The United States of America

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The United States of America

The United States of America occupy a large territory. The USA is situated in the central and southern part of Northern America. It is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and by the Pacific Ocean in the west. It stretches from Canada in the north to Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Gulf of California in the south.

In size, the USA is the fourth among the nations after Russia, Canada and China. It has many islands in the Pacific Ocean and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the Atlantic. It has military bases all over the world.

The USA is divided into three areas: Eastern area – a highland, where the Appalachian Mountains are situated, Central area – a plain, and Western area that is mountainous and includes the Cordilleras and the Rocky Mountains. The highest peak in the Appalachian Mountains is 2,037 metres high. The highest peak of the Cordilleras in the USA is 4,418 metres high. The Appalachian Mountains are very old. The Rocky Mountains are considered young.

The northeastern part of the USA is the region of the five Great Lakes (Lake Superior, Huron, and Michigan. Erie and Ontario) which are connected by channels cut by rapids. The greatest of these rapids is the Niagara Falls. The St. Lawrence River joins the water of the five lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. In the west of the USA there is another lake called the Great Salt Lake.

The main rivers of the USA are the Mississippi (it is the second largest river in the world after the Nile); the Missouri, the Yukon, the Colorado, the Columbia, the St. Lawrence, and the Hudson.


to occupy занимать
to be situated находиться
to wash омывать
to stretch (from . . . to) тянуться (от . . . до)
a gulf морской залив
a nation государство, страна
a military base военная база
to divide разделять
a highland плоскогорье, нагорье
a plain равнина
a mountain гора
to include включать
a peak пик, высшая точка
to consider полагать, считать
to connect соединять
a channel пролив
rapid речной порог
main основной

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is the capital of the USA. It stands on the River Potomac. George Washington chose it to be the nation’s capital on December 1, 1800. The district is named after Columbus who discovered America in 1492.

Washington, D.C. is one of the most beautiful and unusual cities in the USA. No building in the city may be more than 40 meters tall.

Washington, D.C. is the seat of federal government and there is the White House, the official residence of the President. President John Adams and his wife were the first to live there. It was in November 1800. The White House is the oldest building in Washington, D.C. It has the most famous address in the United States –1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There are 3 floors and 132 rooms in the White House. The rooms for public functions are on the first floor. The President and the First Family use the second and the third floor.

The United States Capitol is the tallest building in Washington, D.C. and the most famous building in the USA because this is where the laws are made.

Washington, D.C. doesn’t belong to any state. It is a city and a district – the District of Columbia (D.C.). The state of Washington is in the north-west of the USA. Washington, D.C. is on the East Coast.

Tasks to the text:

I. Answer the questions:

1. What is the capital of the USA?
2. Where is it?
3. When did it become the nation’s capital?
4. Who is it named after?
5. Why is it the most unusual city?
6. Who was the first President to live in the White House?
7. Describe the White House.
8. Where are laws made? What else do you know about the US Capitol?
9. What is the difference between Washington, D.C. and the state of Washington?

2. Make up 5 – 6 true or false statements to the text above.

The Make-up of the Congress

What do you know about?

1. The US President?
2. The House of Representatives?
3. The Senate?
4. The Congress?
5. The branches of the US government?

Crossword Puzzle


1. Presiding Officer in the House of Representatives.
2. It is made in the United States Capitol.
3. The first President of the USA.
4. The person who discovered America and after whom Washington district is named.
5. The tallest building in Washington, D.C.
6. The month the presidential election is held.
7. The legislative branch of the US government.
8. The place where the President lives and works.


4. The 42nd President of the USA.
9. The river Washington, D.C. stands on.
10. The head of the executive branch of the US government.
11. A person who works in the US Senate.
12. The President who was the first to live in the White House.
13. It has 3 branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial.



The branches of the US government  

The American system of government is established by the United States Constitution, which provides for three separate but equal branches of government--legislative, executive, and judicial. Together, these branches make, execute, and interpret the laws that govern our country. Because each branch has both individual and shared powers, no one branch has more authority than the other two, and each is accountable to the others. This "checks and balances" system means that the balance of power in our government remains steady.

Under the Constitution, the federal government is divided into three branches.

The legislative power is vested in Congress and made up of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representative. There are 435 members in the House of Representative and 100 senators. Each state elects two members of the 100-member Senate.

The President, who proposes bills to Congress, enforces federal laws, serves as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and with the approval of the Senate, makes treaties, heads the executive branch. President can veto a bill unless Congress by a two-thirds vote shall overrule him.

The vice President, elected from the same political party as the President, acts as chairman of the Senate, and in the event of the death of the President, assumes the Presidency.

The judicial branch is made up of Federal District Courts, 11 Federal Courts and the Supreme Court. The President for life appoints federal judges. Federal courts decide cases involving federal law, conflicts between citizens of different states. The Supreme Court may rule the law to be unconstitutional.

Now about the elections. The President is chosen in nation-wide elections every 4 years together with the Vice-President.

 Constitution has been amended 26 times. The Bill of Rights guarantee individual liberties: freedom of word, religion and so on. Later amendments abolish slavery, grant the vote to women and allow citizens to vote at age 18.

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