Collectivist anarchism is a revolutionary anarchist doctrine that advocates the abolition of both the state and private ownership of the means of production as it instead envisions the means of production being owned collectively and controlled and managed by the producers themselves. For the collectivization of the means of production, it was envisaged that workers will revolt and forcibly collectivize the means of production. Once collectivization takes place, money would be abolished to be replaced with labour notes and workers' salaries would be determined in democratic organizations of voluntary membership based on job difficulty and the amount of time they contributed to production; these salaries would be used to purchase goods in a communal market. This contrasts with anarcho-communism, where wages would be abolished and where individuals would take from a storehouse of goods "to each according to his need". Notwithstanding the title, Mikhail Bakunin's collectivist anarchism is seen as a blend of individualism and collectivism.
Collectivist anarchism is most associated with Bakunin, the anti-authoritarian sections of the International Workingmen's Association and the early Spanish anarchist movement. Giuseppe Fanelli met Bakunin at Ischia in 1866. In October 1868, Bakunin sponsored Fanelli to travel to Barcelona to share his libertarian visions and recruit revolutionists to the International. Fanelli's trip and the meeting he organised during his travels provided the catalyst for the Spanish exiles, the largest workers' and peasants' movement in modern Spain and the largest anarchist movement in modern Europe. Fanelli's tour took him first to Barcelona, where he stayed with Elie Recluse. Recluse and Fanelli were at odds over Recluse's friendships with Spanish republicans and Fanelli soon left Barcelona for Madrid. Fanelli stayed in Madrid until the end of January 1869, conducting meetings to introduce Spanish workers, including Anselmo Lorenzo, to the First National. In February 1869, Fanelli left journeying home via Barcelona.
While there, he met with painter Josep Lluís Pellicer and his cousin Rafael Farga i Pellicer along with others who were to play an important role establishing the International in Barcelona as well as the Alliance section. In 1870, Bakunin led a failed uprising in Lyon on the principles exemplified by the Paris Commune, calling for a general uprising in response to the collapse of the French government during the Franco-Prussian War, seeking to transform an imperialist conflict into social revolution, or what Vladimir Lenin termed revolutionary defeatism. In his Letters to A Frenchman on the Present Crisis, Bakunin argued for a revolutionary alliance between the working class and the peasantry, advocated a system of militias with elected officers as part of a system of self-governing communes and workplaces and argued the time was ripe for revolutionary action, saying that "we must spread our principles, not with words but with deeds, for this is the most popular, the most potent, the most irresistible form of propaganda.
These ideas and corresponded strikingly with the program of the Paris Commune in 1871, much of, developed by followers of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon as Marxists were entirely absent from the Commune. Bakunin was a strong supporter of the Paris Commune, brutally suppressed by the French government, he saw the Paris Commune as above all a "rebellion against the State" and commended the Communards for rejecting not only the state, but revolutionary dictatorship. In a series of powerful pamphlets, he defended the Paris Commune and the International against the Italian nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini, thereby winning over many Italian republicans to the International and the cause of revolutionary socialism; the collectivist anarchists at first used the term collectivism to distinguish themselves from the mutualism of the followers of Proudhon and the state socialists associated with Karl Marx. In his 1867 essay "Federalism and Anti-Theologism", Bakunin wrote that "we shall always protest against anything that may in any way resemble communism or state socialism", which Bakunin regarded as fundamentally authoritarian.
Bakunin's disagreements with Marx which led to the attempt by the Marx party to expel him at the Hague Congress in 1872 illustrated the growing divergence between the anti-authoritarian sections of the International, which advocated the direct revolutionary action and organization of the workers and peasants in order to abolish the state and capitalism. Bakunin was "Marx's flamboyant chief opponent" and "presciently warned against the emergence of a communist authoritarianism that would take power over working people"; the anti-authoritarian majority which included most sections of the International created their own International at the St. Imier Congress, adopted a revolutionary anarchist program and repudiated the Hague resolutions, rescinding Bakunin's alleged expulsion. Although Bakunin accepted elements of Marx's class analysis and theories regarding capitalism, acknowledging "Marx's genius", he thought Marx's analysis was one-sided and that Marx's methods would compromise the social revolution.
More Bakunin criticized authoritarian socialism which he associated with Marxism and the concept of dictatorship of the proletariat which he adamantly refused. Indeed, Bakunin's maxim was that "f you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself; the anti-authoritarian sections of the International proclaimed at the St. Imier Congress that "the aspirations of the proletariat can have no purpose o
A state is a political organization with a centralized government that maintains a monopoly by use of force within a certain geographical territory. Some states are sovereign, other states are subject to external sovereignty or hegemony, where supreme authority lies in another state; the term "state" applies to federated states that are members of a federation, in which sovereignty is shared between member states and a federal body. Speakers of American English use the terms "state" and "government" as synonyms, with both words referring to an organized political group that exercises authority over a particular territory. In British and Commonwealth English, "state" is the only term that has that meaning, while "the government" instead refers to the ministers and officials who set the political policy for the territory. Many human societies have been governed by states for millennia; the first states arose about 5,500 years ago in conjunction with rapid growth of cities, invention of writing, codification of new forms of religion.
Over time, a variety of different forms developed, employing a variety of justifications for their existence. Today, the modern nation-state is the predominant form of state; the word state and its cognates in some other European languages derive from the Latin word status, meaning "condition, circumstances". The English noun state in the generic sense "condition, circumstances" predates the political sense, it is introduced to Middle English c. 1200 both directly from Latin. With the revival of the Roman law in 14th-century Europe, the term came to refer to the legal standing of persons, in particular the special status of the king; the highest estates those with the most wealth and social rank, were those that held power. The word had associations with Roman ideas about the "status rei publicae", the "condition of public matters". In time, the word lost its reference to particular social groups and became associated with the legal order of the entire society and the apparatus of its enforcement.
The early 16th-century works of Machiavelli played a central role in popularizing the use of the word "state" in something similar to its modern sense. The contrasting of church and state still dates to the 16th century; the North American colonies were called "states" as early as the 1630s. The expression L'Etat, c'est moi attributed to Louis XIV of France is apocryphal, recorded in the late 18th century. There is no academic consensus on the most appropriate definition of the state; the term "state" refers to a set of different, but interrelated and overlapping, theories about a certain range of political phenomena. The act of defining the term can be seen as part of an ideological conflict, because different definitions lead to different theories of state function, as a result validate different political strategies. According to Jeffrey and Painter, "if we define the'essence' of the state in one place or era, we are liable to find that in another time or space something, understood to be a state has different'essential' characteristics".
Different definitions of the state place an emphasis either on the ‘means’ or the ‘ends’ of states. Means-related definitions include those by Max Weber and Charles Tilly, both of whom define the state according to its violent means. For Weber, the state "is a human community that claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory”, while Tilly characterises them as "coercion-wielding organisations". Ends-related definitions emphasis instead the teleological aims and purposes of the state. Marxist thought regards the ends of the state as being the perpetuation of class domination in favour of the ruling class which, under the capitalist mode of production, is the bourgeoisie; the state exists to defend the ruling class's claims to private property and its capturing of surplus profits at the expense of the proletariat. Indeed, Marx claimed that "the executive of the modern state is nothing but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie".
Liberal thought provides another possible teleology of the state. According to John Locke, the goal of the state/commonwealth was "the preservation of property", with'property' in Locke's work referring not only to personal possessions but to one's life and liberty. On this account, the state provides the basis for social cohesion and productivity, creating incentives for wealth creation by providing guarantees of protection for one's life and personal property. Jinnah favoured a state with the least functions, he was of the opinion that until society becomes self-regulative and self-evolving and until the individual becomes perfect, the state, so long, would be necessary. The most used definition is Max Weber's, which describes the state as a compulsory political organization with a centralized government that maintains a monopoly of the legitimate use of force within a certain territory. General categories of state institutions include administrative bureaucracies, legal systems, military or religious organizations.
Another accepted definition of the state is the one given at the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States in 1933. It provides that "he state as a person of i
Anarchism is an anti-authoritarian political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies based on voluntary, cooperative institutions and the rejection of hierarchies those societies view as unjust. These institutions are described as stateless societies, although several authors have defined them more as distinct institutions based on non-hierarchical or free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable and harmful. Anarchism is considered a far-left ideology and much of its economics and legal philosophy reflect anti-authoritarian interpretations of communism, syndicalism, mutualism, or participatory economics; as anarchism does not offer a fixed body of doctrine from a single particular worldview, many anarchist types and traditions exist and varieties of anarchy diverge widely. Anarchist schools of thought can differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism, or similar dual classifications.
The etymological origin of anarchism derives from ancient Greek word anarkhia. Anarkhia meant "without a ruler" as it was composed by the word arkhos; the suffix -ism is used to denote the ideological current that favours anarchism. The first known use of this word was in 1642. Various factions within the French Revolution labelled opponents as anarchists although few shared many views of anarchists. There would be many revolutionaries of the early 19th century who contributed to the anarchist doctrines of the next generation, such as William Godwin and Wilhelm Weitling, but they did not use the word anarchist or anarchism in describing themselves or their beliefs; the first political philosopher to call himself an anarchist was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, marking the formal birth of anarchism in the mid-19th century. Since the 1890s and beginning in France, the term libertarianism has been used as a synonym for anarchism and its use as a synonym is still common outside the United States. On the other hand, some use libertarianism to refer to individualistic free-market philosophy only, referring to free-market anarchism as libertarian anarchism.
While opposition to the state is central, defining anarchism is not an easy task as there is a lot of talk among scholars and anarchists on the matter and various currents perceive anarchism differently. Hence, it might be true to say that anarchism is a cluster of political philosophies opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of all human relations in favour of a society based on voluntary association and decentralisation, but this definition has its own shortcomings as the definition based on etymology, or based on anti-statism or the anti-authoritarian. Major elements of the definition of anarchism include: a) the will for a non coercive society. During the prehistoric era of mankind, an established authority did not exist, it was after the creation of towns and cities that hierarchy was invented and anarchistic ideas espoused as a reaction. Most notable examples of anarchism in the ancient world were in Greece. In China, philosophical anarchism, meaning peaceful delegitimizing of the state, was delineated by Taoist philosophers.
In Greece, anarchist attitudes were articulated by tragedians and philosophers. Aeschylus and Sophocles used the myth of Antigone to illustrate the conflict of personal autonomy with the state rules. Socrates questioned Athenian authorities and insisted to the right of individual freedom of consciousness. Cynics associated authorities while trying to live according to nature. Stoics were supportive of a society based on unofficial and friendly relations among its citizens without the presence of a state. During the Middle Ages, there was no anarchistic activity except some ascetic religious movements in the Islamic world or in Christian Europe; this kind of tradition gave birth to religious anarchism. In Persia, a Zoroastrian Prophet known as Mazdak was calling for an egalitarian society and the abolition of monarchy, but he soon found himself executed by the king. In Basra, religious sects preached against the state. In Europe, various sects developed anti-state and libertarian tendencies; those currents were the precursor of religious anarchism in the centuries to come.
It was in the Renaissance and with the spread of reasoning and humanism through Europe that libertarian ideas emerged. Writers were outlining in their novels ideal societies that were based not on coercion but voluntarism; the Enlightenment further pushed towards anarchism with the optimism for social progress. The turning point towards anarchism was the French Revolution in which the anti-state and federalist sentiments began to take a form by Enragés and sans-culottes; some prominent figures of anarchism begun developing the first anarchist currents. That is the era of classical anarchism that lasted until the end of the Spanish Civil War of 1936 and was the golden age of anarchism. William Godwin espoused philosophical anarchism in England morally delegitimizing the state, Max Stirner's thinking paved the way to individualism and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's theory of mutualism found fertile soil in France. Michael Bakunin took mutualism and extended
Maximilian Karl Emil Weber was a German sociologist, philosopher and political economist. His ideas profoundly influenced social research. Weber is cited, with Émile Durkheim and Karl Marx, as among the three founders of sociology. Weber was a key proponent of methodological anti-positivism, arguing for the study of social action through interpretive means, based on understanding the purpose and meaning that individuals attach to their own actions. Unlike Durkheim, he did not believe in mono-causality and rather proposed that for any outcome there can be multiple causes. Weber's main intellectual concern was understanding the processes of rationalisation, "disenchantment" that he associated with the rise of capitalism and modernity, he saw these as the result of a new way of thinking about the world. Weber is best known for his thesis combining economic sociology and the sociology of religion, elaborated in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, in which he proposed that ascetic Protestantism was one of the major "elective affinities" associated with the rise in the Western world of market-driven capitalism and the rational-legal nation-state.
He argued. Thus, it can be said. Against Marx's historical materialism, Weber emphasised the importance of cultural influences embedded in religion as a means for understanding the genesis of capitalism; the Protestant Ethic formed the earliest part in Weber's broader investigations into world religion. In another major work, "Politics as a Vocation", Weber defined the state as an entity that claims a "monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory", he was the first to categorise social authority into distinct forms, which he labelled as charismatic and rational-legal. His analysis of bureaucracy emphasised that modern state institutions are based on rational-legal authority. Weber made a variety of other contributions in economic history, as well as economic theory and methodology. Weber's analysis of modernity and rationalisation influenced the critical theory associated with the Frankfurt School. After the First World War, Max Weber was among the founders of the liberal German Democratic Party.
He ran unsuccessfully for a seat in parliament and served as advisor to the committee that drafted the ill-fated democratic Weimar Constitution of 1919. After contracting Spanish flu, he died of pneumonia in 1920, aged 56. Karl Emil Maximilian Weber was born in Erfurt, Province of Saxony, Prussia, he was the oldest of the seven children of Max Weber Sr. a wealthy and prominent civil servant and member of the National Liberal Party, his wife Helene, who descended from French Huguenot immigrants and held strong moral absolutist ideas. Weber Sr.'s involvement in public life immersed his home in both politics and academia, as his salon welcomed many prominent scholars and public figures. The young Weber and his brother Alfred, who became a sociologist and economist, thrived in this intellectual atmosphere. Weber's 1876 Christmas presents to his parents, when he was thirteen years old, were two historical essays entitled "About the course of German history, with special reference to the positions of the Emperor and the Pope", "About the Roman Imperial period from Constantine to the migration of nations".
In class and unimpressed with the teachers—who in turn resented what they perceived as a disrespectful attitude—he secretly read all forty volumes of Goethe, it has been argued that this was an important influence on his thought and methodology. Before entering the university, he would read many other classical works. Over time, Weber would be affected by the marital tension between his father, "a man who enjoyed earthly pleasures", his mother, a devout Calvinist "who sought to lead an ascetic life". In 1882 Weber enrolled in the University of Heidelberg as a law student. After a year of military service, he transferred to the University of Berlin. After his first few years as a student, during which he spent much time "drinking beer and fencing", Weber would take his mother's side in family arguments and grew estranged from his father. With his studies, he worked as a junior lawyer. In 1886 Weber passed the examination for Referendar, comparable to the bar association examination in the British and American legal systems.
Throughout the late 1880s, Weber continued his study of history. He earned his law doctorate in 1889 by writing a dissertation on legal history titled The history of commercial partnerships in the Middle Ages; this work was used as part of a longer work On the History of Trading Companies in the Middle Ages, based on South-European Sources, published in the same year. Two years Weber completed his Habilitationsschrift, Roman Agrarian History and its Significance for Public and Private Law, working with August Meitzen. Having thus become a Privatdozent, Weber joined the University of Berlin's faculty and consulting for the government. In the years between the completion of his dissertation and habilitation, Weber took an interest in contemporary social policy. In 1888 he joined the Verein für Socialpolitik, a new professional association of German economists affiliated with the historical school, who saw the role of economic
Nationalism is a political and economic ideology and movement characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference, that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, that the nation is the only rightful source of political power, it further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, religion and belief in a shared singular history—and to promote national unity or solidarity. Nationalism, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements, it encourages pride in national achievements, is linked to patriotism. Nationalism is combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism or socialism for example. Nationalism as an ideology is modern. Throughout history, people have had an attachment to their kin group and traditions, to territorial authorities and to their homeland, but nationalism did not become a widely-recognized concept until the 18th century.
There are three paradigms for understanding the origins and basis of nationalism. Primordialism proposes that there have always been nations and that nationalism is a natural phenomenon. Ethnosymbolism explains nationalism as a dynamic, evolutionary phenomenon and stresses the importance of symbols and traditions in the development of nations and nationalism. Modernism proposes that nationalism is a recent social phenomenon that needs the socio-economic structures of modern society to exist. There are various definitions of a "nation", which leads to different strands of nationalism. Ethnic nationalism defines the nation in terms of shared ethnicity and culture, while civic nationalism defines the nation in terms of shared citizenship and institutions, is linked to constitutional patriotism; the adoption of national identity in terms of historical development has been a response by influential groups unsatisfied with traditional identities due to mismatch between their defined social order and the experience of that social order by its members, resulting in an anomie that nationalists seek to resolve.
This anomie results in a society reinterpreting identity, retaining elements deemed acceptable and removing elements deemed unacceptable, to create a unified community. This development may be the result of internal structural issues or the result of resentment by an existing group or groups towards other communities foreign powers that are controlling them. National symbols and flags, national anthems, national languages, national myths and other symbols of national identity are important in nationalism. In practice, nationalism can be seen as positive or negative depending on context and individual outlook. Nationalism has been an important driver in independence movements, such as the Greek Revolution, the Irish Revolution, the Zionist movement that created modern Israel, the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Conversely, radical nationalism combined with racial hatred was a key factor in the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany. More nationalism was an important driver of the controversial annexation of Crimea by Russia.
The terminological use of'nations','sovereignty' and associated concepts was refined with the writing by Hugo Grotius of De Jure Belli ac Pacis in the early 17th century. Living in the times of the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Netherlands and the Thirty Years' War between Catholic and Protestant European nations, it is not surprising that Grotius was concerned with matters of conflicts between nations in the context of oppositions stemming from religious differences; the word nation was usefully applied before 1800 in Europe to refer to the inhabitants of a country as well as to collective identities that could include shared history, language, political rights and traditions, in a sense more akin to the modern conception. Nationalism as derived from the noun designating'nations' is a newer word, it became important in the 19th century. The term became negative in its connotations after 1914. Glenda Sluga notes that "The twentieth century, a time of profound disillusionment with nationalism, was the great age of globalism."
Nationalism has been a recurring facet of civilizations since ancient times, though the modern sense of national political autonomy and self-determination was formalized in the late 18th century. Examples of nationalist movements can be found throughout history, from the Jewish revolts of the 1st and 2nd centuries, to the re-emergence of Persian culture during the Sasanid period of Persia, to the re-emergence of Latin culture in the Western Roman Empire during the 4th and 5th centuries, as well as many others. In modern times, examples can be seen in the emergence of German nationalism as a reaction against Napoleonic control of Germany as the Confederation of the Rhine around 1805–14. Linda Colley in Britons, Forging the Nation 1707–1837 explores how the role of nationalism emerged about 1700 and developed in Britain reaching full form in the 1830s. Historians of nationalism in Europe begin with the French Revolution, not only for its impact on French nationalism but more for its impact on Germans and Italians and on Eu
Corporatism is a political ideology which advocates the organization of society by corporate groups, such as agricultural, military, scientific, or guild associations on the basis of their common interests. The idea is that when each group performs its designated function, society will function harmoniously — like a human body from which its name derives. Corporatist ideas have been expressed since Ancient Greek and Roman societies, with integration into Catholic social teaching and Christian democracy political parties, they have been paired by various advocates and implemented in various societies with a wide variety of political systems, including authoritarianism, fascism and socialism. Corporatism may refer to economic tripartism involving negotiations between labour and business interest groups and the government to establish economic policy; this is sometimes referred to as neo-corporatism and is associated with social democracy. Kinship-based corporatism emphasizing clan and family identification has been a common phenomenon in Africa and Latin America.
Confucian societies based upon families and clans in East Asia and Southeast Asia have been considered types of corporatism. China has strong elements of clan corporatism in its society involving legal norms concerning family relations. Islamic societies feature strong clans which form the basis for a community-based corporatist society. Family businesses are common worldwide in capitalist societies. In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church sponsored the creation of various institutions including brotherhoods, religious orders and military associations during the Crusades, to sponsor association between these groups. In Italy, various function-based groups and institutions were created, including universities, guilds for artisans and craftspeople and other professional associations; the creation of the guild system is a important aspect of the history of corporatism because it involved the allocation of power to regulate trade and prices to guilds, an important aspect of corporatist economic models of economic management and class collaboration.
In 1881, Pope Leo XIII commissioned theologians and social thinkers to study corporatism and provide a definition for it. In 1884 in Freiburg, the commission declared that corporatism was a "system of social organization that has at its base the grouping of men according to the community of their natural interests and social functions, as true and proper organs of the state they direct and coordinate labor and capital in matters of common interest". Corporatism is related to the sociological concept of structural functionalism. Corporatism's popularity increased in the late 19th century and a corporatist internationale was formed in 1890, followed by the publishing of Rerum novarum by the Catholic Church that for the first time declared the Church's blessing to trade unions and recommended for organized labour to be recognized by politicians. Many corporatist unions in Europe were endorsed by the Catholic Church to challenge the anarchist and other radical unions, with the corporatist unions being conservative in comparison to their radical rivals.
Some Catholic corporatist states include Austria under the leadership of Federal Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss and Ecuador under the leadership of Garcia Moreno. The economic vision outlined in Rerum novarum and Quadragesimo anno influenced the regime of Juan Perón and Justicialism. In response to the Roman Catholic corporatism of the 1890s, Protestant corporatism was developed in Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. However, Protestant corporatism has been much less successful in obtaining assistance from governments than its Roman Catholic counterpart. Ancient Greece developed early concepts of corporatism. Plato developed the concept of a totalitarian and communitarian corporatist system of natural-based classes and natural social hierarchies that would be organized based on function, such that groups would cooperate to achieve social harmony by emphasizing collective interests while rejecting individual interests. In Politics, Aristotle described society as being divided along natural classes and functional purposes that were priests, rulers and warriors.
Ancient Rome adopted Greek concepts of corporatism into their own version of corporatism but added the concept of political representation on the basis of function that divided representatives into military and religious groups and created institutions for each group known as colegios. See collegium. Absolute monarchies during the late Middle Ages subordinated corporatist systems and corporate groups to the authority of centralized and absolutist governments, resulting in corporatism being used to enforce social hierarchy. After the French Revolution, the existing absolutist corporatist system was abolished due to its endorsement of social hierarchy and special "corporate privilege" for the Roman Catholic Church; the new French government considered corporatism's emphasis on group rights as inconsistent with the government's promotion of individual rights. Subsequently corporatist systems and corporate privilege throughout Europe were abolished in response to the French Revolution. From 1789 to the 1850s, most supporters of corporatism were reactionaries.
A number of reactionary corporatists favoured corporatism in order to end liberal capitalism and restore the feudal system. From the 1850s onward, progressive corporatism developed in response to classical liberalism and Marxism; these corporatists supported providing group rights to members of the middle classes and working classes in order to secure cooperation among the classes. This was in opposition to the M
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script