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Text 4. The United States of America
Task 16. Read and translate the text. Comment on new words and expressions
The United States has the third-largest population in the world (after China and India). In 1990, population in the United States passed the 250,000,000 mark. Who are the American people? The most distinctive characteristics of the United States is its people, “it is not merely a nation but a nation of nations”.
The Native Americans came from Asia. The first migration might have been as early as 40,000 years ago. When Columbus arrived in the fifteenth century, there were perhaps 10 million people in North America alone. These were the people that Columbus called “Indians”.
Today there are about 1.5 million Indians. Western States – especially California, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico – have the largest Indian populations. Poverty and unemployment are major problems, especially on reservations.
In the 1600s, the British settled the eastern part of North America. By the time of the American Revolution (1776), the culture of the American colonists was British. Over the years, many immigrants to the United States have come from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
From 1620 to 1820 the largest group of people was brought to work as slaves. These people were West Africans. All in all, about 8 million people were brought from Africa.
Beginning in the 1820s, the number of immigrants coming to the United States from Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, and Norway began to increase rapidly. Faced with problems in Europe – poverty, war, discrimination – immigrants hoped for, and often found, better opportunities in the United States.
From the 1870s to the 1930s more people came from the countries of southern and eastern Europe – for example, Italy, Greece, Poland, and Russia.
During this period, the United States was changing from a mainly agricultural to a mainly industrial country. The new immigrants helped make this change possible. Many settled in cities and worked in factories.
Hispanics come from many different countries. Three especially large groups are Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban-Americans. Inthe nineteenth century, Asians, such as Chinese and Japanese came to California, and met with widespread discrimination.
For years, it was thought that the United States was and should be a “melting pot” – in other words, that people from all over the world would come and adopt the American culture as their own. More recently, some people have compared the United States to a mosaic – a picture made of many different pieces.
The United States economy is based on the free enterprise system: Private businesses compete against one another with relatively little interference from the government.
Until the second half of the 19th century, the United States was a mainly agricultural nation. In the 1950s and 1960s, the U.S. economy grew rapidly, especially in the South and Southwest.
Just as there had been a shift from agriculture to industry, there is now a shift from industry to services. Services are provided by hospitals, banks, law firms, hotels and restaurants, and so on. In recent years, most new jobs have been service jobs.
The United States is a large country and is rich in natural resources. It is a leading producer of many of fuel – of oil, natural gas, and coal. It is also a leading producer of many other minerals, including copper, gold, aluminum, iron, and lead. The United States grows wheat, corn, and other crops and raises many cows, pigs, and chickens.
International trade is important to the United States. Major exports include machinery and high-technology equipment, chemicals, cars, aircrafts, and grains. Major imports include machinery and telecommunications equipment, oil, cars, metals, and chemicals.
Today, the United States faces some major economic challenges. One important challenge is increasing its productivity, or the efficiency of the labor force, in order to increase the rate of economic growth. Another challenge, as the country shifts from manufacturing to services, is to train people to fill new kinds of jobs.
Task 17. Answer the following questions, solve the problems, do the tasks.
1. Do people immigrate to your country? Are there many immigrants today? Where are the immigrants from? Why do they leave their countries?
2. Do many people emigrate from Russia to other countries, for example, to the United States? Why? What region do they go to settle?
3. What do “melting pot” and”mosaic” refer to? What do you think are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each?
4. In the United States, two major economic challenges are (1) increasing productivity of workers and (2) training workers for new kinds of jobs. Do you know what major economic challenges your country is facing now?
5. What are some differences between the educational system in the United States and that Russia?
6. What are some popular leisure and entertainment activities in your country? What are some favorite sports; favorite places to travel to; what do you like to do in your leisure time?
7. Which of your following main vacations would you prefer to take? 1) a seaside vacation; 2) camping and hiking vacation; skiing vacation. Explain the reasons for your choice.
8. What does the Fourth of July celebrate?
9. Have you heard of Harvard University? Would you want to live in a town like Cambridge with many students? Why or why not?
9. What are your impressions of cowboys and cowboy life?
10. What city of the United States of America is the Golden Gate Bridge in?
11. What is the most important centre of America’s computer and electronics industry?
Task 18. Cross out the option that is the least like the others (use the map if necessary).
1. The Mid – Atlantic region
a) New Jersey b) Delaware c) New York d) California e) Pennsylvania
2. New England
a) Massachusetts b) Nevada c) Maine c) Rhode Island d) New Hampshire
a) Washington b) New Mexico c) Arizona d) Oklahoma e) Texas
4. The Rocky Mountain region
a) Montana b) Colorado c) Alaska d) Wyoming e) Utah
5. The South
a) Ohio b) Kentucky c) Georgia d) Florida e) Tennessee
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