The United States of America


The United States of America

:

The United States of America

10-

- 7

³ 2001

PLAN

1. The USA

2. American symbols

3. The US government

4. What are americans fond of?

5. The capital of the usa

6. places of sightseeing

7. holidays in the usa

8. famous people of america

The united states of america.

The United States of America is the fourth largest country in the

world (after Russia, Canada and China). It occupies the southern part of

North America and stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. It also

includes Alaska in the north and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. The total

area of the country is about nine and a half million square kilometres. The

USA borders on Canada in the north and on Mexico in the south. It also has

a seaboarder with Russia.

The USA is made up of 50 states and the District of Columbia, a

special federal area where the capital of the country, Washington, is

situated. The population of the country is about 250 million.

If we look at the map of the USA, we can see lowlands and mountains.

The highest mountains are the Rocky Mountains, the Cordillera and the

Sierra Nevada. The highest peak is Mount McKinley, which is located in

Alaska.

America's largest rivers are the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Rio

Grande and the Columbia. The Great Lakes on the border with Canada are the

largest and deepest in the USA.

The climate of the country varies greatly. The coldest regions are in

the north. The climate of Alaska is arctic. The climate of the central part

is continental. The south has subtropical climate. Hot winds blowing from

the Gulf of Mexico often bring typhoons. The climate along the Pacific

coast is much warmer than that of the Atlantic coast.

The USA is a highly developed industrial country. It is the world's

leading producer of copper and oil and the world's second producer of iron

ore and coal. Among the most important manufacturing industries are

aircraft, cars, textiles, radio and television sets, armaments, furniture

and paper.

Though mainly European and African in origin, Americans are made up

from nearly all races and nations, including Chinese and native Americans.

The largest cities are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia,

Detroit, San Francisco and others.

The United States is a federal union of 50 states, each of which has

its own government. The seat of the central (federal) government is

Washington, DC. According to the US Constitution the powers of the

government are divided into 3 branches: the executive, headed by the

President, the legislative, exercised by the Congress, and the juridical.

The Congress consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. There

are two main political parties in the USA: the Republican and the

Democratic.

American Symbols

The American flag is often called The Stars and Stripes, it is also

called "Old Glory". It represents the growth of the nation. It has 13

horizontal stripes, 7 red and 6 white which stand for the original 18

states. In the top left hand corner there are 50 white stars on a blue

background: one star for each state. The national anthem of the United

States is The Star Spangled Banner". The words written during the Anglo-

American war of 1812-1814 and set to the music of an old song. Every state

has its own flag, its own emblem and its own anthem too.

The eagle became the national emblem of the country in 1782. It has an

olive branch (a symbol of peace) and arrows (a symbol of strength). You can

see the eagle on the back of a dollar bill.

The Statue of Liberty is the symbol of American democracy. It stands

on Liberty Island in New York. It one of the first things people see when

they arrive in New York by sea. This National Monument was a present form

France to the USA. France gave the statue to America in 1884 as a symbol of

friendship. Liberty carries the torch of freedom - in her right hand. In

her left hand she is holding a tablet with the inscription "July 4,1776" -

American Independence Day.

The US Congress

The Congress of the United States is composed of two houses: Senate

and the House of Representatives. The Senate presents the states and the

House represents the population according to its distribution among the

states. Each state is guaranted at least one representative in the House.

The remainder are apportioned among the states according to their

population. The Senate of US is composed one of the hundred members two

being elected from each state. Senators are chosen for six years, one-third

retiring or seeking is re-elected every two years. Two senators from the

same state never finish their terms at the same time, one of them is called

"Senior Senator" and the other - "Junior Senator".

The presiding officer of the senate is the Vice-President of the

United States, The Vice-President is not a member of the chamber over which

he presides and he sometimes is not a member of the party in power.

The work of the US Congress is done mostly in different committees.

The mostly important Rules, Appropriation Foreign Relations, Finance, Armed

Services.

In the House of Representatives the most important are Rules,

Appropriation, Ways and Means, Judiciary, Agriculture.

The chairmen of the standing committees are considered the real rules

of the Senate and the House.

what are americans fond of?

Americans are very fond of sport. The most popular sports in the USA

are football, which is played from April to October , baseball, played from

September to December, basketball, played from October to April and ice

hockey, played in most nor then cities from October to March.

American football derives from the English game of rugby. It started

at Harvard University in the 1870's. It is a game for two teams of eleven

men on the field. The object of the game is to have the control of the ball

and to score points by carrying it across the goal-line.

Baseball is a team game derived from the English game of cricket. It

is played with a bat and ball by two teams of nine players each, on a field

with four bases. Baseball is the national game in the USA and it is very

popular in Canada too.

Basketball is a game which nowadays is popular all over the world. It

was invented in 1891. During the 20s the first US league championship was

organized. In the 70s American Championship was divided into two leagues:

the ABA (American Basketball Association), which does not exist any longer

and which played with a blue, red and white ball and the NBA (National

Basketball Association).

There are more activities which Americans take part in such as golf,

swimming, tennis, aerobics, wrestling, etc.

The capital of the usa

The beautiful city of Washington D.C. is the capital of the United

States and the centre of its government. The capital was named after the

first president George Washington and was founded in 1790. It is situated

on the Potomac River in the District of Columbia. Washington is not the

largest city in the USA. It has a population only 900000.

Washington D.C. has nothing characteristically American in it, as its

conception is purely French. It has long wide avenues, gardens, beautiful

parks and no skyscrapers at all. Washington is the residence of the

President and the Congress of the USA. The White House is the Presidents

residence, the Capitol the seat of the American Congress. The largest and

the tallest among the buildings is the Capitol with its great House of

Representatives and Senate Chamber. There are no skyscrapers because no

other building must be taller than the Capitol. All american presidents

except George Washington (the White House was not yet built in his time)

have lived in the White House. It was built in 1799.

Washington is a large scientific and cultural centre, where there are

many research institutes, five universities, the National Academy of

Science and the Library of Congress.

There is one more well-known building in Washington Pentagon, the

residence of the US Military department. It is situated in the suburbs to

the south of the Potomac.

places of sightseeing

The Pentagon is a building in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington,

D.C. It has the offices of the U.S. Department of Defense. The Department

of Defense includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.

The word pentagon comes from the Greek penta, which means five. A

pentagon is a figure with five sides. The Pentagon has five rings. The

rings are inside each other. Each ring has five sides. How tall do you

think the Pentagon is? The answer is easy. Each ring is five stories tall.

The Pentagon is the largest office building in the world. It has

seventeen miles of halls. People can get lost in the Pentagon. So the walls

on each floor are a different color (brown, green, red, gray, and blue).

This helps people to know where they are. There are also many maps in the

halls.

The Pentagon is so big that it is like a city. Almost 30,000 people

work there. The Pentagon has its own doctors, dentists, and nurses. It has

its own banks and stores. It has a post office, a fire department, and a

police department. It also has an important center for communications. This

center guards the country. It is hundreds of feet under the ground. The

Pentagon even has its own radio and TV stations.

New York

New York is one of the largest cities in the world and the biggest

seaport. It's the financial capital of the country. Its the business

centre of the United States. The city is situated in New York State, at the

mouth of the Hudson river. Its population is over eight million. In early

times the New York area was populated by Indians. It is here in Wall street

many business offices, banks and world famous New York stock exchange are

situated.

New York is an industrial and cultural centre of the country. The most

important branches of industry are those producing vehicles, glass,

chemicals. New York is also a great cultural centre. It has many museums,

art galleries, theatres, ballet. There are two world-famous streets in New

York Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Broadway is the centre of the theatres

and night life. Fifth Avenue is the great shopping, hotel and club avenue.

The Empire State Building is at Fifth Avenue. It's a 102-storeyed

building, was built in 1931. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is at Fifth

Avenue. It includes hundreds of world famous masterpieces and attracts many

visitors.

The Statue of Liberty is the symbol of American democracy. It stands

on Liberty Island in New York port. Liberty.

Today New York City is informally called The Big Apple, The origin

of this name is unknown , but it is popular all over the world.

BEVERLY HILLS

Most visitors to Los Angeles, California want to go and see Beverly

Hills. This is where you find the homes of the movie stars. But Beverly

Hills is not Los Angeles. It is h small city next to Los Angeles.

All kinds of celebrities live in Beverly Hills. These celebrities may

be movie stars, television stars, sports stars, or other people in the

news. Tourists can buy special maps for the homes of the stars. These homes

are very beautiful. They usually have swimming pools and tennis courts. But

some times you cannot see very much. The homes have high wall or trees

around them.

Beverly Hills is also famous for Rodeo Drive. This is one of the most

expensive shopping streets in the United States. Rodeo Drive started to be

an elegant street in the 1960s. Many famous stores were opened on the

street. People liked all the new styles and fashions they could buy. Today,

you can find the most expensive and unusual clothing, jewelry, and

furniture in the world on Rodeo Drive. Rodeo Drive is a very special

street. When you want to park your car in public parking, an attendant will

come and park your car for you.

Beverly Hills is really a small city. Only about 35,000 people live

there. But during the day more than 200,000 people come to Beverly Hills to

work or to shop.

Holidays in the USA

There are no national holidays in the United States. Each of the 50

states has jurisdiction over its holidays. In practice, however, most

states observe the federal (legal) public holidays, even though the

President and Congress can legally designate holidays only for federal

government employees.

Ten holidays per year are proclaimed by the federal government. They

are as follows:

New Year's Day (January 1)

Martin Luther King Day (third Monday in January)

George Washingtons Birthday (third Monday in February)

Memorial Day (last Monday in May)

Independence Day (July 4)

Labour Day (first Monday in September)

Columbus Day (second Monday in October)

Veteran's Day (November 11)

Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)

Christmas (December 25).

There is no many traditional holidays, observed by a large number of

Americans, which are neither legal nor official. Among these are

Valentines Day, St. Patrics Day, Mothers Day and Halloween (the last day

of October).

Valentines Day has had a long and romantic history. February 14 was

the Roman date of the festival, where were games and dancing and then each

young man drew from an urn the name of the girl who would be his sweetheart

for the coming year. In the seventh century the festival began to be called

St. Valentines Day.

Valentines Day is the sweet-hearts holiday when people in love

express affection for each other in different ways. The young people can do

it though a small gift or a card.

HALLOWEEN

On October 31, Americans celebrate Halloween. Halloween means "holy"

(hallow) evening (een). This is the evening before the Christian holiday

All Saints Day. On All Saints Day, Christians remember the saints. But

Halloween is even older than Christianity.

Before Christianity, people in Europe believed that on October 31

ghosts of dead people came back. To scare the ghosts, people dressed like

devils and were very noisy. They also made big fires to keep the ghosts

away. Later, people did not believe in ghosts, but they kept the day of

Halloween for fun.

Immigrants came from Europe to America and brought with them the

custom of Halloween. Halloween has some strange symbols. One symbol is the

jack-o'-lantern in the window. The jack-o-lantern is to scare the ghosts.

People cut the pumpkin, throw away all of the inside, and cut a face in it.

Then they put a candle inside of it. Jack-o-lanterns usually look scary,

too.

Today, in the United States, Halloween is very popular with children.

They wear masks and special costumes. They want to look like skeletons and

ghosts. Then they go from house to house and say, Trick or treat! People

give them candies, cookies, or fruit. When people give nothing, the

children sometimes play tricks on them.

Independence Day

On July 4 the Americans celebrate their national holiday

Independence Day. The United States gained independence as a result of

gradual and painful process. By the mid 1700s,it became difficult for

thirteen British colonies in the New World to be ruled by a king 3.000

miles across the ocean. The British empire imposed high taxes upon the

colonies.

In 1774, the First Continental Congress drew up a list of grievances

against the British crown. This document was the first draft of the

document that would formally separate colonies from England. In 1775, the

Revolutionary War began July 2,1776, the Second Continental Congress

presented a second draft of the list of grievances. On July 4 the

Continental Congress approved the Declaration of independence. But the

War of independence lasted until 1783. After the war Independence Day

became an official holiday.

On July 4, Americans have holiday from work. People have day-long

picnics with favorite foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, baked

beans. Lively music is heard everywhere. People play baseball or compete at

three-legged races. or pie-eating or water-melon-eating contests. Some

cities have parades with people dressed as the original founding fathers

who march to the music of high school bands. In the evening people gather

to watch firework displays. Wherever Americans are around the globe they

will get together to celebrate Independence Day.

Thanksgiving

In1620, a religious community sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to

settle in the New World. They settled in what is now known as the state of

Massachusettes. Their first winter in America was difficult. They arrived

too late to grow a rich harvest. Moreover, half the colony died from

desease. The following spring the Iroquois Indians taught them how to grow

corn. Indians showed them also how to grow other crops and how to hunt and

fish.

In the autumn of 1621 they got a beautiful harvest of corn, barley,

beans and pumpkins. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so they

planned a feast. Local Indian chief and ninety Indians were present. The

colonists learned from Indians how to cook cranberries and dishes of corn

and pumpkins.

In following years many of the colonists celebrated the harvest with a

feast of thanks. After the United States gained independence, Congress

recommended one yearly day of thanksgiving for the whole country. Later,

George Washington suggested the date November 26 as Thanksgiving Day.

Then, after the civil war, Abraham Lincoln suggested the last Thursday in

November to be the day of thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving Day, family members gather at the house of an older

relative, even if they live far away. All give thanks for everything good

they have. Charitable organization offer traditional meal to the homeless.

Food, eaten at the first thanksgiving, have become traditional. The

traditional thanksgiving mean consists of roast turkey stuffed with herb-

flavoured bread, cranberry jelly, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. Other

dishes may vary as to region: ham, sweet potatoes, creamed corn.

Christmas

Christmas is Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus

Christ. No one knows the exact date of Christs birth but most Christie

celebrate Christmas on December 25. People in the United States decorate

their homes with Christmas trees, wreaths and ornaments. City streets are

filled with colored lights; the sound of bells and Christmas carols can be

heard everywhere.

Children write letters to Santa Claus and tell him what presents they

would like to get. Many department stores hire people to wear a Santa Claus

costume and listen to childrens reguests. People send Christmas cards to

relatives and friends.

A Christmas tree is one of the main symbols of Christmas in most

homes. Presents are placed under the tree. On Christmas Eve or Christmas

morning, families open their presents. Some children hang up stockings so

Santa Claus can fill them with candy, fruit and other small gift.

In many parts of the United States groups of people walk from house to

house and sing Christmas carols. Some people give singers money or small

gifts or invite them for a warm drunk.

Many people attend church services on Christmas Eve or Christmas

moning. They listen to readings from Bible and singing Christmas carols.

A traditional Christmas dinner consists of stuffed turkey, mashed

potatoes, cranberry sauce and a variety of other dishes. Some families have

ham or roast goose of turkey. Pumpkin pie, plum pudding, and fruitcake are

favourite desserts.

famous people of america

MARK TWAIN

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known to most people as Mark Twain, was born

and spent his boyhood in a small town on the Mississippi River. When he

grew up, he became a river pilot.

Later he went west and worked as a newspaper reporter. While he was on

this job he began to sign his articles Mark Twain. From then on Clemens

used Mark Twain as his pen-name.

Clemens worked on other newspaper, travelled, and gave lectures.

Clemens spent his summers on his farm. There he wrote The Adventures

of Tom Sawyer, published in 1876. Tom in the story is really Mark Twain.

Huckleberry Finn is his close boyhood friend, Tom Blankenship. The book

tells of the boys exciting adventures.

Later Clemens wrote a sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are among the most popular books ever

published in the United States. Among Mark Twains other books are Joan of

Arc, Life on the Mississippi.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States. He

was born in Kentucky in 1809. His family was very poor. When Lincoln was a

boy, he worked on his familys farm. He did not go to school. He taught

himself to read and write. Later, Lincoln studied law and became a lawyer.

After that, he became a politician.

Everybody liked Abraham Lincoln because he was intelligent and hard-

working. Lincoln was very ambitious. He wanted to be good at everything he

did. He said that he wanted to win the race of life. He was also kind and

honest. People called him Honest Abe.

Lincoln became president in 1860. In 1861, there was a war between the

North and the South of the United States. The people in the South wanted a

separate government from the United States. The North wanted the United

States to stay together as one country. Lincoln was the leader of the

North. In the war, brother killed brother. The Civil War was four years

long.

The North won the Civil War. The war ended on April 9, 1865. Six days

later, President Lincoln and his wife went to the theatre. Inside the

theatre, a man went behind the president and shot him in the head. The

mans name was John Wilkes Booth. He was a supporter of the South. Lincoln

died the next morning.

THOMAS ALVA EDISON

Thomas Alva Edison was born in 1847. He was sick a lot when he was

young. Edisons mother taught him lessons at home and he only studied the

things he wanted to know. At the age of ten, he read his first science

book. After he read the book, he built a laboratory in his house. Soon,

Edison started to invent things. He was interested in the telegraph and

electricity. At the age of twenty-three, he made a special telegraphic

machine and sold it for a lot of money. With this money, he was now free to

invent all the time.

Edison started his own laboratory at Menio Park, New Jersey. He hired

mechanics and chemists to help him. He worked day and night. Once, he

worked on forty-five inventions at the same time. Edison did not sleep very

much, but he took naps. He often fell asleep with his clothes on.

Did you know Edison invented wax paper, fire alarms, the battery, and

motion pictures? But his favourite invention was the phonograph, or record

player. He invented the phonograph in 1876. His other famous invention was

the light bulb. Edison died in 1931, at the age of eighty-four. He had over

1,300 inventions to his name! Many people say that Edison was a genius

one of the smartest people in the world.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY

Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest 20th-century American writers.

His incredible career, and the legend which developed around his impressive

personality, was that of a man of action, a devil-may-care adventurer, a

brave war correspondent, an amateur boxer, a big-game hunter and deep-sea

fisherman, the victim of three car accidents and two plane crashes, a man

of four wives and many loves, but above all a brilliant writer of stories

and novels.

Hemingway was born in 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was a

doctor who initiated the boy into the outdoor life of hunting, camping and

fishing. In high school Hemingway played football and wrote for the school

newspaper.

In 1917, when the United States entered the First World War, Hemingway

left home and schooling to become a young reporter for the Kansas City

Star. He wanted to enlist for the war but was rejected because of an eye

injury from football. Finally he managed to go to Europe as an ambulance

driver for the Red Cross. He joined the Italian army and was seriously

wounded.

His war experience and adventurous life provided the background for

his many short stories and novels. He achieved success with A Farewell to

Arms, the story of a love affair between an American lieutenant and an

English nurse during the First World War.

Hemingway actively supported the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War

and wrote another successful novel of war, love and death. It was For Whom

the Bell Tolls.

During the Second World War Hemingway was a war correspondent first in

China and then in Europe. He fought in France, and helped to liberate

Paris.

In his later years Hemingway lived mostly in Cuba where his passion

for deep-sea fishing provided the background for The Old Man and the Sea.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954.

Unwilling to live with the inevitable physical aging, Hemingway

committed suicide, as his father had done before him under similar

circumstances.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT

Theodore Roosevelt was the twenty-sixth president of the United

States. He was president from 1901 to 1909. He was a very intelligent man.

He was also very energetic. He was a boxer, a soldier, a rancher, and an

explorer.

This energetic man was not strong when he was a boy. He had some

problems with his breathing. He had asthma. His father wanted him to be

strong. Roosevelt learned to box and did many other sports. Soon Roosevelt

became strong and energetic.

After he became president, Roosevelt kept his body strong. He even

boxed in the White House. One day, another boxer hit him in the eye. After

that accident, Roosevelt became blind in one eye.

Theodore Roosevelts nickname was Teddy. Everybody called him Teddy.

When he was president, he often went hunting. One day he went hunting with

some friends and saw a little bear. He did not shoot the bear. He said the

bear was too small and must go free. The next day the story of the little

bear was in the newspapers. The newspapers named the little bear Teddy

after the president. Soon people called toy bears for children teddy

bears.

When he left the White House, Teddy Roosevelt went to hunt in Africa.

He then went to South America to explore places that nobody knew about.

Everybody loved his energy.

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