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United States

The United States joined Quota International’s network in 1919.

United States

The United States of America is a federal republic that occupies over 3,700,000 square miles (9,629,000 square kilometers) of land on the North American continent plus the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The total population is approximately 275,000,000 people, of which 73 percent are Caucasian, 12 percent are African-American, 11 percent are Hispanic, 3 percent are Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 1 percent are American Indian/Eskimo (1996 statistics). Similarly, religious affiliations are varied and almost every major world religion is practiced in the United States. However, the most common religious groups are Protestants, Roman Catholics, Jews, and Muslims. The country’s capital city, Washington, D.C., is also home to the Quota International world headquarters.

United States

Courtesy of The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Expansion is one word that dominates the nation’s history. The first to populate the land crossed a land bridge between Asia and North America over what is now the Bering Strait after the last Ice Age. These peoples sparsely settled the vast area and developed their own distinctive life styles and cultures. The first European to reach North America was the Norwegian explorer Leif Eriksson, who arrived approximately 500 years prior to Christopher Columbus’ famed “discovery” of the continent in 1492. Columbus was soon followed by explorers from Spain, Portugal, England, and France, all of whom established colonies in different regions of the continent. However, these rival nations would soon spar over territorial rights, and parcels of land changed ownership from one country to another. Eventually, the English would triumph, forcing France to retreat toward its Canadian landholdings while the Spanish and Portuguese ceded their territory to England.

The majority of the first settlers came to the American colonies seeking freedom from religious persecution in Europe. As a result, freedom of worship was established as a firm component of American cultural ideology from the nation’s beginnings. As the colonies developed, establishing independence from tyrannical British rule gained importance. After a bitter war, the colonies acquired their independence in 1779. Once the colonists created an independent nation, plans for territorial expansion were begun. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the original colonists in the eastern seaboard began to forge westward, moving across the plains, over the Rocky Mountains, and eventually arriving at the Pacific Coast, extending the nation’s boundaries “from sea to shining sea.”

United States history is punctuated by its participation in wars, both foreign and domestic. The American Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War are major events in this country’s history.

One result of the United States’ influence in world affairs is a consistent rate of immigration. The country boasts a wonderful diversity that is present in every cultural aspect, from fashion and food to customs and traditions.

Today, the proliferation of American movies ensures that the New York skyline and the California coast is easy for anyone to recognize in almost any given part of the world. Innovations in science and technology are constantly being made and improved. American musicians, writers, and athletes are popular around the globe. All of this contributes to a sense of national pride for the country’s citizens.

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