The United States of America is the fourth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada and China). It occupies the southern part of North America. It is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and by the Pacific Ocean in the west. It also includes Alaska in the north and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. The total area of the country is about nine and a half million square kilometers. The USA borders on Canada in the north and on Mexico in the south. It also has a sea-boarder with Russia.
The USA is made up of 50 states and the District of Columbia, a special federal Area where the capital of the country, Washington, is situated. The population of the country is more than 270 million. The first people on the American continent came from Asia. It was more than 40.000 years ago. They had red skin. When the white men came to North America, they called them Red men or Indians. The Indians lived in wigwams. They hunted, went fishing and grew corn for their food. There were many Indians tribes at that time. Many Indians were killed by the white men. Today there are about 1.5 million Indians in the USA. One third of them live on reservations.
If we look at the map of the USA, we can see lowlands and mountains. The highest mountains are the Rocky Mountains, the Cordilleras and the Sierra Nevada. The highest peak is Mount McKinley which is located in Alaska.
America's largest rivers are the Mississippi (it is the second largest river in the world after the Nile), the Missouri, the Rio Grande and the Columbia. The Great Lakes on the border with Canada are the largest and deepest in the USA.
The USA is a highly developed industrial country. It's the world's leading producer of copper and oil and the world's second producer of iron ore and coal. Among the most important manufacturing industries are aircraft, cars, textiles, radio and television sets, furniture and paper.
Though mainly European and African in origin, Americans are made up from nearly all races and nations, including Chinese and Native Americans. The official language of the state is English. The national symbol of the USA is the national flag "Stars and Stripes", having 50 white stars and 13 white and red stripes on its field, symbolizing the number of the original and present day states. Washington D. C. is the capital of the USA. It is one of the most beautiful and unusual cities in the USA. It has little industry. There are no skyscrapers because they would hide the city's monuments from view. The federal government and tourism are the mainstays of the city's economy. Thousands of tourists visit Washington every day. The second largest city is New York. It is situated in the southern part of New York State. It is the world leader in finance, the arts and communications. The city is also the center of fashion, publishing and radio broadcasting in the US.
The United States is a federal state, headed by the President. According to the US Constitution the powers of the Government are divided into 3 branches: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. The legislative power belongs to the Congress consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate represents the states while the House of Representatives – population. The executive power belongs to the President and his Administration (Vice-President and Cabinet of Ministers). The judicial power belongs to the Supreme Court and the system of federal courts. There are two main political parties in the USA: the Republican and the Democratic, though there's hardly any difference between their political lines.
Nowadays the USA is one of the leading powers of the world due to its economic, political and military influence.