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Read the text.

INDEPENDENCE DAY

 

The Fourth of July has been an American holiday for more than two hundred years.

Eventually, thirteen English colonies dotted the Atlantic coastline.  All the colonies were under the rule of the King of England. Until the 1760s, however, England didn’t pay much attention to its American colonies. Then England decided to tax the colonists. Americans were forced to pay tax on tea, glass, paper, and other items they needed. Many refused to buy these taxed items, and some began to talk about governing themselves.

In December 1773, some Boston colonists dressed as Indians slipped aboard an English ship docked in the harbor.  During the dark winter night, the “Indians” dumped the ship’s cargo of tea overboard into the water. This protest against British policies became known as the “Boston Tea Party.”

The British Parliament was furious and decided to punish the Bostonians. British troops were stationed in Boston, and many were housed in private homes.  Public meetings were outlawed, and the Port of Boston was closed. In September 1774, the first Continental Congress met in Philadelphia. The colonists who attended the Congress were angry and unhappy about British policies.  But they still thought of themselves as loyal to England.  They drew up a Declaration of Rights, hoping that the British Parliament would change its policies toward American colonists.  The British would not change.

In 1775 America’s War of Independence began.  In 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence.

One member of the Committee, Thomas Jefferson, wrote most of the Declaration of Independence.  In the preamble he wrote that “all men are created equal” and that they have a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The second part of the Declaration listed twenty-eight wrongs committed by the King of England against the colonies. And the third part resolved that the American colonies should be and were independent states.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. John Hancock, president of the Congress, signed his name at the bottom in huge letters.  He wanted to make sure the King of England could read it without his glasses!  It was an act of bravery for all the Americans to sign the Declaration. Had the Country lost its war with England, all who signed would have surely faced the death sentence as traitors.

Today, the original Declaration of Independence is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The Liberty Bell, which rang out the news of independence from the top of the State House, is on display at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Outside the State House in Philadelphia, a crowd gathered, waiting to hear if the Congress would vote for independence. As the news spread, Americans everywhere celebrated with huge bonfires and other festivities. Ever since that day in 1776, the Fourth of July has been a time for Americans to celebrate their freedom and the nation’s birthday. The day is filled with family picnics, parades, concerts, reenactments of historical events and sporting events, while the night is a time for brilliant fireworks displays. People arrange thousands of candles in star, wheel, and pyramid shapes. Then they light the candles and set their creations floating on a nearby lake or river.

 

Ex.1. Using the text, translate from Russian into English:

Со временем, в конце концов; облагать налогом; говорить о самоуправлении; незаметно проникать; выбросить; злой; дислоцировать; объявлять вне закона; верный, преданный; составлять, вырабатывать (закон и т.п.); набрасывать черновик, редактировать; вступление; добиваться счастья; постановлять, принимать решение; храбрость; предатель; воспроизведение исторического события.

 

Ex.2. Do you know all these words and phrases from the text given above?

To dot, to be under the rule of, to tax, to be forced to (do smth.), an item, to slip, harbor (harbour), to dump, cargo, furious, to punish, troops, to station, outlawed, to attend, loyal, to draw, to (a) draft, a preamble, to create, to pursuit, to sign, to commit, to resolve, to approve, death sentence, a traitor, a bonfire, to (a) display.

 

Ex.3. Match the beginning of the sentences in the left column with their endings in the right column. Arrange the sentences in order according to the text.

 

1. In December 1773, some Boston colonists dressed as...

a)...an American holiday for more than two hundred years.

2. They hoped that Britain would...

b)...be loyal to England.

3. The third part resolved that...

c)...celebrated as the birthday of the American nation.

4. Today, the original Declaration of Independence is housed...

d)...on the Atlantic coast.

5. Britain was furious and...

e)...wrote that “all men are created equal”.

6. As the news spread, Americans everywhere...

f)...decided to punish the Bostonians.

7. The Fourth of July has been...

g)...approved by the Congress.

8. In June 1776, the Second Congress appointed...

h)...“Indians” slipped aboard a ship.

9. There were thirteen colonies...

i)...in the National Archives in Washington.

10. Thomas Jefferson, a member of the Committee,

j)...change its policies toward the American colonies.

11. The British would not change, and in 1775...

k)...many refused to buy these taxed items.

12. These colonies were under...

l)...a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence.

13. Since that day, the Fourth of July has been...

m)...celebrated with huge bonfires and other festivities.

14. British troops were sent to Boston...

n)...the American colonies should be and were independent states.

15. The colonists tried to be...

o)... the rule of the King of England.

16. In the preamble he...

p)...wrote most of the Declaration of Independence.

17. When England taxed the colonists...

q)...the War of Independence began.

18. They dumped the ship’s cargo of tea...

r)...and the port of Boston was closed.

19. The second part listed...

s)...the wrongs, committed by the King of England.

20. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was...

t)...overboard into the water.

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