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The United States of America

The USA is a country in North America. It’s between Canada in the north and Mexico in the south. It’s a very big country and there are four different time zones in the main land between the east and west coast, the other two time zones are for Hawaii and Alaska. There are 50 states in the USA. They include Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska is a very big state. In winter, it’s very cold and the temperature is sometimes -20°C! Hawaii is very different: it’s warm all year round. The minimum temperature in winter is about 20°C and in summer the maximum is about 32°C. The USA is the world’s third or fourth largest nation by total area, ranking behind Russia and Canada and just above or below China. The Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada are in the west. They are high mountains with a lot of forests, waterfalls and lakes. They are famous for their national parks, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite. The Appalachian Mountains are in the east. The highest mountains is Mt. McKinley in Alaska (6194 m). The longest river is the Mississippi. The Missouri is a tributary of the river Mississippi. The Mississippi and the Rio Grande flow into the Gulf of Mexico. The Colorado and the Columbia flow into the pacific Ocean. The Hudson flow into the Atlantic Ocean. In the USA there are a lot of lakes near Canada: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Between lake Erie and lake Ontario there are the famous Niagara Falls. Another important lake is the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

The capital of the USA is Washington DC. It’s on the east coast. The name of the city comes from the first American President, George Washington. Today, Washington is a very important political centre. The American President lives in Washington in the White House. His address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The actual president is Barack Obama. The USA is a republic with a President. The President is elected every four years. The USA is a federation of states: each state has a capital a government and a governor. Each state can make laws, but the federal government makes general laws for the whole country. The official language is the American English, but a lot of people speak Spanish. The USA borders two important oceans. The Pacific Ocean is on the west coast and the Atlantic Ocean is on the east coast. San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego are all important cities on the west coast and New York and Boston are major cities on the east coast. In the north it is often very cold, and in the south it can be very hot. The American flag called “The Stars and Stripes”; it dates back to 1776. It has thirteen stripes (the original 23 states) and fifty (50) stars, the number of the states of the present federation. The colours if the flag are blue (for justice), red (for courage) and white (for innocence). The national anthem of the USA is “The Star Spangled Banner”. In 1813 the British attacked the America at Fort McHenry in Maryland. During the battle, the poet Francis Scott Key was imprisoned. Through the night, he could see that the sky was lit by exploding bombs. When the sun came up in the morning, the first thing that he saw was the United States flag flying over the fort. Francis Scott Key was so happy that he wrote a poem about his feelings, and now this poem is a song. John Stafford Smith wrote the music and the song was declared the United States national anthem in 1931.

On September 11,2001, Al-Qaeda terrorists struck the World Trace Center in New York City and The Pentagon near Washington, D.C., killing nearly three thousand people. In response, the Bush administration launched the global Warm on Terror, invading Afghanistan and removing the Taliban government and Al-Qaeda training camps. Taliban insurgents continue to fight a guerrilla war. In 2002, the Bush administration began to press for regime change in Iraq on controversial grounds.

The President of the USA is the head of state and the head of the United States government. Americans have elections every four years for a new president. The first president was George Washington. He was president from 1789-1797, but he never lived in the White House. In 1800, the White House was built in Washington DC and it became the official home of a future president.

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