The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, or Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape. Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire. In 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire. In 1808, when the Portuguese Royal Court transferred itself from Portugal to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro became the chosen seat of the court of Queen Maria I of Portugal, who subsequently, in 1815, under the leadership of her son, the Prince Regent, future King João VI of Portugal, raised Brazil to the dignity of a kingdom, within the United Kingdom of Portugal and Algarves.
Rio stayed the capital of the pluricontinental Lusitanian monarchy until 1822, when the War of Brazilian Independence began. This is one of the few instances in history that the capital of a colonising country shifted to a city in one of its colonies. Rio de Janeiro subsequently served as the capital of the independent monarchy, the Empire of Brazil, until 1889, the capital of a republican Brazil until 1960 when the capital was transferred to Brasília. Rio de Janeiro has the second largest municipal GDP in the country, 30th largest in the world in 2008, estimated at about R$343 billion, it is headquarters to Brazilian oil and telecommunications companies, including two of the country's major corporations – Petrobras and Vale – and Latin America's largest telemedia conglomerate, Grupo Globo. The home of many universities and institutes, it is the second-largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific output according to 2005 data. Despite the high perception of crime, the city has a lower incidence of crime than Northeast Brazil, but it is far more criminalized than the south region of Brazil, considered the safest in the country.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, samba, bossa nova, balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana and Leblon. In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Rio de Janeiro was the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics, making the city the first South American and Portuguese-speaking city to host the events, the third time the Olympics were held in a Southern Hemisphere city; the Maracanã Stadium held the finals of the 1950 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the XV Pan American Games. Europeans first encountered Guanabara Bay on 1 January 1502, by a Portuguese expedition under explorer Gaspar de Lemos, captain of a ship in Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet, or under Gonçalo Coelho; the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci participated as observer at the invitation of King Manuel I in the same expedition.
The region of Rio was inhabited by the Tupi, Puri and Maxakalí peoples. In 1555, one of the islands of Guanabara Bay, now called Villegagnon Island, was occupied by 500 French colonists under the French admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon. Villegagnon built Fort Coligny on the island when attempting to establish the France Antarctique colony; the city of Rio de Janeiro proper was founded by the Portuguese on 1 March 1565 and was named São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, in honour of St. Sebastian, the saint, the namesake and patron of the Portuguese then-monarch Sebastião. Rio de Janeiro was the name of Guanabara Bay; until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several French pirates and buccaneers, such as Jean-François Duclerc and René Duguay-Trouin. In the late 17th century, still during the Sugar Era, the Bandeirantes discovered gold and diamonds in the neighbouring captaincy of Minas Gerais, thus Rio de Janeiro became a much more practical port for exporting wealth than Salvador, much farther northeast.
On 27 January 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. The city remained a colonial capital until 1808, when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro; the kingdom's capital was transferred to the city, thus, became the only European capital outside of Europe. As there was no physical space or urban structure to accommodate hundreds of noblemen who arrived many inhabitants were evicted from their homes. In the first decades, several educational establishments were created, such as the Military Academy, the Royal School of Sciences and Crafts and the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, as well as the National Library of Brazil – with the largest collection in Latin America – and The Botanical Garden; the first printed newspaper in Brazil, the Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, came into circulation during this period. When Brazil was elevated to Kingdom in 1815, it
Shanghai is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government of the People's Republic of China, the largest city in China by population, the second most populous city proper in the world, with a population of 24.18 million as of 2017. It is a transport hub, with the world's busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, it sits on the south edge of the estuary of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the East China coast; the municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the north and west, is bounded to the east by the East China Sea. As a major administrative and trading city, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to trade and recognition of its favourable port location and economic potential; the city was one of five treaty ports forced open to foreign trade following the British victory over China in the First Opium War. The subsequent 1842 Treaty of Nanking and 1844 Treaty of Whampoa allowed the establishment of the Shanghai International Settlement and the French Concession.
The city flourished as a centre of commerce between China and other parts of the world, became the primary financial hub of the Asia-Pacific region in the 1930s. During the World War II, the city was the site of the major Battle of Shanghai. After the war, with the Communist Party takeover of the mainland in 1949, trade was limited to other socialist countries, the city's global influence declined. In the 1990s, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in an intense re-development of the city, aiding the return of finance and foreign investment to the city, it has since re-emerged as a hub for international finance. Shanghai has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of mainland China; the two Chinese characters in the city's name are 上 and 海, together meaning "Upon-the-Sea". The earliest occurrence of this name dates from the 11th-century Song dynasty, at which time there was a river confluence and a town with this name in the area. There are disputes as to how the name should be understood, but Chinese historians have concluded that during the Tang dynasty Shanghai was on the sea.
Shanghai is abbreviated 沪 in Chinese, a contraction of 沪渎, a 4th- or 5th-century Jin name for the mouth of Suzhou Creek when it was the main conduit into the ocean. This character appears on all motor vehicle license plates issued in the municipality today. Another alternative name for Shanghai is Shēn or Shēnchéng, from Lord Chunshen, a 3rd-century BC nobleman and prime minister of the state of Chu, whose fief included modern Shanghai. Sports teams and newspapers in Shanghai use Shen in their names, such as Shanghai Shenhua F. C. and Shen Bao. Huating was another early name for Shanghai. In AD 751, during the mid-Tang dynasty, Huating County was established by the Governor of Wu Commandery Zhao Juzhen at modern-day Songjiang, the first county-level administration within modern-day Shanghai. Today, Huating appears as the name of a four-star hotel in the city; the city has various nicknames in English, including "Pearl of the Orient" and "Paris of the East". During the Spring and Autumn period, the Shanghai area belonged to the Kingdom of Wu, conquered by the Kingdom of Yue, which in turn was conquered by the Kingdom of Chu.
During the Warring States period, Shanghai was part of the fief of Lord Chunshen of Chu, one of the Four Lords of the Warring States. He ordered the excavation of the Huangpu River, its former or poetic name, the Chunshen River, gave Shanghai its nickname of "Shēn". Fishermen living in the Shanghai area created a fish tool called the hù, which lent its name to the outlet of Suzhou Creek north of the Old City and became a common nickname and abbreviation for the city. During the Tang and Song dynasties, Qinglong Town in modern Qingpu District was a major trading port. Established in 746, it developed into what contemporary sources called a "giant town of the Southeast", with thirteen temples and seven pagodas; the famous Song scholar and artist Mi Fu served as its mayor. The port had a thriving trade with provinces along the Yangtze River and the Chinese coast, as well as foreign countries such as Japan and Silla. By the end of the Song dynasty, the center of trading had moved downstream of the Wusong River to Shanghai, upgraded in status from a village to a market town in 1074, in 1172 a second sea wall was built to stabilize the ocean coastline, supplementing an earlier dike.
From the Yuan dynasty in 1292 until Shanghai became a municipality in 1927, central Shanghai was administered as a county under Songjiang Prefecture, whose seat was at the present-day Songjiang District. Two important events helped promote Shanghai's development in the Ming dynasty. A city wall was built for the first time in 1554 to protect the town from raids by Japanese pirates, it measured 10 metres high and 5 kilometres in circumference. During the Wanli reign, Shanghai received an important psychological boost from the erection of a City God Temple in 1602; this honour was reserved for prefectural capitals and not given to a mere county seat such as Shang
Turkey the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Bulgaria to its northwest. Istanbul is the largest city. 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority. At various points in its history, the region has been inhabited by diverse civilizations including the Assyrians, Thracians, Phrygians and Armenians. Hellenization continued into the Byzantine era; the Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th-century, the Ottomans started uniting these Turkish principalities.
After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent the Ottoman Empire encompassed much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa and became a world power. In the following centuries the state entered a period of decline with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening social and political foundations of the empire, Mahmut II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century, bringing reforms in all areas of the state including the military and bureaucracy along with the emancipation of all citizens. In 1913, a coup d'état put the country under the control of the Three Pashas. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian and Pontic Greek subjects. Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states; the Turkish War of Independence, initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against occupying Allied Powers, resulted in the abolition of monarchy in 1922 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.
Atatürk enacted numerous reforms, many of which incorporated various aspects of Western thought and customs into the new form of Turkish government. The Kurdish–Turkish conflict, an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and Kurdish insurgents, has been active since 1984 in the southeast of the country. Various Kurdish groups demand separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds in Turkey. Turkey is a charter member of the UN, an early member of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC and G-20. After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005 which have been stopped by the EU in 2017 due to "Turkey's path toward autocratic rule". Turkey's economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.
Turkey is a secular, unitary parliamentary republic which adopted a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. Turkey's current administration headed by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AKP has enacted measures to increase the influence of Islam, undermine Kemalist policies and freedom of the press; the English name of Turkey means "land of the Turks". Middle English usage of Turkye is evidenced in an early work by Chaucer called The Book of the Duchess; the phrase land of Torke is used in the 15th-century Digby Mysteries. Usages can be found in the Dunbar poems, the 16th century Manipulus Vocabulorum and Francis Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum; the modern spelling "Turkey" dates back to at least 1719. The Turkish name Türkiye was adopted in 1923 under the influence of European usage; the Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period.
Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated; the European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has been inhabited since at least forty thousand years ago, is known to have been in the Neolithic era by about 6000 BC. Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately
Hong Kong the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and abbreviated as HK, is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre territory, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated region. Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842; the colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War, was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The entire territory was transferred to China in 1997; as a special administrative region, Hong Kong's system of government is separate from that of mainland China and its people identify more as Hongkongers rather than Chinese. A sparsely populated area of farming and fishing villages, the territory has become one of the world's most significant financial centres and commercial ports.
It is the world's seventh-largest trading entity, its legal tender is the world's 13th-most traded currency. Although the city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it has severe income inequality; the territory has the largest number of skyscrapers in most surrounding Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong ranks seventh on the UN Human Development Index, has the sixth-longest life expectancy in the world. Although over 90 per cent of its population uses public transportation, air pollution from neighbouring industrial areas of mainland China has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates; the name of the territory, first spelled "He-Ong-Kong" in 1780 referred to a small inlet between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between local fishermen. Although the source of the romanised name is unknown, it is believed to be an early phonetic rendering of the Cantonese pronunciation hēung góng; the name translates as "fragrant harbour" or "incense harbour".
"Fragrant" may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's freshwater influx from the Pearl River or to the odor from incense factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export. Sir John Davis offered an alternative origin; the simplified name Hong Kong was used by 1810 written as a single word. Hongkong was common until 1926, when the government adopted the two-word name; some corporations founded during the early colonial era still keep this name, including Hongkong Land, Hongkong Electric and Shanghai Hotels and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The region is first known to have been occupied by humans during the Neolithic period, about 6,000 years ago. Early Hong Kong settlers were a semi-coastal people who migrated from inland and brought knowledge of rice cultivation; the Qin dynasty incorporated the Hong Kong area into China for the first time in 214 BCE, after conquering the indigenous Baiyue. The region was consolidated under the Nanyue kingdom after the Qin collapse, recaptured by China after the Han conquest.
During the Mongol conquest, the Southern Song court was located in modern-day Kowloon City before its final defeat in the 1279 Battle of Yamen. By the end of the Yuan dynasty, seven large families had settled in the region and owned most of the land. Settlers from nearby provinces migrated to Kowloon throughout the Ming dynasty; the earliest European visitor was Portuguese explorer Jorge Álvares, who arrived in 1513. Portuguese merchants established a trading post called in Hong Kong waters, began regular trade with southern China. Although the traders were expelled after military clashes in the 1520s, Portuguese-Chinese trade relations were reestablished by 1549. Portugal acquired a permanent lease for Macau in 1557. After the Qing conquest, maritime trade was banned under the Haijin policies; the Kangxi Emperor lifted the prohibition, allowing foreigners to enter Chinese ports in 1684. Qing authorities established the Canton System in 1757 to regulate trade more restricting non-Russian ships to the port of Canton.
Although European demand for Chinese commodities like tea and porcelain was high, Chinese interest in European manufactured goods was insignificant. To counter the trade imbalance, the British sold large amounts of Indian opium to China. Faced with a drug crisis, Qing officials pursued ever-more-aggressive actions to halt the opium trade; the Daoguang Emperor rejected proposals to legalise and tax opium, ordering imperial commissioner Lin Zexu to eradicate the opium trade in 1839. The commissioner destroyed opium stockpiles and halted all foreign trade, forcing a British military response and triggering the First Opium War; the Qing ceded Hong Kong Island in the Convention of Chuenpi. However, both countries did not ratify the agreement. After over a year of further hostilities, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded to the United Kingdom in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. Administrative infrastructure was built up by early 1842, but piracy and hostile Qing policies towards Hong Kong prevented the government from attracting merchants.
The Taiping Rebellion, when many wealthy Chinese fled mainland turbulence and settled in the colon
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
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