Russia is the largest country in the world. It is almost the size of the USA and Canada combined. It is about 8,000 km from east to west and crosses eleven time zones.
Russia is situated both in Europe and Asia. The European and Asian parts of the country are separated by the Iral Mountains. The Urals are not very big mountains, its highest point, Mount Narodnaya, being a little more than 2,000 m high. Russia's largest mountains, the Caucasus, are on its southern borders.
The United States of America, whose name is often shortened to the USA, occupies most of the southern part of the continent of North America. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean in the west across to the Atlantic Ocean in the east, and down to the Gulf of Mexico in the south. The USA is bordered by only two other countries, Canada to the north, and Mexico to the south.
The total area of the USA is over nine million square kilometers. It is the fourth largest country in the world. The USA is made up of 50 states.
The USA as an independent state was set up by the Constitution in 1787. Under the Constitution the federal government is divided into three branches. The executive branch is headed by the President chosen in nation-wide elections every four years together with the Vice-President.
The legislative branch is exercised by the Congress. The Congress consists of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. There are 100 senators and 435 members in the House of Representatives.
Washington, D. C. is the capital of the United States of America. It is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the US.There are 50 states in the United States, but the city of Washington is not in any of them.
A special district was created for the American capital — the District of Columbia (D. C). The United States Congress decided in July 1790 that the new seat of government should be situated on the left bank of the Potomac River, between the states of Maryland and Virginia — a compromise area, between the states of the North and of the South. Until now, Congress had met at Philadelphia, among other towns. Other states were vying for the privilege of housing the nation's capital, and it was hoped that an entirely new town in its own federal enclave would resolve the quarrelling. The city would be called Washington, in honour of the nation's first President and the district, which encompassed it, would be named Columbia, after Christopher Columbus.
Philadelphia is an important commercial, manufacturing, and shipping centre, and a port of entry. It is the second major centre of business and population along the Atlantic seaboard.
Philadelphia was the first capital of the United States of America (1790—1800). In Philadelphia the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in 1776. In this city the United States Constitution was adopted in 1787. It was the first written constitution in the world. The Constitution proclaimed by the Convention was the document where all the values of the world civilization of that time were summarized.