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|Text D: “The United States of America”|
Text E: “Transport system of the USA”
Roads and Railways
The United States of America is the 4th largest country in the world after Russia, Canada and China. It occupies the central part of the North American continent.
The United States of America is a federal republic, consisting of 50 states including the states of Alaska and Hawaii.^ s include Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.
The northern boundary is partly formed by the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence River; the southern boundary is partly formed by the Rio Grande. United States also has a sea-border with Russia.
The total area of the United States (including the District of Columbia) is about 9,809,000 sq km.
The country is washed by 3 oceans: the Arctic, the Atlantic and the Pacific. The country has many lakes, with the Great Lakes included. There are also many rivers on the US territory. The longest of them are the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Columbia, the Rio Grande and some others. On the US territory there are mountains and lowlands. The highest mountains are the Rocky Mountains, the Cordillera and the Sierra Nevada. The highest peak, Mount McKinley, is located in Alaska.
The climate conditions are rather different. The country is rich in natural and mineral resources: oil, gas, iron ore, coal and various metals.
The USA is a highly developed industrial and agricultural country. The main industrial branches are aircraft, rocket, automobile, electronics, radio-engineering and others.
Americans are made up from nearly all races and nations. The country population is over 250 mln. The national symbol of the USA is its national flag «Stars and Stripes», having 50 white stars and 13 white and red stripes on its field, symbolising the number of the original and present day states.
Officially the country comprises 50 states and one District of Columbia. The states differ in size, population and economic development. Each state has its own capital. The capital of the USA is Washington. It is situated in the District of Columbia on the banks of the Potomac river and is named after the 1st US President - George Washington. There are many large cities in the country: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, San-Francisco, Cleveland and some others.
The United States of America is a federal state, headed by the President. According to the US Constitution the powers of the Government are divided into 3 branches: legislative, executive and judicial.
The legislative power belongs to the Congress consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate represents the states while the House of Representatives — the population. The executive power belongs to the President and his Administration (Vice-President and Cabinet of Ministers). The judicial power belongs to the Supreme Court and the system of Federal, state and district courts.
There are several political parties in the USA, the largest of them are the Republican (symbolised by a donkey) and the Democratic (symbolised by an elephant).
outlying areas — внешние территории
District of Columbia — округ Колумбия
to pass — проходить через
frontier — граница
to include — включать
lowlands — низины
peak — вершина, пик
to be located — располагаться
aircraft — воздушное судно
to be made up from — быть составленным, состоять из
stripe — полоса
to symbolize — символизировать
legislative power — законодательная власть
to represent — представлять
to belong — принадлежать
donkey — осел
Exercise № 5 . Translate into English:
1. США — четвертая по размеру страна после России, Канады и Китая.
2. Внешние границы включают в себя Пуэрто Рико, Американское Самоа и Виргинские острова.
3.48 Штатов граничат на севере с Канадой, а на юге с Мексикой.
4. США имеет морскую границу с Российской Федерацией.
6. США омывается тремя океанами: Северным Ледовитым, Атлантическим и Тихим.
7. США — высокоразвитое промышленное государство со множеством отраслей.
8. Аэрокосмическая и электронные отрасли промышленности США занимают особое место в экономике США.
9. Каждый штат имеет свою столицу.
The development of transport facilities was very important in the growth of the United States. The first travel routes were natural waterways. No surfaced roads existed until the 1790s, when the first turnpikes were built. Besides the overland roads, many canals were constructed between the late 18th century and 1850 to link navigable rivers and lakes in the eastern United States and in the Great Lakes region. Steam railways began to appear in the East in the 1820s. The first transcontinental railway was constructed between 1862 and 1869 by the Union Pacific and Central Pacific companies, both of which received large subsidies from the federal government. Transcontinental railways were the chief means of transport used by European settlers who populated the West in the latter part of the 19th century. The railways continued to expand until 1917, when their length reached a peak of about 407,000 km. Since then motor transport became a serious competitor to the railway both for passengers and freight.
Air transport began to compete with other modes of transport after World War I. Passenger service began to gain importance in 1920s, but not until the beginning of commercial jet craft after World War II did air transport become a leading mode of travel.
During the early 1990s railways annually handled about 37,5 per cent of the total freight traffic; trucks carried 26 per cent of the freight, and oil pipelines conveyed 20 per cent. Approximately 16 per cent was shipped on inland waterways. Although the freight handled by airlines amounted to only 0,4 per cent of the total, much of the cargo consisted of high-priority or high-value items.
Private cars carry about 81 per cent of passengers. Airlines are the second leading mover of people, carrying more than 17 per cent of passengers. Buses are responsible for 1,1 per cent, and railways carry 0,6 per cent of passengers.
The transport network spreads into all sections of the country, but the web of railways and highways is much more dense in the eastern half of the United States.
In the early 1990s the United States had about 6,24 million km of streets, roads, and highways. The National Interstate Highway System, 68,449 km in length in the early 1990s, connected the nation's principal cities and carried about one-fifth of all the road and street traffic.
More than 188 million motor vehicles were registered in the early 1990s. More than three-quarters were cars — one for every two persons in the country. About one-fifth of the vehicles were lorries. Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation), a federally subsidized concern, operates almost all the inter-city passenger trains in the United States; it carried more than 22 million passengers annually in the early 1990s.
1. What were the first routes in the US?
2. When was the first transcontinental railway constructed?
3. What was the length of railroads in 1917?
4. When did air transport start to gain importance?
5. How many motor vehicles were registered in US in early 90s?
6. What is Amtrak? How many passengers did it carry annually in the early 90s?
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