자료원 : 한국컴퓨터선교회 세계선교정보연구원 / 전문연구원 오숙 firstname.lastname@example.org
서양근대사를 전공하고 남편(물리학전공)과 함께 유학중인 1남1녀의 어머니입니다. 어려서 부터 신앙생활을 해오고 있으며 현재 유학생활이 거의 7년정도 되었습니다. 미국 위스콘신 매디슨에서 공부하고 있고 현지 한인교회를 섬기고 있습니다.
발행일 : 98년 03월 11일
The total area of the United States (including the District of Columbia) is 9,629,047 sq. km (3,717,796 sq. mi.)
According to the 1990 census, the resident population of the United States was 248,709,873. The population grew by 9.8 percent during the decade from 1980 to 1990. The 1997 estimated population was 266,993,ooo.
The United States is becoming a more diverse society racially and ethnically. As a percentage of the country's population, the white majority was reported as reduced somewhat between the 1970s and early 1990s both by migration from Asia, Latin America, and other areas and by higher population growth rates among blacks.
English is the main language of the United States and is spoken by the great majority of U.S. residents.
Nearly 32 million U.S. residents age 5 or older speak a language other than English at home. Of this total, Approximately 54 percent speak Spanish, making Spanish the second most widely spoken language in the United States.
Located at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers and flanked by Maryland on the north, east, and southeast and by Virginia on the southwest. The city of Washington is coextensive with the District of Columbia (D.C.), the federal district of the United States. Established in 1800 as the seat of national government, a role that still dominates its existence. Washington is today the core of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country and serves as a center of both national and international politics and diplomacy. The city's population was 606,900 in 1990.
Head of state & government: Bill Clinton from 1993
Political system: Liberal Democracy
Two major political parties existed in the United States in the 1990s. The Democratic Party was founded in the 1790s as the Anti-Federalists, became the Democratic-Republic Party in 1801, and was renamed the Democratic Party in 1828. The Republican Party was found in 1854 as a third party and became one of the two major parties in 1860. Parties other than the Democratic and Republican parties are of minor importance in most national and state elections, and no third party candidate has ever won the presidency. Third parties have played only a minor role in Congress.
In the late 20th century the Democrates were split into two major factions. The northern Democrats as a rule favored national action to solve social problems, emphasized government regulation of the economy, and favored strong action to aid minorities. The southern Democrats were more conservative in fiscal, economic regulation, and social matters.
Republicans were less divided in their economic approach, favoring reduced social services to help balance the budget to lower inflation, and tax cuts to promote industrial development. Division among Republicans occurred on social issues involving such matters as abortion and civil rights, however.
The United States has been the world's leading industrial nation since early in the 20th century. Until the second half of the 19th century, agriculture remained the dominant U.S. economic activity. After the Civil War ended in 1865, great advances were made in the production of basic industrial goods. By the time of World War ? (1914-1918), exports of manufactured goods had become more important than the export of raw materials; as manufacturing grew, agriculture became increasingly mechanized and efficient, employing fewer and fewer workers. The most important development in the economy since World War 2 (1939-1945) has been the tremendous growth of service industries, government, professional services, trade, and financial activities. In the mid-1990s the United States led all nations of the world in the yearly value of its economic production. The nation's annual GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was $7.2 trillion in 1995. With a per-capita GDP of $27,600, the people of the United States had one of the world's highest standards of living.
GDP by economic sector (1993)
Education is offered at all levels from prekindergarten to graduate school by both public and private institutions. Elementary and secondary education involves 12 years of schooling, the successful completion of which leads to a high school diploma. Public elementary and secondary education is supported financially by three levels of government-local, state, and federal.
In most of the United States, illiteracy has been virtually eliminated. However, census estimates suggest that 2.4 percent of the population over age 25 is functionally illiterate, that is, they are unable to read and write well enough to meet the demands of everyday life. Among Americans aged 25 and older in 1995, 82 percent had completed high school.
1) History: The New England Separatists and Puritans came to North America in order to worship in their own way, without interference from the Church of England. The first group to reach New England was the Separatists called the Pilgrims, who in 1620 founded the Plymouth Colony. The colony, with its church, was absorbed eventually by the more powerful Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was founded in 1629 by Puritans. The churches of the Puritans were organized as separate congregations, each bound together by a covenant taken by its members; the name of the Puritans' organized church was derived from this emphasis on congregationalism. Religion was the focal point of social and political life in New England. Until 1691 the Massachusetts Bay Colony was a theocracy, in which church attendance was compulsory, and church membership a qualification for voting and holding office. Non-Congregationalist denominations, notably the Baptists and Quakers, were regarded with hostility and often persecuted by the colonial government. Noteworthy among those who rebelled against this alliance between church and state was Roger Williams, who in 1636 left the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded the community of Providence, located in what is now the state of Rhode Island. Williams, whose colony became a haven for people of many creeds, established the first Baptist church in America in 1639.
The Middle Atlantic colonies provided a more congenial climate for freedom of religion than did the New England and South Atlantic colonies. The first European settlers of the Middle Atlantic region were the Dutch, who first founded trading posts along the Hudson River about 1613. They founded the colony of New Netherlands in 1625, bringing to it the beliefs and practices of the Reformed church. The first organized group of Jewish settlers in North America arrived in New Amsterdam, the capital of New Netherlands, in 1654. After New Netherlands was seized (1664) by the British, the Church of England became influential there, and by the beginning of the 18th century it was the establish church of the four most populous counties of New York. Delaware and New Jersey, which had been parts of New Netherlands, maintained a complete separation of church and state. The territory now comprising Maryland was granted in 1632 to the Calvert family, who was English Roman Catholics. Members of the family colonized the region in 1634 with the aim of providing a haven for their persecuted coreligionist; eventually, Anglicanism was made the established religion of Maryland. Pennsylvania, under the terms of a charter granted in 1681, was founded by the English Quaker William Penn as a haven for adherents of all religions. Lutheranism was established during the colonial period in Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware. Presbyterianism was introduced on a large scale into the Middle Atlantic colonies by Scottish and Scotch-Irish settlers during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Methodists settled in the Middle Atlantic region, notably in New York, during the latter half of the 18th century.
A liberalizing influence on the religion of colonial America was the revivalist movement known as the Great Awakening, which developed in the middle of the 18th century. Inspired by the evangelical preaching of several ministers, most prominently the Congregationalist clergyman Jonathan Edwards in New England, the Presbyterian minister Gilbert Tennent in the Middle Atlantic region, and the visiting British evangelist George Whitefield, the movement eventually spread to all the colonies. The general effect of the Great Awakening was to increase the strength of the Methodist and Baptist denominations, and to pave the way for the separation of church and state when the United States became an independent nation. The ratification in 1788 of the Constitution of the United States marked the beginning of a new era in American Religion. The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." After the adoption of the Constitution those states with established religions gradually eliminated their church-state ties; the last state to do so was Massachusetts, which disestablished its church in 1833.
During the first half of the 19th century the population of the United States was overwhelmingly Protestant; it included relatively few Catholics and Jews, and almost no adherents of such non-Christian religions as Islam and Buddhism. The first Roman Catholics bishop in the United States was John Carroll, bishop of Baltimore. The number of Roman Catholics was increased greatly beginning about 1820 by the arrival of large numbers of Irish immigrants; as a result of potato famines more than 1 million people emigrated from Ireland to the United States between 1845 and 1855. Following the unsuccessful popular uprisings of 1848 in Germany, large numbers of German Lutherans migrated to the United States. In the latter half of the century most of the immigration was from countries in southern and eastern Europe-notably Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Russia-from which came large numbers of Catholics and Jews.
Among the religious developments of the 19th century was the founding of several indigenous American denominations, among which were The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known popularly as the Mormons, the Church of Christ, Scientist; the Seventh-day Adventist Church; and Jehovah's Witnesses. Within the major denominations, slavery and other social questions were important issues in church affairs, resulting in sectional divisions and fragmentation of church bodies.
The United States today is primarily Christian, but other religious and a large variety of denominations and sects add religious diversity.
Cooperative work among the churches in the United States is carried on by various interdenominational bodies, among them the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Some churches belong to the World Council of Churches, which is an organization that works on the international and interdenominational levels.
2) The Bible in English: The history of the English Bible is the history of the movement of the Bible from its possession and use by clergy alone to the hands of the laity. It is also the history of the formation of the English language from a mixture of French, Anglo-Norman, and Anglo-Saxon. Even though Christianity reached England in the 3rd century, the Bible remained in Latin and almost Exclusively in the hands of the clergy for a thousand years. Between the 7th and 14th centuries, portion of the Bible were translated into English, and in 1382 the first complete English Bible appeared in manuscript. It was the work of the English reformer John Wycliffe, whose goal was to give the Bible to the people.
3) Modern Mission Work: The social, political, and economic upheavals of the 20th century have affected all aspects of life. With the Russian Revolution and Soviet expansion, the Eastern Orthodox churches lost some of their influence. Despite official hostility to religion in the Soviet sphere, however, notable work was accomplished there by the Society of Friends, one of the few religious groups permitted to work. Through the American Friends Service Committee, Quakers have carried out social service programs in many other parts of the world as well. The development of communism in China ended missionary work in that country, and in many African countries the growth of nationalism has been accompanied by a tendency to identify Christianity with Colonialism.
These events have brought a change in direction to the mission field. A new emphasis is being placed on Christian unity, rather than denominationalism, in mission activity. Nationals in the traditional missionary target areas, the developing countries, are being given responsible position in their church organizations. Conversion is seen to be increasingly the task of national autonomous churches. A new evangelical movement, the Pentecostal movement, has become a force in world Protestantism.
A trend away from evangelism in the 19602 was the result of other problems. Missionary movements around the world responded with service activities: in the inner cities, refugee camps, settlements and children's villages. The work carried out by Americans in the U.S. was directed more and more toward health, welfare, and vocational and recreational services for migratory farm workers, Native Americans, Spanish-speaking minorities, and others. In the 1970s, however, emphasis on evangelism again increased.