The United States of America

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  • Přidal/a: anonymous
  • Datum přidání: 05. července 2007
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The United States of America

Geography, Population and Economy
The United States of America is situated in central North America, with Canada to the north, Mexico to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. On the west of the U.S.A is a mountain range called Cordilleras. There is a famous Yellowstone national park. The best-known mountains are: Sierra Nevada and Rocky mountain. In the north of U.S.A by the frontiers with Canada there are Great lakes and Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is the most attractive natural wonder. The Mississippi is one of the world’s greatest continental rivers. The hottest, driest place is Death Valley. East of Death Valley is Grand Canyon. North of Grand Canyon is Navajo reservation. Navajos are the largest Indian tribe.
The U.S.A began as a union of 13 states. Later on other states were admitted. At the moment the U.S.A is a federation of 50 states including Alaska and the island state of Hawaii.
It is home of more than 243 million people mostly of European origin and also of Afro-American, American Indian, Japanese, Chinese and other origin. Besides English, which is the official language, the people of the U.S.A speak their native languages.
The most densely populated are the northeastern states of New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan. The northern states of the U.S.A are rich in most of the metals and minerals .The most important products are: coal, oil, natural gas, iron, steel and glass. The biggest industrial centers are Detroit and Chicago. The southern states are mainly agricultural. There are many cotton and tobacco plantations (for example in Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina.)
Washington in District of Columbia is the Capital city of the U.S.A. It was named in honour of George Washington, the first American president in the U.S.A. (the District of Columbia was named after Christopher Columbus – the discoverer of America) Washington was the world’s first city especially planned as a center of government. The President lives in White House and he has an Executive Branch. At the moment George Busch is the president of the U.S.A. There is also Congress, which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Washington is a clean city because there aren’t industries. He is also a national center of culture and education. There are four universities.
New York is the largest city in the U.S.A It is an important seaport, industrial and cultural center of the U.S.A.

New York was originally called New Amsterdam. The city has many attractions of interest for tourist. It draws and fascinates visitors with its skyscrapers. Another interesting place for visitors of New York is the largest Roman Catholic Church and Central Park (N.Y is also the seat of the United Nations) In N.Y is also the Statue of Liberty, which comes from France as a symbol of friendship between these two countries. Other cities and most important ports also are: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and San Diego. One of the most famous districts of L.A is Hollywood. It is the center of motion –picture industry. The northern region of the U.S.A is called as New England. It’s the region where some of the first colonist settled. There are also famous universities like Harvard (establish in 1636) and Yale (1701)

The History of The U.S.A
The American continent was probably discovered by Vikings around the year 1000 A.D but they didn’t establish any permanent settlement. For European American continent has been familiar since 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered the great continent. The first British colony was founded in Virginia (1607). The thousands of colonist came from Europe because many of them tried to escape the religious or political persecution. The first 13 colonies were under the British control. The colonies were mostly agricultural, especially in the South where African slaves worked on tobacco and cotton plantations. The colonies wanted to lessen their dependence on Britain. British parliament passed acts for taxes on glass, paper and tea. The people in America threw boxes of tea from English ships in to the water. This event is called: The Boston tea party and it was in 1773. The Boston tea party was one of the significant events leading to the American Revolutionary War against England.
In 1774 was establish the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The war of independence began in 1775. The most important document of this period is the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted and signed in Philadelphia in 1776. The colonies became states. The most famous American general during this war was George Washington who later became the first president of United States. England and United States signed a treaty in 1783.
The Civil war started in 1861 because they were differences between Southern part and Northern part. Southern states were mainly agricultural and they used slaves for work.

Northern states were mainly industrial. The northern states won and five days after the war ended president Abraham Lincoln was killed. In 1941 the United States entered the Second World War after the Japanese attack on Pear Harbor. Harry Truman was a president in this time. He was responsible for dropping atomic bombs on Japan. The first atom bomb exploded over Hiroshima on 6th August and the second over Nagasaki three days later. After World War II the United States has become the most powerful nation of the world. America had also great inventors for example: In 1837 Samuel Morse invented a new way of sending messages. The first message was sent from San Francisco to Washington. In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. He was an emigrant from Scotland.
The other famous inventor was Thomas Edison. He invented the bulb and the microphone. The most famous presidents were: John F. Kennedy. He was much concerned for human rights and social justice. He was assassinated during his tour to Dallas in 1963. This crime has never been solved. The other presidents: James Carter, Roland Regan, George Bush. America had 42 presidents and George Busch is 43rd. The System of Government
The system of American Government is based on the principles established in the Constitution written in 1787 and in the Bill of Rights. The Constitutions divides the power of the government into three branches - the Executive Brach, the Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch.
The Executive Branch is headed by the President. The President is chosen in national election for four years and may be reelected for another four years. The President also appoints federal judges, ambassadors and government official. The Legislative Branch -Congress- consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each Senator is elected for six years and each representative for two years. The House of Representatives has 435 members. Congress must approve bills before they become law
The Judicial Branch is headed by the Supreme Court, which consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight Associate Justices. The Supreme Court decides whether laws are constitutional.
American Customs and Traditions
The United States is a young country. Its written history only a few hundred years old. Americans are interested in old traditions, but they are good at making new traditions too. The people of the U.S.A are mixture of many different nationalities.

These different people brought to their new land a wonderful mixture of customs and traditions. The Germans brought Christmas trees. The Irish brought St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The Scots brought Halloween. Sometimes, in fact, the old celebrations are more important in the U.S than in the countries they came from. January 1st- New Year’s Day
On this day, families and friends meet for meal. A New Year’s Day there are big football games and colorful parades. Not everyone can go to see them, so many people watch them on television. There is usually a parade in the morning and the game is played in the afternoon. The best college teams play in “The Rose Bowl” in California, “The Cotton Bowl” in Texas and “The Orange Bowl” in Florida. In the U.S there are four different time zones, so it is possible to spend the whole day watching parades, football games..
Third Monday of January – Martin Luther King’s Birthday
Martin Luther King was an important black leader who wanted equal rights for black people. He was murdered in 1968, Congress made his birthday a public holiday in 1968.
February 29th
Every four years February has an extra day. Tradition says that on this day girls can ask boys to go to the movies or out to dinner. A girl can even ask a boy to marry her! Life is changing nowadays, however. Girls often invite boys to parties or dinners any day of the year. So this traditions may be dying
March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick was an Irish saint and St. Patrick’s Day is very popular in cities where there are many Irish Americans. Green is the Irish color and some bars sell green beer. People often wear something green on this day. If you aren’t wearing green – be careful someone may pinch you!
Last Monday of May- Memorial Day
This special day is for people to remember those who died in wars. Many people remember their dead friends and relatives on this day too.
June 14th – Flag Day
In 1777 the “Stars and Stripes” became the official flag of the U.S.A Flag Day was first celebrated in 1877 on the flag’s hundredth birthday. Many people display a flag on this day, but it is not a major holiday and businesses stay open.
July 4th – Independence Day
On this day in 1776 the U.S declared her independence from England. It was the beginning of a new nation. On the 4th of July families and friends celebrate and every town and city has parades, games and sports with prizes. First Monday of September – Labor Day
This is day of rest for the workers. It is celebrated by labor union parades.

It also marks the end of summer and the beginning school year.
October 31st – Halloween
It is the most famous custom. Everybody are dressed as ghost and witches. A popular tradition is to cut the shape of a face in a pumpkin, put a light inside it, then put it in the window.
November 11th – Veterans Day
This is special day to remember all the people who fought in the wars.
Fourth Thursday of November – Thanksgiving
In 1621 William Bradford, the Governor of Massachusetts, decided to have at thanksgiving dinner for al the people. He wanted to thank God for many things. It was a difficult year, but the people still had food to eat. He wanted a way to share this good fortune with the American Indians who helped them. That meal lasted three days. Today tradition Thanksgiving meal is similar to the first. Usually there is a turkey, sweet potatoes, corn and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving is a special day for families to get together.

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