The United States of America


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“ The United States of America ”

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Вінниця 2001

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
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

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
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 President’s
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
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. It’s the business
centre of the United States. The city is situated in New York State, at the
mouth of the Hudson river. It’s 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
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
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.

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 Washington’s 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
Valentine’s Day, St. Patric’s Day, Mother’s Day and Halloween (the last day
of October).
Valentine’s 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. Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s 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.
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,
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 1700’s,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
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.
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
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 is Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus
Christ. No one knows the exact date of Christ’s 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 children’s 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
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 Twain’s other books are “Joan of
Arc”, “Life on the Mississippi”.

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 family’s 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
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
man’s name was John Wilkes Booth. He was a supporter of the South. Lincoln
died the next morning.
Thomas Alva Edison was born in 1847. He was sick a lot when he was
young. Edison’s 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 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
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
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
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
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
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 Roosevelt’s 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
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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