Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
Maserati in motorsport
Throughout its history, the Italian auto manufacturer Maserati has participated in various forms of motorsports including Formula One, sportscar racing and touring car racing, both as a works team and through private entrants. One of the first Maseratis the Tipo 26 driven by Alfieri Maserati with Guerino Bertocchi acting as riding mechanic won the Targa Florio 1,500 cc class in 1926, finishing in ninth place in overall. Maserati was successful in pre-war Grand Prix racing using a variety of cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders. Other notable pre-war successes include winning the Indianapolis 500 twice, both times with Wilbur Shaw at the wheel of a 8CTF. Maserati won the Targa Florio in 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1940; the first two wins were achieved by Giovanni Rocco with a Maserati 6CM and the last two by Luigi Villoresi with a 6CM in 1939 and a 4CL in 1940. Maserati's post-war factory effort in sports car racing began in 1954 for the second season of the World Sportscar Championship; the factory raced as Officine Alfieri Maserati.
Maserati scored points in all but one year of the first era of the World Sports Car Championship from 1953 to 1961. Both factory-entered and privately-entered cars were eligible to score points for the manufacturer. At the end of 1957 Maserati retired the factory team from racing though they continued to build cars for privateers. In the 1953 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed thirteenth. In the 1954 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed fifth. In the 1955 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed fourth. In the 1956 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed second including a win at the 1000 km Buenos Aires and the 1000 km at the Nürburgring; the win at 1956 1000 km Buenos Aires was a Maserati 300S sports car driven by Stirling Moss and Carlos Menditéguy. In the 1957 World Sportscar Championship Maserati again placed second; this time with wins at Sebring and Rabelöfsbanan In the 1959 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed fourth. In the 1960 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed third.
With a win at the ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring for a Maserati Tipo 61 driven by Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney. In the 1961 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed second. With a repeat win at the ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring for a Maserati Tipo 61 this time driven by Lloyd Casner and Masten Gregory. Maserati returned to sportscar racing in 2004, entering the Maserati MC12 in the FIA GT Championship. Since 2005 the MC12 fieleded by Vitaphone Racing Team won five teams' championships and four drivers' championships in a row. Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini won the inaugural GT1 World Championship for Drivers in the 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship driving a Maserati MC12 for the Vitaphone Racing Team; the Vitaphone Racing Team won the GT1 World Championship for Teams. Maserati A6GCS Sports Car Maserati 350S Sports Car. Maserati 300S Sports Car. Maserati 250S Sports Car. Maserati 200S Sports Car. Maserati 150S Sports Car. Maserati 450S Sports Car. Maserati Tipo 60 Sports Car Maserati Tipo 61 the "Birdcage" Sports Car Maserati Tipo 63 Maserati Tipo 64 Maserati Tipo 65 Maserati Tipo 151 Maserati Tipo 152 Maserati Tipo 154 the "Racing Van" Maserati Barchetta Sports Car Maserati Ghibli II Open Cup gt Car Maserati Trofeo series gt Car.
Maserati Trofeo Light GT3 Racing Car Maserati MC12 GT1 Racing Car Gran Turismo GT4 Gran Turismo GT3 The Maserati Biturbo Group A racing car competed unsuccessfully in the British Touring Car Championship in the late 1980s, the European Touring Car Championship and the World Touring Car Championship. The cars for the 1987 World Touring Car Championship season were entered by Pro Team Italia/Imberti; the car was in Group A Division 3 competing against the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and in the season Ford Sierra RS 500. The car was driven by Bruno Giacomelli, Armin Hahne, Marcello Gunella, Mario Hytten, Nicola Tesini and Kevin Bartlett. For the British Touring Car Championship the cars were entered by Trident Motorsport; this was for the 1989 seasons. The car was driven by John Lepp and Vic Lee. A former 1987 WTCC car was bought by Adriano Dece who converted it for used on road rallies and the company manufactured the Maserati Biturbo Group A Rally car. Maserati participated in Formula One motor racing during the 1950s and 1960s.
Its works Formula One programme was broadly successful, providing a total of 9 Grand Prix wins for the factory team. In addition, Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1957 World Championship of Drivers with a Maserati 250F. Maserati designed two Formula One cars: the Maserati 4CLT and the Maserati 250F, the pre-World War II Maserati 4CL was used with some success. In addition, the Maserati A6GCM, designed as a Formula Two car, was used in F1. Due to financial difficulties in the late 1950s the team had to withdraw from Formula One in 1958 despite the 250F still being successful. Privateers continued to use the 250F until 1960. In the 1960s, Maserati supplied engines to British Formula One team Cooper; the most successful car of that collaboration was the Cooper-Maserati T81, which had a Maserati V12 engine. It won the 1966 Mexican Grand Prix and the 1967 South African Grand Prix, driven by John Surtees and Pedro Rodríguez respectively; the 1948 Maserati 4CLT was one of the first cars built to the new Formula One regulations, introduced in 1946, was developed from the 1938 Maserati 4CL voiturette car.
The older design was still competitive despite the hiatus of World War II and was entered into Formula One races when racing resumed after the war. Its success encouraged Maserati to develop the car's design and these refinements were brought together as the 4CLT. Maseraticorse.com
John Michael Hawthorn was a British racing driver. He became the United Kingdom's first Formula One World Champion driver in 1958, whereupon he announced his retirement, having been profoundly affected by the death of his teammate and friend Peter Collins two months earlier in the 1958 German Grand Prix. Hawthorn won the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, but was haunted by his involvement in the disastrous crash that marred the race. Hawthorn died in a road accident three months after retiring. Mike Hawthorn was born in Mexborough, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, to Leslie and Winifred Hawthorn, educated at Ardingly College, West Sussex, followed by studies at Chelsea technical college and an apprenticeship with a commercial vehicle manufacturer, his father owned the Tourist Trophy Garage in Farnham, franchised to supply and service several high performance brands including Jaguar and Ferrari. His father supported his son's racing career. Mike Hawthorn made his competition debut on 2 September 1950 in his 1934 Riley Ulster Imp, KV 9475, winning the 1,100 c.c. sports car class at the Brighton Speed Trials.
In 1951, driving a 1½-litre T. T. Riley, he entered the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy, a season-long contest run at Goodwood, winning it by one point, he won the Ulster Trophy Handicap at Dundrod and the Leinster Trophy at Wicklow that year. By 1952, Hawthorn had switched to single-seaters and during that season won his first race in a Formula Two Cooper-Bristol T20 at Goodwood. Further successes followed which brought him to the attention of Enzo Ferrari who offered him a works drive, he made his Formula One debut at the 1952 Grote Prijs van Belgie on the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, finishing in fourth place. By the end of the season, he had secured his first podium, with a third place at the RAC British Grand Prix and a brace of fourths driving a Cooper. At Scuderia Ferrari for the 1953 season, Hawthorn showed his worth with victory, at his ninth attempt, in the French Grand Prix at Reims, outmanoeuvring Juan Manuel Fangio in what became dubbed'the race of the century' with the top four drivers finishing within five seconds of each other after 60 laps.
This and two other podium finishes helped him end the season fourth overall. He won the BRDC International Trophy and the Ulster Trophy as well as the 24 Heures de Spa Francorchamps with Ferrari teammate Giuseppe Farina. Hawthorn was less fortunate in 1954, suffering serious burns in a crash during the Gran Premio di Siracusa, but finished the year with three seconds and victory in the season finale in Spain, placing him third in the Drivers' Championship. Following the death of his father, Hawthorn left Ferrari to race for Tony Vandervell's Vanwall team, as he needed to spend more time at the family garage he had inherited, but after two races returned to Ferrari. In January 1955, Hawthorn joined the Jaguar racing team, replacing Stirling Moss, who had left for Mercedes. Hawthorn won the 1955 les 24 Heures du Mans following what has been described as an inspired drive in which he set a lap record of 122.388 mph during a three-hour duel with Fangio in the early stages. However, the race was marred by the worst disaster in motor racing history, a crash which killed 84 spectators and Mercedes driver Pierre Levegh.
After overtaking Lance Macklin's Healey, Hawthorn braked in front of him on noticing an order to enter the pits to refuel, causing Macklin to swerve into the path of Levegh's Mercedes. After colliding with the Healey, the Mercedes skipped the earthen embankment separating the spectator area from the track, bounced through spectator enclosures hit a concrete stairwell parapet head-on; the impact shattered the front end of the car, which somersaulted high, pitching debris into the spectator area, before landing atop the earthen embankment. The debris, including bonnet and front axle, which separated from the frame, flew through the crowd. Eight hours while leading the race 1.5 laps ahead of the Jaguar team, the Mercedes team withdrew from the race, ostensibly as a mark of respect for those who had perished in the accident. The French press carried photographs of Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb celebrating their win with the customary champagne but treated them with scorn; the official inquiry into the accident ruled that Hawthorn was not responsible for the crash, that it was a racing incident.
The death of so many spectators was blamed on inadequate safety standards for track design. The track had remained unaltered for 30 years, since the time when the lap record was just 55 m.p.h. The Grandstand and pit areas were rebuilt soon after; the death toll led to a ban on motorsports in France, Switzerland and other nations, until the tracks could be brought to a higher safety standard. Whilst sharing the Jaguar D-Type with Desmond Titterington during the 1955 RAC Tourist Trophy at Dundrod, Hawthorn passed Fangio twice, set the lap record for the RAC Tourist Trophy on the Dundrod Circuit, only to lose in the final stages when, running on full tanks, he was passed by Moss when the D Type's engine failed on the last lap. Another change of team for 1956 – this time to BRM - was a failure, Hawthorn's only podium came in Argentina where the non-appearance of his BRM allowed him to guest drive a Maserati 250F. However, when it appeared only in British races, the new 2.5 BRM was fast while it lasted, Hawthorn held off Fangio, leading the first 25 laps at Silverstone in the British GP.
He retired the car before half d
Luigi Villoresi was an Italian Grand Prix motor racing driver who continued racing on the Formula One circuit at the time of its inception. Born in Milan and nicknamed "Gigi", he was the older brother of race car driver Emilio Villoresi who co-piloted with him in several races at the beginning of their careers. From a prosperous family, Villoresi could afford to buy a car and began competing in local rallies at the age of twenty-two with a Lancia Lambda and a few years acquired a Fiat Balilla with which he and his brother Emilio competed in the Mille Miglia. In 1935, he raced in the Coppa Ciano, finishing third and went on to capture the Italian driving championship in the 1100 cc sports car class; the following year he and his brother purchased a Maserati which they drove individually in different races. Emilio was so successful that he was signed to drive an Alfa Romeo for Scuderia Ferrari in the 1937 season. In 1938, Luigi Villoresi became part of the Maserati team, driving the 8CTF model that Maserati had designed to compete with the dominant German Silver Arrows.
In 1939, Maserati introduced the Maserati 4CL which Villoresi drove to victory at the 1939 South African Grand Prix. His brother Emilio died that year while testing an Alfa Romeo 158/159 Alfetta factory racer at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. A little over two weeks after his brother's death, he drove his Maserati to victory at the 1939 Adriatic Grand Prix, his racing career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. At war's end, he returned to race for Maserati until 1949 when he signed again with Ferrari debuting in Formula One on 21 May 1950. Villoresi finished second in the 1949 Buenos Aires Grand Prix-President Juan Peron Grand Prix. Alberto Ascari was the winner with a time of 1 hour, 30 minutes, 23.9 seconds, for an average speed of 70.6 miles per hour. Villoresi won the first Grand Prix de Bruxelles; the winning time was 85 mph over 188-mile distance. Orley was six seconds behind. Louis Rosier was victorious in a blue Talbot, in a 500-kilometre Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, in June 1949.
He came across the finish line in front of Villoresi. Villoresi was third in a 60-mile international race at Silverstone in September 1949. Italian drivers made a clean sweep of the first three positions with Ascari first and Giuseppe Farina second as 100,000 fans looked on. English driver St. John Horsfall died. Villoresi skidded on oil, penetrated a barrier, killed three spectators at the Grand Prix des Nations race in Geneva. Nino Farina was uninjured. Villoresi suffered head injuries which were treated at a hospital; the Grand Prix of 272 kilometres was won by Juan Manuel Fangio. The 1951 British Grand Prix was taken by José Froilán González of Argentina. Villoresi finished third, two laps behind the winner, with an average speed of 95.39 miles per hour. Villoresi completed 2 behind Gonzalez. In July 1952 Villoresi won the French Grand Prix at Les Sables d'Olonne, he captured the 208-mile race, with an average speed of 69.3 miles per hour. Ferrari achieved a 1,2,3 sweep at the Grand Prix d'France in La Baule, in August 1952.
Alberto Ascari was first, followed by Rosier. Ascari had clinched the Formula One World Championship before this event. Villoresi drove a Ferrari to win the 1952 Grand Prix of Modena in 1:5:21 over a distance of 100 laps, 230.6-kilometre. His average speed was 124.236 km/h. Villoresi displayed his agility as a driver in the 1953 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Giuseppe Farina made contact with the Maserati driven by Onofre Marimón as he was approaching the finish line. Villoresi made a brilliant manoeuvre while racing at 100 mph The crowd came to its feet to witness his quick thinking in pulling his car off the track at great speed. Villoresi finished third after winner Fangio and Farina, two seconds behind at the end; the race marked the first time a Ferrari did not win an event in races counting toward the Formula One World Championship. Fangio drove a Maserati to an average speed of 110 mph over the 313-mile grand prix. 41 years old, Villoresi served as an elder statesman for the Formula One team, notably as Alberto Ascari's mentor who became his closest friend.
In 1954, he and Ascari joined the new Lancia racing team but Ascari's death in the spring of the following year profoundly affected Villoresi and his career went into steep decline. Villoresi was critically injured while testing a Lancia Aurelia near Rimini, Italy in April 1954, he was riding with his mechanic when he skidded while attempting to avoid a Fiat driving in the opposite direction. Both Villoresi and his mechanic were pinned beneath the Lancia. A group of farmers came to their aid. Both men remained conscious. Villoresi sustained a number of deep head wounds, facial lacerations, bruises all over his body, he was listed in not critical condition. Villoresi was third after Ascari and Luigi Musso in the May 1955 Naples Grand Prix, a 153.5 miles event. Villoresi was in a Lancia, he wrecked his car in the 1956 Grand Prix of a 2-Litre sports car event. The race was won by Jean Behra in a Maserati. Villoresi was one of nine drivers, from a starting field of 303, in a January 1958 Monte Carlo auto rally, who completed the first leg of the rigorous touring car event, without incurring a penalty.
The 1,900-mile endurance event featured cars from eight different European starting locales. Of the
1953 Formula One season
The 1953 Formula One season was the seventh season of the FIA's Formula One racing. It consisted only of a number of non-championship motor races; as in 1952, all races counting towards the World Championship of Drivers, apart from the Indianapolis 500, were held for cars complying with Formula Two regulations rather than with Formula One, with the Indianalpolis 500 held to AAA regulations. The 4th FIA World Championship of Drivers, which commenced on 18 January and ended on 13 September after nine races, was won by Alberto Ascari, driving for a Scuderia Ferrari. Ascari became the first driver to defend his title. In addition to the non-championship Formula One races and the World Championship Formula Two races, numerous other non-championship Formula Two races were held during the year. Ferrari drivers again dominated the championship, taking seven of the eight grands prix, although Juan Manuel Fangio's challenge in his more fragile Maserati took him to second place in the championship and a win at Monza.
Ascari extended his unbeaten run to nine consecutive World Championship grand prix wins before his teammate Mike Hawthorn broke the sequence in becoming the first British winner in the French Grand Prix at Reims after a thrilling battle with Fangio. In 1953, all but one of the races counting towards the World Championship of Drivers were run under Formula 2 regulations, while the remaining one, the Indianapolis 500, was run under AAA Championship Car regulations; the 1953 championship was the first global World Championship of Drivers, with a championship event being staged outside of Europe or the United States for the first time. That race, the 1953 Argentine Grand Prix, was marred by an accident involving the Ferrari of Giuseppe Farina, which crashed into an unprotected crowd, killing nine spectators; the 1953 World Championship of Drivers was contested over a nine race series. The Spanish Grand Prix, scheduled to be staged on 26 October, was cancelled; the Indianapolis 500 counted towards the 1953 AAA Championship.
The following teams and drivers competed in the 1953 FIA World Championship of Drivers. Championship points were awarded to first five finishers in each race on 6, 4, 3, 2 basis. Points for shared drives were divided between the drivers, regardless of the number of laps driven by each. 1 point was awarded for the fastest lap in each race. The point was shared between drivers sharing the fastest lap. Only the best four results from the nine races counted towards a driver's total points in the World Championship. Numbers without parentheses are retained championship points and numbers within parentheses are total points scored. * Italics indicate fastest lap Bold indicates pole position † Position shared between more drivers of the same car ‡ Several cars were shared in this race. See the race page for details; the following Formula One/Formula Two races, which did not count towards the World Championship of Drivers, were held during 1953
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Argentina the Argentine Republic, is a country located in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, the largest Spanish-speaking nation; the sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times; the country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.
Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city; the country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century. Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency, she was overthrown in 1976 by a U.
S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies, it is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America; the description of the country by the word Argentina has been found on a Venetian map in 1536.
In English the name "Argentina" comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina means in Italian " of silver, silver coloured" borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine " of silver" > "silver coloured" mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the feminine form of argentin and derives from argent "silver" with the suffix -in; the Italian naming "Argentina" for the country implies Terra Argentina "land of silver" or Costa Argentina "coast of silver". In Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said l'Argentina; the name Argentina was first given by the Venetian and Genoese navigators, such as Giovanni Caboto. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words for "silver" are plata and prata and " of silver" is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin.
The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region. Although "Argentina" was in common usage by the 18th century, the country was formally named "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata" by the Spanish Empire, "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata" after independence; the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name "Argentine Republic" in legal documents. The name "Argentine Confederation" was commonly used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the country's name as "Argentine Republic", that year's constitutional amendment ruled all the names since 1810 as valid. In the English language the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina and resulting from a mistaken shortening of the fuller name'Argentine Republic'.'The Argentine' fell out of fashion during the mid-to-late 20th century, now the country is referred to as "Argentina".
In the Spanish language "Argentina" is feminine, taking the feminine article "La" as the i