U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission is an independent agency of the United States federal government; the SEC holds primary responsibility for enforcing the federal securities laws, proposing securities rules, regulating the securities industry, the nation's stock and options exchanges, other activities and organizations, including the electronic securities markets in the United States. In addition to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which created it, the SEC enforces the Securities Act of 1933, the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, other statutes; the SEC was created by Section 4 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1933. The SEC has a three-part mission: to protect investors. To achieve its mandate, the SEC enforces the statutory requirement that public companies and other regulated companies submit quarterly and annual reports, as well as other periodic reports. In addition to annual financial reports, company executives must provide a narrative account, called the "management discussion and analysis", that outlines the previous year of operations and explains how the company fared in that time period.
MD&A will also touch on the upcoming year, outlining future goals and approaches to new projects. In an attempt to level the playing field for all investors, the SEC maintains an online database called EDGAR online from which investors can access this and other information filed with the agency. Quarterly and semiannual reports from public companies are crucial for investors to make sound decisions when investing in the capital markets. Unlike banking, investment in the capital markets is not guaranteed by the federal government; the potential for big gains needs to be weighed against that of sizable losses. Mandatory disclosure of financial and other information about the issuer and the security itself gives private individuals as well as large institutions the same basic facts about the public companies they invest in, thereby increasing public scrutiny while reducing insider trading and fraud; the SEC makes reports available to the public through the EDGAR system. The SEC offers publications on investment-related topics for public education.
The same online system takes tips and complaints from investors to help the SEC track down violators of the securities laws. The SEC adheres to a strict policy of never commenting on the existence or status of an ongoing investigation. Prior to the enactment of the federal securities laws and the creation of the SEC, there existed so-called blue sky laws, they were enacted and enforced at the state level and regulated the offering and sale of securities to protect the public from fraud. Though the specific provisions of these laws varied among states, they all required the registration of all securities offerings and sales, as well as of every U. S. stockbroker and brokerage firm. However, these blue sky laws were found to be ineffective. For example, the Investment Bankers Association told its members as early as 1915 that they could "ignore" blue sky laws by making securities offerings across state lines through the mail. After holding hearings on abuses on interstate frauds, Congress passed the Securities Act of 1933, which regulates interstate sales of securities at the federal level.
The subsequent Securities Exchange Act of 1934 regulates sales of securities in the secondary market. Section 4 of the 1934 act created the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission to enforce the federal securities laws; the Securities Act of 1933 is known as the "Truth in Securities Act" and the "Federal Securities Act", or just the "1933 Act". Its goal was to increase public trust in the capital markets by requiring uniform disclosure of information about public securities offerings; the primary drafters of 1933 Act were Huston Thompson, a former Federal Trade Commission chairman, Walter Miller and Ollie Butler, two attorneys in the Commerce Department's Foreign Service Division, with input from Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. For the first year of the law's enactment, the enforcement of the statute rested with the Federal Trade Commission, but this power was transferred to the SEC following its creation in 1934. In 1934, Roosevelt named his friend Joseph P. Kennedy, a self-made multimillionaire financier and a leader among the Irish-American community, as the insider-as-chairman who knew Wall Street well enough to clean it up.
Two of the other five commissioners were Ferdinand Pecora. Kennedy added a number of intelligent young lawyers, including William O. Douglas and Abe Fortas, both of whom became Supreme Court justices. Kennedy's team defined the mission and operating mode for the SEC, making full use of its wide range of legal powers; the SEC had four missions. First and most important was to restore investor confidence in the securities market, which had collapsed because of doubts about its internal integrity, fears of the external threats posed by anti-business elements in the Roosevelt administration. Second, in terms of integrity, the SEC had to get rid of the penny-ante swindles based on fake i
Spamming is the use of messaging systems to send an unsolicited message advertising, as well as sending messages on the same site. While the most recognized form of spam is email spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, social spam, spam mobile apps, television advertising and file sharing spam, it is named after Spam, a luncheon meat, by way of a Monty Python sketch about a restaurant that has Spam in every dish and where patrons annoyingly chant "Spam!" over and over again. Spamming remains economically viable because advertisers have no operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists, infrastructures, IP ranges, domain names, it is difficult to hold senders accountable for their mass mailings; the costs, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet service providers, which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope with the volume.
Spamming has been the subject of legislation in many jurisdictions. A person who creates spam is called a spammer; the term spam is derived from the 1970 Spam sketch of the BBC television comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus. The sketch, set in a cafe, has a waitress reading out a menu where every item includes Spam canned luncheon meat; as the waitress recites the Spam-filled menu, a chorus of Viking patrons drowns out all conversations with a song, repeating "Spam, Spam, Spam… Spammity Spam! Wonderful Spam!". The excessive amount of Spam mentioned, references the preponderance of it and other imported canned meat products in the United Kingdom after World War II, as the country struggled to rebuild its agricultural base. In the 1980s the term was adopted to describe certain abusive users who frequented BBSs and MUDs, who would repeat "Spam" a huge number of times to scroll other users' text off the screen. In early chat rooms services like PeopleLink and the early days of Online America, they flooded the screen with quotes from the Monty Python Spam sketch.
This was used as a tactic by insiders of a group that wanted to drive newcomers out of the room so the usual conversation could continue. It was used to prevent members of rival groups from chatting—for instance, Star Wars fans invaded Star Trek chat rooms, filling the space with blocks of text until the Star Trek fans left, it came to be used on Usenet to mean excessive multiple posting—the repeated posting of the same message. The unwanted message would appear in many, if not all newsgroups, just as Spam appeared in all the menu items in the Monty Python sketch; the first usage of this sense was by Joel Furr This use had become established—to spam Usenet was flooding newsgroups with junk messages. The word was attributed to the flood of "Make Money Fast" messages that clogged many newsgroups during the 1990s. In 1998, the New Oxford Dictionary of English, which had only defined "spam" in relation to the trademarked food product, added a second definition to its entry for "spam": "Irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of newsgroups or users."
There was an effort to differentiate between types of newsgroup spam. Messages that were crossposted to too many newsgroups at once – as opposed to those that were posted too – were called velveeta, but this term didn't persist. In the late 19th Century Western Union allowed telegraphic messages on its network to be sent to multiple destinations; the first recorded instance of a mass unsolicited commercial telegram is from May 1864, when some British politicians received an unsolicited telegram advertising a dentist. The earliest documented spam was a message advertising the availability of a new model of Digital Equipment Corporation computers sent by Gary Thuerk to 393 recipients on ARPANET in 1978. Rather than send a separate message to each person, the standard practice at the time, he had an assistant, Carl Gartley, write a single mass email. Reaction from the net community was fiercely negative. Spamming had been practiced as a prank by participants in multi-user dungeon games, to fill their rivals' accounts with unwanted electronic junk.
The first major commercial spam incident started on March 5, 1994, when a husband and wife team of lawyers, Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, began using bulk Usenet posting to advertise immigration law services. The incident was termed the "Green Card spam", after the subject line of the postings. Defiant in the face of widespread condemnation, the attorneys claimed their detractors were hypocrites or "zealouts", claimed they had a free speech right to send unwanted commercial messages, labeled their opponents "anti-commerce radicals"; the couple wrote a controversial book entitled How to Make a Fortune on the Information Superhighway. An early example of nonprofit fundraising bulk posting via Usenet occurred in 1994 on behalf of CitiHope, an NGO attempting to raise funds to rescue children at risk during the Bosnian War. However, as it was a violation of their terms of service, the ISP Panix deleted all of the bulk posts from Usenet, only missing three copies. Within a few years, the focus of spamming moved chiefly to email.
By 1999, Khan C. Smith, a well known hacker at the time, had begun to commercialize the bulk email industry and rallied thousands into the business by building more friendly bulk email software and providing internet access illegally hacked from major ISPs suc
A charitable organization or charity is a non-profit organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being. The legal definition of a charitable organization varies between countries and in some instances regions of the country; the regulation, the tax treatment, the way in which charity law affects charitable organizations vary. Charitable organizations may not use any of its funds to profit individual entities. Financial figures are indicators to assess the financial sustainability of a charity to charity evaluators; this information can impact a charity's reputation with donors and societies, thus the charity's financial gains. Charitable organizations depend on donations from businesses; such donations to charitable organizations represent a major form of corporate philanthropy. The Organizational Test: If the organization doesn't follow the exemption organizational test, it will be under mentoring, in order to meet the organizational test it has to be organized and operated.
Serving the public interest: In order to receive and pass the exemption test, charitable organization must follow the public interest and all exempt income should be for the public interest. Until the mid-18th century, charity was distributed through religious structures and bequests from the rich. Both Christianity and Islam incorporated significant charitable elements from their beginnings and dāna has a long tradition in Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism. Charities provided education, health and prisons. Almshouses were established throughout Europe in the Early Middle Ages to provide a place of residence for poor and distressed people. In the Enlightenment era charitable and philanthropic activity among voluntary associations and rich benefactors became a widespread cultural practice. Societies, gentleman's clubs, mutual associations began to flourish in England, the upper-classes adopted a philanthropic attitude toward the disadvantaged. In England this new social activism was channeled into the establishment of charitable organizations.
This emerging upper-class fashion for benevolence resulted in the incorporation of the first charitable organizations. Captain Thomas Coram, appalled by the number of abandoned children living on the streets of London, set up the Foundling Hospital in 1741 to look after these unwanted orphans in Lamb's Conduit Fields, Bloomsbury. This, the first such charity in the world, served as the precedent for incorporated associational charities in general. Jonas Hanway, another notable philanthropist of the Enlightenment era, established The Marine Society in 1756 as the first seafarer's charity, in a bid to aid the recruitment of men to the navy. By 1763 the Society had recruited over 10,000 men. Hanway was instrumental in establishing the Magdalen Hospital to rehabilitate prostitutes; these organizations were run as voluntary associations. They raised public awareness of their activities through the emerging popular press and were held in high social regard - some charities received state recognition in the form of the royal charter.
Charities began to adopt campaigning roles, where they would champion a cause and lobby the government for legislative change. This included organized campaigns against the ill treatment of animals and children and the campaign that succeeded at the turn of the 19th century in ending the slave trade throughout the British Empire and within its considerable sphere of influence; the Enlightenment saw growing philosophical debate between those who championed state intervention and those who believed that private charities should provide welfare. The Reverend Thomas Malthus, the political economist, criticized poor relief for paupers on economic and moral grounds and proposed leaving charity to the private sector, his views became influential and informed the Victorian laissez-faire attitude toward state intervention for the poor. During the 19th century a profusion of charitable organizations emerged to alleviate the awful conditions of the working class in the slums; the Labourer's Friend Society, chaired by Lord Shaftesbury in the United Kingdom in 1830, aimed to improve working-class conditions.
It promoted, for example, the allotment of land to labourers for "cottage husbandry" that became the allotment movement. In 1844 it became the first Model Dwellings Company - one of a group of organizations that sought to improve the housing conditions of the working classes by building new homes for them, at the same time receiving a competitive rate of return on any investment; this was one of the first housing associations, a philanthropic endeavour that flourished in the second half of the nineteenth century brought about by the growth of the middle class. Associations included the Peabody Trust and the Guinness Trust; the principle of philanthropic intention with capitalist return was given the label "five per cent philanthropy". There was strong growth in municipal charities; the Brougham Commission led on to the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, which reorganized
Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships. Marketing is the business process of satisfying customers. With its focus on the customer, marketing is one of the premier components of business management. Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as "the activity, set of institutions, processes for creating, communicating and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients and society at large." The term developed from the original meaning which referred to going to market with goods for sale. From a sales process engineering perspective, marketing is "a set of processes that are interconnected and interdependent with other functions" of a business aimed at achieving customer interest and satisfaction. Philip Kotler defines marketing as Satisfying wants through an exchange process; the Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as "the management process responsible for identifying and satisfying customer requirements profitably." A similar concept is the value-based marketing which states the role of marketing to contribute to increasing shareholder value.
In this context, marketing can be defined as "the management process that seeks to maximise returns to shareholders by developing relationships with valued customers and creating a competitive advantage."Marketing practice tended to be seen as a creative industry in the past, which included advertising and selling. However, because the academic study of marketing makes extensive use of social sciences, sociology, economics and neuroscience, the profession is now recognized as a science, allowing numerous universities to offer Master-of-Science programs; the process of marketing is that of bringing a product to market, which includes these steps: broad market research. Many parts of the marketing process involve use of the creative arts. The'marketing concept' proposes that in order to satisfy the organizational objectives, an organization should anticipate the needs and wants of potential consumers and satisfy them more than its competitors; this concept originated from Adam Smith's book The Wealth of Nations, but would not become used until nearly 200 years later.
Marketing and Marketing Concepts are directly related. Given the centrality of customer needs and wants in marketing, a rich understanding of these concepts is essential: Needs: Something necessary for people to live a healthy and safe life; when needs remain unfulfilled, there is a clear adverse outcome: death. Needs can be objective and physical, such as the need for food and shelter. Wants: Something, desired, wished for or aspired to. Wants are not essential for basic survival and are shaped by culture or peer-groups. Demands: When needs and wants are backed by the ability to pay, they have the potential to become economic demands. Marketing research, conducted for the purpose of new product development or product improvement, is concerned with identifying the consumer's unmet needs. Customer needs are central to market segmentation, concerned with dividing markets into distinct groups of buyers on the basis of "distinct needs, characteristics, or behaviors who might require separate products or marketing mixes."
Needs-based segmentation "places the customers' desires at the forefront of how a company designs and markets products or services." Although needs-based segmentation is difficult to do in practice, it has been proved to be one of the most effective ways to segment a market. In addition, a great deal of advertising and promotion is designed to show how a given product's benefits meet the customer's needs, wants or expectations in a unique way. A marketing orientation has been defined as a "philosophy of business management." Or "a corporate state of mind" or as an "organisation culture" Although scholars continue to debate the precise nature of specific orientations that inform marketing practice, the most cited orientations are as follows: A firm employing a product orientation is concerned with the quality of its own product. A product orientation is based on the assumption that, all things being equal, consumers will purchase products of a superior quality; the approach is most effective when the firm has deep insights into customers and their needs and desires derived from research and intuition and understands consumers' quality expectations and price they are willing to pay.
For example, Sony Walkman and Apple iPod were innovative product designs that addressed consumers' unmet needs. Although the product orientation has been supplanted by the marketing orientation, firms practicing a product orientation can still be found in haute couture and in arts marketing. A firm using a sales orientation focuses on the selling/promotion of the firm's existing products, rather than determining new or unmet consumer needs or desires; this entails selling existing products, using promotion and direct sales techniques to attain the highest sales possible. The sales orientation "is practiced with unsought goods." One study found that industrial companies are more to hold a sales orientation than consumer goods companies. The approach may suit scenarios in wh
Telemarketing is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson solicits prospective customers to buy products or services, either over the phone or through a subsequent face to face or Web conferencing appointment scheduled during the call. Telemarketing can include recorded sales pitches programmed to be played over the phone via automatic dialing. Telemarketing is defined as contacting and canvassing prospective customers using telecommunications devices such as telephone and internet, it does not include direct mail marketing. The term telemarketing was first used extensively in the late 1970s to describe Bell System communications which related to new uses for the outbound WATS and inbound Toll-free services; the rise of telemarketing can be traced back to the 19th century telephonists, or switchboard operators. Trans-cultural hiring of switchboard operators became popular in North America throughout the 20th century due to popularity gained through advertising.:183–184 After the shift from public switched telephone network to computer-based electronic switching system, the job of switchboard operators diminished.
However, with the rise of advertising and with the popularity of the telephone use, new jobs, including telemarketing jobs, were created. Telemarketing, as was the case with telephone operators, is one of the fields known to be occupied by women; the central reason for hiring women operators lay in the fact that women's work was considered a form of cheap labor: female telemarketers earned about one-half to one-quarter of men's wages.:183 It was highlighted, that women were more polite and well mannered than male operators.:183 Moreover, the calming, more delicate nature of a woman's voice was considered to be women's natural quality, although no scientific evidence supports this statement. This naturalization led to normalizing the perception of women as telephone operators and consultants, reflected in the telemarketing industry; the two major categories of telemarketing are business-to-consumer. Lead generation, the gathering of information and contacts Sales, using persuasion to sell a product or service Outbound, proactive marketing in which prospective and preexisting customers are contacted directly Inbound, reception of incoming orders and requests for information.
Demand is created by advertising, publicity, or the efforts of outside salespeople. Call to Action, the implementation of outbound telemarketing to "activate" or elicit an action or response from prospects, i.e. entice prospects to visit a client's website. Appointment Setting, utilizing inbound or outbound telemarketing to create face-to-face or telephone appointments for sales purposes. Database Cleansing, the outbound calling of databases with the particular purpose to clean and prepare data and contact details for future telemarketing campaigns. Surveys, the implementation of telemarketing with the particular purpose of collecting data and information from specific target markets for qualitative research purposes. Telesales, telemarketing with the specific intention of making an actual sale/transaction over the phone. Includes the collection of credit card details over the phone for payment purposes, which allows for faster sales cycles and payment confirmation. Telemarketing may be done from a call center, or from home.
It may involve a live operator voice broadcasting, most associated with political messages. An effective telemarketing campaign involves two or more calls; the first call determines the customer's needs. The final call motivates the customer to make a purchase. Prospective customers are identified by various means, including past purchase history, previous requests for information, credit limit, competition entry forms, application forms. Names may be purchased from another company's consumer database or obtained from a telephone directory or another public list; the qualification process is intended to determine which customers are most to purchase the product or service. In business-to-business lead generation scenarios, telemarketing targets perceived decision-makers who might be good prospects for a business product or service; the telemarketing approach is combined with outreach via email or social media referred to as a cadence. Calls are made by sales development representatives with the goal of this outreach being a subsequent meeting—often with an account executive at the vendor organization.
Charitable organizations, alumni associations, political parties use telemarketing to solicit donations. Marketing research companies use telemarketing techniques to survey the prospective or past customers of a client's business in order to assess market acceptance of or satisfaction with a particular product, brand, or company. Public opinion polls are conducted in a similar manner. Telemarketing techniques are applied to other forms of electronic marketing using e-mail or fax messages, in which case they are considered spam by receivers. Telemarketing has been negatively associated with various scams and frauds, such as pyramid schemes, with deceptively overpriced products and services. Fraudulent telemarketing companies are referred to as "telemarketing boiler rooms" or "boiler rooms". Telemarketing is criticized as an unethical business practice due to the perception of high-pressure sales techniques during unsolicited calls. Telemarketers marketing telephone companies
Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products. Put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit, it does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or have any such formal organization, but it can range from a street peddler to General Motors."Having a business name does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for debts incurred by the business. If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner's personal possessions. A business structure does not allow for corporate tax rates; the proprietor is taxed on all income from the business. The term is often used colloquially to refer to a company. A company, on the other hand, is a separate legal entity and provides for limited liability, as well as corporate tax rates. A company structure is more complicated and expensive to set up, but offers more protection and benefits for the owner.
Forms of business ownership vary by jurisdiction, but several common entities exist: Sole proprietorship: A sole proprietorship known as a sole trader, is owned by one person and operates for their benefit. The owner may hire employees. A sole proprietor has unlimited liability for all obligations incurred by the business, whether from operating costs or judgments against the business. All assets of the business belong to a sole proprietor, for example, a computer infrastructure, any inventory, manufacturing equipment, or retail fixtures, as well as any real property owned by the sole proprietor. Partnership: A partnership is a business owned by two or more people. In most forms of partnerships, each partner has unlimited liability for the debts incurred by the business; the three most prevalent types of for-profit partnerships are general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships. Corporation: The owners of a corporation have limited liability and the business has a separate legal personality from its owners.
Corporations can be either government-owned or owned, they can organize either for profit or as nonprofit organizations. A owned, for-profit corporation is owned by its shareholders, who elect a board of directors to direct the corporation and hire its managerial staff. A owned, for-profit corporation can be either held by a small group of individuals, or publicly held, with publicly traded shares listed on a stock exchange. Cooperative: Often referred to as a "co-op", a cooperative is a limited-liability business that can organize as for-profit or not-for-profit. A cooperative differs from a corporation in that it has members, not shareholders, they share decision-making authority. Cooperatives are classified as either consumer cooperatives or worker cooperatives. Cooperatives are fundamental to the ideology of economic democracy. Limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, other specific types of business organization protect their owners or shareholders from business failure by doing business under a separate legal entity with certain legal protections.
In contrast, unincorporated businesses or persons working on their own are not as protected. Franchises: A franchise is a system in which entrepreneurs purchase the rights to open and run a business from a larger corporation. Franchising in the United States is widespread and is a major economic powerhouse. One out of twelve retail businesses in the United States are franchised and 8 million people are employed in a franchised business. A company limited by guarantee: Commonly used where companies are formed for non-commercial purposes, such as clubs or charities; the members guarantee the payment of certain amounts if the company goes into insolvent liquidation, but otherwise, they have no economic rights in relation to the company. This type of company is common in England. A company limited by guarantee may be without having share capital. A company limited by shares: The most common form of the company used for business ventures. A limited company is a "company in which the liability of each shareholder is limited to the amount individually invested" with corporations being "the most common example of a limited company."
This type of company is common in many English-speaking countries. A company limited by shares may be a publicly traded company or a held company A company limited by guarantee with a share capital: A hybrid entity used where the company is formed for non-commercial purposes, but the activities of the company are funded by investors who expect a return; this type of company may no longer be formed in the UK, although provisions still exist in law for them to exist. A limited liability company: "A company—statutorily authorized in certain states—that is characterized by limited liability, management by members or managers, limitations on ownership transfer", i.e. L. L. C. LLC structure has been called "hybrid" in that it "combines the characteristics of a corporation and of a partnership or sole proprietorship". Like a corporation, it has limited liability for members of the company, like a partnership, it has "flow-through taxation to the members" and must be "dissolved upon the death or bankruptcy of a member".
An unlimited company with or without a share capital: A hybrid entity, a company where the liability of members or shareholders for the debts of the company are not limited. In this case, the doctrine of a veil of incorporation does not apply. Less common types of companies are: Companies formed by letters patent: Most corpor
Republic of Ireland
Ireland known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, located on the eastern part of the island, whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's over 4.8 million inhabitants. The sovereign state shares its only land border with a part of the United Kingdom, it is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, the Irish Sea to the east. It is a parliamentary republic; the legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, an elected President who serves as the ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as head of state.
It was declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955, it joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, in 1973. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but during the 1980s and 1990s the British and Irish governments worked with the Northern Ireland parties towards a resolution to "the Troubles". Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the Irish government and Northern Ireland Executive have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created by the Agreement. Ireland ranks among the top twenty-five wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, as the tenth most prosperous country in the world according to The Legatum Prosperity Index 2015. After joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth.
The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by an unprecedented financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index, it performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD; the Irish government has followed a policy of military neutrality through non-alignment since prior to World War II and the country is not a member of NATO, although it is a member of Partnership for Peace. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was "styled and known as the Irish Free State".
The Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that "the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland". Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, "It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland." The 1948 Act does not name the state as "Republic of Ireland", because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name "Eire" and, from 1949, "Republic of Ireland", for the state; as well as "Ireland", "Éire" or "the Republic of Ireland", the state is referred to as "the Republic", "Southern Ireland" or "the South". In an Irish republican context it is referred to as "the Free State" or "the 26 Counties". From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%. One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated to the United States.
This set the pattern of emigration for the century to come, resulting in constant population decline up to the 1960s. From 1874, under Charles Stewart Parnell from 1880, the Irish Parliamentary Party gained prominence; this was firstly through widespread agrarian agitation via the Irish Land League, that won land reforms for tenants in the form of the Irish Land Acts, secondly through its attempts to achieve Home Rule, via two unsuccessful bills which would have granted Ireland limited national autonomy. These led to "grass-roots" control of national affairs, under the Local Government Act 1898, in the hands of landlord-dominated grand juries of the Protestant Ascendancy. Home Rule seemed certain when the Parliament Act 1911 abolished the veto of the House of Lords, John Redmond secured the Third Home Rule Act in 1914. However, the Unionist movement had been growing since 1886 among Irish Protestants after the introduction of the first home rule bill, fearing discrimination and loss of economic and social privileges if Irish Catholics achieved real political power