gratian's death, Maximus had to deal with Valentinian II, actually only 12 years old, as the senior Augustus. The first few years the Alps would serve as the borders between the respective territories of the two rival Western Roman Emperors. Maximus controlled Britain, Gaul, Hispania and Africa. He chose Augusta Treverorum (Trier) as his capital.
Maximus soon entered negotiations with Valentinian II and Theodosius, attempting to gain their official recognition. By 384, negotiations were unfruitful and Maximus tried to press the matter by settling succession as only a legitimate Emperor could do: proclaiming his own infant son Flavius Victor an Augustus. The end of the year find the Empire having five Augusti (Valentinian II, Theodosius I, Arcadius, Magnus Maximus and Flavius Victor) with relations between them yet to be determined.
Theodosius was left a widower, in 385, following the sudden death of Aelia Flaccilla, his Augusta. He was remarried to the sister of Valentinean II, Galla, and the marriage secured closer relations between the two legitimate Augusti.
In 386 Maximus and Victor finally received official recognition by Theodosius but not by Valentinian. In 387, Maximus apparently decided to rid himself of his Italian rival. He crossed the Alps into the valley of the Po and threatened Milan. Valentinian and his mother fled to Thessaloniki from where they sought the support of Theodosius. Theodosius indeed campaigned west in 388 and was victorious against Maximus. Maximus himself was captured and executed in Aquileia on July 28, 388. Magister militum Arbogastes was sent to Trier with orders to also kill Flavius Victor. Theodosius restored Valentinian to power and through his influence had him converted to Orthodox Catholicism. Theodosius continued supporting Valentinian and protecting him from a variety of usurpations.
[edit]
Theodosian Dynasty (392–395)


The division of the Empire after the death of Theodosius I, ca.395 AD superimposed on modern borders. ██ Western Roman Empire ██ Eastern Roman Empire
Main article: Theodosian Dynasty
In 392 Valentinian was murdered in Vienne. Theodosius succeeded him, ruling the entire Roman Empire.
Theodosius had two sons and a daughter, Pulcheria, from his first wife, Aelia Flacilla. His daughter and wife died in 385. By his second wife, Galla, he had a daughter, Galla Placidia, the mother of Valentinian III, who would be Emperor of the West.
Theodosius was the last Emperor who ruled over the whole Empire. After his death in 395 he gave the two halves of the Empire to his two sons Arcadius and Honorius; Arcadius became ruler in the East, with his capital in Constantinople, and Honorius became ruler in the west, with his capital in Milan and later Ravenna. Though the Roman state would continue to have two emperors, the Eastern Romans considered themselves Roman in full. Latin was used in official writings as much as, if not more than, Greek. The two halves were nominally, culturally and historically, if not politically, the same state.
[edit]
Fall of the Western Roman Empire (395–476)
Main article: Decline of the Roman Empire
The year 476 is generally accepted as the end of the Western Roman Empire. Before this, in June 474, Julius Nepos became Western Emperor. The Master of Soldiers Orestes revolted and put his son Romulus Augustus on the throne and Nepos fled back to his princedom in Dalmatia in August 475. Romulus however, was not recognized by the Eastern Emperor Zeno and so was technically an usurper, Nepos still being the legal Western Emperor.
The Germanic Heruli, under their chieftain Odoacer, were refused land by Orestes, whom they killed. They then deposed Romulus Augustus in August 476. Odoacer then sent the Imperial Regalia back to the emperor Zeno, and the Roman Senate informed Zeno that he was now the Emperor of the whole empire. Zeno soon received two deputations. One was from Odoacer requesting that his control of Italy be formally recognized by the Empire, in which he would acknowledge Zeno's supremacy. The other deputation was from Nepos, asking for support to regain the throne. Zeno granted Odoacer the title Patrician.
Odoacer and the Roman Senate were told to take Nepos back. However, Nepos never returned from Dalmatia, even though Odoacer issued coins in his name. Upon Nepos' death in 480, Odoacer annexed Dalmatia to his kingdom.


Map of Ostrogothic Kingdom
The next seven decades played out as aftermath. Theodoric the Great as King of the Oastrogoths, couched his legitimacy in diplomatic terms as being the representative of the Emperor of the East. Consuls were appointed regularly through his reign: a formula for the consular appointment is provided in Cassiodorus's Book VI. The post of consul was last filled in the west by Theodoric's successor, Athalaric, until he died in 534. Ironically the Gothic War in Italy, which was meant as the reconquest of a lost province for the Emperor of the East and a re-establishment of the continuity of power, actually caused more damage and cut more ties of continuity with the Antique world than the attempts of Theodoric and his minister Cassiodorus to meld Roman and Gothic culture within a Roman form.
In essence, the "fall" of the Roman Empire to a contemporary depended a great deal on where they were and their status in the world. On the great villas of the Italian Campagna, the seasons rolled on without a hitch. The local overseer may have been representing an Ostrogoth, then a Lombard duke, then a Christian bishop, but the rhythm of life and the horizons of the imagined world remained the same. Even in the decayed cities of Italy consuls were still elected. In Auvergne, at Clermont, the Gallo-Roman poet and diplomat Sidonius Apollinaris, bishop of Clermont, realized that the local "fall of Rome" came in 475, with the fall of the city to the Visigoth Euric. In the north of Gaul, a Roman kingdom existed for some years and the Franks had their links to the Roman administration and military as well. In Hispania the last Arian Visigothic king Liuvigild considered himself the heir of Rome. Hispania Baetica was still essentially Roman when the Moors came in 711, but in the northwest, the invasion of the Suevi broke the last frail links with Roman culture in 409. In Aquitania and Provence, cities like Arles were not abandoned, but Roman culture in Britain collapsed in waves of violence after the last legions evacuated: the final legionary probably left Britain in 409.
[edit]
Eastern Roman Empire (395–1461)
Main article: Byzantine Empire
As the west would decline during the 5th century, the richer east would be spared much of the destruction, and in the 6th century the Eastern Empire under the emperor Justinian I reconquered the Italian peninsula from the Ostrogoths, North Africa from the Vandals (their kingdom collapsing in 533), southern Spain, and a narrow tract of the Illyrian coast. These gains were lost during subsequent reigns. Of the many accepted dates for the end of the Roman state, the latest is 610. This is when the Emperor Heraclius made sweeping reforms, forever changing the face of the empire. Greek was readopted as the language of government and Latin influence waned. By 610, the Classical Roman Empire had fallen into the rule of the Greeks and evolved into what modern historians now call the Middle Age Byzantine Empire, although the Empire was never called that way by its contemporaries (rather it was called Romania or Basileia Romaion). The Byzantines continued to call themselves Romans until their fall to Ottoman Turks in 15th century. The Greek ethnic self-descriptive name "Romans" survives to this day. Others have claimed the legacy of Rome at various times; the Seljuk Turkish name for the Sultan was Sultan of Rum, indicating their belief they were the legitimate descendants and rulers of the Roman State.
[edit]
Legacy
Several states claiming to be the Roman Empire's successor arose, before as well as after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Holy Roman Empire, an attempt to resurrect the Empire in the West, was established in 800 when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, though the empire and the imperial office did not become formalized for some decades. After the fall of Constantinople, the Russian Tsardom, as inheritor of the Byzantine Empire's Orthodox Christian tradition, counted itself as the third Rome (with Constantinople being the second). And when the Ottomans, who based their state around the Byzantine model, took Constantinople in 1453, Sultan Mehmed II established his capital there and claimed to sit on the throne of the Roman Empire, and he even went so far as to launch an invasion of Italy with the purpose of "re-uniting the Empire", although Papal and Neapolitan armies stopped his march on Rome at Otranto in 1480. Constantinople was not officially renamed to Istanbul until March 28, 1930.
But excluding these states claiming their heritage, the Roman state lasted (in some form) from the founding of Rome in 753 BC to the fall in 1461 of the Empire of Trebizond (a successor state and fragment of the Byzantine Empire which escaped conquest by the Ottomans in 1453), for a total of 2214 years. The Roman impact on Western and Eastern civilizations lives on. In time most of the Roman achievements have been duplicated by later civilizations. For example, the technology for cement was rediscovered 1755–1759 by John Smeaton.
The Empire contributed many things to the world, such as the (more-or-less) modern calendar, the institutions of Christianity and aspects of modern neo-classicistic architecture. The extensive system of roads, which were constructed by the Roman Army, still last to this day. Because of this network of roads, the amount of time necessary to travel between destinations in Europe did not decrease until the 19th century after the invention of steam power.
The Roman Empire also contributed its form of government, which influences various constitutions including those of most European countries, and that of the United States, whose framers remarked, in creating the Presidency, that they wanted to inaugurate an "Augustan Age." The modern world also inherited legal thinking from the Roman law, codified in Late Antiquity. Governing a vast territory, the Romans developed the science of public administration to an extent never before conceived or necessary, creating an extensive civil service and formalized methods of tax collection. The western world today derives its intellectual history from the Greeks, but it derives its methods of living, ruling and governing from those of the Romans.
[edit]
See also
• List of Ancient Rome-related topics
• Sino-Roman relations
• List of monarchies
• Borders of the Roman Empire
[edit]
Emperors
Roman Emperors by Epoch

see also: List of Roman Emperors • Concise list of Roman Emperors • Roman Empire

Principate
Crisis of the
3rd century
Dominate
Late Empire

• Julio-Claudian dynasty
• Four Emperors (68–69)
• Flavian dynasty
• Nervan-Antonian dynasty
• Five Emperors (192–193)
• Severan dynasty
• Barracks
Emperors
• Illyrian
Emperors

Gallic
Emperors

Tetrarchies

• Constantinian
dynasty
• Valentinian
dynasty

Britannic
Emperors

Theodosian
dynasty

Emperors of the
Western Empire

Byzantine
Emperors



→ (In Italy:)
Barbarian kings
→ (Much later in Western Europe:)
Holy Roman Emperors
→ (Continuing in Eastern Europe:)
Byzantine Emperors

[edit]
Roman provinces


Roman Imperial Provinces (120)


Achaea | Aegyptus | Africa | Alpes Cottiae | Alpes Maritimae | Alpes Poenninae | Arabia Petraea | Armenia Inferior | Asia | Assyria | Bithynia | Britannia | Cappadocia | Cilicia | Commagene | Corduene | Corsica et Sardinia | Creta et Cyrenaica | Cyprus | Dacia | Dalmatia | Epirus | Galatia | Gallia Aquitania | Gallia Belgica | Gallia Lugdunensis | Gallia Narbonensis | Germania Inferior | Germania Superior | Hispania Baetica | Hispania Lusitania | Hispania Tarraconensis | Italia | Iudaea | Lycaonia | Lycia | Macedonia | Mauretania Caesariensis | Mauretania Tingitana | Moesia | Noricum | Numidia | Osroene | Pannonia | Pamphylia | Pisidia | Pontus | Raetia | Sicilia | Sophene | Syria | Thracia

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[edit]
Ancient historians of the Empire
In Latin:
• Livy, wrote about the history of the Roman Republic, but during Augustus' reign
• Suetonius
• Gaius Cornelius Tacitus
• Ammianus Marcellinus
In Greek:
• Eusebius of Caesarea
• Sozomen
[edit]
Latin literature of the Empire
• Apuleius
• Augustine of Hippo
• Horace
• Juvenal
• Martial
• Ovid
• Petronius Arbiter
• Virgil
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References
[edit]
18th and 19th century historians
• Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, (1776–1788)
[edit]
Modern historians
• John Bagnell Bury, A History of the Roman Empire from its Foundation to the death of Marcus Aurelius, 1913
• J. A. Crook, Law and Life of Rome, 90 BC–AD 212, 1967, ISBN 0-801-492-734
• Suzanne Dixon, The Roman Family, 1992, ISBN 0-801-842-00X
• Donald R. Dudley, The Civilization of Rome, 2nd ed., 1985, ISBN 0-452-010-160
• A.H.M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire, 284–602, 1964, ISBN 0-801-832-853
• Andrew Lintott, Imperium Romanum: Politics and administration, 1993, ISBN 0-415-093-759
• Ramsay Macmullen, Roman Social Relations, 50 BC to AD 284, 1981, ISBN 0-300-027-028
• Michael Rostovtzeff, The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire 2nd ed., 1957
• Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution, 1939, ISBN 0-192-803-204
• Colin Wells, The Roman Empire, 2nd ed., 1992, ISBN 0-006-862-527
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External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Roman Empire
• Interactive Map of the Roman Empire from resourcesforhistory.com
• The Tabula Peutingeriana, a Medieval copy of a Roman map of the Roman Empire
• Rome Unleashed - Roman History Link
• www.roman-empire.net An extensive site on the Roman Empire.
• Grout, James, Encyclopaedia Romana
• J. O'Donnell, Worlds of Late Antiquity website: links, bibliographies: Augustine, Boethius, Cassiodorus etc.
• Portrait gallery of Roman emperors
• The Roman Empire in the First Century from PBS. Resources about Emperors, poets and philosophers of Rome, life in the 1st Century AD, and an "Emperor of Rome" game
• Rulers of ancient Rome a list of rulers in the Roman world from 753 BC - 476 AD
• Durnovaria town house pictures
• Prätorianer - Die Geschichte des römischen Reiches German website about the history of the Roman empire
• The Roman Law Library By Professor Yves Lassard and Alexandr Koptev

History of Ancient Rome
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Founding | Roman Kingdom | Roman Republic | Roman Empire | Western Roman Empire | Byzantine(Eastern Roman) Empire | Late Antiquity |

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Nirvana was a popular American rock band from Aberdeen, Washington. With the lead single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from their 1991 album Nevermind, Nirvana exploded into the mainstream, bringing along with it an offshoot of punk and alternative rock referred to as grunge. As Nirvana's frontman, Kurt Cobain found himself referred to in the media as the "spokesman of a generation", with Nirvana the "flagship band" of "Generation X". Cobain was uncomfortable with the attention, and placed his focus on the band's music, challenging the band's audience with their third studio album In Utero. While Nirvana's mainstream popularity waned in the months following its release, their core audience cherished the band's dark interior, particularly after their 1993 performance on MTV Unplugged. Nirvana's brief run ended with the death of Cobain in 1994, but the band's popularity expanded in the years that followed. Since their debut, the band has sold more than fifty million albums worldwide, including more than ten million copies of Nevermind in the US alone. (more...)
Recently featured: Al-Kateb v Godwin – Georg Forster – Chola dynasty
Archive – By email – More featured articles...

Did you know...
From Wikipedia's newest articles:

• ...that Hong San See, a Chinese temple and national monument in Singapore, was sited on a small hill for good fengshui and once commanded a good view of the sea?
• ...that the Tamworth Pig is a rare breed of swine which has such a high bristle density that, unlike most pigs, it almost never suffers sunburn?
• ...that in 1998 Vishnu Bhagwat became the first service chief in independent India to be sacked?
• ...that Susan L. Hefle's research led to the development of commercialized ELISA testing for food allergens?
• ...that Juditha triumphans is an oratorio by Antonio Vivaldi, narrating the story of the Jewish widow Judith, who beheaded the invading Assyrian general Holofernes after he fell in love with her; and that all characters were interpreted by orphan female singers?
• ...that modified starch is added to processed frozen foods to prevent them dripping when defrosted?
• ...that rock and roll pioneer Chan Romero wrote the 1959 hit, "Hippy Hippy Shake" which was covered by The Beatles?
Archive – Start a new article...

In the news

• Voting to select the next elected member of the United Nations Security Council from Latin America and the Caribbean remains a stalemate.
• The government of Sudan (flag pictured) and the Eastern Front rebels sign a peace treaty in Asmara, Eritrea.
• In Ecuador, results from the general election indicate that Álvaro Noboa will likely face Rafael Correa in a run-off for the presidency.
• The chemical element with the atomic number 118, temporarily designated ununoctium, is synthesized in Dubna, Russia.
• The United Nations Security Council approves sanctions on North Korea in response to its recent nuclear test.
Wikinews – Recent deaths – More current events...

On this day...
October 19: Constitution Day in Niue (1974); Mother Teresa Day in Albania.

• 202 BC - Proconsul Scipio Africanus of the Roman Republic defeated Hannibal and the Carthaginians in the Battle of Zama, concluding the Second Punic War.
• 1469 - Ferdinand II of Aragon wedded Isabella of Castile (pictured), a marriage that paved the way to the unification of Aragon and Castile into a single country, Spain.
• 1781 - American Revolutionary War: British forces led by Lord Charles Cornwallis officially surrendered to Franco-American forces under George Washington, ending the Siege of Yorktown.
• 1943 - Streptomycin, the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis, was first isolated by researchers at Rutgers University.
• 1987 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 22% on Black Monday, the largest one-day decline in history.
Recent days: October 18 – October 17 – October 16
Archive – By email – More anniversaries...


Today's featured picture

Havasu Falls, one of the four waterfalls of the Havasupai Indian Reservation, is located near the village of Supai, Arizona. It is the second of four falls on Havasu Creek, which empties into the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. The water of Havasu Creek has a bluish green tint due to the heavy lime content of the water. The fall is forked and looks like two falls when the river is flowing heavily.
Photo credit: Moondigger
Archive - More featured pictures...



Other areas of Wikipedia
• Help desk — Ask questions about using Wikipedia.
• Reference desk — Serving as virtual librarians, Wikipedia volunteers tackle your questions on a wide range of subjects.
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• Site news — Announcements, updates, articles and press releases on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikipedia's sister projects
Wikipedia is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts a range of other projects:


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Collection of quotations


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Commons
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Wikipedia languages
This Wikipedia is written in English. Started in 2001, it currently contains 1,440,149 articles. Many other Wikipedias are available; the largest are listed below.

Nirvana was a popular American rock band from Aberdeen, Washington. With the lead single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from their 1991 album Nevermind, Nirvana exploded into the mainstream, bringing along with it an offshoot of punk and alternative rock referred to as grunge. As Nirvana's frontman, Kurt Cobain found himself referred to in the media as the "spokesman of a generation", with Nirvana the "flagship band" of "Generation X". Cobain was uncomfortable with the attention, and placed his focus on the band's music, challenging the band's audience with their third studio album In Utero. While Nirvana's mainstream popularity waned in the months following its release, their core audience cherished the band's dark interior, particularly after their 1993 performance on MTV Unplugged. Nirvana's brief run ended with the death of Cobain in 1994, but the band's popularity expanded in the years that followed. Since their debut, the band has sold more than fifty million albums worldwide, including more than ten million copies of Nevermind in the US alone. (more...)
Recently featured: Al-Kateb v Godwin – Georg Forster – Chola dynasty
Archive – By email – More featured articles...

Did you know...
From Wikipedia's newest articles:

• ...that Hong San See, a Chinese temple and national monument in Singapore, was sited on a small hill for good fengshui and once commanded a good view of the sea?
• ...that the Tamworth Pig is a rare breed of swine which has such a high bristle density that, unlike most pigs, it almost never suffers sunburn?
• ...that in 1998 Vishnu Bhagwat became the first service chief in independent India to be sacked?
• ...that Susan L. Hefle's research led to the development of commercialized ELISA testing for food allergens?
• ...that Juditha triumphans is an oratorio by Antonio Vivaldi, narrating the story of the Jewish widow Judith, who beheaded the invading Assyrian general Holofernes after he fell in love with her; and that all characters were interpreted by orphan female singers?
• ...that modified starch is added to processed frozen foods to prevent them dripping when defrosted?
• ...that rock and roll pioneer Chan Romero wrote the 1959 hit, "Hippy Hippy Shake" which was covered by The Beatles?
Archive – Start a new article...

In the news

• Voting to select the next elected member of the United Nations Security Council from Latin America and the Caribbean remains a stalemate.
• The government of Sudan (flag pictured) and the Eastern Front rebels sign a peace treaty in Asmara, Eritrea.
• In Ecuador, results from the general election indicate that Álvaro Noboa will likely face Rafael Correa in a run-off for the presidency.
• The chemical element with the atomic number 118, temporarily designated ununoctium, is synthesized in Dubna, Russia.
• The United Nations Security Council approves sanctions on North Korea in response to its recent nuclear test.
Wikinews – Recent deaths – More current events...

On this day...
October 19: Constitution Day in Niue (1974); Mother Teresa Day in Albania.

• 202 BC - Proconsul Scipio Africanus of the Roman Republic defeated Hannibal and the Carthaginians in the Battle of Zama, concluding the Second Punic War.
• 1469 - Ferdinand II of Aragon wedded Isabella of Castile (pictured), a marriage that paved the way to the unification of Aragon and Castile into a single country, Spain.
• 1781 - American Revolutionary War: British forces led by Lord Charles Cornwallis officially surrendered to Franco-American forces under George Washington, ending the Siege of Yorktown.
• 1943 - Streptomycin, the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis, was first isolated by researchers at Rutgers University.
• 1987 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 22% on Black Monday, the largest one-day decline in history.
Recent days: October 18 – October 17 – October 16
Archive – By email – More anniversaries...


Today's featured picture

Havasu Falls, one of the four waterfalls of the Havasupai Indian Reservation, is located near the village of Supai, Arizona. It is the second of four falls on Havasu Creek, which empties into the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. The water of Havasu Creek has a bluish green tint due to the heavy lime content of the water. The fall is forked and looks like two falls when the river is flowing heavily.
Photo credit: Moondigger
Archive - More featured pictures...



Other areas of Wikipedia
• Help desk — Ask questions about using Wikipedia.
• Reference desk — Serving as virtual librarians, Wikipedia volunteers tackle your questions on a wide range of subjects.
• Village pump — For discussions about Wikipedia itself, including areas for technical issues and policies.
• Community portal — Bulletin board, projects, resources and activities covering a wide range of Wikipedia areas.
• Site news — Announcements, updates, articles and press releases on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikipedia's sister projects
Wikipedia is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts a range of other projects:


Wiktionary
Dictionary and thesaurus

Wikinews
Free-content news

Wikiquote
Collection of quotations


Wikibooks
Free textbooks and manuals

Wikispecies
Directory of species

Wikisource
Free-content library


Wikiversity
Free learning materials and activities

Commons
Shared media repository

Meta-Wiki
Wikimedia project coordination
Wikipedia languages
This Wikipedia is written in English. Started in 2001, it currently contains 1,440,149 articles. Many other Wikipedias are available; the largest are listed below.

The featured articles are what Wikipedia editors believe are the best articles in Wikipedia. Before being listed here, articles are reviewed at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates for accuracy, neutrality, completeness, and style according to our featured article criteria.
At present, there are 1140 featured articles, of a total of 1,439,585 articles on Wikipedia. Thus, about one in 1260 articles is listed here. Articles that no longer meet the criteria can be proposed for improvement or removal by being listed at Wikipedia:Featured article review.
A small bronze star ( ) on the top right corner of an article's page indicates that the article is featured. Shortcut:
WP:FA

Featured content:
• Featured articles ←
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Featured article tools:
• What is a featured article?
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Contents
Art, architecture, and archaeology • Awards and decorations • Biology and medicine • Business, economics, and finance • Chemistry and mineralogy • Computing • Culture and society • Education • Engineering and technology • Food and drink • Geography and places • Geology, geophysics, and meteorology • History • Language and linguistics • Law • Literature • Mathematics • Media • Music • Philosophy • Physics and astronomy • Politics and government • Religion, mysticism, and mythology • Royalty, nobility, and heraldry • Sport and games • Transport • War

Art, architecture, and archaeology
Felice Beato • Belton House • Matthew Brettingham • Buckingham Palace • Buddhist art • Cathedral of Magdeburg • Salvador Dalí • Deconstructivism • Dürer's Rhinoceros • Holkham Hall • IG Farben Building • Paul Kane • Robert Lawson (architect) • El Lissitzky • Michigan State Capitol • Henry Moore • Sylvanus Morley • Benjamin Mountfort • Oxyrhynchus • Palace of Westminster • Palazzo Pitti • Palladian architecture • Parthenon • Francis Petre • Point Park Civic Center • Sanssouci • Shotgun house • Shrine of Remembrance • Sicilian Baroque • St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery • Templon • John Vanbrugh • Diego Velázquez • Roman Vishniac • Xanadu House
Awards and decorations
Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America) • Hero of Ukraine • Medal of Honor • Order of the Bath • Order of Canada • Order of the Garter • Order of St. Patrick • Order of the Thistle • Virtuti Militari
Biology and medicine
Action potential • Acute myeloid leukemia • AIDS • Albatross • Albertosaurus • Antarctic krill • Aquarium • Arctic Tern • Asperger syndrome • Asthma • Autism • Banksia brownii • Blue Whale • Norman Borlaug • Frank Macfarlane Burnet • Cane Toad • Cat • Cerebellum • Chagas disease • Chromatophore • Cladistics • Cochineal • Coconut crab • Cystic fibrosis • Dinosaur • DNA repair • Down syndrome • Elfin-woods Warbler • Emu • Evolution • Fauna of Australia • Fauna of Puerto Rico • Georg Forster • Frog • Gray Wolf • Green and Golden Bell Frog • Helicobacter pylori • History of saffron • Homo floresiensis • Humpback Whale • Island Fox • Jaguar • Kakapo • Keratoconus • Krill • Lesch-Nyhan syndrome • Marginated Tortoise • Barbara McClintock • Médecins Sans Frontières • Menstrual cycle • Mixed-breed dog • Multiple sclerosis • Myxobolus cerebralis • Oceanic whitetip shark • Orca • Paracetamol • Pneumonia • Procellariidae • Prostate cancer • Psittacosaurus • Psychosis • Right whale • Saffron • Schizophrenia • Seabird • Sequence alignment • Short-beaked Echidna • Shrimp farm • Sperm Whale • G. Ledyard Stebbins • Synapse • Tasmanian Devil • Tooth development • Tooth enamel • Trade and usage of saffron • Tuberculosis • Tyrannosaurus • U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program • Velociraptor • Whale song • White's Tree Frog • Michael Woodruff
Business, economics, and finance
€2 commemorative coins • Actuary • Bank of China (Hong Kong) • Celtic Tiger • Demand Note • Economy of India • Economy of the Iroquois • Gold standard • London congestion charge • Mercantilism • New Orleans Mint • Octopus card • Second Malaysia Plan • Slate industry in Wales • Supply and demand • United Kingdom corporation tax • Max Weber
Chemistry and mineralogy
Acetic acid • Alchemy • Ammolite • Caffeine • Diamond • Enzyme • Enzyme inhibitor • Enzyme kinetics • Helium • Hydrochloric acid • Hydrogen • LSD • Raney nickel • Technetium • Titanium • Turquoise
Computing
Acorn Computers • Architecture of Btrieve • Architecture of the Windows NT operating system line • ASCII • Btrieve • Central processing unit • CPU cache • Color Graphics Adapter • Commodore 64 • Common Unix Printing System • Data Encryption Standard • Delrina • Emacs • Floppy disk • GNU/Linux naming controversy • History of computing hardware • HTTP cookie • Macintosh • Markup language • Microsoft Data Access Components • Microsoft • Mozilla Firefox • OpenBSD • PaX • Phishing • Quantum computer • Spyware • Ubuntu (Linux distribution) • Windows 2000 • Windows XP • X Window core protocol • X Window System
Culture and society
Abbey Theatre • Azerbaijani people • Belarusian Republican Youth Union • Baden-Powell House • Black Seminoles • Boy Scouts of America membership controversies • Cannabis rescheduling in the United States • Dayuan • Exploding whale • Flag of Australia • Flag of Belarus • Flag of the Republic of China • Flag of Hong Kong • Flag of India • Flag of Mexico • Flag of South Africa • Greco-Buddhism • David Helvarg • History of merit badges (Boy Scouts of America) • Iranian peoples • Ketuanan Melayu • Kitsch • Korean name • Macedonia (terminology) • Mandan • Milgram experiment • Names of the Greeks • Pashtun people • Prostitution in the People's Republic of China • Spring Heeled Jack • Sociocultural evolution • Swastika • Tamil people • Toilets in Japan • Yuan (surname)
Education
Alpha Phi Alpha • Caulfield Grammar School • Cornell University • Duke University • Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering • History of Michigan State University • Hopkins School • Indian Institutes of Technology • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur • Michigan State University • Plano Senior High School • Stuyvesant High School • University of Michigan
Engineering and technology
35 mm film • Atomic line filter • Automatic number plate recognition • Autostereogram • Beverage-can stove • Caesar cipher • Canon T90 • Compact Cassette • Crash test dummy • Eifel Aqueduct • Electrical engineering • Electronic amplifier • Enigma machine • Gas metal arc welding • Gas tungsten arc welding • Jarmann M1884 • Kammerlader • Krag-Jørgensen • Krag-Petersson • Nintendo Entertainment System • Nuclear weapon • Panavision • Phonograph cylinder • Radar • ROT13 • Saturn V • Shielded metal arc welding • Shoe polish • Spacecraft propulsion • Speech synthesis • Typewriter • Welding
Food and drink
Absinthe • Black pepper • Butter • Cheese • Ina Garten • Kashrut • Maraba Coffee
Geography and places
Ahmedabad • Ann Arbor, Michigan • Antarctica • Australia • Banff National Park • Bangalore • Bangladesh • Bath • Belgium • Bhutan • Boston, Massachusetts • Bryce Canyon National Park • Cambodia • Canada • Canberra • Caroline Island • Cape Horn • Cape Town • Carlsbad Caverns National Park • The Catlins • Chennai • Chew Valley • Chew Valley Lake • City status in the United Kingdom • Cleveland, Ohio • Colditz Castle • Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve • Darjeeling • Dawson Creek, British Columbia • Death Valley National Park • Detroit, Michigan • Dhaka • Dogpatch USA • Dorset • Eldfell • Gangtok • Geography of India • Geography of Ireland • Gilwell Park • Glacier National Park (US) • Goa • Gyeongju • Hong Kong • India • Isan • Johannesburg • Kalimpong • Kerala • Kochi (India) • Kolkata • Ladakh • Lake Burley Griffin • Larrys Creek • Libya • Louisville, Kentucky • Malwa (Madhya Pradesh) • Marshall, Texas • Mauna Loa • Moorgate • Mount Pinatubo • Mount Rushmore • Mount St. Helens • Mumbai • National parks of England and Wales • Nauru • Nepal • Niagara Falls • Oakland Cemetery • Pakistan • People's Republic of China • Redwood National and State Parks • Rondane National Park • San Francisco, California • San Jose, California • Sarajevo • Seattle, Washington • Sheffield • Shoshone National Forest • Sikkim • South Africa • Suburbs of Johannesburg • Surtsey • Waterfall Gully, South Australia • Yellowstone National Park • Yarralumla, Australian Capital Territory • Yosemite National Park • Zambezi • Zion National Park
Geology, geophysics, and meteorology
1755 Lisbon earthquake • 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane • 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens • 2003 Pacific hurricane season • 2004 Atlantic hurricane season • 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake • 2005 Atlantic hurricane season • Galveston Hurricane of 1900 • Geology of the Bryce Canyon area • Geology of the Capitol Reef area • Geology of the Death Valley area • Geology of the Grand Canyon area • Geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area • Global warming • Hurricane Claudette (2003) • Hurricane Dennis • Hurricane Esther (1961) • Hurricane Floyd • Hurricane Gloria • Hurricane Irene (1999) • Hurricane Irene (2005) • Hurricane Iniki • Hurricane John (1994) • Hurricane Katrina • Hurricane Mitch • Hurricane Nora (1997) • Plate tectonics • Retreat of glaciers since 1850 • Silverpit crater • Tropical Storm Allison
History
Alcibiades • Ike Altgens • Anschluss • Mark Antony • Elias Ashmole • Aspasia • Attalus I • Attila the Hun • Daniel Boone • Joel Brand • British East India Company • Isaac Brock • Bath School disaster • Byzantine Empire • Claudius • Chola dynasty • Congo Free State • Columbine High School massacre • John Dee • Demosthenes • Adriaen van der Donck • Elagabalus • Éire • England expects that every man will do his duty • Epaminondas • Eureka Stockade • W. Mark Felt • First Crusade • Carl G. Fisher • George Fox • Anne Frank • Franks • Mahatma Gandhi • Helen Gandy • Franklin B. Gowen • Gettysburg Address • Great Lakes Storm of 1913 • Che Guevara • Habsburg Spain • History of Alaska • History of Arizona • History of the Australian Capital Territory • History of Burnside • History of Cape Colony from 1806 to 1870 • History of Cape Colony from 1870 to 1899 • History of Central Asia • History of Greenland • History of Limerick • History of Miami, Florida • History of New Jersey • History of Poland (1945–1989) • History of Portugal (1777–1834) • History of post-Soviet Russia • History of Puerto Rico • History of the Netherlands • History of the Philippines • History of Russia • History of the Grand Canyon area • History of the Yosemite area • Hungarian Revolution of 1956 • Indo-Greek Kingdom • Italian Renaissance • Muhammad Ali Jinnah • Joan of Arc • Katyn massacre • Kengir uprising • Athanasius Kircher • Stanisław Koniecpolski • Ku Klux Klan • Laika • Lothal • Makuria • Manuel I Komnenos • Marshall Plan • Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp • Mormon handcart pioneers • Growth of the Old Swiss Confederacy • William N. Page • Rosa Parks • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel • Penda of Mercia • Pericles • Witold Pilecki • Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth • Political integration of India • Project MKULTRA • Radhanite • Sheikh Mujibur Rahman • Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu • Russian constitutional crisis of 1993 • S. A. Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition of 1897 • Samantha Smith • Sassanid Empire • Scotland in the High Middle Ages • Second Crusade • Sino-German cooperation (1911-1941) • Sydney Riot of 1879 • Theramenes • Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 • Treaty of Devol • Stephen Trigg • Hasekura Tsunenaga • Rudolf Vrba • Jonathan Wild • Yagan • Ziad Jarrah
Language and linguistics
Aramaic language • Gbe languages • Ido • Laal language • Nafaanra language • Portuguese language • Russian language • Split infinitive • Stuttering • Swedish language • Taiwanese (linguistics) • Tamil language • Thou • Vowel
Law
Al-Kateb v Godwin • Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia • Article One of the United States Constitution • Bricker Amendment • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms • Common scold • Crushing by elephant • Dietrich v The Queen • Dred Scott v. Sandford • Equal Protection Clause • Federalist No. 10 • First Amendment to the United States Constitution • French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools • Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties of India • Lawrence v. Texas • Paragraph 175 • Constitution of May 3, 1791 • Roe v. Wade • Schabir Shaik trial • Section summary of the USA PATRIOT Act, Title II • Separation of powers under the United States Constitution • Supreme Court of the United States • Tahirih Justice Center • Texas Ranger Division • Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution • United States Bill of Rights • United States Constitution • USA PATRIOT Act, Title III, Subtitle A
Literature
Ace Books • Douglas Adams • The Adventures of Tintin • African American literature • Alliterative verse • Mário de Andrade • Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches • Isaac Asimov • Augusta, Lady Gregory • Augustan drama • Augustan literature • Batman • Samuel Beckett • Book of Kells • The Brothers Karamazov • Cædmon • Calvin and Hobbes • The Cantos • Captain Marvel (DC Comics) • Colley Cibber • The Country Wife • Cyberpunk • John Day (printer) • H.D. • Du Fu • English poetry • Robert A. Heinlein • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy • Hrafnkels saga • The Illuminatus! Trilogy • Imagism • Muhammad Iqbal • Irish poetry • Irish theatre • Kazi Nazrul Islam • Henry James • James Joyce • J. R. R. Tolkien • Rudyard Kipling • Krazy Kat • The Lord of the Rings • Modernist poetry in English • George Moore • Night (book) • Objectivist poets • The Old Man and the Sea • Ormulum • Oroonoko • Chuck Palahniuk • Peterborough Chronicle • Poetry • The Protocols of the Elders of Zion • Thomas Pynchon • The Relapse • Restoration comedy • Restoration literature • Restoration spectacular • Roy of the Rovers • Starship Troopers • Superman • John Millington Synge • Rabindranath Tagore • A Tale of a Tub • Theatre Royal, Drury Lane • Three Laws of Robotics • "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" • Turkish literature • Voynich manuscript • Watchmen • William Butler Yeats
Mathematics
0.999... • Ackermann function • Cryptography • Game theory • Carl Friedrich Gauss • Leonhard Euler • Infinite monkey theorem • Margin of error • Monty Hall problem • Blaise Pascal • Prisoner's dilemma • Regular polytope • Marian Rejewski • Trigonometric function
Media
Padmé Amidala • Arrested Development • James T. Aubrey, Jr. • Eric Bana • BBC television drama • Blackface • Blade Runner • Buffy the Vampire Slayer • Casablanca (film) • Cheers • Countdown (game show) • Dalek • Diary of a Camper • George Washington Dixon • Doctor Who • Doctor Who missing episodes • Dog Day Afternoon • Excel Saga • Karen Dotrice • Felix the Cat • Henry Fonda • Gremlins • Gremlins 2: The New Batch • Jake Gyllenhaal • Halloween (film) • Halloween II • Halloween III: Season of the Witch • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio series) • Jabba the Hutt • Jaws (film) • Katie Holmes • Hong Kong action cinema • Diane Keaton • Vivien Leigh • Lindsay Lohan • Lost (TV series) • Megatokyo • Sydney Newman • Night of the Living Dead • November (film) • The Office (US TV series) • Our Friends in the North • Our Gang • Palpatine • The Philadelphia Inquirer • The Quatermass Experiment • Quatermass and the Pit • Ran (film) • Satyajit Ray • Red vs. Blue • Richard III (1955 film) • Scooby-Doo • Sesame Street • Spoo • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith • Julia Stiles • KaDee Strickland • Summer of '42 • Sunset Blvd. (1950 film) • Sharon Tate • TARDIS • Uma Thurman • Tenebrae (film) • Triumph of the Will • V for Vendetta (film) • The West Wing (TV series) • WGA screenwriting credit system • Witchfinder General (film) • The Wire (TV series)
Music
"All You Need Is Love" (The JAMs song) • Louis Armstrong • Blues • Mariah Carey • Phil Collins • "Cool" (song) • Rebecca Helferich Clarke • Celine Dion • Concerto delle donne • "Dixie" (song) • Dream Theater • Duran Duran • Bob Dylan • Enta Da Stage • Eurovision Song Contest • "Fuck the Millennium" • Genesis (band) • "Get Back" (song) • Gramophone record • Grunge music • Guqin • "A Hard Day's Night" (song) • Heavy metal music • "Hey Jude" • "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" • "I Want to Hold Your Hand" • Illmatic • Iron Maiden • Charles Ives • The Jackson 5 • "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" • The KLF • Alison Krauss • Frank Klepacki • "Layla" • "The Long and Winding Road" • Witold Lutosławski • Marilyn Manson (band) • Olivier Messiaen • "Mexicanos, al grito de guerra" • Mor lam • Kylie Minogue • Mandy Moore • Music of Athens, Georgia • Music of Maryland • Music of Minnesota • Music of Nigeria • Music of the United States • "My Belarusy" • National Anthem of Russia • New Radicals • Nightwish • Nirvana (band) • "Old Dan Tucker" • Pink Floyd • Porgy and Bess • Punk rock • "Real Love" (Beatles song) • Rush (band) • Salsa music • Saxophone • Selena • Sex Pistols • Dmitri Shostakovich • Sly & the Family Stone • Elliott Smith • "Something" • Igor Stravinsky • The Supremes • Sylvia (ballet) • The Temptations • Timpani • The Waterboys • "Yesterday" (song)
Philosophy
Michel Foucault • Free will • Eric A. Havelock • Søren Kierkegaard • Philosophy of mind • Omnipotence paradox • Hilary Putnam • Transhumanism • Ludwig Wittgenstein • Bernard Williams
Physics and astronomy
Apollo 8 • Astrophysics Data System • ATLAS experiment • Big Bang • Binary star • Black hole • Cat's Eye Nebula • Comet • Comet Hale-Bopp • Comet Hyakutake • Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 • Crab Nebula • Definition of planet • Enceladus (moon) • Albert Einstein • Extrasolar planet • Fermi paradox • Galileo Galilei • Globular cluster • H II region • Herbig-Haro object • Hubble Deep Field • Hubble Space Telescope • Kreutz Sungrazers • Mercury (planet) • Isaac Newton • Open cluster • Photon • Planetary habitability • Planetary nebula • Robert Oppenheimer • Rainbow • Redshift • Roche limit • Carl Sagan • Solar eclipse • Speed of light • Star • Sun • Edward Teller • Transit of Venus • Venus
Politics and government
1996 U.S. campaign finance scandal • Anarcho-capitalism • Tony Blair • Tom Brinkman • British House of Commons • George Brown, Baron George-Brown • Canadian House of Commons • Canadian federal election, 1993 • Canadian Senate • Convention on Psychotropic Substances • Democratic Labour Party (Trinidad and Tobago) • Don Dunstan • Fourth International • Gerald Ford • Governor-General of India • Government of Maryland • House of Lords • Irish Houses of Parliament • Bruce Johnson • George F. Kennan • League of Nations • Liberal Democrats leadership election, 2006 • Liberal Party of Canada leadership convention, 1968 • Libertarianism • John Major • Sid McMath • Reginald Maudling • Bob McEwen • Military career of Hugo Chávez • Yoweri Museveni • Barack Obama • Parliament Acts • Parliament of Canada • Parliament of the United Kingdom • James K. Polk • President of Ireland • Prime Minister of the United Kingdom • Privy Council of the United Kingdom • Propaganda • Ziaur Rahman • Read my lips: no new taxes • Louis Riel • Franklin D. Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt • Royal Assent • Jean Schmidt • Władysław Sikorski • Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs • Speaker of the British House of Commons • Speaker of the United States House of Representatives • Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner • Margaret Thatcher • Tynwald Day • United States Congress • United States House of Representatives • United States Senate • P. K. van der Byl • Mordechai Vanunu • Voting system • Voter turnout • Washington gubernatorial election, 2004 • Daniel Webster
Religion, mysticism, and mythology
Adi Shankara • Angkor Wat • Anno Domini • Bahá'í Faith • Early life of Joseph Smith, Jr. • End times • Father Damien • Greek mythology • Gregorian chant • History of Buddhism • History of the Jews in Poland • Hebrew calendar • Holy Prepuce • Knights of Columbus • Mosque • Names of God in Judaism • Noah's Ark • Nostradamus • Operation Auca • Pope Pius XII • Presuppositional apologetics • Revised Standard Version • Shakers • Shroud of Turin • Sikhism • Space opera in Scientology doctrine • Xenu
Royalty, nobility, and heraldry
Bhumibol Adulyadej • Anne of Great Britain • British monarchy • John Brooke-Little • Canadian Heraldic Authority • Charles I of England • Charles II of England • Coronation of the British monarch • Ecclesiastical heraldry • Edward VI of England • Elizabeth I of England • George I of Great Britain • George III of the United Kingdom • George IV of the United Kingdom • Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava • Henry VIII of England • Hereditary peer • History of the Peerage • James I of England • James II of England • Llywelyn the Great • Louis XIV of France • Mary I of England • Mary II of England • Privilege of Peerage • Rhys ap Gruffydd • Representative peer • Sverre of Norway • William I of Orange (William the Silent) • William III of England • William IV of the United Kingdom
Sport and games
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M By AD43, the time of the main Roman invasion of Britain, Britain had already frequently been the target of invasions, planned and actual, by forces of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. In common with other regions on the edge of the empire, Britain had long enjoyed trading links with the Romans and their economic and cultural influence was a significant part of the British late pre-Roman Iron Age, especially in the south.
Contents
[hide]
• 1 Prelude
• 2 Landing to Thames battle
• 3 44-60
• 4 60-96
• 5 Further conquests of Scotland
• 6 References
• 7 Further reading
• 8 See also

[edit]
Prelude
Between 55 BC and the 40s AD, the status quo of tribute, hostages, and client states without direct military occupation, begun by Caesar's invasions of Britain, largely remained intact. Augustus prepared invasions in 34 BC, 27 BC and 25 BC. The first and third were called off due to revolts elsewhere in the empire, the second because the Britons seemed ready to come to terms.[1] According to Augustus's Res Gestae, two British kings, Dumnovellaunus and Tincomarus, sent supplications to Rome during his reign, and Strabo's Geography, written during this period, says that Britain paid more in customs and duties than could be raised by taxation if the island were conquered.[2]
By the 40s AD, however, the political situation within Britain was apparently in foment. The Catuvellauni had displaced the Trinovantes as the most powerful kingdom in south-eastern Britain, taking over the former Trinovantian capital of Camulodunum (Colchester), and were pressing their neighbours the Atrebates, ruled by the descendants of Julius Caesar's former ally Commius.[3]
Caligula planned a campaign against the British in 40, but its execution was bizarre: according to Suetonius, he drew up his troops in battle formation facing the English Channel and ordered them to attack the standing water. Afterwards, he had the troops gather sea shells, referring to them as "plunder from the ocean, due to the Capitol and the Palace".[4] Modern historians are unsure if that was meant to be an ironic punishment for the soldiers' mutiny or due to Caligula's derangement. Certainly this invasion attempt readied the troops and facilities that would make Claudius' invasion possible 3 years later (e.g. a Pharos was built by Caligula at Boulogne-sur-Mer, the model for the one built soon after 43 at Dubris).
[edit]
Landing to Thames battle
Three years later, in 43, possibly by re-collecting Caligula's force, Claudius mounted an invasion in support of Verica, an exiled king of the Atrebates.[5] Aulus Plautius, a distinguished senator, was given charge of four legions, totalling about 20,000 men, plus about the same number of auxiliaries. The legions were:
• Legio II Augusta
• IX Hispana
• XIV Gemina
• XX Valeria Victrix
The II Augusta is known to have been commanded by the future emperor Vespasian. Three other men of appropriate rank to command legions are known from the sources to have been involved in the invasion. Gnaeus Hosidius Geta, who probably led the IX Hispana, and Vespasian's brother Titus Flavius Sabinus are mentioned by Dio Cassius (Dio says that Sabinus was Vespasian's lieutenant, but as Sabinus was the older brother and preceded Vespasian into public life, he could hardly have been a military tribune). Gnaeus Sentius Saturninus is mentioned by Eutropius, although as a former consul he may have been too senior, and perhaps accompanied Claudius later.[6]
The main landing is thought to have been at Rutupiae, in modern Kent in Southeast England. Some archaeologists have questioned the evidence for this, and believe that at least part of the force may have come via another route, eg. the Solent. The evidence for this is discussed at site of the Claudian invasion of Britain.
British resistance was led by Togodumnus and Caratacus, sons of the late king of the Catuvellauni, Cunobelinus. A substantial British force met the Romans at a river crossing thought to be near Rochester on the River Medway. The battle raged for two days. Hosidius Geta was almost captured, but recovered and turned the battle so decisively that he was awarded the ornamenta triumphalia.
The British were pushed back to the Thames. The Romans pursued them across the river causing them to lose men in the marshes of Essex. Whether the Romans made use of an existing bridge for this purpose or built a temporary one is uncertain. At least one division of auxiliary Batavian troops swam across the river as a separate force.
Togodumnus died shortly after the battle on the Thames. Plautius halted and sent word for Claudius to join him for the final push. Cassius Dio presents this as Plautius needing the emperor's assistance to defeat the resurgent British, who were determined to avenge Togodumnus. However, Claudius was no military man, and it is likely that the Catuvallauni were already as good as beaten, allowing the emperor to appear as conqueror on the final march on Camulodunum.: Claudius's arch says he received the surrender of eleven kings without any loss,[7], and Suetonius says that Claudius received the surrender of the Britons without battle or bloodshed.[8] Cassius Dio relates that he brought war elephants and heavy armaments which would have overawed any remaining native resistance. Eleven tribes of South East Britain surrendered to Claudius and the Romans prepared to move further west and north. The Romans established their new capital at Camulodunum and Claudius returned to Rome to revel in his victory. Caratacus escaped and would continue the resistance further west.
[edit]
44-60
Vespasian took a force westwards subduing tribes and capturing oppida as he went, going as least as far as Exeter and probably reaching Bodmin.[9] The Ninth Legion was sent north towards Lincoln and within four years of the invasion it is likely that an area south of a line from the Humber to the Severn Estuary was under Roman control. That this line is followed by the Roman road of the Fosse Way has led many historians to debate the route's role as a convenient frontier during the early occupation. It is more likely that the border between Roman and Iron Age Britain was less direct and more mutable during this period however.
Late in 47 the new governor of Britain, Ostorius Scapula began a campaign against the tribes of modern day Wales, and the Cheshire Gap. The Silures of south east Wales caused considerable problems to Ostorius and fiercely defended the Welsh border country. Caratacus himself was defeated in one encounter and fled to the Roman client tribe of the Brigantes who occupied the Pennines. Their queen, Cartimandua was unable or unwilling to protect him however given her own truce with the Romans and handed him over to the invaders. Ostorius died and was replaced by Aulus Gallus who brought the Welsh borders under control but did not move further north or west, probably because Claudius was keen to avoid what he considered a difficult and drawn-out war for little material gain in the mountainous terrain of upland Britain. When Nero became emperor in AD 54, he seems to have decided to continue the invasion and appointed Quintus Veranius as governor, a man experienced in dealing with the troublesome hill tribes of Asia Minor. Veranius and his successor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus mounted a successful campaign across Wales, famously destroying the druidical centre at Mona or Anglesey in AD 60. Final occupation of Wales was postponed however when the rebellion of Boudica forced the Romans to return to the south east. The Silures were not finally conquered until circa AD 76 when Sextus Julius Frontinus' long campaign against them began to have success.
[edit]
60-96
Following the successful suppression of Boudica, a number of new Roman governors continued the conquest by edging north. Cartimandua was forced to ask for Roman aid following a rebellion by her husband Venutius. Quintus Petillius Cerialis took his legions from Lincoln as far as York and defeated Venutius near Stanwick around 70. This resulted in the already Romanised Brigantes and Parisii tribes being further assimilated into the empire proper. The new governor in 77 was the famous Gnaeus Julius Agricola. He finished off the Ordovices in Wales and then took his troops north along the Pennines, building roads as he went. He built a fortress at Chester and employed tactics of terrorising each local tribe before offering terms. By 80 he had reached as far as the River Tay, beginning the construction of a fortress at Inchtuthil which would have been the largest in the Roman world at the time if completed. He won a significant victory against the Caledonian Confederacy led by Calgacus at Mons Graupius. It is conventional to give Bennachie in Aberdeenshire as the location of this battle but some recent scholarship also suggests that Moncrieffe in Perthshire was the site. He then ordered his fleet to sail around the north of Scotland to establish that Britain is an island and to receive the surrender of the Orcadians.
Agricola was recalled to Rome by Domitian and seemingly replaced with a series of ineffectual successors who were unable or unwilling to further subdue the far north. The fortress at Inchtuthil was destroyed by fire while still only 40% complete and the other fortifications of the Gask Ridge in Perthshire erected to consolidate the Roman presence in Scotland in the aftermath of Mons Graupius were abandoned within the space of a few years. It is equally likely that the costs of a drawn-out war outweighed any economic or political benefit and it was more profitable to leave the Caledonians alone and only under de jure submission.
[edit]
Further conquests of Scotland
Roman occupation was withdrawn to a line subsequently established as one of the limes of the empire (i.e. a defensible frontier) by the construction of Hadrian's Wall. An attempt was made to push this line north to the River Clyde-River Forth area in 142 when the Antonine Wall was constructed. However, this was once again abandoned after two decades and only subsequently re-occupied on an occasional basis. The Romans retreated to the earlier and stronger Hadrian's Wall in the River Tyne-Solway Firth frontier area, this having been constructed around 122. Roman troops, however, penetrated far into the north of modern Scotland several more times. Indeed, there is a greater density of Roman marching camps in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe as a result of at least four major attempts to subdue the area. The most notable was in 209 when the emperor Septimus Severus, claiming to be provoked by the belligerence of the Maeatae tribe, campaigned against the Caledonian Confederacy. He used the three legions of the British garrison (augmented by the recently formed 2nd Parthica legion), 9000 imperial guards with cavalry support, and numerous auxiliaries supplied from the sea by the British fleet, the Rhine fleet and two fleets transferred from the Danube for the purpose. According to Dio Cassius, he inflicted genocidal depredations on the natives and incurred the loss of 50,000 of his own men to the attrition of guerrilla tactics before having to withdraw to Hadrian's Wall. He repaired and re-inforced this wall with a degree of thoroughness that led most subsequent Roman authors to attribute the construction of the wall to him. It was during the negotiations to purchase the truce necessary to secure the Roman retreat to the wall that the first recorded utterance, attributable with any reasonable degree of confidence, to a native of Scotland was made (as recorded by Dio Cassius). When Septimus Severus' wife, Julia Domna, criticised the sexual morals of the Caledonian women, the wife of a Caledonian chief, Argentocoxos, replied: "We consort openly with the best of men while you allow yourselves to be debauched in private by the worst". The emperor Septimus Severus died at York while planning to renew hostilities, but these plans were abandoned by his son Caracalla.
Later penetration of modern Scotland by the Romans was generally limited to the scouting expeditions of exploratores in the buffer zone that developed between the walls, trading contacts, bribes to purchase truces from the natives, and eventually the spread of Christianity. The degree to which the Romans interacted with the island of Hibernia is still unresolved amongst archaeologists in Ireland. The successes and failures of the Romans in subduing the peoples of Britain are still represented in the political geography of the British Isles today, with the modern border between Scotland and England running close to the line of Hadrian's Wall. By AD43, the time of the main Roman invasion of Britain, Britain had already frequently been the target of invasions, planned and actual, by forces of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. In common with other regions on the edge of the empire, Britain had long enjoyed trading links with the Romans and their economic and cultural influence was a significant part of the British late pre-Roman Iron Age, especially in the south.
Contents
[hide]
• 1 Prelude
• 2 Landing to Thames battle
• 3 44-60
• 4 60-96
• 5 Further conquests of Scotland
• 6 References
• 7 Further reading
• 8 See also

[edit]
Prelude
Between 55 BC and the 40s AD, the status quo of tribute, hostages, and client states without direct military occupation, begun by Caesar's invasions of Britain, largely remained intact. Augustus prepared invasions in 34 BC, 27 BC and 25 BC. The first and third were called off due to revolts elsewhere in the empire, the second because the Britons seemed ready to come to terms.[1] According to Augustus's Res Gestae, two British kings, Dumnovellaunus and Tincomarus, sent supplications to Rome during his reign, and Strabo's Geography, written during this period, says that Britain paid more in customs and duties than could be raised by taxation if the island were conquered.[2]
By the 40s AD, however, the political situation within Britain was apparently in foment. The Catuvellauni had displaced the Trinovantes as the most powerful kingdom in south-eastern Britain, taking over the former Trinovantian capital of Camulodunum (Colchester), and were pressing their neighbours the Atrebates, ruled by the descendants of Julius Caesar's former ally Commius.[3]
Caligula planned a campaign against the British in 40, but its execution was bizarre: according to Suetonius, he drew up his troops in battle formation facing the English Channel and ordered them to attack the standing water. Afterwards, he had the troops gather sea shells, referring to them as "plunder from the ocean, due to the Capitol and the Palace".[4] Modern historians are unsure if that was meant to be an ironic punishment for the soldiers' mutiny or due to Caligula's derangement. Certainly this invasion attempt readied the troops and facilities that would make Claudius' invasion possible 3 years later (e.g. a Pharos was built by Caligula at Boulogne-sur-Mer, the model for the one built soon after 43 at Dubris).
[edit]
Landing to Thames battle
Three years later, in 43, possibly by re-collecting Caligula's force, Claudius mounted an invasion in support of Verica, an exiled king of the Atrebates.[5] Aulus Plautius, a distinguished senator, was given charge of four legions, totalling about 20,000 men, plus about the same number of auxiliaries. The legions were:
• Legio II Augusta
• IX Hispana
• XIV Gemina
• XX Valeria Victrix
The II Augusta is known to have been commanded by the future emperor Vespasian. Three other men of appropriate rank to command legions are known from the sources to have been involved in the invasion. Gnaeus Hosidius Geta, who probably led the IX Hispana, and Vespasian's brother Titus Flavius Sabinus are mentioned by Dio Cassius (Dio says that Sabinus was Vespasian's lieutenant, but as Sabinus was the older brother and preceded Vespasian into public life, he could hardly have been a military tribune). Gnaeus Sentius Saturninus is mentioned by Eutropius, although as a former consul he may have been too senior, and perhaps accompanied Claudius later.[6]
The main landing is thought to have been at Rutupiae, in modern Kent in Southeast England. Some archaeologists have questioned the evidence for this, and believe that at least part of the force may have come via another route, eg. the Solent. The evidence for this is discussed at site of the Claudian invasion of Britain.
British resistance was led by Togodumnus and Caratacus, sons of the late king of the Catuvellauni, Cunobelinus. A substantial British force met the Romans at a river crossing thought to be near Rochester on the River Medway. The battle raged for two days. Hosidius Geta was almost captured, but recovered and turned the battle so decisively that he was awarded the ornamenta triumphalia.
The British were pushed back to the Thames. The Romans pursued them across the river causing them to lose men in the marshes of Essex. Whether the Romans made use of an existing bridge for this purpose or built a temporary one is uncertain. At least one division of auxiliary Batavian troops swam across the river as a separate force.
Togodumnus died shortly after the battle on the Thames. Plautius halted and sent word for Claudius to join him for the final push. Cassius Dio presents this as Plautius needing the emperor's assistance to defeat the resurgent British, who were determined to avenge Togodumnus. However, Claudius was no military man, and it is likely that the Catuvallauni were already as good as beaten, allowing the emperor to appear as conqueror on the final march on Camulodunum.: Claudius's arch says he received the surrender of eleven kings without any loss,[7], and Suetonius says that Claudius received the surrender of the Britons without battle or bloodshed.[8] Cassius Dio relates that he brought war elephants and heavy armaments which would have overawed any remaining native resistance. Eleven tribes of South East Britain surrendered to Claudius and the Romans prepared to move further west and north. The Romans established their new capital at Camulodunum and Claudius returned to Rome to revel in his victory. Caratacus escaped and would continue the resistance further west.
[edit]
44-60
Vespasian took a force westwards subduing tribes and capturing oppida as he went, going as least as far as Exeter and probably reaching Bodmin.[9] The Ninth Legion was sent north towards Lincoln and within four years of the invasion it is likely that an area south of a line from the Humber to the Severn Estuary was under Roman control. That this line is followed by the Roman road of the Fosse Way has led many historians to debate the route's role as a convenient frontier during the early occupation. It is more likely that the border between Roman and Iron Age Britain was less direct and more mutable during this period however.
Late in 47 the new governor of Britain, Ostorius Scapula began a campaign against the tribes of modern day Wales, and the Cheshire Gap. The Silures of south east Wales caused considerable problems to Ostorius and fiercely defended the Welsh border country. Caratacus himself was defeated in one encounter and fled to the Roman client tribe of the Brigantes who occupied the Pennines. Their queen, Cartimandua was unable or unwilling to protect him however given her own truce with the Romans and handed him over to the invaders. Ostorius died and was replaced by Aulus Gallus who brought the Welsh borders under control but did not move further north or west, probably because Claudius was keen to avoid what he considered a difficult and drawn-out war for little material gain in the mountainous terrain of upland Britain. When Nero became emperor in AD 54, he seems to have decided to continue the invasion and appointed Quintus Veranius as governor, a man experienced in dealing with the troublesome hill tribes of Asia Minor. Veranius and his successor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus mounted a successful campaign across Wales, famously destroying the druidical centre at Mona or Anglesey in AD 60. Final occupation of Wales was postponed however when the rebellion of Boudica forced the Romans to return to the south east. The Silures were not finally conquered until circa AD 76 when Sextus Julius Frontinus' long campaign against them began to have success.
[edit]
60-96
Following the successful suppression of Boudica, a number of new Roman governors continued the conquest by edging north. Cartimandua was forced to ask for Roman aid following a rebellion by her husband Venutius. Quintus Petillius Cerialis took his legions from Lincoln as far as York and defeated Venutius near Stanwick around 70. This resulted in the already Romanised Brigantes and Parisii tribes being further assimilated into the empire proper. The new governor in 77 was the famous Gnaeus Julius Agricola. He finished off the Ordovices in Wales and then took his troops north along the Pennines, building roads as he went. He built a fortress at Chester and employed tactics of terrorising each local tribe before offering terms. By 80 he had reached as far as the River Tay, beginning the construction of a fortress at Inchtuthil which would have been the largest in the Roman world at the time if completed. He won a significant victory against the Caledonian Confederacy led by Calgacus at Mons Graupius. It is conventional to give Bennachie in Aberdeenshire as the location of this battle but some recent scholarship also suggests that Moncrieffe in Perthshire was the site. He then ordered his fleet to sail around the north of Scotland to establish that Britain is an island and to receive the surrender of the Orcadians.
Agricola was recalled to Rome by Domitian and seemingly replaced with a series of ineffectual successors who were unable or unwilling to further subdue the far north. The fortress at Inchtuthil was destroyed by fire while still only 40% complete and the other fortifications of the Gask Ridge in Perthshire erected to consolidate the Roman presence in Scotland in the aftermath of Mons Graupius were abandoned within the space of a few years. It is equally likely that the costs of a drawn-out war outweighed any economic or political benefit and it was more profitable to leave the Caledonians alone and only under de jure submission.
[edit]
Further conquests of Scotland
Roman occupation was withdrawn to a line subsequently established as one of the limes of the empire (i.e. a defensible frontier) by the construction of Hadrian's Wall. An attempt was made to push this line north to the River Clyde-River Forth area in 142 when the Antonine Wall was constructed. However, this was once again abandoned after two decades and only subsequently re-occupied on an occasional basis. The Romans retreated to the earlier and stronger Hadrian's Wall in the River Tyne-Solway Firth frontier area, this having been constructed around 122. Roman troops, however, penetrated far into the north of modern Scotland several more times. Indeed, there is a greater density of Roman marching camps in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe as a result of at least four major attempts to subdue the area. The most notable was in 209 when the emperor Septimus Severus, claiming to be provoked by the belligerence of the Maeatae tribe, campaigned against the Caledonian Confederacy. He used the three legions of the British garrison (augmented by the recently formed 2nd Parthica legion), 9000 imperial guards with cavalry support, and numerous auxiliaries supplied from the sea by the British fleet, the Rhine fleet and two fleets transferred from the Danube for the purpose. According to Dio Cassius, he inflicted genocidal depredations on the natives and incurred the loss of 50,000 of his own men to the attrition of guerrilla tactics before having to withdraw to Hadrian's Wall. He repaired and re-inforced this wall with a degree of thoroughness that led most subsequent Roman authors to attribute the construction of the wall to him. It was during the negotiations to purchase the truce necessary to secure the Roman retreat to the wall that the first recorded utterance, attributable with any reasonable degree of confidence, to a native of Scotland was made (as recorded by Dio Cassius). When Septimus Severus' wife, Julia Domna, criticised the sexual morals of the Caledonian women, the wife of a Caledonian chief, Argentocoxos, replied: "We consort openly with the best of men while you allow yourselves to be debauched in private by the worst". The emperor Septimus Severus died at York while planning to renew hostilities, but these plans were abandoned by his son Caracalla.
Later penetration of modern Scotland by the Romans was generally limited to the scouting expeditions of exploratores in the buffer zone that developed between the walls, trading contacts, bribes to purchase truces from the natives, and eventually the spread of Christianity. The degree to which the Romans interacted with the island of Hibernia is still unresolved amongst archaeologists in Ireland. The successes and failures of the Romans in subduing the peoples of Britain are still represented in the political geography of the British Isles today, with the modern border between Scotland and England running close to the line of Hadrian's Wall.
By AD43, the time of the main Roman invasion of Britain, Britain had already frequently been the target of invasions, planned and actual, by forces of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. In common with other regions on the edge of the empire, Britain had long enjoyed trading links with the Romans and their economic and cultural influence was a significant part of the British late pre-Roman Iron Age, especially in the south.
Contents
[hide]
• 1 Prelude
• 2 Landing to Thames battle
• 3 44-60
• 4 60-96
• 5 Further conquests of Scotland
• 6 References
• 7 Further reading
• 8 See also

[edit]
Prelude
Between 55 BC and the 40s AD, the status quo of tribute, hostages, and client states without direct military occupation, begun by Caesar's invasions of Britain, largely remained intact. Augustus prepared invasions in 34 BC, 27 BC and 25 BC. The first and third were called off due to revolts elsewhere in the empire, the second because the Britons seemed ready to come to terms.[1] According to Augustus's Res Gestae, two British kings, Dumnovellaunus and Tincomarus, sent supplications to Rome during his reign, and Strabo's Geography, written during this period, says that Britain paid more in customs and duties than could be raised by taxation if the island were conquered.[2]
By the 40s AD, however, the political situation within Britain was apparently in foment. The Catuvellauni had displaced the Trinovantes as the most powerful kingdom in south-eastern Britain, taking over the former Trinovantian capital of Camulodunum (Colchester), and were pressing their neighbours the Atrebates, ruled by the descendants of Julius Caesar's former ally Commius.[3]
Caligula planned a campaign against the British in 40, but its execution was bizarre: according to Suetonius, he drew up his troops in battle formation facing the English Channel and ordered them to attack the standing water. Afterwards, he had the troops gather sea shells, referring to them as "plunder from the ocean, due to the Capitol and the Palace".[4] Modern historians are unsure if that was meant to be an ironic punishment for the soldiers' mutiny or due to Caligula's derangement. Certainly this invasion attempt readied the troops and facilities that would make Claudius' invasion possible 3 years later (e.g. a Pharos was built by Caligula at Boulogne-sur-Mer, the model for the one built soon after 43 at Dubris).
[edit]
Landing to Thames battle
Three years later, in 43, possibly by re-collecting Caligula's force, Claudius mounted an invasion in support of Verica, an exiled king of the Atrebates.[5] Aulus Plautius, a distinguished senator, was given charge of four legions, totalling about 20,000 men, plus about the same number of auxiliaries. The legions were:
• Legio II Augusta
• IX Hispana
• XIV Gemina
• XX Valeria Victrix
The II Augusta is known to have been commanded by the future emperor Vespasian. Three other men of appropriate rank to command legions are known from the sources to have been involved in the invasion. Gnaeus Hosidius Geta, who probably led the IX Hispana, and Vespasian's brother Titus Flavius Sabinus are mentioned by Dio Cassius (Dio says that Sabinus was Vespasian's lieutenant, but as Sabinus was the older brother and preceded Vespasian into public life, he could hardly have been a military tribune). Gnaeus Sentius Saturninus is mentioned by Eutropius, although as a former consul he may have been too senior, and perhaps accompanied Claudius later.[6]
The main landing is thought to have been at Rutupiae, in modern Kent in Southeast England. Some archaeologists have questioned the evidence for this, and believe that at least part of the force may have come via another route, eg. the Solent. The evidence for this is discussed at site of the Claudian invasion of Britain.
British resistance was led by Togodumnus and Caratacus, sons of the late king of the Catuvellauni, Cunobelinus. A substantial British force met the Romans at a river crossing thought to be near Rochester on the River Medway. The battle raged for two days. Hosidius Geta was almost captured, but recovered and turned the battle so decisively that he was awarded the ornamenta triumphalia.
The British were pushed back to the Thames. The Romans pursued them across the river causing them to lose men in the marshes of Essex. Whether the Romans made use of an existing bridge for this purpose or built a temporary one is uncertain. At least one division of auxiliary Batavian troops swam across the river as a separate force.
Togodumnus died shortly after the battle on the Thames. Plautius halted and sent word for Claudius to join him for the final push. Cassius Dio presents this as Plautius needing the emperor's assistance to defeat the resurgent British, who were determined to avenge Togodumnus. However, Claudius was no military man, and it is likely that the Catuvallauni were already as good as beaten, allowing the emperor to appear as conqueror on the final march on Camulodunum.: Claudius's arch says he received the surrender of eleven kings without any loss,[7], and Suetonius says that Claudius received the surrender of the Britons without battle or bloodshed.[8] Cassius Dio relates that he brought war elephants and heavy armaments which would have overawed any remaining native resistance. Eleven tribes of South East Britain surrendered to Claudius and the Romans prepared to move further west and north. The Romans established their new capital at Camulodunum and Claudius returned to Rome to revel in his victory. Caratacus escaped and would continue the resistance further west.
[edit]
44-60
Vespasian took a force westwards subduing tribes and capturing oppida as he went, going as least as far as Exeter and probably reaching Bodmin.[9] The Ninth Legion was sent north towards Lincoln and within four years of the invasion it is likely that an area south of a line from the Humber to the Severn Estuary was under Roman control. That this line is followed by the Roman road of the Fosse Way has led many historians to debate the route's role as a convenient frontier during the early occupation. It is more likely that the border between Roman and Iron Age Britain was less direct and more mutable during this period however.
Late in 47 the new governor of Britain, Ostorius Scapula began a campaign against the tribes of modern day Wales, and the Cheshire Gap. The Silures of south east Wales caused considerable problems to Ostorius and fiercely defended the Welsh border country. Caratacus himself was defeated in one encounter and fled to the Roman client tribe of the Brigantes who occupied the Pennines. Their queen, Cartimandua was unable or unwilling to protect him however given her own truce with the Romans and handed him over to the invaders. Ostorius died and was replaced by Aulus Gallus who brought the Welsh borders under control but did not move further north or west, probably because Claudius was keen to avoid what he considered a difficult and drawn-out war for little material gain in the mountainous terrain of upland Britain. When Nero became emperor in AD 54, he seems to have decided to continue the invasion and appointed Quintus Veranius as governor, a man experienced in dealing with the troublesome hill tribes of Asia Minor. Veranius and his successor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus mounted a successful campaign across Wales, famously destroying the druidical centre at Mona or Anglesey in AD 60. Final occupation of Wales was postponed however when the rebellion of Boudica forced the Romans to return to the south east. The Silures were not finally conquered until circa AD 76 when Sextus Julius Frontinus' long campaign against them began to have success.
[edit]
60-96
Following the successful suppression of Boudica, a number of new Roman governors continued the conquest by edging north. Cartimandua was forced to ask for Roman aid following a rebellion by her husband Venutius. Quintus Petillius Cerialis took his legions from Lincoln as far as York and defeated Venutius near Stanwick around 70. This resulted in the already Romanised Brigantes and Parisii tribes being further assimilated into the empire proper. The new governor in 77 was the famous Gnaeus Julius Agricola. He finished off the Ordovices in Wales and then took his troops north along the Pennines, building roads as he went. He built a fortress at Chester and employed tactics of terrorising each local tribe before offering terms. By 80 he had reached as far as the River Tay, beginning the construction of a fortress at Inchtuthil which would have been the largest in the Roman world at the time if completed. He won a significant victory against the Caledonian Confederacy led by Calgacus at Mons Graupius. It is conventional to give Bennachie in Aberdeenshire as the location of this battle but some recent scholarship also suggests that Moncrieffe in Perthshire was the site. He then ordered his fleet to sail around the north of Scotland to establish that Britain is an island and to receive the surrender of the Orcadians.
Agricola was recalled to Rome by Domitian and seemingly replaced with a series of ineffectual successors who were unable or unwilling to further subdue the far north. The fortress at Inchtuthil was destroyed by fire while still only 40% complete and the other fortifications of the Gask Ridge in Perthshire erected to consolidate the Roman presence in Scotland in the aftermath of Mons Graupius were abandoned within the space of a few years. It is equally likely that the costs of a drawn-out war outweighed any economic or political benefit and it was more profitable to leave the Caledonians alone and only under de jure submission.
[edit]
Further conquests of Scotland
Roman occupation was withdrawn to a line subsequently established as one of the limes of the empire (i.e. a defensible frontier) by the construction of Hadrian's Wall. An attempt was made to push this line north to the River Clyde-River Forth area in 142 when the Antonine Wall was constructed. However, this was once again abandoned after two decades and only subsequently re-occupied on an occasional basis. The Romans retreated to the earlier and stronger Hadrian's Wall in the River Tyne-Solway Firth frontier area, this having been constructed around 122. Roman troops, however, penetrated far into the north of modern Scotland several more times. Indeed, there is a greater density of Roman marching camps in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe as a result of at least four major attempts to subdue the area. The most notable was in 209 when the emperor Septimus Severus, claiming to be provoked by the belligerence of the Maeatae tribe, campaigned against the Caledonian Confederacy. He used the three legions of the British garrison (augmented by the recently formed 2nd Parthica legion), 9000 imperial guards with cavalry support, and numerous auxiliaries supplied from the sea by the British fleet, the Rhine fleet and two fleets transferred from the Danube for the purpose. According to Dio Cassius, he inflicted genocidal depredations on the natives and incurred the loss of 50,000 of his own men to the attrition of guerrilla tactics before having to withdraw to Hadrian's Wall. He repaired and re-inforced this wall with a degree of thoroughness that led most subsequent Roman authors to attribute the construction of the wall to him. It was during the negotiations to purchase the truce necessary to secure the Roman retreat to the wall that the first recorded utterance, attributable with any reasonable degree of confidence, to a native of Scotland was made (as recorded by Dio Cassius). When Septimus Severus' wife, Julia Domna, criticised the sexual morals of the Caledonian women, the wife of a Caledonian chief, Argentocoxos, replied: "We consort openly with the best of men while you allow yourselves to be debauched in private by the worst". The emperor Septimus Severus died at York while planning to renew hostilities, but these plans were abandoned by his son Caracalla.
Later penetration of modern Scotland by the Romans was generally limited to the scouting expeditions of exploratores in the buffer zone that developed between the walls, trading contacts, bribes to purchase truces from the natives, and eventually the spread of Christianity. The degree to which the Romans interacted with the island of Hibernia is still unresolved amongst archaeologists in Ireland. The successes and failures of the Romans in subduing the peoples of Britain are still represented in the political geography of the British Isles today, with the modern border between Scotland and England running close to the line of Hadrian's Wall.5 Valentinian I led his army in a campaign against the Quadi, a Germanic tribe which had invaded his native province of Pannonia. During an audience to an embassy from the Quadi at
11:31 PM

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Is something going on with Kara Homes?

I ask this because a number of people on my sight today have arrived here by typing into Google "Kara Home bankruptcy."

I'm not saying that they have filed, only that the search term has been used a number of times today.

posted by Little Silvered at 8:50 PM
95 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Kara Homes is just about through at this point. They've laid off a ton of people and can't even afford to get their garbage hauled away. They owe lots of people lots of money and can't get anyone to do any work for them because it's common knowledge that they don't pay their vendors. Anyone dumb enough to buy from Kara right now will get a shoddily built crap shack in a development that'll never be finished.
10:07 PM
njcoast said...

Kara Homes sold 4 of the Tradewinds properties last month without even getting homes on them. Looks like they're throwing things overboard as they try to bale out the boat.
10:32 AM
Anonymous said...

Can you post this article from NYT Business? Pretty interesting. I am not sure how to shorten link.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/04/business/04real.html?ex=1317614400&en=3892a9d60b0de698&ei=5089&partner=rssyahoo&emc=rss
1:08 PM
Disgruntled Goat said...

Kara has declared Chapter 11 as of Wed. October 4. I know this because until today, I worked there. The company is completely out of money. They did not even make payroll this week, no one received a paycheck this week. They have no intention of making good on the massive amount of money they owe to vendors & subs. They have no capability to finish the work they've started, either. Even if they did, there's no one to physically do the work as most of the staff has been let go or quit.

If Zudi screwed you too, give him a call on his cell phone, (732) 565 5632 & ask him what's up.
1:59 PM
njcoast said...

WOW! That sure is news! Remember last summer when this blog was dicussing the problems of Kara Homes and some one went on a rant of how we had no idea what we were talking about?! Amazing how the worm has turned!
2:20 PM
Disgruntled Goat said...

Oh, the worm has turned all right. Fast-tracker Zudi didn't even have the guts to face his staff this morning during the bankruptcy annoncement, he hid behind his lawyers like the coward he is. He allowed his employees to continue working for him despite knowing he could not pay them. So he waited until payday, then booted his staff out the door minus the two weeks salary they are owed. It really isn't too suprising, given how he's treated his customers and his vendors in the past. He also owes his staff a ton of bonus & commission money they earned and have been waiting on for months (and in some cases, years).
3:06 PM
grim said...

Can we get some kind of confirmation on this?

jb
4:07 PM
Anonymous said...

:::snip:::

FEB. 2, 2005 -- Inc. magazine has ranked Kara Homes 38th in its annual "Inc. 500" list of the fastest growing privately held companies in America.

Inc. cited Kara Homes' rapid growth, 615.8% last year, to $195.7 million in revenues during 2003. East Brunswick, NJ-based Kara Homes ranked Number 8 among private companies out of the "Inc. 500" in revenues and the builder anticipates 2004 sales to amount to $350M compared to $260M during 2003.

Inc. Magazine reported the company's total revenue growth since its first year in business at a staggering 2,463%.

"We are very excited by this recognition of the hard work, professionalism and dedication of our staff in helping so many people find their dream homes," said Zudi Karagjozi, founder and president of Kara Homes.

"Our company has grown rapidly since we started building in New Jersey just five years ago. Our buyers recognize the quality of construction, value and the extraordinary locations of Kara Homes communities."
5:16 PM
disgruntled goat said...

I wish there was a way I could verify this info, but soon that won't be necessary. It will all be completely verifiable very shortly. I may be disgruntled, but I am not like Zudi's (former) marketing team, I don't write fiction. I also pay people who peform work for me, which is another trait Zudi & I do not share.
12:51 AM
Anonymous said...

KARA HOMES

Kara Homes anticipates filing for bankruptcy
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 10/5/06
STAFF REPORT

East Brunswick builder Kara Homes Inc., one of the biggest home builders in Monmouth and Ocean counties, anticipates filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a company official said in a letter given to laid-off employees earlier this week.

Roberta W. Schultz, vice president of human resources and organizational development at Kara Homes, said in the note that the employees' jobs were terminated as of the end of the day Tuesday.

Editor's note: Are you a Kara Homes customer or employee who will be affected by Kara Homes' bankruptcy filing? For information or to talk to a reporter, e-mail Press staff writer David P. Willis at dwillis@app.com or call him at (732) 643-4039.
11:45 AM
Anonymous said...

I am under contract with Kara Homes in Jackson. Now I do not even know if I will get my $200K deposit back or my lot. Zudi is living in a $6M house in Rumson while I am homeless. Where is the justice? I want him put in jail for fraud.
1:34 PM
Anonymous said...

www.karamoldhomes.com
5:46 PM
Anonymous said...

Kara laid off over 100 people and the people who are staying are not getting paid. (what are they thinking)

If you want you can call management directly to complain
Zudi-732 735 5632
Hector (the uncle in charge) 732-433-4337
Roberta Schultz 908 421 4654
5:58 PM
disgruntled goat said...

The local press is only waiting on official documentation, then the story will be there for all to see. Zudi will not be able to hide behind one of his clever press releases this time around.

To the poster who has a deposit on a Kara home, my advice would be to get a lawyer, quickly. The chances of that particular job getting finished anytime soon is about zero. Even if they somehow manage to complete those homes, you can be sure they will be rushed, slipshod & full of issues that no one will help you address. Sorry, but that is the truth & not Kara's version of the truth.

The company has to post security guards at their field offices this week due to other disgruntled persons looting their offices and trailers. Which is to be expected if you decide to dick everyone out of their paychecks.
6:46 PM
Anonymous said...

From what I am hearing, John Fig? the head bean counter at Kara is at odds with Zudi the owner of Kara on how to proceed. Zudi does not want to listen to the bean counters he thinks he can save the day.
Zudi
Delusional, maybe
Effective leader- NOT
But he does have a 6 million dollar house in Rumson, nice cars a boat, servants at home and a wife who could stand to loose a few pounds
4:10 PM
Anonymous said...

If Zudi listened to the bean counters, he would have never been in this position in the first place. Problem was, he believed his press clippings instead of his advisors.
4:56 PM
Anonymous said...

Zuhdi never listened to anyone. Plenty of his people tried to point out the incredible waste all over the place but he wasn't interested. He was too busy being charismatic.
5:01 PM
Anonymous said...

Well we will see how long Zudi stays out of jail. He will definitely go down for fraud. Notice the karahomes.com website is still selling homes. FRAUD!!!!
5:06 PM
Anonymous said...

Hovnanian has ceased moving forward on a bunch of projects it has committed to also.....
5:27 PM
Anonymous said...

No one has updated that Kara website for many moons now. The people who did that stuff were all fired...er, I mean let go. That Robbie has every base covered.
5:35 PM
Anonymous said...

Maybe Zudi can drive his Aston Martin to federal prison!!!!

I wonder if his other lackies like Brandt and Kelly would go to jail with him??
5:39 PM
Anonymous said...

take a look at the filing statement on app.com. It has all of the employees salaries. the higher ones are after the 25-50 percent cut they took a few months ago. How f'd up is a home builder that has it's highest paid employee the VP of SALES. If you want to know why zoodee and the band of theives is in the crapper now two words sales EGO
6:23 PM
Anonymous said...

take a look at the filing statement on app.com. It has all of the employees salaries. The higher ones are after the 25-50 percent cut they took a few months ago. How f'd up is a home builder that has it's highest paid employee the VP of SALES. If you want to know why zoodee and the band of theives is in the crapper now three words JABLONSKI-NEPOTISM-EGO. Guess what what z man being the fastest growing builder isn't a good thing. I know it was nice to get your face on the cover of all those magazines, now the only place that face is will be on the front page of the papers with he lead "chapter 11/Bankrupt builder", or hidden under a coat doing the "perp walk" on your way into court. Anyone who blames this circus on the market is a moron. Captain Kara and his coconspirators haven't finished falling yet and it's gonna hurt when they hit bottom. You can't write this stuff.
6:29 PM
Anonymous said...

All of these names being mentioned what happened to the only qualified person that zman had in managment-Mike Alawich. OH that's right that Albanian Ara Hov wannabe zoodee let him go and blamed his failure on him because as always those with humungos egos have to have fall guy's or their fragile little heads would exlode
7:06 PM
Anonymous said...

Boy oh boy........how about that picnic. or was it a funeral?
8:21 PM
Anonymous said...

chapter 1
Young albanian man leaves queens-goes to cali becomes genius of marketing and desing/psuedo rock star
Chapter 2
goes on road trip with buds from hood discovers jersey real estate
chapter 3
decides to become slum lord cum land mogul
chapter 4
begins empire the all great and might ego has started to role
chapter 5
still has ocasional roll back into attempts at rock and roll
chapter 6
The empire grows not in proportion to the growth of the ego
chapter 7
the only thing growing faster than the empire is the debt and the problems
chapter 8
things are getting a little tight lets flip on the old charisma button
chapter 9
charisma failing lets try brains and balls uh ooh don't have those I'm screwed
chapter 10
the fun part of most roller coasters isn't the ride up the hill it's the fall to the bottom
chapter 11
I think that says it all. Actually this might have been 4 chapters too many
9:28 PM
disgruntled goat said...

Don't even get me started on Jablonski. He might as well be a cardboard cutout. He was an absolute genius back when houses sold themselves and he has the trophy to prove it. Tom always led the company in convention attendance year after year. I'm sure we'll all remember the thrill of occasionally seeing him stand around being important.

Observe how Zudi even included minor employee expenses in his utterly embarrassing filing. Kara Homes neglected to even list the expense money they owe me, or my earned PTO. In fact, when I saw the number I was suprised because they owe me considerably more than that. Guess they just estimated it, or took a wild guess. Then again, look who we're talking about here, this is the same business that managed to get themselves into a $100000+ hole with their portable crapper vendors.

Oh yeah, the picnic. The afternoon when Kara paid us to have a burger or two and take some time to get to know the families of the coworkers we'd soon be losing touch with. The upside was that at least Zudi didn't sing, show motivational videos, or share his reading list with us.
10:14 PM
Little Silvered said...

Albanian, Armenian, whatever.
11:11 PM
Anonymous said...

Hey goat-what is PTO
11:53 PM
Anonymous said...

He's albanian, definetly albania. Yeah yeah Debt for equity, debt for equity is good. gotta stretch stretch I gotta stretch. Anyone seen my doodle pad yeah debt for equity
11:55 PM
Anonymous said...

I have to belive that Jablonski has something on Zudi. Why else would he give him that much money.

The sales dept is a mess at Kara. While I was working at Kara the sales staff walked on water in Zudi's eyes.

Tom Jablonski is so clueless that he has this miserable trashy sales manager running his department. This girl has to be the most ignorant person you will ever meet . But since she is sleeping with one of Zudi's best friends (JK) she is safe and sound.

The whole place is a mess!!!! Even though I am out of a job and out of 3 weeks pay at least I am not listening to Zudi talk about how great he is and how he single handedly changed the face of real estate!!! hahahahahahaa
1:11 AM
disgruntled goat said...

PTO = paid time off
1:19 AM
disgruntled goat said...

And here comes the savagery. Comes with the territory when you are ripping people off.

I would expect a lot more ire directed towards Kara Homes this weekend, as the effects of idle time, financial difficulties and alcohol drive more ex-employees to find a forum in which to rant.

I don't know anything about innuendo or anyone's personal affairs. My venom is directed towards Zudi and the inner circle at Kara Homes. Zudi made a fool out of me and now I will return the favor by doing the same to him in any way I can, no matter how trivial or petty it may be.
2:23 AM
Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the security at the sites for rampaging employees, but the money going to waste in material is staggering. There is at least 2-3 months salaries and bonuses rotting away. Don't think for a minute that this material won't be used if Kara does move forward. Kara's biggest problem is they themselves are not builders,from corporate to site supers they are cluless. They contract with vendors who barely or can't speak English then expect Kara personal to somehow maintain an open dialouge. We build houses in America not grass huts,lack of heat/air,mold,cracked this broken that,still gets installed.As long as they settle.
Anyone who has been into a "finished" home has to ask how did that pass the infamous quality control teams inspection.
8:41 AM
Anonymous said...

So lets recap what has happend so far. Zoodee the gypsy prince and the rest of the family (uncle-COO, uncles best- freind VP HR, Aunt-over paid psudo acountant, cousin-design girl, best freind1-VP Land, Best freind2-VP Land2) are still working for the firm along with 55 other "chosen ones"-is it really working if they are not compensated, that is a topic for another day. What is the next step-they have no subs, no material and alot to get done. Where does the money come from. Maybe z's main sales man CF can front him some cash-I doubt that though because he's suing him. I'm sure the lord of charisma and spin will be able to convince someone to come up with the pesos he'll need to get back that fine group of third world sub-contractors that have been throwing together the MacMansions for kara-sell homes for years. So they come back, they finish a few homes, can the close them while there in chapter 11 and if they do where does the money go. There sure must be some intresting conversations going in East Brunswick over these issues. I feel confident that with the great minds up there they can surely pull this one off.
I bet it looks like something out the Wizard of OZ up there Robbie looking for her heart-John kelly singing if I only had a brain-zoodi hoping for some courage and Hector just wants to go home.
4:06 PM
Anonymous said...

anon. that is so great.........and soooo true!
8:01 PM
disgruntled goat said...

Supposedly, the Fraudster is still doing the dance, flitting around the office in his wrinkled clothes pretending he still has something to rebuild upon. He's still using the "I'll pay you back, somehow" line he trots out whenever anyone asks for the money he owes them, as if it's up to him anymore. Of course, when he's finished using his remaining few employees, he'll toss them under the bus like he does with everyone else he's exploited for a buck.

Rumor has it that Uncle Duh flew the coop & is in hiding someplace. maybe true, maybe not. The rest of his loyal cronies are still up there in E.Brunswick wasting oxygen, so nothing's changed on that front. I wouldn't be suprised to learn they're up there right now telling Roberta what they need shredded.
1:08 AM
Anonymous said...

The $6 million dollar man's 7,800 SF 'gift' from the industry, now in little wifey's name in Rumson, you know, the mansion on the swamp he got for free in '01 from the trades and vendors by being promised they were gonna get lots of work and then stringing along and burning everybody that did the work, did he pay any taxes on all the free labor and materials? It's gotta be huge. He should have moved to Florida when he had the chance. King, you were right.
1:38 PM
Anonymous said...

Look on ebay for Kara Home tee shirts. Opening bid ?? Time to raise some cash.
6:55 AM
Anonymous said...

Maybe someone should check into the assorted properties that Zudi,Hector,Schultz, and Kelly have added to there personal holdings since working for Kara.
I think it's time for Kelly to go back being a shoe salesman again,since he is a expert in the building business and knows so much. Time to smell feet again Kelly u loser. Hopefully you to will spend a little time in jail!!! Sell the house in Emerald and go back to where you came from.
8:15 AM
Anonymous said...

Wonder where Perrotti will sleep now that his leather couches are gone
2:56 PM
Anonymous said...

Leave Perotti alone he is sleeping with several women at Kara so he always has a place to stay.

I just wonder how Zudi's secratery is going to pay for that boob job now that she is not getting a pay check. Does she really think no one noticed!!!!
3:11 PM
Anonymous said...

Well maybe he can sleep in the barn with the horse loving C/A that couldn't be bothered doing anything other than talk on the phone, and make visits to the township.
3:16 PM
Anonymous said...

I heard that Uncle Hector's coke addicted son was let go. I guess after several weeks in rehab he couldn't handle driving around to sites and doing nothing.

Does anyone know if his wife is still living with Roberta?? I heard she left him due to his coke binges.
3:20 PM
Anonymous said...

Please stop referring to her as Roberta....it makes her sound feminine....Robbie fits her much better!!
3:27 PM
Anonymous said...

Being a very informed person on the matter of Kara Homes...There is no more to say then BYE FOR NOW...or maybe forever. Good luck to all those that were laid off and not paid. And even better luck to those that are there picking up the pieces of the mess that was created! The people that are still there are true SAINTS...they have not been paid in 3 weeks either!
3:53 PM
Anonymous said...

Is Saint the new term for idiot? Maybe they have been drinking too much of the magic Zudhi juice at the Weds night meetings....wonder if they are meeting this week. I guess they won't have to argue over which subs to pay this week and who to screw
4:17 PM
Anonymous said...

If you know so much please fill us all in on anything that has not been stated as of yet.

Don't just leave the discussion
4:17 PM
PennyLess said...

Who is going to meet? It is a CONSTRUCTION meeting..they fired (I mean) let all of construction go. And lets not forget in order to be in the construction business, you have to be CONSTRUCTING..not taking people's life savings/children's college funds to have super cool picnics and expensive over the top Xmas parties.
4:37 PM
Very Informed said...

In regards to what I stated before...Let's just say if you are owed any money, you are not going to get it. The K man did a lot of bad things and taking deposits and using them to pay people were one of the...Escro account HA! Only people that stand a chance getting their money back are those that are apart of a DCA community. By Law he cant touch that money. And for the employees that were so conveintly let go before the walls came down, good luck getting antyhing more then 20 cents on the dollar for what you are owed..if that!
4:40 PM
Anonymous said...

So I guess the employees let go at the end of January with 6 weeks severance pay, all vacation time paid and one month of medical should consider themselves the luck ones. Just knowing that Zudi / Robbie deemed the first group as expendable makes it all the sweeter. It all went down hill after the first round of lay offs....wonder why (maybe it was the new area president??)
4:52 PM
Anonymous said...

Heard the Kara Christmas party this year is at the Essex County court house.....
4:53 PM
Anonymous said...

Anyone remember Zudhi's classic speak lines? "we are building the jet plane while we are flying through the sky" "we missed our year end closing numbers, and that is affecting my kids college fund" "it was all constructions fault" "kara cares and it shows"
7:11 PM
Anonymous said...

so who do we have left in construction at the fastest builder in the universe-fastest falling builder.
Perotti and his band of rednecks and big bad mama in the south. The golden boy, smart-ass-ass kiss in old bridge. Phil the mechanic who couldn't build a n outhouse if he was given the first 4 walls and half the roof and the LARGE site supers. Wow these are the keepers, times are tough in the indusrty
8:02 PM
Anonymous said...

OK time for one of the "saints/idiots" to post some sort of rebutal. While I understand that all of you who were let go on Tuesday are angry, there is no reason to attack those you used to work with that are still there. Those of us that are still trying to fight through this are doing what we have to do for our families, what do you get out of slamming us. The cheap personal shots are nothing but cowardice. You didn't have the guts to say these things when you were still getting a check. You guys question the manhood of certain members of the management staff now, where were your balls when you worked here. OOHH that's right you had something to loose then, now on a faceless-nameless website under a made up name you can talk all the crap you want, bring up any rumor you want and be the man you wanted to be before but didn't have balls to because you wanted to keep the job you are bitching about now. Stop the whinning, spend your time e-mailing resumes instead of posting here and move on with your lives. The Kara part of your careers is done, crap happens-deal with it and focus on your next step.
8:37 PM
Anonymous said...

Why don't you all that were let go spend more time working on your resume and getting a job than spending your time bashing Kara Homes. If it was so bad, why didn't you leave sooner. I am sure you made a good salary and now because you were let go, Kara Homes is no good. Obviously, you were not doing your job or you would still be there. Leave the ones that are still there alone. Get a life!!
10:27 PM
Anonymous said...

Hey Saint/Idiot - guess you are still sipping the zudhi juice. The people that had the balls and spoke up against Zudhi, Robbie and the chosen few were the first to be let go. Maybe if you had the "balls" to stand up at a meeting and disagree with all the BS you would be gone too. It takes more balls to go against a group that month after month lied to its subs, lied to their employees and lied to the homeowners. Facts are facts and while it may have been great collecting your paychecks in the past, when subs were actually being paid something, how can you still sit there in your trailer and support KH? Do you even realize how many lives are being affected by zudhi & co selfish choices? Sure people want to vent, and they should! Most of the people in southern construction worked their asses off and got lied to and taken advantage of. The arrogant area president, screwed around and then took no responsibilities for ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE decisions that screwed many many people. 99% written in the past 4 days on this site is the truth. Unfortunately Zudi and his team turned a blind eye to all the BS that happened in the field and in his corp offices and kept up the pretense of everything is prefect. I guess if you repeat a lie enough times you really do believe it. You said you are still with KH to do what you have to for your family, I guess that makes you part of the inner circle. You will probally never know what it is like to wonder where your next mortgage/car/credit card payment will come from. Lastly, if you want to talk about a guy with no balls, where the hell is ZK these days? No public comment from the man who loved the media spotlight? No communication to his former employees? I bet all the nameless / faceless posters would love to have just one more maniditory KH company meeting and see who has balls and who doesn't.
10:55 PM
Anonymous said...

While I truly do feel bad for those that are unemployeed now, I am far from "the inner circle". I have the same mortgage/credit card/car payments that all of those that are no longer working for kara have. I am far from a Kool aid drinker. I understand the position that this has put many, many people in. The point I'm trying to make is that why do this posts have to slam people over personal matters. If you have a gripe with Kara take it up with the labor board or your lawyer. Why make anonymous posts about former co-workers that don't know who they are defending themselves against. It seems that all of the faceless/ball-less anonymous poster that are on here slamming have no problem bringing up current employees names yet they can't say who they are. I understand that it's hard to be unemployeed, but as I said before-go on with your life.
11:34 PM
Anonymous said...

At least the employees can move on. The homeowners have had their money stolen AND have no house to live in!!! Enough about the employees. Three weeks pay is far from people's life savings.
11:42 AM
Anonymous said...

Hey Ed Dever, is that you?
Wow! you really are one angry dude.
I guess this explains why they called you "Special Ed"
6:57 PM
Anonymous said...

kara homes sucks and it was poor upper management. If everyone would focus on work instead of getting into each others pants and they might have been successful place. What can you say about a president who pays for his employees to get boob jobs when he cannot make payroll. Sounds good employees can't make their mort. payments but the family that destroyed his company can run back and fourth to Michigan on company money as well. How about a one way ticket we have enough ass x@?/ in New Jersey. Hey Hektor try a shower every now and then it really works.
8:51 AM
Anonymous said...

I’m absolutely amazed yet even more embarrassed that I even worked along side such an incredible bunch of gutless wonders in my life. You throw around comments about people on a personal level having no regard for the repercussions that may destroy peoples lives even more so than what Kara Homes has already done. Yet it is obvious that you are too scared to attach a name to a post. You attack people’s spouses and children by sending anonymous e-mails to their homes and places of work yet still don’t have the balls to acknowledge you own inadequacies for sticking around as long as you did. Good for you if it makes you feel better about yourselves! Continue hiding behind a nameless, faceless, gutless posting. Ya know… sometimes bad things happen to good people.
I don’t defend Kara for putting the screws to innocent people, buyers or homeowners; it truly could be viewed as a crime against humanity. However, your inability to move on only shows your weaknesses. I can tell you personally that it’s not easy cutting your losses and walking away with NOTHING. No family, No home, No money! But sometimes you just have to pick up the pieces and start over again from scratch and do whatever it is that you have to do to survive. If you insist on dwelling on this you might as well stick a gun in your mouth now! It’s simply no way to live if you can’t let go. It only proves your weakness and you loose even more of your dignity as you continue to dwell on this rather than move on.
1:06 PM
Anonymous said...

Tracey is that you?!
5:38 PM
Anonymous said...

Could be Tracey,who knows better about doing whatever you have to do to survive.
9:05 PM
Anonymous said...

You people just don"t get it!
Stew in your filth, it seems to be what you live for and enjoy most because you have nothing else better to live for. It's more enjoyable than your spouses and your children isn't it? Fine example your setting! May be a link to this blog should be sent to the elementary and high schools where your children go to see how their parents pioneered the example of what not to do! How would you like that? Dare me!?!?
I feel sorry for the whole lot of you. Good luck and Good Bye.

For the record: No this isn't Tracy.
9:58 PM
Anonymous said...

You know it's Tracy-after she finished banging Chris Fry in Lake Hopatcong she moved onto John Kelly in the office-SLUT! And how much you want to bet that that last kid of hers is Kelly's. Uncle Hektor-I hope you're happy now you stupid ass senile old clueless asshole. You certainly helped Ego-Man go down in flames faster-all the while banging your old dike-ster life partner Robbie. Picture that 3-some-Uncle, Aunt, and grandmother. If you only knew the insanity of this company you would easily see why it was inevitable. The subs were already in too deep and kept getting small payments while they tried to hang on and hoping he would somehow stay a float. They are screwed now. And the poor innocent homebuyers-they deserve first payments and their lives back. You know that scumbag has all his property in his wife's name because he saw this coming. Or maybe it was a clever method of TAX EVASION AND FRAUD after he forced every sub to do the work for free and certainly didn't put it on his tax return-HELLO IRS-COME AND TAKE A GOOD HARD LOOK!! And then there is the funneling of cash out to secret accounts-do you really think he only went to Albania to adopt a child? He went to check on his fortunes that were so cleverly smuggled back to the Albanian mob. And can you believe he paid for 2 boob jobs for his secretary and his closing coordinator as recently as last month? Do you think it's a coincidence that she got a check for $7500 and that's what it cost to have her babies lifted up at attention? Maybe he's doing them also after Princess Stephanie gets off her knees. More to come...
10:40 PM
Anonymous said...

Wow, you are on fire!!! Can we take it you tried to hook up with Tracy but she wasn't interested. I don't know why anyone would she is really beat looking but she is thinner than JK's wife I guess.

Has anyone seen Tom J's wife, I hear she is a real porker??? Did anyone look at what he was making yearly on the Chapter 11 filing document??? He must have caught ZK sleeping with his wife and is holding him for ransom.

I did not know the closing person got a boob job. Last I heard she was one the girls sleeping with Perotti while he was married. There is/was all kinds of sex going on in Karaland. I guess since I focused on doing my work I was let go for not sleeping with someone.
Who do you thing George B is sleeping with?? Maybe is old assistant!!! hahahahaa
11:42 PM
Anonymous said...

Go ahead, I dare you, no I double dare you to email this blog to the schools. You must be an absolute IDIOT to think that will stop these postings. I have a better idea, why don't you email the blog to the newspapers, and the TV stations, the IRS, so everyone knows exactly what type of company Kara really was. Everyone who worked at Kara corporate knew what was going on in the field, and the field knew the crap that corporate got away with. The subs and the homeowners were the ones in the middle. How many times were the invoices "lost" after being approved in the field and sent to accounting. How many times were the invoices re approved, re coded, and re sent only to have them mysteriously be LOST again. And the answer to the subs was always the same, "we only have X amount of open invoices in the system, resend then to us." Hopefully some agancy will open up an investigation and seek out all the former employees for their insight. Then we will see how smug ZK, Robbie, etc are .
10:46 AM
Anonymous said...

SO PETTY, YOU PEOPLE NEED A LIFE!
9:20 PM
Anonymous said...

I don't really know tracey to comment on her, but, the girl in the closing department was always very professinal in my dealings with her.
2:30 PM
disgruntled goat said...

I told ya this would get really ugly. The people still working there merely wish to be paid. They will remain long enough to serve whatever purpose they serve, then they'll get the boot too. They won't get their back pay any sooner than anyone else will, despite what they have been led to believe.
8:04 PM
Anonymous said...

Stephanie Babek-Wohlrab seems to have escaped much notice, but McGreevey's former cash cow was a big wrench thrown into the Kara machine. She showed up one day & immediately began throwing her weight around on decisions she had no qualifications to make.
8:07 PM
Anonymous said...

Another quick cheap shot: Robbie Schultz is really a man.
10:05 PM
Anonymous said...

After all is said and done Kara Homes will bounce back. Dozens of people will have gotten the screws.
Honest businessmen will have had to shut their doors, people will have lost their life savings. But Zudhi and his band of thieves will emerge victorious.
12:21 AM
Christina Torsiello said...

I think that there have been a lot of good points made here. It goes without saying that there were a lot of things wrong with the way this company was being run. I think the cheap shots are ridiculous, immature and most importantly irrelevant. This has been an unfortunate experience for a hell of a lot of people. I feel for all of us. P.S. I am not afraid to attach my name to this as it appears even the people who made comments about the ones who went anonymous were also listed as anonymous. Good luck to ALL of us!!
12:00 PM
Anonymous said...

If you happen to be a homebuyer who deposited money with a builder that was not being held in escrow, shame on your attorney. A qualified knowledgeable attorney would never let a builder utilize deposit monies for just this type of situation. Now on you have is your name as a creditor on a bankruptcy petition
11:05 AM
Anonymous said...

yes i worked with all the assholes in stafford framemikewho sold weed to all the other fools don the drunk scott pornothe asskisser chris zito dumb asshole wanabe all hiried by the manwoman robbie schultz whatever happened to fat ass potter that peice of dogcrap all you flaming assholes will have to get a job ai mac donalds if they would have you
2:20 PM
Anonymous said...

THINGS JUST HAVEN'T BEEN THE SAME SINCE SERRATELLI AND HIS GUYS HAVE LEFT MURPHY AND FARANO.THEY BUILT ME A HOUSE IN ISLAND WOODS AND IT WAS A GREAT.TRIED TO BUY ANOTHER AND CANCLED BECAUSE CONSTRUCTION WAS NOTHING BUT ASAHOLES GUESS I AM LUCKY..I CANCELED AND GOT MY MONEY BACK.
6:10 PM
Anonymous said...

COULD NOT HAPPEN TO A NICER GUY(ZUDI). IT WAS NOT ONLY THE HOUSE IN RUMSON THAT HE GOT FOR FREE BUT THE ONE HE SOLD A WEEK BEFORE ALL OF THIS IN LBI.HAVE FUN IN JAIL ZUDI YOU CAN CHEW YOUR NAILS MORE .YOU SCUMBUCKET..
6:14 PM
Coleen said...

Thank you for acknowledging the fact that I was doing my job. Yes that did include being on the phone most of the day fielding disgruntled homeowners wanting warranty work done & trying to get contractors to come & do work. This did usually end up in lengthly bashing of Kara and listening patiently when no one else was doing anything. I guess trying to be pro-active is a dirty word. And if Perotti or anyone else needs a place to stay there are several stalls available in the barn. I prefer supporting my 11 yr. olds sport with horses & not being a drunk, drug addict or sex maniac. So as one door closes another will open. We all need to move on as much as it sucks, I was at least hoping for a better outcome. But it is what it is, and we all with have to answer to a bigger power one day and knowing I have done all that I could I can sleep at night, finally. Hey Christine, thanks for having the guts to also use your name. What a bunch of weenies.
10:43 PM
Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that in the bankruptcy filing they only have us down for two weeks pay? I thought that we had three weeks of pay we weren't paid for. Does anyone know how many weeks we worked and didn't get paid for?
12:28 PM
Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that in the bankruptcy filing they only have us down for two weeks pay? I thought that we had three weeks of pay we weren't paid for. Does anyone know how many weeks we worked and didn't get paid for?
12:34 PM
Anonymous said...

The United States of America (also known as the United States, the U.S., the U.S.A., and America) is a country in North America that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and a sea border with Russia. The United States is a federal republic, with its capital in Washington, D.C.

The present-day continental United States has been inhabited for at least 15,000 years by indigenous tribes.[2] After European exploration and settlement in the 16th century, the English established their own colonies—and gained control of others that had been begun by other European nations—in the eastern portion of the continent in the 17th and early 18th centuries. On July 4, 1776, at war with Britain over fair governance, thirteen of these colonies declared their independence. In 1783, the war ended in British acceptance of the new nation. Since then, the United States of America has more than quadrupled in size: it now consists of 50 states and one federal district; it also has numerous overseas territories.

At over 3.7 million square miles (over 9.5 million km²), the U.S. is the third or fourth largest country by total area, depending on whether China's figures include its disputed areas. It is the world's third most populous nation, with 300 million people.

The date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, is generally considered to be the date on which the U.S. was founded. The first federal government was constituted under the Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781. The Articles were replaced by the Constitution, adopted in 1787. Since its establishment, the liberal democratic nature of the government has grown as suffrage has been extended to more citizens. American military, economic, cultural, and political influence increased throughout the 20th century. With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, the nation emerged as the world's sole remaining superpower.[3] Today, the United States plays a major role in world affairs.

Contents [hide]
1 Name
2 Geography
2.1 Terrain
2.2 Climate
3 History
3.1 Native Americans
3.2 European colonization
3.3 American Revolution
3.4 Westward expansion
3.5 Civil War
3.6 Reconstruction and industrialization
3.7 World War
3.8 Cold War and civil rights
3.9 September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
4 Government and politics
4.1 Foreign relations and military
5 Administrative divisions
6 Ecology
6.1 Flora and fauna
7 Economy
7.1 Innovation
7.2 Transit
8 Demographics
8.1 Largest cities
8.2 Indigenous peoples
8.3 Language
8.4 Religion
8.5 Education
8.6 Health
9 Culture
9.1 Cuisine
9.2 Music
9.3 Cinema
9.4 Sports
10 See also
11 Notes
12 Further reading
13 External links
13.1 Government
13.2 Overviews
13.3 History
13.4 Maps
13.5 Immigration
13.6 Other



Name
See also: List of meanings of countries' names

The earliest known use of the name America is from 1507, when a globe and a large map created by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in Saint-Die-des-Vosges described the combined continents of North and South America. Although the origin of the name is uncertain,[4] the most widely held belief is that expressed in an accompanying book, Cosmographiae Introductio, which explains it as a feminized version of the Latin name of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (Americus Vespucius); in Latin, the other continents' names were all feminine. Vespucci theorized, correctly, that Christopher Columbus, on reaching islands in the Caribbean Sea in 1492, had come not to India but to a "New World".

The Americas were also known as Columbia, after Columbus, prompting the name District of Columbia for the land set aside as the U.S. capital. Columbia remained a popular name for the United States until the early 20th century, when it fell into relative disuse; but it is still used poetically and appears in various names and titles. One female personification of the country is called Columbia; she is similar to Britannia.[5][6][7][8] Columbus Day is a holiday in the U.S. and other countries in the Americas commemorating Columbus' October 1492 landing.

The term "united States of America" was first used officially in the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776. On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first of which stated "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America.'"

The adjectival and demonymic forms for the United States are American, a point of controversy among some, particularly Latin Americans.


Geography
Main article: Geography of the United States

A satellite composite image of the contiguous U.S. Deciduous vegetation and grasslands prevail in the east, transitioning to prairies, boreal forests, and the Rocky Mountains in the west, and deserts in the southwest. In the northeast, the coasts of the Great Lakes and Atlantic seaboard host much of the country's population.
Mount Hood, a dormant volcano in the Pacific Northwest.The United States is the world's third largest country by land area, after Russia and Canada.[9] Its contiguous portion is bounded by the North Atlantic Ocean to the east, the North Pacific Ocean to the west, Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Canada to the north. The state of Alaska also borders Canada, with the Pacific Ocean to its south and the Arctic Ocean to its north. West of Alaska, across the narrow Bering Strait, is Russia. The state of Hawaii occupies an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of the North American mainland.


Terrain
The U.S. has an extremely varied geography, particularly in the West. The eastern seaboard has a coastal plain which is widest in the south and narrows in the north. The coastal plain does not exist north of New Jersey, although there are glacial outwash plains on Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. In the extreme southeast, Florida is home to the ecologically unique Everglades.

Beyond the coastal plain, the rolling hills of the piedmont region end at the Appalachian Mountains, which rise above 6,000 feet (1,830 m) in North Carolina, Tennessee, and New Hampshire. From the west slope of the Appalachians, the Interior Plains of the Midwest are relatively flat and are the location of the Great Lakes as well as the Mississippi-Missouri River, the world's 4th longest river system.[10] West of the Mississippi River, the Interior Plains slope uphill and blend into the vast and often featureless Great Plains.

The abrupt rise of the Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extends north to south across the continental U.S., reaching altitudes over 14,000 feet (4,270 m) in Colorado.[11] In the past, the Rocky Mountains had a higher level of volcanic activity; nowadays, the range only has one area of volcanism (the supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, possibly the world's largest volcano), although rift volcanism has occurred relatively recently near the Rockies' southern margin in New Mexico.[12] Dozens of high mountain ranges, salt flats such as the Bonneville Salt Flats, and valleys are found in the Great Basin region located west of the Rockies and east of the Sierra Nevada, which also has deep chasms, including the Snake River. At the southwestern end of the Great Basin, Death Valley lies 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, the second lowest dry land on Earth. It is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and is situated near the Mojave Desert.

North of the Great Basin and east of the Cascade Range in the Northwest is the Columbia River Plateau, a large igneous province shaped by one of the largest flood basalts on Earth. It is marked by dark black rocks. Surrounding the Four Corners region lies the Colorado Plateau, named after the Colorado River, which flows through it. The Plateau is generally high in elevation, has highly eroded sandstone, and the soil is a blood red in some locations. Many national parks, such as Arches, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion are in the area. West of the Great Basin, the Sierra Nevada mountain range has Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the coterminous U.S. Along the Pacific coast, the Coast Ranges and the volcanic Cascade Range extend from north to south across the country. The northwestern Pacific coast shares the world's largest temperate rain forest with Canada.

Alaska has numerous mountain ranges, including Mount McKinley (Denali), the highest peak in North America. Numerous volcanoes can be found throughout the Alexander and Aleutian Islands extending south and west of the Alaskan mainland.

The Hawaiian islands are tropical, volc