Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities; the history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, technological developments have increased yields, while causing widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage.
Environmental issues include contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, antibiotic resistance, growth hormones in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are used, although some are banned in certain countries; the major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers and raw materials. Food classes include cereals, fruits, meat, milk and eggs. Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased over the centuries; the word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, "field", which in its turn came from Greek αγρός, cultūra, "cultivation" or "growing". While agriculture refers to human activities, certain species of ant and ambrosia beetle cultivate crops. Agriculture is defined with varying scopes, in its broadest sense using natural resources to "produce commodities which maintain life, including food, forest products, horticultural crops, their related services".
Thus defined, it includes arable farming, animal husbandry and forestry, but horticulture and forestry are in practice excluded. The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, included a diverse range of taxa, in at least 11 separate centres of origin. Wild grains were eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC, followed by mung and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 11,000 years ago. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan some 10,500 years ago. Pig production emerged in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia, where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago.
In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, llamas and guinea pigs. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago, was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was bred into maize by 6,000 years ago. Scholars have offered multiple hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an initial period of intensification and increasing sedentism. Wild stands, harvested started to be planted, came to be domesticated. In Eurasia, the Sumerians started to live in villages from about 8,000 BC, relying on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a canal system for irrigation. Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3,000 BC. Farmers grew wheat, vegetables such as lentils and onions, fruits including dates and figs.
Ancient Egyptian agriculture relied on its seasonal flooding. Farming started in the predynastic period at the end of the Paleolithic, after 10,000 BC. Staple food crops were grains such as wheat and barley, alongside industrial crops such as flax and papyrus. In India, wheat and jujube were domesticated by 9,000 BC, soon followed by sheep and goats. Cattle and goats were domesticated in Mehrgarh culture by 8,000–6,000 BC. Cotton was cultivated by the 5th-4th millennium BC. Archeological evidence indicates an animal-drawn plough from 2,500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation. In China, from the 5th century BC there was a nationwide granary system and widespread silk farming. Water-powered grain mills were in use followed by irrigation. By the late 2nd century, heavy ploughs had been developed with iron mouldboards; these spread westwards across Eurasia. Asian rice was domesticated 8,200–13,500 years ago – depending on the molecular clock estimate, used – on the Pearl River in southern China with a single genetic origin from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon
Consumer price index
A Consumer Price Index measures changes in the price level of market basket of consumer goods and services purchased by households. The CPI is a statistical estimate constructed using the prices of a sample of representative items whose prices are collected periodically. Sub-indices and sub-sub-indices are computed for different categories and sub-categories of goods and services, being combined to produce the overall index with weights reflecting their shares in the total of the consumer expenditures covered by the index, it is one of several price indices calculated by most national statistical agencies. The annual percentage change in a CPI is used as a measure of inflation. A CPI can be used to index the real value of wages, pensions, for regulating prices and for deflating monetary magnitudes to show changes in real values. In most countries, the CPI, along with the population census, is one of the most watched national economic statistics; the index is computed monthly, or quarterly in some countries, as a weighted average of sub-indices for different components of consumer expenditure, such as food, shoes, each of, in turn a weighted average of sub-sub-indices.
At the most detailed level, the elementary aggregate level, detailed weighting information is unavailable, so indices are computed using an unweighted arithmetic or geometric mean of the prices of the sampled product offers. These indices compare prices each month with prices in the price-reference month; the weights used to combine them into the higher-level aggregates, into the overall index, relate to the estimated expenditures during a preceding whole year of the consumers covered by the index on the products within its scope in the area covered. Thus the index is a fixed-weight index, but a true Laspeyres index, since the weight-reference period of a year and the price-reference period a more recent single month, do not coincide. Ideally, the weights would relate to the composition of expenditure during the time between the price-reference month and the current month. There is a large technical economics literature on index formulas which would approximate this and which can be shown to approximate what economic theorists call a true cost-of-living index.
Such an index would show how consumer expenditure would have to move to compensate for price changes so as to allow consumers to maintain a constant standard of living. Approximations can only be computed retrospectively, whereas the index has to appear monthly and, quite soon. In some countries, notably in the United States and Sweden, the philosophy of the index is that it is inspired by and approximates the notion of a true cost of living index, whereas in most of Europe it is regarded more pragmatically; the coverage of the index may be limited. Consumers' expenditure abroad is excluded. Saving and investment are always excluded, though the prices paid for financial services provided by financial intermediaries may be included along with insurance; the index reference period called the base year differs both from the weight-reference period and the price-reference period. This is just a matter of rescaling the whole time-series to make the value for the index reference-period equal to 100.
Annually revised weights are a desirable but expensive feature of an index, for the older the weights the greater is the divergence between the current expenditure pattern and that of the weight reference-period. Consumer Price Index = Market Basket of Desired Year Market Basket of Base Year × 100 or CPI 2 CPI 1 = Price 2 Price 1 Where 1 is the comparison year and CPI1 is an index of 100. Alternatively, the CPI can be performed as CPI = updated cost base period cost × 100; the "updated cost" is divided by that of the initial year multiplied by one hundred. Many but not all price indices are weighted averages using weights that sum to 1 or 100. Example: The prices of 85,000 items from 22,000 stores, 35,000 rental units are added together and averaged, they are weighted this way: Housing: 41.4%, Food and Beverage: 17.4%, Transport: 17.0%, Medical Care: 6.9%, Other: 6.9%, Apparel: 6.0%, Entertainment: 4.4%. Taxes are not included in CPI computation. C P I = ∑ i = 1 n C P I i × w e i g h t i ∑
A deed is any legal instrument in writing which passes, affirms or confirms an interest, right, or property and, signed, delivered, in some jurisdictions, sealed. It is associated with transferring title to property; the deed has a greater presumption of validity and is less rebuttable than an instrument signed by the party to the deed. A deed can be bilateral. Deeds include conveyances, licenses, patents and conditionally powers of attorney if executed as deeds; the deed is the modern descendant of the medieval charter, delivery is thought to symbolically replace the ancient ceremony of livery of seisin. The traditional phrase signed and delivered refers to the practice of seals. Agreements under seal are called contracts by deed or specialty. In some jurisdictions, specialties have a liability limitation period of double that of a simple contract and allow for a third party beneficiary to enforce an undertaking in the deed, thereby overcoming the doctrine of privity. Specialties, as a form of contract, are bilateral and can therefore be distinguished from covenants, being under seal, are unilateral promises.
At common law, to be valid and enforceable, a deed must meet several requirements: It must state on its face that it is a deed, using wording like "This Deed..." or "executed as a deed". It must indicate that the instrument itself conveys some thing to someone; the grantor must have the legal ability to grant the thing or privilege, the grantee must have the legal capacity to receive it. It must be executed by the grantor in presence of the prescribed number of witnesses, known as instrumentary witnesses. In some jurisdictions, a seal must be affixed to it. Affixing seals made persons parties to the deed and signatures optional, but seals are now outdated in most jurisdictions, so the signatures of the grantor and witnesses are primary, it must be delivered to and, in some jurisdictions, accepted by the grantee. Conditions attached to the acceptance of a deed are known as covenants. A deed indented or indenture is one executed in two or more parts according to the number of parties, which were separated by cutting in a curved or indented line known as the chirograph.
A deed poll is one executed in one part, by one party, having the edge polled or cut and includes simple grants and appointments. In the transfer of real estate, a deed conveys ownership from the old owner to the new owner, can include various warranties; the precise name and nature of these warranties differ by jurisdiction. However, the basic differences between them is the degree to which the grantor warrants the title; the grantor may give a general warranty of title against any claims, or the warranty may be limited to only claims which occurred after the grantor obtained the real estate. The latter type of deed is known as a special warranty deed. While a general warranty deed was used for residential real estate sales and transfers, special warranty deeds are becoming more common and are more used in commercial transactions. A third type of deed, known as a bargain and sale deed, implies that the grantor has the right to convey title but makes no warranties against encumbrances; this type of deed is most used by court officials or fiduciaries that hold the property by force of law rather than title, such as properties seized for unpaid taxes and sold at sheriff's sale, or an executor.
A so-called quitclaim deed is not a deed at all—it is an estoppel disclaiming rights of the person signing it to property. In some jurisdictions, a deed of trust is used as an alternative to a mortgage. A deed of trust is not used to transfer property directly, it is used in some states — California, for example — to transfer title to land to a “trustee” a trust or title company, which holds the title as security for a loan. When the loan is paid off, title is transferred to the borrower by recording a release of the obligation, the trustee's contingent ownership is extinguished. Otherwise, upon default, the trustee will liquidate the property with a new deed and offset the lender's loss with the proceeds. Deed of arrangement – document setting out an arrangement for a debtor to pay part or all outstanding debts, as an alternative to bankruptcy. Deed of assignment – document in which a debtor appoints a trustee to take charge of property to pay debts or wholly, as an alternative to bankruptcy.
Sanad spelt as sunnud, was a deed granted to the rulers of native princely states in British India confirming them in their ruling position in return for their allegiance to the British Raj. Since the extinction of the royal bloodline would be a ground for annexation of a principality by the British, some rulers were granted sanads of adoption. Devised as a reward for loyalty to British rule in India after the Indian rebellion of 1857, such deeds gave a ruler the right to adopt chosen heirs from local noble families in case of lack of direct issue. Among the rulers that were given sanads of adoption, Takht Singh, Jaswant Singh of Bharatpur, as well as the rulers of Nagod State, Samthar State and the Chaube Jagirs are worth mentioning; the main clauses of a deed of conveyance are: Premises Parties clause – sets out the names and descriptions of parties Recitals – narrates in chronol
United States dollar
The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent units, but is divided into 1000 mills for accounting; the circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars. Since the suspension in 1971 of convertibility of paper U. S. currency into any precious metal, the U. S. dollar is, de facto, fiat money. As it is the most used in international transactions, the U. S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency. Several countries use it as their official currency, in many others it is the de facto currency. Besides the United States, it is used as the sole currency in two British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean: the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. A few countries use the Federal Reserve Notes for paper money, while still minting their own coins, or accept U. S. dollar coins. As of June 27, 2018, there are $1.67 trillion in circulation, of which $1.62 trillion is in Federal Reserve notes.
Article I, Section 8 of the U. S. Constitution provides that the Congress has the power "To coin money". Laws implementing this power are codified at 31 U. S. C. § 5112. Section 5112 prescribes the forms; these coins are both designated in Section 5112 as "legal tender" in payment of debts. The Sacagawea dollar is one example of the copper alloy dollar; the pure silver dollar is known as the American Silver Eagle. Section 5112 provides for the minting and issuance of other coins, which have values ranging from one cent to 100 dollars; these other coins are more described in Coins of the United States dollar. The Constitution provides that "a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time"; that provision of the Constitution is made specific by Section 331 of Title 31 of the United States Code. The sums of money reported in the "Statements" are being expressed in U. S. dollars. The U. S. dollar may therefore be described as the unit of account of the United States.
The word "dollar" is one of the words in the first paragraph of Section 9 of Article I of the Constitution. There, "dollars" is a reference to the Spanish milled dollar, a coin that had a monetary value of 8 Spanish units of currency, or reales. In 1792 the U. S. Congress passed a Coinage Act. Section 9 of that act authorized the production of various coins, including "DOLLARS OR UNITS—each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver". Section 20 of the act provided, "That the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars, or units... and that all accounts in the public offices and all proceedings in the courts of the United States shall be kept and had in conformity to this regulation". In other words, this act designated the United States dollar as the unit of currency of the United States. Unlike the Spanish milled dollar, the U.
S. dollar is based upon a decimal system of values. In addition to the dollar the coinage act established monetary units of mill or one-thousandth of a dollar, cent or one-hundredth of a dollar, dime or one-tenth of a dollar, eagle or ten dollars, with prescribed weights and composition of gold, silver, or copper for each, it was proposed in the mid-1800s that one hundred dollars be known as a union, but no union coins were struck and only patterns for the $50 half union exist. However, only cents are in everyday use as divisions of the dollar. XX9 per gallon, e.g. $3.599, more written as $3.599⁄10. When issued in circulating form, denominations equal to or less than a dollar are emitted as U. S. coins while denominations equal to or greater than a dollar are emitted as Federal Reserve notes. Both one-dollar coins and notes are produced today, although the note form is more common. In the past, "paper money" was issued in denominations less than a dollar and gold coins were issued for circulation up to the value of $20.
The term eagle was used in the Coinage Act of 1792 for the denomination of ten dollars, subsequently was used in naming gold coins. Paper currency less than one dollar in denomination, known as "fractional currency", was sometimes pejoratively referred to as "shinplasters". In 1854, James Guthrie Secretary of the Treasury, proposed creating $100, $50 and $25 gold coins, which were referred to as a "Union", "Half Union", "Quarter Union", thus implying a denomination of 1 Union = $100. Today, USD notes are made from cotton fiber paper, unlike most common paper, made of wood fiber. U. S. coins are produced by the United States Mint. U. S. dollar banknotes are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and, since 1914, have been issued by t
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
In economics, inflation is a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys services; the measure of inflation is the inflation rate, the annualized percentage change in a general price index the consumer price index, over time. The opposite of inflation is deflation. Inflation affects economies in various negative ways; the negative effects of inflation include an increase in the opportunity cost of holding money, uncertainty over future inflation which may discourage investment and savings, if inflation were rapid enough, shortages of goods as consumers begin hoarding out of concern that prices will increase in the future. Positive effects include reducing unemployment due to nominal wage rigidity, allowing the central bank more leeway in carrying out monetary policy, encouraging loans and investment instead of money hoarding, avoiding the inefficiencies associated with deflation.
Economists believe that the high rates of inflation and hyperinflation are caused by an excessive growth of the money supply. Views on which factors determine low to moderate rates of inflation are more varied. Low or moderate inflation may be attributed to fluctuations in real demand for goods and services, or changes in available supplies such as during scarcities. However, the consensus view is that a long sustained period of inflation is caused by money supply growing faster than the rate of economic growth. Today, most economists favor a steady rate of inflation. Low inflation reduces the severity of economic recessions by enabling the labor market to adjust more in a downturn, reduces the risk that a liquidity trap prevents monetary policy from stabilizing the economy; the task of keeping the rate of inflation low and stable is given to monetary authorities. These monetary authorities are the central banks that control monetary policy through the setting of interest rates, through open market operations, through the setting of banking reserve requirements.
Rapid increases in the quantity of money or in the overall money supply have occurred in many different societies throughout history, changing with different forms of money used. For instance, when gold was used as currency, the government could collect gold coins, melt them down, mix them with other metals such as silver, copper, or lead, reissue them at the same nominal value. By diluting the gold with other metals, the government could issue more coins without increasing the amount of gold used to make them; when the cost of each coin is lowered in this way, the government profits from an increase in seigniorage. This practice would increase the money supply but at the same time the relative value of each coin would be lowered; as the relative value of the coins becomes lower, consumers would need to give more coins in exchange for the same goods and services as before. These goods and services would experience a price increase. Song Dynasty China introduced the practice of printing paper money to create fiat currency.
During the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, the government spent a great deal of money fighting costly wars, reacted by printing more money, leading to inflation. Fearing the inflation that plagued the Yuan dynasty, the Ming Dynasty rejected the use of paper money, reverted to using copper coins. Large infusions of gold or silver into an economy led to inflation. From the second half of the 15th century to the first half of the 17th, Western Europe experienced a major inflationary cycle referred to as the "price revolution", with prices on average rising sixfold over 150 years; this was caused by the sudden influx of gold and silver from the New World into Habsburg Spain. The silver spread throughout a cash-starved Europe and caused widespread inflation. Demographic factors contributed to upward pressure on prices, with European population growth after depopulation caused by the Black Death pandemic. By the nineteenth century, economists categorized three separate factors that cause a rise or fall in the price of goods: a change in the value or production costs of the good, a change in the price of money, a fluctuation in the commodity price of the metallic content in the currency, currency depreciation resulting from an increased supply of currency relative to the quantity of redeemable metal backing the currency.
Following the proliferation of private banknote currency printed during the American Civil War, the term "inflation" started to appear as a direct reference to the currency depreciation that occurred as the quantity of redeemable banknotes outstripped the quantity of metal available for their redemption. At that time, the term inflation referred to the devaluation of the currency, not to a rise in the price of goods; this relationship between the over-supply of banknotes and a resulting depreciation in their value was noted by earlier classical economists such as David Hume and David Ricardo, who would go on to examine and debate what effect a currency devaluation has on the price of goods. The adoption of fiat currency by many countries, from the 18th century onwards, made much larger variations in the supply of money possible. Rapid increases in the money supply have taken place a number of times in countries experiencing political crises, produ
Eswatini the Kingdom of Eswatini and known as Swaziland, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. It is bordered by Mozambique to its northeast and South Africa to its north and south. At no more than 200 kilometres north to south and 130 kilometres east to west, Eswatini is one of the smallest countries in Africa; the population is ethnic Swazis. The language is Swazi; the Swazis established their kingdom in the mid-18th century under the leadership of Ngwane III. The country and the Swazi take their names from Mswati II, the 19th-century king under whose rule Swazi territory was expanded and unified. After the Second Boer War, the kingdom, under the name of Swaziland, was a British protectorate from 1903 until it regained its independence on 6 September 1968. In April 2018 the official name was changed from Kingdom of Swaziland to Kingdom of Eswatini, mirroring the name used in Swazi; the government is an absolute diarchy, ruled jointly by Ngwenyama Mswati III and Ndlovukati Ntfombi Tfwala since 1986.
The former is the administrative head of state and appoints the country's prime ministers and a number of representatives of both chambers in the country's parliament, while the latter is the national head of state, serving as keeper of the ritual fetishes of the nation and presiding during the annual Umhlanga rite. Elections are held every five years to determine the House of the Senate majority; the current constitution was adopted in 2005. Umhlanga, held in August/September, incwala, the kingship dance held in December/January, are the nation's most important events. Eswatini is a developing country with a small economy. With a GDP per capita of $9,714, it is classified as a country with a lower-middle income; as a member of the Southern African Customs Union and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, its main local trading partner is South Africa. Eswatini's major overseas trading partners are the European Union; the majority of the country's employment is provided by manufacturing sectors.
Eswatini is a member of the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations. The Swazi population faces major health issues: HIV/AIDS and, to a lesser extent, tuberculosis are widespread, it is estimated. As of 2018, Eswatini has the 12th lowest life expectancy at 58 years; the population of Eswatini is young, with a median age of 20.5 years and people aged 14 years or younger constituting 37.5% of the country's total population. The present population growth rate is 1.2%. Artifacts indicating human activity dating back to the early Stone Age, around 200,000 years ago, have been found in Eswatini. Prehistoric rock art paintings dating from as far back as c. 27,000 years ago, to as recent as the 19th century, can be found in various places around the country. The earliest known inhabitants of the region were Khoisan hunter-gatherers, they were replaced by the Nguni during the great Bantu migrations. These peoples originated from the Great Lakes regions of central Africa.
Evidence of agriculture and iron use dates from about the 4th century. People speaking languages ancestral to the current Sotho and Nguni languages began settling no than the 11th century; the Swazi settlers known as the Ngwane before entering Eswatini, had been settled on the banks of the Pongola River. Before that, they were settled in the area of the Tembe River near Mozambique. Continuing conflict with the Ndwandwe people pushed them further north, with Ngwane III establishing his capital at Shiselweni at the foot of the Mhlosheni hills. Under Sobhuza I, the Ngwane people established their capital at Zombodze in the heartland of present-day Eswatini. In this process, they conquered and incorporated the long-established clans of the country known to the Swazi as Emakhandzambili. Eswatini derives its name from a king named Mswati II. KaNgwane, named for Ngwane III, is an alternative name for Eswatini the surname of whose royal house remains Nkhosi Dlamini. Nkhosi means "king". Mswati II was the greatest of the fighting kings of Eswatini, he extended the area of the country to twice its current size.
The Emakhandzambili clans were incorporated into the kingdom with wide autonomy including grants of special ritual and political status. The extent of their autonomy, was drastically curtailed by Mswati, who attacked and subdued some of them in the 1850s. With his power, Mswati reduced the influence of the Emakhandzambili while incorporating more people into his kingdom either through conquest or by giving them refuge; these arrivals became known to the Swazis as Emafikamuva. The clans who accompanied the Dlamini kings were known as the true Swazi; the autonomy of the Swazi nation was influenced by British and Dutch rule of southern Africa in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1881 the British government signed a convention recognizing Swazi independence despite the Scramble for Africa, taking place at the time; this independence was recognized in the convention of 1884. Because of controversial land/mineral rights and ot