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The people of the USA are proud of their democratic constitution. Read and learn more about it.

The Constitution of the USA

American Constitution was adopted on September 17,1787 by delegates from all over the country. In 1791 the Bill of Rights was added to it.

The Bill of Rights gives American citizens freedom of speech, of the press and worship; the right to meet peacefully; the right to be secure in one's own home against unreasonable searches and seizure of person and property; and the right of any person charged with breaking the law to have a speedy trail by a jury of fellow citizens.

The Constitution divided the powers of government into three branches: the executive, the legislative and the juridical.

The executive power is headed by the President. The legislative power includes both houses of Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate).

The juridical power is headed by the Supreme Court.

The Constitution limits the role of each branch not to give any of them too much power.

For example, if the Congress adopted a law and the President signed it but the law conflicts with the Constitution, the Supreme Court cancels this law.

The whole system of American government is based on the principles established in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Americans are proud of their Constitution.

Answer the questions.

1. When was the USA constitution approved?

2. When was Bill of Rights added to it?

3. How many branches of power are there in the USA?

4. Who heads each of the branches?

5. What is the role of Constitution in American political life?

3. The Bill of Rights gives equal rights to every American. But do they really have equal rights? Not always, so from time to time Americans, who think that their civil rights are broken, protest against it. Give current examples confirming that

4. This American song is very popular among those who love freedom and take part in demonstrations and marches for peace, freedom, civil rights and democracy. The song is the result of the interchange between Negro and white musicians. People generally sing it in a group after a song leader. Read, learn and sing it too.



Traditional, words and music arranged by Z.Horton, F.Hamilton, G. Garawan and Pete Seeger

We shall overcome,

We shall overcome,

We shall overcome some day,

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe

We shall overcome some day,

We'll walk hand in hand,

We'll walk hand in hand.

Well walk hand in hand some day,

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,

We shall overcome some day,

We shall live in peace,

We shall live in peace,

We shall live in peace some day,

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,

We shall overcome some day,

We are not afraid,

We are not afraid,

We are not afraid today,

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,

We shall overcome some day.


The United States of America (the USA)


In every life people call this country America. Do we know much of its past?

Part I. America in the past

Many hundred years ago on the territory of the present day America lived the red-skin Indians. They hunted animals and fished, grew corn and tobacco.

In the middle of the 15th century some European countries began to send their ships to discover new sea routes to far off lands. One of these explorers was Christopher Columbus from Spain, who sailed with his crew on 33 small ships for 3 months. When they saw at last an unknown land they thought that it was India. That is why they called the local people living there red-skin Indians. But Columbus was mistaken. It was an island near North America. This discovery took place on the 12th of October 1492. That is why in 1992 America celebrated its 500th anniversary. But this new land got its name "America" a little later when an Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci described it in his writings in 1499.

Same mar inherent European countries sent their people to North America to trade with the natives and to look for gold, silver, fur and other things there. In 1620 more than one hundred Englishmen left their country forever and went to America on board the ship "Mayflower" to live and work there. Their voyage lasted for many weeks and was very hard. At last they reached the coast of America and began to build a village called New Plymouth.

Later on, more and more people from many countries came to live in America. England considered these new territories as its colonies and soon the newcomers began to fight for their independence. The biggest war lasted from 1775 up to 1783. Commander-in-chief of the North American army was George Washington. His troops won this War for Independence and on July 4, 1776 the famous Declaration of Independence was signed by 13 United States of America. George Washington was elected to be the first American President.

Part II. America today

At present the USA is a highly developed industrial and agricultural country. It is rich in coal, oil, iron and natural gas. It exports a lot of raw materials, industrial and agricultural products.

People enjoy the wonders of nature practically in every state. The Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains, forests, plains, prairies and even deserts, wonderful lakes, waterfalls and rivers cover the American territory that equals about 9.4 million square kilometers. Among the most famous sites of interest are the Great Lakes, Niagara falls, the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco and others. There are many beautiful National parks and protected areas of wilderness in America.

The population of the USA is about 250 million people of many nationalities. Some of the biggest cities are New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and others. There are many very tall buildings in them that really scrape the sky, that's why they are called skyscrapers.

The capital of the country is Washington D. C. (the District of Columbia). The USA is a federal republic. The American parliament (called Congress) has two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The flag of the USA has 13 red and white stripes representing the original 13 states and 50 stars for each of the 50 states of the country. Each state has its national motto, bird and flower as its symbol. For instance, California's motto is "I've found it! (Eureka)." Its state bird is Valley Quail and flower Golden Poppy.

America as any other country has its own customs, traditions, and holidays. For instance, on the 4th of July they celebrate Independence Day that gave birth to the American nation. At the end of November America has Thanksgiving Day which was celebrated for the first time in 1621 when first colonists from England got their first good harvest.

Young people enjoy two other holidays Halloween (on October 31) and St. Valentine's Day (on February 14). No doubt, a great amount of information about the USA is awaiting the future learners of this country. They will learn of the activity and life of American Presidents, the USA's great writers, poets, artists, scientists, musicians, film stars and other outstanding people.

Let it be only the first line of a long essay on the USA. But as an English proverb says "A good beginning is half the battle."

Go on studying America!

Goodbye, for the present.

6. Please write down and then say what historical events are associated with the following dates:


12 October 1492 1861 1499 1865 1620 1863 1775-1783 1992 4th of July 1776

7. On the inside back cover of the "Happy English-2" textbook there is a map of the American states with their mottos. Choose three which you like.

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