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The United States of America (Общая информация о США)

Продолжение раздела «Cultural Reader», информационные материалы о Соединенных Штатах Америки.
Следующие статьи — American Climate (Климат в Америке), American People (Американский народ), Main Cities of the USA (Основные Города США), American System of Education (Американская система образования), American Holidays (Американские праздники).

The United States of America

The United States is situated in the central part of the North American continent (except for Alaska and Hawaii). It is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and by the Pacific Ocean in the west. In the north it borders Canada and in the south it borders Mexico. The United States is the fourth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, and China. It has an area of about 10 million square kilometers and its population is over 270 million people. The great majority of the population is English-speaking Americans. There are many ethnic groups in the United States. The largest group is Black Americans (about 12% of the population).

The US consists of 50 states and the District of Columbia. It is a special federal area where the capital of the country, Washington, is situated. The largest state is Alaska. Hawaii is one of the smallest states; it is a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. California, New-York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio are the most heavily populated states, and Wyoming, Vermont and Alaska are the least populated states. The largest cities are New-York, Los-Angeles, Chicago, San-Francisco and Philadelphia.

The continental part of the USA consists of 4 geographical parts: 2 highland and 2 lowland regions. The highland regions are the Appalachian Mountains in the east and the Cordillera in the west. The Appalachian Mountains are ancient, strongly destroyed mountains of no great height. The valleys between them are rich in coal. It is the oldest mountain system in the US.

Unlike the Appalachian Mountains of the east, the Cordillera is not a continuous chain. It consists of several high ranges, which are the Rocky Mountains on the east and the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range on the west. The Rocky Mountains are considered to be young, high, rough, and irregular in shape. Between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains there is the vast Central Plain and the Plateau of Prairies or the Great Plains.

The main rivers of the USA are the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Rio Grande, the Colorado, the Columbia and the Hudson River. The five Great Lakes, between the USA and Canada, include Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. They are all joined together by short rivers or canals, and the St. Lawrence River joins them to the Atlantic Ocean. The region around the Great Lakes is known for its changeable weather. In the west of the USA there is another lake called the Great Salt Lake.

The USA has many natural resources, such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas. The economy of the US is based upon free enterprise.

The United States is one of the few countries in the world that has no ’official’ national language. The basic language spoken throughout the country is American English. The second language is Spanish.

Следующая статья серии о США - American Climate (Климат в Америке)

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