A true understanding of the United States begins with a study of the land.
Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, the United States occupies the central latitudes of the North American continent. The American land itself provides several lasting sources of industrial and economic strength.
- The land is rich in raw materials, from oil to timber to iron ore.
- From the vast prairies of the American heartland to the fertile valleys of California, the United States has some of the most productive agricultural areas on the planet.
- American waterways, including the substantial river systems, provided key natural transportation networks as the nation was building itself. Railroads, highways, and air routes would later overlay this early network.
The rich land attracted people from all over the world (it still does). Combine the American land with the American people and you have a dynamic force indeed. To add to all this, the United States, over much of its land mass, is a beautiful country, with some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth.
Politically, the United States is divided into 50 states, each having separate state governments, flags, laws and traditions. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa are also part of the United States, each with a special status as a dependency or territory.
The sections that follow detail the various sections of the United States, especially how they are understood in general parlance, followed by a basic survey of American history, and a few sections on the American language, all with the aim of inspiring readers to learn more on their own.
Next Section:The Continental United States
Life in the USA Home Page.
Full Chapter Outline:
The American Regions
—The Continental United States
—The Center of America
—The Far West
—Point of View
—The Great Lakes Region
—The Great Plains
—The Bible Belt
—The Rocky Mountain States
—The Pacific Northwest
—Alaska and Hawaii
Other Life In The USA Subject Area Sections:
American PeopleAmerican CultureStores and ShoppingRestaurants and ServicesAmerica EatsOrganizationsTransportationEveryday LifeGovernment and LawBusinessEducationRetirement and AgingReligionMoneyCommunityMaking a LivingImmigrationMedical CareAmerican PlacesAmerican StoriesDeath in America