Говоримо англійською - 40 розмовних тем - Л. П. Ільєнко 1997

The United States of America

New words and word-combinations to be remembered:

«melting pot» плавильний котел

to be descended from походити (від)

tribe плем’я

to flock рухатись натовпом

descendant нащадок

inhabitant мешканець

resident постійний мешканець

The United States has long been known as a «melting pot,» because many of its people are descended from settlers who came from all over the world to make their homes in the new land, which was sparsely populated by native Indian tribes. The first immigrants in American history came from England and the Netherlands. Attracted by reports of great economic opportunities and religious and political freedom, immigrants from many other countries flocked to the United States in increasing numbers, the flow reaching a peak in the years 1880— 1914.

Some 1,534,000 Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts, descendants of North America’s first inhabitants, now reside in the United States. Most live in the west, but many are in the south and the north central area. Of more than 300 separate tribes, the largest is the Navaho in the south-west.

Black people were first brought to America from Africa as slaves.

Blacks currently make up more than 11 percent of the population. They once lived mainly in the agricultural South but now are scattered throughout the nation. In the midwest city of Chicago, for example, there are 1.2 million black residents — more than three times as many as in 1940. New York State has the largest black population — 2,402,000, an increase of close to one million in 20 years.

Hispanics and Asians constitute two of the fastest growing segments of the United States today, now numbering 14,606,000 and 3,615,000 respectively. Predictions are that Hispanics may be the largest single minority group in the nation by the year 2000.

Today, there are more than 232.6 million people in the USA.

California, on the Pacific Coast, now has the nation’s largest population, and the Atlantic Coast state of New York is second. Another western state, Colorado, is growing almost twice as fast as the nation as a whole. Some other western states have had spectacular population booms: Arizona has more than doubled its population since 1960, while Nevada has almost tripled its population in the same period. The southern state of Florida, known for its pleasant climate, has almost twice the number of residents it had in I960.

Answer the following questions:

1. Why has the United States been known as a «melting pot»?

2. Where did the first immigrants come from?

3. What caused the flow of immigrants to the USA?

4. Who were the first inhabitants of the country?

5. What are the main ethnic groups of the USA?

6. What is the population of the United States?

7. What parts of the country have the nation’s largest population?

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