Stage 3 - Alison Baxter - The USA

November 28, 2018 | Author: raulcornet | Category: Pilgrim Fathers, Buffalo Bill, The United States, Native Americans In The United States, Mark Twain
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THE THE USA Alison Baxter

Oxford Bookworms Factfiles OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS



Think of a big, beautiful, empty land  with  wi th mount mo untain ains, s, forests, fore sts, lakes lak es,, animals and fish, but no people. This  was  wa s Ameri Am erica ca 30,000 years ago. ag o.  Arou  Ar ound nd that time, time , the first people peop le probably arrived in Alaska from  Asia  As ia.. They Th ey travelled trav elled south sout h and

after that, they brought workers -

 became  beca me the Nort No rt h Amer Am eric ican an Indians, India ns,

slaves - from Africa. Large numbers

and the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas and

of immigrants continued to arrive

other peoples of Central and South

from all over the world until the

 Amer  Am eric ica. a. Later Late r came the Inuit

middle of the twentieth century.

(Eskimos) of Canada and the Arctic.

The empty land was now full of

But there are only a few of these early

people, speaking different languages

peoples in America today.

and with different ideas. There are

In the sixteenth century Europeans started to come to America, and soon

 just three countrie coun triess n o w in Nort No rt h  Amer  Am eric ica: a: Cana Ca nada da,, M ex i c o and the USA. But there  were  we re nearly several more. The 'United States of America'  was  wa s not no t alwa al ways ys united. The 252 million people who live in its fifty states are not all the same. So how was the USA born? How did it grow?  And  An d what wh at sort of country is it now?

2 The Pilgrim Father Fathers s For thousands of years, America and its peoples were unknown to the rest of the world. The Vikings visited Canada from Scandinavia around  AD 1000, 10 00, but did not no t stay. Then Th en,, in 1492, a brave Italian sailor called Christopher Columbus reached the Caribbean, while he was looking for a sea route from Europe to India.

Slaves working in the tobacco fields

Columbus did not stay either. It was only in the sixteenth century that the

and went to England, where she died. The farmers discovered that it

French, the Spanish, and the

 was  wa s easy to gr ow toba to bacc cco o in

British all started to come and

 Virg  Vi rgin inia ia,, so they brough bro ughtt

live in North America.

 Africa  Afr ican n people peop le to wo r k

In the early seventeenth century, two very different

in the fields as their slaves.

groups of English people

Smoking was becoming

made the dangerous

 very fashi fas hion onabl able, e, and

 journ  jou rney ey acros acr osss the Atlan At lanti tic. c.

the Americans found a big

In 1607, a group of farmers

market for their tobacco

 began the colo co lony ny of Jamestown, in Virginia. They

in Europe. Pocahontas

fought with the Indians, and

In 1620, another group of 101 English men, women and

many died because they were ill and

children arrived in Plymouth,

did not have enough to eat. But

Massachusetts. We know these

Pocahontas, the daughter of an

people, who had very strong ideas

Indian chief, became a friend of

about religion, as the 'Pilgrims', or

Captain John Smith and helped him

'Pilgrim Fathers'. They did not want

and the other English people. She

to live in England because they did

later married a man called John Rolfe

not agree with the Church of

England, so they sailed to America in

Thanksgiving, and Americans still

a ship called the  the  Mayflower.  Mayflower.  They

celebrate it every year, on the fourth

 became not only onl y farmers far mers,, but also

Thursday of November. It is one of

 businessmen w h o bought bou ght and sold

the most important holidays in the

animal skins. They thought that all

 year, and people peo ple often travel trav el many man y

men were equal and so they did not

hundreds of kilometres to be with

have slaves.

their family.

The Pilgrims too were often ill and hungry, and nearly half of them died

USA facts

in the first year. But they were helped

'America' was named after an

 by friendly Indians, Indi ans, w h o showed sho wed

Italian businessman called Amerigo

them how to grow corn. In the

 Vespu  Ves pucci cci,, w ho sailed to South Sou th

autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims had a

 Amer  Am erica ica betwee bet ween n 1 4 99 and 1 5 0 2.

 big dinner to give thanks tha nks for the first

Columbus called the Native

food that they had grown themselves.

 Amer  Am erica icans ns 'India 'In dians' ns' because he

This day became known as

thought that he had reached India.

The Pilgrim Fathers landing at Plymouth


The War of Independence By 1770, there were

 A farmer from fro m Virg Vi rgin inia ia,, Geor Ge orge ge

thirteen colonies

 Wash  Wa shin ingto gton, n, became beca me the leader of

along the east coast

the American army.

of North America,

The Boston Tea Party

But the colonies did not say that

all governed by

they wanted to be fully independent

Britain. But Britain

until the summer of 1776. Thomas

 was  wa s a long lon g w ay

Jefferson wrote the famous

away, and the

'Declaration of Independence',

people of the

 where  whe re he said that the king ki ng,, George Geo rge

colonies became

III, had broken his agreement with

angry at the high

his people, because he had not let

taxes that the

them have their rights: rights to life,

government made

freedom and happiness. The day of

them pay.

the Declaration of Independence is

In December

another important American

1773 a group of men threw

oliday, celebrated each year

342 boxes of tea into the sea

on July 4.

at Boston because they did

The Americans finally

not want to pay the British

 wo  w o n the w ar five years year s

tax on it. This was the

later, in October 1781, and

'Boston Tea Party'.

two years after that, they  were  wer e free to gove go vern rn

The British government was now angry too, and in April 1775 some Americans fought a

George Washington

group of British soldiers at Lexington and Concord, in

themselves. In 1788 they made George Washington their first president.

The thirteen colonies, which

Massachusetts. A few months later,

 became k no wn as 'stat 's tates es',', grew gr ew by

after the Battle of Bunker Hill, near

adding land to the south and west.

Boston, it was clear that Britain was

In 1803, Jefferson, the third

at war with its American colonies.

president, bought a piece of rich

Signing the Declaration of Independence

farmland in the mid-west from

USA facts

France; it was five times as big as

• The Th e names 'United 'Unite d States of

France itself, and it only cost $15

 Amer  Am eric ica' a' and 'Ame 'A meri rica can' n' were we re first

million. In 1819, the USA bought

used at the time of the War of

Florida from Spain. The United States


 wa s no w twice twi ce as big as it had been

• The American flag, the Stars Stars and

in 1781. And by 1848, after winning

Stripes, also first appeared at that

Texas and the West from Mexico, it

time. It has a stripe for each of the

had grown again so that it reached all

first thirteen states and a star is

the way from the Atlantic to the

added when a new state joins, so

Pacific, over 5,000 kilometres.

there are now fifty stars.

4 The Civi Civill War This great country of 31 million people was known as the Union, but in fact there were deep differences  betwee  bet ween n the No r th and the South. And in 1861 war  broke  bro ke out - the most mo st terrible war that the world had ever seen. At least 600,000 people died in the fighting or from illness. The war was fought to keep the United States united. It began because the

Slaves working in the cotton fields

southern states kept slaves to work in the cotton fields. Slaves

The South had some of the best

 were  wer e not no t allo al lowe wed d in the No rt h, and

soldiers - one was the great Robert E.

the two sides argued about whether

Lee - and they had plenty of money

they should allow them in the new

from selling their cotton to England.

lands of the West. In 1860, Abraham

But the North had more men and

Lincoln, who belonged to the

more factories. They also had

Republican party, which was against

Lincoln, one of the best presidents

keeping slaves, was elected president.

that the USA has ever had.

On December 24, South Carolina

Two famous soldiers helped the

said that it wanted to be independent

North to win the war: General

and the other southern states soon

Sherman is remembered in a famous

followed; they called themselves the

song about how he took 60,000 of

'Confederate States of America'. The

his soldiers on a journey from

fighting began on April 12 1861, at

 Atla  At lant nta, a, in Geor Ge orgi gia, a, to the Atlan At lanti ticc

Fort Sumter.

coast, breaking the Confederate

The Battle of Gettysburg

Abraham Lincoln

states in two; after the war, he

enough to bring the North and the

 became  beca me head of the Amer Am eric ican an army.

South together. Anger and arguments,

General Ulysses S. Grant was the

mostly about the rights of black

man who represented the North at

people, continued.

 Ap po ma tt o x in 1 8 6 5 , when wh en the South, under Lee, accepted that they

USA fact

had lost the war. Grant was very fair

• A very important battle was won

to Lee's soldiers, who did not have to

 by the No rt h at Gett Ge ttys ysbu burg rg in

go to prison. Some years later, in

Pennsylvania in 1863. Lincoln spoke

1868, he became president.

there afterwards about the brave

Sadly, in April 1865, just after the

soldiers who had died. This became

end of the war, Lincoln was shot at

known as the Gettysburg Address

the theatre by a man called John

and contains the famous words,

 Wilk  Wi lkes es Boot Bo oth. h. After Aft er Lincol Lin coln's n's death dea th,,

'. . . government of the people,

the new president was not strong

 by the peop pe ople le,, for the peop pe ople le.'.'

5 The Wil Wild d West During the nineteenth century, more and more people went to live in the  West.  Wes t. M o s t of us have seen the 'Wil 'W ild d  West'  Wes t' in films and on televis tele vision ion,, and so we think that it was full of cowboys and fighting. But in fact there were very few cowboys - no more than 40,000 - and real cowboys did not shoot each other  very  ver y often. often . They Th ey were wer e hard ha rd-w -wor orki king ng

 A cowboy

men, and at least a quarter of them  were  wer e black bla ck or M ex ic an . They Th ey took to ok

other crops instead of keeping cows.

cows from Texas up to the railway

The farms were very lonely, but

towns in Kansas and Missouri to be

soon the railways helped to bring

killed for meat. From there, the meat

people together. In 1869, the railway

 was  wa s sent to the East and sold. sol d.

line from the East met the line from

The cowboys almost disappeared

the West in Utah, so it was possible

after about thirty years because the

for Americans to travel right across

land was given by the government to

the USA by train.

farmers and their families. From

There were about two million

1862 to 1900, more than half a

Native Americans (or 'Indians') in

million farmers came to live in the

 Amer  Am eric ica a in the fifteenth century,

 West,  Wes t, where whe re they grew gr ew corn and

 when  whe n the Eur Europe opeans ans started to colonize the country. They lived by

Indians hunting buffalo

hunting and farming, and when they got horses from the Europeans, they used them to hunt buffalo. There were about 60 million buffalo and the Indians needed them

for food, clothes, houses, knives, etc. Sadly, the Europeans also brought diseases which killed the Indians. They fought and killed the Indians too, because they wanted to take their land for farms or railways. They shot millions of buffalo, so that it is said that by 1900 there were less than a thousand animals left in all of the USA - and less than 250,000 Native  Amer  Am eric ican ans. s. The Indian wars ended in 1890

 An early American railroad

 with  wi th the Battle of Woun Wo unded ded Knee, Kne e,  when  wh en many man y Siou Si oux x men, men , wome wo men n and children were killed by  Amer  Am eric ican an soldier sol diers. s. After this, thi s,

different places; one man rode  with  wi th a bag of letters for abou ab outt

Indians had to live in special

120 kilometres and then gave

places called 'reservations'.

it to another man. In this way,

Even today, many of the

letters only took about ten

two million Native

days to cross the country.

 Ameri  Am erican canss live on

• One very well-known well-kn own

reservations; they

rider was Buffalo Bill

are often very poor

Cody. He later became

and a lot of them do

a soldier and a hunter;

not have jobs.

they say that he shot 4,280  buffalo  buf falo in one year! year ! In the

USA facts • From 1860 to 18 61 , the the

1880s, Buffalo Bill started his Wild West Show, a kind

mail was carried from East

of travelling theatre, with the

to West and back again by

famous cowgirl Annie Oakley.

the famous Pony Express. Horses were kept at

Buffalo Bill


New Ne w Ameri American cans s

 At the beginnin begi nning g of the nineteenth nineteen th

came from Ireland alone. Another

century most American families had

five million immigrants came from

come from Britain, Germany and

Italy, and millions more from Russia,

Scandinavia, and they were farmers

Poland and other countries of Eastern

or businesspeople. But soon that

Europe, hoping to find jobs and

 began  bega n to change cha nge..

freedom. America kept an 'open

Factories were built and cities

door' until 1924 and about 27

grew; poor people arrived from other

million people arrived between 1880

countries, hoping to find work.

and 1930. They were often poor, had

Between 1840 and the end of the

different religions, and had not been

century, about five million people

to school for very long; there was a lot of prejudice against them.

Chinatown, San Francisco

The Chinese immigrants in the  West also met with wi th prejudice. preju dice. M an y people came to live in California after gold was found there in 1848, and among them were 300,000 Chinese. Many of the Chinese stayed to work

 building  buil ding the new rail ra ilwa ways ys.. Like Lik e black bla ck

USA facts

people and Native Americans, the

• Immigrants from Europe arrived

Chinese had no civil rights and after

at Ellis Island in New York,

1882, they were no longer allowed to

 where  whe re they were wer e check che cked ed for

enter the USA.

illness and other problems.

The Irish, Italians and Eastern

They were welcomed by the

Europeans usually stayed in the big

Statue of Liberty, which was

cities of the East or the Mid-West,

given by France to America in

like New York, Boston or Chicago,

1886. On it are written these

and worked in the factories.

 word  wo rds: s:

 Alth  Al thou ough gh most mos t of them learned lear ned

'Give me your tired, your poor .. .'

English and became Americans, they

• Today, the the biggest number of

also wanted to keep their own way of

immigrants to the USA come

life. So in many cities you can find

from Spanish-speaking countries

places known as Little Italy or

such as Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Chinatown, where the restaurants

More than six million have arrived

have Italian or Chinese food. This is

since 1980 and Spanish has

all part of what makes America an

 become  bec ome the second secon d languag lang uagee of

interesting and exciting country.

the United States. The Statue

of   Liberty

Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island


Blac Black k Americans Americans

Today about 30 million of the 252 million people in the USA are black. They used to live mostly in the South,  work  wo rkin ing g in the cott co tton on and toba to bacc cco o fields. After the Civil War, white Southerners were angry that they had lost the war and angry that slaves  were  wer e n ow free. They Th ey showed sho wed a lot of prejudice against black people. Some  whites  whi tes joined joi ned the Ku Kl Klux ux Kl Klan an,, groups of men who dressed in white, covered their heads so that no one

so there are now more black people

knew them, and went out to beat and

in the North than in the South.

murder black people. Black men

But even in the North, they lived

could not vote until 1870, and even

separately, and in the South they

 when  wh en they got the right rig ht to vote vo te,, they

had to sit separately on buses and

often did not use it because they  were  wer e frighten frig htened. ed. In the twentieth century,  black  bla ck people peo ple  began  bega n to travel trav el

eat in separate parts of restaurants. Until 1954, they also had to go to separate schools. Then in the 1950s, a churchman called Dr Martin Luther King began to fight for the civil rights of black

to the cities of

people. Groups of black people

the North and

started to break the law, but not in a

later, to

 violen  vio lentt way; wa y; they refused to use

California, to

 buses,  buse s, so that the bus compan com panies ies lost

look for work,

money. They also went into 'whites only' restaurants. In August 1963,

 A Civil Rights march

200,000 people met in Washington and heard Dr King speak about the

However, there are still problems, as  was  wa s show sh own n by the fighting figh ting in Los  Angel  An geles es in 1 9 9 2 , after a black bla ck car driver was beaten by white policemen.

USA facts • A story about the hard life life of slaves called  called  Uncle Tom's Cabin,  by Harr Ha rriet iet Beecher Stow St owe, e, was wa s one of the most popular books of the mid-nineteenth century and made a lot of people see that it was wrong to keep slaves. need for black people to be equal. He

• Harriet Tubman and Frederick Frederick

 began  bega n with wi th these wo r ds, ds , whic wh ich h have

Douglass were famous slaves who

 become  bec ome famo fa mous: us: 'I have ha ve a dream drea m . . .'

helped many other slaves escape

In 1964, a law was passed

from the South to the North using

giving black people their

a route called the 'underground

civil rights and Dr King was


given the Nobel Peace Prize. But in 1968, Dr King was murdered in Memphis, and fighting broke out in more than a hundred cities. During the 1970s and 1980s, prejudice against black people slowly  began  bega n to become beco me less importan impo rtant, t, and many black people now have good jobs in  business and government.

Martin Luther King


The governm gov ernment ent of the th e USA

The government of the USA has three

have more Representatives. Some

separate but equal branches:

states, like Wyoming or Delaware,

Congress, the President, and the

 whic  wh ich h do not no t have ha ve many ma ny peop pe ople le,, only on ly

Supreme Supreme Cour Co urt. t. Women Wome n were given

have one Representative.

the vote in 1920 and all Americans

The President is head of the

can now vote when they are eighteen

departments of government which

 years  yea rs old. old .

carry out the laws. He (until now the

Congress makes the laws.

president has always been a man) is

There are two 'houses' of Congress:

the leader of the country (like a king

the Senate and the House of

or queen) and head of the army. He is

Representatives. There are a hundred

elected for four years, and can only be

people in the Senate (two from each

elected twice. He can say 'no' to laws

state) and they are elected for six

passed by Congress (but Congress

 year  ye ars. s. There The re are 4 3 5 people peo ple in the

can also say 'no' to him), and he

House of Representatives, and they

chooses the judges for the Supreme

are elected for two years only. States

Court. He lives and works in the

 with  wi th more mor e peop pe ople le,, like Cali Ca lifo forn rnia ia,,

 White  Wh ite Hous Ho usee in Wash Wa shing ington ton D C . The Supreme Court is the most

Washington DC

important court in the country and has nine judges; their job is to decide  wh at the laws la ws mean. mea n. They Th ey can ca n also als o say that Congress has made a law  whic  wh ich h is w ro n g, or that tha t the President Preside nt has done something wrong. The USA is a union of fifty states, and as well as the national government in Washington, each state has its own government. Laws can be very different from one state to the next. They say very different

The White House

Inside Congress

things about, for example, how old  you  yo u must mus t be to vote vo te,, get ge t marri mar ried, ed, leave school or drive a car. Different states punish criminals differently too; in some states, you can be killed for murdering someone, in others you only go to prison.

USA fact • There are only two important political parties: the Republicans and the Democrats. The Republicans  want people people to work to help themselves, and so they think that taxes should be low. The Democrats think that the government should help the poor and so it needs taxes. But the difference between the two is not always clear and it is not always easy to say that one party is on the 'left' or on the 'right' of the other.

9 Living Living in the th e USA Most Americans who have jobs live more comfortably than people in any other country in the world. They

 A 'drive-in' bank

usually work a forty-hour week and they have two weeks' holiday a year

the USA has no official religion, but

as well as the official holidays like

over 60% of Americans belong to a

Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 60%

Christian church.

of families, both the husband and the

If they don't want to go out,

 wife  wi fe go out ou t to wo r k . Alth Al thou ough gh more mor e

 Amer  Am erica icans ns can alwa al ways ys stay at home ho me,,

than 40% of the land is farmed, not

and watch television. Nearly all

many people work as farmers, and

families have a TV and it is said that

fewer Americans work in factories

an ordinary family watches seven

than in the past. Most jobs are now

hours a day! They have over 10,000

in hospitals, banks, hotels, shops, etc.

TV stations to choose from, most of

How do Americans spend their

 whic  wh ich h are owne ow ned d by privat pri vatee

money? Two thirds of them own

companies, not by the government.

their homes, often a house with a

 Amer  Am erica ican n TV progr pro gram amme mess are sold sol d

garden in a nice suburb. And at least

all over the world, and in many

85% of families have a car. They can use it to go to 'drive-in' restaurants, cinemas, banks, and even churches  A suburban street

countries people watch the news on CNN. Few newspapers cover all the USA, but you can buy papers like the  New York Times  Times  and the  the  Washington  Post   everywhere, as well as the

 A shopping mall

magazines  magazines  Time and  and  Newsweek. Most Americans enjoy sports,

 And,  An d, of course cou rse,, Ameri Ame rican canss love to

 whic  wh ich h helps to keep kee p them the m healthy.

shop; the supermarket first appeared

Their favourites are baseball,

in America, and now many shops are

 baske  ba sketba tball, ll, foot fo otbal balll and ice hockey. hock ey.

open twenty-four hours a day. In the

 Americ  Ame rican an foot fo otba ball ll is very different

1990s, Americans were spending

from European football; players run

twelve hours a month in indoor

and carry the ball more than they use

shopping centres; some of the biggest

their feet.

shopping centres in the world are in the USA - Mall of America in Minneapolis covers half a million square metres!  Americ  Ame rican anss have to pay if they are 1 Baseball 2 Ice hockey 3 Basketball 4 American football

ill and visit a doctor or

foods with them. And

go to hospital, but they

more and more people

do not usually pay to

are interested in healthy

go to school. Schools,

eating, so they choose

like the laws, are

'low-fat' foods, or they

different from state to

refuse to eat meat.

state, but in most places, everyone goes to school for

USA facts

about twelve years. And about a

• The Th e money mon ey in the USA is the dollar, dollar,

third of school students go on to

 whic  wh ich h contai con tains ns a hundred hund red cents. cen ts.


Some coins have special names: 50

 Wh at do Amer Am eric ican anss eat? In the past, America gave a number of different foods to the rest of the

is a nickel, 100 is a dime, and 250 a quarter. • Coca Co ca-C -Cola ola was wa s first first made in 1886

 worl  wo rld: d: pota po tato toes es,, toma to mato toes es,, choc ch ocol olat atee

 by an Amer Am eric ican an called calle d John

and corn, for example. Today,

Pemberton. Today it is sold in 195

 Amer  Am eric ican an 'fas 'f ast' t' food fo od is sold in

countries and Coke is one of the

restaurants in almost every country

 best be st-kn know own n word wo rdss in the worl wo rld. d.

of the world. The most famous examples are probably hamburgers and hot dogs, eaten with french fries. But if you visit the USA you can also eat

• From 1920 to 1933, 193 3, during during Prohibition, it was against the law to drink alcohol in the USA,  but many ma ny people peo ple still  want  wa nted ed to drink drin k it. So criminals like Al

all kinds of tasty

Capone became rich

food from different

 by bringi bri nging ng alco al coho holl

countries: Chinese,

into the country.

Mexican, Italian . . . the immigrants who came to the USA  broug  br ought ht their own favourite

Fast food

10 Cities, la lakes kes and rive rivers rs Boston, where the fight for independence began in the eighteenth century, is one of the oldest cities in the USA. In neighbouring Cambridge is the oldest university in the USA, Harvard, which was opened in 1636, as well as the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Perhaps the most well-known family in twentieth-century Boston  was  wa s the Kennedy Kenn edy family. Like many man y

Harvard University

other Boston families, they came from Ireland. They became very rich,

 your  yo ur c o un tr y' He and his beautiful beauti ful

and John F Kennedy, a Democrat,

 wife  wif e Jacqueline Jacquel ine were wer e youn yo ung g and

 became President of

popular, but sadly, in 1963,

the United States in

'JFK' was shot and killed

1960. At that time

in Dallas, Texas.

he said '. . . ask not

Everyone knows New

 what  wh at your yo ur count cou ntry ry

 Yo rk , the biggest bigg est city in the

can do for you, but

USA. It is a great place for

 what  wh at you yo u can do for

theatre, shopping and Skyscrapers in New York

The Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans

restaurants. It is also the home of the United Nations, whose offices are in

Satellite picture showing the Great Lakes

a beautiful glass skyscraper. In fact,  when  wh en you yo u think thin k of N e w York Yo rk,, y o u

it is also known as one of the homes

probably think that the skyscraper

of black popular music.

 was  wa s born here. But in fact the first really tall

Henry Ford, who made the famous Ford cars, was born in Michigan,

 buildings  build ings were wer e built bui lt in Chic Ch icag ago o after

near Detroit. His 'Model T' (1908)

the great fire of 1871. Today, the

 was  wa s the first car cheap che ap enough eno ugh for

Sears Tower in Chicago (more than

ordinary people to buy. 'Anyone can

400 metres high) is the tallest

drive a Ford,' they said.

 building  buil ding in the USA. US A. Chicago and the other cities

Lying between Canada and the USA, the five Great Lakes are an

around the Great Lakes of the Mid-

important route for ships travelling

 West have hav e more mor e factori fact ories es than

from the Atlantic, along the St

anywhere else in the USA. Detroit, on

Lawrence Seaway, to the Mid-West.

Lake Erie, is where cars are made and

Together, Lakes Erie, Ontario, Huron, Michigan, and Superior cover

The Model T

244,108 square kilometres - more


than any other group of lakes in the  worl  wo rld. d. If yo y o u go there in the summer, it is almost like going to the sea; you

can lie on the beach or sail a boat. But in winter it is very cold. Chicago is sometimes known as the 'windy city' because of the cold winds that  bl ow in from fro m Lake Lak e Mich Mi chig igan an.. Thousands of kilometres south of the Great Lakes is the state of Louisiana, which used to be French.

The Mississippi river

The city of New Orleans, on the great Mississippi river, is famous for

USA facts

its food, which is like French and

• If you drive all all the the way down the

 Africa  Afr ican n food fo od together, togeth er, and for M ar di

 Atlan  At lantic tic coast coa st from fro m N e w York Yo rk past

Gras, when people celebrate by

Philadelphia to Washington DC,

dressing in colourful clothes and

 you  yo u pass from fro m city to suburb sub urb and

 walk  wa lkin ing g or dancin dan cing g thro th roug ugh h the

 back  bac k again; aga in; it almost alm ost seems to be

streets, playing music. New Orleans

one big city: a 'megalopolis'.

is also the home of jazz, which was first played by black musicians like Louis Armstrong in the 1920s. The Mississippi river is 3,778

• Niagara Niag ara Falls, between Lakes Ontario and Erie, is 51 metres high. • Ma rk Twain's real name was Samuel Clemens and he took the

kilometres long and in the nineteenth

name 'Mark Twain' from special

century was an important way of

 word  wo rdss used by sailors sail ors on the

travelling from north to south. Mark

Mississippi. 'Mark twain' means

Twain wrote wonderful stories about

that the water is about two

life on and around the river:  river:   The

fathoms, or four metres, deep.

 Adventures of Tom Sawyer  Sawyer   (1876), and  and  Huckleberry Finn  Finn  (1884).

Niagara Falls

The Arizona desert


Mountai Mou ntains ns and desert deserts s

The USA has some of the biggest

for example, in the states of

cities in the world, and more than

 Wyom  Wy omin ing, g, Mo nt an a, C o lo rad ra d o,

three quarters of its people live in

Idaho and Utah, are great for

cities or towns. This means that there

holidays. Visitors like to go there for

are also some very empty places,

 walk  wa lkin ing, g, climbi cli mbing ng,, fishing, fishing , huntin hun ting, g,

 which  wh ich have hav e not changed chan ged much muc h since

or horseriding. You can also go skiing

the first Europeans arrived. The

in winter at towns like Aspen. The

government has kept some of them as

only big city in the Rockies is Denver,

National Parks, where people are not

 whic  wh ich h is one mile (1.6 (1 .6 kilometres kilom etres))

allowed to build houses or factories.

above the sea. The air is so thin there

The wonderful Rocky Mountains,

that it can make your head hurt when  you  yo u first arrive. arriv e.

Skiing in the Rockies

South of the Rockies lies the desert state of Arizona, where the land has fantastic colours: not just brown and green, but red, pink, orange and blue. The most famous place in Arizona is the Grand Canyon. This deep river  valley  val ley w a s made mad e by the C ol orad or ad o river cutting through the rock many thousands of years ago. Today it is

2,000 metres deep, 349 kilometres long, and between six and twentynine kilometres wide. You can walk down to the river, but it will take you two days to get there and  back  ba ck,, and you yo u must mus t take ta ke plenty of water to drink.  You  Yo u can also fly over it, and see the

Mount Rushmore  A hot water geyser

extraordinary shapes of the rocks. Next to Arizona, New

USA facts Las Vegas, in the desert

Mexico is another dry, desert state,

state of Nevada, is a centre for

 where  whe re farming farm ing is difficult difficu lt and the

gambling. People make and lose

people are poor. Many Native

thousands of dollars there, playing

 Ameri  Am erica cans ns live there on big

cards or other games.

reservations. The Navajo, Hopi,

The Black Hills of Dakota are

Pueblo and Zuni are known for the

famous for Mount Rushmore,

 beautiful  beau tiful things thin gs that tha t they make ma ke from

 where  whe re the faces of four fou r Amer Am eric ican an

silver, for their colourful blankets,

presidents: Washington, Jefferson,

their pots and for their dancing.

Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt

Many artists have also come from

 were  we re cut in the rock ro ck.. It took to ok

other parts of America to live in and

fourteen years, from 1927 to 1941.

around Santa Fe and Taos.

 Yell  Ye llow owst ston onee Park Pa rk in Wyom Wy omin ing g and Montana is famous for the hot

Native American women making blankets

 wate  wa terr geyser geys er that tha t shoots sho ots up into int o the air, up to 115 metres high. Salt Lake City, the chief city of Utah, is next to a lake that is much saltier than the sea. Even if you haven't learned to swim, you could probably swim in this lake!



California is a state of differences. It

 by an earth ear thqu quak akee and the fire whic wh ich h

has the lowest, driest place in the

followed it in 1906. There was a big

USA: Death Valley, which is 86

earthquake in 1989 and everyone

metres below sea level. It is very hot

knows that one day, perhaps very

there (56.7°C on the hottest day, in

soon, there will be another, but they

1913) and in some years it does not

continue living in San Francisco

rain at all. But the north of the state

 because life there is fun.

is quite cold and wet. This is where

Los Angeles is the second biggest

the great redwood trees grow - the

city in the USA. It can take hours to

 biggest  bigg est trees in the wo rld. rl d. Cali Ca lifo forn rnia ia

drive from one side to the other - and

grows more fruit and vegetables than

people almost always drive! The

any other state in the USA, and it is

number of cars means that the city

famous for its wine. But it is also a

has a problem with dirty air; it also

centre for computers and business. It

has a lot of violence. But visitors still

has more people than any other state.

come to see Disneyland, Hollywood,

San Francisco is, many people

 where  whe re films are made ma de,, and Beverley Beverl ey

think, one of the most beautiful cities

Hills, where you can look at the

in the world. It was nearly destroyed

houses of famous film stars.

 A Californian redwood tree

San Francisco


North and South, Ea East and West

Travelling north

Olympic Games

from California,

 were  we re held there

 you  yo u come to

in 1996. There

Oregon and then

are plenty of

 Washi  Wa shingt ngton. on.

 jobs  jo bs,, and people peo ple

These states are

think that, like

cool and wet,

Seattle, it is a

 but very

comfortable city

 beauti  bea utiful ful,, with wi th


to live in. It is

 big forests and

 very different

high mountains.

from the old

Since the 1980s,

cities of the

Seattle has


 become  bec ome one of


the most

Georgia, and

popular cities in


 Ameri  Am erica ca;; it is

South Carolina,

the home of

for example,

new music and

 where  whe re there


are still many

of coffee bars selling lots of different types of

 beautif  beau tiful ul old houses hous es whic wh ich h look lo ok

coffee; films and TV programmes

the same as they did 150 or more

are made about people who live in

 years  yea rs ago. ag o.

Seattle. A city that was once quiet is  becomi  bec oming ng crow cr owde ded d and expens exp ensive ive..  Away  Aw ay across acro ss the countr cou ntryy is another anot her

There are so many interesting and exciting places to visit in the USA that we cannot show you them all.

city which has changed a lot in the

Use the map on the next two pages

last twenty years: Atlanta, Georgia.

to plan your own journey across

It is big and modern, with one of the

 Amer  Am eric ica, a, by car, by trai tr ain, n, by bus, bu s,

 busiest airports airp orts in the wo rld; rl d; the

or just in your dreams!

Cold, lonely  Alaska  is the largest state in the USA and is separated from the other states by Canada. The  American government bought it from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million and it became a state in 1959. People used to make money from fishing and hunting, and gold was found there too. But today, it is important for its oil. North Nearly 4,000 kilometres  America's west of California lies  Hawaii. highest This group of beautiful islands mountain, became the fiftieth state of Mount McKinley the USA in 1959. Today, (6,194 metres),  people visit Hawaii for beach is in Alaska. holidays in the sun.

Texas is the

second biggest state after Alaska. There are still cowboys who work with cattle, but the modern state of Texas, like  Alaska, is rich because of its oil.

The states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,

Florida  is known as the 'Sunshine State'

because it is so warm and sunny. Many  Americans choose to live in Florida when they retire. Oranges grow there, and visitors come to enjoy beach holidays. They can also visit Disneyworld and the Kennedy Space Center.

Connecticut and Rhode Island are known as  New England. Visitors go there to see the beautiful colours of the trees, which turn red, yellow and gold in the autumn.


A Checking your understanding Pages 1-5 Write answers to these questions. 1 When Whe n did Europeans start to come to America? 2 Wh o arrived in Massachusetts Massachus etts in 1620? 3 Why Wh y were the the American people angry with the British British government? 4 W ho was w as the the ffirst irst president president of the USA? Pages  Pages  6-11 Are these sentences true (T) or false (F)? 1 The Th e northern norther n states kept slaves. slave s. 2 Abraham Abra ham Lincoln was wa s president president during the Civil War. War. 3 Buffalo were very important to the Native Nat ive Americans. 4 The immigrants who wh o arrived in the nineteenth century were wer e usually rich. Pages  Pages  12-18 How much can you remember? Check your answers. 1 H o w many black people are there in the USA today? today ? 2 W ho used used the famous word wo rds, s, 'I have a dream . . .'? .'? 3 What Wh at are the names of the tw o big political poli tical parties in the USA? USA ? 4 What Wh at are American Amer icans' s' four favourite sports? Pages 19-23  19-23  How much can you remember? Where . . . 1

. . . is the oldest university in the USA?

2 . . . were the first first skyscrapers built? built? 3 . . . are are Niagara Niaga ra Fall Falls? s? 4 . . . is the the Grand Canyon? Pages  Pages  24-27 Find answers to these questions. 1 Which Whi ch city city was nearly destroyed by an an earthquake in 1906? 2 Where were the Oly Olympic mpic Games held in 1996? 3 Which Whi ch state state did the Americans America ns buy from Russia Russia in 18 67? 4 Which Whi ch was wa s the fiftieth fiftieth state to join the the USA?

B Working wi th language language 1

Use these words to join these eight short sentences together to make four longer ones.  because  becau se but when wh en where wh ere 1 The South had some of the best soldiers. The y lost the Civil Civ il War. War. 2 The Europeans fought and killed the Native Nat ive Americans. Americans . They wanted wante d to take their land for farms and railways. 3 Immigrants arrived at Ellis Island. They Th ey were checked for illness. 4 Ma ny Americans go and live in Florida. They retire. retire.


Complete these sentences with information from the book. 1 Pocahontas Pocahonta s was . . . wh o . . . 2 Harriet Tubman and and Frederick Frederick Douglass Dougla ss were . . . wh o . . . 3 Thoma Tho mass Jefferson Jefferson wr wrote ote . . . where whe re . . . 4 The Indian Indian wars ended ended in 1890 with wit h . . . when . . . 5 The city of N ew Orleans is famous for . . . when .. .

C Activities 1 Imagine that you yo u are are on holiday holid ay in the USA. USA . Write a letter to a friend about abo ut the places that you have visited. 2 Imagine that you yo u were either a Pilgrim, Pilgri m, or a black slave, or an immigrant immigra nt in the nineteenth century. You are now very old. Write a short paragraph about how you came to the USA, and your life there.

D Project Project w ork or k 1 Write about abo ut the people wh o live live in your you r own country. Are they all the same? same?  Were any of them immigrants? immigr ants? Did Di d they fight any wars? war s? 2 Write a short guide to your own country; include information about famous cities, beautiful places to visit, the weather, etc.

Glossary alcohol strong stro ng drinks drin ks such as beer, beer,  wine  wi ne,, whis wh isky ky

 jud  judge ge (n) the most important person in a law court

allow  to let someone someo ne do something somethi ng

law  law  an order made by the government

celebrate to enjoy enjoy a happy happ y day civil rights the rights of all the people in a country to do the same things: vote, work etc. civil war a war between groups of people in the same country colony  a country coun try that belongs to another country crops plants that farmers grow, grow , usually for food department part of a government, governm ent,  busines  bus iness, s, shop sh op etc. earthquake a sudden, sudden , violent violen t movement of the earth elect to choose choo se people to be in government (by voting) equal the same freedom being free gambling playing games for money government the group gro up of of people  wh  w h o cont co ntro roll a coun co untr tryy hunt to catch animals for food immigrant someone wh o comes to live in another country

lead to be chief leader a person wh o leads native a person born in a place, plac e, not an immigrant pilgrim a person wh o travels for a religious reason prejudice an idea (usually negative) negati ve)  whic  wh ich h is not no t based base d on any reaso rea son n religion foll owing owin g a god or gods represent to speak for other people retire to stop doing paid work wo rk , usually when you are old right (n)  (n)   what the law lets you do separate (adj) different, not joined slave a person wh o belongs to another person and has to work for no money state (n) a part of a country wit h its its own political organization tax tax (n) the money that people have to pay to the government united joined together

independence being independent

 vote  vote to say which whic h person you want to represent you in government

independent free, not controlled contro lled by other people

 war  war fighting between countries or or people in the same country

 W h a t do  Wh does es Am er ic ica a me mean an to yo u? Skyscrapers, President Kennedy, fast food, big cars, cowboys and Indians? But what about the mountains, the deserts and the vast lakes? And what exactly is an American? From the time before Columbus up to the present day, this book looks at the history of the USA and the many different people who live there.





important and interesting information to the reader, moving enjoyably towards real reading in English. Each book has  been carefu carefully lly grad graded ed to help the learner. Cover photograph by Digital Vision

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