José Paranhos, Viscount of Rio Branco
José Maria da Silva Paranhos, the Viscount of Rio Branco was a politician, diplomat and journalist of the Empire of Brazil. Rio Branco was born in Salvador, in what was the Captaincy of Bahia, to a wealthy family, but most of the fortune was lost after his parents' deaths early in his childhood. Rio Branco attended Brazil's Naval School and became a midshipman in 1841; that year he was enrolled in the Army's Military Academy becoming an instructor there. Rather than continue to serve in the military, he became a politician in the Liberal Party. In 1845, he was elected a member of the provincial house of representatives of Rio de Janeiro province, site of the national capital of the same name. Rio Branco rose to power within the province under the tutelage of Aureliano Coutinho, Viscount of Sepetiba—a veteran politician who held tremendous influence over the young and inexperienced Emperor Pedro II, he temporarily abandoned politics after Aureliano Coutinho's fall from grace and the subsequent dissolution of the Liberal Party.
Rio Branco's work in the press, highlighting threats posed by the armed conflicts in the Platine republics, attracted the attention of Honório Hermeto Carneiro Leão, Marquis of Paraná, who invited him to act as secretary on a diplomatic mission to Montevideo. They were successful in forging alliances, which contributed to the eventual fall in 1852 of Juan Manuel de Rosas, an Argentine dictator who had declared war on Brazil. In 1853 Rio Branco joined the Marquis of Paraná's Conservative Party as well as the cabinet over which the latter presided, he rose through the Conservative ranks during the early 1860s when many colleagues joined members of the defunct Liberal Party to form a new party. Rio Branco was sent to Uruguay in late 1864, tasked with bringing a diplomatic end to the Uruguayan War. Although successful, he was abruptly dismissed from his post. In 1869, he was recalled and dispatched to Paraguay, this time to negotiate an end to its war with Brazil, his successful efforts in concluding a peace with Paraguay were recognized, Pedro II ennobled him, making him Viscount of Rio Branco.
In 1871, Rio Branco became the President of the Council of Ministers for the first time. He would become the Council's longest-serving president, his cabinet the second longest, in Brazilian history, his government was marked by a time of economic prosperity and the enactment of several necessary reforms—though they proved to be flawed. The most important of these initiatives was the Law of Free Birth, which granted freeborn status to children born to slave women. Rio Branco led the government that enacted this law, its passage increased his popularity. However, his government was plagued by a long crisis with the Catholic Church that had resulted from the expulsion of Freemasons from its lay brotherhoods. After more than four years heading the Cabinet, Rio Branco resigned in 1875. Following a long vacation in Europe, his health swiftly declined and he was diagnosed with oral cancer. Rio Branco died in 1880 and was mourned throughout the country, he is regarded by most historians as one of Brazil's greatest statesmen.
Paranhos was born on 16 March 1819 in Salvador, Bahia, at a time when Brazil was a kingdom united with Portugal. His parents were Josefa Emerenciana de Barreiros. Agostinho Paranhos, along with his two brothers, migrated to Brazil during the first decade of the 19th century, he became a wealthy merchant and married Josefa, the Brazilian-born daughter of one of Bahia's long-established families. Her family had roots in Porto. Agostinho remained loyal to Portugal at the time of Brazil's Independence in 1822, which resulted in his ostracism and the collapse of his business. José Paranhos had a simple childhood without luxury. Though his parents were no longer rich, he did not experience poverty. In life, José fondly remembered Bahia as the "native land" of his childhood, his father died when he was still a child and his mother followed a few years later. He and his younger brothers were left in a precarious position, since the remainder of Agostinho Paranhos's fortune had been appropriated by a relative.
The brothers were rescued by an uncle on their mother's side, Eusébio Gomes Barreiros, who held the rank of a colonel in the Engineer Corps. Colonel Barreiros financed their education. An educated man, Barreiros had a strong influence on Paranhos's upbringing, in years, his nephew always spoke respectfully about his uncle. In 1835, aged 14, Paranhos was sent to the Imperial capital, Rio de Janeiro, to continue his studies. At the beginning of the following year he was admitted into the Naval Academy. To help support his education, Paranhos tutored his classmates. In 1841, when he was 22, he graduated with the rank of midshipman, enrolling in the Army's Military Academy, he developed a penchant for mathematics. Prior to graduation from the Army Academy, he was promoted to second lieutenant in the Navy and became a substitute teacher in the Naval Academy. In 1842, he married Teresa de Figueiredo Faria, whose family had come from Porto in Portugal. After Paranhos graduated from the Military Academy in 1843 as a second lieutenant in the engineer corps, he decided to return to civilian life and focus on his career as a teacher.
He became a regular instructor at the Naval Academy during 1844. In 1845, he was transferred from the Naval Academy to the faculty of the Military Academy teaching artillery and mechanics. In addition to teaching, Paranhos be
Joaquim Marques Lisboa, Marquis of Tamandaré
Joaquim Marques Lisboa, Marquis of Tamandaré was a Brazilian admiral and politician. Lisboa was born in Rio Grande, his long military career in the Imperial Brazilian Navy expanded from the Brazilian War of Independence to the Paraguayan War. He was the first native Brazilian Admiral. Lisboa was member of the Liberal Party and served as Minister of War, he died in Rio de Janeiro, aged 89. Today Lisboa is the official patron of the Brazilian Navy. Two ships were named a protected cruiser and a light cruiser. In 1957 his name and likeness were used for a military and civil award, the Medalha Mérito Tamandaré, he has been honored in numerous non-military ways as well.
History of the Empire of Brazil
The land now known as Brazil was claimed by the Portuguese for the first time on 23 April 1500 when the Navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral landed on its coast. Permanent settlement by the Portuguese followed in 1534, for the next 300 years they expanded into the territory to the west until they had established nearly all of the frontiers which constitute modern Brazil's borders. In 1808 the army of French Emperor Napoleon I invaded Portugal, forcing the Portuguese royal family into exile, they established themselves in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, which thus became the unofficial seat of the entire Portuguese Empire. On 12 December 1815 Dom João VI regent on behalf of his incapacitated mother, Queen Dona Maria I, elevated Brazil from colony to Kingdom united with Portugal. In 1820 the Constitutionalist Revolution erupted in Portugal; the movement, initiated by liberals, resulted in a meeting of the Cortes which had as its goal to draft the kingdom’s first constitution. The liberals demanded the return of João VI, residing in Brazil since 1808 and who had succeeded his mother as King in 1816.
He named his son and heir Prince Dom Pedro as regent and departed for Europe on 26 April 1821. The Portuguese Cortes enacted decrees which subordinated the Brazilian provincial governments directly to Portugal, abolished all superior courts and administrative bodies created within Brazil since 1808 and recalled Prince Pedro to Portugal. Two groups emerged, both of which feared that the Cortes was attempting to return Brazil to the status of a mere colony: the Luso-Brazilians and the Nativists. Members of both were Brazilian-born gentry, landowners and rich business men, with a minority who were immigrants from Portugal; the Luso-Brazilians were men who graduated in the University of Coimbra in Portugal before 1816 and were led by José Bonifácio de Andrada. They called for a constitutional and centralized monarchy to prevent the possibility of provincial secessionism. A few, such as Bonifácio, had further goals which included abolishing the slave trade and slavery itself, instituting land reform, economic development of the country free of foreign loans.
The Nativists, men without a higher education who had lived their entire lives in Brazil, desired the opposite. They opposed the end of slavery, wanted a democracy in which only they were enfranchised, preservation of the existing social hierarchy, a monarch who would be a mere figurehead, a weak federal organization in which the provinces would be ruled by the local interests without interference from the central government. Both groups convinced the Prince not to return to Portugal, he replied on 9 January 1822: "Since it is for the good of all and the general happiness of the Nation, I am willing. Tell the people that I am staying."" He appointed José Bonifácio, leader of the Luso-Brazilians, as head of the Cabinet on 18 January 1822. Pedro traveled to São Paulo province to secure its loyalty to the Brazilian cause, but he received a letter from Bonifácio as he was returning to Rio de Janeiro on 7 September; the prince learned. Pedro turned to his companions, who included his Guard of Honor and said: "Friends, the Portuguese Cortes wants to enslave and pursue us.
From today onward our relations are broken. No ties unites us any longer". Pulling off his blue and white armband which symbolized Portugal, he continued: "Armbands off, soldiers. Hail to independence, to freedom and to the separation of Brazil". In a moment which would become the most iconic in Brazilian history, he unsheathed his sword and affirmed that "For my blood, my honor, my God, I swear to give Brazil freedom", cried out: "Independence or death!"Pedro's decision to defy the Cortes was met with armed opposition across Brazil by troops loyal to Portugal. The ensuing Brazilian War of Independence spread throughout most of the country, with battles fought in the northern and southern regions; the last Portuguese soldiers surrendered on 8 March 1824, independence was recognized by Portugal on 29 August 1825. In addition to those Brazilians and Portuguese who fought in the war, much of the credit for this victory is credited to Bonifácio's cabinet, it created an army and a navy out of nothing improved government finances, unified the provinces under a single, cohesive leadership.
On 12 October 1822 Prince Pedro was acclaimed Dom Pedro I, Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender of Brazil. It was concurrently the beginning of Pedro's reign and the birth of the independent Empire of Brazil, he was crowned on 1 December. Meanwhile, Bonifácio initiated a judicial inquiry against the Nativists, who were accused of conspiracy against the monarchy. Many were arrested. Before declaring independence, Pedro had called for holding Brazilian elections to select delegates to a Constituent and Legislative National Assembly. On 3 May 1823, the Constituent Assembly initiated work towards framing a political Constitution for the new nation, its members, called national deputies, numbered 100 although only 88 sat on its sessions. They were indirectly elected by censitary none belonged to political parties. There were factions within it: the Luso-Brazilians, the Nativists, the Absolutists and the Republicans; the latter were a few individuals with little support. The remaining deputies were all monarchists.
The Absolutists were Portuguese who opposed Brazilian independence, although they accepted self-
The Uruguayan War was fought between Uruguay's governing Blanco Party and an alliance consisting of the Empire of Brazil and the Uruguayan Colorado Party, covertly supported by Argentina. Since its independence, Uruguay had been ravaged by intermittent struggles between the Colorado and Blanco factions, each attempting to seize and maintain power in turn; the Colorado leader Venancio Flores launched the Liberating Crusade in 1863, an insurrection aimed at toppling Bernardo Berro, who presided over a Colorado–Blanco coalition government. Flores was aided by Argentina, whose president Bartolomé Mitre provided him with supplies, Argentine volunteers and river transport for troops; the fusionism movement collapsed. The Uruguayan Civil War escalated, developing into a crisis of international scope that destabilized the entire region. Before the Colorado rebellion, the Blancos within fusionism had sought an alliance with Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano López. Berro's now purely Blanco government received support from Argentine federalists, who opposed Mitre and his Unitarians.
The situation deteriorated. One fifth of the Uruguayan population were considered Brazilian; some joined Flores' rebellion, spurred by discontent with Blanco government policies that they regarded as harmful to their interests. Brazil decided to intervene in the Uruguayan affair to reestablish the security of its southern frontiers and its regional ascendancy. In April 1864, Brazil sent Minister Plenipotentiary José Antônio Saraiva to negotiate with Atanasio Aguirre, who had succeeded Berro in Uruguay. Saraiva made an initial attempt to settle the dispute between Colorados. Faced with Aguirre's intransigence regarding Flores' demands, the Brazilian diplomat abandoned the effort and sided with the Colorados. On 10 August 1864, after a Brazilian ultimatum was refused, Saraiva declared that Brazil's military would begin exacting reprisals. Brazil declined to acknowledge a formal state of war, for most of its duration, the Uruguayan–Brazilian armed conflict was an undeclared war. In a combined offensive against Blanco strongholds, the Brazilian–Colorado troops advanced through Uruguayan territory, taking one town after another.
The Blancos were left isolated in Montevideo, the national capital. Faced with certain defeat, the Blanco government capitulated on 20 February 1865; the short-lived war would have been regarded as an outstanding success for Brazilian and Argentine interests, had Paraguayan intervention in support of the Blancos not led to the long and costly Paraguayan War. The Oriental Republic of Uruguay in South America had been, since its independence in 1828, troubled by strife between the Blanco Party and the Colorado Party, they were not political parties in the modern sense, but factions that engaged in internecine rebellion whenever the other dominated the government. The nation was divided into Colorado and Blanco camps; these partisan groups formed in the 1830s and arose out of patron–client relationships fostered by local caudillos in the cities and countryside. Rather than a unity based upon common nationalistic sentiments, each had differing aims and loyalties informed by their respective, insular political frameworks.
Uruguay had a low population density and a weak government. Ordinary citizens were compelled by circumstances to seek the protection of local caudillos—landlords who were either Colorados or Blancos and who used their workers gaucho horsemen, as private armies; the civil wars between the two factions were brutal. Harsh tactics produced ever-increasing alienation between the groups, included seizure of land, confiscation of livestock and executions; the antagonism caused by atrocities, along with family loyalties and political ties, made reconciliation unthinkable. European immigrants, who came in great numbers during the latter half of the nineteenth century, were drawn into one party or the other; the feuding blocs impeded development of a broadly supported central national administration. In the latter half of the 1850s, leading members of the Colorados and Blancos attempted a reconciliation. With the approval of many from both parties efforts were made to implement "fusionist" policies, which began to show results in cooperation in government and military spheres.
The attempt at healing the schism was dealt a setback in 1858 when reactionaries in the Colorado Party rejected the scheme. The revolt was put down by Gabriel Pereira, a former Colorado and Uruguayan president under the fusionist government; the rebellious leaders were executed at Paso de Quinteros along the Río Negro, sparking renewed conflict. The Colorados suspected fusionism of promoting Blanco aims to their own detriment and called for the "martyrs of Quinteros" to be avenged. With the internal weaknesses of fusionism now exposed, the Colorados moved to oust its supporters from the government, their leader, Brigadier General Venancio Flores, a caudillo and an early proponent of fusionism, found himself without sufficient military resources to mount a sustained revolt and resorted to asking for intervention by Argentina. Argentina was a fragmented nation, with the Argentine Confederation and the State of Buenos Aires each vying for supremacy. Flores approached the Buenos Aires Minister of War, Bartolomé Mitre, agreeing to throw the support of the Colorados behind Buenos Aires in exchange for subsequent Argentine assistance in
Politics of the Empire of Brazil
Politics of the Empire of Brazil took place in a framework of a quasi-federal parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, whereby the Emperor of Brazil was the head of state and nominally head of government although the President of the Council of Ministers was the de facto head, of a multi-party system. Executive power was exercised by the government. Legislative power was vested in the two chambers of the General Assembly; the Judiciary was independent of the Legislative. The Empire of Brazil was divided into the Neutral City, capital of the country. Upon gaining independence from Portugal in 1822, the Brazilian nation as a whole was entirely in favor of a monarchical form of government. There were a variety of reasons for this political choice. There was fear among various social groups of the possibility that Brazil would fall into the same political and economic chaos experienced by most of the former Spanish American colonies: territorial dismemberment, coups and the rise of caudillos.
The perceived necessity was for a political structure that would permit the Brazilian people not to enjoy the advantages of liberty, but that would guarantee the country's stability, in conformance with the liberalism of the time. Only a neutral entity independent of parties, groups or opposing ideologies, could achieve this end, and there was "always a powerful ideological element remaining from independence as the result of a great national union over particular interests." The Brazilian monarchy was "a form of government that assured a Brazil that would include the whole of the old Portuguese dominion, in a climate of order and freedom." There was another reason for adoption of the monarchy, or more its maintenance. The Europeans, as much as the Africans and the Native Americans, came from monarchical societies. To remain under this form of government was a way of maintaining the traditions and identity of the Brazilian people, a people descended from those three distinct ethnic groups; the choice of a member of the House of Braganza came not just from the historical moment, but from the fact that Prince Pedro descended from the pure male line of the Portuguese kings.
The House of Braganza originated with Afonso, 1st Duke of Braganza, an illegitimate son of John I of the House of Aviz who, in turn, was the son of Peter I of the House of Burgundy, founded 300 years earlier in 1143 by Afonso Henriques, first king of Portugal. Thus, the strong popular appeal of the monarchy, a tradition of more than three hundred years, enabled Prince Pedro to take on the role of a symbol of national unity; the monarchical regime maintained on Brazilian soil "was a force of continuity and tradition". A third element in the choice of monarchy was the necessity to comply with the powers of the era, all located in Europe; the possibility, quite real at the time, of European countries seeking to dominate the young American nation, strengthened the desire to prevent the adoption of the republican form at all costs and to avoid any territorial dismemberment into small republics, weak and in constant rivalry with one another. Given that other Latin American countries and Portugal were becoming easy prey to European greed, maintaining the monarchy with a monarch of European origin acted as a deterrent and allowed Brazil to ensure the predominance of its international interests.
And in fact, "after the phase of the regency, turbulent but transitory by its nature, the imperial order dominated from above, assuring internal peace and external prestige."For the reasons cited above, Brazil chose a representative constitutional monarchical system. The imperial regime was based on the idea that sovereignty resided in the Nation, not the State, symbolically represented by the emperor. While the Nation wished to experience freedom and prosperity, the State, in turn, wanted "permanence and existence." In this form, the Constitution expressed in its text that both the Emperor and the General Assembly were representatives of the Brazilian nation. The monarch represented the constant, general interests of the nation as a whole, while the Assembly represented particular, momentary interests. However, the Emperor was not sovereign of the country. A major difference between parliamentarism and presidentialism is that in the first, the Head of State and of the Government are distinct individuals, while in the second, both roles reside in a single individual.
Under the Brazilian monarchy, the emperor was head of both the State and the Government. This basic characteristic of presidential republicanism was transplanted by the Brazilian Constitutional Order; the Constitution of 1824 was rather less parliamentary than the draft prepared by the Constituent Assembly. In fact, it was for all purposes a unique regime: a presidential monarchy; that did not mean, by any means, that the Brazilian monarch had prerogatives resembling those of a tyrant or dictator. The individual guarantees that guarantee human liberty and dignity were inserted into the articles of the Charter and were respected; the Emperor would not act in areas reserved to the legislative branch and the judiciary, such as to create laws or to judge and sentence. Still, the creation of the Moderating Power and natural evolution of Brazilian representative system enabled a transition from presidential to the parliamentary model, which "would give the Empire a position of illustrious companion next to the British lion" [the Un
The Platine War was fought between the Argentine Confederation and an alliance consisting of the Empire of Brazil and the Argentine provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes. The war was part of a long-running dispute between Argentina and Brazil for influence over Uruguay and Paraguay, hegemony over the Platine region; the conflict took place in Uruguay and northeastern Argentina, on the Río de la Plata. Uruguay's internal troubles, including the long-running Uruguayan Civil War, were influential factors leading to the Platine War. In 1850, the Platine region was politically unstable. Although the Governor of Buenos Aires, Juan Manuel de Rosas, had gained dictatorial control over other Argentine provinces, his rule was plagued by a series of regional rebellions. Meanwhile, Uruguay struggled with its own civil war, which started after gaining independence from the Brazilian Empire in 1828 in the Cisplatine War. Rosas backed the Uruguayan Blanco party in this conflict, further desired to extend Argentine borders to areas occupied by the Spanish Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.
This meant asserting control over Uruguay and Bolivia. This threatened Brazilian interests and sovereignty since the old Spanish Viceroyalty had included territories which had long been incorporated into the Brazilian province of Rio Grande do Sul. Brazil pursued ways to eliminate the threat from Rosas. In 1851, it allied with the Argentine breakaway provinces of Corrientes and Entre Rios, the anti-Rosas Colorado party in Uruguay. Brazil next secured the south-western flank by signing defensive alliances with Paraguay and Bolivia. Faced with an offensive alliance against his regime, Rosas declared war on Brazil. Allied forces first advanced into Uruguayan territory, defeating Rosas' Blanco party supporters led by Manuel Oribe. Afterwards, the Allied army was divided, with the main arm advancing by land to engage Rosas' main defenses and the other launching a seaborne assault directed at Buenos Aires; the Platine War ended in 1852 with the Allied victory at the Battle of Caseros, for some time establishing Brazilian hegemony over much of South America.
The war ushered in a period of political stability in the Empire of Brazil. With Rosas gone, Argentina began a political process. However, the end of the Platine war did not resolve issues within the Platine region. Turmoil continued in subsequent years, with internal disputes among political factions in Uruguay, a long civil war in Argentina, an emergent Paraguay asserting its claims. Two more major international wars followed during the next two decades, sparked by territorial ambitions and conflicts over influence. Don Juan Manuel de Rosas became governor of Buenos Aires after the brief period of anarchy following the end of the Cisplatine War in 1828. In theory, Rosas only held as much power as governors of the other Argentine provinces, but in reality he ruled over the entire Argentine Confederation, as the country was known. Although he was one of the Federalists, a faction which demanded greater provincial autonomy, in practice Rosas exercised control over the other provinces and become the virtual dictator of Argentina.
During his 20-year government, the country witnessed the resurgence of armed conflicts between the Unitarians and the Federalists. Rosas desired to recreate the former Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, he aimed to build a republican state with Argentina placed at the center. The defunct Viceroyalty had shattered into several separate nations following the Argentine War of Independence at the beginning of the 19th century. To achieve reunification, the Argentine government needed to annex the three neighboring countries – Bolivia and Paraguay, as well as to incorporate a portion of the southern region of Brazil. Rosas first had to gather allies across the region. In some instances, this meant that he had to become involved in the internal politics of neighboring countries, backing those sympathetic to union with Argentina, even financing rebellions and wars. Paraguay considered itself a sovereign nation since 1811, but it was not recognized as such by any other nation. Argentina viewed it as a rebellious province.
The Paraguayan dictator José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia decided that the best way to maintain his own rule and the independence of Paraguay from Argentina was to isolate the country from contacts with the outside world. It was for this reason that, up until 1840, Paraguay had avoided establishing diplomatic relations with other nations. With the death of Francia, this policy began to shift, his successor Don Carlos Antonio López signed two treaties in July 1841; these were the "Friendship and Navigation" and "Limits" agreements made with the Argentine province of Corrientes, which itself had broken away from Argentina under Rosas. Meanwhile, Rosas put pressure on Paraguay, he continued to refuse to recognize Paraguayan independence and placed a blockade on international traffic to and from Paraguay on the Paraná River. The old Brazilian province of Cisplatina had become independent Oriental Republic of Uruguay after the Cisplatine War of the 1820s; the country soon was engulfed in a long civil war between its two political parties: the Blancos, led by Don Juan Antonio Lavalleja, the Colorados, led by Don Fructuoso Rivera.
Lavalleja soon discovered that Rosas in neighbouring Buenos Aires was interested in aiding him financially and militarily. In 1832, Lavalleja began to receive aid from Bento Gonçalves, a soldier and f
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion