The population of the USA, its features.
In the vast territory of the United States live 261.7 million people, which is the third indicator in the world after China and India. US population & mdash; Americans & mdash; was formed on the basis of a huge flow of settlers, mostly immigrants from Europe. The first settlements of Europeans who came from the British Isles arose in the early 17th century in the northeast, which is still called New England (the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut).
Throughout the course of the historical development of the United States, immigration played an important role, supplying workers to an intensively developing country. In the XIX century, the main flows of immigrants came from Britain, Ireland, Germany and Scandinavian countries. By the beginning of the 20th century, the flow of immigrants from the countries of Eastern and Southern Europe increased, at the end of the 20th century & mdash; from Latin America and East Asia. Disruptions in economic development and massive chronic unemployment in the United States led to a tough.
state regulation of the flow of immigrants. Now highly skilled specialists are admitted here. In 1980 & ndash; 1983 in the United States, 400-500 thousand immigrants arrived annually, which accounted for about 20% of the total growth of the country’s population.
As part of the modern population of the United States, white Americans predominate, among whom, in addition to immigrants from Europe, are a large number of Hispanic Americans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans (about 15 million).
A special situation in the US is occupied by the Negro population (blacks) & mdash; descendants of slaves, forcibly brought from Africa in the XVII – XVIII centuries to work on plantations in the southern US states. It accounts for 12% of the total population (26.5 million). Due to the higher natural increase, the proportion of Negroes in the country’s population is steadily growing. If at the beginning of the 20th century the overwhelming majority of the Negro population was concentrated in the South, where, even after the abolition of slavery, the Negroes worked as farm laborers (croppers) on farms, by the end of the 20th century there was a massive movement of Negroes to large cities in the North and West. Thus, Negroes make up more than 70% of the population, even in the capital’s Federal District of Columbia. The age-old slavery and racist terror to which Negroes were exposed in America seriously impeded their social and cultural assimilation. However, mass resettlement in cities significantly changed the social and professional composition of the Negro population, opened many opportunities for a variety of work activities. If in 1920 45% of the working Negroes were engaged in agriculture, then in 1974 & mdash; only 2.7%. Now about 85% of the working Negroes & mdash; workers in various specialties, 2% & mdash; large businessmen and owners, 3% & mdash; managers of all kinds, up to 10% & mdash; persons of intellectual labor. As a result, Negroes have become one of the most urbanized ethnic groups.
The Negro element imposed a very peculiar imprint on the entire American culture & mdash; beginning with a specific American version of the English language and ending with literature, music and other arts. In the last half century, a whole galaxy of talented writers and musicians, artists and sculptors, scientists and artists, athletes and public figures, actively fighting for their civil rights, has come forward from the ranks of African Americans. One of the most prominent representatives of the mass movement of African Americans for civil rights was the Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King, who died tragically in 1968.
In the 1920s, jazz music became widespread in the USA. Jazz originated in the South, in New Orleans, and, in essence, was a national musical creativity with characteristic for Negro music peculiar rhythms and techniques of musical improvisation. A native of New Orleans was the famous jazz black musician Louis Armstrong. An important role in the development of jazz was played by a musical form, such as the blues, originally associated with vocal improvisation, and then became an instrumental genre. The true combination of the popular Negro sources and professional musical culture is characteristic of the work of the American composer George Gershwin, who used the Negro folk themes and jazz techniques in symphonic works. His opera “Porgy and Bess” raquo; (1935) on the plot of Negro life, written on the basis of Negro melodies, is considered the first truly national American opera.
More tragic is the fate of the indigenous inhabitants of the country & mdash; Indians. By the beginning of European colonization in the United States, there were about 400 Indian tribes with a total population of 2 million to 3 million people who spoke almost 200 languages. The number of Indians living in modern reserves in the US does not exceed 1.5 million.
As the European colonies expanded in the 16th and 18th centuries, the most fertile Indian lands on the Atlantic coast, the Appalachians and the Ohio River basin (east of the Mississippi River valley) were expropriated. Since the middle of the XIX century, Indians and nomadic tribes of equestrian bison hunters have been pushed out of the lands of the Wild West (west of the Mississippi River) with rich fertile soils and good pastures. There were also discovered deposits of valuable minerals. All this caused a powerful migrating wave from the east. Through the steppes of the Wild West, roads were laid along which the colonists moved. For their protection, forts were built with garrison cavalry guards. In the steppes, agricultural and cattle-breeding farms grew rapidly. As a result, in the steppe plains, only a decade later (1867 – 1876) destroyed the herds of bison, whose initial number was 30-40 million heads, and the Indians were driven to reservations located in the least convenient for resettlement of arid and erosionous mountainous and northern regions .
The largest reserves are on the Colorado Plateau in Arizona (the Navahi tribe), in the mountain valleys in the north of Utah (utes), on the Great Plains in the states of North and South Dakota, along the Missouri River (the Sioux tribe), on the intermountain a plateau in the state of Wyoming and in the foothills of the Cordillera in Montana (Indians & Cheyenne). A significant number of reservations are located along the border of the United States and Canada.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, in the United States, the Indian population was only about 200,000 people and seemed to be doomed to extinction. But the twentieth century was a period of gradual growth of the Indian population and a certain adaptation to the life of the modern United States. At the same time, the traditional way of life of the Indians, their tribal customs and rites were lost. About 60% of Indians now live in cities. In the largest cities (Chicago, New York, Cleveland, San Francisco, etc.) there are Indian communities, numbering up to 10 thousand or more people. But urban Indians usually do not break ties with reservations, as the piece of land on the reservation & mdash; The last refuge of the Indian in the event of the loss of work in the city. Meanwhile, reserve lands as natural resources are discovered in them are increasingly used by private and public enterprises, which neglect the interests of Indian communities. And although the rights of American citizenship Indians were still in 1924, on the way to their implementation, there are numerous obstacles. Indians are actively advocating for their rights. The central issue of all programs of the Indian movement & mdash; struggle for the preservation of reservation lands. The most active part of the movement is educated youth and students, the number of which has increased significantly in recent decades due to the increased pull of the Indians to receive education.
Extremely favorable natural climatic conditions, abundance of natural resources and a very active population, formed from numerous descendants of immigrants who brought their professional skills to the country, undoubtedly contributed to the fact that the USA for a historically relatively short period (about 400 years) became one of the most powerful world powers. In general, the structure of employment speaks of the high level of the country’s economic development. Of the 106 million active population, more than 60% are employed in the non-productive sphere and in the state apparatus, and its share continues to increase. The industry employs about 20%, in agriculture & mdash; about 3%.
Most of the national income created in industry and agribusiness is controlled by a very small group of monopolists. The richest Americans (the property of each of them exceeds 500 thousand dollars) make up only 1% of the country’s population, but more than one-third of the national wealth is concentrated in their hands.
A high level of economic development is also found in the external signs of American life. One of them & mdash; the widest motorization. In the 1980s, more than 160 million cars were registered in the US, almost 150 million citizens have a driving license.
The technical achievement of the country can be considered well-equipped roads, especially road. The total length of off-highway roads & mdash; more than 5 million km. Their basis is a network of federal and interstate roads. At the same time, the number of high-speed multi-lane highways with intersections at different levels (freeways or highways) is growing. Truly technical masterpieces are many of the traffic junctions and grandiose bridges, for example, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. The overall security of the country’s transport network (roads, railways and river routes) is very high & mdash; For the greater part of the territory, the nearest road is less than 8 km away.
Technical achievements in the construction industry are clearly demonstrated by the famous American skyscrapers. Such high-rise buildings, as a rule, are typical for business centers of large cities, creating their original city landscape. These are the tallest skyscrapers in New York & mdash; The 102-story Empire State Building (381 m) and 110-story towers – the twins of the International Trade Center (400 m), as well as skyscrapers in the largest city of Priozerye & mdash; Chicago, among which stand out two round towers, called the “Corn Cobs”, is notable for its originality and the round tower is the skyscraper in Atlanta.
Not less perfect are the buildings & laquo; single-storey & raquo; America & mdash; Cottages scattered throughout the country and providing housing to many millions of Americans. Equipped with a variety of household appliances, these cottages are comfortable living conditions for people of various levels.
USA & mdash; a highly urbanized country. The share of the urban population is on average 73 – 75%, in some regions & mdash; 90% or more (all mid-Atlantic states, California). Large, mostly industrial cities, together with the suburban areas adjacent to them, form urban agglomerations (& laquo; standard metropolitan areas & raquo; according to American technology), occupying vast territories. Of the 318 such agglomerations, 38 have more than a million inhabitants, and 7 have more than 3 million inhabitants. The largest agglomerations are concentrated on the mid-Atlantic coast of the country, where the cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington form a continuous strip of urban and transport buildings stretching along the ocean coast. In this metropolis, more than 30 million people are concentrated. Very large agglomerations are also on the shores of the Great American Lakes: Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo on Lake Erie, Chicago and Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. On the Pacific coast, the largest agglomeration is Los Angeles, located on the coastal plain, and San Francisco, bordering the shores of the inner gulf.
For many decades in the United States there has been an intense influx of people into large cities from rural areas and small urban settlements. However, since the 1960s, there has been a tendency for people living in large cities to migrate to suburban areas, small towns and rural areas. This process of & subqualification & raquo; is associated with the widespread use of personal vehicles, with lower land prices and better environmental conditions in the suburbs and in the countryside, which generally implies a higher quality of life. This trend has led to a certain slowdown in the growth of large urban centers and the role of small towns, as well as to the dispersal and more even distribution of the population throughout the country. As a result, the growth of transport infrastructure (the laying of new roads in the construction of new territories) is increasing on a large territory, especially on the eastern plains of the USA.
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The population of the USA, its features.