Oh, I didn't know that. So you would also say "The Alps is beautiful." ?
(For me that sounds really strange as in German 'die Alpen' would always be followed by a verb in the plural.)
One lives and learns!
With no prepositions I'm surprised that they don't do a larger tourist trade.
In the USA we have "The United Sates of America" (singular, proper noun), but a description of those states given this way is plural: These united states of America (this is used for dramatic emphasis, and only "America" is a proper noun).
Because these are adjectives and not a proper name, "these", "united" and "states" need not be capitalized.
This parallels The Alps, and the Alps (singular, plural). As a mountain range I would capitalize "The" as a description I would not.
This is a very interesting aspect Packard. When I saw Resa Reader's post, I sort of thought it might be something similar to the singular used for The United States of America, but I would never have dreamed that there are some many tricky "details" involved with such a drastic impact on the grammar. Thanks a lot for your input. This forum is a great place to learn. MikeLynn