The United States of America are the fourth largest county in the world (after Russia, Canada and China). 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 half million square kilometres. The USA borders on Canada in the north and on Mexico in 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 area where Washington, the capital of the country, is situated. The population of the country is over 300 million.
If we look at the 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 typhoons. The climate along the Pacific coast is much warmer than that of the Atlantic coast.
The USA is a highly developed industrial country. It is 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, furniture and paper industries.
Though mainly European and African in origin, Americans are made up of nearly all races and nations, including Chinese and native Americans.
The largest cities of the USA are: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco, Washington and others.
The United States is a federal union of 50 states; each of which has its own government. The seat of the central (federal) government is Washington, DC. According to the US Constitution the powers of the government are divided into three branches: the executive branch headed by the President, the legislative, branch exercised by the Congress and the judicial branch. 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.