Carthage was the Phoenician city-state of Carthage and during the 7th to 3rd centuries BC, included its sphere of influence, the Carthaginian Empire. The empire extended over much of the coast of North Africa as well as encompassing substantial parts of coastal Iberia, Carthage was founded in 814 BC. At the height of the prominence it served as a major hub of trade. The city had to deal with potentially hostile Berbers, the inhabitants of the area where Carthage was built. In 146 BC, after the third and final Punic War, Roman forces destroyed, nearly all of the other Phoenician city-states and former Carthaginian dependencies subsequently fell into Roman hands. According to Roman sources, Phoenician colonists from modern-day Lebanon, led by Dido, Queen Elissa was an exiled princess of the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre. At its peak, the metropolis she founded, came to be called the city, ruling 300 other cities around the western Mediterranean Sea. Elissas brother, Pygmalion of Tyre, had murdered Elissas husband, Elissa escaped the tyranny of her own country, founding the new city of Carthage and subsequently its dominions.
Details of her life are sketchy and confusing, but the following can be deduced from various sources, according to Justin, Princess Elissa was the daughter of King Belus II of Tyre. When he died, the throne was jointly bequeathed to her brother and she married her uncle Acerbas, known as Sychaeus, the High Priest of Melqart, a man with both authority and wealth comparable to the king. This led to increased rivalry between the elite and the monarchy. Pygmalion was a tyrant, lover of both gold and intrigue, who desired the authority and fortune enjoyed by Acerbas, Pygmalion assassinated Acerbas in the temple and kept the misdeed concealed from his sister for a long time, deceiving her with lies about her husbands death. At the same time, the people of Tyre called for a single sovereign, in the Roman epic of Virgil, the Aeneid, Queen Dido, the Greek name for Elissa, is first introduced as a highly esteemed character. In just seven years, since their exodus from Tyre, the Carthaginians have rebuilt a successful kingdom under her rule and her subjects adore her and present her with a festival of praise.
Her character is perceived by Virgil as even more noble when she offers asylum to Aeneas and his men, who have recently escaped from Troy. A spirit in the form of the god, sent by Jupiter, reminds Aeneas that his mission is not to stay in Carthage with his new-found love, Dido. Virgil ends his legend of Dido with the story that, when Aeneas tells Dido, her heart broken, as she lay dying, she predicted eternal strife between Aeneas people and her own, rise up from my bones, avenging spirit she says, an invocation of Hannibal. The settlements at Crete and Sicily were in conflict with the Greeks
Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th-9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and this was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedonia, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the end of the Mediterranean Sea. Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a influence on ancient Rome. For this reason Classical Greece is generally considered to be the culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization. Classical Antiquity in the Mediterranean region is considered to have begun in the 8th century BC. Classical Antiquity in Greece is preceded by the Greek Dark Ages and this period is succeeded, around the 8th century BC, by the Orientalizing Period during which a strong influence of Syro-Hittite, Assyrian and Egyptian cultures becomes apparent.
The end of the Dark Ages is dated to 776 BC. The Archaic period gives way to the Classical period around 500 BC, Ancient Periods Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The history of Greece during Classical Antiquity may be subdivided into five major periods. The earliest of these is the Archaic period, in which artists made larger free-standing sculptures in stiff, the Archaic period is often taken to end with the overthrow of the last tyrant of Athens and the start of Athenian Democracy in 508 BC. It was followed by the Classical period, characterized by a style which was considered by observers to be exemplary, i. e. classical, as shown in the Parthenon. This period saw the Greco-Persian Wars and the Rise of Macedon, following the Classical period was the Hellenistic period, during which Greek culture and power expanded into the Near and Middle East. This period begins with the death of Alexander and ends with the Roman conquest, Herodotus is widely known as the father of history, his Histories are eponymous of the entire field.
Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as Thucydides, Demosthenes, most of these authors were either Athenian or pro-Athenian, which is why far more is known about the history and politics of Athens than those of many other cities. Their scope is limited by a focus on political and diplomatic history, ignoring economic. In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the fall of the Mycenaean civilization, literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. The Lelantine War is the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period and it was fought between the important poleis of Chalcis and Eretria over the fertile Lelantine plain of Euboea. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as result of the long war, a mercantile class arose in the first half of the 7th century BC, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC
The territory was divided into five colonies, each with its own administration, Hudsons Bay, Acadia and Louisiana. Acadia had a history, with the Great Upheaval, remembered on July 28 each year since 2003. The descendants are dispersed in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, in Maine and Louisiana in the United States, with populations in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia. In the sixteenth century, the lands were used primarily to draw from the wealth of natural resources, in the seventeenth century, successful settlements began in Acadia, and in Quebec by the efforts of Champlain. By 1765, the population of the new Province of Quebec reached approximately 70,000 settlers. In 1763 France had ceded the rest of New France, except the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, to Great Britain and Spain at the Treaty of Paris, in 1800, Spain returned its portion of Louisiana to France under the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso. However, French leader Napoleon Bonaparte in turn sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, New France eventually became part of the United States and Canada, with the only vestige remaining under French rule being the tiny islands Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
In the United States, the legacy of New France includes numerous placenames as well as pockets of French-speaking communities. In Canada, institutional bilingualism and strong Francophone identities are arguably the most enduring legacy of New France, the Conquest is viewed differently among Francophone Canadians, and between Anglophone and Francophone Canadians. Around 1523, the Florentine navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano convinced King Francis I, late that year, Verrazzano set sail in Dieppe, crossing the Atlantic on a small caravel with 50 men. After exploring the coast of the present-day Carolinas early the year, he headed north along the coast. The first European to discover the site of present-day New York, he named it Nouvelle-Angoulême in honour of the king, verrazzanos voyage convinced the king to seek to establish a colony in the newly discovered land. Verrazzano gave the names Francesca and Nova Gallia to that land between New Spain and English Newfoundland, in 1534, Jacques Cartier planted a cross in the Gaspé Peninsula and claimed the land in the name of King Francis I.
It was the first province of New France, initial French attempts at settling the region met with failure. French fishing fleets continued to sail to the Atlantic coast and into the St. Lawrence River, French merchants soon realized the St. Lawrence region was full of valuable fur-bearing animals, especially the beaver, which were becoming rare in Europe. Eventually, the French crown decided to colonize the territory to secure, another early French attempt at settlement in North America took place in 1564 at Fort Caroline, now Jacksonville, Florida. Intended as a haven for Huguenots, Caroline was founded under the leadership of René Goulaine de Laudonnière and it was sacked by the Spanish led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés who established the settlement of St. Augustine on 20 September 1565. Acadia and Canada were inhabited by indigenous nomadic Algonquian peoples and sedentary Iroquoian peoples and these lands were full of unexploited and valuable natural riches, which attracted all of Europe
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. As the worlds fifth-largest country by area and population, it is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to wildlife, a variety of ecological systems. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, in 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a state governed under a constitutional monarchy. The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, the country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup détat.
An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, Brazils current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. The federation is composed of the union of the Federal District, the 26 states, Brazils economy is the worlds ninth-largest by nominal GDP and seventh-largest by GDP as of 2015. A member of the BRICS group, Brazil until 2010 had one of the worlds fastest growing economies, with its economic reforms giving the country new international recognition. Brazils national development bank plays an important role for the economic growth. Brazil is a member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Mercosul, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States, CPLP. Brazil is a power in Latin America and a middle power in international affairs. One of the worlds major breadbaskets, Brazil has been the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years and it is likely that the word Brazil comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil commonly given the etymology red like an ember, formed from Latin brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a red dye, it was highly valued by the European cloth industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. The popular appellation eclipsed and eventually supplanted the official Portuguese name, early sailors sometimes called it the Land of Parrots. In the Guarani language, a language of Paraguay, Brazil is called Pindorama
Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy,284 km east of Tunisia, the country covers just over 316 km2, with a population of just under 450,000, making it one of the worlds smallest and most densely populated countries. The capital of Malta is Valletta, which at 0.8 km2, is the smallest national capital in the European Union, Malta has one national language, which is Maltese, and English as an official language. John and British, have ruled the islands, King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the George Cross to Malta in 1942 for the countrys bravery in the Second World War. The George Cross continues to appear on Maltas national flag, the country became a republic in 1974, and although no longer a Commonwealth realm, remains a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations. Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004, in 2008, Catholicism is the official religion in Malta.
The origin of the term Malta is uncertain, and the modern-day variation derives from the Maltese language, the most common etymology is that the word Malta derives from the Greek word μέλι, honey. The ancient Greeks called the island Μελίτη meaning honey-sweet, possibly due to Maltas unique production of honey, an endemic species of bee lives on the island. The Romans went on to call the island Melita, which can be considered either as a latinisation of the Greek Μελίτη or the adaptation of the Doric Greek pronunciation of the same word Μελίτα. Another conjecture suggests that the word Malta comes from the Phoenician word Maleth a haven or port in reference to Maltas many bays, few other etymological mentions appear in classical literature, with the term Malta appearing in its present form in the Antonine Itinerary. The extinction of the hippos and dwarf elephants has been linked to the earliest arrival of humans on Malta. Prehistoric farming settlements dating to the Early Neolithic period were discovered in areas and in caves.
The Sicani were the tribe known to have inhabited the island at this time and are generally regarded as being closely related to the Iberians. Pottery from the Għar Dalam phase is similar to found in Agrigento. A culture of megalithis temple builders either supplanted or arose from this early period, the temples have distinctive architecture, typically a complex trefoil design, and were used from 4000 to 2500 BCE. Animal bones and a knife found behind an altar stone suggest that temple rituals included animal sacrifice. Tentative information suggests that the sacrifices were made to the goddess of fertility, the culture apparently disappeared from the Maltese Islands around 2500 BC. Archaeologists speculate that the builders fell victim to famine or disease
York is a historic walled city at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The municipality is the county town of Yorkshire to which it gives its name. The city has a heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events in England throughout much of its two millennia of existence. The city offers a wealth of attractions, of which York Minster is the most prominent. The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD and it became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and of the kingdoms of Northumbria and Jórvík. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England. In the 19th century, York became a hub of the railway network, in recent decades, the economy of York has moved from being dominated by its confectionery and railway-related industries to one that provides services. The University of York and health services have become major employers, from 1996, the term City of York describes a unitary authority area which includes rural areas beyond the old city boundaries.
In 2011 the urban area had a population of 153,717, the word York derives from the Latinised name for the city, variously rendered as Eboracum, Eburacum or Eburaci. The first mention of York by this name is dated to circa 95–104 AD as an address on a wooden stylus tablet from the Roman fortress of Vindolanda in Northumberland, the toponymy of Eboracum is uncertain because the language of the pre-Roman indigenous population was never recorded. They are thought to have spoken a Celtic language related to modern Welsh, in his Historia Regum Britanniae the 12th century chronicler, Geoffrey of Monmouth, suggests the name derives from that of a pre-Roman city founded by the legendary king Ebraucus. Alternatively, the word already existed as an Old English word for wild swine. The Anglo-Saxon newcomers probably interpreted the part as eofor, and -rac as ric, while -um was a common abbreviation of the Saxon -heem. To them, it sounded as a home rich in boar, as is common in Saxon place names, the -um part gradually faded, eoforic.
When the Danish army conquered the city in 866, its name became Jórvík, the Old French and Norman name of the city following the Norman Conquest was recorded as Everwic in works such as Waces Roman de Rou. The form York was first recorded in the 13th century, many company and place names, such as the Ebor race meeting, refer to the Roman name. The Archbishop of York uses Ebor as his surname in his signature, archaeological evidence suggests that Mesolithic people settled in the region of York between 8000 and 7000 BC, although it is not known whether their settlements were permanent or temporary. By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a known to the Romans as the Brigantes
Angola /æŋˈɡoʊlə/, officially the Republic of Angola, is a country in Southern Africa. It is the seventh-largest country in Africa and is bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to west. The exclave province of Cabinda has borders with the Republic of the Congo, the capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda. In the 19th century, European settlers slowly and hesitantly began to themselves in the interior. As a Portuguese colony, Angola did not encompass its present borders until the early 20th century, following resistance by groups such as the Cuamato, the Kwanyama and the Mbunda. Independence was achieved in 1975 under a communist one-party state backed by the Soviet Union, the country soon descended into an even lengthier civil war that lasted until 2002. It has since become a relatively stable presidential republic. Angola has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy is among the fastest growing in the world, Angolas economic growth is highly uneven, with the majority of the nations wealth concentrated in a disproportionately small sector of the population.
Angola is a state of the United Nations, OPEC, African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Latin Union. A highly multiethnic country, Angolas 25.8 million people span various tribal groups, Angolan culture reflects centuries of Portuguese rule, namely in the predominance of the Portuguese language and the Catholic Church, combined with diverse indigenous influences. The name Angola comes from the Portuguese colonial name Reino de Angola, the toponym was derived by the Portuguese from the title ngola held by the kings of Ndongo. Ndongo was a kingdom in the highlands, between the Kwanza and Lukala Rivers, nominally tributary to the king of Kongo but which was seeking greater independence during the 16th century, modern Angola was populated predominantly by nomadic Khoi and San prior to the first Bantu migrations. The Khoi and San peoples were neither pastoralists nor cultivators, following a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and they were displaced by Bantu peoples arriving from the north, some of whom likely originated in northwestern Nigeria.
Bantu speakers introduced the cultivation of bananas and taro, as well as large herds, to Angolas central highlands. During this time, the Bantu established a number of entities in most of what today comprises Angola. To its south lay the Kingdom of Ndongo, from which the area of the Portuguese colony was known as Dongo. The region now known as Angola was reached by the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão in 1484, the year before, the Portuguese had established relations with the Kongo, which stretched at the time from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. The Portuguese established their primary trading post at Soyo, which is now the northernmost city in Angola apart from the Cabinda exclave
Federation of Australia
Fiji and New Zealand were originally part of this process, but they decided not to join the federation. When the Constitution of Australia came into force, on 1 January 1901, the efforts to bring about federation in the mid-19th century were dogged by the lack of popular support for the movement. A number of conventions were held during the 1890s to develop a constitution for the Commonwealth, Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales, was instrumental in this process. The election returned Barton as prime minister, though without a majority and this period has lent its name to an architectural style prevalent in Australia at that time, known as Federation architecture, or Federation style. A serious movement for Federation of the colonies arose in the late 1880s, a time there was increasing nationalism amongst Australians. The idea of being Australian began to be celebrated in songs and this was fostered by improvements in transport and communications, such as the establishment of a telegraph system between the colonies in 1872.
The Australian colonies were influenced by other federations which had emerged around the world, notably in Argentina, Switzerland. Sir Henry Parkes, Colonial Secretary of New South Wales, the Federation had the potential to ensure that throughout the continent and interstate commerce would be unaffected by protectionism and measurement and transport would be standardised. The final push for the Federal Council came at a conference in 1883, called to debate the strategies needed to counter the activities of the German and French in New Guinea, Sir Samuel Griffith, the Premier of Queensland, drafted a bill to constitute the Federal Council. The conference successfully petitioned the Imperial Parliament to enact the bill as the Federal Council of Australasia Act 1885, as a result, a Federal Council of Australasia was formed, to represent the affairs of the colonies in their relations with the South Pacific islands. New South Wales and New Zealand did not join, the self-governing colonies of Queensland and Victoria, as well as the Crown Colonies of Western Australia and Fiji, became involved.
South Australia was briefly a member between 1888 and 1890, the absence of the powerful colony of New South Wales weakened its representative value. Nevertheless, it was the first major form of inter-colonial co-operation and it provided an opportunity for Federalists from around the country to meet and exchange ideas. The means by which the Council was established endorsed the continuing role that the Imperial Parliament would have in the development of Australias constitutional structure, the individual colonies, Victoria excepted, were somewhat wary of Federation. Queensland, for its part, worried that the advent of national legislation would restrict the importing of kanaka labourers and these were not the only concerns of those resistant to federation. Smaller colonies worried about the abolition of tariffs, which would deprive them of a proportion of their revenue. New South Wales, traditionally free-trade in its outlook, wanted to be satisfied that the federations tariff policy would not be protectionist, Victorian Premier James Service described fiscal union as the lion in the way of federation. A further fundamental issue was how to distribute the excess customs duties from the government to the states
Marseille, known as Marseilles in English, is a city in France. Known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Massalia, Marseille was the most important trading centre in the region, Marseille is now Frances largest city on the Mediterranean coast and the largest port for commerce and cruise ships. The city was European Capital of Culture, together with Košice, Slovakia and it hosted the European Football Championship in 2016, and will be the European Capital of Sport in 2017. The city is home to campuses of Aix-Marseille University and part of one of the largest metropolitan conurbations in France. Marseille is the second largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third largest metropolitan area in France after Paris, further east still are the Sainte-Baume, the city of Toulon and the French Riviera. To the north of Marseille, beyond the low Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges, is the 1,011 m Mont Sainte Victoire. To the west of Marseille is the artists colony of lEstaque, further west are the Côte Bleue, the Gulf of Lion.
The airport lies to the north west of the city at Marignane on the Étang de Berre, the citys main thoroughfare stretches eastward from the Old Port to the Réformés quarter. Two large forts flank the entrance to the Old Port—Fort Saint-Nicolas on the south side and Fort Saint-Jean on the north. Further out in the Bay of Marseille is the Frioul archipelago which comprises four islands, one of which, If, is the location of Château dIf, the main commercial centre of the city intersects with the Canebière at rue St Ferréol and the Centre Bourse. To the south east of central Marseille in the 6th arrondissement are the Prefecture and the fountain of Place Castellane. To the south west are the hills of the 7th arrondissement, the railway station—Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles—is north of the Centre Bourse in the 1st arrondissement, it is linked by the Boulevard dAthènes to the Canebière. Marseille has a Mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and warm to hot, december and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of around 12 °C during the day and 4 °C at night.
Marseille is officially the sunniest major city in France with over 2,900 hours of sunshine while the average sunshine in France is around 1,950 hours, less frequent is the Sirocco, a hot, sand-bearing wind, coming from the Sahara Desert. Snowfalls are infrequent, over 50% of years do not experience a single snowfall, whose name was probably adapted from an existing language related to Ligurian, was the first Greek settlement in France. It was established within modern Marseille around 600 BC by colonists coming from Phocaea on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor. The connection between Massalia and the Phoceans is mentioned in Thucydidess Peloponnesian War, he notes that the Phocaean project was opposed by the Carthaginians, the founding of Massalia has been recorded as a legend. Protis was invited inland to a banquet held by the chief of the local Ligurian tribe for suitors seeking the hand of his daughter Gyptis in marriage, at the end of the banquet, Gyptis presented the ceremonial cup of wine to Protis, indicating her unequivocal choice
Alaska is a U. S. state located in the northwest extremity of North America. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas–the southern parts of the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area, the 3rd least populous, approximately half of Alaskas residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaskas economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, military bases and tourism are a significant part of the economy. The United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30,1867, the area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11,1912. It was admitted as the 49th state of the U. S. on January 3,1959, the name Alaska was introduced in the Russian colonial period when it was used to refer to the peninsula. It was derived from an Aleut, or Unangam idiom, which refers to the mainland of Alaska. Literally, it means object to which the action of the sea is directed, Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude in the United States because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere.
Alaska is the only non-contiguous U. S. state on continental North America and it is technically part of the continental U. S. but is sometimes not included in colloquial use, Alaska is not part of the contiguous U. S. often called the Lower 48. The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent but is not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system. Alaskas territorial waters touch Russias territorial waters in the Bering Strait, as the Russian Big Diomede Island, Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other U. S. states combined. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by total area at 663,268 square miles, over twice the size of Texas, Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries. Counting territorial waters, Alaska is larger than the area of the next three largest states, Texas and Montana. It is larger than the area of the 22 smallest U. S. states. Also referred to as the Panhandle or Inside Passage, this is the region of Alaska closest to the rest of the United States, as such, this was where most of the initial non-indigenous settlement occurred in the years following the Alaska Purchase.
The region is dominated by the Alexander Archipelago as well as the Tongass National Forest and it contains the state capital Juneau, the former capital Sitka, and Ketchikan, at one time Alaskas largest city. The Alaska Marine Highway provides a vital transportation link throughout the area. The Interior is the largest region of Alaska, much of it is uninhabited wilderness, Fairbanks is the only large city in the region
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie