Featuring National Geographic's hallmark combination of stunning images, superb maps, authoritative narrative, and concise, penetrating analysis, the Almanac of American History has been carefully designed to offer its readers not just a wider and deeper understanding of our country's development, but also an inviting mix of fascinating facts and colorful graphics that make it a browser's delight. After the Introduction by respected historian Hugh Ambrose and a special feature on how to use the Almanac's features most efficiently, the book is divided into four major parts, each exploring a different aspect of America's history. The first explores the continent's geology and geography to answer the fundamental question of how the vast, rich landscape shaped both our expanding society and our sense of ourselves. In Section 2, Milestones, twelve essays discuss how America evolved from a sparsely settled wilderness into the global leader it is today. Section 3 covers the major eras in America's history, beginning with the earliest Native Americans and closing with the first decade of a new millennium. Finally, a thematically organized section discusses such important topics as Leaders, Wars, Religion and Beliefs, and Presidents. An appendix features Milestone Documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and more. A bibliography and a comprehensive index complete this indispensable reference.