1. [syn: United States, United States of America, America, the States, US, U.S., USA, U.S.A.]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
United States of America
n 1: North American republic containing 50 states - 48
conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in
northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the
Pacific Ocean; achieved independence in 1776 [syn: United
States, United States of America, America, the
States, US, U.S., USA, U.S.A.]
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The name of this country. The United States, now
thirty-one in number, are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida,
Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New York North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and California.
2. The territory of which these states are composed was at one time
dependent generally on the crown of Great Britain, though governed by the
local legislatures of the country. It is not within the plan of this work to
give a history of the colonies; on this subject the reader is referred to
Kent's Com. sect. 10; Story on the Constitution, Book 1; 8 Wheat. Rep. 543;
Marshall, Hist. Colon.
3. The neglect of the British government to redress grievances which
had been felt by the people, induced the colonies to form a closer connexion
than their former isolated state, in the hopes that by a union they might
procure what they had separately endeavored in vain, to obtain. In 1774,
Massachusetts recommended that a congress of the colonies should be
assembled to deliberate upon the state of public affairs; and on the fourth
of September of the following year, the delegates to such a congress
assembled in Philadelphia. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island, South Carolina, and Virginia, were represented by their delegates;
Georgia alone was not represented. This congress, thus organized, exercised
de facto and de jure, a sovereign authority, not as the delegated agents of
the governments de facto of the colonies, but in virtue of the original
powers derived from the people. This, which was called the revolutionary
government, terminated only when superseded by the confederated government
under the articles of confederation, ratified in 1781. Serg. on the Const.
Intr. 7, 8.
4. The state of alarm and danger in which the colonies then stood
induced the formation of a second congress. The delegates, representing all
the states, met in May, 1775. This congress put the country in a state of
defence, and made provisions for carrying on the war with the mother
country; and for the internal regulations of which they were then in need;
and on the fourth day of July, 1776, adopted and issued the Declaration of
Independence. (q.v.) The articles of confederation, (q.v.) adopted on the
first day of March, 1781, 1 Story on the Const. Sec. 225; 1 Kent's Comm.
211, continued in force until the first Wednesday in March, 1789, when the
present constitution was adopted. 5 Wheat. 420.
5. The United States of America are a corporation endowed with the
capacity to sue and be sued, to convey and receive property. 1 Marsh. Dec.
177, 181. But it is proper to observe that no suit can be brought against
the United States without authority of law.
6. The states, individually, retain all the powers which they possessed
at the formation of the constitution, and which have not been given to
7. Besides the states which are above enumerated, there are various
territories, (q.v.) which are a species of dependencies of the United
States. New states may be admitted by congress into this union; but no new
state shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state,
nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of
states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned, as
well as of congress. Const. art. 4, s. 3. And the United States shall
guaranty to every state in this union, a republican form of government. Id.
art. 4, s. 4. See the names of the several states; and Constitution of the