The sexy but dangerous big kid on the block
The United States of America is more commonly referred to as the 'United States', the 'U.S', or the USA or simply 'the States', or 'America', but the citizens of the USA are most often referred to as Americans. We will use USA.
The USA is the worlds third largest country in land area (3,794,101 square miles) and has an estimated population of about 308,367,100 which is about 5% of the world's total population.
The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its forty-eight contiguous states and Washington, D.C, is situated between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. It has two outlying states; Alaska in the northwest of Canada and Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific ocean.
The USA is defined as a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district plus it also possesses several territories in the Caribbean and Pacific outlined below.
While the USA is a world leader in come technologies, here are some interesting points about the USA and its people:
- they eat 815 billion calories of food each day - that's roughly 200 billion more than is needed and enough to feed another 80 million people.
- they throw out 200,000 tons of edible food daily.
- every US citizen will generate 52 tons of garbage by age 75.
- daily consumption of water is 159 gallons per person, while more than half the world's population lives on 25 gallons.
- over 300,000 people die in American hospitals every year due to medical mistakes
- 50% of USA's wetlands, 90% of the northwestern old-growth forests, and 99% of the tall-grass prairie have been destroyed in the last 200 years
- 80% of corn grown and 95% of oats are fed to livestock
There are more shopping malls than high schools.
In world Politics the USA is a world heavyweight, if there is any conflict in the world, the USA has an opinion or a finger (troops or its agencies) in the mix and has been accused of interfering and causing conflicts in over 60 countries since the end of WW2.
The population of the USA is diverse with over 300 million classified as white Americans with European ancestry of which 62% are either wholly or partly of English, Welsh, Irish, or Scottish decent. There are also large numbers of Hispanic people, those from Mexico and other central and South American countries as well as large numbers of people from Asia, India and the Middle East, in all a colourful ethnic mix.
The predominant language is English or rater American English which has changed in accent and spelling from the original British English. In the southern states, Spanish is widely spoken and if you want to get to know the locals, knowing Spanish and English will help.
Americans are really keen on beliefs and their principal belief seems to be that 'if you're not for us, you must be against us'. But like everything else, Americans do belief in a big way so you'll find a big mix of Christian ideologies.
Islam is of growing significance especially in relation to the mass killings of members of the public by Muslims. A more life positive and constructive ideology is that of Vedanta with the large Hindu population in the US.
This is one of the defining characteristics of the US society because essentially they live in fear. Everyone is allowed to own a firearm and because of the criminal behaviour of the ruling elite, millions of people are forced into poverty which creates petty crime.
Because the people are armed, petty criminals become very dangerous and on average the US police shoot and kill three or four people every day. The people the police shoot and kill are often people of colour but this is because they have been abused for so many generations and there is a cultural bias against nonwhite Americans.
In the USA, people should each other because they can and often without any other reason. But the legal system is structured so that many people get away with murder, especially if they are very rich and white. The prison system is mostly privatised and the contracts between prisons and states requires that the state provide sufficient prisoners to maintain the profit of the prison. Therefore many US prisons are full of people convicted of petty crimes.
The USA has also taken or claims possession of Hawaii, Palmyra Atoll, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Wake Island, Midway Islands, Johnston Atoll, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, Bajo Nuevo Bank, Serranilla Bank, Navassa Island and the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.