Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names; the modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a large and powerful military. Most European nations copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and transfer to the reserve force. Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country, seeking asylum in another country. Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or outside the military, such as Siviilipalvelus in Finland, Zivildienst in Austria and Switzerland.
Several countries conscript male soldiers not only for armed forces, but for paramilitary agencies, which are dedicated to police-like domestic only service like Internal Troops, Border Guards or non-combat rescue duties like Civil defence troops – none of, considered alternative to the military conscription. As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers enlisted to meet the demand for troops; the ability to rely on such an arrangement, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities. Many states that have abolished conscription therefore still reserve the power to resume it during wartime or times of crisis. States involved in wars or interstate rivalries are most to implement conscription, whereas democracies are less than autocracies to implement conscription. Former British colonies are less to have conscription, as they are influenced by British anticonscription norms that can be traced back to the English Civil War.
Around the reign of Hammurabi, the Babylonian Empire used. Under that system those eligible were required to serve in the royal army in time of war. During times of peace they were instead required to provide labour for other activities of the state. In return for this service, people subject to it gained the right to hold land, it is possible that this right was not to hold land per se but specific land supplied by the state. Various forms of avoiding military service are recorded. While it was outlawed by the Code of Hammurabi, the hiring of substitutes appears to have been practiced both before and after the creation of the code. Records show that Ilkum commitments could become traded. In other places, people left their towns to avoid their Ilkum service. Another option was to sell Ilkum lands and the commitments along with them. With the exception of a few exempted classes, this was forbidden by the Code of Hammurabi. In medieval Scandinavia the leiðangr, leding, lichting, expeditio or sometimes leþing, was a levy of free farmers conscripted into coastal fleets for seasonal excursions and in defence of the realm.
The bulk of the Anglo-Saxon English army, called the fyrd, was composed of part-time English soldiers drawn from the freemen of each county. In the 690s Laws of Ine, three levels of fines are imposed on different social classes for neglecting military service; some modern writers claim. These thegns were the land-holding aristocracy of the time and were required to serve with their own armour and weapons for a certain number of days each year; the historian David Sturdy has cautioned about regarding the fyrd as a precursor to a modern national army composed of all ranks of society, describing it as a "ridiculous fantasy":The persistent old belief that peasants and small farmers gathered to form a national army or fyrd is a strange delusion dreamt up by antiquarians in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries to justify universal military conscription. Medieval levy in Poland was known as the pospolite ruszenie; the system of military slaves was used in the Middle East, beginning with the creation of the corps of Turkish slave-soldiers by the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tasim in the 820s and 830s.
The Turkish troops soon came to dominate the government, establishing a pattern throughout the Islamic world of a ruling military class separated by ethnicity and religion by the mass of the population, a paradigm that found its apogee in the Mamluks of Egypt and the Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire, institutions that survived until the early 19th century. In the middle of the 14th century, Ottoman Sultan Murad I developed personal troops to be loyal to him, with a slave army called the Kapıkulu; the new force was built by taking Christian children from newly conquered lands from the far areas of his empire, in a system known as the devşirme. The captive children were forced to convert to Islam; the Sultans had the young boys trained over several years. Those who showed special promise in fighting skills were trained in advanced warrior skills, put into the sultan's personal service, turned into the Janissaries, the elite branch of the Kapıkulu. A n
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Taiwan the Republic of China, is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the northeast, the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state and largest economy, not a member of the United Nations; the island of Taiwan was inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before the 17th century, when Dutch colonialists opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, ceded to Japan in 1895. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Republic of China, which had overthrown and succeeded the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan; the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the loss of the mainland to the Communists and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC government continued to claim to be the legitimate representative of China, since 1950 its effective jurisdiction has been limited to Taiwan and several small islands.
In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of industrialisation. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system; as a founding member, the ROC represented China in the UN until it was replaced by the PRC in 1971. The PRC has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognises the ROC; as of 2019, Taiwan maintains official ties with 16 out of 193 UN member states. Most international organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Most major powers maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. In Taiwan, the major political division is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a Chinese identity contrasted with those aspiring to independence and promoting a Taiwanese identity, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal.
Taiwan is a high-income advanced economy, with a skilled and educated workforce. It has the 22nd-largest economy in the world, its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy, it is urbanised, is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with most of the population concentrated on the western coast. The state is ranked in terms of civil and political liberties, health care and human development. Various names for the island of Taiwan remain in use today, each derived from explorers or rulers during a particular historical period; the name Formosa dates from 1542, when Portuguese sailors sighted an uncharted island and noted it on their maps as Ilha Formosa. The name Formosa "replaced all others in European literature" and remained in common use among English speakers into the 20th century. In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia on a coastal sandbar called "Tayouan", after their ethnonym for a nearby Taiwanese aboriginal tribe Taivoan people, written by the Dutch and Portuguese variously as Taiouwang, Teijoan, etc.
This name was adopted into the Chinese vernacular as the name of the sandbar and nearby area. The modern word "Taiwan" is derived from this usage, seen in various forms in Chinese historical records; the area occupied by modern-day Tainan represented the first permanent settlement by both European colonists and Chinese immigrants. The settlement grew to be the island's most important trading centre and served as its capital until 1887. Use of the current Chinese name became official as early as 1684 with the establishment of Taiwan Prefecture. Through its rapid development the entire Formosan mainland became known as "Taiwan". In his Daoyi Zhilüe, Wang Dayuan used "Liuqiu" as a name for the island of Taiwan, or the part of it closest to Penghu. Elsewhere, the name was used for the Ryukyu Islands in general or Okinawa, the largest of them; the name appears in the Book of Sui and other early works, but scholars cannot agree on whether these references are to the Ryukyus, Taiwan or Luzon. The official name of the state is the "Republic of China".
Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne, the name was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state during the Qing era. During the 1950s and 1960s, after the government had withdrawn to Taiwan upon losing the Chinese Civil War, it was referred to as "Nationalist China" to differentiate it from "Communist China", it was a member of the United Nations representing "China" until 1971, when it lost its seat to the People's Republic of China. Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become known as "Taiwan", after the island that comprises 99% of the territory under its control. In some contexts ROC government publications, the name is written as "
Colombia the Republic of Colombia, is a sovereign state situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru, it shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Colombia is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments, with the capital in Bogota. Colombia has been inhabited by various indigenous peoples since 12,000 BCE, including the Muisca and the Tairona, along with the Inca Empire that expanded to the southwest of the country; the Spanish arrived in 1499 and by the mid-16th century conquered and colonized much of the region, establishing the New Kingdom of Granada, with Santafé de Bogotá as its capital. Independence from Spain was achieved in 1819, but by 1830 the "Gran Colombia" Federation was dissolved, with what is now Colombia and Panama emerging as the Republic of New Granada.
The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation, the United States of Colombia, before the Republic of Colombia was declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903. Beginning in the 1960s, the country suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict and rampant political violence, both of which escalated in the 1990s. Since 2005, there has been significant improvement in security and rule of law. Colombia is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world, with its rich cultural heritage reflecting influences by indigenous peoples, European settlement, forced African migration, immigration from Europe and the Middle East. Urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains and the Caribbean coast. Colombia is among the world's 17 megadiverse countries, the most densely biodiverse per square kilometer. Colombia is a middle power and regional actor in Latin America, it is part of the CIVETS group of six leading emerging markets and a member of the UN, the WTO, the OAS, the Pacific Alliance, other international organizations.
Colombia's diversified economy is the fourth largest in Latin America, with macroeconomic stability and favorable long-term growth prospects. The name "Colombia" is derived from the last name of Christopher Columbus, it was conceived by the Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda as a reference to all the New World, but to those portions under Spanish rule. The name was adopted by the Republic of Colombia of 1819, formed from the territories of the old Viceroyalty of New Granada; when Venezuela and Cundinamarca came to exist as independent states, the former Department of Cundinamarca adopted the name "Republic of New Granada". New Granada changed its name in 1858 to the Granadine Confederation. In 1863 the name was again changed, this time to United States of Colombia, before adopting its present name – the Republic of Colombia – in 1886. To refer to this country, the Colombian government uses the terms Colombia and República de Colombia. Owing to its location, the present territory of Colombia was a corridor of early human migration from Mesoamerica and the Caribbean to the Andes and Amazon basin.
The oldest archaeological finds are from the Pubenza and El Totumo sites in the Magdalena Valley 100 kilometres southwest of Bogotá. These sites date from the Paleoindian period. At Puerto Hormiga and other sites, traces from the Archaic Period have been found. Vestiges indicate that there was early occupation in the regions of El Abra and Tequendama in Cundinamarca; the oldest pottery discovered in the Americas, found at San Jacinto, dates to 5000–4000 BCE. Indigenous people inhabited the territory, now Colombia by 12,500 BCE. Nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes at the El Abra, Tibitó and Tequendama sites near present-day Bogotá traded with one another and with other cultures from the Magdalena River Valley. Between 5000 and 1000 BCE, hunter-gatherer tribes transitioned to agrarian societies. Beginning in the 1st millennium BCE, groups of Amerindians including the Muisca, Zenú, Tairona developed the political system of cacicazgos with a pyramidal structure of power headed by caciques; the Muisca inhabited the area of what is now the Departments of Boyacá and Cundinamarca high plateau where they formed the Muisca Confederation.
They farmed maize, potato and cotton, traded gold, blankets, ceramic handicrafts and rock salt with neighboring nations. The Tairona inhabited northern Colombia in the isolated mountain range of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta; the Quimbaya inhabited regions of the Cauca River Valley between the Western and Central Ranges of the Colombian Andes. Most of the Amerindians practiced agriculture and the social structure of each indigenous community was different; some groups of indigenous people such as the Caribs lived in a state of permanent war, but others had less bellicose attitudes. The Incas expanded their empire onto the southwest part of the country. Alonso de Ojeda reached the Guajira Peninsula in 1499. Spanish explorers, led by Rodrigo de Bastidas, made the first exploration
A combat engineer is a soldier who performs a variety of construction and demolition tasks under combat conditions. The combat engineer's goals involve facilitating movement and support of friendly forces while impeding those of the enemy. Combat engineers build fighting positions and roads, they conduct clear minefields using specialized vehicles. Typical combat engineer missions include construction and breaching of trenches, tank traps and other fortifications. A combat engineer is trained as an infantryman, combat engineer units have a secondary role fighting as infantry. A general combat engineer is called a pioneer or sapper, terms derived from the French and British armies. In some armies and sapper indicate specific military ranks and levels of combat engineers, who work under fire in all seasons, may be allocated to different corps, as they were in the former Soviet Army, or they may be organized in the same corps. Geomatics is another area of military engineering but is performed by the combat engineers of some nations and in other cases is a separate responsibility, as was the case in the Australian Army.
While the officers of a combat engineering unit may be professionally certified civil or mechanical engineers, the non-commissioned members are not. Sapper: In the U. S. British, Canadian and New Zealand armies, is a soldier who has specialized combat engineer training. In the Israeli Defence Forces, Sapper is a military profession code denoting a combat engineer who has graduated from various levels of combat engineering training. Sapper 05 is the basic level, Sapper 06 is the general level, Sapper 08 is the combat engineer commander's level and Sapper 11 is the combat engineer officer level. All IDF sappers are trained as Rifleman 07, matching infantry. In the Canadian Army, is a term for soldiers that have completed the basic Combat Engineer training. In the Portuguese Army, a sapador de engenharia is a soldier of the engineering branch that has specialized combat engineer training. A sapador de infantaria is a soldier of the infantry branch that has a similar training and that serves in the combat support sapper platoon of an infantry battalion.
The Italian Army uses the term "Guastatori" for their combat engineers. Pioneer: In the Finnish army, pioneeri is the private equivalent rank in the army for a soldier who has completed the basic combat engineering training. Naval engineers bear the pioneeri insignia on their sleeves; the German Bundeswehr uses the term "Pionier" for their combat engineers and other specialized units, who are associated with Special Forces to clear obstacles and perform engineering duties. The combat engineers in the Austro-Hungarian k.u.k. Forces were called "Pioniere". Assault pioneer: In the British and Australian armies, an assault pioneer is an infantry soldier with some limited combat engineer training in clearing obstacles during assaults and light engineering duties; until assault pioneers were responsible for the operation of flamethrowers. Field engineer: is a term used in many Commonwealth armies. In modern usage, it is synonymous with "combat engineer". However, the term identified those military engineers who supported an army operating in the field as opposed to garrison engineers who built and supported permanent fix bases.
In its original usage, "field engineering" would have been inclusive of but broader than "combat engineering." Miner Pontonier Combat engineers are force multipliers and enhance the survival of other troops through the use and practice of camouflage, reconnaissance and other services. These include the construction of roads, field fortifications and the construction and running of water points. In these roles, combat engineers use a wide variety of power tools, they are responsible for construction rigging, the use of explosives, the carrying out of demolitions, obstacle clearance, obstacle construction, assault of fortifications, use of assault boats in water obstacle crossings, helipad construction, general construction, route reconnaissance and road reconnaissance, erecting communication installations. Combat engineers build and run water distribution points, carrying out water filtration, NBC decontamination when necessary, storage prior to distribution. All these role activities and technologies are divided into several areas of combat engineering: Mobility Improving the ability of one's own force to move around the battlefield.
Combat engineers support this role through reduction of enemy obstacles which include point and row minefields, anti-tank ditches, wire obstacles and metal anti-vehicle barriers, Improvised Explosive Devices and wall and door breaching in urban terrain. Mechanized combat engineer units have armored vehicles capable of laying short bridges for limited gap-crossing. Clearing terrain obstacles Overcoming trenches and ditches Opening routes for armored fighting vehicles Constructing roads and bridges Route clearanceCountermobility Building obstacles to prevent the enemy from moving around the battlefield. Destroying bridges, blocking roads, creating airstrips, digging trenches, etc. Can include planting land mines and anti-handling devices when authorized and directed to do so; when the defender must retreat it is desirable to destroy anything that may be of use to the enem
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well