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The best way to discover USA is by car rental. Easyterra car rental has over 1546 pickup locations in USA. There is always a pickup location in your region as well.
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The united states of america is a large country consisting of fifty different states. Its culture is internationally significant in the fields of culture, economics and politics. Not only the population is diverse, but also the landscape and the climate have a great variety to offer. From arid deserts to tropical beaches; you will experience it all in the united states. The united states is a highly developed country and because of its great diversity, there is plenty for every visitor to experience and see.
Tens of thousands of years ago, different populations lived in the USA. They originally came from asia and were called indians by european explorers. They spread all over the continent. The indians lived mainly by hunting and fishing.
Christopher columbus is known to us as the discoverer of america in 1492. This is not quite correct, because 400 years earlier, at the turn of the millennium, the Vikings had already settled the land. After the rediscovery by columbus small colonies were founded. The europeans hoped to find gold. In the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the spanish occupied southwest florida. the first successful english branch was jamestown, virginia, in 1607. In 1624, the dutch also founded a colony: the netherlands. Forty years later, the colony had to be ceded to the English. Nieuw-nederland has since been called new york.
The colonial period was a time of struggle between the settlers, mainly the english, and the original indigenous population. As settlements continued to expand during the colonial period, there was a shortage of labor. Many africans were brought to america to work for the settlers. This was the beginning of slavery in america.
After the French and Indian War, the settlers defeated the French in Canada in 1763. The war had left the treasury empty, so the British drastically increased tax revenues. The colonies resisted the imposition of taxes, which led to the War of Independence. The colonies won the war, declared independence in 1776, and formed the united states. It was not until 1783 that Great Britain withdrew from the United States. In 1787, the first constitution, which included human rights, was passed. In 1789, the congress was founded, consisting of a house of representatives and a senate. George washington, general of the war of independence, became the first president of the u.s.
The period thereafter was one of expansion. This soon led to war with mexico and the indians. America conquered large areas of Mexico. In the north of america, industrialization progressed, while in the south, cotton plantations provided the necessary income. Many black slaves worked and lived on the plantations. Due to the different development of the two parts of the country, a tense relationship developed between the north and the south. the inhabitants of the north did not want slavery. When abraham lincoln became president and publicly opposed slavery, eleven southern states seceded from the united states. In 1861, the american civil war broke out. The South, with 9 million inhabitants, had no chance at all against the rich and modern North, with its 23 million inhabitants. Thousands and thousands of americans died in this civil war, but america remained united and slavery was abolished. However, the African American population still had no rights of their own and often the former slaves remained on the plantations. This population then lagged behind the white population economically, socially and politically. The original inhabitants, the Indians, also experienced hard times. They were allotted reservations and the white farmers took possession of their land.
After the american civil war, america had a strong army. america also had a strong fleet on the seas. During the eighteenth century, the United States continued to expand westward. More and more countries were added. The population grew enormously. Many anti-immigration laws were passed. One example is the act to exclude the chinese (1882). This law made it impossible for the chinese to emigrate to the u.s.
it was not until the first world war that america was able to extend its influence to europe. Since 1917, the USA supported the allied forces. communism developed in russia at this time. This led to a panic reaction among the americans and the country began to shield itself. In 1920, the production, sale, import and export of alcohol was banned. The "draining" led to a great economic chaos. Wages declined while profits in the factories continued to expand. The stock market crash in wall street in 1929 was followed by an enormous economic crisis.
The beginning of the second world war heralded the end of the depression. The war created jobs. After an attack by japan on pearl harbor in hawaii, the u.s. could no longer remain neutral. The U.S. fought on all fronts and contributed greatly to liberation alongside the Allies.
The years after the war were dominated by the cold war. (1947-1991) between the soviet union and the united states. There was an armed peace between the capitalist West (led by the USA) and the communist East Bloc (led by the Soviet Union). Both countries had an extensive nuclear arsenal. The tense relationship increased, but the balance of power did not let it come to the worst. Nuclear weapons were never used.
In the cold war years, the u.s. fought in vietnam. The U.S. supported South Vietnam while North Vietnam was communist. In the USA, the Vietnam War led to great unrest, which manifested itself in uprisings by women, minorities, and the younger generation. Black people, led by martin luther king, wanted equal rights. The uprising led to success: in 1964, a law was passed that ended racial segregation. Many people died in the vietnam war. In 1973, the U.S. was forced to withdraw, leaving the poorly trained South Vietnamese army to its fate.
In 1980 ronald reagan became president. He was anti-communist and actively opposed the Soviet Union. When gorbatyov became president of the soviet union, several arms control talks between the two leaders led to the eventual establishment of arms control agreements. In 1988 george bush came to power. A year later, together with gorbatjov, he put an end to the cold war. The Soviet Union dissolved, ridding the USA of its greatest adversary.
In 1992 bill clinton took over the government. During his administration, the economy grew considerably. Eight years later, george W. Bush president of the USA. the new millennium began with an attack on the world trade center in new york. Bush announced a war against terrorism. the american military was able to drive the taliban out of afghanistan. In 2003, american troops moved into iraq. The united nations suspected that iraq might have weapons of mass destruction and supported the u.s. American troops have had many successes, including the eventual capture and trial of the leader, saddam hussein. Currently, U.S. troops have still not withdrawn from Iraq.
Society and culture
The total U.S. population is more than 300 million. Only india and china have more inhabitants. Ethnically, the USA is a multi-ethnic country. More than thirty ethnic groups, each consisting of at least one million people, live in the U.S. A large part of the total population is originally of European origin, coming mainly from Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, Italy, Scandinavia and the Slavic countries. The number of americans with a european background is relatively decreasing due to large immigration flows from asia, africa, and latin america. The original inhabitants of america, indians and inuit, represent only one percent of the population.
The population density in the USA is not the same everywhere. Thus, alaska and the western regions are the most sparsely populated. In the east, on the other hand, the population density is very high. More than three-quarters of the population lives in cities and suburbs. In the U.S., there are as many as 175 cities that have more than 100.000 inhabitants.
About 80% of americans belong to christian churches. More than half of the population is Protestant and 26% is Roman Catholic. A small percentage belongs to the jewish and islamic faiths. 1% of the population is either Hindu or Buddhist. in the united states there are some ‘black’ churches, like the ‘ national baptist convention’ and the ‘african methodist episcopal church. Native Americans have their own religion.
The u.s. has no official language. About 97% of americans speak english at a good, or at least a very good, level. High level. American english differs from english in its pronunciation. Chinese and Spanish are spoken by two other large groups. The latter mainly in the southwestern states. A smaller, diminishing group still speaks the language of the original inhabitants.
American culture is very diverse and has had a great influence on western society. All over the world, you can find american fast food restaurants, such as. B. Mc donald’s. Also coca cola is drunk worldwide. Many musical styles originated in america, such as blues and jazz. American film and television programs can be seen in every country. Everybody knows the statue of liberty and also the american sports, like baseball and basketball, which are played everywhere.
The USA is a constitutional republic. The balance of power between the federation and the states is defined by law. The division of legislative, executive and judicial power is also regulated by law. The legislature is the congress. Congress is made up of the senate and the house of representatives. Each state sends two senators, regardless of its population. Every two years, one-third of the senators are up for election. Senators are elected to six-year terms. The vice president is the chairman of the senate. The House of Representatives consists of 435 deputies who are elected for two years. Members of the House of Representatives are elected for two-year terms. Each representative represents a voting district of his or her state. The number of electoral districts is determined by census.
The president is head of state, head of the congressional government, and commander in chief of the armed forces. The term of office is usually four years; the president is elected indirectly. The population votes on the electors of their own state, or those who live in DC vote on the electors of columbia county. These electors later choose the president and vice president. The president has a lot of power. Congressional bills can be vetoed by the president unless overridden by a two-thirds vote of both chambers. The judiciary, which is federally organized, is headed by the supreme court, which is the highest court of justice. His most important task is to uphold the constitutional law.
Foreign policy, defense policy, monetary policy, trade policy, cooperation among the 51 federal states, and the protection of the human rights guaranteed in the constitution are the tasks of the federal government as defined in the American constitution. In practice, the federal government also deals with social policy and educational policy, although the last two tasks are not officially federal tasks, but tasks that fall under the responsibility of each individual state.
The extensive military power, as well as the great economic power of the United States, is significant for its status in the world. American foreign relations are then also often an important topic in international politics. Reactions to its policies are often strong, and it is not uncommon for the government to receive harsh criticism. American citizens also frequently rise up against the decisions of Congress. However, the U.S. can also often count on support. Especially Great Britain, Australia, Japan and Poland are good allies.
George walker bush is the current president of the u.s. President bush is a member of the republican party. In both 2000 and 2004, bush won over his democratic opponent. The republican party and the democratic party have been the largest political parties since the middle of the nineteenth century.
An aggressive international policy characterizes president bush’s leadership style. His decisions often provoke criticism. Under the leadership of president bush, the americans waged war against both afghanistan and iraq. His second term will be dedicated to the fight against international terrorism. After the attack on the WTC in new york, bush declared war on terrorism. President bush’s domestic policy introduced tax cuts, and laws were passed to improve the situation of the elderly and the sick.
Economically, the USA is the largest country in the world. The USA has a significant market economy and is the largest consumer of energy in the world. However, the government’s influence on the economy is limited. The most important sector is the service sector. About three quarters of the population works in the service sector. The USA possesses many raw materials, such as. B.: coal, oil, gas, metals and minerals. The agricultural sector contributes significantly to the volume of the economy. The u.s. is the major producer of corn, soybeans, rice and wheat. Agricultural products, as well as many other products, are offered by the U.S. on the world market. The industrial sector of the USA produces mainly vehicles, airplanes, steel and electronic equipment. Tourism is also a major source of income. In 2003, the USA was the most visited country by tourists, after France and Spain. Most tourists come from Canada.
Canada, china, mexico, japan and the uk are the u.s.’s largest trading partners. The trade relationship between Canada and the United States is the largest in the world in terms of the volume of goods crossing the border each day in both directions.
The economic regions have different characteristics. New York City is the financial center, Los Angeles is important for film and television production, and the Midwest provides heavy industry. Thirty percent of the U.S. is forested land. These forests not only provide timber, but also recreation, environmental protection, and food supply. Fishing also contributes to the gross national product. The Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are particularly important fishing grounds. Texas is home to the oil industry. The economy in the southeast focuses on medical research and the textile industry.
Social benefits in the USA are not very pronounced. According to western understanding, relatively many people live below the poverty line and there is a great difference between the social classes. The trade deficit has been widely criticized at home (and abroad) and is a source of concern for U.S. policymakers. However, the economy continues to grow and it is fair to say that the USA is the world’s largest economic power.
Geography and climate
The USA ranks third in the world in terms of population density. In terms of size, the u.s. comes in at 9.809.155 km2 in fourth place, after china, russia and canada. If you add the water areas, the u.S. is even larger than china. The United States is a federation of fifty states and the District of Columbia.
The u.S. borders Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The United States is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Great or Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast. Alaska, one of the two states, with no neighboring land, borders the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Strait and the Arctic Ocean. The island of hawaii lies in the great ocean. The total coastline of the USA is almost 20.000 km.
The capital of the USA is Washington. It is also home to the white house, the president’s official residence. Washington is the political center of the country. New york is the largest city in the united states and at the same time the economic center of the country. It is one of the most important cities in the world. Other big cities in the USA are: houston, philadelphia and phoenix. The largest state in the U.S. is Alaska, which is also the most sparsely populated. The smallest state is rhode island. California has the largest population and Wyoming the smallest.
The highest point in the USA is mount mckinley in alaska. This mountain is, believe it or not, 6194 m high. High. America’s landscape is very diverse. The east consists mainly of rolling hills and wooded areas. The Appalachian Mountains are a low mountain range in the eastern part of the country. The five great lakes are centrally located in the north. The southeast consists mainly of subtropical forests and mangroves, especially in florida. west of the appalachians are the valleys of ohio and tennessee. The landscape is hilly and consists of fertile soil. the rocky mountains are located in the west of the USA. Between this high mountain range and the rocky massif of the cascades, as well as the sierra nevada, is a desert area. The southern part is known as the "great basin". the southwest of the USA consists mainly of desert areas. Here is also the grand canyon. The west coast is mainly a mountainous landscape.
Like the landscape, the climate of the u.s. varies greatly. The northeastern part of the country has a humid land climate. In winter, there is a lot of snowfall, while in summer temperatures reach almost forty degrees Celsius. Can rise. the midwest has a land climate with hot summers and harsh winters. The southern states have winters that are less severe than in the Midwest. The most sunny hours are also found here. Some states, such as hawaii and florida, even have tropical climates. The north of the USA has a cool climate. Temperatures between summer and winter do not differ much. There is also a lot of precipitation. The northwestern United States has the fewest hours of sunshine. The north coast of alaska, as well as the interior, has a polar climate. The plains, west of the mississippi river, are semi-deserts. The great basin, in the southwest, is a desert. Hardly any rain falls here.
The u.S. frequently experiences extreme weather conditions, with hurricanes occurring regularly, especially in the southeast of the country. The orcans mainly threaten the coastal regions. Earthquakes and tornadoes often cause major problems. Prolonged periods of heat are a threat to the health of the population, especially the elderly, in large cities. In the countryside, forest fires often occur due to the intense heat and drought.
Transportation and infrastructure
The u.S. has an effective and well-developed road network. Many highways have been built, connecting the states, cities and rural areas respectively. The USA is a car country and the americans also have many cars. Each state is responsible for its own traffic regulations. Traffic regulations are not always the same in all states. You should take this into consideration when renting a car. Maximum speeds are given in miles. In most states it is legal to drive a car after the age of sixteen. Sometimes the limit is eighteen years old. In most states, it is mandatory to wear a seat belt when sitting in the front of a car. There are also states where you have to buckle up in the back seat as well.
It is possible to travel around the USA by train. Compared to europe, the rail network is not very well developed. It is not necessarily common, as well as in europe, to travel by train. There is a continental rail network. This network is mainly used for the transportation of goods. Passenger connections are offered by ‘amtrak’ among others. The u.s. does not have high-speed rail. However, many large cities have good metro and subway connections. New york city has the largest subway and metro network to offer.
Bus travel is the cheapest way to travel and many people make good use of it. The continental greyhound bus company is the only bus company that also offers a transcontinental schedule for the USA.
Mexico has the largest inland port. The most important seaports in the USA are located in the following cities: houston, los angeles, san francisco, new orleans, new york, baltimore and newport. Waterways are used mainly for the transport of goods, but also for the transport of people.
the contiguous states of the united states are divided into four time zones. From east to west, this is eastern-time (GMT -5), central-time (GMT -6), mountain-time (GMT -7) and pacific-time (GMT -8). Alaska’s time zone is GMT -9 and hawaii’s time zone is GMT -10. except for arizona and hawaii, all states change their clocks to daylight saving time.
Food and drink
In the USA, people like a hearty breakfast. Americans often have breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon, bagels or pancakes with syrup. Many americans eat a lot of unhealthy food, which increases the obesity rate in the u.S. americans like to eat meat and love to grill extensively at the barbeque. Fast food restaurants can be found all over the U.S. mc donalds, burger king and kentucky fried chicken are on almost every street corner. americans like to eat hamburger and drink chocolate. Besides the fast food chains, there are of course other restaurants in the U.S. The kitchen is a mixture of the different cultures that live in the U.S. You can eat Chinese, Mexican and Italian everywhere. The portions are usually very large in the USA. Tips are also common in the restaurants. The waiters get only a low salary. For a good service often 15 to 20% tip is spent.
To visit a bar, you must be at least eighteen years of age and carry a valid form of identification. The regulations regarding alcohol are strict. There is a minimum age limit of 21 years for the purchase and consumption of alcohol. alcohol is not allowed to be drunk in public places. Also, no alcohol bottles may be found in the car, except in the trunk.
You can find hotels almost everywhere in the USA. many rooms have air conditioning, a bathroom and a tv set. Timely reservations are always advisable. Hotels can be booked free of charge while you are on the road. along the expressways you will often find motels, which are cheaper than hotels, but also have fewer amenities. hotels and motels in urban areas are more expensive than in the countryside. Outside the cities you can also find youth hostel. Here mainly the backpackers stay for a cheap price. Younger people who want to stay in the U.S. for an extended period of time can try renting a room on a university campus. Camping enthusiasts can choose between public campgrounds, which can be found in national parks, state parks, and state forests, and private campgrounds. It is more common to stay in a camper or caravan than in a tent. Further there are ‘guesthouses’ everywhere where you can book a B&B. The overnight price is often more expensive than in a motel. A special offer to get to know the country and its people would be to spend the night on a ‘ranche’. Here you can go horseback riding and get to know the typical western culture.
For more information about the United States, we recommend Google search and the following sources: