The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, a federal district, and various overseas extraterritorial jurisdictions. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the US mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.
The politics of Iraq takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic. It is a multi-party system whereby the executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister of the Council of Ministers as the head of government, as well as the President of Iraq, and legislative power is vested in the Council of Representatives and the Federation Council.
See also Late modern period.
Contemporary history describes the period timeframe that is without any intervening time closely connected to the present day and is a certain perspective of modern history. The term "contemporary history" has been in use at least by the early 19th century. In the widest context of this use, contemporary history is that part of history still in living memory. Based on human lifespan, contemporary history would extend for a period of approximately 80 years. Obviously, this concept shifts in absolute terms as the generations pass. In a narrower sense, "contemporary history" may refer to the history remembered by most adults currently living, extending to about a generation. As the median age of people living on Earth is currently 30 years as of the present (2013), approximately half the people living today were born prior to 1983.
Iraq–United States relations are the diplomatic relations between Iraq and the United States.
American commercial interaction with the Ottoman Empire (which included the area that later became modern Iraq) began in the late 1700s. In 1831, Chargé d'Affaires David Porter became the first American diplomat in the Ottoman Empire, at the capital city of Constantinople. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the United States supported Great Britain’s administration of Iraq as a mandate, but insisted that it be groomed for independence, rather than remain a colony.