William Randolph Hearst
Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887 after being given control of The San Francisco Examiner by his wealthy father. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak and he expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world. Politically he espoused the Progressive Movement, speaking on behalf of the working class and he controlled the editorial positions and coverage of political news in all his papers and magazines and thereby exercised enormous political influence. He called for war in 1898 against Spain—as did many other newspaper editors—but he did it in sensational fashion, after 1918, he called for an isolationist foreign policy to avoid any more entanglement in what he regarded as corrupt European affairs. He was at once a militant nationalist, a fierce anti-communist, and deeply suspicious of the League of Nations and of the British, French and Russians. He was a supporter of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932–34, but broke with FDR.
His life story was the inspiration for Charles Foster Kane. His famous mansion, Hearst Castle, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Simeon, is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark. William R. Hearst was born in San Francisco, to mining engineer, goldmine owner and U. S. senator George Hearst. His paternal great-grandfather was John Hearst, of Ulster Protestant origin and he migrated to America from Ballybay, County Monaghan as part of the Cahans Exodus with his wife and six children in 1766 and settled in South Carolina. Their immigration to South Carolina was spurred in part by the governments policy that encouraged the immigration of Irish Protestants. The names John Hearse and John Hearse Jr, the Hearse spelling of the family name never was used afterward by the family members themselves, or any family of any size. Hearsts mother, née Phoebe Elizabeth Apperson, was of Irish ancestry and she was the first woman regent of University of California, funded many anthropological expeditions and founded the Phoebe A.
Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Following preparation at St. Pauls School in Concord, New Hampshire, while there he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, the A. D. Searching for an occupation, in 1887, Hearst took over management of a newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner, a self-proclaimed populist, Hearst went on to publish stories of municipal and financial corruption, often attacking companies in which his own family held an interest. Within a few years, his paper dominated the San Francisco market, the inventor of color comics, and all of Pulitzers Sunday staff as well. Another prominent hire was James J. Montague, who came from the Portland Oregonian, Hearst imported his best managers from the San Francisco Examiner and quickly established himself as the most attractive employer among New York newspapers. Hearsts activist approach to journalism can be summarized by the motto, While others Talk, the New York Journal and its chief rival, the New York World, mastered a style of popular journalism that came to be derided as yellow journalism, after Outcaults Yellow Kid comic
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was an Italian sculptor, painter and poet of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered to be the greatest living artist during his lifetime, he has since described as one of the greatest artists of all time. A number of Michelangelos works of painting and architecture rank among the most famous in existence and he sculpted two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, before the age of thirty. As an architect, Michelangelo pioneered the Mannerist style at the Laurentian Library, at the age of 74, he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peters Basilica. Michelangelo transformed the plan so that the end was finished to his design, as was the dome, with some modification. Michelangelo was unique as the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was alive, in his lifetime he was often called Il Divino. One of the qualities most admired by his contemporaries was his terribilità, the attempts by subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelos impassioned and highly personal style resulted in Mannerism, the next major movement in Western art after the High Renaissance.
Michelangelo was born on 6 March 1475 in Caprese near Arezzo, at the time of Michelangelos birth, his father was the Judicial administrator of the small town of Caprese and local administrator of Chiusi. Michelangelos mother was Francesca di Neri del Miniato di Siena, the Buonarrotis claimed to descend from the Countess Mathilde of Canossa, this claim remains unproven, but Michelangelo himself believed it. Several months after Michelangelos birth, the returned to Florence. There Michelangelo gained his love for marble, as Giorgio Vasari quotes him, If there is good in me. Along with the milk of my nurse I received the knack of handling chisel and hammer, as a young boy, Michelangelo was sent to Florence to study grammar under the Humanist Francesco da Urbino. The young artist, showed no interest in his schooling, preferring to copy paintings from churches, the city of Florence was at that time the greatest centre of the arts and learning in Italy. Art was sponsored by the Signoria, by the merchant guilds and by patrons such as the Medici.
The Renaissance, a renewal of Classical scholarship and the arts, had its first flowering in Florence, the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti had laboured for fifty years to create the bronze doors of the Baptistry, which Michelangelo was to describe as The Gates of Paradise. The exterior niches of the Church of Orsanmichele contained a gallery of works by the most acclaimed sculptors of Florence – Donatello, Andrea del Verrocchio, and Nanni di Banco. The interiors of the churches were covered with frescos, begun by Giotto. During Michelangelos childhood, a team of painters had been called from Florence to the Vatican, among them was Domenico Ghirlandaio, a master in fresco painting, figure drawing, and portraiture who had the largest workshop in Florence at that period
Winslow Homer was an American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th-century America, largely self-taught, Homer began his career working as a commercial illustrator. He subsequently took up oil painting and produced major studio works characterized by the weight and he worked extensively in watercolor, creating a fluid and prolific oeuvre, primarily chronicling his working vacations. Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1836, Homer was the second of three sons of Charles Savage Homer and Henrietta Benson Homer, both from long lines of New Englanders and his mother was a gifted amateur watercolorist and Homers first teacher. She and her son had a relationship throughout their lives. Homer took on many of her traits, including her quiet, strong-willed, sociable nature, her dry sense of humor, Homer had a happy childhood, growing up mostly in rural Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was a student, but his art talent was evident in his early years.
Homers father was a volatile, restless businessman who was looking to make a killing. When Homer was thirteen, Charles gave up the store business to seek a fortune in the California gold rush. When that failed, Charles left his family and went to Europe to raise capital for other schemes that didnt materialize. After Homers high school graduation, his father saw a newspaper advertisement, Homers apprenticeship at the age of 19 to J. H. Bufford, a Boston commercial lithographer, was a formative but treadmill experience. He worked repetitively on sheet music covers and other work for two years. By 1857, his career was underway after he turned down an offer to join the staff of Harpers Weekly. From the time I took my nose off that lithographic stone, Homer stated, I have had no master, Homers career as an illustrator lasted nearly twenty years. His quick success was due to this strong understanding of graphic design. Before moving to New York in 1859, Homer lived in Belmont and his uncles Belmont mansion, the 1853 Homer House, was the inspiration for a number of his early illustrations and paintings, including several of his 1860s croquet pictures.
The Homer House, owned by the Belmont Womans Club, is open for public tours, in 1859, he opened a studio in the Tenth Street Studio Building in New York City, the artistic and publishing capital of the United States. Until 1863, he attended classes at the National Academy of Design, and studied briefly with Frédéric Rondel, in only about a year of self-training, Homer was producing excellent oil work
George Washington was an American politician and soldier who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and he is popularly considered the driving force behind the nations establishment and came to be known as the father of the country, both during his lifetime and to this day. Washington was widely admired for his leadership qualities and was unanimously elected president by the Electoral College in the first two national elections. Washingtons incumbency established many precedents still in use today, such as the system, the inaugural address. His retirement from office two terms established a tradition that lasted until 1940 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt won an unprecedented third term. The 22nd Amendment now limits the president to two elected terms and he was born into the provincial gentry of Colonial Virginia to a family of wealthy planters who owned tobacco plantations and slaves, which he inherited.
In his youth, he became an officer in the colonial militia during the first stages of the French. In 1775, the Second Continental Congress commissioned him as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolution, in that command, Washington forced the British out of Boston in 1776 but was defeated and nearly captured that year when he lost New York City. After crossing the Delaware River in the middle of winter, he defeated the British in two battles, retook New Jersey, and restored momentum to the Patriot cause and his strategy enabled Continental forces to capture two major British armies at Saratoga in 1777 and Yorktown in 1781. In battle, Washington was repeatedly outmaneuvered by British generals with larger armies, after victory had been finalized in 1783, Washington resigned as commander-in-chief rather than seize power, proving his opposition to dictatorship and his commitment to American republicanism. Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which devised a new form of government for the United States.
Following his election as president in 1789, he worked to unify rival factions in the fledgling nation and he supported Alexander Hamiltons programs to satisfy all debts and state, established a permanent seat of government, implemented an effective tax system, and created a national bank. In avoiding war with Great Britain, he guaranteed a decade of peace and profitable trade by securing the Jay Treaty in 1795 and he remained non-partisan, never joining the Federalist Party, although he largely supported its policies. Washingtons Farewell Address was a primer on civic virtue, warning against partisanship, sectionalism. He retired from the presidency in 1797, returning to his home, upon his death, Washington was eulogized as first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen by Representative Henry Lee III of Virginia. He was revered in life and in death and public polling consistently ranks him among the top three presidents in American history and he has been depicted and remembered in monuments, public works and other dedications to the present day.
He was born on February 11,1731, according to the Julian calendar, the Gregorian calendar was adopted within the British Empire in 1752, and it renders a birth date of February 22,1732. Washington was of primarily English gentry descent, especially from Sulgrave and his great-grandfather John Washington emigrated to Virginia in 1656 and began accumulating land and slaves, as did his son Lawrence and his grandson, Georges father Augustine
The Han Chinese, Han people or simply Han are an ethnic group native to East Asia. They constitute approximately 92% of the population of China, 95% of Taiwan, 76% of Singapore, 23% of Malaysia, Han Chinese are the worlds largest ethnic group with over 1.3 billion people. Similarly, the Chinese language came to be named the Han language ever since, in the Oxford Dictionary, the Han are defined as The dominant ethnic group in China. In the Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania, the Han are called the dominant population in China, as well as in Taiwan, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the Han are the Chinese peoples especially as distinguished from non-Chinese elements in the population. The name Hanzhong, in turn, was derived from the Han River, which flows through the regions plains. The river, in turn, derives its name from such as Tianhan, Xinghan or Yunhan, all ancient Chinese poetic nicknames for the Milky Way. This gave rise to a commonly used nowadays by overseas Chinese for ethnic identity – Huaren.
The term is used in conversation and is an element in the Cantonese word for Chinatown. The vast majority of Han Chinese – over 1.2 billion of them – live in areas under the jurisdiction of the Peoples Republic of China, where they constitute about 92% of its population. Han Chinese constitute the majority in both of the administrative regions of the PRC—about 95% and 96% of the population of Hong Kong and Macau. There are over 22 million Han Chinese in Taiwan, they began migrating from the coastal provinces of mainland China to Taiwan during the 13th to 17th century. At first, these migrants chose to settle in locations that bore a resemblance to the areas they had left behind in mainland China, hoklo immigrants from Quanzhou settled in coastal regions, and those from Zhangzhou tended to gather on inland plains, while the Hakka inhabited hilly areas. Clashes between these groups over land and cultural differences led to the relocation of some communities, of about 40 million overseas Chinese worldwide, nearly 30 million live in Southeast Asia.
They are collectively called Nanyang Chinese, according to a population genetic study, Singapore is the country with the biggest proportion of Hans in Southeast Asia. Up until the past few decades, overseas Han communities originated predominantly from areas in southern China, christmas Island has a Chinese majority at 70%, large Chinese populations live in Malaysia and Thailand. Prior to the 1965 split and Singapore used to have the largest overseas Chinese population in the world and this position has since been taken by Thailand. The prehistory of the Han ethnic group is closely intertwined with both records and mythology. Han Chinese trace their ancestry from a confederation of late neolithic/early bronze-age agricultural tribes that lived along the Guanzhong, the Yellow Emperor is traditionally credited to have united with the neighbouring Shennong tribes after defeating their leader, Flame Emperor, at the Battle of Banquan
SMPTE color bars is a television test pattern used where the NTSC video standard is utilized, including countries in North America. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers refers to this test pattern as Engineering Guideline EG 1-1990, the components of this pattern are a known standard. The pattern is used for setting a television monitor or receiver to reproduce NTSC chrominance and luminance information correctly. The color bar test pattern was originally conceived by Norbert D. Larky of RCA Laboratories, U. S. patent 2,742,525 Color Test Pattern Generator was awarded on April 17,1956 to Norbert D. Larky and David D. Holmes. Previously categorized by SMPTE as ECR 1-1978, the development of this test pattern was awarded an Engineering Emmy in 2001-2002, the Color bar signal is generated with unconventionally slow rise and fall time value to facilitate video level control and monitor color adjustments of HDTV and SDTV equipment. In a survey of the top standards of the organizations first 100 years, in a SMPTE color bar image, the top two-thirds of the television picture contain seven vertical bars of 75% intensity.
In order from left to right, the colors are white, cyan, magenta and blue. The graticule of a vectorscope is etched with boxes showing the regions where the traces from these seven bars are supposed to fall if the signal is properly adjusted. Below the main set of seven bars is a strip of blue, cyan, the bottom section of the test pattern contains a square of 100% intensity white and a rectangle of 7. 5% intensity black, for use in setting the luminance range. More modern versions of the feature a pluge pulse. The white square lines up so that it is below the green and cyan bars, on a waveform monitor this will show up with the white bar overlapping the peak of the yellow, the pluge pulse is positioned within the black rectangle, below the red bar. It comprises three vertical bars, a rightmost one with intensity 4% above black level, a middle one with intensity exactly equal to black. When a monitor is properly adjusted, the rightmost pluge bar should be just barely visible, while the two should appear indistinuishable from each other and completely black.
On a vectorscope, they appear as two short lines ninety degrees apart and these are used to ensure that the television receiver is properly demodulating the 3.58 MHz color subcarrier portion of the signal. The vectors for the -I and +Q blocks should fall exactly on the I and Q axes on the vectorscope if the signal is demodulated properly. These bars give rise to the portion of the casual term, bars. Likewise, producers of television programs typically record bars and tone at the beginning of a videotape or other recording medium so that the equipment can be calibrated. Often, the name or callsign of the TV station, other such as a real-time clock
Leonardo da Vinci
He has been variously called the father of palaeontology and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute and tank, many historians and scholars regard Leonardo as the prime exemplar of the Universal Genius or Renaissance Man, an individual of unquenchable curiosity and feverishly inventive imagination. Much of his working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He worked in Rome and Venice, and he spent his last years in France at the home awarded to him by Francis I of France, Leonardo was, and is, renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait, Leonardos drawing of the Vitruvian Man is regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro coin, and T-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings have survived, Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised flying machines, a type of armoured fighting vehicle, concentrated power, an adding machine.
Some of his inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder. A number of Leonardos most practical inventions are nowadays displayed as working models at the Museum of Vinci. He made substantial discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, geology and hydrodynamics, Leonardo is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived. Leonardo was born on 15 April 1452 at the hour of the night in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci. He was the son of the wealthy Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine legal notary, and Caterina. Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense – da Vinci simply meaning of Vinci, his birth name was Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci, meaning Leonardo. The inclusion of the title ser indicated that Leonardos father was a gentleman, little is known about Leonardos early life. He spent his first five years in the hamlet of Anchiano in the home of his mother and his father had married a sixteen-year-old girl named Albiera Amadori, who loved Leonardo but died young in 1465 without children.
When Leonardo was sixteen, his father married again to twenty-year-old Francesca Lanfredini, pieros legitimate heirs were born from his third wife Margherita di Guglielmo and his fourth and final wife, Lucrezia Cortigiani. Leonardo received an education in Latin and mathematics. In life, Leonardo recorded only two childhood incidents, which he regarded as an omen, was when a kite dropped from the sky and hovered over his cradle, its tail feathers brushing his face
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch draughtsman and printmaker. A prolific and versatile master across three media, he is considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art. Having achieved youthful success as a painter, Rembrandts years were marked by personal tragedy. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, Rembrandts portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible are regarded as his greatest creative triumphs. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and his reputation as the greatest etcher in the history of the medium was established in his lifetime, and never questioned since. Few of his paintings left the Dutch Republic whilst he lived, but his prints were circulated throughout Europe, because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called one of the great prophets of civilization.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born on 15 July 1606 in Leiden, in the Dutch Republic and he was the ninth child born to Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn and Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuijtbrouck. His family was quite well-to-do, his father was a miller, religion is a central theme in Rembrandts paintings and the religiously fraught period in which he lived makes his faith a matter of interest. His mother was Roman Catholic, and his father belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church, unlike many of his contemporaries who traveled to Italy as part of their artistic training, Rembrandt never left the Dutch Republic during his lifetime. He opened a studio in Leiden in 1624 or 1625, which he shared with friend, in 1627, Rembrandt began to accept students, among them Gerrit Dou in 1628. In 1629, Rembrandt was discovered by the statesman Constantijn Huygens, as a result of this connection, Prince Frederik Hendrik continued to purchase paintings from Rembrandt until 1646. He initially stayed with an art dealer, Hendrick van Uylenburgh, Saskia came from a good family, her father had been a lawyer and the burgemeester of Leeuwarden.
When Saskia, as the youngest daughter, became an orphan and Saskia were married in the local church of St. Annaparochie without the presence of Rembrandts relatives. In the same year, Rembrandt became a burgess of Amsterdam and he acquired a number of students, among them Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck. In 1635 Rembrandt and Saskia moved into their own house, renting in fashionable Nieuwe Doelenstraat, in 1639 they moved to a prominent newly built house in the upscale Breestraat, today known as Jodenbreestraat in what was becoming the Jewish quarter, a young upcoming neighborhood. The mortgage to finance the 13,000 guilder purchase would be a cause for financial difficulties. Rembrandt should easily have been able to pay the house off with his income, but it appears his spending always kept pace with his income. It was there that Rembrandt frequently sought his Jewish neighbors to model for his Old Testament scenes, in 1640, they had a second daughter, named Cornelia, who died after living barely over a month
Jan Styka was a Polish painter noted for producing large historical, battle-piece, and Christian religious panoramas. He was illustrator and poet, known as a great patriotic speaker - his speeches were printed in 1915 under the French title Lame de la Pologne. Next he came back to Lwów and opened there a workshop, together with a celebrated Polish historical painter Wojciech Kossak, they created his most famous work in Poland – The Racławice Panorama. Later he travelled to Italy for a time before moving to France where the great art movements at Montmartre and Montparnasse were taking shape. Among Stykas important works is the scene of Saint Peter preaching the Gospel in the Catacombs painted in Paris in 1902. In 1910 Styka painted a portrait of esteemed pianist and Polish statesman, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, near the end of the 19th century, Paderewski had commissioned Styka to paint what would become his most famous work internationally. Originally entitled Golgotha, the became known simply as The Crucifixion.
This piece is an enormous panorama standing 195 feet long by 45 feet in height, the Crucifixion has a fascinating history. Upon its commission in 1894, Styka travelled to Jerusalem to prepare sketches, and to Rome, the painting was unveiled in Warsaw to great success on June 22,1897. It was shown in many of the cities of Europe, before making its way to America. The painting was seized when Stykas American partners failed to pay the customs taxes, in 1944 the painting was found, rolled around a telephone pole and badly damaged, having languished in the basement of the Chicago Civic Opera Company for decades. Acquired by American businessman, Hubert Eaton, the painting was restored by Jan Stykas son and it is on display in the Hall of the Crucifixion at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. In 2005–2006 the painting underwent a restoration as part of Forest Lawns centennial celebration. It currently is shown, except on Mondays, on the hour and it features a new, state of the art guided light show and narrated presentation written by biblical scholar Timothy Kirk.
Styka died in 1925 and was buried in Rome, however, in 1959 Hubert Eaton arranged with Stykas family for his remains to be brought to the United States for interment in the Hall of The Immortals at Forest Lawn cemetery. Sons Tadeusz Tade Styka and Adam Styka were both painters, Details of the Panorama of the Battle of Racławice at the Wroclaw Municipality website Details of The Crucifixion at the Forest Lawn website Maria Styka family art
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural and financial center of Northern California. It is the birthplace of the United Nations, the California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856, after three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines, San Francisco is the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. Dolby, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pinterest, Uber, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, as of 2016, San Francisco is ranked high on world liveability rankings.
The earliest archaeological evidence of habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the system gradually ended, and its lands became privatized. In 1835, Englishman William Richardson erected the first independent homestead, together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, and the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7,1846, during the Mexican–American War, montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography. The California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers, with their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849.
The promise of fabulous riches was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor. Some of these approximately 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships and hotels, many were left to rot, by 1851 the harbor was extended out into the bay by wharves while buildings were erected on piles among the ships. By 1870 Yerba Buena Cove had been filled to create new land, buried ships are occasionally exposed when foundations are dug for new buildings. California was quickly granted statehood in 1850 and the U. S. military built Fort Point at the Golden Gate, silver discoveries, including the Comstock Lode in Nevada in 1859, further drove rapid population growth. With hordes of fortune seekers streaming through the city, lawlessness was common, and the Barbary Coast section of town gained notoriety as a haven for criminals, entrepreneurs sought to capitalize on the wealth generated by the Gold Rush
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, situated between the Baltic Sea in the north and two mountain ranges in the south. Bordered by Germany to the west, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south and Belarus to the east, the total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres, making it the 69th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. With a population of over 38.5 million people, Poland is the 34th most populous country in the world, the 8th most populous country in Europe, Poland is a unitary state divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, and its capital and largest city is Warsaw. Other metropolises include Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Szczecin, the establishment of a Polish state can be traced back to 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of a territory roughly coextensive with that of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin.
This union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, Poland regained its independence in 1918 at the end of World War I, reconstituting much of its historical territory as the Second Polish Republic. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, followed thereafter by invasion by the Soviet Union. More than six million Polish citizens died in the war, after the war, Polands borders were shifted westwards under the terms of the Potsdam Conference. With the backing of the Soviet Union, a communist puppet government was formed, and after a referendum in 1946. During the Revolutions of 1989 Polands Communist government was overthrown and Poland adopted a new constitution establishing itself as a democracy, informally called the Third Polish Republic. Since the early 1990s, when the transition to a primarily market-based economy began, Poland has achieved a high ranking on the Human Development Index.
Poland is a country, which was categorised by the World Bank as having a high-income economy. Furthermore, it is visited by approximately 16 million tourists every year, Poland is the eighth largest economy in the European Union and was the 6th fastest growing economy on the continent between 2010 and 2015. According to the Global Peace Index for 2014, Poland is ranked 19th in the list of the safest countries in the world to live in. The origin of the name Poland derives from a West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta River basin of the historic Greater Poland region in the 8th century, the origin of the name Polanie itself derives from the western Slavic word pole. In some foreign languages such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish the exonym for Poland is Lechites, historians have postulated that throughout Late Antiquity, many distinct ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland. The most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, the Slavic groups who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD.
With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the authority of the Roman Church