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История English Speaking Countries
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State Flags

The state Flag of Canadawas adopted rather lately, in 1964, because the country has been the British Dominion for a long time. The flag has three vertical stripes: two red stripes with a white stripe between them which has a red maple leaf in the middle.

White and red are the national colours of Canada. They were proclaimed the official colours of the country in 1921 by king George V. As to the red maple leaf, it is the symbol of the country itself and its national unity.

The state Flags of Australia and New Zealandare very much alike. They both have the British Flag (the Union Jack) in their left top corner because the histories of both countries have been connected for a long time with Great Britain.

In addition to the Union Jack, the national Flag of Australia has one large white seven-point star under the British emblem and smaller white stars of "the Southern Cross" on the blue field.

Originally the 7 point star was called "the Federation Star" and now _ "the Commonwealth Star", symbolizing the six states and two territories.

The state Flag of New Zealand has the red five-point stars of the "Southern Cross" on the blue field. The Southern Cross of both flags means the southern hemisphere, and the blue field symbolizes the blue sky and the water surrounding these countries.

The national Flag of Ireland has three equal vertical stripes — green, white and orange. The flag's colours are closely connected with the Flag of the French Revolution, expressing solidarity and moral support.

The grecn-white-orange flag came into being in 1830-s and soon gained popularity. Symbolizing the country unity, the flag colours have their definite meaning. The green colour is the symbol of Ireland, "Green Erin", and its struggle for independence. As to the other two stripes' colours, they express two confessions: the white colour stands for Catholicism, while the orange one symbolizes Protestantism.

1. AUSTRALIA is an independent federative state within the Commonwealth that retains close constitutional links with Great Britain and gives allegiance to the British Queen Elizabeth II who is the official head of the country and is represented by the Governor General.

The word "Australia" means "southern land". Australia is the world's largest island but it is also a continent due to its great size. It is almost equal in size to the USA and China. The territory of the country comprises the continent of Australia, the island of Tasmania and some smaller islands. The total area is about 8 million square kilometers. Australia ranks the 6 largest country in the world.

There are several rivers in the country, the largest of them are the Murray and the Darling. Due to the fact, that the country was isolated from the rest of the world for many centuries, it has animals and plants, found nowhere else. In general, Australia has a warm and dry climate that differs from one part of the country to another.

Australia is rich in energy and mineral resources. It is the world's largest exporter of coal and diamonds, as well as the major producer of copper, lead, zinc, nickel, uranium, tin, gold and iron ore. The main industries include steel, oil, gas, chemical, motor vehicles, electronics, food, paper, textile and clothing and light engineering.

Agriculture is the main occupation in Australia. It produces about 2/3 of the rural production exported: cereals, wool, sugar, meat and dairy products. Sheep-breeding and cattle-farming are also highly developed in this country.

The country consists of six states (Victoria with the capital of Melbourne; Queensland with the capital of Brisbane, South Australia with the capital of Adelaide, Western Australia with the capital of Perth, New South Wales with the capital of Sydney and Tasmania with the capital of Hobart) and two territories (the Federal Capital territory with the capital of Canberra and the Northern territory with the capital of Darwin).

Australia is a parliamentary state. The legislative power belongs to the Federal Parliament consisting of two Chambers: the Senate (or the Upper House) and the House of Representatives (the Lower House). The Government is headed by the Prime Minister. The main political parties represented in the Australian Parliament are the Labour party, the Liberal party, the National party, the United party of Australia and some others.

The capital of the state is Canberra. It is an important political and cultural center of the country. Among the largest and most important Australian cities there arc Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

Australia is one of the least populated countries in the world. Its population is over 20 million. Most Australians live in cities along the eastern and south-eastern coasts.

2. CANADA, spanning six time zones, is the world's second largest country that occupies the northern part of the North American continent. Originally the country was inhabited by the Aboriginal people, who are known in Canada as "the First Nation" (10 000 years ago). The word "Canada" originated from "Kanata" that means "a village or a settlement".

The country borders on the USA. Its land territory is 9,9 million square kilometers. Its coasts arc washed by the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. There are many plains and mountains on its territory. It is also a country of lakes and rivers. The largest rivers of the country are the Yukon, the Mackenzie (the country's longest river — 4, 241 km long), the St. Lawrence and some others. Due to its large territory the climate conditions are rather different.

In 2004 the population of Canada was about 32 million. Most people live in large cities. The capital of the country is Ottawa. It is situated on the hills along the Ottawa river in the Western Ontario. Ottawa is an important political and cultural center of the country.

The country comprises:

A. 10 provinces:

1. Allberta with the capital of Endmonton.

2. British Columbia with the capital of Victoria.

3. Manitoba with the capital of Winnipeg.

4. New Brunswick with the capital of Frederictown.

5. New Foundland and Labrador with the capital of St. John's.

6. Nova Scotia with the capital of Halifax.

7. Ontario with the capital of Toronto.

8. Prince Edward Island with the capital of Charlottetown.

9. Quebec with the capital of Quebec.

10. Saskatchewan with the capital of Regina B. And 2 territories:

1. Yukon Territory with the capital of Dawson.

2. The North-West territories.

There are two official languages in Canada: English and French.

Canada is a capitalist federative state within the Commonwealth. The formal head of the country is the Queen of Great Britain that is represented by the Governor General. The Federal Parliament consists of the Senate and the House of Commons. The Prime Minister, the leader of the party holding the majority in the House of Commons, is responsible for the policy conducted by the Canadian Government.

There are several political parties in Canada: the Progressive, the Conservative, the Liberal, the Communist, the New Democratic parties.

Canada is known for its rich resources of metal ores, oil and gas. Forests are the greatest wealth of the country. The major industries of the country include machine-building, hydro-electric, automobile and ship-building.

The country agriculture is highly mechanized. It produces wheat, some kinds of fruit, especially apples, meat and dairy products. Fishing industry occupies an important place in the country economy.

The largest Canadian cities are Montreal, Toronto. Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, Quebec and some others.

3. IRELANDis situated on the second largest of the British Islands, to the west of Great Britain. It is often called the Republic of Ireland or "Eire" that means "the western land." The country territory is 70 000 square kilometers. The climate is moderate. Due to its green landscape Ireland has got the poetic name of "an Emerald Island". The Irishmen call their country "the cleanest place in the world".

There are some mineral resources in the country: iron ores, coal, non-ferrous metals, oil and gas. Peat is the country main wealth and fuel. The main industries are mining, metal processing, machine building, electronics, light and cemical.

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the country economy. Cattle-breeding is highly developed.

Ireland is a bourgeois country and politically neutral state. Being the UK colony for 7 centuries, Ireland has never ceased to struggle for its national freedom. In 1941 Ireland proclaimed itself as a sovereign and independent state consisting of 26 counties.

The President is the head of the country. The main legislative organ of the country is the Irish Parliament comprising 2 Houses: the Dail (the House of Representatives or the Lower Chamber) and the Seanad (the Senate or the Upper Chamber). The President of the country is elected for a seven year period.

The main political parties represented in the Irish Parliament are the Labour, the Progressive Democratic, the Communist parties and the Party of Workers.

There are 2 official languages in the country: Irish and English. The capital of the state is Dublin. It is the oldest city and major political, cultural and industrial center of the country. The country population is about 4 million. Among the largest cities of the country there are such ones, as: Cork, Limerick, Londonderry, Waterford and some others.

4. NEW ZEALANDis an independent state within the British Commonwealth. It is sometimes called "Britain of the Pacific".

The country is situated to the south east of Australia. It is an island country, consisting of 3 large isles (the North Island, the South Island and Stewart Island) and many small isles, Its territory is over 268 000 sq. km. In Maori the word "New Zealand" means "the land of the long white cloud". The country also has some other slang names: the Kiwiland, the Maoriland, the Quaky (or Shaky) Isles and some others.

New Zealand is a beautiful mountainous country, the Southern Alps being the highest mountains in the country- There are many lakes, rivers and waterfalls in New Zealand. The climate is warm. It rains almost all the year round, creating favourable conditions for the country agriculture.

The natural resources are not very rich: timber, coal, gas, iron ore, building materials and fast rivers with hydro — electric stations. But the country produces quite enough various goods both for its own needs and for export. The chief industries are transport equipment, textiles and food processing, oil refining, fertilizers and some others.

Wellington is the capital of the country, its main political, cultural and industrial center. The country's largest city is Auckland. The country population is over 3 million people. The official languages are English and Maori.

The formal head of the country is the British Queen that is represented by the Governor General. The country Parliament consists of one House only — the House of Representatives. The Prime Minister heads the Cabinet of Ministers and is responsible for the policy that is conducted by the Government.

The main political parties represented in the country Parliament are the Labour party and the National party of New Zealand.


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