The USA is the fourth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada and China. It occupies the Southern part of the North America and stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. It also includes Alaska in the north and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. In 1959 Alaska became 49th state of the USA. Alaska is America's largest state, but very few people live there. The capital of Alaska is Juneau. After fishing Alaska's chief industry is lumber and paper production. There are also deposits of coal, copper, gold and other important minerals. The largest island, Hawaii lies at the South-Eastern End of the chain and is almost twice at large as all other islands combined.
The total area of the USA is about 9 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-border 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 about 250 million. The White House, where the US president lives and works, the Capitol, the Home of the US Congress and the Supreme Court are all in Washington. It was named after the first US president – George Washington. It is one of the most beautiful and unusual cities in the US. There are some important museums in Washington, where you can see all kinds of things: famous paintings and sculptures, the original of the Declaration of Independence and etc. People from all parts of the USA come to see their capital.
America's largest rivers are the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Rio-Grande and the Columbia. The Great Lakes on the border with Canada are the largest and the deepest in the USA. The existence of the Great Salt Lakes was known to early travelers. The climate of the USA varies greatly. The coldest regions are in the North. The climate of the central part is continental. The South has a subtropical climate.
The USA is a highly developed industrial country. It is 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 air-crafts, cars, textiles, radio and TV sets and etc.
The largest cities are New-York, Los-Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San-Francisco and Washington. New-York is the largest city in the USA and one of the largest cities in the world. It is situated in the natural harbor of the mouth of the Hudson river. Manhattan is the smallest island in New-York. The US has its head-quarters there. New-York is the city of sky-scrapers, those incredible high buildings which Americans invented. The city is the national leader in business, finance, manufacturing, advertising, fashion and the arts.
The US is a federal union of 50 states each of which has its own government. The seat of the central government is Washington, DC. According to the US constitution, the powers of the government are divided into 3 branches: the executive, headed by the president, the legislative, exercised by the Congress and the judicial. The Congress consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. There are two main political parties in the USA: the Republicans and the Democratic.
American society seems to be much more informal than the British and in some way is characterized by less of social distinction. Students don't stand up when the teacher enters the room. They use names when calling each other, joke and are much freer in their speech which is more slangy than the conversational British English. As a description of character democracy is generally used to signify that a person of high social or economic status in such a way that his or her inferiors are not reminded of their inferiority. Certain other forms of politeness are observed on social occasions: women may wear hats in church. Men who do wear hats ordinarily remove them in elevators, churches, restaurants, private homes, business offices – in fact in most public situations when they wish to show respect.