The United States of America is a federal republic consisting of 50 states and a federal district, where the capitol, Washington, D.C., is located.
The 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. Alaska is at the northwestern end of North America, separated from the Lower 48 by Canada, while Hawaii lies far to the southwest of the mainland in the Pacific Ocean.
States are the primary subdivisions of the United States, and possess a number of powers and rights under the US Constitution, such as regulating intrastate commerce, running elections, creating local governments, and ratifying constitutional amendments. Each state has its own constitution, grounded in republican principles, and government, consisting of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. All states and their residents are represented in the federal Congress, which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each state is represented by two Senators, while Representatives are distributed among the states in proportion to the most recent population.