The United States of America
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.
There are mountains and deserts, old churches and moon rockets, homes with no electric lights and homes with 3 cars.
The most densely populated are the north - eastern states of New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan. This region include some of the greatest cities and industrial centers. This region is rich in raw materials. The most important products are coal, oil, natural gas, iron, steel and glass.
The northern region is called New England. It is the region where some of the first colonist settled. Some of the most famous universities Harvard /established in 1636/ and Yale /1701/ are in New England. They are private universities.
In the center of the US territory, called Midwest, there are vast plains where mainly wheat is grown. It is the region where agriculture is greatly developed.
The Southern States of Virginia, North and south Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and others are mainly agricultural growing cotton and tobacco. The racial problem is still a serious problem of the south.
The South - West of the USA includes Texas - largest state of the federation /after Alaska/, famous for its oil. The South - West with its extensive deserts is characterized by the lack of rain and extreme temperatures during summer. The famous grand Canyon is situated in this area. The Americans West includes the following states : Washington, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada and California. They are also called Rocky Mountains States. Except for cities the American West is very thinly populated. The naturals beauties of national park of this region are world famous. The cities of California, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles are very attractive for the visitors. One of the most famous district of L. A. is Hollywood - center of motion - picture industry. The Canadian - American Niagara falls figure among the most attractive natural wonders.
GOVERNMENT The president of the USA is chosen in national election for 4 years and may be reelected for another 4 years. The most recent presidential election was held in November 1992, Bill Clinton, the member of the Democratic Party became 42nd President of the USA. Congress consist of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each senator is elected for 6 years and each representative for 2 years. Each of the 50 states elects 2 senators. The House of Representative has 435 members. The US flag is called "Stars and Stripes". It has 13 red and white stripes and 50 stars on a blue Square. One star is for each state of the USA now, and the stripes are for the first 13 states of the union.