During the 17th century European colonization many European settlers experienced food shortages, disease, and conflicts with Native Americans, particularly in King Philip's War. In addition to fighting European settlers, Native Americans also often fought neighboring tribes. But in many cases, the natives and settlers came to develop a mutual dependency. Settlers traded for food and animal pelts, and Native Americans traded for guns, tools, and other European goods. Native Americans taught many settlers to cultivate corn, beans, and other foodstuffs. European missionaries and others felt it was important to "civilize" the Native Americans and urged them to adopt European agricultural practices and lifestyles. With the increased European colonization of North America, however, Native Americans were often displaced or killed during conflicts.
In what was then considered British America, the Thirteen Colonies[l] were administered as overseas dependencies by the British.All colonies had local governments with elections open to white male property owners except Jews and, in some areas, Catholics. With very high birth rates, low death rates, and steadily growing settlements, the colonial population grew rapidly, eclipsing Native American populations. The Christian revivalist movement of the 1730s and 1740s, known as the Great Awakening, fueled colonial interest in both religion and religious liberty. Excluding the Native American population, the Thirteen Colonies had a population of over 2.1 million in 1770, representing a population that was then roughly a third the size of Great Britain. By the 1770s, despite continuing new immigrant arrivals from Britain and other European regions, the natural increase of the population was such that only a small minority of Americans had been born overseas. The colonies' distance from Britain had allowed for the development of self-governance in the colonies, but it encountered periodic efforts by British monarchs to reassert royal authority.
To encourage additional westward settlement the Homestead Acts were several laws in the United States by which an applicant could acquire ownership of government land or the public domain, typically called a "homestead". In all, more than 160 million acres (650 thousand km2; 250 thousand sq mi) of public land, or nearly 10 percent of the total area of the United States, was given away free to 1.6 million homesteaders; most of the homesteads were west of the Mississippi River. The Southern Homestead Act of 1866 was enacted specifically to break a cycle of debt during Reconstruction. Prior to this act, blacks and impoverished whites alike were having trouble buying land or did not have the means to travel west. Sharecropping and tenant farming had become ways of life. This act attempted to solve this by selling land at low prices so marginalized Southerners could buy it. Many, however, could still not participate because the low prices were still out of reach.
Development of the modern United States (1876–1914)
States bordering the Gulf of Mexico are prone to hurricanes, and most of the world's tornadoes occur in the country, mainly in Tornado Alley areas in the Midwest and South. Overall, the United States receives more high-impact extreme weather incidents than any other country in the world.
Extreme weather became more frequent in the U.S. in the 21st century, with three times the number of reported heat waves as in the 1960s. Of the ten warmest years ever recorded in the 48 contiguous states, eight occurred after 1998. In the American Southwest, droughts became more persistent and more severe.
The U.S. Constitution serves as the country's supreme legal document, establishing the structure and responsibilities of the federal government and its relationship with the individual states. The Constitution has been amended 27 times.
As of 2020[update], the United States has an intentional homicide rate of 7 per 100000 people. A cross-sectional analysis of the World Health Organization Mortality Database from 2010 showed that United States homicide rates "were 7.0 times higher than in other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher."
The U.S. Census Bureau reported 331,449,281 residents as of April 1, 2020,[m] making the United States the third-most populous nation in the world, after China and India. According to the Bureau's U.S. Population Clock, on January 28, 2021, the U.S. population had a net gain of one person every 100 seconds, or about 864 people per day. In 2018, 52% of Americans age 15 and over were married, 6% were widowed, 10% were divorced, and 32% had never been married. In 2021, the total fertility rate for the U.S. stood at 1.7 children per woman, and it had the world's highest rate of children (23%) living in single-parent households in 2019.
According to the American Community Survey, in 2010 some 229 million people (out of the total U.S. population of 308 million) spoke only English at home. More than 37 million spoke Spanish at home, making it the second most commonly used language. Other languages spoken at home by one million people or more include Chinese (2.8 million), Tagalog (1.6 million), Vietnamese (1.4 million), French (1.3 million), Korean (1.1 million), and German (1 million).
The United States has by far the highest number of immigrant population in the world, with 50,661,149 people. In 2022, there were 87.7 million immigrants and U.S.-born children of immigrants in the United States, accounting for nearly 27% of the overall U.S. population. In 2017, out of the U.S. foreign-born population, some 45% (20.7 million) were naturalized citizens, 27% (12.3 million) were lawful permanent residents, 6% (2.2 million) were temporary lawful residents, and 23% (10.5 million) were unauthorized immigrants. In 2019, the top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (24% of immigrants), India (6%), China (5%), the Philippines (4.5%), and El Salvador (3%). The United States led the world in refugee resettlement for decades, admitting more refugees than the rest of the world combined.
The United States has many private and public institutions of higher education including many of the world's top universities, as listed by various ranking organizations, are in the United States, including 19 of the top 25. There are local community colleges with generally more open admission policies, shorter academic programs, and lower tuition. The U.S. spends more on education per student than any nation in the world, spending an average of $12,794 per year on public elementary and secondary school students in the 2016–2017 school year. As for public expenditures on higher education, the U.S. spends more per student than the OECD average, and more than all nations in combined public and private spending. Despite some student loan forgiveness programs in place,student loan debt has increased by 102% in the last decade, and exceeded 1.7 trillion dollars as of 2022.
In a preliminary report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that U.S. life expectancy at birth had dropped to 76.4 years in 2021 (73.2 years for men and 79.1 years for women), down 0.9 years from 2020. This was the second year of overall decline, and the chief causes listed were the COVID-19 pandemic, accidents, drug overdoses, heart and liver disease, and suicides. Life expectancy was highest among Asians and Hispanics and lowest among Blacks and American Indian–Alaskan Native (AIAN) peoples. Starting in 1998, the life expectancy in the U.S. fell behind that of other wealthy industrialized countries, and Americans' "health disadvantage" gap has been increasing ever since. The U.S. also has one of the highest suicide rates among high-income countries, which reached record levels in 2022. Approximately one-third of the U.S. adult population is obese and another third is overweight. According to CDC data, mortality rates among children and adolescents increased by 20% from 2019 to 2021.Poverty is the 4th leading risk factor for premature death in the United States annually, according to a 2023 study published in JAMA.
Since the early 20th century, the U.S. film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood, although in the 21st century an increasing number of films are not made there, and film companies have been subject to the forces of globalization. The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, have been held annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1929, and the Golden Globe Awards have been held annually since January 1944.
American folk music encompasses numerous music genres, variously known as traditional music, traditional folk music, contemporary folk music, or roots music. Many traditional songs have been sung within the same family or folk group for generations, and sometimes trace back to such origins as the British Isles, Mainland Europe, or Africa.
The rhythmic and lyrical styles of African-American music have significantly influenced American music at large. The Smithsonian Institution states, "African-American influences are so fundamental to American music that there would be no American music without them." One instrument first mass-produced in the United States was the banjo, which had originally been crafted from gourds covered by animal skins by African slaves. Banjos became widely popular in the 19th century due to their use in minstrel shows.Country music developed in the 1920s, and rhythm and blues in the 1940s. Elements from folk idioms such as the blues and what is known as old-time music were adopted and transformed into popular genres with global audiences. Jazz was developed by innovators such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington early in the 20th century.
Early settlers were introduced by Native Americans to such indigenous, non-European foods as turkey, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup. Of the most enduring and pervasive examples are variations of the native dish called succotash. Early settlers and later immigrants combined these with foods they had known, such as wheat flour, beef, and milk to create a distinctive American cuisine.New World crops, especially corn and potatoes, and the native turkey as the main course are part of a shared national menu on one of America's most popular holidays, Thanksgiving, when many Americans make or purchase traditional dishes to celebrate the occasion.
American chefs have been influential both in the food industry and in popular culture. Some important 19th-century American chefs include Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico's Restaurant in New York, and Bob Payton, who is credited with bringing American-style pizza to the UK. Later, chefs Charles Scotto, Louis Pacquet, John Massironi founded the American Culinary Federation in 1930, taking after similar organizations across Europe. In the 1940s, Chef James Beard hosted the first nationally televised cooking show I Love to Eat. His is the namesake for the foundation and it's prestigious cooking award recognizing excellence in the American cooking community. Since Beard, other chefs and cooking personalities have taken to television, and the success of the Cooking Channel and Food Network have contributed to the popularity of American cuisine. Probably the best-known television chef was Julia Child who taught French cuisine in her weekly show, The French Chef. In 1946, the Culinary Institute of America was founded by Katharine Angell and Frances Roth. This would become the United States' most prestigious culinary school, where many of the most talented American chefs would study prior to successful careers. The United States is home to over 220 Michelin Star rated restaurants, 70 of which are in New York City alone.
On the collegiate level, earnings for the member institutions exceed $1 billion annually, and college football and basketball attract large audiences, as the NCAA Final Four is one of the most watched national sporting events. In many respects, the intercollegiate sports level serves as a feeder system to the professional level, as the elite college athletes are chosen to compete at the next level. This system differs greatly from nearly all other countries in the world, which generally have government-funded sports organizations that serve as a feeder system for professional competition.
^The historical and informal demonym Yankee has been applied to Americans, New Englanders, or northeasterners since the 18th century.
^ abcAt 3,531,900 sq mi (9,147,590 km2), the United States is the third-largest country in the world by land area, behind Russia and China. By total area (land and water), it is the third-largest behind Russia and Canada, if its coastal and territorial water areas are included. However, if only its internal waters are included (bays, sounds, rivers, lakes, and the Great Lakes), the U.S. is the fourth-largest, after Russia, Canada, and China.
Coastal/territorial waters included: 3,796,742 sq mi (9,833,517 km2)
Only internal waters included: 3,696,100 sq mi (9,572,900 km2)
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