ТОП 10:

In this unit you’re going to learn about a turning point in American history, but there are lots of famous dates in the history of the USA. Match the date to the important event.



the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in Japan by America.
  the end of the revolutionary war.
  the biggest war for independence lasted.
  Columbus discovered America.
Englishmen arrived in America on board the ship “Mayflower” to live and to work there.
1775-1783   the United States of America was founded.
1861-1865   Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon.
the Civil War lasted.

Reading

 

Read a short article about the United States of America. Then match the words in bold to the definitions.

The United States of America (I)   The United States of America, one of the biggest countries in the world, is situated in the southern half of North America. It occupies a favourable geographical position being washed by two oceans and the Gulf of Mexico. Today the USA covers an area of 9.4 million sq. km. Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean the USA borders upon Canada in the north and upon Mexico in the south. The American Indians were the first people to live in that vast land. They had a fascinating, ancient culture, and rich traditions of language and customs. When Christopher Columbus arrived, in 1492, there were probably about 1,500,000 Indians in North America. But then, immigrants came. By the early nineteenth century, the population was more than 17 million. Most came from the Middle East and the Far East, as well as millions of Africans, caught in the terrible slave. Immigration went on growing, so the population grew from 4 million (1790) to 235 million inhabitants now.    


 

 

The USA is a federation of 50 states. The United States’ flag is called the “Stars and Stripes”. It has thirteen red and white stripes and fifty white stars on a blue square. One star is for each state of the United States now, and the stripes are for the first thirteen states of the union.

The biggest river in the United States is the Mississippi. The largest lakes are the Great Lakes, five in number. The highest mountain chains are the Appalachians in the east and Cordilleras in the west.

On the whole USA has a continental climate but every part of the country is different, from Alaska in the north, covered with snow and ice, to the tropical Florida in the south. It is at the same time one of the hottest and of the coldest countries; one of the wettest and one of the driest.

The USA is a highly developed industrial and agricultural country. Heavy industry prevails in the USA, including mining, metallurgical, machine-building and chemical industries. Being well developed light industry includes textile, leather, footwear and food industries.

The capital of the USA is the city of Washington; New York is a centre of finance, of shipping, of fun; New Orleans deals in cotton; Chicago is famous for wheatand cattle; Detroit is a centre of the car industry.

……………….. a row of mountains or islands  
………………..   to be the most important feature
………………..   the skin of an animal made smooth and flexible
………………..   a kind of grain used in making flour and pasta
………………..   domesticated cows and bulls
………………..   people that are permanent residents of a particular place or region
………………..   advantageous, encouraging or promising
………………..   ……………….. to exist and increase in size   attractive or delightful

Match the opposites.

rich wet heavy northern
light low
hot dry
southern the same
high cold
various poor

Speaking

Copy the chart in Ex.4, p.4 and complete it with information from the text. Then speak about the USA.

 

Reading

 

5. Read the article about the United States of America and translate it, using a dictionary. Then try to remember the words in bold.

The United States of America (II)

In 1776, the thirteen weak British colonies in America came together, stood up, and told that from now on they would be free and independent states.

A bitter six-year war followed (1776-82) and a new republic was founded, turning into reality the dreams and ideals of a few political philosophers. It’s hard to appreciate today, over two centuries later, what a revolutionary act this was.

Americans broke with age-old tradition; they decided that it was their right to choose their own form of government. At that time, the statement that governments should receive their powers only “from the consent of the governed” was radical indeed. Something new was under the sun: a system of government, in Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, for the people”.

The former colonies, now “the United States of America”, first operated under an agreement called the Articles of Confederation (1781). It was soon clear that this loose agreementamong the states was not working well. The central, federal government was too weak, with too few powers for defence, trade and taxation.

In 1787, therefore, delegates from the states met in Philadelphia. They wanted to revise the Articles, but they did much more than that. They wrote a completely new document - the Constitution, which after much argument, debate, and compromise was finished in the same year and officially adopted by the thirteen states by 1790.

The Constitution sets the basic form of government: three separate branches, each one having powers (“checks and balances”) over the others. It specifies the powers and duties of each federal branch of government, with all other powers and duties belonging to the states.







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