The United States of America
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The United States of America
The USA is the only little smaller than Europe = 9, 5 million km2. It is the 3rd largest state in the world – only Russia and Cabada have larer areas and more people live only in China and India. It lies in the North America, with Canada to the north, Mexico to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Part of the USA is Alaska which borders on the northwestern Canada and Hawaii, which lies in the Pacific.
The USA can be divided into 6 regions: the Northeast, Central Basin, Southcast, Great Plains, Mountains and deserts, Coast Valleys.
- In the Northeast, there is the biggest city in the USA – New York. It has more than 18 million inhabitans. This city is the financial and culutral cenre of the USA. The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of the hope and freedoom, not only for immigrants to the USA coming to this seaport at the mouth (ústí) of the Hudson and East Rivers.
- Boston, to the north, is another great port and financial, business and industrial centre. It is an old city (founded in 1630) and the heart of the New England States. It is also known for the Boston Tea Party (not only before the War of Independence, American colonist did not want to pay taxes and British soldiers were sent to Boston; in 1773 a group of Americans, dressed as Indians, threw British tea into the Boston Harbor.)
- Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities, it used to be the first US capital. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written there. Benjamin Franklin, statesman and scientist, lived in Philadelphia.
- Baltimore is another business and industrial centre and important seaport.
- From Boston to Washington D. C. it is only 719 km but more than 20% of the population live along this coast. Washington in the District of Columbia, is the capital city of the USA. It was named after George Washington, the first US president. The District of Columbia was named after Christopher Columbus, the discover of America. This districct is not part of any state.
- The most important rivers in the Northeast are the Hudson and St. Lawrence River, whoch consists the Great Lakes on the border with Canada with the Atlantic Ocean. The biggest of the Great Lakes is Lake Superior, others are Lake Michigan, Huron, Eirie and Ontario.
- The Niagara River connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, it forms the world – famous Niagara Falls.
- The Northeast is a very important industrial area of rge US. Detroit is the centre of US car industry (Ford, Chrysler, General Motors).
- Chicago lies on the shore of Lake Michigan. It is an important transport center, it has busiest airport of the USA (O’Hare). The 1st seyscraper was built there (1882). The highest building in the worl id here – the Sears Tower. Chicago is known for its steel (= ocel) and iron (= železo) industries and alsi for its grain elevators (= silo).
- In the Central Basin, there is The Corn Belt, where corn is produced on fertile fields. Further north is cooler.
- Springfield, in the centre of Illinois, is where Abtaham Lincoln came as a young man to practise law, enter politics and finally be elected the 16th president.
Tasso di cambio dollaro americano (USD) - Stati Uniti d’America
- Back across the Appalachian Mountains there is Southeast. Richmond in the state of Virginia was the capital of the South during the Civil War. Frm Virginia to Texas cotton was grown. There used to be big plantations where slaves worked. After the Civil War the area was the poorest part of the US. In the south there is Florida, where subtropical fruits and vegetables grow all the year round. There is Cape Canaveral where spaceships are launched (vypouštěny), the JFK Space center and Miami teach, a popular holiday area.
- To the west, on te Mississippi Rive is a bir river – and seaport: New Orleans. It was founded by the French and the French influence can still be seen in the French Quarter. New Orleans is also the cradle of jazz, it was born about a century ago among the Black musicians of the town. Mark Twain, on of the greatest US authors, worked as a pilot on the Mississippi River. His best books are based on his own experience along the Mississippi – The adventures of Tom Sawyer a nd The Adventures of Hucklberry Finn.Mississippi, which flows from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico, is the 3rd longest river in the world.
- Houston, in the south Texas is an important oil centre and te NASA centre. The centre of the Southwest is Dallas. It is known for its oil industry and cotton market. President JFK was assassinated (spáchat antentát) there in 1963.
- The Great Plains is quite different from the Corn Belt. Summers are very hot, winters ate very cold, the wind blows from the Canadian norder to Texas. There isn’t enough rain. It rains very little and in dey years the farmers can be ruined. In the past, omly the Red Indians knew how to live there. The captured wild horses and hunted the buffalo (bizon) that gone them food and clothing. Later the Indians, cownoys and the farmers were fighting there, it was the time of The Old Wild West. Even now there are few towns on the plains. Most are small, only Denver, in the west , near the Rocky Mountains, is a large industrial city.
- Like the Great Plains, the Mounstains and Deserts did not attract people to live there. But when gold, silver, copper (Cu) and tine (Sn) was fonnd in the mountains, people went there. After the mines were closed, only deserted ghost towns were left there.
- The river Rio Grande flows to the south from this region and forms a natural boundary between Mexico and the US.
- The Rocky Mountains are the long bakcbone of the Continent, they are in Utah and Colorado. Other mountain ranges are e.g. the coasr Range, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada with the highest part of the continental USA Mt. Whitney. There are many beautiful places especially in national parks, auch as Yosemite Giant Valley National Parr in Sierra Nevada or Death Valley in California.
- Las Vegas in Nevada is famous for roddeo festivals and casino gambling. Not far from there, but in Arizona, there is another famous place: The Granf Vanyon of the Colorado River.
- There is one large city in the middle of this region: Salt Lake City near a large salty lake.
- Yeloowstone National Park in the Rocky Mountains is the largest and the oldest nature reserve in the US. There are 3000 geysers and hor springs.
- If we return to the south, we can find on the map Los Angeles, the world’s largest city. It was founded by the Spanish. Thois city is known for Hollywood, the centre of the film industry. L.A. university is called California Technology Institute. Walt Disney opened 40 years ago Disneyland here.
- The 6th region is called the Coast Valleys. There is rich fertile soil, a lot of water and mild climate. There are 3 coast states: Californina, Oregon and Washingtown, they face toward the Pacific Ocean. San Francisco is a very old city, it was founded by the Spanish and it became a big city during the California Gold Rush ( zlatá horečka). It is known for the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the city’s mayn quarters with a large Chinese Community is called China – town. SF is famous for its Berkley University. There are often earthquakes.
- Seattle, the capital of the state of Washington, is the gate to Laaska, the 49th state. You must drive through Canada or také a boat or plane to get to Alaska. It is the largest of America’s 50 states, but the number of inhabitants is very low. The capital is Juneau, other cities are e.g. Fairbanks, Anckorage etc. There are high mounatains. The biggest river in Alaska is Yukon. Because Alaska is so far north, in winter re long, summer short, it has the Arctic climate. Alaska us rch in raw materials. Near the Klondyke River in canada, just across the Alaska border, gold was discovered in 1896. Jack London became very popular when he described the gold rush.
The 50th State of Hawai is a chain of 8 major islands over 3000 km out in Pacific. The largest island is called Oaku, It is visited by millions of tourists every year. Pineapple planations and Waikiki Beach are world famous. Another world – famous name is Pearl Harbor, whoch was attacked by the Japanese in 1941, the Usa then entered in the 2nd World War. The capital is Honolulu
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