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3_USA

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3)USA The United States of America is the fourth largest country in the world in size, which occupies approximately 9.4 million square kilometres, and consists of 50 states and of the federal capital territory. 48 states are together in North America and cover more than one third of this continent. The other two states, Alaska and Hawaii, are separated. Alaska lies in the north-west of North America and the Hawaiian islands are in the Pacific Ocean. The northern border is with Canada and includes the Great Lakes – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior (HOMES). It is the biggest reservoir of fresh water in the world and Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world. The southern border is with Mexico along the Rio Grand River. On the east coast is the Atlantic Ocean and on the west coast is the Pacific Ocean. Alaska borders also with Russia and is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean. The terrain of the USA is extremely varied. We can find many mountain ranges there, such as the Rocky Mountains in the west or the Appalachian Mountains in the east, with very popular Appalachian Trail for the tourists. But there are also coastal plains in the south and The Great Plains in the centre of the continent with many farms and ranches. This large flat area is sometimes called „the Tornado Alley“ because it’s the area where the tornados often occur. The highest mountain in the continental region is the Mount McWhitney in Sierra Nevada and the highest point of the whole country is the Mount McKinley in Alaska, which is about 6.2 kilometres high. The interesting part of the US terrain is also the Death Valley, which is the lowest, driest and hottest location. In the USA we can find many large rivers. The longest one is Mississippi with the inflow Missouri. Other well-known rivers are for example the Hudson, Colorado, Colombia or Yukon in Alaska. And the Niagara River connects lakes Erie and Ontario forming the world famous Niagara Falls. The climate is also very varied, with the arctic cold in Alaska and subtropical warm in Hawaii. The continental climate is common on the Great Plains and on the west part the climate is mild. The population of the US counts over 300 million people. The USA is one of the most multiracial countries in the world, sometimes it is called „the melting pot of nations“. Its population is composed of 80% of white people, 12% of African American and 8% of the other races, such as the Asian and Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Eskimos and many more. The US doesn’t have an official language but in fact it is the American English. A large Hispanic community also speaks Spanish. The capital city of the US is Washington DC and some of the major cities in the country include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Detroit and Boston. The United States of America is the first modern national federation formed in the 18th century. Every state has its own government with the governor as the head of the state. Political system consists of the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branch. All three branches have their centre in DC. The Legislative branch create the laws, includes the Congress with two houses - the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Executive branch exekute the laws, it‘s the President, the Vice President and the Cabinet. The President is the head of the state and government. He is also the commander-in-chief and chief diplomat. The current US president is Barack Obama who is the 44th president of the USA and also the first African American president in the history. The Judicial branch which represent the laws is formed by the Supreme Court of the United States and the other smaller courts. Today, the two major political parties are the Democrats and the Republicans. The Democratic Party is more liberal and focused on social development and the Republican Party is conservative and focused on developing in bussines. The American flag is sometimes called Old Glory and has two parts - the smaller blue one with 50 white stars symbolising the 50 states, and the larger one with 6 white and 7 red stripes symbolising the 13 original British colonies. The national anthem isThe Star Spangled Banner. Now I’m going to tell a brief history of the USA. The North American continent was probably first discovered by the Vikings around the year 1000, but we consider Christopher Columbus as the first one. He landed on the Carribean Islands in 1492 and because he thought he had reached the shores of India, he named the natives „Indians“. In the next centuries, North America became the object of Spanish, Dutch, British and French colonizers. The first colony was founded in Jamestown (Virginia) in 1607 by the English. Puritans also called the Pilgrims came in 1620 as the first settlers of the Plymouth colony. They had problems during the winter and lots of them died, but in spring they started to plant corn and other plants with the help of Indians and in November they celebrated good harvest and started a tradition of the Thanksgiving day. America was still under British government. They depended on Britain politically and economically. Then Britain started to charge new taxes and the colonizers refused to pay because they didn’t have their representatives in the British Parliament. In 1773, a group of patriots, who were dressed as the Native Americans, threw a cargo of British tea into the sea in Boston Harbour. This event is known as the Boston Tea Party and it was the first open conflict between British and Americans which led to the War of Independence. The United States of America were created on July 4, 1776, when they became independent from the United Kingdom. On this day the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence but it lasted a few more years than the war ended. The first president of the USA was George Washington. 1800s to 1850s was a period of Indian Wars and expanding westward. Then, in the 1860s, the econo

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