• poloha, rozloha, počet obyvatel
  • základní zeměpisné údaje + počet států
  • historie - objevení Ameriky, vznik USA (13 kolonií), válka Severu proti Jihu - proč, světová velmoc 20. století, významné osobnosti
  • průmysl
  • zemědělství
  • města a zajímavá místa
  • politický systém - legislativní, exekutivní a soudní moc


Basic data

  • area: 9,372,614 sq km
  • population: 325 million (2017) - white 80%, African-American 12%, Asian/Pacific Islander 3%, American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut 1%, Hispanic 9%
  • capital: Washington, D. C.
  • other cities: New York City (21 mil.), Los Angeles (15), Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, Phoenix, Atlanta, Seattle [Obrázek]
  • currency: US dollar = 100 cents
  • languages: English, Spanish (no official language)
  • head of state and government: president Donald Trump (since 2016)
  • oceans and seas: the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, Mexico Bay
  • islands: the Hawaiian Islands (3,200 km south-west of California)
  • mountains: the Appalachian Highlands, the Interior Plains (the Mississippi Lowlands, Central Plains and Great Plains), the Cordilleras (the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, the Colorado Plateau, the Grand Canyon), Sierra Nevada with the highest peak (continental) Mt. Whitney (4,418m). The highest peak of the U.S.A. is in Alaska: Mt. Mc Kinley (6,194 m)
  • rivers: the Mississippi (the third longest river in the world - 6,212 km long, the Missouri, the Hudson, the Colorado, the Rio Grande, in Alaska the Yukon
  • lakes: Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario there are famous Niagara Falls (51m high, 900m wide on the Canadian side and 320m wide on the US side), Salt Lake



1. Colonial America

  • at about 1000 – Scandinavian settlements
  • 1492 – C. Columbus – present-day Bahamas
  • the world powers – Portugal, Spain, England, France
  • reasons for emigration to America: war England – Spain was over, population raised, peasants moved to towns, the laws of primogeniture, religious reasons
  • 3 different areas of colonies:
      • 1607 Jamestown in Virginia – John Smith
      • 1619 three important events – arrival of the first slaves from Africa, first women in English colonies, formation of the House of Burgesses (the assembly which offered self-rule and began representative democracy in America)
      • 1620 Pilgrims, Plymouth Plantation – William Bradford
      • 1628-43 Great Migration, Massachusetts Bay Colony – John Winthrop of Suffolk
      • other colonies: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island
      • 1681 Pennsylvania – Quaker Holy Experiment - William Penn
      • New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland
  • Navigation Acts 1660, 1663
  • French and Indian War
  • 1756-1763 Seven Years´ War (William Pitt)
  • 1755 Albany Congress (regular troops)
  • 1763 Treaty of Paris

2. The Revolution

  • Sugar Act – 1764 – the first parliamentary act aimed directly to raise money in colonies
  • Currency Act
  • Stamp Act – 1765 – special stamps had to be purchased for every legal document. American reaction: non-importation movement = boycotts of British goods, Declaration of Rights and Grievances – asked for American legislature
  • Declaratory Act – British Parliament had a full right to make laws for the colonies and Quartering Act forced colonies to provide for British troops
  • Townshead Acts – 1764 – on duties on all glass, lead, paper and tea in colonies, violators against the new regulations tried and imperial commissars paid from fines levied by these courts, all legislative functions of NY Assembly suspended.
  • Boston Massacre – March 5, 1770 – British soldiers taunted by a crowd fired the people
  • Boston Tea Party – 1774
  • Coercive or Intolerable Acts – 1774 – the Boston Harbour closed, British officials were to be tried in England. Mass civil liberties were limited and new Quartering Acts were imposed.
  • First Continental Congress – 1774 – in Philadelphia – a proposal to raise own troops
  • Second Continental Congress – 1775 – George Washington commander-in-chief
  • Thomas Paine – Common Sense – 1776
  • 4th July 1776 – Declaration of Independence – Preamble, Reasons for Separation, Declaration of Freedom and Independence
  • the Battle of Saratoga – victory for American army, alliance with France and Spain
  • Treaty of Paris – 1783
  • Strengths and weaknesses:
    • colonists: - small population about 2.5mil including 20% loyalists and 20% slaves, no sizeable navy, difficulties in keeping army, + fighting on own ground, G. Washington army
    • British army: - 3,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean, unfamiliar badly mapped territory full, accustomed to better roads and more open country of Europe, + could afford large army, British royal navy, many soldiers veterans from 7YW
  • Foundations of the new government
  • Most constitutions preserved a Bill of Rights. These rights included “acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, freedom of worship, speech, and assembly, moderate bail and trial by jury, punishments to fit the crime, and protection from general search warrants and from liability to serve in, or support, standing armies”
  • Articles of Confederation – 1781 (nicknamed Articles of Confusion), these Articles provided a big step towards the independent and democratic Confederation
  • Constitution – 1788 – based on the balance of three branches – the legislative (make law), executive (make laws legally valid) and judicial.
  • two-party system: the Republican Party (Jefferson, Madison) and Federalists (Hamilton)

3. Slavery in the USA, the Civil War

  • First changes – black slaves during War of Independence, the Northwest Ordinance
  • starting division of the two parts – the South and the North
  • 1830s and 40s – restrictions on black in free states
  • 1841 Creole revolt
  • 1848 Free Soil Party – free soil, free speech, free labour, and free men
  • the Compromise of 1850
  • by 1860 – majority native-born – African American
  • special situation: treatment varied a lot, no lawful marriage, children could have been sold, many adopted Christianity, music, dance, singing to express desire for a better life
  • ways of resistance: runaways, armed rebellions (Nat Turner, john Brown)
  • the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
  • raise of abolitionist movement: Quakers, 1817 – American Colonization Society, 1831 – Liberator, anti-slavery organizations (Frederick Douglas)
  • 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe – Uncle Tom’s Cabin (the reaction x Fugitive Slave Law)
  • 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • Dread Scott case – programme for popular sovereignty collapsed
  • 1860 Abraham Lincoln elected for president
  • 1861 the Confederate States of America (president Jefferson Davis, capital Richmond)
  • Southerners attacked on the federal garrison Fort Sumter in Charleston = outbreak of the war
  • 1862 black regiments in the North
  • the South – lack of money, inflation
  • the North – boom and prosperity
  • 1863 Emancipation Proclamation
  • end of the war – 1865 Appomattox – surrender of Confederate general Lee
  • April 14, assassination of Abraham Lincoln

4. 2nd half of the 19th century

  • the freed black – leave the plantation, try to join their family members, build new life, migrate northwards to find jobs and better living conditions. Marriages were to be sanctified under law, they could make wills, their children could visit schools and were to be protected from abuses, they couldn’t bear arms, hold public offices, or assembly freely
  • 1862 Homestead Act – by just building a house and occupying the land people could get 160 hectares of land
  • 1863 Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction
  • 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment – abolished slavery throughout the US
  • Andrew Johnson held traditional southern views on race relations
  • 1866 the Fourteenth Amendment – citizens = “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” – it automatically extended citizenship to American-born blacks
  • terrorists groups as KKK or the Knights of Camellia
  • New South – new class of merchants, industrialists, bankers and railroad promoters, coalition with old planters
  • transcontinental railroad – the two lines met in Utah in 1869
  • producing iron and steel – John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie
  • new technology: 1876 Alexander Graham Bell – telephone, Thomas A. Edison – electric lights, 1879 – bulb, 1882 – first central power station, generators and transformers, appliances improving strains of metal and petroleum, sewer systems, public transportation through trolleys, underground railroads, type writer, sewing machine, combine harvester
  • the panic of 1873 – halt of railroad construction, closing of mills, trade suffered, unemployment, poverty.
  • the situation of workers: work weeks from 60 to over 80 hours, seven-day weeks, the physical danger of work, machines did more skilled work, the number of women workers increased, the difference in pay made about 50%, no welfare or unemployment insurance, strikes and riot, national unions.
  • melting pot – the ideal assimilation (x in 1882 the first federal law to restrict immigration
  • Gilded Age – time of corrupt politics, but also a time of reforms (the 1890s – years of reform movements)
  • Theodore Roosevelt – to break monopolies through anti-trust legislation, to improve working conditions by decreasing workweek, banning child labour, assuring rights to form unions. The taxing of inherited wealth, incomes, property and corporate earning was instituted.
  • the American Empire – Pago Pago in Samoa, Pearl Harbour. In 1898 the USA accepted Hawaii as American territory (in 1959 as a state)
  • more high schools, colleges and universities, prestigious women’s college – Vassar

5. 1900 – 1939

  • the USA could support free nations (under Monroe’s Doctrine) – protectorates over Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba, Panama Canal Zone.
  • progressive era (until WWI) – progressivism had touched nearly every aspect of American life. Major Roosevelt’s achievements: railroad regulation, protection of consumers, and conservation of natural resources
  • women: number of women graduating from colleges and entering the work force and divorce rate increased, decrease of fertility. 1913 – complete voting rights in 9 states. 1919 – the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the vote right.
  • blacks – worst period in the nation history as regarded racial relations, racial segregation, lynching
  • the USA entered the WWI as the richest and the most productive nation in the world and the result of the war was wealth for America
  • the 1920s – Roaring Twenties, Jazz Age, cultural revolution, intolerance toward foreigners – Red Scare (after Bolshevik Revolution) – Immigration Restriction Act of 1924
  • unhealthy trends of economy occurred – the crash of the stock market on Black Thursday, October 29, 1929 – Great Depression soon became worldwide
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal – three R´s of Relief, Recovery and Reform – the government became responsible for welfare of nation.
  • New ways of rebellion appeared: sit-down strikes (they didn’t leave the place and sat there)
  • In the 1930s, when the fascism flourished in Europe, the Americans were concerned in rebuilding their country and refused involvement in any new war.

6. The USA at Wars

  • The Spanish-American War
    • When the Cuban rebelled against the Spanish in 1868 Americans had not cared much.
    • The US gradually became Cuba’s principal market and source of capital (production of cane sugar)
    • In 1895 Cubans started revolt against Spain, but this time the American interests were threatened
    • on February 15, 1898 American battleship Maine was destroyed – Congress granted the request for defence
    • on April 20, 1898 president Mc Kinley asked Congress to declare war on Spain
    • end of the war – freedom of Cuba(independence with US influence) and the Philippines (for $200million).
  • World War One
    • on June 28, 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot
    • Central Powers = Germany, Austria and Hungary xx Allied Powers = Great Britain, France and Russia
    • President Wilson tried to end the war through negotiation, he wanted it to be “a peace without victory” based on self-determination, freedom of sex and disarmament
    • Germany promised to help Mexico recover its lost territory + the revolution in Russia made the war “war for democracy” + three American ships were torpedoed. On April 2 Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war.
    • On January 8, 1918 Wilson set his Fourteen Points, the first five – removal of the principal cause of the war, the next eight – territorial readjustments, the last one – “a general association of nations”
    • The Paris Peace Conference in 1919 – Wilson did get his League Nations, but the US Senate refused to ratify the treaty
  • World War Two
    • Hitler had come to power in Germany in January 1933
    • Roosevelt invoked the Neutrality Act, when Hitler invaded Poland the Congress approved its first peacetime draft
    • Embargo on Japan – assault on Pearl Harbor’s naval station on Sunday morning 7 December 1941. Next day war on Japan declared, in three days Italy and Germany did the same against the USA
    • At first Churchill and Roosevelt decided to attack in Egypt, where the Africa corps was pressing toward the Suez Canal. The attack on Italy began on July 10, 1943. By D-Day in Normandy, June 6, 1944, the Red Army had completed the recapture of the Crimea and was advancing along the entire front
    • Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill met at Yalta in February 1945 and made decisions about the multiple administration of Berlin, the partitioning of Germany and trials of war criminals = the Potsdam Conference in July and August 1945
    • On April 12, 19456 Roosevelt died. Harry S. Truman became president – decided to use the atomic bomb. On August 6 Hiroshima and on August 9 Nagasaki.
    • At last on August 10, Tokyo sued for peace, but on one condition: that Emperor Hirohito is permitted to retain his throne. This condition was accepted by the Allies.
  • The Korean War
    • During WWII the Allied powers had agreed that Korea, occupied by Japan, should be made independent. In August 1945 – the Soviet Union accepted the surrender of the Japanese in Korea north of the 38th parallel – artificial border. On June 25, 1950, North Korea sent its forces across the 38th parallel.
    • American troops made up about four-fifths of the UN forces in Korea, American troops approached Chinese border, Chinese forces moved into Korea and inflicted heavy casualties on American and South Korean troops
    • Negotiations leading to an armistice began on July 10, 1951, and proceeded for two years, during which fighting often broke out. The touchy armistice resolved on July 27, 1953, restored the pre-war division at the 38th parallel
  • The Vietnam War
    • 1950s – anti-Communist policy lead to active intervention in Vietnam
    • President Johnson escalated the war. During the spring of 1965, the administration developed a programme of systematic bombing of North Vietnam
    • in March 1968, LBJ announced an end to air and naval bombardment of North Vietnam
    • to speed up Vietnamization. President Nixon resumed full-scale bombing of North Vietnam in November 1970.
    • until late January 1973, US troops would be withdrawn while North Vietnam was releasing American prisoners of war
  • The Persian Gulf War
    • world attention came to focus in 1990 on the challenge to stability posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. On August 2, 1990, after a long, unresolved border disputes, Iraq invaded and annexed the oil-rich Emirate of Kuwait.
    • The USA along with its Western allies, denounced the invasion of Kuwait as a threat to regional stability and the principal source of world’s oil. After a dramatic debate, Congress in January authorized the President to use military force if Iraq failed to comply with the United Nations order
    • A coalition of military powers, dominated by the United States and financed by Saudi Arabia, Germany and Japan, launched a massive air bombardment of Iraq and, one month later, a ground assault that quickly liberated Kuwait and occupied large portions of Iraq = Operation Desert Storm
  • After 911 Wars
    • Afghanistan and Iraq Wars against terrorism and especially Al Qaeda.

Places of interest

  • Washington was designed by French engineer Pierre L'Enfant. It was established in 1790 and as the seat of congress it was first used in 1800. Its places of interest: the Capitol, the seat of the Congress, the White House, the seat of the president, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon (the headquarters of the Department of Defence)
  • New York was established by the Dutch as New Amsterdam in 1624. In 1664 it became an English colony and the town was renamed New York (King's brother - the Duke of York got this place). Now it is financial centre and cultural capital. Its places of interest: the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, Wall Street, the Empire State Building (102 stories, 381 m high),the United Nations Headquarters, Times Square, Rockefeller Center. The tallest buildings were in the complex of seven buildings grouped around a vast Plaza – The World Trade Center (dominated by the 110-story towers – they were 417 m high). After the attack of terrorists it was ruined on September 11, 2001.
  • Other places of interest: Boston, Cambridge (close to Boston - the seat of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), New Haven (the seat of Yale University), Princeton (the university where A. Einstein gave his lectures), Philadelphia (the first seat of Congress, the Declaration was signed here), Miami (a resort and recreation centre), New Orleans (the cradle of jazz), Chicago (the highest skyscraper the Sears Tower, the busiest airport in the USA), Detroit (headquarters for Ford, Chrysler, General Motors), Mt. Rushmore (mountain with the portrait heads of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt), San Francisco (the Golden Gate Bridge connects the Pacific and San Francisco Bay), Disneyland, Disney World, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park


  1. Alabama (AL) - Montgomery
  2. Alaska (AK) - Juneau
  3. Arizona (AZ) - Phoenix
  4. Arkansas (AR) - Little Rock
  5. California (CA) - Sacramento
  6. Colorado (CO) - Denver
  7. Connecticut (CT) - Hartford
  8. Delaware (DE) - Dover
  9. Florida (FL) - Tallahassee
  10. Georgia (GA) - Atlanta
  11. Hawaii (HI) - Honolulu
  12. Idaho (ID) - Boise
  13. Illinois (IL) - Springfield
  14. Indiana (IN) - Indianapolis
  15. Iowa (IA) - Des Moines
  16. Kansas (KS) - Topeka
  17. Kentucky (KY) - Frankfort
  18. Louisiana (LA) - Baton Rouge
  19. Maine (ME) - Augusta
  20. Maryland (MD) - Annapolis
  21. Massachusetts (MA) - Boston
  22. Michigan (MI) - Lansing
  23. Minnesota (MN) - Saint Paul
  24. Mississippi (MS) - Jackson
  25. Missouri (MO) - Jefferson City
  26. Montana (MT) - Helena
  27. Nebraska (NE) - Lincoln
  28. Nevada (NV) - Carson City
  29. New Hampshire (NH) - Concord
  30. New Jersey (NJ) - Trenton
  31. New Mexico (NM) - Santa Fe
  32. New York (NY) - Albany
  33. North Carolina (NC) - Raleigh
  34. North Dakota (ND) - Bismarck
  35. Ohio (OH) - Columbus
  36. Oklahoma (OK) - Oklahoma City
  37. Oregon (OR) - Salem
  38. Pennsylvania (PA) - Harrisburg
  39. Rhode Island (RI) - Providence
  40. South Carolina (SC) - Columbus
  41. South Dakota (SD) - Pierre
  42. Tennessee (TN) - Nashville-Davidson
  43. Texas (TX) - Austin
  44. Utah (UT) - Salt Lake City
  45. Vermont (VE) - Montpelier
  46. Virginia (VA) - Richmond
  47. Washington (WA) - Olympia
  48. West Virginia (WV) - Charleston
  49. Wisconsin (WI) - Madison
  50. Wyoming (WY) - Cheyenne

The US economy is the biggest in the world (30% of the world's industrial production and about 20% of agricultural production). Raw materials - the first place: mica (49%), molybdenum (45%), natural petrol (41%), kaolin (33%), natural phosphates (28%), salt (20%), and gypsum (16%), the second place: natural gas (24%), sulphur (19%), coal (19%), and oil (14%). The main trading partners are Canada and Japan.

Political system

  • official name is the United States of America
  • it was established after the War of Independence by signing the Declaration of Independence on 4th July 1776 (Independence Day)
  • the federal state (consists of 50 states)
  • the flag: in the left-hand top corner there are 50 white stars in blue filed (representing 50 states), and the rest are 13 white and red stripes (representing original 13 colonies which established the USA)
  • The President and Vice President are the only elected officials of the Executive branch. Presidential elections are held every four years and he can serve only two four-year terms in office. The candidate must be at least 35, be born in the U. S. A. The President lives in the White House - a 132-room mansion in Washington, D. C. The address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Presidents of the USA

  1. 1789-1797 George Washington
  2. 1797-1801 John Adams
  3. 1801-1809 Thomas Jefferson
  4. 1809-1817 James Madison
  5. 1817-1825 James Monroe
  6. 1825-1829 John Quincy Adams
  7. 1829-1837 Andrew Jackson
  8. 1837-1841 Martin Van Buren
  9. 1841-1841 William Harrison
  10. 1841-1845 John Tyler
  11. 1845-1849 James Knox Polk
  12. 1849-1850 Zachary Taylor
  13. 1850-1853 Millard Fillmore
  14. 1853-1857 Franklin Pierce
  15. 1857-1867 James Buchanan
  16. 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln
  17. 1865-1869 Andre Johnson
  18. 1869-1877 Ulysses Grant
  19. 1877-1881 Rutherford Hayes
  20. 1881-1881 James Garfield
  21. 1881-1885 Chester Alan Arthur
  22. 1885-1889 Grover Cleveland
  23. 1889-1893 Benjamin Harrison
  24. 1893-1897 Grover Cleveland
  25. 1897-1901 William Mc Kinley
  26. 1901-1909 Theodore Roosevelt
  27. 1909-1913 William Taft
  28. 1913-1921 Woodrow Wilson
  29. 1921-1923 Warren Harding
  30. 1923-1929 Calvin Coolidge
  31. 1929-1933 Herbert Clark Hoover
  32. 1933-1945 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  33. 1945-1953 Harry S Truman
  34. 1953-1961 Dwight Eisenhower
  35. 1961-1963 John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  36. 1963-1969 Lyndon Baines Johnson
  37. 1969-1974 Richard Milhous Nixon
  38. 1974-1977 Gerald Rudolph Ford
  39. 1977-1981 James (Jimmy) Earl Carter
  40. 1981-1989 Ronald Reagan
  41. 1989-1993 George Bush
  42. 1993-2001 William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton
  43. 2001-2009 George (Walker) Bush Jr
  44. 2009-2017 Barack Obama
  45. 2017 to present Donald Trump
  • 14 cabinet departments - Department of State, Treasury, Defence, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human, Services, Education, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy and Veteran Affairs
  • Congress - has two bodies: The Senate (100 senators - each state has 2 senators) and the House of Representatives (435 Representatives - it depends on the number of population in each state: e. g. California has 45 Representatives, Alaska 1). The election to the House of Representative is held every 2 years, every 2 years is one third of Senators renewed.
  • two major political parties: Democrats and Republicans
  • Constitution - ratified in 1788, has many Ammendments (dodatky)
  • Each state has its own government and Governor, in many countries is very different law, educational systems etc.

Personalities — Great Americans

  • Pocahontas (1595-1617) - the Indian Princess was the daughter of Chief Powhatan. In 1608 she saved the life of an English settler - Captain John Smith. Later she married another settler and sailed to England. There she met King James I who treated her as royalty.
  • Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) - was a politician, scientist and diplomat. As a politician he helped to write the declaration of Independence. As a scientist he proved that lightning is a kind of electricity. As a diplomat he was America's ambassador in Paris.
  • George Washington (1732-1799) - when the American colonies decided to rebel against English control and to fight England in 1776, he commanded their army. Then, in 1789 he became the first president. America's capital is named after him.
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) - was determined to stop slavery in America because he thought that all men are created equal. Tragically, only days after winning the war, Lincoln was assassinated by a Confederate supporter, John Wilkes Booth.
  • Sitting Bull (1843-1893) - was a Chief of the Sioux tribe. He also fought to defend the Native American way of life against invasion from "pale faces" (bílých tváří). His most famous victory was at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876 where he defeated General Custer and the Seventh Cavalry.
  • Henry Ford (1863-1947) - the founder of the Ford Motor Company built his first car in 1893.
  • Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) - the most famous achievement of this great American was his solo flight from Paris to New York in 1927. It was the first time that anyone had flown non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Martin Luther King (1929-1968) -played a vital role in challenging the prejudice against black people. As a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, he believed that progress towards equality should be non-violent - a view which helped to win him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was assassinated during a visit to Memphis, Tennessee in 1968.
  • Madeleine Korbel Albright (1937) - was the Secretary of State (ministryně zahraničí). She was born in Prague. Her father used to be the Czechoslovak attaché in Yugoslavia. She studied Political Science and Law. At the beginning of the 90s she got into contact with Arkansas' governor Bill Clinton. When Clinton was elected President in 1992, Ms Albright was appointed Ambassador of the USA to the UN. She became famous for her sense of humour and attitude to civil rights.