Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain; the RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence, which are to "provide the capabilities needed to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories, including against terrorism. The RAF describes its mission statement as "... an agile and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission". The mission statement is supported by the RAF's definition of air power.
Air power is defined as "the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events". Today the Royal Air Force maintains an operational fleet of various types of aircraft, described by the RAF as being "leading-edge" in terms of technology; this consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft. The majority of the RAF's rotary-wing aircraft form part of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces. Most of the RAF's aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases. Although the RAF is the principal British air power arm, the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and the British Army's Army Air Corps deliver air power, integrated into the maritime and land environments. While the British were not the first to make use of heavier-than-air military aircraft, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force: that is, the first air force to become independent of army or navy control.
Following publication of the "Smuts report" prepared by Jan Smuts the RAF was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. At that time it was the largest air force in the world. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its inter-war years were quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the control of Iraq and executing a number of minor actions in other parts of the British Empire; the RAF's naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924 but handed over to Admiralty control on 24 May 1939. The RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War; the RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. Under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed "Article XV squadrons" for service with RAF formations.
Many individual personnel from these countries, exiles from occupied Europe served with RAF squadrons. By the end of the war the Royal Canadian Air Force had contributed more than 30 squadrons to serve in RAF formations approximately a quarter of Bomber Command's personnel were Canadian. Additionally, the Royal Australian Air Force represented around nine percent of all RAF personnel who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the numerically superior German Luftwaffe. In what is the most prolonged and complicated air campaign in history, the Battle of Britain contributed to the delay and subsequent indefinite postponement of Hitler's plans for an invasion of the United Kingdom. In the House of Commons on 20 August, prompted by the ongoing efforts of the RAF, Prime Minister Winston Churchill eloquently made a speech to the nation, where he said "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".
The largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command. While RAF bombing of Germany began immediately upon the outbreak of war, under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Harris, these attacks became devastating from 1942 onward as new technology and greater numbers of superior aircraft became available; the RAF adopted night-time area bombing on German cities such as Hamburg and Dresden, developed precision bombing techniques for specific operations, such as the "Dambusters" raid by No. 617 Squadron, or the Amiens prison raid known as Operation Jericho. Following victory in the Second World War, the RAF underwent significant re-organisation, as technological advances in air warfare saw the arrival of jet fighters and bombers. During the early stages of the Cold War, one of the first major operations undertaken by the Royal Air Force was in 1948 and the Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Between 26 June and the lifting of the Russian blockade of the city on 2 May, the RAF provided 17% of the total supplies delivered du
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is extended to refer to both the clock and the clock tower. The official name of the tower in which Big Ben is located was the Clock Tower, but it was renamed Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II; the tower was designed by Augustus Pugin in a neo-Gothic style. When completed in 1859, its clock was the largest and most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world; the tower stands 315 feet tall, the climb from ground level to the belfry is 334 steps. Its base is square. Dials of the clock are 23 feet in diameter. On 31 May 2009, celebrations were held to mark the tower's 150th anniversary. Big Ben is the largest of the tower's five bells and weighs 13.5 long tons. It was the largest bell in the United Kingdom for 23 years; the origin of the bell's nickname is open to question. Four quarter bells chime at 15, 30 and 45 minutes past the hour and just before Big Ben tolls on the hour.
The clock uses its original Victorian mechanism. The tower is a British cultural icon recognised all over the world, it is one of the most prominent symbols of the United Kingdom and parliamentary democracy, it is used in the establishing shot of films set in London. The clock tower has been part of a Grade I listed building since 1970 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. On 21 August 2017, a four-year schedule of renovation works began on the tower, which are to include the addition of a lift. There are plans to re-glaze and repaint the clock dials. With a few exceptions, such as New Year's Eve and Remembrance Sunday, the bells are to be silent until the work has been completed in the 2020s. Elizabeth Tower called the Clock Tower but more popularly known as Big Ben, was raised as a part of Charles Barry's design for a new palace, after the old Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire on the night of 16 October 1834; the new parliament was built in a neo-gothic style. Although Barry was the chief architect of the palace, he turned to Augustus Pugin for the design of the clock tower, which resembles earlier Pugin designs, including one for Scarisbrick Hall in Lancashire.
The design for the tower was Pugin's last design before his final descent into madness and death, Pugin himself wrote, at the time of Barry's last visit to him to collect the drawings: "I never worked so hard in my life for Mr Barry for tomorrow I render all the designs for finishing his bell tower & it is beautiful." The tower is designed in Pugin's celebrated Gothic Revival style, is 315 feet high. The bottom 200 feet of the tower's structure consists of brickwork with sand-coloured Anston limestone cladding; the remainder of the tower's height is a framed spire of cast iron. The tower is founded on a 50 feet square raft, made of 10 feet thick concrete, at a depth of 13 feet below ground level; the four clock dials are 180 feet above ground. The interior volume of the tower is 164,200 cubic feet. Despite being one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, the interior of the tower is not open to overseas visitors, though United Kingdom residents were able to arrange tours through their Member of Parliament before the current repair works.
However, the tower has no lift, though one is being installed, so those escorted had to climb the 334 limestone stairs to the top. Due to changes in ground conditions since construction, the tower leans to the north-west, by 230 millimetres over 55 m height, giving an inclination of 1⁄240; this includes a planned maximum of 22 mm increased tilt due to tunnelling for the Jubilee line extension. It leans by about 500 millimetres at the finial. Experts believe. Due to thermal effects it oscillates annually by a few millimetres west. Journalists during Queen Victoria's reign called it St Stephen's Tower; as MPs sat at St Stephen's Hall, these journalists referred to anything related to the House of Commons as news from "St. Stephens"; the usage persists in Welsh, where the Westminster district, Parliament by extension, is known as San Steffan. On 2 June 2012, The Daily Telegraph reported that 331 Members of Parliament, including senior members of all three main parties, supported a proposal to change the name from Clock Tower to Elizabeth Tower in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in her diamond jubilee year.
This was thought to be appropriate because the large west tower now known as Victoria Tower was renamed in tribute to Queen Victoria on her diamond jubilee. On 26 June 2012, the House of Commons confirmed; the Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the change of name on 12 September 2012 at the start of Prime Minister's Questions. The change was marked by a naming ceremony in which the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, unveiled a name plaque attached to the tower on the adjoining Speaker's Green; the clock and dials were designed by Augustus Pugin. The clock dials are set in an iron frame 23 feet in diameter, supporting 312 pieces of opal glass, rather like a stained-glass window; some of the glass pieces may be removed for inspection of the hands. The surround of the dials is gilded. At the base of each clock dial
Matryoshka dolls known as Russian nesting dolls, stacking dolls, or Russian dolls, are the set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. The name "matryoshka" "little matron", is a diminutive form of Russian female first name "Matryona" or "Matriosha". A set of matryoshkas consists of a wooden figure, which separates, top from bottom, to reveal a smaller figure of the same sort inside, which has, in turn, another figure inside of it, so on; the first Russian nested doll set was made in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo. Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan, a long and shapeless traditional Russian peasant jumper dress; the figures inside may be of either gender. Much of the artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be elaborate; the dolls follow a theme. In the west, Matryoshka dolls are erroneously referred to as "babushka dolls", babushka meaning "grandmother" or "old woman".
The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 at the Children's Education Workshop by Vasily Zvyozdochkin and designed by Sergey Malyutin, a folk crafts painter in the Abramtsevo estate of Savva Mamontov, a Russian industrialist and patron of arts.. Mamontov's brother, Anatoly Ivanovich Mamontov created the Children's Education Workshop to make and sell children's toys; the doll set was painted by Malyutin. Malyutin's doll set consisted of eight dolls—the outermost was a mother in a traditional dress holding a red-combed rooster; the inner dolls were her children, girls and a boy, the innermost a baby. The Children's Education Workshop was closed in the late 1890s, but the tradition of the matryoshka relocated to Sergiyev Posad, the Russia city known as a toy-making center since the fourteenth century; the origin of the inspiration for matroyshka dolls is not clear. It is believed that Zvyozdochkin and Malyutin were inspired by eastern Asian culture, for example the doll Honshu, named after the main island of Japan, however the Honshu figures cannot be placed one inside another.
Sources differ in descriptions of the doll, describing it as either a round, hollow daruma doll, portraying a bald old Buddhist monk, or a Seven Lucky Gods nesting doll. Savva Mamontov's wife presented the dolls at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, where the toy earned a bronze medal. Soon after, matryoshka dolls were being made in several places in Russia and shipped around the world. Matryoshka dolls are designed to follow a particular theme. Themes were drawn from tradition or fairy tale characters, in keeping with the craft tradition—but since the late 20th century, they have embraced a larger range, including Russian leaders. Common themes of Matryoshkas relate to nature. Christmas and religion are used as themes for the doll. Modern artists create many new styles of the nesting dolls as an alternative purchase option for tourism; these includes animal collections and caricatures of famous politicians, athletes, astronauts, "robots," and popular movie stars. Today, some Russian artists specialize in painting themed matryoshka dolls that feature specific categories of subjects, people or nature.
Areas with notable matryoshka styles include Sergiyev Posad, Polkhovsky Maidan, Kirov. In the late 1980s and early 1990s during Perestroika, freedom of expression allowed the leaders of the Soviet Union to become a common theme of matryoshka, with the largest doll featuring then-current leader Mikhail Gorbachev; these became popular at the time, affectionately earning the nickname of a "Gorby", namesake of Gorbachev. With the periodic succession of Russian leadership after the collapse of the Soviet Union, newer versions would start to feature Russian presidents Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev. Most sets feature the current leader as the largest doll, with the predecessors decreasing in size; the remaining smaller dolls may feature other former leaders such as Leonid Brezhnev, Nikita Khrushchev, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, sometimes several significant Tsars such as Nicholas II and Peter the Great. Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko never appear due to the short length of their respective terms.
Some less-common sets may feature the current leader as the smallest doll, with the predecessors increasing in size with Stalin or Lenin as the largest doll. Some sets that include Yeltsin preceding Gorbachev were made during the brief period between the establishment of President of the RSFSR and the collapse of the Soviet Union, as both Yeltsin and Gorbachev were concurrently in prominent government positions. During Medvedev's presidency and Putin may both share the largest doll due to Putin still having a prominent role in the government as Prime Minister of Russia; as of Putin's re-election as the fourth President of Russia, Medvedev will succeed Yeltsin and preceded Putin in stacking order, due to Putin's role as the largest doll. Political matryoshka range between 5 and 10 dolls per set; the largest set of matryoshka dolls in the world is a 51-piece set hand-painted by Youlia Bereznitskaia of Russia, completed in 2003. The tallest doll in the set measures 53.97 centimetres. Arranged side-by-side, the dolls span 3.41 metres.
Matryoshka is seen as a symbol of the feminine side of Russian c
Culture is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is considered a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. Cultural universals are found in all human societies; the concept of material culture covers the physical expressions of culture, such as technology and art, whereas the immaterial aspects of culture such as principles of social organization, philosophy and science comprise the intangible cultural heritage of a society. In the humanities, one sense of culture as an attribute of the individual has been the degree to which they have cultivated a particular level of sophistication in the arts, education, or manners; the level of cultural sophistication has sometimes been seen to distinguish civilizations from less complex societies. Such hierarchical perspectives on culture are found in class-based distinctions between a high culture of the social elite and a low culture, popular culture, or folk culture of the lower classes, distinguished by the stratified access to cultural capital.
In common parlance, culture is used to refer to the symbolic markers used by ethnic groups to distinguish themselves visibly from each other such as body modification, clothing or jewelry. Mass culture refers to the mass-produced and mass mediated forms of consumer culture that emerged in the 20th century; some schools of philosophy, such as Marxism and critical theory, have argued that culture is used politically as a tool of the elites to manipulate the lower classes and create a false consciousness, such perspectives are common in the discipline of cultural studies. In the wider social sciences, the theoretical perspective of cultural materialism holds that human symbolic culture arises from the material conditions of human life, as humans create the conditions for physical survival, that the basis of culture is found in evolved biological dispositions; when used as a count noun, a "culture" is the set of customs and values of a society or community, such as an ethnic group or nation. Culture is the set of knowledge acquired over time.
In this sense, multiculturalism values the peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between different cultures inhabiting the same planet. Sometimes "culture" is used to describe specific practices within a subgroup of a society, a subculture, or a counterculture. Within cultural anthropology, the ideology and analytical stance of cultural relativism holds that cultures cannot be objectively ranked or evaluated because any evaluation is situated within the value system of a given culture; the modern term "culture" is based on a term used by the Ancient Roman orator Cicero in his Tusculanae Disputationes, where he wrote of a cultivation of the soul or "cultura animi," using an agricultural metaphor for the development of a philosophical soul, understood teleologically as the highest possible ideal for human development. Samuel Pufendorf took over this metaphor in a modern context, meaning something similar, but no longer assuming that philosophy was man's natural perfection, his use, that of many writers after him, "refers to all the ways in which human beings overcome their original barbarism, through artifice, become human."In 1986, philosopher Edward S.
Casey wrote, "The word culture meant'place tilled' in Middle English, the same word goes back to Latin colere,'to inhabit, care for, worship' and cultus,'A cult a religious one.' To be cultural, to have a culture, is to inhabit a place sufficiently intensive to cultivate it—to be responsible for it, to respond to it, to attend to it caringly." Culture described by Richard Velkley:... meant the cultivation of the soul or mind, acquires most of its modern meaning in the writings of the 18th-century German thinkers, who were on various levels developing Rousseau's criticism of "modern liberalism and Enlightenment". Thus a contrast between "culture" and "civilization" is implied in these authors when not expressed as such. In the words of anthropologist E. B. Tylor, it is "that complex whole which includes knowledge, art, law and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society." Alternatively, in a contemporary variant, "Culture is defined as a social domain that emphasizes the practices and material expressions, over time, express the continuities and discontinuities of social meaning of a life held in common.
The Cambridge English Dictionary states that culture is "the way of life the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time." Terror management theory posits that culture is a series of activities and worldviews that provide humans with the basis for perceiving themselves as "person of worth within the world of meaning"—raising themselves above the physical aspects of existence, in order to deny the animal insignificance and death that Homo sapiens became aware of when they acquired a larger brain. The word is used in a general sense as the evolved ability to categorize and represent experiences with symbols and to act imaginatively and creatively; this ability arose with the evolution of behavioral modernity in humans around 50,000 years ago, is thought to be unique to humans, although some other species have demonstrated similar, though much less complex, abilities for social learning. It is used to denote the co
Hammer and sickle
The hammer and sickle is a symbol of proletarian solidarity, first adopted – as Russian: серп и мо́лот, translit. Serp i mólot: "hammer" -- during the Russian Revolution. At the time of its creation, the hammer stood for the proletariat and the sickle for the peasantry—combined they stood for the worker-peasant alliance for socialism; the sickle symbol resembles a sickle used to harvest grain crops and the hammer is one that would be used to make a razor sharp edge on a sickle or scythe. After World War I and the Russian Civil War, the hammer and sickle became more used as a symbol for peaceful labor within the Soviet Union and for international proletarian unity, it was taken up by many communist movements around some with local variations. Today after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the hammer and sickle remains commonplace in Russia and other former union republics, but its display is prohibited in some other former communist countries as well as in countries where communism is banned by law.
Farm and worker instruments and tools have long been used as symbols for proletarian struggle. The combination of hammer and sickle symbolised the combination of farmers and construction workers. One example of use prior to its political instrumentalisation by the Soviet Union is found in Chilean currency circulating since 1895. An alternative example is the combination of a plough, with the same meaning. In Ireland, the symbol of the plough remains in use; the Starry Plough banner was used by the Irish Citizen Army, a socialist republican workers' militia. James Connolly, co-founder of the Irish Citizen Army with Jack White, said the significance of the banner was that a free Ireland would control its own destiny from the plough to the stars. A sword is forged into the plough to symbolise the end of war with the establishment of a Socialist International; this was flown by the Irish Citizen Army during the 1916 Easter Rising. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin and Anatoly Lunacharsky held a competition to create a Soviet emblem.
The winning design was a hammer and sickle on top of a globe in rays of the sun, surrounded by a wreath of grain and under a five-pointed star, with the inscription "proletariats of the world, unite!" in six languages. It featured a sword, but Lenin objected, disliking the violent connotations; the winning designer was Yevgeny Ivanovich Kamzolkin. On 6 July 1923, the 2nd session of the Central Executive Committee adopted this emblem; the Coat of Arms of the Soviet Union and the Coats of Arms of the Soviet Republics showed the hammer and sickle, which appeared on the red star badge on the uniform cap of the Red Army uniform and in many other places. Serp i Molot is the name of the Moscow Metallurgical Plant. Serp i Molot is the name of a stop on the electric railway line from Kurski railway station in Moscow to Gorky, featured in Venedikt Yerofeyev's novel, Moscow-Petushki. At the time of creation, the hammer and sickle stood for worker-peasant alliance, with the hammer a traditional symbol of the industrial proletariat and the sickle a traditional symbol for the peasantry, but the meaning has since broadened to a globally recognizable symbol for Marxism, Marxist parties, or socialist states.
In the Soviet Union, the hammer and sickle came to take on a gendered meaning, with the sickle coming to be associated with women and the hammer men. Two federal subjects of the post-Soviet Russian Federation use the hammer and sickle in their symbols: the Vladimir Oblast has them on its flag and the Bryansk Oblast has them on its flag and coat of arms, the central element of its flag. In addition, the Russian city of Oryol uses the hammer and sickle on its flag; the former Soviet national airline, continues to use the hammer and sickle in its symbol. The hammer and sickle can be found as a logo on most ushanka hats the Soviet-styled ones The de facto government of Transnistria uses the flag and the emblem of the former Moldavian SSR, which includes the hammer and sickle; the flag can appear without the hammer and sickle in some circumstances, for example on Transnistrian-issued license plates. Three out of the five ruling Communist parties use a hammer and sickle as the party symbol: the Communist Party of China, the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.
All of these use the yellow-on-red colour scheme. In Laos and Vietnam, the hammer and sickle party flags can be seen flying side-by-side with their respective national flags. Many communist parties around the world use it, including the Communist Party of Greece Communist Party of Chile, the Communist Party of Brazil, the Egyptian Communist Party, the Communist Party of Pakistan, the Communist Party of Spain, the Communist Party of Denmark, the Communist Party of Norway, the Romanian Communist Party, the Lebanese Communist Party, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Shining Path; the Communist Party of Sweden, the Portuguese Communist Party and the Mexican Communist Party use the hammer and sickle imposed on the red star. The hammer and sickle accompanied by the yellow star is used by the Communist Refoundation Party, the main communist party in Italy. Many symbols having similar structures and messages to the original have been designed. For example, the Angolan flag shows a segment of a cog, crossed by a machete and crowned with a socialist star while the flag of Mozambique features an AK-47 crossed
Tea in the United Kingdom
Since the eighteenth century, the United Kingdom has been one of the world's greatest tea consumers, with an average annual per capita tea supply of 1.9 kg. The British Empire was instrumental in spreading tea from China to India. Tea, an upper-class drink in continental Europe, became the infusion of every social class in Great Britain throughout the course of the eighteenth century and has remained so. Tea is a prominent feature of British society. In both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, the drinking of tea is so varied that it is quite hard to generalise. While it is served with milk, it is not uncommon to drink it black or with lemon, with sugar being a popular addition to any of the above. Strong tea, served in a mug with milk and sugar, is a popular combination known as builder's tea. Tea is accompanied with sandwiches, cake and/or biscuits, with a popular British custom being dunking the biscuit into the tea; the rise in popularity of tea between the 17th and 19th centuries had major social and economic implications for Great Britain.
It defined respectability and domestic rituals, supported the rise and dominance of the British Empire, contributed to the rise of the Industrial Revolution by supplying both the capital for factories and calories for labourers. It demonstrates the power of globalization and imperialism to transform a country and shape it into the modern society it is known as today. Tea remains a popular drink in Britain in the modern day and is still considered to be an important part of British identity. Historians debate the causes of tea’s popularity and many attribute it to one or two factors, but a range of different factors are apparent at different times. Ukers argues in All About Tea: Volume I that the rise in popularity of tea in Great Britain was due to tea’s reputation among men as a medicinal drink that could cure a wide array of ailments, along with its burgeoning presence in the coffeehouses where elite men congregated; as for tea’s popularity among women, he acknowledges that Princess Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese future queen consort of England, made tea fashionable among aristocratic women, but attributes its popularity to its ubiquity in the medical discourse of the 17th century.
Ellis and Mauger trace tea’s popularity back to three distinct groups in Empire of Tea: The Asian Leaf that Conquered the World. These groups were virtuosi and elite female aristocrats, they argue that the influence of these three groups combined launched tea as a popular beverage in Great Britain. Smith, in his article "Complications of the Commonplace: Tea and Imperialism" differs from Ukers and Ellis and Mauger in that he argues that tea only became popular once sugar was added to the drink and tea with sugar became associated with a domestic ritual that indicated respectability. Mintz, in both “The Changing Roles of Food in the Story of Consumption” and Sweetness and Power and disagrees with Smith. Mintz acknowledges that sugar played a monumental role in the rise of tea, but contradicts Smith’s connection of tea to respectability. While Smith argues that tea first became popular in the home, Mintz believes tea first became popular in the workplace, as people drank tea during the workday for its warm sweetness and stimulating properties.
It was that it entered the home and became an “integral part of the social fabric.” The history of European interactions with tea dates back to the mid-16th century. The earliest mention of tea in European literature was by Giambattista Ramusio, a Venetian explorer, as Chai Catai or “Tea of China” in 1559. Tea was mentioned several more times in various European countries afterwards, but Jan Hugo van Linschooten, a Dutch navigator, was the first to write a printed reference of tea in 1598 in his Discours of Voyages. However, it was several years in 1615, that the earliest known reference to tea by an Englishman took place in a letter exchanged between Mr. R. Wickham, an agent for the British East India Company stationed at Japan to a Mr. Eaton, stationed in Macao, China. In this letter, Wickham asked Eaton to send him “a pot of the best sort of chaw,” phonetically an approximation of chàh, the local dialect word for tea. Another early reference to tea appears in the writings of trader Samuel Purchas in 1625.
Purchas describes how the Chinese consume tea as “the powder of a certaine herbe called chia of which they put as much as a walnut shell may contain, into a dish of Porcelane, drink it with hot water.” In 1637, Peter Mundy, a traveller and merchant who came across tea in Fujian, wrote, "chaa – only water with a kind of herb boyled in it". Though there were a number of early mentions, it was several more years before tea was sold in England. Green tea exported from China was first introduced in the coffeehouses of London shortly before the Stuart Restoration Thomas Garway, a tobacconist and coffee house owner, was the first person in England to sell tea as a leaf and beverage at his London coffeehouse in Exchange Alley in 1657, he had to explain the new beverage in a pamphlet. After Garway began selling it, the Sultaness Head Coffee House began selling tea as a beverage and posted the first newspaper advertisement for tea in Mercurius Politicus on 30 September 1658; the announcement proclaimed "That Excellent, by all Physicians approved, China drink, called by the Chinese, Tcha, by other nations Tay alias Tee...sold at the Sultaness-head, ye Cophee-house in Sweetings-Rents, by the Royal Exchange, London".
In London "Coffee, chocolate and a kind of drink called tee" were "sold in a
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly