The United States of America is the fourth largest country in the world after Russia, China and Canada. It occupies the southern part of North America and stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. It also includes Alaska in the north and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. The total area of the country is about nine and a half million square kilometers. It also includes Alaska in the north and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. The total area of the country is about nine and a half million square kilometres. The USA borders on Canada in the north and on Mexico in the south. The south-eastern coast of the country is washed by the Gulf of Mexico and the US also has coasts on the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The USA has a sea border with Russia.
The USA is made up of 50 states and the District of Columbia where the capital of the country, Washington, is situated. The population of the country is about 250 million people. More citizens of the USA live in the rural areas. Today American farmers plant spring wheat on the cold western plains, raise corn, wheat and fine beef cattle in the Midwest, and rice in the damp heat of Louisiana.. Florida and California are famous for their vegetable and fruit production, and the cool, rainy northwest states are known for apples, berries and vegetables.
The land varies from heavy forests to barren deserts, from high-peaked mountains (the highest peak is Mount McKinley in Alaska) to deep canyons (Death Valley in California is 1,064 meters below sea level). The highest mountains in the USA are the Cordilleras that run the length of the west coast and include the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.
America's largest rivers are the Mississippi with its tributary Missouri, the Rio Grande, the Ohio and the Columbia. The USA is famous for its five Great Lakes: Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, Lake Superior and the Michigan. There are also a lot of small lakes and the northern state of Minnesota, for example, is known as the land of 10,000 lakes.
The USA is rich in mineral resources; their wealth provides a solid base for American industry. It has major deposits of oil and gas in Texas and Alaska, coal in Virginia and Ohio, gold in Alaska and California, silver in Nevada, non-ferrous metals in Arkansas and Colorado.
The largest cites of the USA are New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago Philadelphia, Detroit and some others.
The territory of the USA is so large that it lies in different climatic zones. The climate of greater portion of the country is moderate continental. The climate of Alaska is arctic. The coast of the Gulf of Mexico is subtropical. Hot winds blowing from the Gulf of Mexico often bring typhoons. Along the western coast the climate is warm. The South-West region is very hot and dry. In contrast to this, there is much rainfall in the northern section of the Pacific coast line and along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean.
The United States is à democracy. The Constitution sets the basic form of government: it has three branches - legislative, executive and judiciary. Congress, the legislative branch of the federal government, is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Congress makes all laws, and each house of Congress has the power to support or reject à bill offered by the other. When they both pass à bill on which they agree, it is sent to the president for his signature. Only after that à bill becomes à law.
The members of the House of Representatives are elected for two years, and one-third of the Senators are elected every two years for six-year terms of office. Each state, regardless of the population, has two senators, while the House of Representatives has more members from more populated states.
Today the Unites States has two major political parties: the Democratic party and the Republican party.