About the United States

Learning about the United States, and how it has developed through time, is a vital part of fully becoming an American. The federal government offers many educational resources on the history, civic values, and political system of the United States.

In this section you will find links to basic information about the United States, including information on its geography, demographics, and history.

Community Involvement

There are many ways for you to get involved in your community. These sites will help you become an informed citizen and volunteer. By getting involved, you also contribute to your community.

The links below provide information on ways that you can participate in your local community.

Get Involved in Your Community
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website provides information about your community and ways that you can get involved.

Links to Volunteer Programs
HUD’s website includes a list of federal and nongovernmental national volunteer programs.

National Neighborhood Watch Program
The U.S. Department of Justice sponsors a crime prevention program called the National Neighborhood Watch.

Prepare Your Community for an Emergency
Ready.gov provides information on Citizen Corps, a program that brings together volunteers to make communities safer, and better prepared to respond in any emergency situation.

Volunteer Opportunities and Resources for Volunteering
Serve.gov helps you find volunteer opportunities in your community or find information on how to create your own.

Find National Parks, Lakes, and Recreation Space Near You
Recreation.gov is a partnership of federal government agencies that manage public space around the country. Use this website to plan your next trip!

Geography and Demographics

The United States is a diverse nation with beautiful and vastly different landscapes, and a rich history.

The links below provide information on the American people and the geographic regions of the United States.

Population of the United States and the World
The Census Bureau provides an estimate of the population of the United States and the total population of the world.

Data on Population, Housing, and Demographics
The American FactFinder allows you to search data from the Census Bureau’s surveys and censuses. This site is also available in Spanish (select the link in the top right corner).

Maps of the United States
Nationalmap.gov allows you to search for and print static and interactive maps of the United States.

View Forecasts and Weather Warnings for Your Area
The National Weather Service provides weather information, including forecasts and warnings for your area.

History and Government

The United States is a representative democracy and its people play an important role in the governing process. Our government is based on several fundamental values including freedom, individual rights, equality, and opportunity. A basic understanding of U.S. history and government is important for everyone in the United States.

The links below provide resources to help you learn more about U.S. history and government.

Read the 100 Most Important Documents in U.S. History
OurDocuments.gov provides 100 of the most important documents in U.S. history. You can view the original document, read a transcript, and learn about the history of each.

Learn About the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights
Charters of Freedom is an online exhibit presented by the National Archives. In this exhibit, you can read and learn about the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

The U.S. House of Representatives
House.gov provides information on the House of Representatives and each representative.

The U.S. Senate
Senate.gov provides information on the Senate and each senator.

The President of the United States
Whitehouse.gov is the official website for the president.

The Supreme Court of the United States
Supremecourt.gov provides information about the court, the justices, and recent decisions.

Learn About U.S. History and Government
Ben's Guide to U.S. Government provides basic information about U.S. history and government for K-12 students, and educational tools for both parents and teachers.

Short Lessons About U.S. History and Government (PDF, 1.28 MB)
Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test is a study booklet that contains short lessons that will help you study for the naturalization test. This information will help you learn more about important concepts in U.S. history and government.

Learn About U.S. History, Social Studies, Literature, and Language Arts
EDSITEment! provides information and interactive activities on literature and language arts, foreign languages, art and culture, and history and social studies.

Purchase Government Documents on U.S. History and Government
The Government Publishing Office offers government publications about the U.S. Constitution, the flag, and U.S. history and government.

Learn About American History from Primary Sources
The Library of Congress developed the America's Library website to provide information about American history, government, and culture.

The Library of Congress
The national library of the United States is the largest library in the world. Its website has a comprehensive online exhibition of historic photographs, documents, and events.

Biographies of U.S. Presidents
Whitehouse.gov includes biographies of every president in U.S. history.

Documents, Symbols, and Anthems of the United States (PDF, 8.53 MB)
The Citizen's Almanac is a USCIS publication that promotes the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship and includes information on prominent foreign-born Americans, presidential quotes on citizenship, patriotic songs and poems, and several of our founding documents.

Short Film on U.S. History and the Rights and Responsibilities of U.S. Citizenship
A Promise of Freedom: An Introduction to U.S. History and Civics for Immigrants is a 12-minute film that focuses on the history and founding of our nation, and the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.

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