||A union of states between Canada and Mexico in
North America |
Location : North America
Area : 9,631,481㎢
Capital : Washington D.C.
Political System : Republic
Language : English
Currency : US$
Its official name and federal entity, the United States of America, which was created by the US Constitution, is the dominant feature of the governmental system. The US consists of 48 mainland states, 2 others-Alaska and Hawaii and Washington D.C. Its overseas territories are Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Wake Islands, Guam and others. The widest part of the mainland stretches over 4,500km, from the Atlantic coast in the east to the Pacific coast in the west and has 4 different timezones.
There are various climates existing based on geographical factors such as land formation, ocean currents, coastal or inland, etc.
(1) Tropical Savanna
Found in Florida, it has clear cut dry and rainy seasons.
Found from the Atlantic coast to Arkansas and Okalahoma, it is relatively warmer and humid.
(3) West Coastal
While warm and humid, Washington & Oregon area is cooler due to the westerly wind. Its temperature and precipitation vary comparatively little throughout the year, and thick forests and blossoming flowers can be seen all year round.
(4) Moist Continental
Found in the New England States to the Great Lake’s regions and the Great Western Plains, it is relatively colder but humid.
Found in the Pacific regions of California, it shows the typical characteristics of the Mediterranean climate in the Mediterranean Sea regions.
Characterized by grasslands and dry climate, the western parts of its 100° longitude, the Great Plains, show this type of climate.
(7) Desert Biome
Being highly elevated inland areas in the mid-latitude, desert climate is found in this region between the Rocky Mountains and Cascades.
It is found high in the Rocky Mountains and Cascades.
Supported by the facts that since most of its wide spread mainland has mild climate suitable for agriculture and forestry, US enjoys its position as the second largest agricultural producer in the world. It is not only rich in natural resources such as coal, iron and petroleum but an advanced, industrialized nation that began developing its resources early on.
Although its national history is only about 200 years old, its Constitution, which writes out the laws of freedom and equality for its people, has the longest history among the modern republic nations.
Participating in both WWI and WWII on the winning side, especially as the supplier of resources and capital, US succeeded in accumulating vast capital and becoming a leading nation of the industrial and capitalist world creating a new value system of mass-production and mass-consumption fueled by rationality and practicality. This brilliant materialism, greatly differing from the oriental culture of valuing mentality, can be stated as a new form of culture. With its pride of being the leader in the free, democratic world, US has increased its support for underdeveloped and developing nations since the WWII, including Korea in the Korean War, many wars in the Middle East and the Vietnam War.
- Independence and the US
- After Independence
Based on American President Wilson’s proclamation of self determination of the people in his ‘Fourteen Points’ of January 1918, which enunciated American war aims, Koreans came to believe in the possibility for Korean independence and it became the fuel source for the March 1 Movement for its independence. American newspapers immediately reported the movement of Korea and criticized Japan. Korea became an issue for discussion in the US Congress on June 30, 1919, which continued for 3 years and put Korea in its various transcripts. The US Senate passed a resolution stating its agreement for Korean Independence in October. Additionally, opinions that acknowledged the Korea-Japan unification and recalling the US representation from Korea in 1905 as mistakes as well as the need to retract on their serious diplomatic mistakes were expressed in Congress. However, the executive branch disappointed patriotic Koreans by largely ignoring the calls. About 9,000 newspaper and magazine articles for Korea were published from March of 1919 to early September of 1920 while articles for Japan numbered only about 50.
Actual assistance for Korean independence included helping train Korean independence fighters by mid-May of 1945 by a US Air Force general, establishing friendship with Korea associations by 19 famous US citizens and publicity campaigns including many publications revealing Japanese atrocities. Targeting the Congress, media and churches to help Korea achieve independence by the US missionaries in Korea. The US was the basis for working to realize Korean independence especially in the areas of publicity, diplomacy and raising capital. Many leaders of Korea, such as Jae-pil Suh, Chang-ho Ahn and Syng-man Rhee, went to the US to engage in their works for independence of Korea. ‘Gongreaphyuphe’, organized by Chang-ho Ahn in San Francisco in 1905 became the cornerstone for the Korean independence movement in America. The Korean People’s Association of Koreans in US was formed in 1910 and became a basis for the movement. When Japan schemed to put the Koreans under Japanese authority, the Association petitioned the US State Department that the US should deal with Korean associations regarding Koreans and not with the Japanese and received an official document that the US would do so and were granted a charter as a non-profit organization in 1913. The Association went on to publicly raise much needed funds for Korean independence and sent delegates to various international conferences.
As for the temporary Korean government overseas, a communications office in America was established in Philadelphia and an American office of the Korean government was opened in Washington D.C. in 1919. At the Cairo Conference of 1943, Roosevelt, Churchill and Chiang discussed the Far East issues. At the Yalta Conference in February of 1945. Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin agreed to a trusteeship of Korea, in order to avoid political chaos. Korea failed to gain full independence and became 2 nations under trusteeship, one above the 38th parallel overseen by the Soviet and the other below the parallel and overseen by the Americans, a result of the Potsdam Declaration of July.
When Japan lost WWII, the US and the Soviet announced their intent to occupy Korea on August 25, 1945. Following Gen. MacArthur’s command to occupy the southern half of Korea, US forces landed in Incheon on September 8 and began the trusteeship of southern Korea by the US, which would last 3 years.
American Trusteeship faced difficulties from the beginning. Its denial of Korean temporary government overseas, insisting on trusteeship, lukewarm attitude towards communism and the like created a rift with rightwing leaders of Korea. Failing to intermediate leftwing and rightwing leaders, American leadership turned to the UN to solve Korean problems following the start of the cold war with the Soviet in 1947 and submitted a proposal for Korean independence at the UN in October 1947.
Approving the proposal led to establishing a government led by Syng-man Rhee in the South and US ended its trusteeship as of August 15 of 1948. The US was the first nation to recognize and resume its official diplomatic relations with Korea, which had been suspended for nearly a half-century. From its very beginning the Korean government relied on US for its support against military threats from the North and for economic progress.
Needing to reduce its armaments after WWII due to domestic circumstances, the US withdrew most of its troops from Korea leaving only a handful of advisors and 500 soldiers in June 1949 under its after concluding that a war was unlikely on the Korean Peninsula and that Korea would be excluded from its defense perimeter, which became one of the major causes enabling the Korean War.
Closer political, military and economic relationships with Korea developed along with the Korean War. Truman showed his determination to defend Korea by quickly dispatching US forces and arms to Korea and scratched the demarcation line by allowing the UN forces to move northward. Not only aiding Korea militarily and economically during the war, the US continued its support after the war. Politically, Truman and Rhee had difficult relations due to Rhee’s dictatorship tendency, and Eisenhower and Rhee conflicted due to differing views they had concerning the cease fire agreement with the North. When Kennedy demanded that General Park transfer his power to civilians after his successful military coup in Korea, the relations between the two governments cooled off. Though Johnson, Nixon, and Ford administrations had relatively better relationships with the Korean government, President Carter, with his plan to withdraw the US forces from Korea and human rights advocacy and Korea Gate, had tense relations with President Park.
Since the signing of the Joint Military Defense Treaty of October, 1953, the US has continuously assisted Korea militarily and enabled modernization of the Korean forces, as well as provided the newest war-planes like the F-16 to gear up the Korean defense power. Through military exercises such as the annual ‘Team Spirit’ field readiness of both military forces has been up-graded. Korea-US Security Conferences have been held annually to discuss the military situations in the Far East.
Korean Presidents; Lee, Park, Chun, Noh, YS Kim and DJ Kim have visited US and American Presidents; Eisenhower, Johnson, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton have visited Korea. Economic assistance by the US since the independence of Korea, especially since the Korean War, made up a bulk of Korean economy up to early 1961. The Korean economy still greatly depends on the US in the areas of trade, investment, join-ventures, etc. According to the American AID’s report of 1980, the US assisted with 14.6 billion dollars from 1946 to 1979 including grants of 4.7 billion dollars provided up to the 60’s. Since the grants had caused Korea’s reliance on the US and stalled its economic progress, Korea’s economic progress quickened when loans replaced grants in 1962.
Korean export to the US was 16.6% of its total exports in 1961 and rapidly rose to 51.7% in 1968. Korea’s export policy to diversity its export markets lowered the percentage to 32.3 in 1976, 12.0 in 1989 and 21.4 in 1994. US exports raw materials such as cotton, corns, wheat, raw hide, wood, paper, steels, scraps as well as thermal and electronic parts, heavy chemicals and others to Korea while importing textiles, appliances, steel, shoes, machinery, plywood, synthetic resins, etc. A severe trade surplus for Korea had become an issue for the US and the US maneuvered to increase its export volume to Korea. The trade balance improved and stood at exporting US$ 21.579 million of goods to Korea and importing US$ 20,553.6 million in 1994. Korean immigrants numbered 1,420,532 and expatriates 113,045 in 1993.