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American life: living in the USA, basic features of the American, interesting parties of the American character - Реферат

km/ and 42 km run / became very popular in the U.S.
d) Economy
The U.S. economy is based on free enterprise system. The government places regulations on economic practices. The nation's gross domestic product /GDP/ is about $6 trillion. Labor force is 50% /female - 46%/. Unemployment rate is 5,5%. Federal budget per capita is $5,740 with public debt $18,956 and personal income per capita $22,000.
Petroleum provides 40 %of energy. Natural gas generates 25%. Coal is the source of 25%. Hydroelectricity and nuclear power generate 5% in America's energy.
The U.S. has highly developed transport system. The country has 6,200, 000 km of streets and roads. The U.S. has 75 automobiles for every 100 people. Trucks carry 25% of the freight. The U.S. has 240.000 km of railroad lines. They handle 35% of the freight. Airlines have 18% of all passenger traffic and 1% of the freight. Chicago's O'Hare International airport is the world's busiest. 15% of the freight traffic travels on waterway.
U.S. exports include aircraft, computers, plastic materials, metals and paper, corn and wheat. The leading imports are automobiles, clothing, shoes, toys, petroleum, iron, steel, paper, and medicines. Canada and Japan are the country's chief trading partners. In 1993, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. signed the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The U.S. economy has faced problems from time to time. The problems include recession, depression and inflation.
The American economy had to be built from the ground up. What was achieved is amazing. By 1900, the U.S. has become the greatest industrial nation, and its citizens enjoyed the highest standard of living in the world. By the post- war era, the US was producing 50% of the "gross world product".
Today, the American economy no longer dominates the world as it did then. But with 5 % of the world's population and 6% of its land area, the US still produces 25% of the world's industrial products, agricultural goods, and services. America has not dropped behind other nations: its gross national product /GNP/ has tripled since the end of the WWII.
America remains the world leader in a great many. Among these are biochemical and genetic engineering, aerospace research, computer and information services. America's private industries are doing quite well. American firms which sell passenger aircraft or computers retain the largest share of the world market. The best selling car in the world is a Ford /the Escort/.
Foreign investments in the U.S. amounted to $164 billion, with the UK /$38 billion/ and Japan /$16 billion/.
The US is also the world's leading agricultural nation. It grows 20% of all the world's wheat, corn, oats and sorghum with 3% of population involved in agriculture. America not only feeds her own people but a great many other people in the world as well. Agriculture accounts for 2% of the U.S. GDP and employs 3% of the nation's workers. Yet the U.S. is a world leader in agricultural production. About a third of the world's food exports come from U.S. farms. Beef cattle ranks as the most valuable product. There are 2.100,000 farms in the U.S.
Many reasons have been offered to explain why the U.S. has been able to go from a small economy to the leading industrial nation. One reason is the size and the natural resources. The spirit of enterprise and initiative has certainly played an important role. The American system of government, too, has encouraged citizens to pursue their own economic interest. Typically American constant willingness to experiment and social and geographical mobility have also played a part. Many Americans prefer to be their own bosses. 10 million Americans own their own business, and 42.million own a part of business through stock.
The "very rich" in America give away much of their money before they died. Carnegie gave away 5370 million of his $400 million for the "benefit of community".
2. The basic features of the American culture
а) American national character in popular culture
"The culture of the United States is a Western culture, and has been developing since long before the United States became a country. Its chief early influence was British culture, due to colonial ties with the British that spread the English language, legal system and other cultural inheritances. Other important influences came from other parts of Europe, especially countries from which large numbers immigrated such as Ireland, Germany, Poland, and Italy; the Native American peoples; Africa, especially the western part, from which came the ancestors of most African Americans; and young groups of immigrants. American culture also has shared influence on the cultures of its neighbors in the New World.
The United States has traditionally been known as a melting pot, but recent academic opinion is tending towards cultural diversity, pluralism and the image of a salad bowl rather than a melting pot.
Due to the extent of American culture there are many integrated but unique subcultures within the United States. The culutral affliations an individual in the United States may have commonly depend on social class, political orientation and a multitude of demogrpahic charateristics such as race, ethnicity, sex and sexual orientation. The strongest influences on American culture came from northern European cultures, most prominently from Germany, Ireland and England. [2] It is, however, paramount to remember that there are great differences within American culutre which should therefore under no circumstance be seen as one large homogenous subject.
The American state of California (especially the Hollywood region) is home to a thriving motion picture industry, with prominent film studios such as Warner Brothers, Paramount, and MGM creating dozens of multi-million dollar films every year that are enjoyed around the world. American actors are often among the world's most popular and easily identified celebrities. It's worth noting that Hollywood also tends to attract many immigrant actors and directors from around the world, many of whom, such as actor Russell Crowe or director Ang Lee become just as famous and successful as American-born stars.
The United States was aleading pioneer of T.V. as an entertainment medium, and the tradition remains strong to this day. Many American television sitcoms dramas game shows and reality shows remain very popular both in the US and abroad. Animation is a popular US entertainment medium as well, both on the large and small screen. The characters created by Walt Disney and Warner Brothers animation studios remain very popular. In music, the United States has pioneered many distinct genres, such as country and western, jazz, rock music, hip hop and gospel. African-American cultural influences play a particularly prominent role in many of these traditions.
b) Character of the peasants
American farmers of today lead vastly different lives from those of their grandparents. Machines have eliminated much backbreaking farm work. Farmers use machines to help them plow, plant seeds, harvest crops, and deliver their products to market. Many farms have conveyor systems so that the farmer no longer has to shovel feed to