Yantai known as Zhifu or Chefoo, is a prefecture-level city on the Bohai Strait in northeastern Shandong Province, China. Lying on the southern coast of the Korea Bay, Yantai borders Qingdao on the southwest and Weihai on the east, it is the largest fishing seaport in Shandong. Its population was 6,968,202 during the 2010 census, of whom 2,227,733 lived in the built-up area made up of the 4 urban districts of Zhifu, Muping and Laishan; the name Yantai derives from the watchtowers constructed on Mount Qi in 1398 under the reign of the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty. The towers were used to light signal fires and send smoke signals, called langyan from their supposed use of wolf dung for fuel. At the time, the area was troubled by the "Dwarf Pirates" raiders from the warring states in Japan but principally disaffected Chinese, it was formerly romanized as Yen-tai. The major district of Yantai is Zhifu, it was variously romanized as Chefoo, Che-foo, Chi-fu, Chih-fou. Although this name was used for the city by foreigners prior to the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, the locals referred to the settlement as Yantai throughout.
During the Xia and Shang dynasties, the region was inhabited by indigenous peoples vaguely known to the Chinese as the "Eastern Barbarians". Under the Zhou, they were colonized and sinicized as the state of Lai. Lai was annexed by Qi in 567 BC. Under the First Emperor, the area was administered as the Qi Commandery. Under the Han, this was renamed as the Donglai Commandery. Following the Three Kingdoms Period, the area was organized by the Jin as the Donglai Kingdom or Principality returning to prefecture status as a jùn and zhōu. Under the Tang and during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, it was known as Deng Prefecture and organized with the Henan Circuit, it was organized as the Laizhou and under the Qing, Dengzhou Commandery. Up to the 19th century, the Zhifu area consisted of nothing but small unwalled fishing villages of little importance. Under the Ming, these were first troubled by the "Dwarf Pirates" and by the overreacting "Sea Ban", which required coastal Chinese to give up trading and most fishing and relocate inland upon pain of death.
Following the Second Opium War, the Qing Empire was obliged to open more treaty ports by the unequal 1858 Treaty of Tianjin, including Tengchow. Its port being found inadequate, Zhifu—about 30 miles away—was selected to act as the seat of the area's foreign commerce; the mooring was at considerable distance from shore, necessitating more time and expense in loading and unloading, but the harbor was deep and expansive and business grew rapidly. The harbor opened with its status as an international port affirmed on 22 August; the official decree was accompanied by the construction of the Donghai Pass. It became the residence of a circuit intendant, customs house, a considerable foreign settlement located between the old native town and the harbor. Britain and sixteen other nations established consulates in the town; the town was expanded with well-laid streets and well-built stone houses for the poorer classes, a Catholic and a Protestant church were erected, a large hotel did business with foreigners who employed the town as a summer resort.
The principal traders were the Americans, followed by the Germans and Thais. In the 1870s, the principal imports were woolen and cotton goods and opium and the principal exports were tofu, soybean oil, coarse vermicelli and dried fruit from Zhifu itself, raw silk and straw braid from Laizhou, walnuts from Qingzhou; the town traded Chinese liquors and sundries for the edible seaweed grown in the shallows of the Russian settlements around Port Arthur. In 1875, the murder of the British diplomat Augustus Margary in Tengchong, led to a diplomatic crisis, resolved in Zhifu by Thomas Wade and Li Hongzhang the next year; the resultant Chefoo Convention gave British subjects extraterritoriality throughout China and exempted the foreign merchants' enclaves from the likin tax on internal commerce. Its healthy situation and good anchorage made it a favorite coaling station for foreign fleets, giving it some importance in the conflicts over Korea, Port Arthur, Weihaiwei. Along with much of the rest of Shandong, Yantai was under German influence for about 20 years.
In the run-up to the First World War, its trade continued to grow but was limited by the poor roads of the area's hinterland and the necessity of using pack animals for portage. The trade items remained the same as before. After the Germans were defeated by Allied forces in World War I, Qingdao and Yantai were handed over to the Japanese, who turned Yantai into a summer station for their Asian fleet, they set up a trading establishment in the town. The different foreign influences that shaped this city are explored at the Yantai Museum, which used to be a guild hall. However, the city's colourful history has not left a distinctive architectural mark, there has never been a foreign concession, though there are a few grand 19th-century European buildings, most of the town is of much more recent origin. After 1949, the town's name was changed from Chefoo to Yantai, it was opened to the world as an ice-free trade port in 1984. On 12 November 1911, the eastern division of Tongmeng Hui declared itself a part of the revolutionary movement.
The next day, it established the Shandong Military Government and, the day after that, renamed itself the Yantai Division of the Shandong Military Government. In
Clothing is a collective term for items worn on the body. Clothing can be made of animal skin, or other thin sheets of materials put together; the wearing of clothing is restricted to human beings and is a feature of all human societies. The amount and type of clothing worn depend on body type and geographic considerations; some clothing can be gender-specific. Physically, clothing serves many purposes: it can serve as protection from the elements and can enhance safety during hazardous activities such as hiking and cooking, it protects the wearer from rough surfaces, rash-causing plants, insect bites, splinters and prickles by providing a barrier between the skin and the environment. Clothes can insulate against cold or hot conditions, they can provide a hygienic barrier, keeping infectious and toxic materials away from the body. Clothing provides protection from ultraviolet radiation. Wearing clothes is a social norm, being deprived of clothing in front of others may be embarrassing, or not wearing clothes in public such that genitals, breasts or buttocks are visible could be seen as indecent exposure.
There is no easy way to determine when clothing was first developed, but some information has been inferred by studying lice which estimates the introduction of clothing at 42,000–72,000 years ago. The most obvious function of clothing is to improve the comfort of the wearer, by protecting the wearer from the elements. In hot climates, clothing provides protection from sunburn or wind damage, while in cold climates its thermal insulation properties are more important. Shelter reduces the functional need for clothing. For example, hats and other outer layers are removed when entering a warm home if one is living or sleeping there. Clothing has seasonal and regional aspects, so that thinner materials and fewer layers of clothing are worn in warmer regions and seasons than in colder ones. Clothing performs a range of social and cultural functions, such as individual and gender differentiation, social status. In many societies, norms about clothing reflect standards of modesty, religion and social status.
Clothing may function as a form of adornment and an expression of personal taste or style. Clothing can be and has in the past been made from a wide variety of materials. Materials have ranged from leather and furs to woven materials, to elaborate and exotic natural and synthetic fabrics. Not all body coverings are regarded as clothing. Articles carried rather than worn, worn on a single part of the body and removed, worn purely for adornment, or those that serve a function other than protection, are considered accessories rather than clothing, except for shoes. Clothing protects against many things. Clothes protect people from the elements, including rain, snow and other weather, as well as from the sun. However, clothing, too sheer, small, etc. offers less protection. Appropriate clothes can reduce risk during activities such as work or sport; some clothing protects from specific hazards, such as insects, noxious chemicals, weather and contact with abrasive substances. Conversely, clothing may protect the environment from the clothing wearer: for instance doctors wear medical scrubs.
Humans have been ingenious in devising clothing solutions to environmental or other hazards: such as space suits, air conditioned clothing, diving suits, bee-keeper gear, motorcycle leathers, high-visibility clothing, other pieces of protective clothing. Meanwhile, the distinction between clothing and protective equipment is not always clear-cut, since clothes designed to be fashionable have protective value and clothes designed for function consider fashion in their design; the choice of clothes has social implications. They cover parts of the body that social norms require to be covered, act as a form of adornment, serve other social purposes. Someone who lacks the means to procure reasonable clothing due to poverty or affordability, or lack of inclination, is sometimes said to be scruffy, ragged, or shabby. Serious books on clothing and its functions appear from the 19th century as imperialists dealt with new environments such as India and the tropics; some scientific research into the multiple functions of clothing in the first half of the 20th century, with publications such as J.
C. Flügel's Psychology of Clothes in 1930, Newburgh's seminal Physiology of Heat Regulation and The Science of Clothing in 1949. By 1968, the field of environmental physiology had advanced and expanded but the science of clothing in relation to environmental physiology had changed little. There has since been considerable research, the knowledge base has grown but the main concepts remain unchanged, indeed Newburgh's book is still cited by contemporary authors, including those attempting to develop thermoregulatory models of clothing development. In most cultures, gender differentiation of clothing is considered appropriate; the differences are in styles and fabrics. In Western societies, skirts and high-heeled shoes are seen as women's clothing, while neckties are seen as men's clothing. Trousers were once seen as male clothing, but can nowadays be worn by both genders. Male clothes are more practical, but a wider range of clothing styles are available for females. Males are allowed to bare their chests in a greater variety of public places.
Shanghai is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government of the People's Republic of China, the largest city in China by population, the second most populous city proper in the world, with a population of 24.18 million as of 2017. It is a transport hub, with the world's busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, it sits on the south edge of the estuary of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the East China coast; the municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the north and west, is bounded to the east by the East China Sea. As a major administrative and trading city, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to trade and recognition of its favourable port location and economic potential; the city was one of five treaty ports forced open to foreign trade following the British victory over China in the First Opium War. The subsequent 1842 Treaty of Nanking and 1844 Treaty of Whampoa allowed the establishment of the Shanghai International Settlement and the French Concession.
The city flourished as a centre of commerce between China and other parts of the world, became the primary financial hub of the Asia-Pacific region in the 1930s. During the World War II, the city was the site of the major Battle of Shanghai. After the war, with the Communist Party takeover of the mainland in 1949, trade was limited to other socialist countries, the city's global influence declined. In the 1990s, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in an intense re-development of the city, aiding the return of finance and foreign investment to the city, it has since re-emerged as a hub for international finance. Shanghai has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of mainland China; the two Chinese characters in the city's name are 上 and 海, together meaning "Upon-the-Sea". The earliest occurrence of this name dates from the 11th-century Song dynasty, at which time there was a river confluence and a town with this name in the area. There are disputes as to how the name should be understood, but Chinese historians have concluded that during the Tang dynasty Shanghai was on the sea.
Shanghai is abbreviated 沪 in Chinese, a contraction of 沪渎, a 4th- or 5th-century Jin name for the mouth of Suzhou Creek when it was the main conduit into the ocean. This character appears on all motor vehicle license plates issued in the municipality today. Another alternative name for Shanghai is Shēn or Shēnchéng, from Lord Chunshen, a 3rd-century BC nobleman and prime minister of the state of Chu, whose fief included modern Shanghai. Sports teams and newspapers in Shanghai use Shen in their names, such as Shanghai Shenhua F. C. and Shen Bao. Huating was another early name for Shanghai. In AD 751, during the mid-Tang dynasty, Huating County was established by the Governor of Wu Commandery Zhao Juzhen at modern-day Songjiang, the first county-level administration within modern-day Shanghai. Today, Huating appears as the name of a four-star hotel in the city; the city has various nicknames in English, including "Pearl of the Orient" and "Paris of the East". During the Spring and Autumn period, the Shanghai area belonged to the Kingdom of Wu, conquered by the Kingdom of Yue, which in turn was conquered by the Kingdom of Chu.
During the Warring States period, Shanghai was part of the fief of Lord Chunshen of Chu, one of the Four Lords of the Warring States. He ordered the excavation of the Huangpu River, its former or poetic name, the Chunshen River, gave Shanghai its nickname of "Shēn". Fishermen living in the Shanghai area created a fish tool called the hù, which lent its name to the outlet of Suzhou Creek north of the Old City and became a common nickname and abbreviation for the city. During the Tang and Song dynasties, Qinglong Town in modern Qingpu District was a major trading port. Established in 746, it developed into what contemporary sources called a "giant town of the Southeast", with thirteen temples and seven pagodas; the famous Song scholar and artist Mi Fu served as its mayor. The port had a thriving trade with provinces along the Yangtze River and the Chinese coast, as well as foreign countries such as Japan and Silla. By the end of the Song dynasty, the center of trading had moved downstream of the Wusong River to Shanghai, upgraded in status from a village to a market town in 1074, in 1172 a second sea wall was built to stabilize the ocean coastline, supplementing an earlier dike.
From the Yuan dynasty in 1292 until Shanghai became a municipality in 1927, central Shanghai was administered as a county under Songjiang Prefecture, whose seat was at the present-day Songjiang District. Two important events helped promote Shanghai's development in the Ming dynasty. A city wall was built for the first time in 1554 to protect the town from raids by Japanese pirates, it measured 10 metres high and 5 kilometres in circumference. During the Wanli reign, Shanghai received an important psychological boost from the erection of a City God Temple in 1602; this honour was reserved for prefectural capitals and not given to a mere county seat such as Shang
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China referred to as the Chinese Communist Party, is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The Communist Party is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other, subordinated parties to co-exist, those making up the United Front, it was founded in 1921, chiefly by Li Dazhao. The party grew and by 1949 it had driven the nationalist Kuomintang government from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China, it controls the world's largest armed forces, the People's Liberation Army. The CPC is organised on the basis of democratic centralism, a principle conceived by Russian Marxist theoretician Vladimir Lenin which entails democratic and open discussion on policy on the condition of unity in upholding the agreed upon policies; the highest body of the CPC is the National Congress, convened every fifth year. When the National Congress is not in session, the Central Committee is the highest body, but since the body meets only once a year most duties and responsibilities are vested in the Politburo and its Standing Committee.
The party's leader holds the offices of General Secretary, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and State President. Through these posts, the party leader is the country's paramount leader; the current paramount leader is Xi Jinping, elected at the 18th National Congress held in October 2012. The CPC is committed to communism and continues to participate in the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties each year. According to the party constitution, the CPC adheres to Marxism–Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, socialism with Chinese characteristics, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era; the official explanation for China's economic reforms is that the country is in the primary stage of socialism, a developmental stage similar to the capitalist mode of production. The command economy established under Mao Zedong was replaced by the socialist market economy, the current economic system, on the basis that "Practice is the Sole Criterion for the Truth".
Since the collapse of Eastern European communist governments in 1989–1990 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the CPC has emphasised its party-to-party relations with the ruling parties of the remaining socialist states. While the CPC still maintains party-to-party relations with non-ruling communist parties around the world, since the 1980s it has established relations with several non-communist parties, most notably with ruling parties of one-party states, dominant parties in democracies and social democratic parties; the CPC has its origins in the May Fourth Movement of 1919, during which radical Western ideologies like Marxism and anarchism gained traction among Chinese intellectuals. Other influences stemming from the Bolshevik revolution and Marxist theory inspired the Communist Party of China. Li Dazhao was the first leading Chinese intellectual who publicly supported Leninism and world revolution. In contrast to Chen Duxiu, Li did not renounce participation in the affairs of the Republic of China.
Both of them regarded the October Revolution in Russia as groundbreaking, believing it to herald a new era for oppressed countries everywhere. The CPC was modeled on Vladimir Lenin's theory of a vanguard party. Study circles were, according to Cai Hesen, "the rudiments ". Several study circles were established during the New Culture Movement, but "by 1920 skepticism about their suitability as vehicles for reform had become widespread."The founding National Congress of the CPC was held on 23–31 July 1921. With only 50 members in the beginning of 1921, the CPC organization and authorities grew tremendously. While it was held in a house in the Shanghai French Concession, French police interrupted the meeting on 30 July and the congress was moved to a tourist boat on South Lake in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. Only 12 delegates attended the congress, with neither Li nor Chen being able to attend, the latter sending a personal representative in his stead; the resolutions of the congress called for the establishment of a communist party and elected Chen as its leader.
The communists dominated the left wing of the KMT, a party organized on Leninist lines, struggling for power with the party's right wing. When KMT leader Sun Yat-sen died in March 1925, he was succeeded by a rightist, Chiang Kai-shek, who initiated moves to marginalize the position of the communists. Fresh from the success of the Northern Expedition to overthrow the warlords, Chiang Kai-shek turned on the communists, who by now numbered in the tens of thousands across China. Ignoring the orders of the Wuhan-based KMT government, he marched on Shanghai, a city controlled by communist militias. Although the communists welcomed Chiang's arrival, he turned on them, massacring 5000 with the aid of the Green Gang. Chiang's army marched on Wuhan, but was prevented from taking the city by CPC General Ye Ting and his troops. Chiang's allies attacked communists; that May, tens of thousands of communists and their sympathizers were killed by nationalists, with the CPC losing 15,000 of its 25,000 members.
The CPC continued supporting the Wuhan KMT government, but on 15 July 1927 the Wuhan government expelled all communis
A textile is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, cotton, hemp, or other materials to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, crocheting, knotting or tatting, felting, or braiding; the related words "fabric" and "cloth" and "material" are used in textile assembly trades as synonyms for textile. However, there are subtle differences in these terms in specialized usage. A textile is any material made of interlacing fibres, including carpeting and geotextiles. A fabric is a material made through weaving, spreading, crocheting, or bonding that may be used in production of further goods. Cloth may be used synonymously with fabric but is a piece of fabric, processed; the word'textile' is from Latin, from the adjective textilis, meaning'woven', from textus, the past participle of the verb texere,'to weave'. The word'fabric' derives from Latin, most from the Middle French fabrique, or'building, thing made', earlier as the Latin fabrica'workshop.
The word'cloth' derives from the Old English clað, meaning a cloth, woven or felted material to wrap around one, from Proto-Germanic kalithaz. The first clothes, worn at least 70,000 years ago and much earlier, were made of animal skins and helped protect early humans from the ice ages. At some point people learned to weave plant fibers into textiles; the discovery of dyed flax fibres in a cave in the Republic of Georgia dated to 34,000 BCE suggests textile-like materials were made in prehistoric times. The production of textiles is a craft whose speed and scale of production has been altered beyond recognition by industrialization and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques. However, for the main types of textiles, plain weave, twill, or satin weave, there is little difference between the ancient and modern methods. Textiles have an assortment of uses, the most common of which are for clothing and for containers such as bags and baskets. In the household they are used in carpeting, upholstered furnishings, window shades, coverings for tables and other flat surfaces, in art.
In the workplace they are used in scientific processes such as filtering. Miscellaneous uses include flags, tents, handkerchiefs, cleaning rags, transportation devices such as balloons, kites and parachutes. Textiles are used in many traditional crafts such as sewing and embroidery. Textiles for industrial purposes, chosen for characteristics other than their appearance, are referred to as technical textiles. Technical textiles include textile structures for automotive applications, medical textiles, agrotextiles, protective clothing. In all these applications stringent performance requirements must be met. Woven of threads coated with zinc oxide nanowires, laboratory fabric has been shown capable of "self-powering nanosystems" using vibrations created by everyday actions like wind or body movements. Textiles are made from many materials, with four main sources: animal, plant and synthetic; the first three are natural. In the 20th century, they were supplemented by artificial fibres made from petroleum.
Textiles are made in various strengths and degrees of durability, from the finest microfibre made of strands thinner than one denier to the sturdiest canvas. Textile manufacturing terminology has a wealth of descriptive terms, from light gauze-like gossamer to heavy grosgrain cloth and beyond. Animal textiles are made from hair, skin or silk. Wool refers to the hair of the domestic sheep or goat, distinguished from other types of animal hair in that the individual strands are coated with scales and crimped, the wool as a whole is coated with a wax mixture known as lanolin, waterproof and dirtproof. Woollen refers to a bulkier yarn produced from carded, non-parallel fibre, while worsted refers to a finer yarn spun from longer fibres which have been combed to be parallel. Wool is used for warm clothing. Cashmere, the hair of the Indian cashmere goat, mohair, the hair of the North African angora goat, are types of wool known for their softness. Other animal textiles which are made from hair or fur are alpaca wool, vicuña wool, llama wool, camel hair used in the production of coats, ponchos and other warm coverings.
Angora refers to the long, soft hair of the angora rabbit. Qiviut is the fine inner wool of the muskox. Wadmal is a coarse cloth made of wool, produced in Scandinavia 1000~1500 CE. Sea silk is an fine and valuable fabric, made from the silky filaments or byssus secreted by a gland in the foot of pen shells. Silk is an animal textile made from the fibres of the cocoon of the Chinese silkworm, spun into a smooth fabric prized for its softness. There are two main ty
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable items or properties. Those who engage in acts of piracy are called pirates; the earliest documented instances of piracy were in the 14th century BC, when the Sea Peoples, a group of ocean raiders, attacked the ships of the Aegean and Mediterranean civilizations. Narrow channels which funnel shipping into predictable routes have long created opportunities for piracy, as well as for privateering and commerce raiding. Historic examples include the waters of Gibraltar, the Strait of Malacca, the Gulf of Aden, the English Channel, whose geographic structures facilitated pirate attacks. A land-based parallel is the ambushing of travelers by bandits and brigands in highways and mountain passes. Privateering uses similar methods to piracy, but the captain acts under orders of the state authorizing the capture of merchant ships belonging to an enemy nation, making it a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors.
While the term can include acts committed in the air, on land, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore, in cyberspace, as well as the fictional possibility of space piracy, this article focuses on maritime piracy. It does not include crimes committed against people traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator. Piracy or pirating is the name of a specific crime under customary international law and the name of a number of crimes under the municipal law of a number of states. In the early 21st century, seaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue in the waters between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, off the Somali coast, in the Strait of Malacca and Singapore. Today, pirates armed with automatic weapons, such as assault rifles, machine guns and rocket propelled grenades use small motorboats to attack and board ships, a tactic that takes advantage of the small number of crew members on modern cargo vessels and transport ships, they use larger vessels, known as "mother ships", to supply the smaller motorboats.
The international community is facing many challenges in bringing modern pirates to justice, as these attacks occur in international waters. Some nations have used their naval forces to protect private ships from pirate attacks and to pursue pirates, some private vessels use armed security guards, high-pressure water cannons, or sound cannons to repel boarders, use radar to avoid potential threats; the English word "pirate" comes from the Latin term purateivitia and that from Greek πειρατής, "brigand", in turn from πειράομαι, "I attempt", from πεῖρα, "attempt, experience". The meaning of the Greek word peiratēs is "one who attacks"; the word is cognate to peril. The term first appeared in English c. 1300. Spelling did not become standardised until the eighteenth century, spellings such as "pirrot", "pyrate" and "pyrat" occurred until this period, it may be reasonable to assume that piracy has existed for as long as the oceans were plied for commerce. As early as 258 AD, the Gothic-Herulic fleet ravaged towns on the coasts of the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara.
The Aegean coast suffered similar attacks a few years later. In 264, the Goths reached Galatia and Cappadocia, Gothic pirates landed on Cyprus and Crete. In the process, the Goths took thousands into captivity. In 286 AD, Carausius, a Roman military commander of Gaulish origins, was appointed to command the Classis Britannica, given the responsibility of eliminating Frankish and Saxon pirates, raiding the coasts of Armorica and Belgic Gaul. In the Roman province of Britannia, Saint Patrick was enslaved by Irish pirates; the most known and far-reaching pirates in medieval Europe were the Vikings, seaborne warriors from Scandinavia who raided and looted between the 8th and 12th centuries, during the Viking Age in the Early Middle Ages. They raided the coasts and inland cities of all Western Europe as far as Seville, attacked by the Norse in 844. Vikings attacked the coasts of North Africa and Italy and plundered all the coasts of the Baltic Sea; some Vikings ascending the rivers of Eastern Europe as far as the Black Sea and Persia.
The lack of centralized powers all over Europe during the Middle Ages enabled pirates to attack ships and coastal areas all over the continent. In the Late Middle Ages, the Frisian pirates known as Arumer Zwarte Hoop led by Pier Gerlofs Donia and Wijerd Jelckama, fought against the troops of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V with some success. Toward the end of the 9th century, Moorish pirate havens were established along the coast of southern France and northern Italy. In 846 Moor raiders sacked the extra muros Basilicas of Saint Paul in Rome. In 911, the bishop of Narbonne was unable to return to France from Rome because the Moors from Fraxinet controlled all the passes in the Alps. Moor pirates operated out of the Balearic Islands in the 10th century. From 824 to 961 Arab pirates in the Emirate of Crete raided the entire Mediterranean. In the 14th century, raids by Moor pirates forced the Venetian Duke of Crete to ask Venice to keep its fleet on constant guard. After the Slavic invasions of the former Roman province of Dalmatia in the 5th and 6th centuries, a tribe called the Narentines revived the old Illyrian piratical habits and raided the Adriatic Sea starting in the 7th
Fine chemicals are complex, pure chemical substances, produced in limited quantities in multipurpose plants by multistep batch chemical or biotechnological processes. They are described by exacting specifications, used for further processing within the chemical industry and sold for more than $10/kg; the class of fine chemicals is subdivided either on the basis of the added value, or the type of business transaction, namely standard or exclusive products. Fine chemicals are produced in limited volumes and at high prices according to exacting specifications by traditional organic synthesis in multipurpose chemical plants. Biotechnical processes are gaining ground; the global production value is about $85 billion. Fine chemicals are used as starting materials for specialty chemicals pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Custom manufacturing for the life science industry plays a big role; the industry is fragmented and extends from small owned companies to divisions of big, diversified chemical enterprises.
The term "fine chemicals" is used in distinction to "heavy chemicals", which are produced and handled in large lots and are in a crude state. Since their inception in the late 1970s, fine chemicals have become an important part of the chemical industry; the total production value of $85 billion is split about 60 / 40 among in-house production by the main consumers, the life science industry, on the one hand, the fine chemicals industry on the other hand. The latter pursues both a “supply push” strategy, whereby standard products are developed in-house and offered ubiquitously, a “demand pull” strategy, whereby products or services determined by the customer are provided on a “one customer / one supplier” basis; the products are used as building blocks for proprietary products. The hardware of the top tier fine chemical companies has become identical; the design, lay-out and equipment of the plants and laboratories has become the same all over the world. Most chemical reactions performed go back to the days of the dyestuff industry.
Numerous regulations determine the way labs and plants have to be operated, thereby contributing to the uniformity. The term "fine chemicals" was in use as early as 1908; the emergence of the fine chemical industry as a distinct entity dates back to the late 1970s, when the overwhelming success of the histamine H2 receptor antagonists Tagamet and Zantac created a strong demand for advanced organic chemicals used in their manufacturing processes. As the in-house production capacities of the originators, the pharmaceutical companies Smith, Kline, & French and Glaxo, could not keep pace with the increasing requirements, both companies outsourced part of the manufacturing to chemical companies experienced in producing sophisticated organic molecules. Lonza, which had supplied an early intermediate, methyl acetoacetate, during drug development, soon became the main supplier of more and more advanced precursors; the signature of a first, simple supply contract is acknowledged as the historical document marking the beginning of the fine chemical industry.
In the subsequent years, the business developed favorably and Lonza was the first fine chemical company entering in a strategic partnership with SKF. In a similar way, Fine Organics, UK became the supplier of the thioethyl-N’-methyl-2-nitro-1,1-ethenediamine moiety of ranitidine, the second H2 receptor antagonist, marketed as Zantac by Glaxo. Other pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies followed suit and started outsourcing the procurement of fine chemicals. An example in case is F. I. S. Italy, which partnered with Roche, Switzerland for custom manufacturing precursors of the benzodiazepine class of tranquilizers, such as Librium and Valium; the growing complexity and potency of new pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals requiring production in multipurpose, instead of dedicated plants and, more the advent of biopharmaceuticals had a major impact on the demand for fine chemicals and the evolution of the fine chemical industry as a distinct entity. For many years, the life science industry continued considering captive production of the active ingredients of their drugs and agrochemicals as a core competency.
Outsourcing was recurred to only in exceptional cases, such as capacity shortfalls, processes requiring hazardous chemistry or new products, where uncertainties existed about the chance of a successful launch. In terms of molecular structure, one distinguishes first between low-molecular-weight and high-molecular-weight products; the accepted threshold between LMW and HMW is a molecular weight of about 700. LMW fine chemicals designated as small molecules, are produced by traditional chemical synthesis, by microorganisms, or by extraction from plants and animals. In the production of modern life science products, total synthesis from petrochemicals prevails; the HMW products large molecules, are obtained through biotechnology processes. Within LMWs, the N-heterocyclic compounds are the most important category; as aromatic compounds have been exhausted to a large extent as building blocks for life science products, N-heterocyclic structures prevail nowadays. They are found in many natural products, such as