The United States of America
New words and word-combinations to be remembered:
soil erosion ерозія грунту
to supply забезпечувати
oil well нафтова свердловина
fertilizer мінеральні добрива
related products супутні продукти
canned fish консервована риба
processing обробка, переробка
distributing розподіл, поширення
to turn out виготовляти
to spread out поширювати
skilled labour кваліфікована праця
The availability of water has been an important factor in America’s growth. The early development of a prosperous agricultural system and the later development of an industrial base were made possible largely by vast water resources.
About a third of the land area of the United States is covered by forests. Properly managed forests prevent flooding and soil erosion and stabilize climatic conditions. Wood, resins and other forest products are the basic raw materials of several of the nation’s largest industries.
The United States is rich in most of the metals and minerals needed to supply its basic industries. The nation produces more than 75 million tons of iron a year for its steel mills.
Coal is the second major natural resource found in large quantities in the United States. Most of the coal is used by steam plants to produce electricity. Much coal also is used in chemical industries for the manufacture of plastics and other synthetics.
Oil wells in the United States produce more than 2,700 million barrels of petroleum a year. The production, processing and marketing of such petroleum products as gasoline and oil make up one of America’s largest industries.
Natural gas and manufactured gas furnish more than one-third of the nation’s power.
Other basic metals and minerals mined on a large scale in the United States include zinc, copper, silver and phosphate rock which is used for fertilizers.
More than 18.5 million Americans are employed in manufacturing, including over two million engaged in the manufacture of machinery (excluding electrical and transportation equipment). Other industries with more than a million workers each include production of food and related products, clothing, metal goods, electrical machinery, - wood products and furniture, textiles, printing, publishing and paper products. Canned fish and lumber are the chief manufactured products of the state of Alaska, while Hawaii’s are sugar and canned pineapples.
In recent years there has been a great increase in the number of engineers and scientists employed in American industries as companies emphasize research and the development of labour-saving machines. Some plants in the oil and chemical industries are built almost entirely mound self-acting controls. Machines are doing more and more of the work of processing, assembling, packaging and distributing products. To meet the demands of the rapidly increasing population, industry today turns out more products at greater speed and with less labour.
The growing use of machines to perform routine tasks in agriculture, industry and other fields has brought about a shift of workers to new employment. Though some have been displaced because of automation, most have been absorbed by new industries and by the growth of service and leisure industries.
Other changes have taken place in the business world. Today industry reinvests twice as much of its profit in modernization and development as it did a century ago. New industries are formed as new discoveries are made. Atomic energy, for example, has created a wide range of new activities. So has the invention of plastic materials, which me used in many products. Electronics has become a major industry, employing more than a million people. About 80 percent of the products of one leading electronics firm did not exist 10 years ago.
Most American industry is located in the eastern and midwestem parts of the country. Industries are spreading out, building modem lactones far from the home plant, closer to natural resources, markets and a supply of skilled labour.
The United States has long had a reputation as a pioneer in ingenious technology — from incandescent lights, sewing machines and cotton gins to telephones, television equipment, computers, airplanes and spaceships. But only in the last 40 years have American scientists become known for their contributions to research in basic and applied science, and today the country is among the world’s leaders in both areas.
The United States contributions to the world body of scientific and technological knowledge range from discoveries about subatomic particles, earthquake prediction, clues to the origin and evolution of the sun mid the planets to breakthroughs in the fight against cancer and heart diseases, organ transplantation and substitution, genetic research and new sources of energy.
Answer the following questions:
1. What are the main natural resources of the USA?
2. What industries are developed on their basis?
3. What industries are the most Americans employed in?
4. What is the role of engineers and scientists in the development of the American industries?
5. What changes have taken place in the business world?
6. What is the contribution of the USA to the world body of scientific and technological knowledge?