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The United States of America is the fourth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada and China). The USA is situated in the central part of the North American continent and stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. It also includes Alaska in the North and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. The USA borders on Canada in the north and on Mexico in the south. It also has a sea border with Russia. The total area of the country is about nine and a half million square kilometres. The population of the USA is over 313 million. Most of the population lives in the urban area.

The United States of America was founded in 1776. The Constitution was adopted in 1787. The first President of the USA was George Washington. The USA is made up of 50 states and the District of Columbia, a special federal area where Washington, D.C., the capital of the country, is situated.

The climate of the USA varies greatly. The coldest regions are in the North. The climate of Alaska is arctic; the climate of the central part is continental, and the South has subtropical climate. Hot winds blowing from the Gulf of Mexico often bring typhoons. The climate along the Pacific coast is much warmer than that of the Atlantic coast.

If we look at the map of the USA, we can see lowlands and mountains. The highest mountains are the Rocky Mountains, the Cordillera and Sierra Nevada. The highest peak is Mount McKinley, which is located in Alaska. The United States is a land of rivers and lakes. The northern state of Minnesota is a land of 10 000 lakes. The longest rivers in the USA are the Mississippi, the Missouri and the Rio Grande. The Great Lakes on the border with Canada are the largest and deepest in the USA. There are five Great Lakes between the USA and Canada.

The USA is a highly developed industrial country. The USA is rich in natural and mineral resources. It is the leading producer of copper and oil and the world’s second producer of iron ore and coal. On the industrial enterprises of the country they produce aircrafts, cars, textiles, radio and television sets, armaments, furniture and paper.

American farmers plantspring wheat on the cold western plains; raise corn and wheat; have fine beef cattle in the Midwest. Florida and California are famous for their vegetables and fruits, and the northwestern states are known for apples, pears, berries and vegetables.

There are many large cities in the USA. They are Washington (the capital of the country), New York (the city of contrasts and the financial and business centre of the USA), Boston (which has three universities), Chicago (one of the biggest industrial cities in the USA), San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia; Hollywood (the centre of the US film industry) and many others.

The USA has an Academy of Sciences. There are many scientific institutions, museums, libraries, theatres and other interesting places in the country.

The USA is a federal republic. Each of these states has its own government. Congress is the American parliament which consists of twoChambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The president is the head of the state and the government. He is elected for four years. There are two main political parties in the USA. They are the Democratic Party (organized in the 1820s) and the Republican Party (organized in the 1850s).

There are a lot of holidays in the USA. Many of them are associated with the history of the nation. The main holidays of the USA are New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. Memorial Day comes on May 30. It is dedicated to the memory of those who died for America in different wars. The national flags are put on the gravesof soldiers on this day.

The 4th of July, an Independence Day, is the biggest national holiday of the USA. On this day in 1776 a document, known as the Declaration of Independence, was adopted. During this holiday American cities have parades, people shoot offfire-works in parks and fields.

Thanksgiving Day comes on the fourth Thursday of November. When the first settlers landed in America, their first year was very hard and 50 of 100 people died. But the Indians taught people how to plant corn and wild vegetables and in autumn they got a large harvest. Thanksgiving Day was their holiday, the day of giving thanks to God. It is a family holiday and Americans try to gather all family at home on this day.

The USA became the world leading country at the beginning of the twentieth century. On the whole, the United States of America can be of great interest both to tourists and to people studying its life and territory.

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