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Тема: Текст №1

Предмет: Английский язык

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From Sea to Sea and Farther to the North

Canadians, of whom there are more than 30 million, become accustomed to the  disproportional size of the country by the time they have studied its geography at school. Newcomers to Canada — if they know nothing else about it — know that it is capacious. But most cannot help but be impressed with even the most basic statistics on our planet's second biggest nation, which is exceeded in area only by Russia. Occupying over 9,976,000 square kilometres, Canada extends from the Northwest Territories' Cape Columbia on Ellesmere Island — a relative hop and skip from the North Pole— to Pelee Island in Ontario's portion of Lake Erie — and with the same latitude as central Spain. Canada's neighbour across the Arctic Ocean is Russia. That is a northsouth distance of 2,850 miles. The east to west  span is 5,780 miles — from Cape Spear, Newfoundland, to Mount St. Elias, the Yukon Territory — six distinct time zones. Canada's border with the United States is one of the longest: it extends 8,892 km and is broken by scores of entry-exit points between the two nations.

It is near this frontier that some 85 per cent of the Canada's populace is clustered. In between these points there are thirteen principal subdivisions — ten provinces and three territories that embrace most of the vast north, accounting for 38 per cent of Canada's area and an infinitesimal fraction of its population (about 0,3 per cent).

Water Expanse and Water Ways

Three great oceans— the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Arctic, wash Canada's shores. It has estimated that Canada has 1/7 of the world fresh water. All but one the Grcat Lakes (Michigan) are partially Canadian. Enormous Hudson Bay is exclusively Canadian, as there are rich massive but relatively little known inland seas as the Great Bear Lake- (31,326 sq km), the Great Slave Lake – just a bit smaller – and Lake Winnipeg, which is bigger than Lake Ontario.

It is through Canada that the St. Lawrence Seaway flows some 3,058 km – making possible big-scale shipping from Atlantic ports all the way to harbours on the Great Lakes, in the heart of the continent.

Canada's longest river, the Mackenzie, which flows 4,241 kilometres, drains into the Arctic Ocean; the Columbia and the Fraser rivers flow into the Pacific; the Nelson 'and the Churchill connect with Hudson Bay; the Yukon drains into the Bering Sea;

and the Saskatchewan empties into Lake Winnipeg.

Geographical Regions

Geographically there are seven principal Canadian regions. The Appalachians, in the east, takes in relatively small Atlantic provinces and a portion of south-eastern Quebec; this is a land of lovely hills and gentle plains, much of it is devoted to farming and forestry.

The St. Lawrence Lowlands, between the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, is a fertile area of dairy farms, fruit orchards, and tobacco plantations, rich in industry, which is made possible by extensive and inexpensive hydroelectric power.

The Canadian Shield is the country's largest geographic unit — covering almost half of Canada, This horseshoe shaped area of ancient terrain is a mass of rocks, of many lakes and of endless swamplands.

It is sparsely populated but exceedingly rich not only in timber but in nickel, gold, platinum, cobalt, uranium, silver, copper, and iron ore.

Still other riches come from the Interior Plains, which sweep across Prairie provinces north through the Mackenzie River Valley, to the Arctic Coast. The southern part of the Plains is as flat as a pancake, but fertile and constitutes Canada's magnificent wheat lands. In recent decades they have yielded, besides the golden wheat, liquid gold — oil from beneath the surface, and natural gas as well. They are bordered on the north by thick forest lands.

To the West of the Plains lies the Canadian Cordillera. This is the region of Western Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon, which comprise the glorious Canadian Rockies as well as the Mackenzie and the Stikine Mountains and the peaks of St. Elias and the Coast Ranges. It is in this area that one finds Mount Logan, in the Yukon — Canada's highest peak climbing some 19,850 feet  skywards.

Not the entire region is mountainous, though. The interior of British Columbia is a land of pfateaus and valleys prosperous with orchards and cattle ranches. The Pacific Coast bathed by warm, moist Pacific air currents, the British Columbia coast, indented by deep fjords and shielded from Pacific storms by Vancouver Island, has the most moderate climate of Canada's regions. Vancouver Island's West Coast receives an exceptional amount of rain, giving it a temperate rain forest climate. Although it does not contain the diversity of species of a tropical rain forest, the island's west coast does have the oldest and tallest trees in Canada: western red cedars 1,300 years old and Douglas firs 90 metres high.

The Arctic North of the tree-line is a land of harsh beauty. During the short summer, when daylight is nearly continuous and a profusion of flowers blooms in the tundra, the temperature can reach 30°C. Yet the winters are long, bitterly cold and dark. North of the mainland is a maze of islands separated by convoluted straits and sounds, the most famous of which link together to form the fabled Northwest Passage, the route to the Orient sought by so many early explorers.

Climate and Weather

There are many climatic variations in this huge country, ranging from the permanently frozen icecaps north of the 79th parallel to the luxuriant vegetation of the British Columbia's West Coast. Canada's most populous regions, which lie in the country's south along the U.S. border, enjoy four distinct seasons. Here daytime summer temperatures can rise to 35 °C and higher, while lows of—25 °C are not uncommon in winter. More moderate temperatures are the norm in spring and fall.

The seasons dictate the look of the land: according to whether the natural environment is in a state of dormancy or growth, Canadians may go alpine skiing or water skiing. While seasonal change signals fluctuations in temperature and the number of hours of sunshine, the shifting position of air masses also plays a part. The usual air flow from west to east is disrupted in winter when cold, dry air moves down from the Arctic and in summer when warm, tropical air moves up from the south-east. Added to these factors are the effect of mountain ranges, plains and large bodies of water.


The United States of America (USA) occupies a large territory between 49 and 25 N. L. (North Latitude). It is situated in the central and southern part of North America. The USA is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and by the Pacific Ocean in the west. In the north the USA borders on Canada and in the south - on Mexico.

The country may be divided into five parts: the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plain, the Appalachian Highland, the Interior Plain, the prairie that lies to the west of the Mississippi and the Cordilleren or Western Highland and the Pacific Slope including the Pacific valley and the Coast Ranges.

The United States has thousands of lakes of all kinds and sizes. The Great Lakes make up the largest group of lakes in the country, as well as the greatest collection of fresh-water lakes in the world. But only Lake Michigan lies entirely inside the US.

Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario form a border between North-eastern United States and Canada. The five Great lakes are connected by natural channels cut by rapids. The greatest of these rapids is Niagara Falls. The waters of the five lakes have their outlet into the Atlantic Ocean by the St. Lawrence River. The most important of the salty lakes are the Great Salt Lake, in Utah and the Salton Sea in Southern California.

The USA has one of the longest rivers in the world - the Mississippi River. Its main tributaries are the Missouri and Ohio Rivers. The rivers in the west are unsuitable for navigation. The largest among them, Columbia and Colorado Rivers, flow through deep canyons. Being cut by rapids these rivers serve as an immense source of electric power.

The USA has different climatic regions: continental, subtropical desert climate and others. Large reserves of coal, oil, gas, iron, copper, form a solid base for the development of the US industry.

When the USA was formed there were only 13 states. These were the 13 colonies which in 1776 had declared their independence from Great Britain and fought a 6 year War of Independence. Now the country consists of 50 states.


New England comprising 6 states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island) preserved a great many old Colonial buildings and sights connected with the earliest history of the   U. S. All the states have unofficial names or nicknames, for example, Vermont is called "The Green Mountain State" as it lies in the Green Mountains.

New Hampshire is "The White Mountain State" because the northern part of this state is in the White Mountains. Skiing is a major source of income. The capital of Massachusettes is Boston, the chief U.S. wool market. It is famous for Harvard University, situated close to Boston. It is the oldest and most privileged U.S. university. The largest states in territory are Alaska (The Great Land), Texas (Lone Star State) and California which is called the "Golden State" as it has gold mines on its territory. Gold-rush days made the state famous. The capital of the state is Sacramento. The motion picture capital is Los Angeles with its major centres in Hollywood. Another amazing city is San Francisco with its islands of exotic beauty. It's a famous world vacation centre. The smallest states are Rhode Island and Delaware the first state to ratify the Constitution of the U.S. That's why the nickname of Delaware is "The First State"

New York State is famous for New York, the industrial capital of the U.S.

Pennsylvania with its largest city Philadelphia, the first nation's capital, is known for the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the drafting of the Constitution.

North Dakota is the exact geographic centre of North America.

South Dakota is famous for a memorial to 4 famous U.S. Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, their heads are carved on a granite cliff of Mount Bushmore.

Kansas is the exact geographical centre of the U. S. Its nickname is "The Sunshine State "as it's in the centre of the cyclone zone of U. S.

Wyoming is called "The Equality State", the first state to give women the right to vote.

Colorado is the highest state in the country, there are 52 peaks there.

Utah is called "the Salt Lake State".

Nevada is nicknamed "the Silver State" because rich deposits of gold and silver were discovered in 1859. Nevada's largest city, Los Vegas won fame after World War II for gambling casinos and night clubs.

Illinois is called "The Land of Lincoln", who began his political activities there. The 2-nd largest city after New York, Chicago is in this State.

Arizona is "The Grand Canyon State". The Grand Canyon, a gigantic chasm made by the Colorado River, rain, wind and frost is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world. Four Indian tribes live in this region.

New Mexico is known for the Carsbad Caverns, a series of huge under-ground caves, some of which have not been explored yet.

Oklahoma is an Indian territory.

Montana is "The Treasure State" as in the middle of the XIX century gold was discovered there. Cold winters with considerable snowfall are typical for the climate of the state. There were seven Indian reservations.

Minnesota is called "The Bread and Butter State" or "The Wheat State"

New Jersey on the Atlantic Ocean is called "The Garden State"

West Virginia is known for its colourful cаverns.

Virginia is called "The Old Dominion of Mother of Presidents" was first settled by English colonists and named for Elisabeth I, the Virgin Queen of England.

Florida is a resort area, it has unique beaches and is considered to be one of the best tourist centres. The biggest space aerodrome is on Cape Canaveral.

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