| US CURRENCY
The United States, like any other country, has it's very own currency! In terms of "bills", we have the $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. In terms of "coins", we have the penny, which is worth one cent, the nickle, which is worth five cents, the dime, which is worth ten cents, the quarter, which is worth twenty-five cents, and the dollar coin, which people rarely use, honestly. In order to get an understanding of worth for each bit of currency, allow me to demonstrate:
Say that these are pennies: *******
And these are dollars: $$$$$$
Using that information, one penny would be one *, and one dollar would be one $.
In order to make up one $, one would need over a hundred *. Can you imagine counting that?
That's why quarters are better. Let's pretend that these are quarters: @@@@@@@.
In order to make up on $, one would need only four @. Much easier, right?
Well, what if we needed five dollars but did not have a fiver dollar bill? Pennies would take forever. Quarters might take even longer.
That's why dollar bills are useful! In order to make five $$$$$, one would need only five one-dollar bills! Much easier!
Money is a very interesting thing in the US. IF you make a hundred dollars, then you earned it! And despite what others may say, that doesn't mean you are taking that hundred from another person. It simply means that they did not make a hundred dollars, but they still could. In US, you are allowed to find a job, no matter what your gender, race, sexual orientation or whatever else is! Everyone should make at least minimum wage, which is about $7.25 nowadays. It's wrong for an employer to make a person work many hours, and pay them only a dollar or a dime. They should at least make enough to afford a small living. Children in the US are not allowed to work. Of course, they can babysit or walk dogs or start their own little businesses, but they are not allowed to work in dangerous or hazardous places. Even when you get to the working age in the US, which is fifteen, you are still restricted from many different jobs because they are unsafe for young people. These are called Child Labor Laws. Once, a long time ago, the United States was a lot less fair, and it used to allow children as young as five years old work with heavy machinery. They were treated as adults are---if you got hurt, you were screwed and they might have found another worker to take your place. However, after a long time of protesting, Child Labor Laws were created to prevent children from missing out on their educations and their childhoods.
Even adults have rights in the workforce here in the US. For example, if you fall or get hurt on the job, you are entitled to worker's compensation. Things like this are important to note, and sometimes go completely unexplained to undocumented immigrants in the US. That is why it's important to speak English, or know someone who does, so that you can find out this information. However, I don't know much about undocumented immigrant rights in the US, so that's why I'm only explaining this from the perspective of someone is who is already a citizen or is planning to become one!
| THE STORY OF THE AMERICAN FLAG:
The American Flag is a major cultural symbol for Americans. To burn, deface, or urinate on it is a major insult to Americans. The design is sometimes called "Stars n' Stripes". The Stars represent the fifty states, and the Bars represent that original thirteen colonies. Just as the British have nicknames for their flag, like the Union Jack, American's have nicknames for our flag, like Old Glory or Stars n' Stripes. If you ever visit the US, you might notice the colors everywhere. Our nations colors are the patriotic Red, White and Blue. You will see that in many historic towns, at baseball games, and on the major US holiday, Forth of July. The truth is that nobody really knows who came up with the design. Back in the olden days, around 1700, the US did not have a flag. We were just a ragtag bunch of colonies owned by the British. Like I said earlier, there were originally thirteen colonies: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia. Despite not knowing WHO created the flag, we are definitely sure of WHY it was created. The colonies no longer wanted to be controlled by the British. Instead, they wanted to be something else---something better. The uprising which followed this realization is known in American history as the American Revolution.
They say that the person who first made the flag was a woman named Betsy Ross, who owned a sewing shop and was well-known for her incredible skill.
During the revolution, there were many different flags throughout the colonies. But by the end of the war, it was clear that the US needed one flag. That's the flag of today! However, originally, no one said where the horizontal stripes should go. So, people put them wherever they wanted to. The flag became a symbol of intense pride for our country, and in the war of 1812 (our only war ever with Canada), the flag inspired our national anthem,"The Star-Spangled Banner", written by Frances Scott Key. Soon after that, our flag was set in stone. The stripes were horizontal to everyone. Then, many many years later, our country was split in two by a civil war. It was a very intense war over a whole lot of differences. It was between the north and the south. This war brought about a new flag. The confederate flag.
Most people in the US believe that the confederate flag stands for slavery. In some respects, it does. The South fought to keep slavery alive, which is awful. Northerners were intensely against slavery (Though much of the north depended on slavery for their factories. Without a southern slaves to pick the cotton, they never would have had running textile mills). However, to the educated southerner, the flag represents freedom, liberty, and rebellion. In my opinion, the confederate flag is better left in museums. It's a very controversial topic, even today! And the civil war was in the 1800s!