This section of the book will give you some information about the USA history, geography, and government as well as will sharpen your language skills.
Read the text. Pay attention to the underlined words and phrases.
CLAIMING LAND IN THE NEW WORLD
After 1492 when an expedition led by Italian Ch. Columbus (1445 - 1506), landed in the Bahamas, European kings and queens were eager to conquer land in the Americas and claim it as their own. Land that was conquered in this way became a “colony.” A colony is a place ruled by the people of a different country.
Three countries in particular claimed land in the New World (to Europeans America was a New World): Spain claimed all North America - but few Spanish people went to settle there.
France claimed Canada as a colony, but like Spain, it sent few settlers there.
Britain, on the other hand, set up 13 colonies along America’s Atlantic coast. There was fierce rivalry between Spain, France, and Britain. Gradually, Britain won this race for the empire, and in the middle of the 18-th century it controlled most of the eastern part of North America.
Ex.1. Choose the synonyms for these words and phrases in bold. Make up your own sentences with them.
Ex.2. These sentences are either true or false
1. Christopher Columbus performed his expedition in 1592 and landed in the Bahamas.
2. Kings and queens in Europe were eager to conquer the new continent.
3. Some European countries successfully captured some land in the Americas.
4. Europeans called America a New World.
5. Spain claimed all North America, and lots of Spanish people went to settle there.
6. France claimed Canada, but it sent few people there.
7. Britain set up 13 colonies along the Pacific coast.
8. There was fierce rivalry between these three countries.
9. Gradually, Britain won this race for the empire.
10. By the middle of the 18-th century Britain controlled most of the eastern part of North America.
Ex.3. Finish the sentences without looking in the text.
1. In 1492 an expedition, ... by Columbus, landed in the Bahamas.
2. After that European kings and queens ... to conquer land in the Americas.
3. Land that ... in this way became a colony.
4. A colony is a place ... by the people of a different country.
5. Three countries in particular ... land in the new world: ..., ..., and ... .
6. ... claimed all North America, and ... claimed Canada.
7. But these two countries sent ... people to ... there.
8. ..., on the other hand, set up 13 colonies along the ... coast.
9. There was fierce ... between these three countries.
10. ... Britain won this race for an empire.
Ex.4. Answer the questions.
1. When did Columbus land the Bahamas?
2. What did Europeans call America?
3. Why were European kings and queens eager to conquer land in the Americas?
4. What does the word “colony” mean?
5. What European countries claimed land in the New World?
6. France claimed all North America, didn’t it?
7. What part of North America did France send some people to?
8. Did Spain send few or many settlers to North America?
9. North America was very popular with Britain, wasn’t it?
10. How many colonies did Britain set up?
11. Where were those colonies set up?
12. What country won that fierce rivalry for the empire?
MAYFLOWER SHIP FACTS
Before you read the text about Pilgrims, I would like you to come to know some interesting facts about that famous ship, on board of which Pilgrims made their voyage.
The Mayflower is first recorded in 1609, at which time it was a merchant ship travelling to Baltic ports. It was at that time owned by Christopher Nichols, Richard Child, Thomas Short, and Christopher Jones. The ship was about 180 tons, and rested in Harwich. In its early years it was employed in the transportation of tar, lumber, and fish, and possibly did some Greenland whaling. Later on in its life, it became employed in Mediterranean wine and spice trading.
In 1620, Thomas Weston assisted by John Carver and Robert Cushman hired the Mayflower and the Speedwell to undertake the voyage to plant a colony in Northern Virginia. The Speedwell turned out to be a leaky ship, and so was unable to make the famous voyage with the Mayflower.
Colonists come to America
Christopher Jones was the captain of the Mayflower when it took the Pilgrims to New England in 1620. They anchored off the tip of Cape Cod on November 11, 1620. The Mayflower stayed in America that winter, and its crew suffered the effects of the first winter just as the Pilgrims did, with almost half dying.
The Mayflower set sail back for home on April 5, 1621, arriving back May 6. The ship made a few more trading runs, to Spain and then to Ireland, and lastly to France. However, Captain Christopher Jones died shortly thereafter, in March 1622. The ship lay dormant for about two years.
The ship was not in very good condition. Ships in that condition were more valuable as wood (which was in shortage in England at the time), so the Mayflower was most likely broken apart and sold as scrap.
In 1957, a close replica of the Mayflower, the Mayflower II, was built in 1957 by England as a gift to America and sailed from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where it is now on view.
Read the text.
On September 6 1620, a small wooden ship called the “Mayflower” prepared to leave Plymouth, England, and sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Pilgrims crowded the slippery deck. They were laughing, crying, and waving good-bye to their friends and relatives. They might never see them again. They were going to a strange, new land-America.
Why were they going? Some people were going because they weren’t safe in England. These people called themselves “Saints.” They were in trouble with the king of England. The king and most English people belonged to the Church of England. The Saints wanted to worship differently - in their own church. The other passengers-whom the Saints called “Strangers”-were going to America to try to build a better life for themselves and their children.
What was it like to sail across the vast and mysterious Atlantic Ocean in a little wooden ship? The “Mayflower” was shorter than a basketball court! One hundred and two passengers, thirty seamen, and all their belongings were crowded into this little place! The sailors had to work very hard. Some of them worked day and night repairing damage. They did not get much money for their work. They were working for their lives. If the “Mayflower” weren’t kept in good shape, everyone aboard would be drowned.
The sailors did their job well and brought the “Mayflower” through fierce storms to a safe harbor on the coast of America. Later the Pilgrims called this harbor Plymouth. The blue waters of Plymouth Harbor sparkled in bright sunlight. Beyond the beach grew a tall, green forest... During their first terrible winter in America, more than half Pilgrims died. It was frightening. Sometimes two or three people died in one day. Only five of the eighteen women survived the first winter.
One day an Indian walked straight into Plymouth. “Welcome!” the Indian said. He spoke English! His name was Samoset. He had learned some English words from English fishermen. The next day he returned with five tall Indians. One of them, Squanto, spoke even better English! He told the Pilgrims that he had actually been to England.
The friendship between the Pilgrims and Indians lasted for more than fifty years. The Indians helped the Pilgrims in many important ways. They taught them how to plant corn. Without this corn the Pilgrims would be starved. They taught them which plants and berries were safe to eat. They showed them how to tread eels out of the mud with their feet and how to spear large fish. The Indians taught the Pilgrims how to build Indian - style houses, how to get sap from the maple trees and dozens of other skills needed for their survival. It would be very good to say that this friendship lasted a long time; but, unfortunately, that was not to be. More Englishmen came to America, and they were not in need of help from the Indians. Mistrust started to grow and the friendship weakened.
More and more Europeans came to the continent. They took advantage of the natives. In their greed for gold and other riches, they robbed and cheated the Indians. The relationship deteriorated and within a few years the children of the people who ate together at the first Thanksgiving were killing one another in what came to be called King Phillip’s War.
Ex.1.Find the words given below in the list by looking across, up, down or diagonally forward or backward.
Circle the letters on the grid when you find a word. The leftover letters will give you an expression - a kind of greeting. Make up sentences with all these words and the last expression. Try not to look at the text.
Be careful: you can find the same word twice. Which one to circle determines your luck.
Ex.2. Answer the questions about the text.
1. What was the ship that was going to leave England called?
2. She prepared to sail across the Pacific Ocean, didn’t she?
3. Who was aboard the ship?
4. “Pilgrims,” “Saints” and “Strangers.” These words have the same meaning, don’t they?
5. Why were the Strangers going to America?
6. Was it a dangerous journey or a pleasant trip?
7. What does the author mean by saying: “The sailors were working for their lives”?
8. What part of America did the sailors bring the “Mayflower” to?
9. Why did the Pilgrims later call this harbor Plymouth?
10. Why do you think more than half of the Pilgrims died during the first winter?
11. Who helped the rest of them to survive?
12. What did the Indians teach the Pilgrims?
13. What language did the Indians speak?
14. The friendship between the Pilgrims and Indians did not last long, did it?
15. What happened to their friendship?
16. Why did the relationship between the natives and the newcomers deteriorate?
Ex.3. Find out what is wrong in the sentences given below.
1. On September 6 1620, a small, wooden ship called the “Mayflower” prepared to leave Pittsburgh, England.
2. The Pilgrims were going to a strange, new land - Africa.
3. Among them were the Saints who were in trouble with the queen of England and the Strangers who wanted to build a better life for themselves and for their children.
4. The “Mayflower” was shorter than a volleyball court.
5. One hundred and two passengers, forty sailors, and their belongings were crowded into this little place.
6. The sailors did their job well and brought the “Mayflower” to a safe harbor on the southern coast of North America.
7. This harbor was known as Plymouth.
8. During the first terrible winter in America, half of the Pilgrims died.
9. The Indians helped them to survive and brought them corn, plants, berries, and fish.
10. The friendship between the Indians and Pilgrims lasted for more than sixty years.
11. Mistrust started to grow, and the friendship between the Indians and the Pilgrims weakened when more Englishmen came to America.
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