Introducing the USA

The first explorers and settlers:

  • Native Americans had lived there long before the European settlers arrived;
  • Columbus in 1492 (to nowadays Bahamas); Amerigo Vespucci to South America in the early 1500s (Brazil, Venezuela etc.)
  • Pilgrim Fathers on board the Mayflower from ENG to Plymouth in 1620; because of religious reasons:
    • Puritans wanted to make the rules of the Anglican Church more simple -> some Puritans called Separatists wanted even more radical changes -> they had to leave England because of their religious views (Pilgrims) -> left to the New Land for freedom (later Dutch Separatists came as well)

 

FACTS and figures

Official Name:  United States of America
Capital City:  Washington, D.C. (pop around 580,000)
State capitals: each state has its own capital city (usually not the largest and most populated city is the s.c.)
Country Population: 325,733,770  (visit: https://www.census.gov/popclock/)

Major Cities by Popoulation: New York City  (about 8.5 million); Los Angeles  (about 4 million);   Chicago  (ca. 2.7 million); Houston  (ca. 2.3 million); Philadelphia  (ca. 1.6); Phoenix  (ca. 1.6)

Languages: NO official language; mainly English and Spanish are spoken

Currency: US dollar (change: cent)

Mostly found religions: Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish

Multiculturalism: the idea of The Melting Pot vs. The Salad Bowl

The President (click here for list and gallery of US Presidents):

  • head-of-state; head of government; commander-in-chief of armed forces
  • can’t be elected more than twice (the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution)
  • official home: The White House in Washington, D.C.; holiday and rural estate: Camp David; his guests are accommodated in Blair House
  • State Car; Air Force One; Marine One

Currently the 45th Presidential Administration is in office: Pres. Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence (he’s the 48th Vice-President)

First President: George Washington (1788)

SYMBOLS:

  • The US Flag: Stars and Stripes (50 stars representing the states; 13 stripes representing the 13 original colonies)
  • The Great Seal (motto: E Pluribus Unum), developed by two Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin
  • The Star-spangled Banner (the national anthem)
  • the Bald Eagle
  • the Statue of Liberty; the Grand Canyon; Mount Rushmore; Golden Gate Bridge

National holiday: July 4th (= Independence Day)

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