Canada - Geography, Climate, Economy, Political system

Cudzie jazyky » Angličtina

Autor: Dievča kaprik
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 05.07.2009
Jazyk: Angličtina
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It covers an area of 9 976 139 sq km and the population is about 30 000 000 inhabitants. The capital city is Ottawa (920 857) and the main ethnic groups are: white - 40 % of British origin, 30 % of French origin,  other Europeans (20 %), Indians and Eskimos (called Innuits).

Geography
 Canada occupies the whole of the northern part of North American continent - expect Alaska - and it is the 2nd largest country in the world (after Russia). It has over 5 500 km from the east to the west and over 4 600 km from the north to the south. There are many big islands which belong to Canada - e.g. Newfoundland, Vancouver, Prince Edward Island etc. Canada neighbours with the continental USA on the south on the 49th parallel and with Alaska on the north-west. The big part of the southern border is made by Great Lakes Region.
Canada has large mountain areas - the Rocky Mountains, the Mackenzie Mountains and the Melville Hills. The highest mountain is Mt.Logan (6 050 m) in the Alaska Region. The longest river is the Mackenzie flows from the Rocky Mountains to the Arctic Ocean, other big rivers are Yukon, the Columbia (flow to the Pacific Ocean) and the River St.Lawrence (into the Atlantic).

The Great Lake Region - Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake  Superior (all of them are good navigable) is the largest area of fresh water in the world. There are famous Niagara Falls between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. We can find also other big and beautiful lakes e.g. Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg etc. The density in Canada is only 2,6 people to 1 sq km which means that 89 per cent of the land has no permanent population. Most Canadians live in large urban centres located within 300 km of the southern border - in Toronto (about 4 million inhabitants), Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Quebec etc.

Climate
The climate varies from Arctic climate in the cold wild tundra with winter temperatures as low as minus 50 C to moderate climate in the east and west with the grate beautiful forests. The central plains form the prairie which has favourable climate to farming.

Political system

It is an independent federal parliamentary country, member of the Commonwealth, with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. She is represented by the Governor-General of course. The country’s supreme body is two chambers Federal Parliament. The leading figure is the Prime Minister who is the head of the Cabinet. Both English and French are official languages. Canada is divided into 10 provinces and 2 territories. The biggest province is Quebec (with its capital Quebec), others are Newfoundland (St.John), Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown), Nova Scotia (Halifax), New Brunswick (Fredericton), Manitoba (Winnipeg), Ontario (Toronto), Saskatchewan (Regina), Alberta (Edmonton) and British Columbia (Victoria). Although the two territories - Yukon (Whitehorse) and Northwest Territories (Yellowknife) - occupy nearly a half of all Canada they are very thinly inhabited by mainly native people - the density here is only 1 person in 65 sq km!

Canada has its own national flag since 1964. The red stripes on the top and bottom symbolise Canada’s position between the two oceans, a maple leaf has been used as Canada’s national symbol because it is a land of forests. Red colour symbolises the blood of the Canadians died in the WW II, white represents the snow of the Canadian North. The Canadian anthem is called Oh, Canada. The discussions among the French-speaking Quebeckers let to a referendum about the autonomy of Quebec in 1992 but the majority (about 50,5 %) voted to maintain the status quo [1].

Important events in history

The name Canada comes from the original inhabitants. Indians used word ‘kanata’ which means ‘village’.
  The original inhabitants came to Canada some 20 000 years ago from the Asia across the nowadays Bering Strait.
The first Europeans there were Vikings who discovered Newfoundland more than a thousand years ago. During the Age of Discoveries (15th and 16th century) some navigators landed on the Canadian coast. First it was an Italian (sailing for England) Giovanni Caboto in 1497. The first real exploration took place after 1534 when French Jacques Cartier discovered the Gulf of St.Lawrence (like a colony New France). Since the 16th century large territories were occupied by the French but France lost this country in frequent wars  with England during the 17th, 18th and 19th century. When the USA was founded in 1776 Canada remained British colony. It became a British dominion in 1867.

Economy
Canada belongs to the G-7 counties and has mainly coal, petroleum and natural gas but is also rich in gold, uranium and other metals ores. Almost half the land area is covered by forests and especially the provinces of Ontario and Newfoundland have large paper mills and wood industry. There is also highly developed hydroelectric industry. Although only about 7 per cent of the land is suitable for farming, agriculture is the world’s fifth largest producer of the wheat. Other agricultural items are live-stock production, oats, fruit and vegetable, tabacoo etc. It also exports fish, paper, uranium etc.

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