OUTLINE:OUTLINE: American Regional Geography Location of the USA Map of the USA Time Zones 50 States (Abbreviation & Capitals) The US Culture The US Government The American People Basics in American Culture American Idioms, Sayings and Slang The Role of Family in American Culture American Holidays How American Communicate to each other Relevant Laws
What is the need for a course inWhat is the need for a course inAmerican Culture and Geography?American Culture and Geography?• To familiarize students with American Cultureand Geography in order that they mayunderstand the immense land area whichinvolves geographical regions, regionalcharacteristics, time zones, and other subtlecultural diversities.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA• Often referred to as USA, America,United States or simply just US.• Named after the Italian Amerigo Vespucci.• Discovered by Christopher Columbusin October 12, 1492.• Consists of 50 states including the adjacentstates of Alaska and Hawaii.INTRODUCTIONAmerican Culture & Geography
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA• Independence was recognized after thesigning of the treaty of Paris in 1783.• The triumph of America in world wars, it’sgrowing economy, influence ininternational affairs and its technologicaladvancements make it the world’s mostpowerful nation-state.INTRODUCTIONAmerican Culture & Geography
LANGUAGES:English, Spanish (spoken by a sizableminority)LITERACY:Definition: age 15 and over can read and writeTotal population: 97%Protestant 56%, Roman Catholic 28%, Jewish 2%,other 4%, none 10% (1989).RELIGIONS:PEOPLEAmerican Culture & Geography
ClimateAll four seasons occur in several parts of the country: Winter(November to March), Spring (March to June), Summer (June toSeptember) and Fall (September to November).Temperate, tropical weather in the southern region of the US andHawaii.Cold winters in Alaska and the northern region of the mainland.
Comparative AreaComparative Area(in square miles)(in square miles)– Russia – 6,591,027– Canada – 3,850,790– United States – 3,717,522– China – 3,704,427– India – 1,269,010– Japan – 145,844– Germany - 137,767– Italy – 116,275– Philippines –115,800
US TIME ZONES1:PM 2:PM 3:PM 4:PM 5:PM 6:PMHawaii AlaskaDSTPacificDSTMountainDSTCentralDSTEasternDST1pm 2pm 4pm 5pm 6pm 7pmStandard time – Nov to MarDaylight savings time – April to Oct
US Time ZonesUS Time ZonesThe United States uses eight time zones.From east to west they are the :• Atlantic Standard Time (AST)• Eastern Standard Time (EST)• Central Standard Time (CST)• Mountain Standard Time (MST)• Pacific Standard Time (PST)• Alaskan Standard Time (AST)• Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST)
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIMEAmerican Culture & Geography• Known as DST• Called “Summer Time” in some parts ofthe world• It maximizes the use of sunlight• It helps save energy• Help prevents accidents
Daylight Saving TimeDaylight Saving Time• Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. localtime on the first Sunday in April. On the lastSunday in October areas on Daylight SavingTime return to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m.• The names in each time zone change along withDaylight Saving Time. Eastern Standard Time(EST) becomes Eastern Daylight Time (EDT),and so forth.• Arizona, parts of Indiana, Puerto Rico, Hawaii,U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa do notobserve Daylight Saving Time.
The Fifty States of The U.S.A.The Fifty States of The U.S.A.
The 50 States and Capitals of the U.S.A.Nebraska (NE) – LincolnNevada (NV) – Carson CityNew Hampshire (NH) – ConcordNew Jersey (NJ) – TrentonNew Mexico (NM) – Santa FeNew York (NY) – AlbanyNorth Carolina (NC) – RaleighNorth Dakota (ND) – BismarckOhio (OH) – ColumbusOklahoma (OK) – Oklahoma CityOregon (OR) – SalemPennsylvania (PA) – HarrisburgRhode Island (RI) – ProvidenceSouth Carolina (SC) - ColumbiaSouth Dakota (SD) – PierreTennessee (TN) – NashvilleTexas (TX) – AustinUtah (UT) – Salt Lake CityVermont (VT) - MontpelierVirginia (VA) – RichmondWashington (WA) –OlympiaWest Virginia (WV) –CharlestonWisconsin (WI) – MadisonWyoming (WY) – CheyenneCapital: Washington D.C.(District of Columbia)
The Capital of the USA:The Capital of the USA:Washington D.C. (District of Columbia)Washington D.C. (District of Columbia)Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States of America.The seat of government is here, within Capitol Hill and theWhite House (The official residence of the President of theUnited States of America).Within these States: Maryland and VirginiaAttractions: The White House; Washington MonumentJefferson Memorial; Lincoln MemorialJFK Performing Arts Center; Capitol HillThe Smithsonian Institute; The VietnamMemorial
United States GovernmentFEDERAL:Governs the country as a whole and makes the laws thatthe entire country abides.STATE:Governs the state. The governor is the highest rankingofficial in this government. It acts as a government on itsown, as a state, but it still falls under certain rules andregulations under the federal government. It has asystem just like the federal government but works at alocal level.
United States Government (cont.)The Three Branches of the American GovernmentLEGISLATIVE – Known as Congress, it consists of the Senate and theHouse of Representatives. It’s responsibility is to propose and passlaws. In the system of checks and balances, Congress can refuse toapprove Presidential appointments.EXECUTIVE – This branch consists of the President of the UnitedStates of America, the Vice President, the cabinet and the thirteendepartments and independent agencies. It’s responsibility is to enforcelaws.JUDICIAL – It consists of the Supreme (highest) Court, 11 Circuit ofAppeals and 94 District Courts. This branch explains and interpretslaws. It has power over the other two branches because it can declarelaws and actions unconstitutional.
Famous U.S. PresidentsGeorge WashingtonAbraham LincolnTheodore “Teddy” RooseveltFranklin D. RooseveltHarry TrumanDwight D. EisenhowerJohn F. KennedyRichard M. NixonLyndon B. JohnsonRonald ReaganWilliam J. ClintonGeorge BushGeorge W. BushThese are just a few of the past 42 presidents of theUSA
“Real Life” in America• American Values• Family Myths and Truths• Education• Money Matters• Holidays• Dining Habits• Transportation• Shopping• Telephones
AMERICAN VALUES• Individualism• Freedom• Equality• Achievement and Success• Involvement and Activity• Progress• Efficiency and Practicality• Pursuit of Happiness• Privacy
In a Nutshell- that all people are equal and deserve an equalopportunity in life.- that everyone is free to be an individual.- that competition brings out the best in people and inbusinesses.- that change is good and necessary. It brings aboutprogress and improvement.- that it is best of be honest and direct.Americans Believe:
In Another NutshellAmericans Love:- their country. Americans are very patriotic.- their free time. Americans may not have much freetime compared to people in some countries, but theyvalue what they have.- the outdoors. The US government protects largesections of land from development and preservesthem for their enjoyment of all.- sports. The US probably has more professionalathletes participating in a greater number ofprofessional sports than any other country.
HOLIDAYSNew Years DayMartin Luther King, Jr. Day – 3rdMonday of JanuaryThe world was shocked when Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. Eversince, special memorial services have marked his birthday onJanuary 15.President’s Day - 3rdMonday of FebruaryIn the 1970s, Congress declared that in order to honor all pastpresidents of the United States, a single holiday, to be calledPresidents Day, would be observed on the third Monday inFebruary.
HOLIDAYSMemorial Day – last Monday of MayMemorial Day is a day for families and individuals to honor thememories of their loved ones who have died. Church services,visits to the cemetery, flowers on graves or even silent tributemark the day with dignity and solemnity.This day also signals the beginning of summer with a three-dayweekend to spend at the beach, in the mountains or at homerelaxing.Independence Day – 4thof JulyIndependence Day is regarded as the birthday of the United Statesas a free and independent nation. Most Americans simply call itthe "Fourth of July." It is a day of picnics and patriotic parades, anight of concerts and fireworks. The flying of the American flag iswidespread.
HOLIDAYSLabor Day – 1stMonday of SeptemberIts purpose is to honor the nations working people. Inmany cities the day is marked by parades of workingpeople representing the labor unions.Most Americans consider Labor Day the end of thesummer, and the beaches and other popular resortareas are packed with people enjoying one last three-day weekend.For many students it marks the opening of the schoolyear.
HOLIDAYSColumbus day – 2nd Monday of OctoberThis day commemorates Italian navigator ChristopherColumbus landing in the New World on October 12, 1492.Most nations of the Americas observe this holiday onOctober 12, but in the United States, annual observancestake place on the second Monday in October. The majorcelebration of the day takes place in New York City, whichholds a huge parade each year.Veteran’s Day - 2nd Monday of NovemberIt honors veterans of all wars in which the United States hasfought.
Thanksgiving – 4th Thursday of NovemberThe holiday dates back to 1621, the year after the Puritansarrived in Massachusetts. After a rough winter, in whichabout half of them died, they turned for help toneighboring Indians, who taught them how to plant cornand other crops. The next falls bountiful harvestinspired the Pilgrims to give thanks by holding a feast.To this day, Thanksgiving dinner almost always includessome of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey,cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpkin pie. Before themeal begins, families or friends usually pause to givethanks for their blessings, including the joy of beingunited for the occasion.HOLIDAYS
Some U.S. SymbolsThe Flag of theUnited States ofAmericaThe LibertyBellThe Bald EagleThe Statueof Liberty
Call the shots – to be in controlChicken – usually a cowardClown around – to fool around, be sillyCry over spilled milk – to cry or worry about something that really doesn’tmatterDown in the dumps - to be sad and gloomyDead to the world – to be fast asleepSpaced out – to be deep in thoughtEager Beaver – someone who is eager to workAll thumbs – clumsyFlat broke; broke – to have no moneySkate on thin ice – to be in a very delicate or touchy situationStraight from the horse’s mouth – directly from the sourceTake off – to leaveBasic Americanisms,Sayings/Statements:
Americanisms cont.Abreast of the times – knowing the latest things which are being doneBlow Over – to pass away without effectLet bygones be bygones – let past troubles be forgottenIn the long run – as a final resultIn a nutshell – in a few wordsOff and on – not continuousPull a person’s leg – to make a game of himSilver lining – the hidden bright sideKnow the ropes – know the usual methodsRead between the lines – to understand the hidden meaningThe fat is in the fire – the harm is doneStrike the right note – say the appropriate thingHave no inkling – not even a vague ideaHave elbow room – to have enough room to move freelyMake a mountain out of a molehill – to exaggerateMake a slip – make a slight mistakeHave a word with somebody – speak to himTake somebody at his word – act on the belief that he means what hesaysKeep at bay – to ward off troubles and face up to difficultiesMake one’s blood boil – to make one extremely angry
Some American ProverbsSome American ProverbsBetter to be safe than sorry!You have nothing to fear but fear itself.If you cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.I think, therefore I am.Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy,and wise.A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.You can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink.Dont bite the hand that feeds you.No news is good news.A penny saved is a penny earned.Dont put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
Means of CommunicationMeans of CommunicationTELEPHONE SYSTEMTELEPHONE SYSTEMLocal Phone SystemLong Distance Calling1-800 numbersCellular PhonesPhone Companies
Example of a telephone number:(212)555-1212Example of an Address:Mr. John Smith2800 University DriveAnaheim, CA 92805Means of CommunicationMeans of CommunicationPOSTAL SYSTEMPOSTAL SYSTEMCityNumber &Street name7-digitphonenumberArea CodeState InitialZip Code
POLITICALLY CORRECT TERMSAmerican Culture & GeographyThese are terms used to replace words thattend to be offensive to certain groups ofPeople, gender, race, etc.