Canada

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Autor: sesik
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 24.06.2008
Jazyk: Angličtina
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Geography
Canada is bordered by the USA in the south, the Pacific Ocean and Alaska (USA) in the west, the Arctic Ocean in the north and Atlantic Ocean in the east. Its area is almost 10 million square kilometres (9 976 139 km2) that makes it the second largest country in the world. It is divided into ten provinces and two territories: Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory.

Canada is famous for its varied and beautiful countryside , especially near the Great Lake in the southeast and the Slave and Bear Lakes in the northwest. Visitors to Canada usually want to see Niagara Falls that are between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The Canadian part is called the Horseshoe Fall and is 49 m high and almost 1 km wide. Canada also has high mountain areas, such as the Rocky Mountains and the Mackenzie Mountains.

There are about thirty national parks in Canada, the most known is Jasper National Park in Alberta. Thousands of tourists visit Canada’s national parks all over the year. In those parks people can admire the scenery or they can be walking, climbing, sightseeing, fishing or skiing there.

Canada can be divided into seven regions, each with a very different landscape and climate:
1) The pacific Coast - influenced by the Pacific, it has the most moderate climate of Canada’s regions. This area includes the coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island.

2) The Cordillera - this region is consists of the Rocky Mountains, the Coast Mountains and the other ranges running north to south. The Canada’s highest mountains are the St. Elias Mountains. There is also the highest point of Canada is Mount Logan and is 6050 m high.

3) The Prairies - the plains of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are among the richest grain-producing regions in the world. Alberta is greater producent of petroleum in Canada, because under the Prairies are important deposits of oil, natural gas and potash.

4) The Canadian Shield includes a huge inland sea called Hudson Bay. The Shield is the largest geographic feature in Canada. It is considered to be a nucleus of the North American continent and is made up of roots of ancient mountains. This region can be called the storehouse of minerals, because of its large deposits of gold, silver, zinc, copper and uranium.

5) The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Lowlands. Here are located two largest Canadian cities - Montreal and Toronto. This is the industrial heart of Canada. In this small region live one half of Canadians and is produced more than two thirds of all Canada’s manufactured goods. But this region is not only industrial, also agriculture is here on high level. This region produces sugar maple, grapes, peaches, pears and other fruits.

6) The Atlantic Provinces - Appalachian Region. In this region are located the smallest Canadian provinces - New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. First settlement from Europe was here in year 1000 AD - the Norse. This region is larger exporter of fishes, because of its good position near Gulf Stream.

7) The Arctic is no longer an inaccessible frontier. Many places can be reached by road, and every community is served by air. Most have electricity, stores and medical services. During the short summer, when daylight is nearly continuous and flowers bloom on the tundra, the temperature can reach 30°C. Yet the winters are long, bitterly cold, dark and unforgiving.
The climate is in Canada mostly continental with warm summers and cold winters, but in the north can temperature fall to minus 50°C.

Political system
Canada is constitutional monarchy, a federal state and parliament democracy with two official languages - French and English.
Canada became a British dominion in 1867. Now it is an independent federal state and a member of the British Commonwealth. Since 1965 it has had its own national flag: red and white are official colours of Canada while the maple leaf has long been a Canadian emblem.

The head of the state is the British monarch represented by the governor-general, usually appointed for a 5-year term by the Canadian cabinet. The leading figure in the political life of the country is the Prime Minister.

Cities and places of interest in Canada
Canada’s capital is Ottawa in province Ontario. Ottawa is “only” capital of Canada, but it is not capital of Ontario, it is Toronto, where the world’s tallest structure, Canadian Tower was built. The largest city in Canada is Montreal and it is also the second largest French-speaking city in the world.
The capitals of majority provinces are known as competitors of National Hockey League (NHL) - Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary, which is known as organiser of winter Olympic games in 1988.
Toronto is city of many nationalities. The largest group are Italians, which create 8% of Toronto’s population. Toronto lies on coast of lake Ontario, so it can easily transport anything from and to industrial centres of USA like Detroit. There are many interesting buildings, not only the Canadian Tower. Very interesting is new Toronto City Hall building, that is using modern architectonic technologies.

Montreal is situated on island in the St. Lawrence River. Montreal is one of the oldest cities in Canada, because its history started in 1667. Today is Montreal one of the largest harbours in the world. It is centre of international events in Canada (1976 Summer Olympic Games). In Montreal are the most important French-speaking universities in Canada.

Vancouver is the largest city on the west coast of Pacific ocean. It is modern city. All buildings are newer than 100 years, because old wooden Vancouver was burned in 1886. It is important transport crossing. There is a harbour and many highways and railroads.

Population and history of colonisation
The Vikings discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago, but it was rediscovered only by the Europeans in the 15th century. The French occupied large part of territory in the 16th century. They were followed by the English who captured most of Canada from the French in the wars in 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Now population of Canada is about 28 million people. 45% of Canadians are of British origin, 29% of French origin and 23% have their origins in other European countries. There are also native Canadians - Indians and Eskimos - in Canada, but they are only 319 000 (300 000 are Indians and 19 000 are Eskimos). From Indians probably came name Canada: one of tribes used word “kanata” for settlement.

Most of inhabitants live near the border with the USA by the St Lawrence River where first French colonists settled.
Canada is bilingual country, but majority of people speak English (70%), less French (20%) and the rest are bilingual. Most of the French-speaking population lives in the province of Quebec.
Canada’s population in 1994 was 28,8 million.

Indians
In Canada live about 300 000 of Indians. Majority of them (180 000) lives in special reservations. These reservations are about 2200 and their surface is about 2,5 million hectares. They spoke with about 50 languages, but they can be divided into 10 groups. Till second world war their population was dying out, but after it their population was stabilised on today’s number. Indians have in Canada almost the same problems like the Romas in Czech Republic. They have problems to get the work, because they are less qualified than “normal” people, government is trying to include them in normal society, but it is long and difficult process.

Eskimos
Number of Eskimos and Inuits, which are similar to Eskimos, is much more smaller than number of Indians. They are only 19 000 and it is 0,1% of Canada’s population. Most of them live in the northern part of Labrador and on Arctic Isles. Today’s Indians mostly do not use dog teams, but they rather use motorised sledge. They mostly live from hunting and they earn some money on making of souvenirs. Eskimos are in the same social situation as Indians are. Both these nations are in state represented by minister for “indian and northern affairs”.

History
1000 Vikings came
1497 G. Caboto landed on Newfoundland
1535 territory became French dominion
1605 founded first colony Port Royal
1608 founded Quebec, centre of New France
1623 New Scotland is first English colony in Canada
1670 founded Company of Hudson’s Bay
1713 in Utrecht peace gave French to England area around Hudson bay
1754-63 seven years war
1759 French defeated near Quebec
1760 French surrender near Montreal
1763 peace in Paris
1774-83 Quebec law (all territories located western from Appalachian Mountains joined to Quebec) - against American colonists
1775-76 Americans attempt at conquest British Canada
1791 by constitutional act was Quebec separated to French-speaking Lower Canada and English-speaking Upper Canada
1818 created border with USA on 49°
1837-38 unsuccessful anti-british insurrection
1840 joined Upper and Lower Canada by act of union
1867 Canada became British dominion
1896 founded gold in valley of Klondike river, golden rush started
1931 Westminster status - independent of Canada in Commonwealth
1945 member of OSN
1981 English and French languages are equal
1982 canceled last formal law connections with Great Britain
80’s-90’s referendum about political reforms - federalists were unsuccessful
1993 Canada joined agreement NAFTA
1994 in elections in Quebec won separatistic party
1995 conflict with countries of EU about fishing
1995 - October in referendum in Quebec won federalists

Economy and transportation
Canadian economy is traditionally based on natural resources and agriculture. Canada is the world’s second largest exporter of wheat that is mainly planted on the prairies in the interior of the country. Nevertheless Canada is not only agriculture country, some regions are known as industrial centres - Ontario. For Canadian economy is forestry important too, because forest covers 44% of the land area.

In Canada can be found almost all ores and energy raw materials. In 1896 was in the Yukon Territory discovered gold and this accident started golden rush all over the world. Peoples from all countries travelled into Yukon to wash gold.

Canada’s largest value is in minerals. It is first in exploitation of nickel, zinc and uranium; second in cadmium; third in lead, gas and platinum; fourth in copper and magnesium . It is also important producer of gold, silver and aluminium. Less important is exploitation of iron ore, oil and coal.
Transport has a key role in Canada, because distances are great. The east-west Canadian Pacific railway built in 1885 and the Canadian National railway contributed a lot to the development of prairie agriculture. One of Canada’s major highways is Trans-Canada route, Vancouver is one of its major ports. Canada has more than 93.000 km of railroads and almost 1 million km of roads. For long distances is in Canada very important air traffic - the largest international airports are Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Gander and Vancouver. The largest ports are Vancouver, Thunder Bay, Port-Cartier, Sept-Îles.

Thanks to agriculture, forestry, fishing and mineral industry, Canada belongs among the richest countries in the world (G7). Canada also has one of largest GNP (Gross National Product) in the world - over $ 20.000 per each inhabitant. Its market economy is closely linked with that of the United States.
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