Zpět na výpis látekTravelling Through BritainAngličtina

The USA

The United States of America has 50 states. 48 states are situated in the southern part of North America. Alaska is situated in the North and Hawaii in the Mid-Pacific. Its neighbors are Canada in the north and Mexico in the south.

The Central Plains are bound by the Rocky Mountains and the Coastal Mountains in the west, the Appalachian Mountains in the east, and the alluvial plains around the Gulf of Mexico. The highest mountain in the USA is Mount McKinley in the Alaska Range, which is 6 194 m high.

The largest rivers are the Mississippi and the Missouri. The border with Canada is made by the Great Lakes Region in its central part. The Great Lakes are: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. Between lakes Erie and Ontario are the world known Niagara Falls. There are many national parks in the USA, e. g. Yellowstone NP, Rocky Mountains NP, Grand Canyon NP, etc. The population of the USA is about 250.000.000. Around 79 per cent of the inhabitants live in urban areas. Now there are 79 per cent of white people, 12 per cent of black people, and the rest are Asian and Pacific islanders, Indians, and Eskimos. The main language spoken here is American English but various ethnic minorities speak their original languages (Chinese, Spanish). American English differs from British English in its vocabulary (for example in British English vs. American English: flat x apartment, lift x elevator, post x mail, cinema x the movies), pronunciation, and spelling (colour x color, catalogue x catalog).

Now I would like tell you something about the history of the USA. I will start with the first settlements. Until 1400, Native Americans were the only inhabitants in the USA. In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America. The first English colony was founded in Virginia at Jamestown in 1607. In 1620, a ship named the Mayflower brought 102 English men, women, and children to the north-east coast where they founded the colony called Plymouth. They were members of a religious sect called the Pilgrim Fathers; but in the winter, about half of them died. The next year, in November of 1621, they celebrated a good harvest and the day of the celebrations was called Thanksgiving Day. During the 17th century, many colonists settled in the country. From these settlements, 13 colonies under British rule were formed.

The British government started to charge new taxes on imported goods (for example: sugar, coffee, textiles, etc.) to cover the costs of the war against France. The colonists refused to pay the taxes, so British soldiers were sent to Boston. In 1773, a group of patriots, dressed as Indians, threw a cargo of British tea into the Boston Harbor. This event is known as Boston Tea Party. Americans began boycotting British trade. In 1775, at Lexington, the War of Independence began. Later, George Washington took over the command of the Continental Army. The Continental Congress began to work as a national government and on July 4th, 1776, they agreed on the Declaration of Independence which was written mainly by Thomas Jefferson. This is the day when the USA was founded. The War of independence lasted until 1783. The new Constitution was adopted in 1787.

About 60 years of never ending discussions about freedom for slaves led to the Civil War between the North and the South. It started in 1861 after Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860. The Southern states protested against Lincoln being president and wanted to separate from the Union. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, which granted freedom to all slaves. In April of 1865, the Union Forces won the War. Only shortly after that, Lincoln was assassinated in a theatre.

The American flag has 13 red and white stripes, and on the blue field in the top corner there are 50 white stars. Each star represents one of the 50 states and each stripe represents one of original colonies.

The USA can be divided into four parts. The 1st area in the North and the North East has centers of heavy and light industries. The biggest cities here are New York, which is the biggest port, and Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on the 4th of July in 1776. The capitol, Washington D.C., is also situated here. The 2nd are is the Middle West, the area of the Great Lakes. Here, agriculture is closely connected with industry. The biggest city here is Chicago, where the highest skyscraper in the US is situated. It is named Sears Tower. The 3rd area is the agricultural South with the mainly black population. Cities here are for example New Orleans, the home of jazz. The 4th area is the Far West, which is the largest area, but has the smallest population. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego are the largest cities here. Las Vegas, where you can win a lot of money, is also situated here.




Přidal: Dan_T 4. 12. 2009
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