The US economy is biggest in the world. The USA is the richest and the most powerful country in the world. It is developing practically in all fields using widely the advances of science and technology.
The USA is responsible for about 20% of the world’s agricultural production. The USA us fortunate in possessing an abundance of rich farmland. In the last 300 years forests have been cleared, the plains ploughed up and some arid semi-desert areas irrigated and brought into cultivation.
The typical American farm is large and highly mechanized. It produces a high yield with only a small labour force. All scientific methods of farming help account for the high productivity.
The most extensive area of farmland is to be found on the Great Plains and the central lowlands of the Mississippi basin.
*On the Great Plains cattle ranching predominates in the west, wheat cultivation in the east. – the different land use is a result of the climate as rainfall decreases steadily towards the west.
-The fertile soils of the eastern plains are ideal for wheat cultivation .
-Many of the natural pastures in the west have been replaced by more nutritious sown grasses.
Irrigation allows the growth of fodder crops such as alfalfa.
In the east although wheat is the major crop, other grain and fodder crops are grown in rotation.
*In the Central lowlands the crop belts run from east to west. Soils are fertile.
*South of the Great Lakes is the hay and dairying belt.
*South of this lies the famous corn belt, but grown is also hay and soya beans.
Pig rearing is a major activity on the corn belt as corn is used to feed the pigs.
*South of the corn belt is great cotton belt, which has been the main cotton production in the world,(Texas, Georgia, Carolina) but today cotton is grown only in the most favoured areas, the exhausted soils have been planted with pasture for beef and dairy cattle, other parts contain peanuts, soya beans, sweet potatoes, fruit and vegetables.
*In Virginia and North Carolina tobacco and peanuts are the main crops.
*The gulf coastlands are ideal for growing rice and sugar cane.
*The whole of eastern coastal plain is a vast fruit and vegetable growing area.
Potatoes are grown in the colder north.
Dairying and market gardening predominate in the central part and south.
Citrus fruits flourish in the sub-tropical climate of Florida.
California is the biggest food producing state in the country. Citrus fruits are most important, but also the complete range of vegetables, cotton, wheat, barley, rice and fodder crops are also grown.
Forestry and fishing
Despite the amount of felling by the early settlers, there are still extensive areas of valuable forest. These lie mainly in the mountainous west . (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana) The wet and humid climate of the coastal areas encourages the growth of massive firs and pines such as the Douglas fir. This area produces sawn timber rather than pulp and paper . In Idaho and Montana much of the timber find s an immediate market in the local mining centres.
Alaska has reserves of softwood timber.
The Gulf-Atlantic lands are another important lumbering region. Hardwoods felled here are destined for the furniture industry.
The southern pines yield turpentine, resin and pulp for paper making.
The most valuable fisheries of the United States lie off the Pacific coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
Salmon is caught in abundance off the coasts of Alaska and the northwest states. Shellfish are the main catch off the Gulf coasts.
Raw materials and industry
The USA has just over 5% of the world’s population, yet produces about 30% of all manufactured goods. The country is richly endowed with natural resources. In addition to valuable farmland and forests, there are vast reserves of mineral deposits and energy resources.
The Rocky mountains including Alaska are a vast treasure house of minerals. the days of the lone prospector who panned the rivers for alluvial gold washed out of the solid rock are long past. The minerals now have to be mined, which is difficult and expensive operation. There are still precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum found in the Rockies, but the industrial metals are now more valuable. These include copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, uranium and iron.
*For the last 100 years the main source of iron ore has been around the western end of lake Superior. Unfortunately the best of these deposits ate nearly worked out and high quality ore has to be imported.
*USA has some of the biggest coalfields in the world. One lies in the northern part of Apalachians. Some 70%of all USA coal comes from here.
*USA is the world’s 3. largest producer of oil. (main oil fields occur in : Texas , Louisiana, Oklahoma, California)
Hydroelectric power is well developed in the west of the USA , where almost every major river has been harnessed to more and more turned to nuclear power .The necessary uranium is found both in the USA and Canada.
On the north-east coast are situated the 3 large cities of NY, Philadelphia, Baltimore. All stand on navigable estuaries and are major ports.
-Although there is a little of heavy industry in NY, south of the city are ship building industries, oil refining, smelting of imported ores , chemicals, engineering, textiles.
On the east coast are found textile industries, and specialized light engineering.
The manufacture of cotton textiles is traditional in the area of southern states, recent developments are chemicals , oil refining, petro-chemicals :plastics, synthetic fibres, engineering, aluminium and tin smelting.
The most heavily idustrialized area is located in the north-east and around the Great Lakes. There is closeness iron ore, coal and limestone, which have made this area one of the greatest iron and steel making centres in the world.
(iron-Gary, Cleveland, Buffalo; steel-Pittsburgh)
As a result of that Great Lakes has a important engineering industries.
Detroit- biggest car making city in the world
Chicago- agricultural machinery
Cincinnati-manufacture of machine tools, rubber and chemical industries
Florida – one of the centres of space technology
Forth Worth, Dallas- major aircraft centres
Los Angeles- aircraft and space industries
Communications , traffic
Good communications are vital in a country the size of the USA. Indeed excellent transport system has helped the country’s economic development.
The major American rivers are navigable for much of their length and many have been improved or extended by canalization.
The Great Lakes are so enormous they are more like inland seas than lakes. Lakes Erie and Ontario are joined by the Niagara river and Falls. The great drop is bypassed by the Welland Canal. The St. Lawrence Seaway is vital to the economy of the US. It is the route by which iron ore from Labrador reaches the steel mills of Lakes Michigan and Erie and by which the products of the interior are exported to cities all around the world. Other inland waterways such as the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio rivers allow large loads to be shipped from the interior to the coast cheaply and easily.
The railway network is well developed. There are a number of transcontinental routes. Chicago is the undoubted railway centre. Now, however, their importance has much declined, although they still carry huge amount of freight, but coming of airlines has enormously reduced the passenger traffic. NY and Chicago airports are the 2 biggest in the world. Even small towns have airports that link them to other cities. The USA has superb road network. There are over 65000 km of fast interstate highways linking all major towns in the country.
USA is the world’s biggest car manufacturer.
Although the USA is so well endowed with natural resources, it is by no means self supporting in its needs . Many Americans believe in using their own resources at a limited rate so that there will be a sufficient left for the future.
The major imports are therefore raw materials, particularly mineral ores and oil, and foodstuffs , mostly those things that cannot be grown at home such as coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar.
The country’s major exports are a whole range of manufactured goods, foodstuffs, which the country grows in abundance, and raw materials.
The USA’s main trading partners are Canada, Britain, Japan, and western European countries.
-financial capital of the USA
-centre of the nation’s clothing idustry
-many banks and insurance companies have their head offices here on Wall Street
Being such a powerful country the USA plays an important part in the international affairs. The country is for example a member of the :
UN- United nations
OAS- Org. of American States
OECD- Org. for Economic Co-operation and Development
NATO- North Atlantic Treaty Org.
OPEC- Org. of Petroleum Exporting Countries
NAFTA- North American Free Trade Area
IMF- International Monetary Fund
In addition its statesmen often try to help in conflicts between other countries, usually by acting as advisers or go- betweens.
7. srpen 2007