Hledejte v chronologicky řazené databázi studijních materiálů (starší / novější příspěvky).


1) Basic facts and Geography, Climate
2) History
3) National symbols
4) Political system
5) Places of interest

    The USA extend over one third of the North America continent. The USA has an area over 9,370,000 square kilometres and population is about 285,000,000 inhabitants. The population consist of many nationalities. 80% of inhabitants are white, 12% African –Americans, 3% Asian/Pacific islanders, 1% Eskimo and about 9% Hispanics. The capital is Washington D.C. and national currency is American Dollar. The official spoken language is the English and the nonofficial the Spain.
    The USA is the fourth largest country of the world after Russia, Canada and China.
The USA is bordered by Canada in the North, by Mexico in the South, by The Pacific Ocean in the west and by The Atlantic Ocean in the east. The country is divided into four main areas. The Appalachian Highlands are geologically the oldest.  It is situated in the east south part of continent. The Interior Plains also called The Mississippi Basin can be found to the west form The Appalachian Highlands. It includes Lowlands, Central Plains and Great Plains. Cordilleras occupies about half of continent in the west. They can be divided into the several parts: The Rocky Mountains, Great Basin where is the lowest point in the USA-Death Valley (85 metres below sea level). The Colorado Plateau with famous Grand Canyon is also part of The Rocky Mountains. In the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada there is situated the highest peak of the continental USA Mt. Whitney (4418m) but the highest point of USA is Mt. McKinley in Alaska (6194m).
    The USA has also many rivers. Here are the most important. The Mississippi and Missouri are the biggest river system. The most important river is the Hudson. The Hudson is the connection with The Great Lakes. The St Lawrence connects The Great Lakes with The Atlantic Ocean. The biggest river in Alaska is The Yukon
     The Great Lakes make the border with Canada. They are Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. They together cover about 250,000 sq. kilometres.
    The Climate of the USA is varied from the Arctic climate in the north to the subtropical climate in the south. There is a great difference between the climate on the Pacific coast, which is worm and summers and winters are not so different. The Atlantic coast is cold.
The Hawaiian Islands has tropical climate.

    History of the USA begun in 1492, when Christopher Columbus reached the coast of Bahamas Islands. From October 12, 1492 to July, 1776 North America was a colonial land to many western countries. People moved there because they were looking for resources and because of religion. They also wanted to find gold, but they found out many others sources such as potatoes, beans, corn, and tobacco. The explorers established settlements and first colonies were created. (e.g.: French –Louisiana, 1607-Dutch – New Amsterdam, British – New England, etc…
    The resources were carried to Europe, there they were worked and goods were moved back to America. They have to pay for that very expensive goods. The Boston Tea Party in 1773 was the first public protest against importing goods.
    The War for Independence begun and it was finished on July 4, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed by 13 colonies that fought in the war. The authors of the document are Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. The first president was George Washington. During 1788 the new Constitution has been created. The USA was divided into two parts. The North, which was industrial and The South, which was agriculture. In the South there was common to use slaves for the work on the plantings, but in the North wasn’t.  Later the USA was divided also politically because of coming more and more immigrants.  The North afraid that the slave power becomes dominant in the whole nation. So there was formed a new party of Republicans in the North, who wanted to abolish slavery. The South supported Democrats. Abraham Lincoln took a strong anti-slavery stand. This caused that Carolina and more 10 states broke away form The Union and formed Confederate States of America. The Civil War was form 1860 to 1865, when Southern General Lee surrounded his forces to the Union General Grant.
    In 1862 President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation, which emancipated all the slaves. The black were declared free in the 13-15th amendments to the Constitution and they were given the right to vote.                                                                                                                                                                                                        
National symbols (Flag, National anthem, Sea Eagle, In God we trust)
    The Flag of the United States popularly called The American (Star and Stripes) Flag is the national emblem of The USA. It consists of 13 horizontal stripes 7 red and 6 white and upper rectangular blue field with 50 white stars. The stripes symbolises 13 colonies, which signed The Declaration of Independence. The stars represent 50 states of The Union. 
The white colour signifies purity, red valour and hardiness and blue signifies justice.
    Golden Eagle is a symbol of courage and power because of its large size, superb aerial skills, and the inaccessibility of many of its nest sites, in wild and mountainous country.
    National anthem – Star-Spangled Banner was approved as a national anthem on March 3, 1931. Francis Scott Key wrote the text of the anthem on the board of a British frigate. The sight on the waving flag every morning inspired him to write the poem. This poem soon became very popular. Later in 1931 it became a national anthem     
Political system
Under the system of Checks and Balances the federal government is composed of three branches. The legislative represented by Congress, the Executive represented by the President and the Executive office and the Judicial represented by the Supreme Court and all other Federal Courts.     
    Congress comprises two bodies the Senate and the House of Representatives. They are responsible for drafting and passing laws, settings and collecting taxes, etc…The Senate is composed of 100 Senators (two for each state). Senators are elected for 6 years and every second year one third of the Senators is renewed.
    The House is composed of 435 Representatives. The number of the Representatives is based on the population of each state. Members of House are changed after two years. The House is responsible for originating all bills relating to taxes and determining the outcome of a presidential election if there’s no clear electoral majority.
    The President and Vice President are only elected officials of the Executive branch. Presidential elections are held every four years and President can be elected maximally two times. President has to be at least 35 years old. President serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, but the declaration of was must be made by Congress. President is also representing the country around the world. The executive branch comprises the President’s personal staff called Executive Office. –14 cabinet departments
    The smallest branch is the Judiciary interprets the law of the land. It is composed by three-level hierarchy- Federal district courts, US courts of appeal and the US Supreme court. President appoints judges at all three levels and the Senate must confirm them.   
Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. is situated at the Atlantic metropolitan belt. The abbreviation D.C. means District of Columbia, which was established by Congress in 1790. The city is situated on the Potomac River. The D.C. is the seat of the federal government of the United Sates. The plan of the city was created by the French architect Pierre L’Enfant. Maryland and Virginia gave the land for the District. It was originally square 10 miles on each side. The corners were oriented north-south and east-west. Washington is the most lucid city in USA. The US Capitol is situated exactly at the centre. The North-south streets are numbered from the Capitol and the east-west streets are lettered from the Capitol. The streets are perpendicular themselves.
Washington has many imposing buildings. The Capitol and the White House are the most historic. The Capitol consists of two parts, the Senate Wing and the House of Representatives Wing. White House is presidents’ residence. In 1800 John Adams was the first president who occupied the residence.
Other places of interest are e.g. Washington Monument. It’s the white marble obelisk rises in the middle of the Mall. Jefferson Memorial is the adaptation of the ancient Roman Pantheon. The open-air interior of the Monument is dominated by the bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson holding The Declaration of Independence. Lincoln Memorial was inspired by Greek architecture. The famous statue of George Washington stands in front of the Memorial.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the wall in a form of letter V engraved with names of those 58,000 killed or missing in the Vietnam War. Arlington National Cemetery is the country’s most revered burial, which contains graves of over 200,000 military and their dependents. Two of US presidents are buried there: President W. H. Taft and President John F. Kennedy.

New York City
New York is the largest and the most populated city in USA. New York can be divided into five parts: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island (Richmond). The city is situated on the River Hudson. The first European who entered New York was Giovanni da Verrazano. He was followed by Henry Hudson who named the Hudson River. In 1624 was established New Amsterdam by the Dutch. The island was bought form Indians for 24 dollars.
In 1664 New Amsterdam became an English colony and it was renamed to New York In 1886 the Statue of Liberty was built into the harbour. At the turn of 20th century the first skyscrapers begun to appear. In the begun of the new century New York is known as a city of skyscrapers. The most famous World Trade Centre (twin tower) built in 1973 was destroyed on September 11,2001 by terrorist attack. 
Also as in Washington, New York has many imposing buildings. The world known Wall Street is the first stock in entire world created in 1792. Madison Square named after James Madison, was established as a park in 1811. Madison Square Garden Centre was built in 1968 and it’s a place of cultural and sports events. Probably the most famous building in the New York is the Empire State building. It is the one of the highest buildings in the world. It has 102 stories and it’s 381 metres high.
Other places of interest in the USA are NASA – Kennedy Space Centre’s Spaceport, Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, the Great Lakes area with Niagara Falls, etc…

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