are fifty states in the United States of America. Two of these states, Alaska
and Hawaii, are not connected to the other states. The US is washed by the
Pacific Ocean in the west, by the Atlantic Ocean in the east, by the Caribbean
Sea and the Gulf of Mexico in the south. In the north are Great Lakes.
than 250 million people live in the United States. The United States is a young
country. Its written history is only a few hundred years old. It is sometimes
called the “New World”. Over the last 400 years millions of people have come
to start a new life in this “New World”.
people of the United States are a mixture of many different nationalities. These
different people brought to their new land a wonderful mixture of customs and
traditions. The German brought Christmas trees. The Irish brought St.
Patrick’s Day celebrations. The Scots brought Halloween.
US government has three branches. The 1st branch is the Congress. The
Congress is a meeting of representatives from all states. The people elect those
representatives. The Congress makes the laws that every body must obey. The
Congress meets in the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. The Congress is divided
into two parts, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Every state, no
matter how large or small, sends two people to the Senate. These people are
called senators. There are one hundred senators in the Senate. A senator’s
term is six years. Each state also sends people to the House of Representatives.
They are called congressmen or congresswomen. The number of congressmen from
each state depends on the number of people who live in the state. All in all
there are 425 congressmen in the House of Representatives. A representative’s
term is two years. The Constitution gives many powers to the Congress. One
important power of the Congress is the power to declare war.
2nd branch of government is the President and his helpers. They carry
out the laws that the Congress makes. The President signs bills and then they
become law. The Vice President and members of the Cabinet help the President to
make decisions. The US President is Commander in Chief of the country’s armed
forces. A person who wants to become President must be at least 35 years old and
must live in the United States for at least 14 years before becoming President.
The President’s term is four years and one can be President for one or two
terms, but not longer.
3rd branch of government is the Supreme Court. It is made up of nine
judges – the most important judges in the land. They have to make sure that
the President and the Congress follow the Constitution.
are very proud of their Constitution. It was written more than 200 years ago and
it is still working!