U.S.A. is only a little smaller than Europe. It is bounded to north by Canada, to the west by the Pacific Ocean, to the south by Mexico and the Straits of Florida and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. The two newest states, Alaska and Hawaii stand apart - with Alaska bordering on northwest Canada and Hawaii lying in the central Pacific.
The USA - the richest and one of the biggest countries in the world - has several names. People say "the United States", "the States", "America", or just "the USA", or "the US". It is a home for more than 243 million people. The American Indians were the first people to live in this waste land. They had a fascinating, ancient culture and a rich tradition of language and customs. When Christopher Columbus arrived, in 1492, there were probably about 1 500 000 Indians in North America. But then immigrants came. Most came from Europe, but there were also many from the Middle East and the Far East, as well as millions of Africans. America has long been known as an ethnic "melting pot".
The Mississippi is one of the world's great continental rivers / the 3rd longest river in the world after Nile and the Amazon/. Together with the Missouri River, the Mississippi flows some 6400 km from its northern sources in the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi has been called "the father of waters".
The Rio Grande /river/ forms a natural boundary between Mexico and USA. The Niagara Falls, on the Niagara, produce a large amount of the electricity needed for the industrial north - east. The Great Lakes contain about half of the fresh water of the world. The USA shares them with Canada.
The Rocky Mountains are "the backbone of the continent". They are the same age as the Alps in Europe. They are high, rough and irregular in shape. The highest mountain is Mt. McKinley, in Alaska /6194m/
The Appalachians are old mountains. There are many valleys between them and there is coal beneath. Another large range of mountain is the Sierra Nevada in the south - west.
The Grand Canyon, one of the most beautiful sights of nature, lies in the Rocky Mountains. About 65 million years ago, the Colorado River began to cut trough the rocks. Now the Canyon is 1600 meters deep, 6 to 29 kilometres wide, and 350 km long.
You can find almost anything in America.
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The United States of America
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