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Canada is a federated country in the northern part of North America, member of the Commonwealth of nations

• its area is 9.9 million square kilometres, which makes it the 2nd largest country in the world, the population is 28 million and consists of 45% British, 25% French, German, , Italy and Ukraine origins; the aborigines are Indians and Eskymos

• 46% of population are Roman catholics and 41% Protestants; the official languages are French and English

• Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy with the Governor-general, representing the British monarch, as a head of the state; the Head of Government is a Prime minister; Canada has a Bicameral legislature which consists of House of Commons (295 members) and Senate(112 senators)

• Canada is washed by the Arctic ocen from the north, North Atlantic ocean from the east and North Pacific ocean from the west; among the islands in the north the biggest are Baffin Island, Queen Elizabeth Islands and Victoria island; there are two main bays - Hudson and Baffin

• the country is divided into ten provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan) and two territories (Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory); there are big lakes - Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg and portions of the Great Lakes under Canadian jurisdiction; the highest peak Mt Logan lies in the Rocky mts

• the climate is mostly continental with rain and snow falls, typical animals are bears, seals and grizzlys

• Canada was discovered in 1497 by John Cabot; in 1763 French were defeated by British and it became an English colony; in 1867 Canada became the 1st British dominion

• Canada belongs to the richest countries of the world, its main products are wheat, wood, petrolium, iron ore, oil and gold, main industrial products are motor vehicles and paper

The Republic of Ireland lies on the island west from UK in the Atlantic ocean

• its area is 70,000 square kilometres, the population is 3,5 million (from which 96% are Irish) and the religions are Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism and Jewish; the capital is Dublin

• the Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy and the head of the state is the president, voted directly for 7 years

• the relief could be described as a lowland (the highest mts. reach only about 1,000 metres), the biggest river is the Shannon river; the lakes are of glacier origin

• the original inhabitants were Celts
432 - Christianity was brought to Ireland by St Patrick
12th century - the English first invaded Ireland
17th century - Cromwell gave the land in Ireland to Protestant settlers from England
1690 - in the battle of Boyne Ireland became an English colony
half of 19th century - 5 million people emigrated because of the great famine;
1905 - Shinn Fein, the nationalist party was founded and during the failed Easter rebellion the leaders were executed
1921 - the 26 nationalist counties in the southern Ireland became the Irish Free State
1949 - was the proclamation of the Republic of Ireland in Dublin

• Ireland consists of 4 historical provinces - Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster; the provinces are divided into 32 counties and 6 of them in Ulster are administred by UK

• the typical Irish music instrument is a Celtic harp; some famous Irish authors are J. Swift, J. B. Yeats, O. Wilde, J. Joyce, S. Becket

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