Usa Map / July 18, 2018 / Johanna Dorsey
The United States of America , commonly known as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.[fn 6] At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km2) and with over 325 million people, the United States is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area[fn 7] and the third-most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City.
The vast majority of rivers in California are dammed as part of two massive water projects: the Central Valley Project, providing water to the agricultural Central Valley, and the California State Water Project diverting water from northern to southern California. The state's coasts, rivers, and other bodies of water are regulated by the California Coastal Commission.
The Sierra Nevada (Spanish for "snowy range") includes the highest peak in the contiguous 48 states, Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m). The range embraces Yosemite Valley, famous for its glacially carved domes, and Sequoia National Park, home to the giant sequoia trees, the largest living organisms on Earth, and the deep freshwater lake, Lake Tahoe, the largest lake in the state by volume.
The United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U.S. dollars at approximately two cents per acre ($4.74km2). The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912. It was admitted as the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959
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