The United States of America
Official name — the United States of America (the USA)
Status — A Federal Republic, a union of 50 states
Area — 9,364,000 square kilometres
Population — 232,000,000
Capital — Washington
Languages — English is the official and predominant language. Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Yiddish, Russian and others are also spoken in the USA.
The United States is one of the largest countries in the world. The United States and Canada are almost twins in size. But Canada is a little bigger.
The whole name of the United States is United States of America. For short, the country is often called the USA. There are fifty states and district of Columbia. The list after the text shows the area of each of the 50 states. It begins with the largest one and ends with the smallest. The number after a state tells when it entered the Union.
The United States of America lies in the central part of the North American continent between the two oceans: the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Thus ships can sail from the United States ports to the Indian Ocean by way of either the Pacific or the Atlantic. Friendly Canada to the north and friendly Mexico to the south are the only countries bordering the United States.
The USA consists of three separate parts. They are the Hawaiian Islands, situated in central part of the Pacific Ocean, Alaska separated by the Canadian territory and the rest major part of the USA. The states differ very much in size, population and economical development.
The USA is a country of great diversity, іt is due to its geography, the weather, the landscape and the way of living.
The Great Rocky Mountains run north and south. Some of them form a divide between rivers that flow westward and those that flow toward the Atlantic or its arm, the Gulf of Mexico.
East of that divide are two of the world’s longest rivers. One is the famous Mississippi. The Missouri, one of the Mississippi’s many long branches, is about that long too.
There are many big cities and towns in the USA. New York, San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles are the biggest of them.
The United States developed from the English colonies. After a long eight years struggle (1775—1783) the colonists gained their independence. The American colonists were led by a talented soldier George Washington who later became the first president of the USA. The capital was named after the first president.
The USA is a highly developed industrialized country It has very powerful industries, advanced technologies and science. Electronic and electric engineering, transport, communication and machine-tool industries can be found almost in all large cities of the USA.
The USA is a federal republic.
The Government of the US is composed of three branches — executive, legislative and judicial. The executive branch sees that laws are carried out. The legislative branch makes new laws. And the judicial branch makes sure that the laws and actions of the other branches agree with the Constitution.
In the White House the president carries out his many duties as head of the executive branch of the government. He appoints cabinet members, each of whom becomes the head of a very important governmental department.
Not far from the White House stands the Capitol. Here the Congress, the legislative branch of the government, meets to make laws to govern the country. The Senate and the House of Representatives form the Congress.
Alaska (49th) (Alas) — Аляска
Texas (28th) (Tex) — Техас
California (31st) (Ca) — Каліфорнія
Montana (41st) (Mont)—Монтана
New Mexico (47th) (NM) — Нью Мехіко
Arizona (48th) (Ariz) — Арізона
Nevada (36th) (Nev) — Невада
Colorado (38th) (Colo) — Колорадо
Wyoming (44th) (Wy/Wyo) — Вайомінг
Oregon (33rd) (Ore/Ore) — Орегон
Utah (45th) (Ut) — Юта
Minnesota (32nd) (Minn) — Міннесота
Idaho (43rd) (Id) — Айдахо
Kansas (34th) (Kan) — Канзас
Nebraska (37th) (Nebr/Neb) — Небраска
South Dakota (40th) (SD) — Південна Дакота
North Dakota (39th) (ND) — Північна Дакота
Oklahoma (46th) (Okla) — Оклахома
Missouri (24th) (Mo) — Міссурі
Washington (42nd) (Wash) — Вашингтон
Georgia (4th) (Ga) — Джорджія
Florida (27th) (Fla) — Флоріда
Michigan (26th) (Mich) — Мічіган
Illinois (21st) (111) — Іллінойс
Iowa (29th) (la) — Айова
Wisconsin (30th) (Wis) — Вісконсін
Arkansas (25th) (Ark) — Арканзас
North Carolina (12th) (NC) — Північна Kapoліна
Alabama (22nd) (Ala) — Алабама
New York (11th) (NY) — Нью-Йорк
Louisiana (18th) (La) — Луїзіана
Mississippi (20th) (Miss) — Міссісіпі
Pennsylvania (2nd) (Penn/Pa) — Пенсільванія
Tennessee (16th) (Tenn) — Теннеcі
Ohio (17th) (0) — Огайо
Virginia (10th) (Va) — Вірджінія
Kentucky (15th) (Ken/Ky) — Кентукі
Indiana (19th) (Ind) — Індіана
Maine (23rd) (Me) — Мен
South Carolina (8h) (SC) — Південна Кароліна
West Virginia (35th) (Va) — Західна Вірджінія
Maryland (7th) (Md)—Меріленд
Vermont (14th) (Vt) — Вермонт
New Hampshire (9th) (NH) — Нью Гемпшір
Massachusetts (6th) (Mass) — Массачусетс
New Jersey (3rd) (NJ) — Нью-Джерсі
Hawaii (50th) — Гаваї
Connecticut (5th) (Conn) — Коннектікут
Delaware (1st) (Del) — Делавер
Rhode Island (13th) (RI) — Род-Айленд
District of Columbia (DC) — округ Колумбія
You can’t do without this vocabulary:
huge — величезний
to be twins — бути однаковими
to enter — входити, вступати
tiny — невеличкий spread — простягатися
diversity — різноманітність, відмінність
Rocky Mountains — скелясті гори
a divide — межа, переділ
an arm — рука
a gulf — затока
San Francisco — Сан Франціско
Chicago — Чікаго
Los Angeles — Лос-Анджелес
Washington — Вашингтон
to gain independence — завоювати незалежність
executive — виконавчий
legislative — законодавчий
judicial — судовий
to carry out — виконувати, здійснювати
to make sure — переконуватися
to appoint — призначати
The beautiful city of Washington, D. C. is the capital of the United States and the centre of its government. In white stone and marble buildings surrounded by green parks, thousands of people are working for the national government.
The city was founded in 1790 and named after the first US president. It was built according to a preliminary plan.
The city industry is not well developed because its main output are laws and government decisions. Washington is the residence of the President and the Congress-of the United States, all government departments and other institutions.
Washington is a large scientific and cultural centre where there are many research institutes, five universities, the National Academy of Science and the Library of Congress. There are also two very important buildings here— the Capitol (the seat of Congress) and the White House (the President’s residence).
The third well-known building — Pentagon, the residence of the US Military department, is situated in the suburbs, to the south of the Potomac. It has the shape of five huge regular concentric pentagons. Because of its size it could not be built in the city.
preliminary — попередній
an output — результат
suburbs — передмістя, околиці
the Potomac — p. Потомак
Texts for Supplementary Reading
Do you know Uncle Sam?
Uncle Sam is not a real person. He is just an imaginary person who stands for the United States.
The idea of calling the United States «Uncle Sam» dates back to the early days of the country. During the War of 1812 one story tells, a man saw the letters dj. S.» on a big package. Of course, they stood for United States, but the man did not know this. He asked what they meant. At that time there was a man whom everyone called Uncle Sam. To make fun of the man who asked what «U. S,» stood for, someone told him that the letter stood for Uncle Sam. People who heard of the joke told others, and the idea of calling the United States Uncle Sam spread.
In his pictures, Uncle Sam is always tall and thin. He always wears a long-tailed coat and a high hat. His suit has stars and stripes on it like those of the United States flag.
imaginary — уявний
to date back to — брати початок від
spread — поширюватися
a long tailed coat — фрак
a high hat — циліндр
a stripe — полоса
What does the word Yankee mean?
To the people of many other countries anyone from the United States is a Yankee.
During the Revolutionary War the British soldiers called the American soldiers Yankees. But probably the name had been used before. There are several ideas about where it came from. One is that the word was the Indians’ way of saying the French word for English. Another is that it came from an old Scotch word meaning «shrewd» (хитрий). Still another is that it came from a Dutch name and was used only for Dutch settlers at first. No one knows which idea is right.
One song that almost every American knows and likes is «Yankee Doodle». The words are foolish, but the tune is a good one.
The song has a long history. A thousand years ago the tune was part of the music of the church in Italy. The Italian people liked it so much that they put other words to it and began singing it in the vineyard (виноградник) as they worked.
It spread from Italy to other parts of Europe. In Holland it was used as a harvest song. In England in Shakespeare’s time it was a nursery song. Later in England other sets of words were put to it.
The words Americans sing to it now were made up by an English Army doctor. He wrote them to make fun of the American soldiers, who were not well trained and did not have good and elegant uniforms. But the American soldiers liked both the words and the tune. They began singing the song around their campfires (бівачне вогнище).