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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles consist of two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and about five thousand small islands. Their total area is over 244,000 square kilometres.
The British Isles are separated from the European continent by the North Sea and the English Channel. The western coast of Great Britain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea.
The surface of the British Isles varies very much. The north of Scotland is mountainous and is called the Highlands, while the south, which has beautiful valleys and plains, is called the Lowlands. The north and west of England are mountainous, but all the rest — east, centre and south-east — is a vast plain. Mountains are not very high. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest mountain (1343m).
There are a lot of rivers in Great Britain, but they are not very long. The Severn is the longest river, while the Thames is the deepest and the most important one.
The mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the warm
waters of Gulf Stream influence the
The UK is one of the world's smaller countries. Its population is over 57 million. About 80% of the population is urban.
The UK is a highly developed industrial country. It is known as one of the world's largest producers and exporters of machinery, electronics, textile, aircraft and navigation equipment. One of the chief industries of the country is shipbuilding.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy. In law, the Head of State is the Queen. In practice, the Queen reigns, but does not rule. The country is ruled by the elected government with the Prime Minister at the head. The British Parliament consists of two chambers: the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
There are three main political parties in Great Britain: the Labour, the Conservative and the Liberal parties. The Conservative party is the ruling party nowadays. The Prime Minister is John Major.
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
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 wanner 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, 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, Las 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 3 branches: the executive, headed by the President, the legislative, exercised by the Congress, and the judicial. 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.
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