United States of America is the fourth largest country in the world,
in terms of area, and the third largest country, in terms of population.
There are 50 states covering an area of 4 million square miles with
a population of more than 281 million. The density of population
greatly varies, depending on where you are in the country.
United States of America is the world's foremost economic and military
power. It is also a major source of entertainment: American TV,
Hollywood films, jazz, blues, rock and rap music are primary ingredients
in global popular culture.
and racial diversity - the 'melting pot' - is celebrated as a core
element of the American ideology. The 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed
racial and other discrimination, but race continues to be a live
issue. The ongoing debate includes topics such as affirmative-action
programs - intended to remedy past discrimination - and housing
United States of America originated in a revolution, which separated
it from the British Crown. The constitution, drafted in 1787, established
a federal system with a division of powers even at the central level,
which, uniquely among modern nation-states, has remained unchanged
in form since its inception.
early settlers came predominantly from the British Isles. Slaves
from Africa joined them involuntarily in a second wave. Millions
of Europeans constituted a third stage of immigration. Today, Asians
from the Pacific Rim and Hispanics from the Americas are seeking
what their predecessors wanted: political freedom and prosperity.
This shift is reflected in America's interests abroad, which are
now less European in focus than ever before.
foreign policy has often mixed the idealism of its "mission"
with elements of self-interest. The latter is exemplified in its
international record on the environment, which has attracted criticism,
and the need to maintain energy supplies, in which the United States
of America is not self-sufficient.
is spoken in different ways depending on the area of the country.
Accents can vary from the sharp fast-paced speech of New York to
the slow-paced drawl of Mississippi. Americans are eager to help
you learn the language, so you need not hesitate in asking them
to correct your speech and answer your questions. Apart from this,
cassettes are available to understand and learn the language. Watching
television will also help a lot in learning the US English.
vary greatly. It is very formal in the west when compared to the
east, while in the north it is more casual than in the south. In
the south the lifestyle is more religious and traditional, mainly
focusing on the family. In the east and west coast it is new, varying
styles and menu offerings vary greatly from place to place, largely
depending on the culture of the original settlers in that area.
For example, while food in Texas has a strong Mexican flavor, food
in Louisiana has a Cajun or French Flavor. The recipes of the Scandinavian
settlers are still maintained in far northern States, while in Northern
California the cuisine has an Asian flavor.
Weather observations are taken with respect to time. By Convention,
weather scientists use the twenty-four hour clock, and use one time
zone, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This time is also known as Universal
Time (UTC). To convert to local time, you must know the time difference
between GMT and local time for both standard time and summertime
(daylight savings time). Not all states use daylight savings time
in the summer.