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For other uses, see America (disambiguation), US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation). Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico.The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones.As coastal land grew more expensive, freed indentured servants pushed further west.During the Seven Years' War (in the United States, known as the French and Indian War), British forces seized Canada from the French, but the francophone population remained politically isolated from the southern colonies.Excluding the Native Americans, who were being conquered and displaced, the 13 British colonies had a population of over 2.1 million in 1770, about one-third that of Britain.

The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States (OAS), and other international organizations. The singular form—e.g., "the United States is"—became popular after the end of the American Civil War. In English, the word "American" rarely refers to topics or subjects not connected with the United States.Bad weather forced his ships south to about 43° north before they could begin their exploration of the coast northward.In March 1778, Cook landed on Bligh Island and named the inlet "King George's Sound".The first Europeans to arrive in territory of the modern United States were Spanish conquistadors such as Juan Ponce de León, who made his first visit to Florida in 1513; however, if unincorporated territories are accounted for, then credit would go to Christopher Columbus who landed in Puerto Rico on his 1493 voyage.Spanish set up the first settlements in Florida and New Mexico such as Saint Augustine and Santa Fe.

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The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries. The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast.