The United States of America is the fourth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada and China). The USA is situated in the central part of North America. The total area of the country is 9,522,057 square kilometers. Its western coast is washed by the Pacific Ocean. Its eastern coast is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The USA borders on Canada in the north and on Mexico in the south. It also has a sea-border with Russia.
The USA consists of three separate parts. They are the Hawaiian Islands, situated in the central part of the Pacific Ocean, Alaska separated by the Canadian territory and the rest major part of the USA.
The climate of the country varies greatly from arctic in Alaska through continental in the central part to subtropical in the south.
The United States of America is a federal republic. It consists of fifty states and the District of Columbia. The states differ very much in size, population and economic development. Each state has its own government and there is a federal or national government. Each state has its own constitution and can collect taxes.
The capital of the country is Washington D.C. (named in honour of the first President, George Washington). The population of the USA is 299,330,000 people. The seat of the federal government is Washington D.C.
According to the US Constitution (adopted after the War of Independence, September17, 1787), the powers of the government are divided into 3 branches. They are the executive, the legislative and the judicial. The executive is headed by the President and his Administration. The legislative is exercised by the US Congress. The judicial is headed by the US Supreme Court.
The President of the USA is the head of the country. The executive branch administers the laws. The US President is elected for a 4-year term. The US President commands the armed forces, conducts foreign affairs, and recommends laws to the Congress.
The Congress consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The congress’s main function is to make laws. There are 100 senators (two from each state) and 435 representatives. The number of the representatives from each state depends on the size of the state’s population. Senators are chosen for six years.
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the country and the head of the judicial branch of US government. The US Supreme Court has nine members, appointed for life. The judicial branch interprets the laws and makes sure that the new laws are in keeping with the Constitution.
There are two main political parties in the USA: the Democratic (symbolized by a “donkey”) and the Republican (its symbol is an “elephant”).
The flag of the USA is called “Stars and Stripes”. There are three colours on the flag of the USA: red, white and blue. As there are fifty states in the USA, there are fifty stars on the American flag: one star for each state. The American flag has seven red stripes and six white stripes. There is one stripe for each of the first thirteen colonies which in 1776 became independent of England.
The eagle became the official national symbol of the country in 1782. It holds an olive branch (a symbol of peace) and arrows (symbols of strength) in its paws.
The USA is one of the greatest industrial and leading agricultural nations in the world. The USA produces around 25% of the world’s industrial products, agricultural goods and services.
The USA is rich in mineral resources, such as salt, zinc, coal, copper, iron, gold, silver and oil. Such industries as machine-building, ship-building are highly developed in the country.
The most important rivers are the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Colorado, and the Sacramento. There are five Great Lakes between the USA and Canada.
The highest mountains are the Rocky Mountains, the Cordillera and the Sierra Nevada. The largest cities are New York (the city of contrasts, financial and business centre of the USA), Los Angeles, Chicago (one of the biggest industrial cities of the USA), Philadelphia, Detroit (one of the largest centres of the automobile industry), San Francisco, Washington (the capital of the country) and others.
The USA is one of the most powerful and highly developed countries in the world. It is leader of the western world.
1. Memorize the following words and expressions:
1) the Gulf of Mexico – Мексиканский залив
2) the Hawaiian Islands – Гавайские острова
3) in honour of – в честь кого-либо
4) powers — полномочия
5) to divide – разделять
6) branch – отрасль, ветвь
7) executive – исполнительный
8) legislative – законодательный
9) judicial – судебный
10) to head – возглавлять
11) to exercise – осуществлять
12) to administer –управлять; вести (дела); отправлять (правосудие)
13) to elect – избирать; выбирать (голосованием)
14) the US Supreme Court – Верховный суд
15) the US Congress – Конгресс Соединенных Штатов Америки
16) the Senate – Сенат
17) the House of Representatives – Палата представителей
18) foreign affairs – иностранные дела
19) to make sure – убеждаться, удостовериться; обеспечивать
20) to be in keeping with – согласовываться, гармонировать с чем-л.
21) stripe – полоса
22) independent – независимый
23) eagle – орел
24) olive – оливковый
25) arrow – стрела
26) strength – сила
27) goods – товар, товары
28) copper – медь
29) the Missouri – Миссури
30) the Colorado – Колорадо
31) the Sacramento - Сакраменто
32) the Rocky Mountains – Скалистые горы
33) the Cordillera – Кордильеры
34) the Sierra Nevada – Сьерра Невада
35) powerful – сильный, могучий
2. Answer the following question:
1) What countries are larger than the USA?
2) Where is the USA situated?
3) What is the total area of the USA?
4) What countries border on the USA?
5) What parts does the USA consist of?
6) How does the climate of the USA vary?
7) How many states are there in the USA?
8) What is the capital of the USA?
9) What is the population of the USA?
10) Where is the seat of the federal government?
11) When was the Constitution of the USA adopted?
12) How many branches are the powers of the government divided into? What are they?
13) Who is the executive of the USA headed by?
14) The legislative is exercised by the US Congress, isn’t it? What does the Congress consist of?
15) Who is the judicial headed by?
16) Who is the head of the country?
17) What are the functions of the US President?
18) What does the US Congress consist of?
19) What is the main function of the US Congress?
20) How many senators and representatives are there in the US Congress?
21) What is the highest court in the country?
22) What are the functions of the judicial branch?
23) What are the main political parties in the USA?
24) What is the flag of the USA?
25) Why are there fifty stars on the flag of the USA?
26) What do the stripes on the American flag mean?
27) What is the official national symbol of the USA? What do the arrows mean? What does the olive branch mean?
28) Why is the USA one of the most developed countries in the world?
29) What does the USA produce?
30) What mineral resources is the USA rich in?
31) What branches of industry are highly developed in the country?
32) What are the main rivers and lakes of the USA?
33) What are the highest mountains in the USA?
34) What are the largest cities in the USA?
3. Complete the following sentences:
1) The Congress consists of … .
2) The USA is situated … .
3) Its eastern coast is washed by … .
4) According to the US Constitution … .
5) The largest cities are … .
6) The USA produces around … .
7) There are two main political … .