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The earthworks constructed by Native Americans of the Poverty Point culture in northeastern Louisiana have also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.After his initial landfall in January 1778 at Waimea harbor, Kauai, Cook named the archipelago the "Sandwich Islands" after the fourth Earl of Sandwich—the acting First Lord of the Admiralty of the British Royal Navy.For other uses, see America (disambiguation), US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), USOA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation).The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U. C., and the largest city by population is New York City.The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The phrase "United States" was originally plural, a description of a collection of independent states—e.g., "the United States are"—including in the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1865.The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States (OAS), and other international organizations. The singular form—e.g., "the United States is"—became popular after the end of the American Civil War. In English, the word "American" rarely refers to topics or subjects not connected with the United States.After Spain sent Columbus on his first voyage to the New World in 1492, other explorers followed.The first Europeans to arrive in the territory of the modern United States were Spanish conquistadors such as Juan Ponce de León, who made his first visit to Florida in 1513; however, if unincorporated territories are accounted for, then credit would go to Christopher Columbus who landed in Puerto Rico on his 1493 voyage.
Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States are credited to the Pueblos: Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and Taos Pueblo.The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries. The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast.Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, and the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776.The war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power.The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties.