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USA

The United States of America is the fourth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada and China). It occupies part of North America and stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. It also includes Alaska to the north and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. The total area of the country is about nine and a half million square kilometers. The USA shares borders with Canada to the north and with Mexico to the south. It also has a sea border with Russia.

The USA is made up of 50 states and the District of Columbia, a special federal municipal area where the capital of the country, Washington DC, is situated. The population of the country is more than 270 million.

If we look at a map of the USA, we can see lowlands and mountains. The highest mountains are the Rocky Mountains, the Cordillera and the Sierra Nevada. The highest peak is Mount McKinley which is located in Alaska.

America's largest rivers are the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Rio Grande and the Columbia. The Great Lakes on the border with Canada are the largest and deepest in the USA.

The climate of the country varies greatly. The coldest regions are in the north. The climate of Alaska is arctic. The climate of the central part is continental. The south has a subtropical climate. Hot winds blowing from the Gulf of Mexico often bring hurricanes.

The climate along the Pacific coast is much warmer than that of the Atlantic coast. But the southern Atlantic coast, as in Florida is very warm, and hot during the summer, and is also host to many tropical storms and hurricanes. Conversely, the northern Pacific waters are not warm. As a matter of fact, the Pacific waters near LA are quite cold, and people generally wear thermal suits when they go surfing there. Film directors will more often film surf scenes from Hawaii, where the waters are much warmer and don't require thermal suits for surfing, swimming, etc.

The USA is a highly developed industrial country. It's the world's leading producer of copper and oil and the world's second producer of iron ore and coal. Among the most important manufacturing industries are aircraft, cars, textiles, radio and television sets, armaments, furniture and paper.

Though mainly European and African in origin, Americans are made up from nearly all races and nations, including Chinese and native Americans.

The largest cities are: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, San-Francisco, Washington DC and others.

The United States is a federal union of 50 states, each of which has its own state government. The seat of the central (federal) government is Washington, DC. According to the US Constitution the powers of the government are divided into 3 branches: the executive, headed by the President, the legislative, exercised by the Congress, and the judicial, represented by the Supreme Court. The Congress consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

There are two main political parties in the USA: the Republican and the Democratic, though there's hardly any difference between their political lines.

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