The United States


Describe the physical features and climates of the United States.
Identify economic activity in the United States.
Examine cultural influences in the United States.

     Chapter Overview

Chapter 4: The United States

As the world's fourth-largest country, the United States is made up of many landforms and climate types. Geographers divide the United States into five main physical regions: the Coastal Plains, the Appalachian Mountains, the Interior Plains, the Mountains and Basins, and the Pacific Coast.

With its wealth of resources and hardworking, inventive people, the United States has built the world's largest economy. Each of the country's five economic regions is known for its distinctive resources, goods, and services. In the twenty-first century Americans must handle the challenges of pollution, new technology, and trade.

The United States is sometimes called a "Nation of Immigrants." Since the earliest people crossed the land bridge from Asia, Americans have come from every part of the world. After winning their independence from Great Britain in 1781, early leaders created a representative democracy. By the second half of the twentieth century the United States had become a world leader. America's culture reflects its diverse heritage.

     Quick Notes

The Land

The United States is the world's fourth-largest country in land area.
The country consists of 48 contiguous states plus Alaska and Hawaii.
Five physical regions are found in the country - The Coastal Plains, the Appalachian Mountains, the Interior Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Region.
Almost every type of climate region is found in the United States.

The Economy

The economic regions of the United States are the Northeast, South, Midwest, Interior West, and Pacific regions.
A wealth of natural resources and skilled workers have helped to make the United States a world leader in farming and industry.
Pollution and overuse of resources are serious environmental issues in many areas of the country.
Service industries employ more workers than any other industry.

The People

Americans trace their roots to every part of the world.
The United States became independent in the late 1700s. The Constitution established a new republic with a democratic form of government.
By the 1900s the country had become an industrial power and a leader in world affairs.
About 300 million people live in the United States, most in urban centers along the coasts.

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