Brazil the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, its most populated city is São Paulo; the federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers, it borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats; this unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system; the ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, eight and PPP measures, it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is that the word "Brazil" comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders in return for assorted European consumer goods; the official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross", but European sailors and merchants called it the "Land of Brazil" because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and supplanted the official Portuguese name; some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots". In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama"; this was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years. The earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago; the pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture. The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 800 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, complex social formations such as chiefdoms. Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people semi-nomadic who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture; the indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups. The Tupí people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, there were many subdivisions of the other gro
Nairobi is the capital and the largest city of Kenya. The name comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi, which translates to "cool water", a reference to the Nairobi River which flows through the city; the city proper had a population of 3,138,369 in the 2009 census, while the metropolitan area has a population of 6,547,547. The city is popularly referred to as the Green City in the Sun. Nairobi was founded in 1899 by the colonial authorities in British East Africa, as a rail depot on the Uganda Railway; the town grew to replace Machakos as the capital of Kenya in 1907. After independence in 1963, Nairobi became the capital of the Republic of Kenya. During Kenya's colonial period, the city became a centre for the colony's coffee and sisal industry; the city lies on the River Athi in the southern part of the country, has an elevation of 1,795 metres above sea level. With a population of 3.36 million in 2011, Nairobi is the second-largest city by population in the African Great Lakes region after Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
According to the 2009 census, in the administrative area of Nairobi, 3,138,295 inhabitants lived within 696 km2. Nairobi is the 10th-largest city including the population of its suburbs. Home to thousands of Kenyan businesses and over 100 major international companies and organisations, including the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Nairobi is an established hub for business and culture; the Nairobi Securities Exchange is one of the largest in Africa and the second-oldest exchange on the continent. It is Africa's fourth-largest exchange in terms of trading volume, capable of making 10 million trades a day. Nairobi is found within the Greater Nairobi Metropolitan region, which consists of 5 out of 47 counties in Kenya, which generates about 60% of the entire nation's GDP; the counties are: Source: NairobiMetro/ Kenya Census The site of Nairobi was part of an uninhabited swamp. The name Nairobi itself comes from the Maasai expression meaning "cool waters", referring to the cold water stream which flowed through the area.
With the arrival of the Uganda Railway, the site was identified by Sir George Whitehouse for a store depot, shunting ground and camping ground for the Indian labourers working on the railway. Whitehouse, chief engineer of the railway, favoured the site as an ideal resting place due to its high elevation, temperate climate and being situated before the steep ascent of the Limuru escarpments, his choice was however criticised by officials within the Protectorate government who felt the site was too flat, poorly drained and infertile. In 1898, Arthur Church was commissioned to design the first town layout for the railway depot, it constituted two streets – Victoria Street and Station Street, ten avenues, staff quarters and an Indian commercial area. The railway arrived at Nairobi on 30 May 1899, soon Nairobi replaced Machakos as the headquarters of the provincial administration for Ukamba province. On the arrival of the railway, Whitehouse remarked that "Nairobi itself will in the course of the next two years become a large and flourishing place and there are many applications for sites for hotels and houses.
The town's early years were however beset with problems of malaria leading to at least one attempt to have the town moved. In the early 1900s, Bazaar Street was rebuilt after an outbreak of plague and the burning of the original town. Between 1902 and 1910, the town's population rose from 5,000 to 16,000 and grew around administration and tourism in the form of big game hunting. In 1907, Nairobi replaced Mombasa as the capital of the East Africa Protectorate. In 1908, a further outbreak of the plague led to Europeans concluding that the cause was unhygienic conditions in the Indian Bazaar; the government responded by restricting lower class Indians and African natives to specific quarters for residence and trade setting a precedent for racial segregation in the commercial sphere. By the outset of the First World War, Nairobi was well established as a European settler colony through immigration and land alienation. In 1919, Nairobi was declared to be a municipality. In 1921, Nairobi had 24,000 residents.
The next decade would see a growth in native African communities into Nairobi, where they would go on to constitute a majority for the first time. In February 1926, colonial officer Eric Dutton passed through Nairobi on his way to Mount Kenya, said of the city: Maybe one day Nairobi will be laid out with tarred roads, with avenues of flowering trees, flanked by noble buildings, and it is fair to say that the Government and the Municipality have bravely tackled the problem and that a town-plan ambitious enough to turn Nairobi into a thing of beauty has been worked out, much has been done. But until that plan has borne fruit, Nairobi must remain what she was a slatternly creature, unfit to queen it over so lovely a country; the continuous expansion of the city began to anger the Maasai, as the city was devouring their land to the south. It angered the Kikuyu people, who wanted the land returned to them. After the end of World War II, this friction developed into the Mau Mau rebellion. Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's future president, was jailed for his involvement though there was no evidence linking him to the rebellion.
The pressure exerted from the locals onto the British resulted in Kenyan independence in 1963, with Nairobi as the capital of the new republic. After independence, Nairobi grew and this growth put pressure on the city's
Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218, it forms the core of the wider urban area of the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; the Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by road. A Viking fishing village established in the 10th century in the vicinity of what is now Gammel Strand, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century. Beginning in the 17th century it consolidated its position as a regional centre of power with its institutions and armed forces. After suffering from the effects of plague and fire in the 18th century, the city underwent a period of redevelopment; this included construction of the prestigious district of Frederiksstaden and founding of such cultural institutions as the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. After further disasters in the early 19th century when Horatio Nelson attacked the Dano-Norwegian fleet and bombarded the city, rebuilding during the Danish Golden Age brought a Neoclassical look to Copenhagen's architecture.
Following the Second World War, the Finger Plan fostered the development of housing and businesses along the five urban railway routes stretching out from the city centre. Since the turn of the 21st century, Copenhagen has seen strong urban and cultural development, facilitated by investment in its institutions and infrastructure; the city is the cultural and governmental centre of Denmark. Copenhagen's economy has seen rapid developments in the service sector through initiatives in information technology and clean technology. Since the completion of the Øresund Bridge, Copenhagen has become integrated with the Swedish province of Scania and its largest city, Malmö, forming the Øresund Region. With a number of bridges connecting the various districts, the cityscape is characterised by parks and waterfronts. Copenhagen's landmarks such as Tivoli Gardens, The Little Mermaid statue, the Amalienborg and Christiansborg palaces, Rosenborg Castle Gardens, Frederik's Church, many museums and nightclubs are significant tourist attractions.
The largest lake of Denmark, Arresø, lies around 27 miles northwest of the City Hall Square. Copenhagen is home to the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen Business School and the IT University of Copenhagen; the University of Copenhagen, founded in 1479, is the oldest university in Denmark. Copenhagen is home to the FC Brøndby football clubs; the annual Copenhagen Marathon was established in 1980. Copenhagen is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world; the Copenhagen Metro launched in 2002 serves central Copenhagen while the Copenhagen S-train, the Lokaltog and the Coast Line network serves and connects central Copenhagen to outlying boroughs. To relieve traffic congestion, the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link road and rail construction is planned, because the narrow 9-9.5 mile isthmus between Roskilde Fjord and Køge Bugt forms a traffic bottleneck. The Copenhagen-Ringsted Line will relieve traffic congestion in the corridor between Roskilde and Copenhagen.
Serving two million passengers a month, Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup, is the busiest airport in the Nordic countries. Copenhagen's name reflects its origin as a place of commerce; the original designation in Old Norse, from which Danish descends, was Kaupmannahǫfn, meaning "merchants' harbour". By the time Old Danish was spoken, the capital was called Køpmannæhafn, with the current name deriving from centuries of subsequent regular sound change. An exact English equivalent would be "chapman's haven". However, the English term for the city was adapted from Kopenhagen. Although the earliest historical records of Copenhagen are from the end of the 12th century, recent archaeological finds in connection with work on the city's metropolitan rail system revealed the remains of a large merchant's mansion near today's Kongens Nytorv from c. 1020. Excavations in Pilestræde have led to the discovery of a well from the late 12th century; the remains of an ancient church, with graves dating to the 11th century, have been unearthed near where Strøget meets Rådhuspladsen.
These finds indicate. Substantial discoveries of flint tools in the area provide evidence of human settlements dating to the Stone Age. Many historians believe the town dates to the late Viking Age, was founded by Sweyn I Forkbeard; the natural harbour and good herring stocks seem to have attracted fishermen and merchants to the area on a seasonal basis from the 11th century and more permanently in the 13th century. The first habitations were centred on Gammel Strand in the 11thcentury or earlier; the earliest written mention of the town was in the 12th century when Saxo Grammaticus in Gesta Danorum referred to it as Portus
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain and the Balkans; the urban area of the City of Belgrade has a population of 1.23 million, while nearly 1.7 million people live within its administrative limits. One of the most important prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, evolved within the Belgrade area in the 6th millennium BC. In antiquity, Thraco–Dacians inhabited the region and, after 279 BC, Celts settled the city, naming it Singidūn, it was conquered by the Romans under the reign of Augustus and awarded Roman city rights in the mid-2nd century. It was settled by the Slavs in the 520s, changed hands several times between the Byzantine Empire, the Frankish Empire, the Bulgarian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary before it became the seat of the Serbian king Stefan Dragutin. In 1521, Belgrade was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and became the seat of the Sanjak of Smederevo.
It passed from Ottoman to Habsburg rule, which saw the destruction of most of the city during the Austro-Ottoman wars. Belgrade was again named the capital of Serbia in 1841. Northern Belgrade remained the southernmost Habsburg post until 1918. In a fatally strategic position, the city was razed 44 times. Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from its creation in 1918 to its dissolution in 2006. Belgrade has special administrative status within Serbia and it is one of the five statistical regions that make up the country, its metropolitan territory is divided into each with its own local council. The city of Belgrade covers 3.6% of Serbia's territory, around 24% of the country's population lives within its administrative limits. It is classified as a Beta-Global City. Chipped stone tools found in Zemun show that the area around Belgrade was inhabited by nomadic foragers in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras; some of these tools are of Mousterian industry—belonging to Neanderthals rather than modern humans.
Aurignacian and Gravettian tools have been discovered near the area, indicating some settlement between 50,000 and 20,000 years ago. The first farming people to settle in the region are associated with the Neolithic Starčevo culture, which flourished between 6200 and 5200 BC. There are several Starčevo sites including the eponymous site of Starčevo; the Starčevo culture was succeeded by the Vinča culture, a more sophisticated farming culture that grew out of the earlier Starčevo settlements and named for a site in the Belgrade region. The Vinča culture is known for its large settlements, one of the earliest settlements by continuous habitation and some of the largest in prehistoric Europe. Associated with the Vinča culture are anthropomorphic figurines such as the Lady of Vinča, the earliest known copper metallurgy in Europe, a proto-writing form developed prior to the Sumerians and Minoans known as the Old European script, which dates back to around 5300 BC. Within the city proper, on Cetinjska Street, a skull of a Paleolithic human was discovered in 1890.
The skull is dated to before 5000 BC. Evidence of early knowledge about Belgrade's geographical location comes from a variety of ancient myths and legends; the ridge overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, for example, has been identified as one of the places in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. In the time of antiquity, the area was populated by Paleo-Balkan tribes, including the Thracians and the Dacians, who ruled much of Belgrade's surroundings. Belgrade was at one point inhabited by the Thraco-Dacian tribe Singi. In 34–33 BC, the Roman army, led by Silanus, reached Belgrade, it became the romanised Singidunum in the 1st century AD and, by the mid-2nd century, the city was proclaimed a municipium by the Roman authorities, evolving into a full-fledged colonia by the end of the century. While the first Christian Emperor of Rome —Constantine I known as Constantine the Great—was born in the territory of Naissus to the city's south, Roman Christianity's champion, Flavius Iovianus, was born in Singidunum.
Jovian reestablished Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, ending the brief revival of traditional Roman religions under his predecessor Julian the Apostate. In 395 AD, the site passed to the Eastern Byzantine Empire. Across the Sava from Singidunum was the Celtic city of Taurunum. In 442, the area was ravaged by Attila the Hun. In 471, it was taken by king of the Ostrogoths, who continued into Italy; as the Ostrogoths left, another Germanic tribe, the Gepids, invaded the city. In 539 it was retaken by the Byzantines. In 577, some 100,000 Slavs poured into Thrace and Illyricum, pillaging cities and more permanently settling the region; the Avars, under Bayan I, conquered the whole region and its new Slavic population by 582. Following Byzantine reconquest, the Byzantine chronicle De Administrando Imperio mentions the White Serbs, who had stopped in Belgrade on their way back home, asking the strategos for lands. In 829, Khan Omurtag was able to add its environs to the First Bulgarian Empire.
The first record of the name Belograd appeared on April, 16th, 878, in
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
Tokyo Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world; the urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603, it became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is referred to as a city but is known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo; the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo were Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, it merged with Tokyo Prefecture and became Tokyo Metropolis with an additional 26 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture, the Izu islands and Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo.
The population of the special wards is over 9 million people, with the total population of Tokyo Metropolis exceeding 13.8 million. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area called the Greater Tokyo Area with over 38 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy; as of 2011, Tokyo hosted 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world at that time. Tokyo ranked third in the International Financial Centres Development Index; the city is home to various television networks such as Fuji TV, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, Nippon Television, NHK and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. Tokyo third in the Global Cities Index; the GaWC's 2018 inventory classified Tokyo as an alpha+ world city – and as of 2014 TripAdvisor's World City Survey ranked Tokyo first in its "Best overall experience" category. As of 2018 Tokyo ranked as the 2nd-most expensive city for expatriates, according to the Mercer consulting firm, and the world's 11th-most expensive city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's cost-of-living survey.
In 2015, Tokyo was named the Most Liveable City in the world by the magazine Monocle. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo was ranked first out of all sixty cities in the 2017 Safe Cities Index; the QS Best Student Cities ranked Tokyo as the 3rd-best city in the world to be a university student in 2016 and 2nd in 2018. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, the 1979 G-7 summit, the 1986 G-7 summit, the 1993 G-7 summit, will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics. Tokyo was known as Edo, which means "estuary", its name was changed to Tokyo when it became the imperial capital with the arrival of Emperor Meiji in 1868, in line with the East Asian tradition of including the word capital in the name of the capital city. During the early Meiji period, the city was called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same characters representing "Tokyo", making it a kanji homograph; some surviving official English documents use the spelling "Tokei".
The name Tokyo was first suggested in 1813 in the book Kondō Hisaku, written by Satō Nobuhiro. When Ōkubo Toshimichi proposed the renaming to the government during the Meiji Restoration, according to Oda Kanshi, he got the idea from that book. Tokyo was a small fishing village named Edo, in what was part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified in the late twelfth century. In 1457, Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu was transferred from Mikawa Province to Kantō region; when he became shōgun in 1603, Edo became the center of his ruling. During the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century, but Edo was Tokugawa's home and was not capital of Japan. The Emperor himself lived in Kyoto from 794 to 1868 as capital of Japan. During the Edo era, the city enjoyed a prolonged period of peace known as the Pax Tokugawa, in the presence of such peace, Edo adopted a stringent policy of seclusion, which helped to perpetuate the lack of any serious military threat to the city.
The absence of war-inflicted devastation allowed Edo to devote the majority of its resources to rebuilding in the wake of the consistent fires and other devastating natural disasters that plagued the city. However, this prolonged period of seclusion came to an end with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853. Commodore Perry forced the opening of the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate, leading to an increase in the demand for new foreign goods and subsequently a severe rise in inflation. Social unrest mounted in the wake of these higher prices and culminated in widespread rebellions and demonstrations in the form of the "smashing" of rice establishments. Meanwhile, supporters of the Meiji Emperor leveraged the disruption that t