2The United States of America Fact fileOfficial symbolsGeographical positionHistory timelinePolitical structureSights and citiesFamous peopleNatural worldEntertainmentLinks
3Fact File Official Name: United States of America Population: 300,000,000Form of Government: Constitution-based federal republicCapital: Washington, D.C.Area: 3,794,083 square miles (9,826,630 square kilometers)Major Mountain Ranges: Rocky Mountains, Appalachian MountainsMajor Rivers: Mississippi, Missouri, ColoradoLanguage: English, SpanishMoney: U.S. dollar
4Symbols “Stars and Stripes” There are three colours on the flag of the United States – red, white and blue. As there are 50 states in the United States, there are 50 stars on the American flag. American flag has 13 stripes, because there were 13 colonies.The First American flag
5The eagle became the official national symbol of the country in 1782.
6The Star-Spangled Banner Oh, say, can you see, the dawn's early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming. And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
8Geographical Position The United States of America is the world's third largest country in size and nearly the third largest in terms of population. Located in North America, the country is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Along the northern border is Canada and the southern border is Mexico. There are 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than twice the size of the European Union, the United States has high mountains in the West and a vast central plain. The lowest point in the country is in Death Valley which is at -282 feet (-86 meters) and the highest peak is Mt. McKinley at 20,320 feet (6,198 meters).
9History TimelineThe history of the USA dates back only to the 15th century. In the 15th century there was no USA at all. The present territory of the USA was divided among some countries. In the 15th — 16th centuries some territory of the USA belonged to Great Britain (northern and western lands); southern parts (California, Florida, New Mexico, Texas) belonged to Spain, then — to Mexico; the central part, the territory was called Louisiana — to France; Alaska was possessed by Russia; some territories remained to be under Indians control.In 18th century there were only thirteen Britain's American colonies and they broke with Great Britain in 1776 and later were recognized as the new nation of the the United States of America, following the Treaty of Paris in During the 19th"and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded their frontiers across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions.There were three most dramatic experiences in the nation's history: the Civil War ( ), the Great Depression of the 1930s and Vietnam War of the 1960s — 70s.After its victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the USA remains the world's most powerful state. The economy is marked by steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and great advances in technology.
10RegionsThroughout its history, the United States has been a nation of immigrants. The population is diverse with people from all over the world seeking refuge and a better way of life. The country is divided into six regions: New England; the mid-Atlantic; the South; the Midwest; the Southwest, and the West. European settlers came to New England in search of religious freedom. These states are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
12The mid-Atlantic region includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the city of Washington, D.C. These industrial areas attracted millions of European immigrants and gave rise to some of the East Coast's largest cities: New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.The South includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, all of which struggled after the Civil War, which lasted fromThe Midwest is home to the country's agricultural base and is called the "nation's breadbasket." The region comprises the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.The Southwest is a beautiful stark landscape of prairie and desert. The states of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas are considered the Southwest and are home to some of the world's great natural marvels, including the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns.The American West, home of rolling plains and the cowboy, is a symbol of the pioneering spirit of the United States. The West is diverse, ranging from endless wilderness to barren desert, coral reefs to Arctic tundra, Hollywood to Yellowstone. The states of the West include Alaska, Colorado, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
13Political StructureCitizens over the age of 18 years old vote to elect the President and Vice President of United States every four years. The president lives in the White House in the capital city of Washington, D.C. There are two houses of Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives.There are 100 senators, two from each of the 50 states and each serves a six-year term. There are 435 representatives who must be elected every two years. The Supreme Court is made up of nine justices who are picked by the president and must be approved by Congress.For the first time in the nation's history an African American, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States in 2008.Advances in the past hundred years have established America as a world leader economically, militarily, and technologically. America has the largest coal reserves in the world.
14Political structureThe United States is the world's oldest surviving federation. It is a constitutional republic and representative democracy, "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law." The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the U.S. Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document. In the American federalist system, citizens are usually subject to three levels of government, federal, state, and local; the local government's duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments. In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district. There is no proportional representation at the federal level, and it is very rare at lower levels. The head of the State is President.
15Sights and citiesWashington, D.C is the capital of the United States of America. It is situated on the East Coast. It was chosen by George Washington on December 1, Washington, D.C. is a city and district - the District of Columbia.
16The Statue of LibertyThe Statue of Liberty is the symbol of freedom in America. It is a bronze figure (almost 46 metre) of a woman holding up a torch, on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, which is a gift from the French government sent to America in 1884.
17The White HouseThe White House is the place where the president of the USA lives and works. George Washington is the only president who didn’t live there. It is the official residence of the USA presidents. It is consists of 132 rooms.
18The United States Capitol The tallest building in Washington, D. C. and the most famous building in the USA, because this is where laws are made. The Capitol is surrounded by a beautiful garden with many trees and flowers.
19The Washington Monument The Washington Monument is one of the city’s most impressive sights. It was built to the memory of the first President of the USA in1888. It is called “The Pencil”, because it is one of the tallest stone structures in the USA.
20The Lincoln MemorialThe Lincoln Memorial has 36 columns. Each column represents the state in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death. There’s a realistic figure of Lincoln. He became the 16th President of the USA in Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the blacks in the South from slavery.
21The Jefferson Memorial The declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson. He was the third President of the United States. The Jefferson Memorial was built in honour of Thomas Jefferson. Inside there’s a statue of Thomas Jefferson.
22The PentagonDepartment of Defense, the Pentagon is the largest office building in the world. The Pentagon has some of the world’s largest telephone, food service and a very large parking lot.
24Famous peopleBorn: February 22, 1732 Died: December 14, 1799 George Washington was the first President of the United States. He was born in Virginia. He went to school for about eight years. He especially liked to study mathematics. He also liked to study history and geography, because he wanted to know about other parts of the world. He led the American army in many battles in the War for Independence.
25Gilbert StuartGilbert Stuart is widely considered to be one of America's foremost portraitists. His best known work, the unfinished portrait of George Washington that is sometimes referred to as The Athenaeum, was begun in 1796 and left incomplete at the time of Stuart's death in The image of George Washington featured in the painting has appeared on the United States one-dollar bill for over one century.
26Thomas Alva Edison Born: February 11, 1847 Died: October 18, 1931 The phonograph and the motion-picture projector were only a few of Thomas Alva Edison's more than 1,000 inventions. One of the most famous inventors in the history of technology, Edison also created the first industrial research laboratory, in Menlo Park, New Jersey, in 1876.
27Abraham LincolnBorn: February 12, 1809 in Hardin County, Kentucky Died: April 15, 1865, assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.Known for leading the country through the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. His eloquence is evident in many speeches including his most famous one, the Gettysburg Address. His second inaugural address, which includes the phrase, "With malice toward none; with charity for all..." is inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
28Mark TwainBorn: November 30, 1835 Died: April 1910Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in Florida, Missouri, and later moved with his family to Hannibal, Missouri, where he grew up. Although he had a number of odd jobs early in his life, Clemens is best known as a writer who took the pen name of Mark Twain about five years after he published his first major work. Twain was a traveling journalist, humorist, writer, and lecturer whose most famous novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. His childhood in Hannibal along the Mississippi River inspired colorful tales of adventures on the waterway. Twain traveled around the world and he dazzled audiences far and wide with lectures filled with the same humor and spirit found in his writings.
29Frank Lloyd WrightBorn: June 8, 1867 Died: April 9, 1959Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most original American architects of the 20th century. His buildings and ideas have affected the way offices and homes are designed and organized today. Wright's willingness to look to various cultures for inspiration allowed him to develop a unique style. During the early decades of the 1900s, other American architects were merely imitating European styles. Wright believed in the power that good design has to make people more aware and respectful of their surroundings and of nature. Wright designed office buildings, houses, neighborhoods, public buildings, churches, and museums. He designed about 800 buildings. Of the 380 that were built, about 280 are still standing. The influence of his "Prairie style" of architecture is in evidence in homes across the country.
30Andrew Carnegie Born: November 25, 1835 Died: August 11, 1919 Andrew Carnegie's life was a true "rags to riches" story. Born to a poor Scottish family that immigrated to the United States, Carnegie became a powerful businessman and a leading force in the American steel industry. Today, he is remembered as an industrialist, millionaire, and philanthropist. Carnegie believed that the wealthy had an obligation to give back to society, so he donated much of his fortune to causes like education and peace.
31Leonard BernsteinBorn: August 25, 1918 Died: October 14, 1990Leonard Bernstein was a pioneer in the field of music. He was the first internationally acclaimed American-born orchestra conductor. Before Bernstein, all the great orchestras in Europe, as well as America, were led by someone from Europe or Asia. Bernstein traveled the world as a conductor and encouraged appreciation of the music of American composers, especially Aaron Copland. Bernstein not only composed classical works but also wrote music for Broadway, including West Side Story (1957) and On the Town (1944). For much of his life, he worked closely with the New York Philharmonic, with which he made several international tours and recordings.
32Natural WorldThe landscape varies across the large country from tropical beaches in Florida to peaks in the Rocky Mountains, from rolling prairie lands and barren deserts in the West to dense wilderness areas in the Northeast and Northwest. Interspersed throughout are the Great Lakes, the Grand Canyon, the majestic Yosemite Valley, and the mighty Mississippi River.
33WildlifeThe wildlife is as diverse as the landscape. Mammals such as bison once roamed freely across the plains, but now live only in preserves. Black bears, grizzlies, and polar bears are the largest carnivores. There are over 20,000 flower species and most came from Europe. There are nearly 400 areas which are protected and maintained by the National Park Service, and many other parks in each state. The bald eagle is the national bird and symbol of the United States and is a protected species.
34Acadia National ParkThe Acadia National Park beautiful area is approximately 60 sq m, it is one of the most visited natural reserves in the United States (open throughout the year; particularly fine in the fall), lies on the coast of Maine near the Canadian peninsula of Nova Scotia. It is a region of rocky coasts, forests with clear and transparent rivers, streams and lakes, and rolling majestic hills, offering perfect conditions for a variety of sports and entertainning activities both in summer and in winter. The central point of the National Park is the hilly Mount Desert Island, on the east coast of which is the main town, Bar Harbor. Especially attractive are the Otter Cliffs and Otter Point, where a varied Arctic flora can be studied and numbers of birds (cormorants, seagulls) can be observed. There is a beautiful drive round the National Park on the Park Loop
35Abilene WildAbilene wild days as the "cowtown" of Kansas are past, but Abilene the old town still preserves something of the atmosphere of the Wild wide West. The mini town of Abilene is present in the north-east of the state. Apart from this the town is known to fame as the boyhood home of General Dwight D. Eisenhower ( ), the 34th President of the United States, the general's memories are commemorated by a museum, the Presidential
36Aiken CountyAiken County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The Aiken County Historical Museum consists of Banksia, the estate of Richard Howe constructed in Rooms of the mansion have late 18th and 19th century life in Aiken County.
37The town of AjoThe town of Ajo is two hours south of Phoenix, and just over two hours west of Tucson. Ajo was the popular birthplace of copper mining in Arizona, and is now a famous tourist destination and retirement community. It boasts a massive open pit copper mine, and is the gateway to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The university town of Flagstaff, within the Coconino National Forest, is a good base from which to sight see the Grand Canyon and the Navajo Country.
38Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge ranges to 860,000 acres along the Mexican boundary, southwest of Ajo. Put together up in 1939, the refuge guards plants and animals native to the area. Cabeza Prieta is Spanish for "Black Head", a reference to one of the peaks in the western corner. The visitor can stray around the place and can sight see the beautiful and lovely surroundings. Cabeza Prieta has seven rugged mountain ranges and shares a portion of its border with Sonora, Mexico. Some of the main activities in this area include hiking, photography, wildlife observation, and primitive camping.
39Entertainment FOLK LIFE Folklife- as part of USA culture - is your grandfather and great-uncles telling stories of your father when he was a boy. It is the secret languages of children, the codenames of CB operators, and the working slang of watermen and doctors. It is the sung parodies of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and the parables told in church or home to delight and instruct. It is African-American rhythms embedded in gospel hymns of usa culture, bluegrass music, and hip hop of usa culture, and it is the Lakota flutist rendering anew his people's ancient courtship songs. In passing the American Folklife Preservation Act in 1976, Congress bolstered its call to "preserve and present American folklife" as a culture of usa by establishing the American Folklife Center.
40American SportsBASEBALL The sport that evokes more nostalgia among Americans than any other is baseball. So many people play the game as children that it has become known as "the national pastime." It is also a democratic game. Unlike football and basketball, baseball can be played well by people of average height and weight.BASKETBALL Another American game that has traveled well is basketball, now played by more than 250 million people worldwide in an organized fashion, as well as by countless others in "pick-up" games. Basketball originated in 1891 when a future Presbyterian minister named James Naismith ( ) was assigned to teach a physical education class at a Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) training school
41American Mass MediaThe average American, according to a recent study, spends about eight hours a day with the print and electronic media which reflects the rich culture of usa - at home, at work, and traveling by car. This total includes four hours watching television, three hours listening to radio, a half hour listening to recorded music, and another half hour reading the newspaper.
42American FoodNative American food includes various breads, soups and wild green salads. Colonists brought their own culinary traditions and America became a melting pot for migrants from many countries, for example, Italy , Greece and China . Today, food in the USA reflects this cultural diversity. The Spanish influence is particularly evident in parts of the country colonized by Spain. The American food industry has become internationally known for its fast-food chains such as McDonald's. American ice cream is available in many varieties and ice cream retail chains have opened outside the United States. American-style cookies, muffins and bagels are also making an impact in the international snack-food market.
43Thanksgiving DayThe last Thursday in November is Thanksgiving Day. People go to church, decorate their houses and families get together. They thank God for good harvest and happy life. The turkey became a symbol of Thanksgiving Day.