Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational financial services company headquartered in San Francisco, with central offices throughout the United States. It is the world's fourth-largest bank by market capitalization and the third largest bank in the US by total assets. Wells Fargo is ranked #26 on the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest US corporations by total revenue. In July 2015, Wells Fargo became the world's largest bank by market capitalization, edging past ICBC, before slipping behind JPMorgan Chase in September 2016, in the wake of a scandal involving the creation of over 2 million fake bank accounts by Wells Fargo employees. Wells Fargo fell behind Bank of America to third by bank deposits in 2017 and behind Citigroup to fourth by total assets in 2018; the firm's primary operating subsidiary is national bank Wells Fargo Bank, N. A. which designates its main office as Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Wells Fargo in its present form is a result of a merger between San Francisco–based Wells Fargo & Company and Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation in 1998 and the subsequent 2008 acquisition of Charlotte-based Wachovia.
Following the mergers, the company transferred its headquarters to Wells Fargo's headquarters in San Francisco and merged its operating subsidiary with Wells Fargo's operating subsidiary in Sioux Falls. Along with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo is one of the "Big Four Banks" of the United States; as of June 2018, it had 13,000 ATMs. In 2018 the company had operations in 35 countries with over 70 million customers globally. In February 2014, Wells Fargo was named the world's most valuable bank brand for the second consecutive year in The Banker and Brand Finance study of the top 500 banking brands. In 2016, Wells Fargo ranked 7th on the Forbes Magazine Global 2000 list of largest public companies in the world and ranked 27th on the Fortune 500 list of the largest companies in the US. In 2015, the company was ranked the 22nd most admired company in the world, the 7th most respected company in the world; as of December 2018, the company had a Standard & Poors credit rating of A−. However, for a brief period in 2007, the company was the only AAA‑rated bank, reflecting the highest credit rating from two firms.
On February 2, 2018, the US Federal Reserve Bank barred Wells Fargo from growing its nearly US$2 trillion-asset base any further, based upon years of misconduct, until Wells Fargo fixes its internal problems to the satisfaction of the Federal Reserve. In April 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that the US Department of Labor had launched a probe into whether Wells Fargo was pushing its customers into more expensive retirement plans as well as into retirement funds managed by Wells Fargo itself. Subsequently in May 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that Wells Fargo's business banking group had improperly altered documents about business clients in 2017 and early 2018. In June 2018, Wells Fargo began retreating from retail banking in the Midwestern United States by announcing the sale of all its physical bank branch locations in Indiana and Ohio to Flagstar Bank; the company operates 12 museums, most known as a Wells Fargo History Museum, in its corporate buildings in Charlotte, North Carolina, Colorado, Des Moines, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento and San Francisco, California.
Displays include original stagecoaches, gold nuggets and mining artifacts, the Pony Express, telegraph equipment and historic bank artifacts. The company operates a museum about company history in the Pony Express Terminal in Old Sacramento State Historic Park in Sacramento, the company's second office, the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in San Diego, California. Wells Fargo operates the Alaska Heritage Museum in Anchorage, which features a large collection of Alaskan Native artifacts, ivory carvings and baskets, fine art by Alaskan artists, displays about Wells Fargo history in the Alaskan Gold Rush era. 1852: Henry Wells and William G. Fargo, the two founders of American Express, formed Wells Fargo & Company to provide express and banking services to California. 1860: Wells Fargo gained control of Butterfield Overland Mail Company, leading to operation of the western portion of the Pony Express. 1866: "Grand consolidation" united Wells Fargo and Overland Mail stage lines under the Wells Fargo name.
1905: Wells Fargo separated its banking and express operations. 1918: As a wartime measure, the US Federal Government nationalized Wells Fargo's express franchise into a federal agency known as the US Railway Express Agency. The US Federal Government took control of the express company; the bank began rebuilding but with a focus on commercial markets. After the war, REA was privatized and continued service until 1975. 1923: Wells Fargo Nevada merged with the Union Trust Company to form the Wells Fargo Bank & Union Trust Company. 1929: Northwest Bancorporation was formed as a banking association. 1954: Wells Fargo & Union Trust shortened its name to Wells Fargo Bank. 1960: Wells Fargo merged with American Trust Company to form the Wells Fargo Bank American Trust Company. 1962: Wells Fargo American Trust again shortened its name to Wells Fargo Bank. 1968: Wells Fargo converted to a federal banking charter, becoming Wells Fargo Bank, N. A. 1969: Wells Fargo & Company holding company was formed, with Wells Fargo Bank as its main subsidiary.
1982: Northwest Bancorporation acquired consumer finance firm Dial Finance, renamed Norwest Financial Service the following year. 1983: Northwest B
Afghanistan the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, while the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get hot in summers. Kabul serves as its largest city. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia; the land has been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs, British and since 2001 by the United States with NATO-allied countries. It has been called "unconquerable" and nicknamed the "graveyard of empires"; the land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khaljis, Hotaks and others have risen to form major empires.
The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire, its border with British India, the Durand Line, was formed in 1893 but it is not recognized by the Afghan government and it has led to strained relations with Pakistan since the latter's independence in 1947. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919 the country was free of foreign influence becoming a monarchy under King Amanullah, until 50 years when Zahir Shah was overthrown and a republic was established. In 1978, after a second coup Afghanistan first became a socialist state and a Soviet Union protectorate; this evoked the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. By 1996 most of Afghanistan was captured by the Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, who ruled most of the country as a totalitarian regime for over five years.
The Taliban were forcibly removed by the NATO-led coalition, a new democratically-elected government political structure was formed, but they still control a significant portion of the country. Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic with a population of 31 million composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks, it is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Group of 77, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Non-Aligned Movement. Afghanistan's economy is the world's 108th largest, with a GDP of $64.08 billion. The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, documented in the 10th-century geography book Hudud ul-'alam; the root name "Afghan" was used in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, the suffix "-stan" means "place of" in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more in a historical sense, to land of the Pashtuns. However, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that "he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan."
Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world. An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites; the country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Islamic Empire. Many empires and kingdoms have risen to power in Afghanistan, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, Kabul Shahis, Samanids, Ghurids, Kartids, Timurids and the Hotak and Durrani dynasties that marked the political origins of the modern state.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east and north. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan. Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan and India. In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well. After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic
Royal Library of the Netherlands
The Royal Library of the Netherlands is based in The Hague and was founded in 1798. The mission of the Royal Library of the Netherlands, as presented on the library's web site, is to provide "access to the knowledge and culture of the past and the present by providing high-quality services for research and cultural experience"; the initiative to found a national library was proposed by representative Albert Jan Verbeek on August 17 1798. The collection would be based on the confiscated book collection of William V; the library was founded as the Nationale Bibliotheek on November 8 of the same year, after a committee of representatives had advised the creation of a national library on the same day. The National Library was only open to members of the Representative Body. King Louis Bonaparte gave the national library its name of the Royal Library in 1806. Napoleon Bonaparte transferred the Royal Library to The Hague as property, while allowing the Imperial Library in Paris to expropriate publications from the Royal Library.
In 1815 King William I of the Netherlands confirmed the name of'Royal Library' by royal resolution. It has been known as the National Library of the Netherlands since 1982, when it opened new quarters; the institution became independent of the state in 1996, although it is financed by the Department of Education and Science. In 2004, the National Library of the Netherlands contained 3,300,000 items, equivalent to 67 kilometers of bookshelves. Most items in the collection are books. There are pieces of "grey literature", where the author, publisher, or date may not be apparent but the document has cultural or intellectual significance; the collection contains the entire literature of the Netherlands, from medieval manuscripts to modern scientific publications. For a publication to be accepted, it must be from a registered Dutch publisher; the collection is accessible for members. Any person aged 16 years or older can become a member. One day passes are available. Requests for material take 30 minutes.
The KB hosts several open access websites, including the "Memory of the Netherlands". List of libraries in the Netherlands European Library Nederlandse Centrale Catalogus Books in the Netherlands Media related to Koninklijke Bibliotheek at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively; the fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to: Set the map's agenda and select traits of the object to be mapped. This is the concern of map editing. Traits may be physical, such as roads or land masses, or may be abstract, such as toponyms or political boundaries. Represent the terrain of the mapped object on flat media; this is the concern of map projections. Eliminate characteristics of the mapped object that are not relevant to the map's purpose; this is the concern of generalization. Reduce the complexity of the characteristics that will be mapped; this is the concern of generalization. Orchestrate the elements of the map to best convey its message to its audience; this is the concern of map design. Modern cartography constitutes many theoretical and practical foundations of geographic information systems.
What is the earliest known map is a matter of some debate, both because the term "map" is not well-defined and because some artifacts that might be maps might be something else. A wall painting that might depict the ancient Anatolian city of Çatalhöyük has been dated to the late 7th millennium BCE. Among the prehistoric alpine rock carvings of Mount Bego and Valcamonica, dated to the 4th millennium BCE, geometric patterns consisting of dotted rectangles and lines are interpreted in archaeological literature as a depiction of cultivated plots. Other known maps of the ancient world include the Minoan "House of the Admiral" wall painting from c. 1600 BCE, showing a seaside community in an oblique perspective, an engraved map of the holy Babylonian city of Nippur, from the Kassite period. The oldest surviving world maps are from 9th century BCE Babylonia. One shows Babylon on the Euphrates, surrounded by Assyria and several cities, all, in turn, surrounded by a "bitter river". Another depicts Babylon as being north of the center of the world.
The ancient Greeks and Romans created maps from the time of Anaximander in the 6th century BCE. In the 2nd century CE, Ptolemy wrote his treatise on Geographia; this contained Ptolemy's world map – the world known to Western society. As early as the 8th century, Arab scholars were translating the works of the Greek geographers into Arabic. In ancient China, geographical literature dates to the 5th century BCE; the oldest extant Chinese maps come from the State of Qin, dated back to the 4th century BCE, during the Warring States period. In the book of the Xin Yi Xiang Fa Yao, published in 1092 by the Chinese scientist Su Song, a star map on the equidistant cylindrical projection. Although this method of charting seems to have existed in China before this publication and scientist, the greatest significance of the star maps by Su Song is that they represent the oldest existent star maps in printed form. Early forms of cartography of India included depictions of the pole star and surrounding constellations.
These charts may have been used for navigation. "Mappae mundi are the medieval European maps of the world. About 1,100 of these are known to have survived: of these, some 900 are found illustrating manuscripts and the remainder exist as stand-alone documents; the Arab geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi produced his medieval atlas Tabula Rogeriana in 1154. By combining the knowledge of Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Far East with the information he inherited from the classical geographers, he was able to write detailed descriptions of a multitude of countries. Along with the substantial text he had written, he created a world map influenced by the Ptolemaic conception of the world, but with significant influence from multiple Arab geographers, it remained the most accurate world map for the next three centuries. The map was divided with detailed descriptions of each zone; as part of this work, a smaller, circular map was made depicting the south on top and Arabia in the center. Al-Idrisi made an estimate of the circumference of the world, accurate to within 10%.
In the Age of Exploration, from the 15th century to the 17th century, European cartographers both copied earlier maps and drew their own, based on explorers' observations and new surveying techniques. The invention of the magnetic compass and sextant enabled increasing accuracy. In 1492, Martin Behaim, a German cartographer, made the oldest extant globe of the Earth. In 1507, Martin Waldseemüller produced a globular world map and a large 12-panel world wall map bearing the first use of the name "America". Portuguese cartographer Diego Ribero was the author of the first known planisphere with a graduated Equator. Italian cartographer Battista Agnese produced at least 71 manuscript atlases of sea charts. Johannes Werner promoted the Werner projection; this was an equal-area, heart-shaped world map projection, used in the 16th and 17th centuries. Over time, other iterations of this map type arose; the Werner projection places its standard parallel at the North Pole. In 1569, mapmaker Gerardus Mercato
The genre of travel literature encompasses outdoor literature, guide books, nature writing, travel memoirs. One early travel memoirist in Western literature was Pausanias, a Greek geographer of the 2nd century AD. In the early modern period, James Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides helped shape travel memoir as a genre. Early examples of travel literature include Pausanias' Description of Greece in the 2nd century CE, the Journey Through Wales and Description of Wales by Gerald of Wales, the travel journals of Ibn Jubayr and Ibn Battuta, both of whom recorded their travels across the known world in detail; the travel genre was a common genre in medieval Arabic literature. Travel literature became popular during the Song dynasty of medieval China; the genre was called'travel record literature', was written in narrative, prose and diary style. Travel literature authors such as Fan Chengda and Xu Xiake incorporated a wealth of geographical and topographical information into their writing, while the'daytrip essay' Record of Stone Bell Mountain by the noted poet and statesman Su Shi presented a philosophical and moral argument as its central purpose.
One of the earliest known records of taking pleasure in travel, of travelling for the sake of travel and writing about it, is Petrarch's ascent of Mount Ventoux in 1336. He states, his companions who stayed at the bottom he called frigida incuriositas. He wrote about his climb, making allegorical comparisons between climbing the mountain and his own moral progress in life. Michault Taillevent, a poet for the Duke of Burgundy, travelled through the Jura Mountains in 1430 and recorded his personal reflections, his horrified reaction to the sheer rock faces, the terrifying thunderous cascades of mountain streams. Antoine de la Sale, author of Petit Jehan de Saintre, climbed to the crater of a volcano in the Lipari Islands in 1407, leaving us with his impressions. "Councils of mad youth" were his stated reasons for going. In the mid-15th century, Gilles le Bouvier, in his Livre de la description des pays, gave us his reason to travel and write: Because many people of diverse nations and countries delight and take pleasure, as I have done in times past, in seeing the world and things therein, because many wish to know without going there, others wish to see, go, travel, I have begun this little book.
In 1589, Richard Hakluyt published a foundational text of the travel literature genre. In the 18th Century, travel literature was known as the book of travels, which consisted of maritime diaries. In 18th century Britain every famous writer worked in the travel literature form. Captain James Cook's diaries were the equivalent of today's best sellers Alexander von Humboldt's Personal narrative of travels to the equinoctial regions of America, during the years 1799–1804 published in French, was translated to multiple languages and influenced naturalists, including Charles Darwin. Other examples of travel literature include accounts of the Grand Tour. Aristocrats and others with money and leisure time travelled Europe to learn about the art and architecture of its past. One tourism literature pioneer was Robert Louis Stevenson, with An Inland Voyage, Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes about his travels in the Cévennes, is among the first popular books to present hiking and camping as recreational activities, tells of commissioning one of the first sleeping bags.
Travel books come in styles ranging from the documentary, to the literary, as well as the journalistic, from memoir to the humorous to the serious. They are associated with tourism and include guide books. Travel writing may be found in periodicals, on blogs and in books, it has been produced by a variety of writers, including travelers, military officers, explorers, pilgrims and physical scientists and migrants. Englishmen Eric Newby, H. V. Morton, the Americans Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux, Welsh author Jan Morris are or were acclaimed as travel writers. Bill Bryson in 2011 won the Golden Eagle Award from the Outdoor Photographers Guild. On 22 November 2012, Durham University renamed the Main Library the Bill Bryson Library for his contributions as the university's 11th chancellor. Paul Theroux was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Mosquito Coast, adapted for the 1986 movie of the same name, he was awarded in 1989 the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award for Riding the Iron Rooster.
In 2005, Jan Morris was awarded the Golden PEN Award by English PEN for "a Lifetime's Distinguished Service to Literature". Travel literature intersects with essay writing, as in V. S. Naipaul's India: A Wounded Civilization, whose trip became the occasion for extended observations on a nation and people; this is the case in Rebecca West's work on Yugoslavia, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. Sometimes a writer will settle into a locality for an extended period, absorbing a sense of place while continuing to observe with a travel writer's sensibility. Examples of such writings include Lawrence Durrell's Bitter Lemons, Deborah Tall's The Island of the White Cow: Memories of an Irish Island, Peter Mayle's best-selling A Year in Provence and its sequels. Travel and nature writing
San Francisco the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017, it covers an area of about 46.89 square miles at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, the fifth-most densely populated U. S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area; as of 2017, it was the seventh-highest income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $119,868. As of 2015, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $154.2 billion, a GDP per capita of $177,968. The San Francisco CSA was the country's third-largest urban economy as of 2017, with a GDP of $907 billion.
Of the 500+ primary statistical areas in the US, the San Francisco CSA had among the highest GDP per capita in 2017, at $93,938. San Francisco was ranked 14th in the world and third in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of September 2018. San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi; the California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. San Francisco's status as the West Coast's largest city peaked between 1870 and 1900, when around 25% of California's population resided in the city proper. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater.
It became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes along liberal Democratic Party lines. A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, its Chinatown district. San Francisco is the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. Gap Inc. Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Reddit, Inc. Dolby, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pinterest, Uber, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation and Weather Underground.
It is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the California Academy of Sciences. As of 2019, San Francisco is the highest rated American city on world liveability rankings; the earliest archaeological evidence of human habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. The Yelamu group of the Ohlone people resided in a few small villages when an overland Spanish exploration party, led by Don Gaspar de Portolà, arrived on November 2, 1769, the first documented European visit to San Francisco Bay. Seven years on March 28, 1776, the Spanish established the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by a mission, Mission San Francisco de Asís, established by the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza. Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the area became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the mission system ended, its lands became privatized.
In 1835, Englishman William Richardson erected the first independent homestead, near a boat anchorage around what is today Portsmouth Square. Together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7, 1846, during the Mexican–American War, Captain John B. Montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, Mexico ceded the territory to the United States at the end of the war. Despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography; the California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers. With their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849; the promise of great wealth was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor.
Some of these 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships and hotels.
India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle