Learn About USA in 5 Minutes
May 11, 2020


By allin5minutes

What is the USA?

A sight in Chicago
A sight in Chicago

The USA or the United States of America is a highly developed country, with the world’s largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP). USA consists of 50 states (like California, Texas, and Florida), a federal district (Washington, D.C.), five major self-governing territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands), and various possessions. The total size of the USA is approx. 9.8 million km2 (3.8 million square miles). 

The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Other large cities are Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia.


The arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 started the European colonization of the Americas. In 1607, Jamestown became the first permanent English settlement in America.

In 1775, began the American Revolutionary War which was a conflict between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies who wanted to declare independence. On July 4, 1776, the US declared its independence from Great Britain by approving the Declaration of Independence. In 1783, Britain and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris officially ending the Revolutionary War and recognizing the United States as a sovereign nation.

The Founding Fathers of the United States are people who led the American Revolution. They are John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.

The American Civil War was a conflict from 1861 to 1865. It was fought between the Union in the north of the US-led by Abraham Lincoln, and the Confederacy in the south led by Jefferson Davis. The war started because the Confederacy wanted to leave the United States of America. The Union won the war, and as a result, slavery was made illegal in the United States.

The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country’s status as a global military power. The USA was the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Nowadays the USA is a leading military, political, cultural, and scientific force internationally.


The supreme law of the United States is the Constitution. It divides the government into three branches to ensure a central government where no individual or group gains too much control. The three branches are:

  • Legislative (makes laws)
  • Executive (carries out the laws)
  • Judicial (evaluates laws)
Bald eagle - a symbol of the USA
Bald eagle – a symbol of the USA

The legislative branch includes Congress which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Congress confirms or rejects the President’s appointments and can remove the President from office.

The executive branch enforces laws and it includes the President, Vice President, and the Cabinet which has advisors to the President. The President can veto or reject laws passed by Congress. Donald Trump is the 45th and current President of the United States of America. The Vice President is Mike Pence.

The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court and other federal courts, and it applies laws to individual cases and decides if they violate the Constitution.

Interesting Facts

Americans eat about 100 acres of pizza each day, with about 3 billion pizzas sold annually in the USA.

Women got the right to vote in the United States in 1920.

Alaska has a longer coastline than all of the other 49 states combined.

Global Positioning System (GPS) is controlled by the USA and can be switched off at any time.

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