The Dominican Republic is a country located in the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states; the Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area at 48,671 square kilometers, third by population with 10 million people, of which three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city. Christopher Columbus landed on the island on December 5, 1492, which the native Taíno people had inhabited since the 7th century; the colony of Santo Domingo became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, the oldest continuously inhabited city, the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. After more than three hundred years of Spanish rule the Dominican people declared independence in November 1821.
The leader of the independence movement José Núñez de Cáceres, intended the Dominican nation to unite with the country of Gran Colombia, but no longer under Spain's custody the newly independent Dominicans were forcefully annexed by Haiti in February 1822. Independence came 22 years after victory in the Dominican War of Independence in 1844. Over the next 72 years the Dominican Republic experienced internal conflicts and a brief return to colonial status before permanently ousting Spanish rule during the Dominican War of Restoration of 1863–1865. A United States occupation lasted eight years between 1916 and 1924, a subsequent calm and prosperous six-year period under Horacio Vásquez was followed by the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo until 1961. A civil war in 1965, the country's last, was ended by U. S. military occupation and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer, the rules of Antonio Guzmán & Salvador Jorge Blanco. Since 1996, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy and has been led by Leonel Fernández for most of the time since 1996.
Danilo Medina, the Dominican Republic's current president, succeeded Fernandez in 2012, winning 51% of the electoral vote over his opponent ex-president Hipólito Mejía. The Dominican Republic has the ninth-largest economy in Latin America and is the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Over the last two decades, the Dominican Republic has had one of the fastest-growing economies in the Americas – with an average real GDP growth rate of 5.4% between 1992 and 2014. GDP growth in 2014 and 2015 reached 7.3 and 7.0% the highest in the Western Hemisphere. In the first half of 2016 the Dominican economy grew 7.4% continuing its trend of rapid economic growth. Recent growth has been driven by construction, manufacturing and mining; the country is the site of the second largest gold mine in the Pueblo Viejo mine. Private consumption has been strong, as a result of low inflation, job creation, as well as a high level of remittances; the Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean.
The year-round golf courses are major attractions. A geographically diverse nation, the Dominican Republic is home to both the Caribbean's tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, the Caribbean's largest lake and point of lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo; the island has an average temperature of biological diversity. The country is the site of the first cathedral, castle and fortress built in the Americas, located in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone, a World Heritage Site. Music and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata as the national dance and music, baseball as the favorite sport; the "Dominican" word comes from the Latin Dominicus. However, the island has this name by Santo Domingo de Guzmán, founder of the Order of the Dominicans; the Dominicans established a house of high studies in the island of Santo Domingo that today is known as the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo and dedicated themselves to the protection of the native taínos of the island, who were subjected to slavery, to the education of the inhabitants of the island.
For most of its history, up until independence, the country was known as Santo Domingo—the name of its present capital and patron saint, Saint Dominic—and continued to be known as such in English until the early 20th century. The residents were called "Dominicans", the adjective form of "Domingo", the revolutionaries named their newly independent country "Dominican Republic". In the national anthem of the Dominican Republic, the term "Dominicans" does not appear; the author of its lyrics, Emilio Prud'Homme uses the poetic term "Quisqueyans". The word "Quisqueya" derives from a native tongue of the Taino Indians and means "Mother of the lands", it is used in songs as another name for the country. The name of the country is shortened to "the D. R." The Arawakan-speaking Taíno moved into Hispaniola from the north east region of what is now known as South America, displacing earlier inhabitants, c. AD 650, they engaged in hunting and gathering. The fierce Caribs drove the Taíno to the northeastern Caribbean during much of the 15th century.
The estimates of Hispaniola's population in 1492 vary including one hundred thousand, three hundred thousand, an
French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France, on the north Atlantic coast of South America in the Guyanas. It borders Brazil to the east and Suriname to the west. Since 1981, when Belize became independent, French Guiana has been the only territory of the mainland Americas, still part of a European country. With a land area of 83,534 km2, French Guiana is the second-largest region of France and the largest outermost region within the European Union, it has a low population density, with only 3.6 inhabitants per square kilometre. Half of its 296,711 inhabitants in 2019 lived in the metropolitan area of its capital. 98.9% of the land territory of French Guiana is covered by forests, a large part of, primeval rainforest. The Guiana Amazonian Park, the largest national park in the European Union, covers 41% of French Guiana's territory. Since December 2015 both the region and the department have been ruled by a single assembly within the framework of a new territorial collectivity, the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity.
This assembly, the French Guiana Assembly, has replaced the former regional council and departmental council, which were both disbanded. The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of departmental government, its president is Rodolphe Alexandre. Before European contact, the territory was inhabited by Native Americans, most speaking the Arawak language, of the Arawakan language family; the people identified as Lokono. The first French establishment is recorded in 1503, but France did not establish a durable presence until colonists founded Cayenne in 1643. Guiana was developed as a slave society, where planters imported Africans as enslaved laborers on large sugar and other plantations in such number as to increase the population. Slavery was abolished in the colonies at the time of the French Revolution. Guiana was designated as a French department in 1797. But, after France gave up its territory in North America in 1803, it developed Guiana as a penal colony, establishing a network of camps and penitentiaries along the coast where prisoners from metropolitan France were sentenced to forced labor.
During World War II and the fall of France to German forces, Félix Éboué was one of the first to support General Charles de Gaulle of Free France, as early as June 18, 1940. Guiana rallied Free France in 1943, it abandoned its status as a colony and once again became a French department in 1946. After De Gaulle was elected as president of France, he established the Guiana Space Centre in 1965, it is now operated by Arianespace and the European Space Agency. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, several hundred Hmong refugees from Laos immigrated to French Guiana, fleeing displacement after United States involvement in the Vietnam War. In the late 1980s, more than 10,000 Surinamese refugees Maroons, arrived in French Guiana, fleeing the Surinamese Civil War. More French Guiana has received large numbers of Brazilian and Haitian economic migrants. Illegal and ecologically destructive gold mining by Brazilian garimpeiros is a chronic issue in the remote interior rain forest of French Guiana. Integrated in the French central state in the 21st century, Guiana is a part of the European Union, its official currency is the euro.
The region has the highest nominal GDP per capita in South America. A large part of Guiana's economy derives from jobs and businesses associated with the presence of the Guiana Space Centre, now the European Space Agency's primary launch site near the equator; as elsewhere in France, the official language is standard French, but each ethnic community has its own language, of which French Guianese Creole, a French-based creole language, is the most spoken. The region still faces such problems as poor infrastructure, high costs of living, high levels of crime and common social unrest. Guiana is derived from an Amerindian language and means "land of many waters"; the addition of the adjective "French" in most languages other than French is rooted in colonial times, when five such colonies had been named along the coast, subject to differing powers. French Guiana and the two larger countries to the north and west and Suriname, are still collectively referred to as "the Guianas" and constitute one large landmass known as the Guiana Shield.
French Guiana was inhabited by indigenous people: Kalina, Emerillon, Palikur and Wayana. The French attempted to create a colony there in the 18th century in conjunction with its settlement of some Caribbean islands, such as Guadeloupe and Saint-Domingue. Bill Marshall, Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Stirling wrote of French Guiana's origins: The first French effort to colonize Guiana, in 1763, failed utterly, as settlers were subject to high mortality given the numerous tropical diseases and harsh climate: all but 2,000 of the initial 12,000 settlers died. During operations as a penal colony beginning in the mid-19th century, France transported 56,000 prisoners to Devil's Island. Fewer than 10% survived their sentence. Île du Diable was the site of a small prison facility, part of a larger penal system by the same name, which consisted of prisons on
Outline of El Salvador
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to El Salvador: El Salvador – sovereign country located on the Pacific Coast of Central America. The area was called by the Pipil "Cuzhcatl", in Spanish "Cuzcatlan", which in Nahuatl means "The Land Of Precious Things". After the Spanish conquest, the land was baptized by Spanish conquistadors as "Provincia De Nuestro Señor Jesucristo El Salvador Del Mundo", now abbreviated as "República de El Salvador"; the country borders the Pacific Ocean between Honduras. With a population of 5.8 million people, it is the most densely populated nation in Central America and is undergoing rapid industrialization. Pronunciation: Common English country name: El Salvador Official English country name: The Republic of El Salvador Common endonym: Official endonym: Adjectival: Salvadoran Demonym: Etymology: In the early sixteenth century, Spanish conquistadors named this region "Provincia De Nuestro Señor Jesus Cristo, El Salvador Del Mundo", subsequently abbreviated to "El Salvador".
International rankings of El Salvador ISO country codes: SV, SLV, 222 ISO region codes: See ISO 3166-2:SV Internet country code top-level domain:.sv El Salvador is: a country Location: Northern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere Americas North America Middle America Central America Latin America Time zone: Central Standard Time Extreme points of El Salvador High: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m Low: North Pacific Ocean 0 m Land boundaries: 545 km Honduras 342 km Guatemala 203 kmCoastline: North Pacific Ocean 307 kmPopulation of El Salvador: 6,857,000 - 98th most populous country Area of El Salvador: 21,040 km2 Atlas of El Salvador Climate of El Salvador Wildlife of El Salvador Fauna of El Salvador Birds of El Salvador Mammals of El Salvador Islands of El Salvador Mountains of El Salvador Volcanoes in El Salvador Rivers of El Salvador World Heritage Sites in El Salvador El Salvador is divided into 14 Departments. Their names, are: AH Ahuachapán CA Cabañas CH Chalatenango CU Cuscatlán LI La Libertad PA La Paz UN La Unión MO Morazán SM San Miguel SS San Salvador SV San Vicente SA Santa Ana SO Sonsonate US Usulután Municipalities of El Salvador Capital of El Salvador: San Salvador Cities of El Salvador Demographics of El Salvador Politics of El Salvador Form of government: presidential representative democratic republic Capital of El Salvador: San Salvador Elections in El Salvador Political parties in El Salvador Government of El Salvador Head of state: President of El Salvador, Head of government: Prime Minister of El Salvador, Cabinet of El Salvador Legislative Assembly of El Salvador Court system of El Salvador Supreme Court of El Salvador Foreign relations of El Salvador Diplomatic missions in El Salvador Diplomatic missions of El Salvador The Republic of El Salvador is a member of: Constitution of El Salvador Crime in El Salvador Illegal drug trade in El Salvador Human rights in El Salvador (see Category:Human rights in El Salvador Abortion in El Salvador LGBT rights in El Salvador Law enforcement in El Salvador Military of El Salvador Command Commander-in-chief: Armed Forces of El Salvador Army of El Salvador Navy of El Salvador Air Force of El Salvador History of El Salvador Culture of El Salvador Cuisine of El Salvador Languages of El Salvador National symbols of El Salvador Coat of arms of El Salvador Flag of El Salvador National anthem of El Salvador Prostitution in El Salvador Religion in El Salvador Buddhism in El Salvador Christianity in El Salvador Islam in El Salvador Judaism in El Salvador World Heritage Sites in El Salvador Literature of El Salvador Music of El Salvador Baseball in El Salvador El Salvador national baseball team Cricket in El Salvador El Salvador national cricket team Football in El Salvador El Salvador national beach soccer team El Salvador national football team El Salvador national football team season 2009 El Salvador national football team season 2010 El Salvador national football team kit El Salvador national under-17 football team El Salvador national under-20 football team El Salvador national under-21 football team El Salvador national under-23 football team El Salvador women's national football team Rugby League in El Salvador El Salvador national rugby league team Rugby Union in El Salvador El Salvador national rugby union team El Salvador at the Olympics El Salvador at the 1968 Summer Olympics El Salvador at the 1972 Summer Olympics El Salvador at the 1984 Summer Olympics El Salvador at the 1988 Summer Olympics El Salvador at the 1992 Summer Olympics El Salvador at the 1996 Summer Olympics El Salvador at the 2000 Summer Olympics El Salvador at the 2004 Summer Olympics El Salvador at the 2008 Summer Olympics El Salvador at the Pan American Games El Salvador at the 2003 Pan American Games El Salvador at the 2007 Pan American Games El Salvador at the 2011 Pan American Games El Salvador at the Paralympics El Salvador at the 2008 Summer Paralympics El Salvador at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games El Salvador at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics El Salvador at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games El Salvador at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics Economy of El Salvador Economic rank, by nominal GDP: 93rd Agriculture in El Salvador Coffee production in El Salvador Banking in El Salvador Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador Communications in El Salvador Internet i
Political divisions of the United States
Political divisions of the United States are the various recognized governing entities that together form the United States — states, the District of Columbia, Indian reservations. The primary first-level political division of the United States is the state. There are 50 states; each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory, shares its sovereignty with the United States federal government. According to numerous decisions of the United States Supreme Court, the 50 individual states and the United States as a whole are each sovereign jurisdictions. All state governments are modeled after the federal government and consist of three branches: executive and judicial, they retain plenary power to make laws covering anything not preempted by the U. S. Constitution, federal statutes, or treaties ratified by the U. S. Senate, are organized as presidential systems where the governor is both head of government and head of state; the various states are typically subdivided into counties.
Louisiana uses the term parish and Alaska uses the term borough for what the Census terms county equivalents in those states. Counties and county equivalents may be further subdivided into townships. Towns in New York and New England are treated as equivalents to townships by the United States Census Bureau. Townships or towns are used as subdivisions of a county in 20 states in the Northeast and Midwest. Population centers may be organized into incorporated cities, towns and other types of municipalities. Municipalities are subordinate to a county government, with some exceptions. Certain cities, for example, have consolidated with their county government as consolidated city-counties. In Virginia, cities are independent from the county in which they would otherwise be a part. In some states in New England, towns form the primary unit of local government below the state level, in some cases eliminating the need for county government entirely; the government of each of the five permanently inhabited U.
S. territories is modeled and organized after the federal government. Each is further subdivided into smaller entities. Puerto Rico has 78 municipalities, the Northern Mariana Islands has 4 municipalities. Guam has villages, the U. S. Virgin Islands has districts, American Samoa has districts and unorganized atolls. Other U. S. sub-national divisions include the District of Columbia, several minor outlying islands, Indian reservations, all of which are administered by the Federal government. Each Indian Reservation is subdivided in various ways. For example, the Navajo Nation is subdivided into agencies and Chapter houses, while the Blackfeet Nation is subdivided into Communities; the Federal government maintains exclusive jurisdiction over military installations and American embassies and consulates located in foreign countries. Other special purpose divisions exist separately from those for general governance, examples of which include conservation districts and Congressional districts. According to the U.
S. Internal Revenue Service and state governments are established and recognized by the U. S. Constitution and state constitutions. Federally recognized Indian tribal governments are recognized by the U. S. Constitution, treaties and court decisions. Other entities may be recognized as governments by state law, court decision, or an examination of facts and circumstances that indicate it has the characteristics of a government, such as powers of taxation, law enforcement and civil authority; the primary political entity of the United States is the state. Four states—Kentucky, Massachusetts and Virginia—call themselves "commonwealths." The word commonwealth in this context refers to welfare, of the public. The term has no legal impact. In 1777 the 13 colonies that had declared independence from Great Britain one year earlier agreed to the formation of a confederation of states, one with an limited central government. A new national frame of government came into force in 1789, when the current U. S. Constitution replaced the Articles.
This constitution incorporates the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches, as well as concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments and of the states in relationship to the federal government. On numerous occasions the United States Supreme Court has affirmed that the 50 individual states and the United States as a whole are each sovereign jurisdictions under the Constitution. Due to the shared sovereignty between each state and the federal government, Americans are citizens of both the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. States, are not sovereign in the Westphalian sense in international law which says that each State has sovereignty over its territory and domestic affairs, to the exclusion of all external powers, on the principle of non-interference in another State's domestic affairs, that each State is equal in international law. Additionally, the 50 U. S. states do not possess international legal sovereignty, meaning that they are not recognized by other sovereign States such as, for example, Germany or the United Kingdom.
The 50 states of the United States of America are as follows: The 50 states can be divided into regions in many different ways. The continental United Stat
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is an island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere, in both area and population; the country is a Commonwealth realm, with Elizabeth II as head of state. The capital city is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts; the smaller island of Nevis lies 3 km southeast of Saint Kitts across a shallow channel called "The Narrows". The British dependency of Anguilla was also a part of this union, known collectively as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. To the north-northwest lie the islands of Sint Eustatius, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten and Anguilla. To the east and northeast are Antigua and Barbuda, to the southeast is the small uninhabited island of Redonda, the island of Montserrat, which has an active volcano. Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be settled by Europeans.
Saint Kitts was home to the first British and French colonies in the Caribbean, thus has been titled "The Mother Colony of the West Indies". Saint Kitts was named "Liamuiga", which translates as "fertile land", by the Kalinago who inhabited the island; the name is preserved via Mount Liamuiga. Nevis's pre-Columbian name was "Oualie", meaning "land of beautiful waters". Christopher Columbus upon sighting what is now Nevis in 1493 gave that island the name San Martín; the current name "Nevis" is derived from a Spanish name Nuestra Señora de las Nieves. This Spanish name means Our Lady of the Snows, it is not known who chose this name for the island, but it is a reference to the story of a fourth-century Catholic miracle: a summertime snowfall on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. The white clouds which wreathe the top of Nevis Peak reminded someone of the story of a miraculous snowfall in a hot climate; the island of Nevis upon first British settlement was referred to as "Dulcina", a name meaning "sweet one" in Spanish.
The original Spanish name was restored and used in the shortened form, "Nevis". There is some disagreement over the name. For many years it was thought that he named the island San Cristóbal, after Saint Christopher, his patron saint and the patron hallow of travellers. New studies suggest; the name "San Cristóbal" was given by Columbus to the island now known as Saba, 20 mi northwest. It seems that "San Cristóbal" came to be applied to the island of St. Kitts only as the result of a mapping error. No matter the origin of the name, the island was well documented as "San Cristóbal" by the 17th century; the first English colonists kept the English translation of this name, dubbed it "St. Christopher's Island". In the 17th century, a common nickname for Christopher was Kitt; this is why the island was informally referred to as "Saint Kitt's Island", further shortened to "Saint Kitts". Today the Constitution refers to the state as both "Saint Kitts and Nevis" and "Saint Christopher and Nevis", but the former is the one most used.
The name of the first inhabitants, pre-Arawakan peoples who settled the islands as early as 3000 years ago, is not known. They were followed by the Arawak peoples, or Taíno about 1000 BC. Peak native populations occurred between 500 and 600 AD; the warlike Island Caribs invaded about 800 AD. They had expanded north of St. Kitts by the time of the Spanish conquest. In 1623, the island was settled by the English, soon followed by the French; the Spanish were superior to the Kalinagos in terms of warfare, the French and English were more "economically aggressive and militarily determined" than the Spanish. The French and English, intent on self-enrichment through exploitation of the island's natural resources, understood from the start that their establishment of settlements in St. Kitts would be met with resistance, such resistance was waged by the Kalinago throughout the first three years of the settlements' existence. Throughout the process of establishing settlements on St. Kitts, as elsewhere in the Caribbean, the French and the English, like their predecessors, were intent on enslaving, expelling or exterminating the Kalinagos, since the latter's retention of land threatened the profitability of the European-controlled plantation economy.
To facilitate this objective, an ideological campaign was waged by colonial chroniclers, dating back to the Spanish, as they produced literature which systematically denied Kalinago humanity. In 1626, the Anglo-French settlers joined forces to massacre the Kalinago to pre-empt an imminent plan by the Caribs, conniving with the Kalinagos, to expel or kill. A Spanish expedition sent to enforce Spanish claims destroyed the English and French colonies and deported the settlers back to their respective countries in 1629; as part of the war settlement in 1630, the Spanish permitted the re-establishment of the English and French colonies. As Spanish power went into decline, Saint Kitts became the premier base for English and French expansion into the Caribbean. From St. Kitts, the British settled the islands of Antigua, Montserrat and Tortola, the French settled Martinique, the Guadeloupe archipelago and St. Barts. During the late-seventeenth century, Fra
Administrative divisions of Costa Rica
According to the Political Constitution of Costa Rica of 1949, in article 168, the territorial division of Costa Rica is organized by law into three types of subnational entity: For the purposes of the Public Administration, the national territory is divided into provinces, these in cantons and cantons in districts. Costa Rica is divided into: 7 provinces 82 cantons 478 districtsAll entities are numbered, the provinces get 1 digit, the cantons 3 digit with the first being the number of the province, the districts get 5 digits with the first 3 being the numbers of the canton; the district numbers are used as postal codes. With the establishment of the republic and the declaration of Costa Rica as "free and independent republic," the Political Constitution of the Reformed Costa Rica of 1848 was approved on November 30 Of that year, according to Law No. 36 of December 7 of 1848, the denominations of province, canton & district. According to the aforementioned law, the following provinces were created: San José, with one canton and ten parish districts.
Alajuela, with two cantons and eight parish districts. Carthage, with two cantons and thirteen parish districts. Heredia, with one canton and seven parish districts. Guanacaste, with four cantons and eight parish districts; this law classified Puntarenas as county, a category, now in disuse. Legislative Decree No. 10 of September 17, 1858 gives Puntarenas the title of province. Decree No. 27 of June 6, 1870 created the "County of Limón" from the easternmost territory of the Province of Carthage, allowed the establishment of a town hall. It would not be until 1902, under Legislative Decree No. 59 of August 1 that it was constituted in the seventh and last of the provinces that comprise the national territory. From 1848 to 1980 the number of cantons in the country has gone from 10 to 82; the last canton to be constituted is the Rio Cuarto ancient district of Greece province of Alajuela. The districts, on the other hand, have experienced greater flexibility in their constitution process, so their numbers are changing.
For example, there are now 470 districts, when in 2000, when the population census was conducted the districts were 463. Politically and administratively, Costa Rica is made up of 7 provinces: The concept of City Hall or City Council falls to the second-level sub-national entity, governed by a mayor elected every four years in general elections, as well as a Municipal Council. According to the Political Constitution, article 169:"The administration of the local interests and services in each canton will be in charge of the Municipal Government, formed of a deliberative body, composed of municipal councilors of popular election, of an executive officer who will designate the law." Each canton is divided into districts. Each district has a District Council chaired by a syndic, all popularly elected; the District Council is the interlocutor between the district and the municipal government and ensures the communal and neighborhood interests before the Municipal Council, although the direct administration of the district falls to the municipality, the District Councils exercise administrative functions such as forwarding projects To the Council and supervise the work of the mayor.
In Costa Rica there are 24 indigenous territories duly delimited by the central government and have limited autonomy. These territories are administered by the Associations of Indigenous Development like a local government according to Decree No. 13568-G of the Executive Power. List of districts of Costa Rica http://www.inec.go.cr/Encuestas/Manual de códigos geográficos División Territorial Administrativa de la República de Costa Rica al 8 de marzo de 2017
Suriname known as the Republic of Suriname, is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south. At just under 165,000 square kilometers, it is the smallest sovereign state in South America. Suriname has a population of 558,368, most of whom live on the country's north coast, in and around the capital and largest city, Paramaribo. Suriname was long inhabited by various indigenous people before being invaded and contested by European powers from the 16th century coming under Dutch rule in the late 17th century; as the chief sugar colony during the Dutch colonial period, it was a plantation economy dependent on African slaves and, following the abolition of slavery in 1863, indentured servants from Asia. Suriname was ruled by the Dutch-chartered company Sociëteit van Suriname between 1683 and 1795. In 1954, Suriname became one of the constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
On 25 November 1975, the country of Suriname left the Kingdom of the Netherlands to become an independent state, nonetheless maintaining close economic and cultural ties to its former colonizer. Suriname is considered to be a culturally Caribbean country, is a member of the Caribbean Community. While Dutch is the official language of government, business and education, Sranan Tongo, an English-based creole language, is a used lingua franca. Suriname is the only sovereign nation outside Europe where Dutch is spoken by a majority of the population; as a legacy of colonization, the people of Suriname are among the most diverse in the world, spanning a multitude of ethnic and linguistic groups. The name Suriname may derive from an indigenous people called Surinen, who inhabited the area at the time of European contact. British settlers, who founded the first European colony at Marshall's Creek along the Suriname River, spelled the name as "Surinam"; when the territory was taken over by the Dutch, it became part of a group of colonies known as Dutch Guiana.
The official spelling of the country's English name was changed from "Surinam" to "Suriname" in January 1978, but "Surinam" can still be found in English. A notable example is Surinam Airways; the older English name is reflected in the English pronunciation. In Dutch, the official language of Suriname, the pronunciation is, with the main stress on the third syllable and a schwa terminal vowel. Indigenous settlement of Suriname dates back to 3,000 BC; the largest tribes were a nomadic coastal tribe that lived from hunting and fishing. They were the first inhabitants in the area; the Carib settled in the area and conquered the Arawak by using their superior sailing ships. They settled in Galibi at the mouth of the Marowijne River. While the larger Arawak and Carib tribes lived along the coast and savanna, smaller groups of indigenous people lived in the inland rainforest, such as the Akurio, Trió, Wayana. Beginning in the 16th century, French and English explorers visited the area. A century Dutch and English settlers established plantation colonies along the many rivers in the fertile Guiana plains.
The earliest documented colony in Guiana was an English settlement named Marshall's Creek along the Suriname River. After that there was another short-lived English colony called Willoughbyland that lasted from 1650 to 1674. Disputes arose between the English for control of this territory. In 1667, during negotiations leading to the Treaty of Breda, the Dutch decided to keep the nascent plantation colony of Suriname they had gained from the English; the English were able to keep New Amsterdam, the main city of the former colony of New Netherland in North America on the mid-Atlantic coast. A cultural and economic hub in those days, they renamed it after the Duke of York: New York City. In 1683, the Society of Suriname was founded by the city of Amsterdam, the Van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck family, the Dutch West India Company; the society was chartered to defend the colony. The planters of the colony relied on African slaves to cultivate and process the commodity crops of coffee, sugar cane and cotton plantations along the rivers.
Planters' treatment of the slaves was notoriously bad—historian C. R. Boxer wrote that "man's inhumanity to man just about reached its limits in Surinam"—and many slaves escaped the plantations. With the help of the native South Americans living in the adjoining rain forests, these runaway slaves established a new and unique culture in the interior, successful in its own right, they were known collectively in English as Maroons, in French as Nèg'Marrons, in Dutch as Marrons. The Maroons developed several independent tribes through a process of ethnogenesis, as they were made up of slaves from different African ethnicities; these tribes include the Saramaka, Ndyuka or Aukan, Aluku or Boni, Matawai. The Maroons raided plantations to recruit new members from the slaves and capture women, as well as to acquire weapons and supplies, they sometimes killed their families in the raids. The colonists mounted armed campaigns against the Maroons, who escaped through the rain forest, which they knew much better than did the colonis