United States of America - USA

The USA is the fourt larges country in the world. They extend over more than one third of the North American continent. They border on Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, Canada and the Pacific Ocean. Port of the USA are Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands. The three largest cities are New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The country can be divided into 5 main areas. The Appalachian Mountains are geologically the oldest. To the west from this mountains we can find the Appalachian Plateau divided by the river walleys. Further to the west there is the Mississippi Basic. There are Great Plains - here we would see huge, flat fields of corn and soyabeans /zeiabin/ or cotton.

About one half of the continental USA is occupited by the Cordilleras. They are divided into several ranges: the Rocky Mountain, the Great Basin full of ranges and walleys. The Colorado Plateau with Grand Canyon is also to the west of the Rocky Mountains. The highest peak of the USA is in Alaska - it is Mt. McKinley.
The USA has many rivers. The biggest river system is that of the Mississippi and the Missouri. Mississippi is the longest river in the USA. The next rivers are the Rio Grande, the Colorado, the Columbia and Yukon in Alaska.
The Great Lakes on the US-Canada border make up the biggest reservoir of fresh water in the world. They are Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. In this part of USA we can find the world-famous Niagara Falls too.

USA can be divided into four main land regions:
The New England states includes Maine, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Pelsylvania.
The South stretches from Virginia to Florida and to Oklahoma and Texas.
The Midwest is center of US from North Dakota, Minesota, Michigan, Ohio to Missouri and Kansas.

The West is a vast region from Washington, Idaho and Montana to California, Arizona and New Mexico and including Alaska and Hawai. In this area are many mountains and national parks. For example Yosemite National Park in California and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming /wai´ouming/.

The most heavily industrialized areas are the Northeast and area around the Great Lakes. In Detroit and Michigan is automobile capital and in California, in Mississipi and around Great Lakes are rich, flat farmlands. In Texas oil and aerospace research and development are the leading industries.

A brief history of the US includes such events as the discovery of the New World and the following colonization by the Pilgrims and other European groups. We can´t forget the Native Americans and the Eskimos who lived in the land for many years before. It is also believed that Scandinavian Vikings visited the New World around 1000 AD. After the establishment of the original thirteen colonies the Movement for Independence from Great Britain took place. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were three of the most important figures to lead the US to its independence. Declaration of Independence was signed on 4. July 1776 and this date is very important for US history. Great expansion westward including the Gold Rush of 1848 which brough many people to California, took place in the first half of the 19th century. Problems between the North and the South led to the Civil War. This war was one of the darkest chapters in the history of the US and after this war slavery was abolished - in 1865. The Industrial Revolution took place from the end of 19th century and begin of the 20th century. Many inventions such the telephone, airplane, electric lighting change to the lives of millions of people. But after the great economic expansion of the 1920s came another dark chapter of US history as it experienced a great economic collapse.

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