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United States [ imenica {geologija} ]
Generiši izgovor

(US) officially United States of America (US) Country in North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, bounded north by Canada and south by Mexico, and including the outlying states of Alaska and Hawaii.
government
The US is a federal republic comprising states and the District of Columbia. Under the 17Constitution, which has had amendments, the constituent states are reserved considerable powers of self-government. The federal government concentrated originally on military and foreign affairs and the coordination of interstate concerns, leaving legislation in other spheres to the states, each with its own constitution, elected legislature, governor, supreme court, and local taxation powers. Since the 1930s, however, the federal government has become increasingly active and has therefore impinged upon what were previously state affairs. It has become the principal revenue-raising and spending agency. This activism was criticized during the 1980s, and Republican administrations professed a desire to reverse the process.
The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government are deliberately separate from each other, working in a system of checks and balances. At the head of the executive branch is a president elected every four years in a national contest by universal adult suffrage but votes are counted at the state level on a winner-take-all basis, with each state (and the District of Columbia) being assigned votes (equivalent to the number of its congressional representatives) in a national electoral college that formally elects the president. The president serves as head of state, of the armed forces, and of the federal civil service. He or she is restricted to a maximum of two terms and, once elected, cannot be removed except through impeachment and subsequent conviction by Congress. The president works with a personally selected (appointed) cabinet team, subject to the Senate's approval, whose members are prohibited from serving in the legislature.
The second branch of government, Congress, the federal legislature, comprises two houses, the 100-member Senate and the 435-member House of Representatives. Senators serve six-year terms, and there are two from each state regardless of its size and population. Every two years a third of the seats come up for election. Representatives are elected from state congressional districts of roughly equal demographic sizes and serve two-year terms.
Congress operates through a system of specialized standing committees in both houses. The Senate is the more powerful chamber of Congress, since its approval is required for key federal appointments and for the ratification of foreign treaties. The president’s policy program needs the approval of Congress, and the president addresses Congress in Jan for an annual “State of the Union” speech and sends periodic “messages” and “recommendations”. The success of a president to carry out his or her platform depends on voting support in Congress, bargaining skills, and public support. Proposed legislation, to become law (an Act of Congress), requires the approval of both houses of Congress as well as the signature of the president. If differences exist, “conference committees” are convened to effect compromise agreements. The president can impose a veto, which can be overridden only by two-thirds majorities in both houses. Constitutional amendments require two-thirds majorities from both houses and the support of three-quarters of the nation’s state legislatures.
The third branch of government, the judiciary, headed by the Supreme Court, interprets the written US constitution; its function is to ensure that a correct balance is maintained between federal and state institutions and the executive and legislature and to uphold the constitution, especially the civil rights described in the first ten (the Bill of Rights) and later amendments. The Supreme Court comprises nine judges appointed by the president with the Senate's approval, who serve life terms and can only be removed by impeachment, trial, and conviction by Congress.
The US administers a number of territories, including American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands, which have local legislatures and a governor. These territories, as well as the “self-governing territories” of Puerto Rico and Guam, each send a nonvoting delegate to the US House of Representatives.
The District of Columbia, centered around the city of Washington DC, is the site of the federal legislature, judiciary, and executive. Since 19it has sent one nonvoting delegate to the House and since 19its citizens have been able to vote in presidential elections (the District having three votes in the national electoral college).
history
For early history, see Native American. The Spanish first settled in Florida 156The first permanent English settlement was at Jamestown, Virginia, 160In 16English Pilgrims landed at Plymouth and founded the colony of Massachusetts and, later, Connecticut. English Catholics founded Maryland 163English Quakers founded Pennsylvania 168A Dutch settlement 16on Manhattan Island, named New Amsterdam 162was renamed New York after it was taken by England 166In the 18th century the English colonies were threatened by French expansion from the Great Lakes to Louisiana until the English won the French and Indian War (in Europe called the Seven Years' War 1756–63).
American Revolution
In 177following years of increasing tension, the colonies (Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia) rose against the British government, assembled at the Continental Congress, and fought British troops in Massachusetts, at Lexington and Concord. Meeting in Philadelphia in 177they declared themselves to be “free and independent states”. Led by General George Washington, they defeated George III’s armies in the American Revolution. By the Treaty of Paris 17Britain recognized the independence of the colonies. The constitution came into force 178Washington was unanimously elected as the first president.
The Louisiana territory was bought from Napoleon 180and Florida from Spain 181Napoleon's trade blockade of British shipping led indirectly to the Anglo-American War 1812–1Expansion to the west, called manifest destiny, reached the Pacific, and the Mexican War 1846–secured the areas of Arizona, California, part of Colorado and Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. Alaska was purchased from Russia 186Hawaii ceded itself to the US 1898.
The Civil War 1861–put an end to slavery but left ill feeling between north and south. It stimulated additional industrial development in the north, as well as the construction of roads and railroads, which continued until the end of that century.
international involvement
Involvement in international affairs really began with the Spanish-American War 189which involved the US in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. The Panama Canal Zone rights were leased 190After trying to maintain an isolationist stance, under President Woodrow Wilson, the US entered World War I 191it was not a party to the Treaty of Versailles but made peace by separate treaties 192A period of isolationism followed. The country's economic, industrial, and agricultural expansion was brought to a halt by the stock-market crash 192which marked the start of the Depression. President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal 19did not solve the problem, and only preparations for World War II brought full employment. The US did not declare war until Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Honolulu Dec 1941.
the Truman doctrine
The US, having emerged from the war as a superpower, remained internationalist during the prosperity of the postwar era. Under the presidency of Harry S Truman (Democrat), a doctrine of intervention in support of endangered “free peoples” and of “containing the spread of communism” was devised by secretaries of state George Marshall and Dean Acheson. This led to the US’s intervention in Greece and support for Nationalist Taiwan 19and its participation in the Korean War 1950–5The US, in addition, helped to create new global and regional bodies designed to maintain the peace— the United Nations (UN) 194the Organization of American States (OAS) 194the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) 194the South-East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) 1954— and launched the Marshall Plan 19to begin strengthening the capitalist economies of its allies while standing off similar strategies of the USSR-dominated Eastern Bloc. This began the Cold War. This began the Cold War. Domestically, President Truman
sought to introduce liberal reforms designed at extending civil and welfare rights under the slogan “a fair deal”. These measures were blocked by a combination of Southern Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Truman’s foreign policy was criticized as being “soft on communism” between 19and 195as a wave of anti-Soviet hysteria, spearheaded by Senator Joseph McCarthy, swept the nation.
Eisenhower era of growth
This rightward shift in the public mood brought Republican victory in the congressional and presidential elections 195with popular military commander General Dwight D Eisenhower becoming president. He was reelected by an increased margin Nov 195Eisenhower adhered to the Truman–Acheson doctrine of “containment”, while at home he pursued a policy of “progressive conservatism” designed to encourage business enterprise. The Eisenhower era was one of growth, involving the migration of southern blacks to the northern industrial cities and rapid expansion in the educational sector. In the southern states, where racial segregation and discrimination were openly practiced, a new civil-rights movement developed under the leadership of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Promising a “New Frontier” program of social reform, John F Kennedy (Democrat) won the presidential election Nov 19and emerged as an active supporter of civil rights and space exploration and an opponent of communism abroad (see Bay of Pigs). He was ass
assinated Nov 1963.
“Great Society”
It was left to his vice president and successor, Lyndon B Johnson, to oversee the passage of additional reforms, called the “Great Society” by Johnson. These measures, which included the Equal Opportunities, Voting Rights, Housing, and Medicare acts, guaranteed blacks their civil rights and extended the reach and responsibilities of the federal government. The black migration to the northern cities went into reverse from 197stimulated by new economic opportunity in American sunbelt states, new black political influence, and a feeling of returning to earlier roots.
Vietnam War
Abroad, President Johnson escalated US involvement in the Vietnam War 1964–7which polarized public opinion and deeply divided the Democratic Party into “hawks and doves”. Johnson declined to run for reelection Nov 196and his vice president, Hubert Humphrey, was defeated by Republican Richard Nixon. Working with National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, Nixon escalated the Vietnam conflict by invading neighboring Cambodia before he began a gradual disengagement, launching a policy of détente that brought an improvement in relations with the Soviet Union (see Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) and a visit to Communist China 1973.
Watergate scandal
Nixon, faced with a divided opposition led by the liberal George McGovern, had gained reelection by an overwhelming margin Nov 197but during the campaign, Nixon's staff had broken into the Democratic Party's Watergate headquarters. When this and the attempts at cover-up came to light, the scandal forced the resignation of the president Aug 197just short of impeachment.
Watergate shook the US public's confidence in the Washington establishment. Gerald Ford, who had been appointed vice president when Spiro Agnew was forced to step down Dec 197pardoned Nixon and kept the services of Kissinger and the policy of détente when he became president. He faced a hostile, Democrat-dominated Congress that introduced legislation curbing the unauthorized power of the presidency, attempting to mend fences both at home and abroad. He also had to deal with the economic recession and increased OPEC oil prices that began under Nixon 1973.
Carter presidency
Ford ran in the presidential election Nov 197but was defeated by Washington outsider and Democrat Jimmy Carter, who promised open and honest government. Carter was a fiscal conservative but social liberal, who sought to extend welfare provision through greater administrative efficiency. He substantially ended the fuel crisis through enforced conservation in the energy bills 19and 198In foreign relations President Carter emphasized human rights. In the Middle East, he moved close to a peace settlement 1978–(see Camp David Agreements) and in Jan 19the US's diplomatic relations with Communist China were fully normalized. The Carter presidency was, however, brought down by two foreign-policy crises 1979–8the fall of the shah of Iran and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The president's leadership style, military economies, and moralistic foreign policy were blamed by the press for weakening US influence abroad. There was a swell of anticommunist feeling and mounting support for a new policy of rearmament and selective interventionism. President Carter responded to this new mood by enunciating the hawkish Carter Doctrine 19and supporting a new arms-development program, but his popularity plunged during 19as economic recession gripped the country and US embassy staff members were held hostage by Shiite Muslim fundamentalists in Tehran.
Reagan administration
The Republican Ronald Reagan benefited from Carter’s difficulties and was elected Nov 198when the Democrats also lost control of the Senate. The new president had risen to prominence as an effective, television-skilled campaigner. He purported to believe in a return to traditional Christian and family values and promoted a domestic policy of supply-side economics, decentralization, and deregulation. The early years of the Reagan presidency witnessed substantial reductions in taxation, with cutbacks in federal welfare programs that created serious hardships in many sectors as economic recession gripped the nation. Reagan rejected détente and spoke of the USSR as an “evil empire” that needed to be checked by a military buildup and a readiness to employ force. This led to a sharp deterioration in Soviet-US relations, ushering in a new cold war during the Polish crisis 198He was reelected on a wave of optimistic patriotism Nov 198defeating the Democrat ticket of Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro by a
record margin. A radical tax-cutting bill passed in Congress, and in 19a large budget and trade deficit developed (as a spending economy was developed to control Congress). At home and overseas the president faced mounting public opposition to his interventions in Central America. The new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev pressed unsuccessfully for arms reduction during superpower summits at Geneva (Nov 198and Reykjavik (Oct 1986), but a further summit Dec 198with an agreement to scrap intermediate-range nuclear missiles, appeared to promise a new détente.Irangate scandal
In Nov 19the Republican Party lost control of the Senate in the midterm elections, just before the disclosure of a scandal concerning US arms sales to Iran in return for hostages held in Beirut, with the profits illegally diverted to help the Nicaraguan “Contra” (anticommunist) guerrillas. The Irangate scandal briefly dented public confidence in the administration and forced the dismissal and resignation of key cabinet members. During the last two years of his presidency, a more consensual Reagan was on view and, helped by his Dec 19arms reduction deal, he left office with much of his popular affection restored.
Bush in power
Reagan’s popularity transferred itself to Vice President George Bush who, despite selecting the inexperienced Dan Quayle as his running-mate and despite opposition charges that he had been indirectly involved in the Irangate proceedings, defeated the Democrats’ candidate Michael Dukakis in the presidential election of Nov 198Bush came to power, after six years of economic growth, at a time of uncertainty. Reagan’s tax-cutting policy had led to mounting federal trade and budget deficits, which had served to turn the US into a debtor nation for the first time in its history and had precipitated a stock market crash Oct 198Retrenchment was thus needed and was concentrated 1989–in the military sphere, helped by continuing Soviet moves toward reductions in both conventional and nuclear forces. Domestically, Bush spoke of the need to create a “kinder, gentler nation”, and unveiled minor initiatives in the areas of education, drug control, and the environment, where problems had surfaced during the Reagan years. (In 199almost 500,0children were suffering from malnutrition and at least 100,0people were homeless.) The start of his presidency was marred by the Senate’s rejection of his nomination for Defense Secretary, John Tower, following criticisms of Tower’s lifestyle and his links to military contractors. With his overthrowing of the corrupt Panamanian leader, General Manuel Noriega, Dec 198Bush began to establish his presidency.
In Sept 19the Senate confirmed David Souter, a conservative jurist from New Hampshire who had been nominated by President Bush, as a new Supreme Court justice. He replaced Justice William Brennan, a veteran liberal, who resigned in July. Souter's appointment appeared likely to strengthen the conservative majority that had been established within the Court, as did the confirmation in 19of Clarence Thomas after long and bitter Congressional hearings.
Gulf War
The US responded to Iraq’s unprovoked invasion and annexation of Kuwait 2 Aug 19by coordinating, in the United Nations, the passage of a series of resolutions demanding Iraq’s unconditional withdrawal and imposing comprehensive economic sanctions. By late Nov the US had sent more than 230,0troops and support personnel to Saudi Arabia to form the core of a 400,000-strong Western and Arab “desert shield” with the object of defending the Saudi frontier and, if necessary, dislodging Iraq from Kuwait. A further 150,0US troops were sent early Dec and the Gulf War was fought in Jan–Feb 1991.
US reaction to demise of Soviet Union
In July 19Bush and Soviet leader Gorbachev held the first superpower summit since the end of the Cold War and signed the long-awaited START treaty (see Strategic Arms Reduction Talks). The US condemned the attempted Moscow coup Aug 19which briefly removed Gorbachev and backed Boris Yeltsin's efforts to restore the Soviet president. His reaction to later developments—the resignation of Gorbachev, the demise of the Soviet Union, and the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States—was initially cautious. Having granted recognition to the independence of the Baltic States in Sept 199Bush acknowledged the independence of all remaining republics, but proceeded slowly in granting full diplomatic recognition. Bush followed US success in the Gulf War by pushing for and convening a Middle East peace conference in Spain in Nov 199other conferences followed 199Domestically, the US had less success as the economic recession continued. A trip by Bush to Australia and East Asia to press for trade co
ncessions ended in Japan in Jan 19with little progress. Bush's approval rating slumped and he faced increased public criticism. Racial upheaval in Los Angeles and natural disasters in Florida and Hawaii to which the federal government's response was criticized also contributed to decreased popularity.
Clinton takes over presidency
Bill Clinton won the 19presidential elections for the Democrats in Nov, having campaigned on a platform of improved health-care provision, cautious state intervention to boost the economy, increased protection for the environment, and defense of minority rights. Although he had only a lead over Bush in the popular vote, he won states, plus the District of Columbia, to Bush's states, and 3electoral-college votes to Bush's 16The independent candidate, Ross Perot, won nearly 2of the popular vote but no electoral college votes. His intervention had little effect on the overall result but probably resulted in the winning candidate attracting less than 5of the vote for the first time since Richard Nixon's 19success.
In Dec 19the two key appointments to president-elect Clinton's cabinet were Lloyd Bentsen, the Democratic Party's vice-presidential candidate in 198as treasury secretary, and Warren Christopher, a member of the former Carter administration, as secretary of state.
In Jan 19President Clinton delayed for six months an executive order which would have suspended the ban on homosexuality in the armed forces. In Feb 19he proposed to Congress a medium-term economic plan, combining spending cuts with tax increases targetted against the rich, to cut the huge federal budget deficit.
There are states in the United States; Also called: United States of America, America, US, U.S., USA, U.S.A.

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