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The United States of America




After its 200th birthday the United States of America still holds the leading position in the western world. A country that inspired many appelations - "Land of Opportunity," "Melting Pot," "God's Country," is still referred to us as a land of superlatives -"the richest," "the greatest," "the most."

What makes the USA the leader of the western world is its economic, political and military dominance over other countries.

The United States lies in the central part of the North American Continent between the two oceans: the Atlantic Ocean to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the West. Friendly Canada to the north and friendly Mexico to the south are the only countries bordering it.

The USA consists of three separate parts. They are the Hawaiian Islands, situated in the central part of the North American continent of the Pacific Ocean, Alaska separated by the Canadian territory and the rest major part of the USA. The states differ very much in size, population and economic development.

There are many big cities and towns in the USA: New York, San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles are the biggest of them.

The United States of America is a parlamentary republic. The government is divided into three branches: legislative (the US Congress), executive (the President and his Administration) and judicial (the US Supreme Court).

There are two main political parties in the USA: the Democratic (symbolized by a "donkey") and the Republican (its symbol is an "elephant"). The US President is both head of state and government. He is elected for a four-year term. Presidential elections are held every leap year on first Tuesday after first Monday in November. The President is assisted by Secretaries who are the heads of the executive departments. The Supreme Court consists of Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices who are appointed for life. It is supposed to decide whether a law of the Congress or an executive order of the President is constitutional or not.

The form of US government is based on the Constitution of September 17, 1787, adopted after the War of Independence. In December 1791, the Congress adopted ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights. The latter enumerated what the government controlled by the oligarchy was not going to be allowed to do, which was, of couse, an important democratic gain for people.

The Congress of the United States is composed of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate represents the states and the House represents the population according to its distribution among the states. All states have electoral requirements of the same nature. First of all they are residence requirements.

Through its power over the purse, the US Congress can control much that relates to foreign policy, also it is a governmental body that determines taxation.

Each of the fifty states of the USA has a constitution patterned after the federal Constitution, with its divisions of power: legislative, executive, and judicial.

The Presidency means not only a man: means an institution - the "executive branch" of the government.


Unit 12

 

Grammar: 1. Герундий.

2. Герундиальные обороты.


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