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, and a federal district. 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. The largest of these territories are Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands which are an official part of the United States. 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 U.S. 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.
Minnesota is the northernmost state outside of Alaska; its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th parallel. Minnesota is in the U.S. region known as the Upper Midwest. The state shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and Wisconsin on the northeast; the remainder of the eastern border is with Wisconsin. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are west, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are north. With 87,014 square miles (225,370 km2), or approximately 2.26 % of the United States, Minnesota is the 12th largest state.
The Canada–United States border, officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest international border in the world shared between the same pair of countries. The terrestrial boundary (including small portions of maritime boundaries on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic coasts, as well as the Great Lakes) is 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi) long, including 2,475 kilometres (1,538 mi) shared with Alaska. It is Canada's only land border.
The United States is a country in the Northern Hemisphere, Western Hemisphere, and the Eastern Hemisphere. It consists of forty-eight contiguous states in North America, Alaska, a peninsula which forms the northwestern most part of North America, and Hawaii, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. There are several United States territories in the Pacific and Caribbean. The term "United States", when used in the geographical sense, means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States. The country shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and maritime (water) borders with Russia, Cuba, and the Bahamas in addition to Canada and Mexico.
Border irregularities of the United States, particularly panhandles, territory effectively an exclave because of water, and highway incursions into other jurisdictions, are shown here. Often they are a result of geometric borders which do not conform to geological features.
The Northwest Angle, known simply as the Angle by locals, and coextensive with Angle Township, is a part of northern Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota. The population was 119 at the 2010 census. Except for minor surveying errors, it is the only place in the United States outside Alaska that is north of the 49th parallel, which forms the border with Canada from the Angle west to Washington State. It is one of only six non-island locations in the 48 contiguous states that are exclaves of the U.S. although not directly connected to them by land. At 49.22° north latitude, it is the northernmost township in Minnesota and the northernmost point in the contiguous 48 states. The unincorporated communities of Angle Inlet and Penasse are located in the Northwest Angle.
Seventy percent of the land of the Angle is held in trust by the Red Lake Indian Reservation (Ojibwa).
Secession in the United States typically refers to state secession, which is the withdrawal of one (or more) states from the Union that constitutes the United States; but it may refer to cleaving a state or territory to form a separate territory or new state, or to the severing of an area from a city or county within a state.
Threats or aspirations to secede from the United States or arguments justifying secession have been a feature of the country's politics almost since its birth. Some have argued for secession as a constitutional right and others as from a natural right of revolution. In Texas v. White, the United States Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession unconstitutional, while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession.
Lake of the Woods (French: Lac des Bois) is a lake occupying parts of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba and the U.S. state of Minnesota. It separates a small land area of Minnesota from the rest of the United States. The Northwest Angle and the town of Angle Township can only be reached from the rest of Minnesota by crossing the lake or by traveling through Canada. The Northwest Angle is the northernmost part of the contiguous United States. Its "northwesternmost point" served as a problematic landmark in treaties defining the international border.
Lake of the Woods is fed by the Rainy River, Shoal Lake, Kakagi Lake and other smaller rivers. The lake drains into the Winnipeg River and then into Lake Winnipeg. Ultimately, its outflow goes north through the Nelson River to Hudson Bay.
The contiguous United States refers to the 48 adjoining U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia. The term excludes the non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii, and all off-shore U.S. territories and possessions, which include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.
The greatest distance (on a great circle route) entirely within the 48 contiguous states is 2,802 miles (4,509 km, between Florida and the state of Washington); the greatest north-south line is 1,650 miles (2,660 km).
The Northwest Angle State Forest is a state forest located in Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota. The name of the forest is from its location near the Northwest Angle, the northernmost point of the contiguous United States. The forest borders the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, and the Red Lake Indian Reservation. The forest is managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Tree species of the forest are Tamarack, Black Spruce, Eastern White Pine, Red Pine, Northern Whitecedar, and Paper Birch. Popular outdoor recreational activities are hunting, fishing and boating on Lake of the Woods, birdwatching, and dispersed camping. Trails are designated for hiking; all motorized recreation is prohibited, with the exception of snowmobiling in the wintertime.
Lake of the Woods County is a county located in the State of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,045. Its county seat is Baudette. The county contains the Northwest Angle, the northernmost point of the Lower 48 States, and includes the U.S. portion of Lake of the Woods, shared with Canada. The county also includes the exclave of Elm Point. Since Alaska has no counties, Lake of the Woods is the northernmost county in the United States. It is also the only county in the United States with four words in its name.