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  • American Symbols

  • American writers

  • Cities of the USA

  • Franklin and Jefferson

  • The USA. Geographical Position. Climate. Rich Resources

  • George Washington

  • Halloween

  • Independence Day

  • John Galsworthy

  • O.Henry

  • Sport in the USA

  • Thanksgiving

  • The Higher Organs of Power in the USA

  • The United States of America

  • The US Government

  • Traditional American Food

  • Twain, Mark

  • Washington DC

  • American Symbols

    The American flag is often called «The Stars and Stripes», it is also called «01d Glory». It represents the growth of the nation. It has 13 horizontal stripes,7 red and 6 white which stand for the original 13 states. In the top left hand corner there are 50 white stars on a blue background: one star for each state. The national anthem of the United States is «The

    Star Spangled Banner*. The words written during the Ang­lo-American war of 1812—1814 and set to the music of an old song. Every state has its own flag, its own emblem and its own anthem too.

    The eagle became the national emblem of the country in 1782. It has an olive branch (a symbol of peace) and arrows (a symbol of strength). You can see the eagle on the back of a dolliar bill.

    The Statue of Liberty is the symbol of American democra­cy. It stands on Liberty Island in New York. It is one of the first things people see when they arrive in New York by sea. This National Monument was a present from France to the USA. France gave the statue to America in 1884 as a symbol of friendshi p. Liberty carries the torch of freedom — in her right hand. In her left hand she is holding a tablet with the inscription «July 4,1776* — American Independence Day.
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    American writers

    Twain, Mark

    Twain, Mark, pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), American writer and humorist, whose best work is characterized by broad, often irreverent humor or biting social satire. Twain’s writing is also known for realism of place and language, memorable characters, and hatred of hypocrisy and oppression.

    Born in Florida, Missouri, Clemens moved with his family to Hannibal, Missouri, a port on the Mississippi River, when he was four years old. There he received a public school education. In 1862 he became a reporter on the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada, and in 1863 he began signing his articles with the pseudonym Mark Twain, a Mississippi River phrase meaning “two fathoms deep.” After moving to San Francisco, California, in 1864, Twain met American writers Artemus Ward and Bret Harte, who encouraged him in his work. In 1865 Twain reworked a tale he had heard in the California gold fields, and within months the author and the story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” had become national sensations.

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the sequel to Tom Sawyer, is considered Twain’s masterpiece.

    O.Henry

    O.Henry was born in Greensboro, a little town in North Carolina in 1862. His real name was William Sydney Porter. The works of this writer reflect a specific period in American literature — the turn of the century. His credo was — art should be true, democratic and it should address contempo­rary life and embrace all aspects of life.

    O’Henry was an outstanding humourist. He worked out and enriched all the types of the short story: the anecdote, the adventure story, tales and sketches. The best of his works were published in books: «Cabbages and Kings*, «The Four Million*, «Heart of the West», «The Voice of the City* and others. He was most famous for his stories of city life. O.Henry wrote nearly 150 stories with a New York background. His works have considerable influence on American literature. His love for humanity, for the common people, his critical attitude towards injustice attract readers to this day. O.Henry could work out a plot that would keep the reader in suspense up to the surprising end.

    He was a born writer of great talent. The conversation is witty, humorous and often exact and precise. O.Henry is one of the most widely published American authors. His works have been translated into nearly every language. He has been called «The American Maupassant* and is ranked among the world’s outstanding short-story writers.

    London, Jack (1876-1916)

    American writer, whose work combined powerful realism and humanitarian sentiment. He was born John Griffith London in San Francisco. After completing grammar school, London worked at various odd jobs, and in 1897 and 1898 he participated in the Alaska gold rush. Upon his return to the San Francisco area, he began to write about his experiences. A collection of his short stories, The Son of the Wolf, was published in 1900. During his brief but colorful life, London wrote more than 50 books, experienced enormous popular success as an author, worked as a war correspondent, and undertook two stormy marriages.

    Many of his stories, including his masterpiece The Call of the Wild (1903), deal with the reversion of a civilized creature to the primitive state. London’s style—brutal, vivid, and exciting—made him enormously popular outside the United States; his works were translated into many languages. London’s important works include People of the Abyss (1903), about the poor in London; The Sea Wolf (1904), a novel based on the author’s experiences on a seal hunting ship; Martin Eden (1909), an autobiographical novel about a writer’s life; John Barleycorn (1913), an autobiographical novel about London’s struggle against alcoholism; and The Star Rover (1915), a collection of related stories dealing with reincarnation (see Transmigration).
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    Cities of the USA

    Detroit (city, Michigan), city in southeastern Michigan and seat of Wayne County. Detroit, the largest city in the state, is one of the nation’s leading industrial centers and the world’s foremost automobile manufacturing center. The automobile industry gave Detroit its nickname, The Motor City. Its official name, Detroit, comes from a French word that means “the narrow place.” The city is located at the narrowest point of the channel connecting the upper and lower regions of the vast Great Lakes water system. This strategic location greatly aided the city’s economic growth, as it became a major port of the Great Lakes industrial basin, linked to global markets in Europe and Asia.
    Detroit is located on the Detroit and Rouge rivers, opposite Windsor, Ontario, Canada. It is on a flat glacial plain that rises to rolling hills and lake country in the northwest. Detroit has temperate summers and moderately cold winters. Average temperature ranges are –9° to –1° C (16° to 30° F) in January and 16° to 29° C

    Chicago (city, Illinois), city and seat of Cook County, located in northeastern Illinois, on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Chicago River. Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and one of the country’s leading industrial, commercial, transportation, and financial centers. The city is a significant port for both domestic and international trade. Manufacturing employs about one-fifth of the metropolitan area’s workers. Chicago’s largest employer is the food products industry, followed by the printing and publishing, metal fabrication, electronic equipment, chemical, machinery, and transportation-equipment industries. The manufacture of furniture and agricultural implements has declined in importance in recent decades. Chicago is one of the nation’s leading producers of steel, metalware, confectionery, surgical appliances, railroad equipment, soap, paint, cosmetics, cans, industrial machinery, printed materials, and sporting goods. The population was 2,802,079 in 1998. Chicago covers a land area of 588.2 sq km (227.1 sq mi) and extends 47 km (29 mi) along Lake Michigan.  The city’s rapid growth was due in large part to its location, with ready access to markets and raw materials.

    Boston, the capital city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the seat of Suffolk County. It is located in the eastern part of the state on Boston Harbor, an inlet of Massachusetts Bay, at the mouth of the Charles River. Boston is the largest and most influential city in the six-state New England region. It was one of the earliest major U.S. cities to be settled by Europeans (1625) and the largest city in the British American colonies. The American Revolution (1775-1783) began in the Boston area.
    At the end of the 20th century, Boston was the focus of economic activity, communications, and transportation in New England and was one of the major centers of higher education in the United States. The city is scenically located along the waters of the Charles River and Boston Harbor. It has a compact, walkable city center, which is dotted with sites of historic interest dating to colonial times.
    Boston has humid summers and moderately cold winters. Temperatures in January average a high of 2° C (36° F) and a low of -6° C (22° F); July temperatures average a high of 28° C (82° F) and a low of 18° C (65° F). The city averages 1,100 mm (42 in) of precipitation a year.
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    Franklin and Jefferson

    Benjamin Franklin was self-educated, which means that he was too poor to go to school and therefore got a good education. As a boy he helped his father to make candles, which were thought to look more romantic that electric lights. When he was twelve Benjamin was so interested in reading that he gave up eating in order to buy books. Franklin was a plump, well-rounded man who invented almost as many things as Jefferson, including silkworms, the Franklin stove, and bifocals. He also made it possible for congressmen to send their letters free, which later became as the Franklin Privi­lege. When Franklin was seventy, he was sent to Paris to see what he could do to improve relations with the French, and he is said to have done extremely well despite his age.

    Thomas Jefferson is best known as the author of Declara­tion of Independence, which is responsible for two holidays: July Fourth and Declaration Day. Although he was the au­thor of this important document, he failed to secure a copy-‘ right.

    Jefferson was not only a statesman but an inventor. His

    many inventions include dumb-waiter. An extremely versatile person, he was also an architect. Jefferson made a great con­tribution to American political philosophy. He believed that all men are created equal. Deeply religious, Jefferson was for a time a minister to France. In his spare time he was a farmer and an aristocrat.
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    The USA. Geographical Position. Climate. Rich Resources

    The United States of America stretches from Atlantic Ocean across North America and far into the Pacific.

    Because of such a huge size of the country the climate differs from one part of the country to another. The coldest climate is in the northern part, where there is heavy snow in winter and the temperature may go down to 40 degrees below zero. The south has a subtropical climate, with temperature as high as 49 degrees in summer.

    The continental part of the USA consists of the highland regions and two lowland regions. The highland regions are the Appalachian mountains in the east and the Cordillera in the west. Between the Cordillera and the Appalachian moun­tains are the Central plains which are called the prairie, and eastern lowlands called the Mississippi valley.

    There are many mountains especially in the west and south­west. The Rocky mountains extend all the way from New Mexico to Alaska.

    Many rivers cross the country. The most important are the Mississippi, Missouri, Colorado, Sacramento. The main lakes in the USA are the Great Lakes in the north.

    The nation’s natural advantages and resources are proba­bly greater than those of any other area of equal size.

    The land is as varied as it huge. There are plains and mountains, grasslands and forests, sandy soil, clay and rich, dark loams.

    The mineral resources vary from precious gold and rare uranium to common lead and zinc. Coal, oil, iron, copper and other minerals are abundant. They form basis of modern industry.
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    George Washington

    George Washington (1732—1799) won a lasting place in American History as the «Father of our Country*. For nearly twenty years he guided his country much as a father cares for a growing child.

    Washington lived an exciting life in exciting times. As a boy, he explored the wilderness. When he grew older, he helped the British fight the French and Indians. Many times he was nearly killed.   As a general he suffered hardships with his troops in the cold winters. He lost many battles, but led the American Army to final victory. After he became President, he successfully solved many problems facing his country.

    Washington belonged to an old colonial family that be­lieved in hard work, in public service and in worshipping God. George Washington was born in Westmoreland county, Virginia, on a farm, on February 22, 1732. His first American ancestor came to Virginia from England in 1657. Farming, land buying, trading, milling, and the iron industry were the means by which the family rose in the world. George’s father, Augustine, had four children by his first wife and six by his second wife, Mary Ball, George’s mother.

    Of George’s early life little is known. His formal educai-tion was slight: no more than 7 or 8 years of school. Men, plantation life and the haunts of river, field and forest were his principal teachers. His favourite subject was arithmetic. He studied enough history and geography to know some­thing of the outside world. But he never learned very much about literature, foreign languages and history.

    At the age of 14 he began to work as a surveyor, making

    many trips into the wilderness areas of Virginia and Pennsyl­vania. His first military experience came in the French and Indian War (1754—1763), when he was sent on two missions deep into the Ohio county.

    In 1759 Washington retired and married Martha Dan-dridge, a rich widow. He became a loving stepfather to Mar­tha’s two children. He was a progressive farmer of that time.

    In 1760’s the American colonists grew angrier and angri­er at the taxes placed on them by Great Britain. In September 1771 the Continental Congress met, where Washington had his first chance to meet and talk with leaders of other colo­nies. The members were impressed with his judgement and military knowledge. He was sent to attend the Second Conti­nental Congress (1775) where he was elected a commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. He proved himself a capable commander of the War of Independence.

    In 1787 Washington was chosen president of the Conti­nental Convention and later elected first president of the republic (1789), followed by reelection (1792).

    George Washington died after an illness of two days on December 14, 1799.

    No other American has been honored more than Washing­ton. The nation’s capital, Washington D. C, was named after him. There the giant Washington Monument stands. The state of Washington is the only state named after President. Many cities, parks, streets, bridges, lakes, and schools bear his name. Washington’s portrait appears on postage stamps, on the $1 bill, and on the quarter.
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    Halloween

    Halloween is a festival that takes place on October 31. In the United States children wear costumes and masks and go trick-or-treating. Many of them carve jack-o’-lantens out of pumpkins. Fortunetelling and storytelling about ghosts and witches are popular activities.

    Halloween developed from new year festivals and festi­vals of the dead. Christian church established a festival on Novem-ber 1 called All Saints’ Day so that people could con­tinue to celebrate their festivals. The Mass said on All Saints’ Day was called Allhallowmass. The day before All Saints’ Day was known all hallows’ Eve or All Hallow e’en.

    The main Halloween activity for children is trick-or-treat­ing. Children dress in costumes and masks and go from door to door saying «trick or treat*. The neighbours give children such treats as candy, fruit and pennies so that children do not play tricks on them.

    Jack-o’-lanterns are hallowed-out pumpkins with face carved into one side. Most jack-o’-lanterns contain a candle inside. An Irish legend says that jack-o’-lanterns are named after the man called Jack. He could not enter heaven because he was a miser, and he could not enter hell because he had played jokes on devil. As a result, Jack has to walk on the earth with his lantern until Judgment Day.

    Fortunetelling is an important part of Halloween. For ex­ample, a coin, a ring, and a thimble were baked into a cake. It was believed that the person who found the coin would be­come wealthy. The one who found the ring would marry soon. And the person who found the thimble would never get mar­ried. Today people practice cardreading or palmistry.

    People once believed that there were many ghosts and witches on the Earth and that they met on October 31 to worship the devil. Today, people do not believe in ghosts and witches but they like to tell stories about them on Halloween.
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    Independence Day

    On July 4 the Americans celebrate their national holi­day — Independence Day. The United States gained inde­pendence as a result of gradual and painful process. By the mid 1700’s, it became difficult for thirteen British colonies in the New World to be ruled by a king 3000 miles across the ocean. The British empire imposed high taxes upon the colo­nies.

    In 1774, the First Continental Congress drew up a list of grievances against the British crown. This document was the first draft of the document that would formally separate co­lonies from England. In 1775, the Revolutionary War began. On July 2,1776, the Second Continental Congress presented a second draft of the list of grievances. On July 4 the Conti­nental Congress approved the Declaration of independence. But the War of independence lasted until 1783. After the war Independence Day became an official holiday.

    On July 4, Americans have holiday from work. People have day-long picnics with favorite foods like hot dogs, ham-bur­gers, potato salad, baked beans. Lively music is heard every­where. People play baseball or compete at three-legged races or pie-eating or water-melon-eating contests. Some cities have parades with people dressed as the original founding fathers who march to the music of high school bands. In the evening people gather to watch firework displays. Wherever Ameri­cans are around the globe they will get together to celebrate Independence Day.
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    John Galsworthy

    Popular English writer John Galsworthy was born in 1853. He attended a big school because his father wanted John to be a lawyer. So John went to the Oxford University. But some time later he told his father about his wish to become a writer. His favourite writer was Turgenev and also he liked all books by Tolstoy. His literally career began at the age of seventeen while he studied at the Oxford University. His works established him as one of English’s leading author. John Galsworthy wrote some scientific books and articles as «A1I about writer* 1908, «Thmking about art* 1911, «The art and the war» 1915. All of them are about art in our life.

    «The Forsyte Saga» was published in 1922 in May. It is the most famous work by John Galsworthy. From this novel we get to know about the Forsyte family. The main character is Miss Forsyte. When she was a little girl her mother died and her father had run away with foreign girl. The Forsyte family wasn’t very friendly but they tried to help each other with problems.

    «The Forsyte Saga» was the best work by John Galsworthy. «It was the happiest day in my life», said John to his friensd some time later. But it was very difficult for him to write this novel because he was from «Forsyte* family. Old Jolyon, for example, was his father.
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    O.Henry

    O.Henry was born in Greensboro, a little town in North Carolina in 1862. His real name was William Sydney Porter. The works of this writer reflect a specific period in American literature — the turn of the century. His credo was — art should be true, democratic and it should address contempo­rary life and embrace all aspects of life.

    O’Henry was an outstanding humourist. He worked out and enriched all the types of the short story: the anecdote, the adventure story, tales and sketches. The best of his works were published in books: «Cabbages and Kings*, «The Four Million*, «Heart of the West», «The Voice of the City* and others. He was most famous for his stories of city life. O.Henry wrote nearly 150 stories with a New York background. His works have considerable influence on American literature. His love for humanity, for the common people, his critical attitude towards injustice attract readers to this day. O.Henry could work out a plot that would keep the reader in suspense up to the surprising end.

    He was a born writer of great talent. The conversation is witty, humorous and often exact and precise. O.Henry is one of the most widely published American authors. His works have been translated into nearly every language. He has been called «The American Maupassant* and is ranked among the world’s outstanding short-story writers.
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    Sport in the USA

    Americans play tennis, hockey and most other international sports but they do not play football in the same way as the rest of the world. The players can run with the ball, touch and push each other. Players wear special clothes for American football with helmets on their heads, because the game can be dangerous. Like international football teams, American teams have eleven players. The field looks different and even the ball is a diffe­rent shape. American football is very different game.

    Americans love winter sports and ice hockey is the most popular game. This game is very fast and can be dangerous. Basketball is another popular game in America. Only five people in each team.

    Basketball is the most popular summer sport in America. The first American baseball match was in 1839 in New York. To play baseball you need two teams of nine players. Ameri­cans start playing baseball young. There are «leagues» which children of eight can join. The top players become big stars and earn a lot of money every year.
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    Thanksgiving

    Almost in every culture in the world there is a celebration of thanks for rich harvest. The American Thanksgiving be­gan as a feast of thanksgiving almost four hundred years ago.

    In 1620, a religious community sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the New World. They settled in what is now known as the state of Massachusettes. Their first winter in America was difficult. They arrived too late to grow a rich harvest. Moreover, half the colony died from desease. The following spring the Iroquois Indians taught them how to grow corn. Indians showed them also how to grow other crops and how to hunt and fish.

    In the autumn of 1621 they got a beautiful harvest of corn, barley, beans and pumpkins. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so they planned a feast. Local Indian chief acid ninety Indians were present. The colonists learned from Indi-ans how to cook cranberries and dishes of corn and pumpkins.

    In following years many of the colonists celebrated the harvest with a feast of thanks. After the United States gained independence, Congress recommended one yearly day of thaks-, giving for the whole country. Later, George Washington sug­gested the date November 26 as Thanksgiving Day. Then, after the Civil war, Abraham Lincoln suggested the last Thurs­day in November to be the day of thanksgiving.

    On Thanksgiving Day, family members gather at the house

    of an older relative, even if they live far away. All give thanks for everything good they have. Charitable organizations of­fer traditional meal to the homeless.

    Foods, eaten at the first thanksgiving, have become tradi­tional. The traditional thanksgiving meal consists of roast turkey stuffed with herb-flavbured bread, cranberry jelly, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. Other dishes may vary as to region: ham, sweet potatoes, creamed corn.
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    The Higher Organs of Power in the USA

    By the US Constitution the government of the nation is entrusted to three separate authorities: the Executive, the Le­gislative and the Judicial. The executive power is vested in the President, who holds his office during the term of four years, and is elected together with the Vice-President.

    Among the duties and powers of the President listed by the Constitution are the following: the President is Comman­der-in-Chief of the armed forces, he makes treaties and ap­points ambassadors to foreign powers as well as other high officers of the United States. Within his competence is also the responsibility for taking care that the laws be faithfully executed. From this one can see that the Constitution gives the President some measure of control of the military estab­lishment, imposes upon him a responsibility for foreign policy and assigns to him the obligation to administer federal pro­grammes.

    The administrative business of the nation is conducted by Secretaries who form the Cabinet. They are appointed by the President but their nomination must be confirmed by the Se­nate. The Cabinet is a kind of an advisory group to the President which has developed by custom rather than by the provisions of the Constitution. The Vice-President likewise participates in the cabinet meetings. The cabinet members are: the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Postmaster General, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agricul­ture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Labour, and the Secretaries of Health, Education and Welfare. As chief executive officer, the President can at his discretion remove any Secretary.

    The Executive Office of the President is represented by a

    group of agencies. First of all, these are: the White House Office, the Bureau of the Budget, the National Security Coun­cil, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilisation. These are not advisory bodies but the bodies which carry out administrative functions.

    The whole legislative power in the USA is vested in the Congress. There are two chambers in the US Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Besides the legisla­tive function the Senate is entrusted with the power of ratify­ing or rejecting all treaties made by the President.
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    The United States of America

    The USA is the most powerful and highly developed coun­try of the world. It is situated in the central part of the North American continent. Its western coast is washed by the Paci­fic Ocean and its eastern coast is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

    The USA is separated from Canada in the north by the 49th parallel and the Great Lakes, and from Mexico in the south by a line following the Rio Grande River and continu­ing across the highlands to the Pacific Ocean.

    The total area of the USA is over 9 million square kilome­tres.

    The continental part of the USA consists of the highland regions and two lowland regions. The highland regions are the Appalachia mountains in the east and the Cordillera in the west.

    Between the Cordillera and the Appalachian Montains are the Central plaine which are called the prairie, and eastern lowland called theMississippivalley.

    The principal rivers of the USA are the Mississippi, the longest river in the world (7,330 km) and the Hudson river.

    The climate of the USA differs greatly from one part of the country to another. The coldest climate is in the northern part, where there is heavy snow in winter and the temperature may go down to 40 degrees below zero. The south has a subtropi­cal climate, with temperature as high as 49 degrees in sum­mer.

    The population of the United States of America is about 250 million people, who are called Americans. Most of the

    people live in towns and the population of the countryside is becoming smaller and smaller.

    For many decades the USA has been the place where lots of people sought refuge from persecution for political or religious beliefs. That’s why in America there are representatives of practically all racial and national groups. There are about 25 million Negroes in the country and a little over half a million Indians.

    The capital of the USA is Washington. It is situated in the District of Columbia. Washington is a beautiful administra­tive city with practically no industry.

    The USA is a highly developed industrial state. Its agri­culture is also highly mechanized.

    There are coal-mines in the Cordillera Mountains, in the Kansas City region. Iron is mined near the Great Lakes. The «USA has rich oil-fields in California, Texas and some other regions. It occupies one of the first places among the coun­tries of the world for production of coal, iron and oil.

    The USA has a highly developed motor-car industry. It would be no exaggeration to say that cars have become the symbol of American way of life. The vehicles produced at such companies as Ford and the General Motors are known world-wide. The motor-car industry is concentrated in and around Detroit. Ship-building is developed along the At­lantic coast and in San Francisco. The textile industry is to be found in the north-east and in the south of the country.

    The USA has a highly developed railway system. It also has the best network of roads in the world. They are sailed highways.

    The USA is a federal country of 50 states and the District of Columbia. The political life of the country has always been dominated by the two major parties: the Democratic party and the Republican party. At an election time they contest presidency and the majority of seats in the Congress. The Congress is the highest legislative body of the country. It consists of two chambers — the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    The President, elected by the whole nation for four years, is head of the state and the Government.
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    The US Government

    After its 200th birthday the United States of America still holds the leading position in the western world. A country that has inspired many names — «Land of Opportunity*, «Meeting Pot», «God’s Country* is still referred toa as land of superlatives— «the richest*, «the greatest*, «the most*.

    In size the United States is not the biggest. What makes the USA the leader of the western world is its economic, poli­tical and military dominance over other countries.

    The United States is a parliamentary republic. The Go­vernment is divided into 3 branches: legislative (the US Con­gress), executive (the President and his Administration) and judicial (the US Supreme Court).

    There are two main political parties in the USA: the Demo­cratic (symbolize by a «donkey*) and the Republican (sym­bolized by an «elephant»). The US president is both head of State and of government. He is elected for a 4-year term.

    The Supreme Court consists of Chief Justice and 8 Associ­ate Justices who are appointed for life. The Supreme Court is supposed to decide whether a law of the Congress or an exe­cutive order of the President is «Constitutional or not*.
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    Traditional American Food

    Americans eat a lot. They have three meals a day: break­fast, lunch and dinner.

    Most of Americans don’t eat home but prefer to go to res­taurants. They can choose from many kind of restaurants. There is a great number of ethnic restaurants in the United States. Italian, Chinese a-nd Mexican food is very popular.

    An American institution is the fast food restaurant, which is very convenient but not very healthy.

    However there are some principles of American cuisine (if we may call it so). Americans drink a lot of juices and

    soda, eat a lot of meat, fruits and vegetables, not much bread. In the morning Americans have cereal or scrambled eggs, milk or orange juice. Chicken or fish, fried potatoes, vegetable salads, and desert: this is the most common menu for lunch. Dinner is probably the most important meal of the day, some people have family dinner, when all members of family have to be there. For dinner Americans usually have meat, fried or baked potatoes with ketchup or sour cream, corn, peas, some­times macaroni and cheese or spaghetti; ice-cream, fruit or cake may be for dessert.

    Turkey, ham and apple pie are traditional for Christmas and Thanksgiving Day dinners.
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    Twain, Mark

    Twain, Mark, pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), American writer and humorist, whose best work is characterized by broad, often irreverent humor or biting social satire. Twain’s writing is also known for realism of place and language, memorable characters, and hatred of hypocrisy and oppression.

    Born in Florida, Missouri, Clemens moved with his family to Hannibal, Missouri, a port on the Mississippi River, when he was four years old. There he received a public school education. After the death of his father in 1847, Clemens was apprenticed to two Hannibal printers, and in 1851 he began setting type for and contributing sketches to his brother Orion’s Hannibal Journal. Subsequently he worked as a printer in Keokuk, Iowa; New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and other cities. Later Clemens was a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River until the American Civil War (1861-1865) brought an end to travel on the river. In 1861 Clemens served briefly as a volunteer soldier in the Confederate cavalry. Later that year he accompanied his brother to the newly created Nevada Territory, where he tried his hand at silver mining. In 1862 he became a reporter on the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada, and in 1863 he began signing his articles with the pseudonym Mark Twain, a Mississippi River phrase meaning “two fathoms deep.” After moving to San Francisco, California, in 1864, Twain met American writers Artemus Ward and Bret Harte, who encouraged him in his work. In 1865 Twain reworked a tale he had heard in the California gold fields, and within months the author and the story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” had become national sensations.

    In 1867 Twain lectured in New York City, and in the same year he visited Europe and Palestine. He wrote of these travels in The Innocents Abroad (1869), a book exaggerating those aspects of European culture that impress American tourists. In 1870 he married Olivia Langdon. After living briefly in Buffalo, New York, the couple moved to Hartford, Connecticut. Much of Twain’s best work was written in the 1870s and 1880s in Hartford or during the summers at Quarry Farm, near Elmira, New York. Roughing It (1872) recounts his early adventures as a miner and journalist; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) celebrates boyhood in a town on the Mississippi River; A Tramp Abroad (1880) describes a walking trip through the Black Forest of Germany and the Swiss Alps; The Prince and the Pauper (1882), a children’s book, focuses on switched identities in Tudor England; Life on the Mississippi (1883) combines an autobiographical account of his experiences as a river pilot with a visit to the Mississippi nearly two decades after he left it; A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) satirizes oppression in feudal England (see Feudalism).

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the sequel to Tom Sawyer, is considered Twain’s masterpiece. The book is the story of the title character, known as Huck, a boy who flees his father by rafting down the Mississippi River with a runaway slave, Jim. The pair’s adventures show Huck (and the reader) the cruelty of which men and women are capable. Another theme of the novel is the conflict between Huck’s feelings of friendship with Jim, who is one of the few people he can trust, and his knowledge that he is breaking the laws of the time by helping Jim escape. Huckleberry Finn, which is almost entirely narrated from Huck’s point of view, is noted for its authentic language and for its deep commitment to freedom. Huck’s adventures also provide the reader with a panorama of American life along the Mississippi before the Civil War. Twain’s skill in capturing the rhythms of that life help make the book one of the masterpieces of American literature.

    In 1884 Twain formed the firm Charles L. Webster and Company to publish his and other writers’ works, notably Personal Memoirs (two volumes, 1885-1886) by American general and president Ulysses S. Grant. A disastrous investment in an automatic typesetting machine led to the firm’s bankruptcy in 1894. A successful worldwide lecture tour and the book based on those travels, Following the Equator (1897), paid off Twain’s debts.

    Twain’s work during the 1890s and the 1900s is marked by growing pessimism and bitterness—the result of his business reverses and, later, the deaths of his wife and two daughters. Significant works of this period are Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894), a novel set in the South before the Civil War that criticizes racism by focusing on mistaken racial identities, and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), a sentimental biography. Twain’s other later writings include short stories, the best known of which are “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg” (1899) and “The War Prayer” (1905); philosophical, social, and political essays; the manuscript of  “The Mysterious Stranger,” an uncompleted piece that was published posthumously in 1916; and autobiographical dictations.

    Twain’s work was inspired by the unconventional West, and the popularity of his work marked the end of the domination of American Literature by New England writers. He is justly renowned as a humorist but was not always appreciated by the writers of his time as anything more than that. Successive generations of writers, however, recognized the role that Twain played in creating a truly American literature. He portrayed uniquely American subjects in a humorous and colloquial, yet poetic, language. His success in creating this plain but evocative language precipitated the end of American reverence for British and European culture and for the more formal language associated with those traditions. His adherence to American themes, settings, and language set him apart from many other novelists of the day and had a powerful effect on such later American writers as Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, both of whom pointed to Twain as an inspiration for their own writing.

    In Twain’s later years he wrote less, but he became a celebrity, frequently speaking out on public issues. He also came to be known for the white linen suit he always wore when making public appearances. Twain received an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1907. When he died he left an uncompleted autobiography, which was eventually edited by his secretary, Albert Bigelow Paine, and published in 1924. In 1990 the first half of a handwritten manuscript of Huckleberry Finn was discovered in Hollywood, California. After a series of legal battles over ownership, the portion, which included previously unpublished material, was reunited with its second half, which had been housed at the Buffalo and Erie County (New York) Public Library, in 1992. A revised edition of Huckleberry Finn including the unpublished material was released in 1996.
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    Washington DC

    Washington, the capital of the United States of America, is situated on the Potomac River in the District of Columbia. The district is a piece of land ten miles square and it does not belong to any separate state but to all the states. The district is named in honour of Columbus, the discoverer of America.

    The capital owes much to the first President of the USA — George Washington. It was G. Washington, who chose the place for the District and laid in 1790 the corner-stone of the Capitol, where Congress sits.

    Washington is not the largest city in the USA. It has a population of 900 000 people.

    Washington is a one-industry town. That industry is go­vernment. It does not produce anything except very much scrap paper. Every day 25 railway cars leave Washington loaded with scrap paper.

    Washington has many historical places. The largest and tallest among the buildings is the Capitol with its great House of Representatives and the Senate chamber. There are no sky­scrapers in Washington because no other building must be taller than the Capitol.

    The White House is the President’s residence. All Ameri­can presidents except George Washington (the White House was not yet built in his time), have lived in the White House. It was built in 1799. It is a two-storied, white building.

    Nst far from the Capitol is the Washington Monument, which looks like a very big pencil. It rises 160 metres and is hollow inside. A special lift brings visitors to the top in 70 seconds from where they can enjoy a wonderful view of the whole city.

    The Jefferson Memorial was built in memory of the third President of the USA, Thomas Jefferson, who was also the author of the Declaration of Independence. The memorial is surrounded by cherry-trees.

    The Lincoln Memorial is devoted to the memory of the

    16th President of the US, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, which gave freedom to Negro slaves in America. On the other bank of the Potomac lies the Arlington Na­tional Cemetery where President Kennedy was buried. Amer­ican soldiers and officers, who died in World Wars I and II are buried there too.
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