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USA

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 kilometers. The USA borders on Canada in the north and Mexico in the south. It also has a sea-boarder 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 being the Rocky Mountains, the Cordillera and the Sierra Nevada, the highest peak being 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, their names being Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario.

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 a 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 being 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. It should be mentioned that chemical industry, particularly the production of plastics, glass, dyestaffs, fertilizers, is highly developed.

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, Washington 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 judicial. 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.

Washington is the capital of the USA. It is situated in the District of Columbia. It's like no other city of the USA. It's the world's largest one-industry city, that industry being government. The White House, where the US President lives and works, the Capitol, the home of the US Congress, and the Supreme Court, are all in Washington.

Washington was named after the first US President George Washington. He selected the place for the capital and Pierre L'Enfant, a French engineer, designed the city.

Washington was first settled in 1790 and since 1800 it has been the Federal capital.

Washington is one of the most beautiful and unusual cities in the United States. In the very centre of it rises the huge dome of the Capitol - a big white dome standing on a circle of pillars. The 535 members of the Congress meet here to discuss the nation's affairs. It's easy to get lost in this hige building, full of paintings and statues.

Not far from the Capitol is the library of Congress, the largest library in the States, it containing more than 13 million books, more than 19 million manuscripts, including the personal papers of the US presidents.

The White House is the official residence of the US President. He works in the Oval Office.

One can hardly find a park, a square or an open area in Washington without a monument or a memorial, the most impressive and the best-known ones being the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

There are some important museums in Washington where you can see all kinds of things: famous paintings and sculptures, the dresses of Presidents' wives, the original of the Declaration of Independence, the largest blue diamond in the world, etc.

There are 5 universities in Washington.

There are no skyscrapers in Washington, because they would hide the city's many monuments from view. No building in the city may be more than 40 meters tall.

Thousands of tourists visit Washington every day. People from all parts of the United States come to see their capital.

New York is the largest city in the United States and one of the largest cities in the world. It is situated in the natural harbour of the mouth of the Hudson River. In 1626 the Dutch Trade Company bought Manhattan Island from the local Indians for twenty four dollars. Here the Dutch founded their colony and gave it the name New Amsterdam. Forty years later the English fleet entered the harbour, captured the city and renamed it New York.

There are five "boroughs" in New York: Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Richmond. Only one of them, Bronx, is not on an island. All districts of New York are linked together by numerous bridges.

Manhattan, the smallest island in New York, is the real centre of the city. When people say "New York City" they usually mean Manhattan.

Only 1,500,000 people live in Manhattan, but five million people work here everyday. Many live in the suburbs and come to work on the subway.

Wall Street in Manhattan is the financial heart of the USA and the most important banking centre in the world.

The United Nations has its headquarters in Manhattan.

The "Big Apple", as New York City is nicknamed, has an energy that few other cities can equal. John F. Kennedy International Airport is one of the busiest in the world. More ships come into New York's harbour than into any other port in the world.

New York is a city of "skyscrapers", those incredible, high buildings which Americans invented. If you want to have a good view of New York City you can do it from the top of the World Trade Centre (110 stories) or from the Empire State Building (102 stories). Not far from the Empire State Building there is an interesting architectural ensemble - Rockefeller Centre. It was built according to one general plan. Rockefeller Centre consists of 15 skyscrapers, its houses being all kinds of offices, enterprises, theatres and music halls.

New York is the national leader in business, finance, manufacturing, advertising, fashion and the arts.

New York is often called the cultural capital of the USA. The city has the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Lincoln Arts Centre. You can see the newest plays and shows on Broadway. Broadway is the symbol of American theatre, as Hollywood is of American cinema.

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