The USA is situated in southern part of North America. Its neighbours are Canada on north, Mexico on south and the Confederation of Independent States in Alaska. It covers the area of abut 9 400 000 sq. km. Central plains are bounded by the Rocky Mountains and the Coastal Mountains to west, the Appalachian Mountains to east and alluvialplains around the Gulf of Mexico. The largest rivers are the Mississippi and the Missouri. It's the third longest river system in the world after the Amazon and the Nile. The border with Canada is in its control part made by the Great Lakes Region. Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario share the USA with Canada. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world (after the Caspian Sea). There are big variations of climate. Temperatures change from the arctic cold in northern Alaska to subtropical warmth of Hawaii and the Gulf Coast States. On western coast temperature change very little between summer and winter, the north central states have different climate in summer and winter. There are many national parks in the USA, especially in the Rocky Mountains Region, with beautiful and preserved nature e.g. Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Mount McKinley.
In the USA are about 243 million people. There are 106 major ethnic groups in the USA today. People living here are of all possible origins and all the races can mix here together (it is called "melting pot" "salad bowl", "Pizza"). Now there are white people (78.5%), black people (12.1%), Asian (1.5%), Pacific islanders, American Indians and Eskimos (0.6%). The main language spoken here is American English but various ethnic minorities speak their original languages (Chinese, Spanish, etc.). American English differs from British English in vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling (flat X apartment, lift X elevator, Sweets X candy). The religious structure of the USA is variety. Practically all possible churches and sects exist there.
The main industrial items are manufacturing steel, car industry, electronics, machinery and clothing. Nearby half of the country is a farmland, however only 21% is arable. The main agriculture products are corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, tobacco, cattle breeding, fruit and vegetable. The USA is rich in the mineral resources as coal, copper, lead, uranium, gold, iron, mercury and oil. The main trading partners are Canada, Japan, Mexico and Great Britain.
Government type, administration and political system:
The USA with the president as the head of state is a federation of 50 states with 48 on the continent, Alaska in the North and Hawaii in the Mid-Pacific south-west of San Francisco. There is also one district, D.C. - District of Columbia - it means the land of Columbus - this territory isn't a state, the state capital is situated here. The largest state is Alaska, the smallest is Rhode Island. The capital is Washington, D.C. Other big cities according to the population are New York, Los Angels, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and Detroit. The USA is the member of all major international organisations: UN, OAS, NATO and OECD.
The Capital of the USA:
Washington D.C. has the 10th largest population in the country. It was the finest city in the world especial planned and built as the capital and the centre of the government. In the city, along the Potomac River, there are the most important buildings in the USA - White House - the residence of the American President, the Capitol - the seat of the Congress, the Pentagon - the centre of military forces. There are no factories and industry in Washington and no building can be higher than the Capitol that is why we can't see any skyscrapers there. There is a large airport and Georgetown University. Some famous monuments stand there: the Washington Monument, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorial.
The American flag and anthem:
The American flag consists of two parts - one smaller blue oblong with 50 white stars symbolising 50 American states and one larger oblong consisting of six white and seven red stripes symbolising the original 13 states which used to be the British colonies. the flag is sometimes called "Old Glory" or "Stars and stripes". The American national anthem is called "The Star - Spangled Banner".
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