Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms. Socialist systems are divided into market forms. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money with engineering and technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them.
Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm, or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend. The socialist calculation debate concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system. Socialist politics has been both nationalist in orientation. Originating within the socialist movement, social democracy has embraced a mixed economy with a market that includes substantial state intervention in the form of income redistribution, a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism where there is more decentralized control of companies, currencies and natural resources; the socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production.
By the 1920s, social democracy and communism had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement. By this time, socialism emerged as "the most influential secular movement of the twentieth century, worldwide, it is a political ideology, a wide and divided political movement" and while the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, some socialists have adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism and progressivism. In 21st century America, the term socialism, without clear definition, has become a pejorative used by conservatives to taint liberal and progressive policies and public figures.
For Andrew Vincent, "he word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share. The related, more technical term in Roman and medieval law was societas; this latter word could mean companionship and fellowship as well as the more legalistic idea of a consensual contract between freemen". The term "socialism" was created by Henri de Saint-Simon, one of the founders of what would be labelled "utopian socialism". Simon coined the term as a contrast to the liberal doctrine of "individualism", which stressed that people act or should act as if they are in isolation from one another; the original "utopian" socialists condemned liberal individualism for failing to address social concerns during the industrial revolution, including poverty, social oppression and gross inequalities in wealth, thus viewing liberal individualism as degenerating society into supporting selfish egoism that harmed community life through promoting a society based on competition. They presented socialism as an alternative to liberal individualism based on the shared ownership of resources, although their proposals for socialism differed significantly.
Saint-Simon proposed economic planning, scientific administration and the application of modern scientific advancements to the organisation of society. By contrast, Robert Owen proposed the organisation of ownership in cooperatives; the term "socialism" is attributed to Pierre Leroux and to Marie Roch Louis Reybaud in France. The modern definition and usage of "socialism" settled by the 1860s, becoming the predominant term among the group of words "co-operative", "mutualist" and "associationist", used as synonyms; the term "communism" fell out of use during this period, despite earlier distinctions between socialism and communism from the 1840s. An early distinction between socialism and communism was that the former aimed to only socialise production while the latter aimed to socialise both production and consumption. However, M
Labour Party (Netherlands)
The Labour Party is a social democratic political party in the Netherlands. The party was founded in 1946 as a merger of the Social Democratic Workers' Party, the Free-thinking Democratic League, the Christian Democratic Union. Prime Ministers from the Labour Party have been Willem Drees, Joop den Uyl, Wim Kok. From 2012 to 2017, the PvdA formed the second largest parliamental faction and was the junior partner in the Second Rutte cabinet with the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy. Since 2016, Lodewijk Asscher has been Leader of the Labour Party; the party fell to only nine seats in the House of Representatives at the 2017 general election, making it only the seventh-largest faction in the chamber–its worst showing ever. The Labour Party is a member of the European Party of European Socialists and the global Progressive Alliance. In the European Parliament, where the Labour Party has 3 seats, it is part of the parliamentary group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. During the German Occupation of the Netherlands in the Second World War a group of prominent Dutchmen of all democratic political ideologies were interned as hostages in St. Michielsgestel by the German occupation authorities.
They came to the consensus that the pre-war fragmentation of Dutch political life, known as "Pillarization," should be overcome after the war in a so-called doorbraak. These people formed the Dutch People's Movement after the war ended in 1945; the new movement promoted the foundation of the Labour Party ) on 9 February 1946, through a merger of three pre-war parties: the Social Democratic Workers' Party, the social liberal Free-thinking Democratic League and progressive-Protestant Christian Democratic Union. They were joined by individuals from Catholic resistance group Christofoor, as well as some of the more progressive members of the Protestant parties Christian Historical Union and Anti-Revolutionary Party; the founding Congress was chaired by NVB-member Willem Banning. The founders of the PvdA wanted to create a broad party, breaking with the historic tradition of pillarisation; the party combined socialists with progressive Christians. However, the party was unable to break pillarisation.
Instead the new party renewed. In 1948 some of the left-liberal members, led by former VDB leader Pieter Oud, left the PvdA after concluding it had become too socialist for their liking. Together with the Freedom Party, they formed the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, a conservative liberal party. Between 1946 and 1958, the PvdA led coalition governments with the Catholic People's Party, combinations of VVD, ARP and CHU, with the PvdA's Willem Drees as prime minister; the KVP and the PvdA together had a large majority in parliament. Under his leadership the Netherlands recovered from the war, began to build its welfare state and Indonesia became independent. After the cabinet crisis of 1958, the PvdA was replaced by the VVD; the PvdA was in opposition until 1965. The electoral support of PvdA voters began to decline. In 1965 a conflict in the KVP-ARP-CHU-VVD cabinet made continuation of the government impossible; the three confessional, Christian-influenced parties turned towards the PvdA.
Together they formed the Cals cabinet, with KVP leader Jo Cals as prime minister. This cabinet was short lived and conflict ridden; the conflicts culminated in the fall of the Cals cabinet over economic policy. Meanwhile, a younger generation was attempting to gain control of the PvdA. A group of young PvdA members, calling themselves the New Left, changed the party; the New Left believed the party should become oriented towards the new social movements, adopting their anti-parliamentary strategies and their issues, such as women's liberation, environmental conservation and Third World development. Prominent New Left members were André van der Louw and Bram Peper. One of their early victories followed the fall of the Cals cabinet; the party Congress adopted a motion that made it impossible for the PvdA to govern with the KVP and its Protestant allies. In response to the growing power of the New Left group, a group of older, centrist party members, led by Willem Drees' son, Willem Drees, Jr. founded the New Right.
They split in 1970, after it was clear that they had lost the conflict with the New Left, founded a new moderate Social Democratic party, Democratic Socialists'70. Under the New Left, the PvdA started a strategy of polarisation, striving for a cabinet based on a progressive majority in parliament. In order to form that cabinet the PvdA allied itself with the social liberal party Democrats 66 and the progressive Christian Political Party of Radicals; the alliance was called the Progressive Accord. In the 1971 and 1972 elections, these three parties promised to form a cabinet with a radical common programme after the elections, they were unable to gain a majority in either election. In 1971, they were kept out of cabinet, the party of former PvdA members, DS70, became a partner of the First Biesheuvel cabinet. In the 1972 elections, neither the PvdA and its allies or the KVP and its allies were able to gain a majority; the two sides were forced to work together. Joop den Uyl, the leader of the PvdA, led the cabinet.
The cabinet was an extra-parliamentary cabinet and it was composed of members of the three progressive parties and members of the KVP and the ARP. The cabinet attempted to radically reform government and the economy, a wide range
Labour Party (Malta)
The Labour Party known as the Malta Labour Party, is a social-democratic political party in Malta. Along with the Nationalist Party, the Labour Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in Malta. Since the March 2013 general election, the party has been the governing party in the Maltese House of Representatives; the Labour Party is a member of the Party of European Socialists, was a member of the Socialist International until December 2014. The Party structures are the General Conference, the National Executive, the Leader and the Deputy Leaders, the Party Congress, the Party Administration, the Parliamentary Group, the Councillors' Section, the District and the Regional Administrations, the Local Committees and the Branches; the General Conference is made up of delegates from the Party's other constituent structures and is the Party's highest organ. The National Executive brings together the Party Administration as well as elected representatives of other constituent structures and co-ordinators.
The Party Congress is made up of all members of the Party and elects the Leader and the two Deputy Leaders and determines the Party's broad policy outlines. The Party Administration is made of the Party Deputy Leaders and Party officials; the Parliamentary Group and the Councillors' Section bring together the Party's elected representatives in parliament and local councils. The Party is organised geographically in the local committees and district and regional administrations; the Branches of the Party include the women's, youth and candidates' sections. Although not formally part of the Party's structures, the PL owns a number of media and communication outlets; the party directly owns the Sunday weekly newspaper Kullħadd and through its holding company One Productions the party owns the television station One and radio service One Radio. The Labour Party was founded as the Chamber of Labour in 1921 by one of the union branches affiliated with the Imperial Government Workers Union. Band clubs and other organisations were invited to send delegates to the Party's founding meeting on 15 March 1921 the 30th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum novarum.
Led by Colonel William Savona, the Party contested the general elections held in 1921 and 1924 under the new Constitution that gave the country a measure of self-government. The Labour-Constitutional alliance won the 1927 general elections, but Labour lost ground, gaining 13.9% of votes, three seats in the Legislative Assembly and no representation in the Senate. Strickland became Prime Minister. Labour leader Savona was not elected, the leadership of the Labour parliamentary group was temporarily entrusted to Colonel Michael Dundon; the Presidency of the Party and leadership of the parliamentary group was taken up by Paul Boffa that year. Labour gained nine seats out of ten in the elections held during November, 1945, in which, contrarily to previous elections, all men over twenty-one years of age were entitled to vote; the Party's electoral programme, for the first time in Labour's history, did not make any reference to religion. Boffa's Government was supported by the General Workers' Union, it carried out a number of reforms, such as the abolition of the Senate, the abolition of plural votes, as well as the introduction of women's right to vote.
However, Labour deputies resigned from their posts in July 1946 due to mass redundancies at the Dockyards. In the meantime, the'MacMichael Constitution' had been introduced, granting self-government to the Maltese. Labour's participation in the subsequent October, 1947 elections was once again supported by the General Workers' Union; the Party won 59.9% of the vote and twenty-four seats out of the possible forty within the Legislative Assembly. Paul Boffa became Prime Minister whilst Dom Mintoff became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reconstruction; the Labour Government introduced Social Services for the first time in Malta. The Labour Party was re-founded in 1949 as a successor to the Labour Party founded in 1921. Paul Boffa, Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister since 1947, resigned and left the party because of serious disagreements with his Deputy Dom Mintoff which had led to a series of cabinet crises. Boffa formed the Malta Workers Party while Mintoff re-organized the Labour Party as the Malta Labour Party.
The Malta Labour Party contested its first elections for the Malta Legislative Assembly the following year. The old Labour vote was split between the MLP and the MWP, giving them eleven members each; this allowed the Nationalist Party to have a slight edge in the formation of a government, which it did in coalition with the MWP. The government did not last long. Two other elections were held in 1951 and 1953 which both saw short-lived PN-MWP coalitions and the decline in the share of votes to the MWP with increasing support for the Labour Party; the MWP disintegrated and the MLP formed a government for the first time in 1955. This legislature was dominated by the issue of integration with the United Kingdom; the party, which started its life as an anti-colonial party with the slogan "Integration or self-determination" was now inclined towards the first part of the formula. A referendum was held in 1956 but given the number of abstentions and massive opposition by the Nationalist Party and the Catholic Church, the result was inconclusive.
This, together with a number of dismissals at the naval dockyard led to Mintoff's resignation and his call for massive protests in April 1958. The Governor re-established direct colonial government which lasted until 1962. In
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is a major centre-left political party in Australia. The party has been in opposition at the federal level since the 2013 election. Bill Shorten has been the party's federal parliamentary leader since 13 October 2013; the party is a federal party with branches in each territory. Labor is in government in the states of Victoria, Western Australia, in both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory; the party competes against the Liberal/National Coalition for political office at the federal and state levels. It is the oldest political party in Australia. Labor's constitution has long stated: "The Australian Labor Party is a democratic socialist party and has the objective of the democratic socialisation of industry, production and exchange, to the extent necessary to eliminate exploitation and other anti-social features in these fields"; this "socialist objective" was introduced in 1921, but was qualified by two further objectives: "maintenance of and support for a competitive non-monopolistic private sector" and "the right to own private property".
Labor governments have not attempted the "democratic socialisation" of any industry since the 1940s, when the Chifley Government failed to nationalise the private banks, in fact have privatised several industries such as aviation and banking. Labor's current National Platform describes the party as "a modern social democratic party"; the ALP was not founded as a federal party until after the first sitting of the Australian Parliament in 1901. It is regarded as descended from labour parties founded in the various Australian colonies by the emerging labour movement in Australia, formally beginning in 1891. Labor is thus the country's oldest political party. Colonial labour parties contested seats from 1891, federal seats following Federation at the 1901 federal election; the ALP formed the world's first Labour Party government, as well as the world's first social democratic government at a national level. Labor was the first party in Australia to win a majority in either house of the Australian Parliament, at the 1910 federal election.
The Australian Labor Party at both a federal and state/colony level predates, among others, both the British Labour Party and the New Zealand Labour Party in party formation and policy implementation. Internationally, the ALP is a member of the Progressive Alliance network of social-democratic parties, having been a member of the Socialist International. In standard Australian English, the word "labour" is spelled with a ⟨u⟩. However, the political party uses the spelling "Labor", without a ⟨u⟩. There was no standardised spelling of the party's name, with "Labor" and "Labour" both in common usage. According to Ross McMullin, who wrote an official history of the Labor Party, the title page of the proceedings of Federal Conference used the spelling "Labor" in 1902, "Labour" in 1905 and 1908, "Labor" from 1912 onwards. In 1908, James Catts put forward a motion at Federal Conference that "the name of the party be the Australian Labour Party", carried by 22 votes to two. A separate motion recommending state branches to adopt the name was defeated.
There was no uniformity of party names until 1918, when Federal Conference resolved that state branches should adopt the name "Australian Labor Party" – now spelled without a ⟨u⟩. Each state branch had used a different name, due to their different origins. Despite the ALP adopting the spelling without a ⟨u⟩, it took decades for the official spelling to achieve widespread acceptance. In 1954, Labor MP Ted Johnson complained in the Parliament of Western Australia that both Hansard and the daily newspapers were still using the spelling "Labour"; as late as the 1980s, historian Finlay Crisp used the spelling "Labour" in academic works about the party. McMullin has observed that "the way the spelling of'Labor Party' was consolidated had more to do with the chap who ended up being in charge of printing the federal conference report than any other reason"; some sources have attributed the official decision to use "Labor" to King O'Malley, born in the United States and was reputedly an advocate of spelling reform.
It has been suggested that the adoption of the spelling without a ⟨u⟩ "signified one of the ALP's earliest attempts at modernisation", served the purpose of differentiating the party from the Australian labour movement as a whole and distinguishing it from other British Empire labour parties. The decision to include the word "Australian" in the party's name – rather than just "Labour Party" as in the United Kingdom – has been attributed to "the greater importance of nationalism for the founders of the colonial parties"; the Australian Labor Party has its origins in the Labour parties founded in the 1890s in the Australian colonies prior to federation. Labor tradition ascribes the founding of Queensland Labour to a meeting of striking pastoral workers under a ghost gum tree in Barcaldine, Queensland in 1891; the Balmain, New South Wales branch of the party claims to be the oldest in Australia. Labour as a parliamentary party dates from 1891 in New South Wales and South Australia, 1893 in Queensland, in the other colonies.
The first election contested by Labour candidates was the 1891 New South Wales election, when Labour candidates won 35 of 141 seats. The major parties were the Protectionist and Free Trade parties and Labour held the balance of power, it offered parliamentary support in exchange for policy concessions. The United Labor Party of
Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, is mentally, physically or morally harmful. Such exploitation is prohibited by legislation worldwide, although these laws do not consider all work by children as child labour. Child labour has existed to varying extents throughout history. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, many children aged 5–14 from poorer families worked in Western nations and their colonies alike; these children worked in agriculture, home-based assembly operations, factories and services such as news boys—some worked night shifts lasting 12 hours. With the rise of household income, availability of schools and passage of child labour laws, the incidence rates of child labour fell. In the world's poorest countries, around 1 in 4 children are engaged in child labour, the highest number of whom live in sub-saharan Africa. In 2017, four African nations witnessed over 50 percent of children aged 5–14 working.
Worldwide agriculture is the largest employer of child labour. The vast majority of child labour is found in informal urban economies. Poverty and lack of schools are considered the primary cause of child labour. Globally the incidence of child labour decreased from 25% to 10% between 1960 and 2003, according to the World Bank; the total number of child labourers remains high, with UNICEF and ILO acknowledging an estimated 168 million children aged 5–17 worldwide were involved in child labour in 2013. Child labour forms an intrinsic part of pre-industrial economies. In pre-industrial societies, there is a concept of childhood in the modern sense. Children begin to participate in activities such as child rearing and farming as soon as they are competent. In many societies, children as young as 13 are seen as adults and engage in the same activities as adults; the work of children was important in pre-industrial societies, as children needed to provide their labour for their survival and that of their group.
Pre-industrial societies were characterised by low productivity and short life expectancy, preventing children from participating in productive work would be more harmful to their welfare and that of their group in the long run. In pre-industrial societies, there was little need for children to attend school; this is the case in non literate societies. Most pre-industrial skill and knowledge were amenable to being passed down through direct mentoring or apprenticing by competent adults. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution in Britain in the late 18th century, there was a rapid increase in the industrial exploitation of labour, including child labour. Industrial cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool grew from small villages into large cities and improving child mortality rates; these cities drew in the population, growing due to increased agricultural output. This process was replicated in other industrialising countries; the Victorian era in particular became notorious for the conditions under which children were employed.
Children as young as four were employed in production factories and mines working long hours in dangerous fatal, working conditions. In coal mines, children would crawl through tunnels too low for adults. Children worked as errand boys, crossing sweepers, shoe blacks, or selling matches and other cheap goods; some children undertook work as apprentices to respectable trades, such as building or as domestic servants. Working hours were long: builders worked 64 hours a week in summer and 52 in winter, while domestic servants worked 80-hour weeks. Child labour played an important role in the Industrial Revolution from its outset brought about by economic hardship; the children of the poor were expected to contribute to their family income. In 19th-century Great Britain, one-third of poor families were without a breadwinner, as a result of death or abandonment, obliging many children to work from a young age. In England and Scotland in 1788, two-thirds of the workers in 143 water-powered cotton mills were described as children.
A high number of children worked as prostitutes. The author Charles Dickens worked at the age of 12 in a blacking factory, with his family in debtor's prison. Child wages were low. Karl Marx was an outspoken opponent of child labour, saying British industries, "could but live by sucking blood, children’s blood too," and that U. S. capital was financed by the "capitalized blood of children". Letitia Elizabeth Landon castigated child labour in her 1835 poem The Factory, portions of which she pointedly included in her 18th Birthday Tribute to Princess Victoria in 1837. Throughout the second half of the 19th century, child labour began to decline in industrialised societies due to regulation and economic factors because of the Growth of Trade Unions; the regulation of child labour began from the earliest days of the Industrial revolution. The first act to regulate child labour in Britain was passed in 1803; as early as 1802 and 1819 Factory Acts were passed to regulate the working hours of workhouse children in factories and cotton mills to 12 hours per day.
These acts were ineffective and after radical agitation, by for example the "Short Time Committees" in 1831
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