The 48 states of the contiguous United States cover the central part of the North American continent. Together with Alaska and Hawaii
they form the USA, presently the world's economic and military super power.
First Europeans to explore the area were the Spaniards in the early 16th century. One of the few survivors
of the ill-fated NarvŠez expedition published in 1642 the first written account of North America.
British colonies were
established along the eastcoast, they declared independence in 1776 which started the Revolutionary War.
The 19th century
saw a bloody Civil War
, after which the West was won at the expense of the Native Americans.
After winning the 20th
century WWI and WWII the USA emerged as de-facto world leader.
But recently Its influence is waning with China on track to become
the new world economic leader in a few decades..
For tourists the country has a lot on offer, from the swamps in Florida, New
York City and the Niagara Falls to the east, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone in the West and LA and San Francisco on the Westcoast.