The United States of America is another important English-speaking country. It consists of fifty different states and the District of Columbia joined together under one government. The USA covers an area of almost 9400000 square kilometres and is twice as large as all the countries of Europe combined. It is placed in the middle of the North American continent and is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Pacific Ocean in the west. Placed between two oceans, the USA has a free access to the trade routes of the world. The USA is divided into three areas: Eastern area — a highland. Central area — a plain, and the Western area which is mountainous. The north-western part of the USA includes five lakes. The whole central plain constitutes the basin of the Mississippi River. The Mississippi is one of the longest rivers in the world. On the whole the USA has a continental climate. It is at the same time one of the coldest and one of the hottest countries, one of the wettest and one on the driest. The flag of the United States is called "Stars and Stripes". The 50 stars represent the 50 states and the 13 stripes represent 13 original English colonies, which in 1776 became free and independent of England. The USA is governed by Congress and by the President. Congress consists of the Senate (100 senators — 2 from each state) and the House of Representatives (435 Congressmen). The President, who is also the head of the government and the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces, is elected every four years. The capital of the United States is Washington. It is situated on the Potomac River not far from the Atlantic coast. Washington is not a very large city. Such cities as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Detroit, New Orleans and some others are more larger. The USA is one of the most developed country in the world. It is a country of great contrasts. There are a lot of unsolved problems in the country such as unemployment and inflation, but nevertheless it is one of the greatest countries in the world.