The United States is first of all a highly developed society in the modern world. Its history began long ago. Columbus was the first to explore the unknown land, though nobody believed in its existence. He came to the shores of America in 1492, but the first settlers came here in 1565.
The years passed and the representatives of different countries and nations came here to build up a new society. Their adventurous spirit led them into that faraway land. The United States grew from the original 13 colonies, situated along the Atlantic Coast.
The indigenous American population soon came into conflict with European invaders, but the forces were unequal. And this slaughter led to the extinction of Indian tribes.
America got its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July, 4th, 1776. Now this date is known as Independence Day, which is a national holiday commemorating that great day of the past.
The American Civil War (1861–1865) became one of the important steps on the way to modern society. The war broke out because of the phenomenon of slavery. Southern States formed the ‘Confederacy’ and were fully for using slave labour force. The rest of the states opposed the South. It was the bloodiest war ever in the history of the US. It resulted in the Abolition (of slavery), which was firmly fixed in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865.
The USA has always attracted people from all over the world. The most famous notion of ‘American Dream’ is well-known everywhere. It means that you are to be successful to be a real American. Material wealth is put above all the life goals. And many people are eager to implement it. Do you remember the California Gold Rush of 1848–49, when people started flocking to the state in the hope to become rich?
The beginning of the 20th century was a hard time for the USA. The Great Depression of 1929 destroyed the economy of the country. But by the time WWII broke out, America had regained its economic power and was able to take part in the military action in Europe and help the allies with machinery and in some other ways.
America is the fourth largest country in the world. It means necessarily that its climate varies greatly. The country lies in different time zones, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The US is a land of mountains, rivers, great lakes. There are a lot of national parks (59). The most famous of them are Yosemite and Yellowstone. They are really impressive – a human being is a grain of sand on this scale.
Americans protect their nature, it’s especially important nowadays.
The US government has three branches: the Congress which makes laws and consists of the Senate and the House of the Representatives. All the states have their representatives in both parts.
The second branch is the President, who is elected every four years (but not more than 2 terms). He signs bills and is the Commander-in-Chief of the US Army at the same time.
The third branch is the Supreme Court, which is made up of 9 judges.
The USA is often called a ‘melting pot’. It means a mixture of different nations and cultures, which all make up the modern American society. That’s why the country has so many customs, celebrations and traditions, which have been brought here from all over the world in the course of American history.

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