- Country name : United States
- Official name : United States of America.
- System of government : Federal republic.
- National anthem :
- Area : 9 826 675 km².
- Capital : Washington.
- Border countries : Canada, Mexico.
- Population : 280,6 millions (2002).
- Language(s) : English, Spanish.
- Religions : Protestant (61 %), Roman Catholic (25 %), Jewish (2 %), none (7 %), other (5 %).
>The US economy is the largest and most powerful economy in the world. It is a market-oriented economy based on free enterprise.
>The principal mining operations produce oil and gas, coal, copper, iron, uranium and silver. In spite of the abundance of petroleum, the United States became since 1947 a net importer of oil : the annual domestic production has not been enough to meet the demands of the American society.
>The nation leads the world in many aspects of agricultural production : cotton, cereals and tobacco, all of which are exported on a large scale. Forestry and fishing are also dynamic sectors.
>The United States are the world's leading industrial nation. The US manufacturing industry is a world leader in many fields including steel, vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics and consumer goods.>The tertiary is the most important sector of the US economy thanks to the extraordinary growth of service industries, government, professional services, trade and financial activities.
>The first people to live in North America came from Asia between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago.
>15th-16th cent. : on the strength of Colombus's explorations, other European explorers reached the North American mainland.
>16th-17th cent. : exploration and colonization of the American territory by the Europeans. Once European colonists established permanent settlements in North America, the indigenous population declined.
>17th-18th cent. : The first permanent European settlement in North America began was founded by the Spanish in 1565. It was followed by England, which took possession of the Atlantic seabord of North America, and France, which first founded Quebec. Thousands of Africans were brought over and sold into slavery to work on cotton and tobacco plantations.
>1754-1763 : Britain gains control of territory up to the Mississippi river following victory over France in Seven Years' War. Also as a result of the war, the British began taxing the colonists to pay for the war.
>The restrictions on political rights and the punitive taxation which the British government imposed on the American colonists led to the American War of Independence (1775-1783), with the Declaration of Independence being signed in 1776.
>1789 : George Washington is elected first president of the United States of America.
>19th cent. : Immigration from Europe assumes mass proportions, with settlers moving westwards. US acquires vast tracts of Mexican territory in wake of Mexican War (1846-1848).
>1861-1865 : Civil War. Conflict between the North (the Union) and the South (the Confederacy) over the expansion of slavery into western states. Thirteen Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting slavery.
>1917 : US intervenes in World War I but rejects membership of League of Nations.
>1929-1933 : Stock market crash precipitates the "Great Depression", a period of economic depression and social crisis.
>1941 : Japanese warplanes attack US fleet at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. As a consequence, US thereafter intervenes on a massive scale in World War II, eventually helping to defeat Germany.
>1947 : Cold War with the Soviet Union begins.
>In the 60s, struggle of American blacks to end segregation and secure their full rights as citizens. US steps up its military intervention in Vietnam war.
>1969 : US astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the Moon.
>2001, 11 September : Three aircraft are hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center in New York and the US Defence Department - the Pentagon - in Washington DC. More than 3,000 people die in the attacks. National mobilization against terrorism.