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English-speaking countries.



Great Britain, the United States of America, Canada, Australia and Northern Ireland are English-speaking countries. They are situated in different places and differ in many ways. The nature of these countries, the weather and climate and the way of life of their people are different. Each country has it’s own history, customs, traditions it’s own national holidays. But they all have a common language -English- the language of the people who left England to make their homes in new countries.


Great Britain.


England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland make one state – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (the UK). It is situated on the British Isles. The largest islands of the British islands are Great Britain and Ireland. England is in the south of the island of Great Britain; Scotland is in the north and Wales is in the West. Northern Ireland is situated in the north-eastern part of Ireland. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were once separate countries but at different times became united in one state.

The capital of Great Britain is London. The larges cities of Great Britain are Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast; the main languages are English, Welsh and Gaelic. Great Britain occupies 244 000 sq. km.; the population of the country is over 57 mln people. The main political parties are the Conservative party and the Labor party. The national Flag of the United Kingdom is known as the union Jack. It is made up of three crosses. St. George’s cross of England, St. Andrew’s cross of Scotland and St. Patrick’s cross of Ireland. St. David is the patron of Wales.

The name Britain is very old, but history can explain, where it comes from. The tribes of the first people who came to Britain were called Britons, so Britain was the land of the Britons. The name England was given to a part of the island at a latest date.

In the fifteenth century some tribes from the northern part of the continent of Europe landed in Britain. They were the Angles the Saxons and the jutes. Those were wild, fearless people. They settled down in the land they had conquered and became the forefathers of the people of England and part of Scotland.

In 1066 the Normans, a people who came from the north of France conquered England. As the years passed, the Normans and the Anglo-Saxons formed the English people.

Little by little England became the strongest of all the states on the British Isles. In the 15th Century it conquered Wales. There were many wars between England and Scotland until in 1707, when England and Scotland were united in one state. Its name has been Great Britain Since then.


USA.


The United States of America, the USA, is a large country stretching across the middle of North America. In 1620 a group of people left England for America. They had decided to make homes for themselves in the new land across the ocean. They hoped they would have a better life there. After a stormy voyage across the Atlantic their small ship the “mayflower” reached the shores of the new land. Those early settlers built their first colonies and began to explore the new country, which they called New England. As their settlements were called “colonies”, the people were called “colonists”. Soon more and more colonies were formed.

American colonies grew bigger and bigger, they prospered, but they were for a long time ruled by England and all the riches of the new country belonged to England.

In 1776 the thirteen young American colonies united and began a war against England for freedom and independence, which was called The War of Independence. They won the victory and a new nation was born, which became the United States of America. July the 4th, 1776, is still celebrated as “the birthday” of the American nation, and is called Independence Day.

The leaders of the new state decided. They would for a republic which would have no king, but would have a president, who vas to be chosen every for years.

George Washington, who had led the Americans in the war, became the first president. He is now called “the Father of the United States”.

One by one new states were added to the first thirteen. Today the USA consists of 50 states. The capital is Washington.