United States

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Political map of the United States.
Political map of the United States.

The United States of America (U.S.A.), also referred to as the United States (U.S.), America, or the States, is a federal republic in North America and the Pacific Ocean (the islands of Hawaii, and the Aleutians). It extends from the Atlantic coast in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. It shares land borders with Canada in the north and Mexico in the south, shares a marine border with Russia in the west, and has a collection of districts, territories, and possessions around the world including Puerto Rico, Midway Atoll, and Guam. The country has fifty states, which have a level of local autonomy according to the system of federalism. A United States citizen is usually identified as an American.

The United States traces its origins to the Declaration of Independence by 13 British colonies in 1776 that they were free and independent states. Before the British, and in terms of territory, the Dutch, Spanish and French had a stronger foothold on the New Continent where Native Americans (formerly called American Indians or Indians) had lived for thousands of years. Since the mid-20th century it has surpassed all other nations in terms of economic, political, military and cultural influence.

The country was founded under a tradition of having the rule come from the people under the representative democracy model. This model of government (presidential-congressional) has since been adopted by many other countries, mostly in Central America and South America.

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Judicial Reference

When the United States' federal government is a defendant or plaintiff in a court case, the term "United States" is referenced.

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