Bengal is a geopolitical and historical region in South Asia in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Geographically, it is made up by the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta system, the largest such formation in the world. Politically, Bengal is divided between Bangladesh and the Indian territories of West Bengal and Assam's Barak Valley. In 2011, the population of Bengal was estimated to be 250 million, making it one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Among them, an estimated 160 million people live in Bangladesh and 91.3 million people live in West Bengal. The predominant ethnolinguistic group is the Bengali people, who speak the Indo-Aryan Bengali language. Bengali Muslims are the majority in Bangladesh and Bengali Hindus are the majority in West Bengal and Tripura, while Barak Valley contains equal proportions of Bengali Hindus and Bengali Muslims. Outside Bengal proper, the Indian territories of Jharkhand and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to significant communities of Bengalis.
Dense woodlands, including hilly rainforests, cover Bengal's eastern areas. In the littoral southwest are the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest and home of the Bengal tiger. In the coastal southeast lies Cox's Bazar, the longest beach in the world at 125 km; the region has a monsoon climate. At times an independent regional empire, Bengal was a leading power in Southeast Asia and the Islamic East, with extensive trade networks. In antiquity, its kingdoms were known as seafaring nations. Bengal was known to the Greeks as Gangaridai, notable for mighty military power, it was described by Greek historians that Alexander the Great withdrew from India anticipating a counterattack from an alliance of Gangaridai. Writers noted merchant shipping links between Bengal and Roman Egypt; the Bengali Pala Empire was the last major Buddhist imperial power in the subcontinent, founded in 750 and becoming the dominant power in the northern Indian subcontinent by the 9th century, before being replaced by the Hindu Sena dynasty in the 12th century.
Islam was introduced through trade with the Abbasid Caliphate. The Islamic Bengal Sultanate, founded in 1352, was absorbed into the Mughal Empire in 1576; the Mughal Bengal Subah province became a major global exporter, a center of worldwide industries such as cotton textiles, shipbuilding, 12% of the world's GDP, larger than the entirety of western Europe. Bengal was conquered by the British East India Company in 1757 by Battle of Plassey and became the Bengal Presidency of the British Raj, which experienced deindustrialization under British rule; the Company increased agriculture tax rates from 10 percent to up to 50 causing the Great Bengal famine of 1770 and the deaths of 10 million Bengalis. Bengal played a major role in the Indian independence movement, in which revolutionary groups were dominant. Armed attempts to overthrow the British Raj began with the rebellion of Titumir, reached a climax when Subhas Chandra Bose led the Indian National Army allied with Japan to fight against the British.
A large number of Bengalis died in the independence struggle and many were exiled in Cellular Jail, located in Andaman. The United Kingdom Cabinet Mission of 1946, split the region into India and Pakistan, popularly known as partition of Bengal, opposed by the Prime Minister of Bengal Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and nationalist leader Sarat Chandra Bose, they campaigned for a independent nation-state of Bengal. The initiative failed owing to British diplomacy and communal conflict between Hindus. Pakistan ruled East Bengal becoming the independent nation of Bangladesh by Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971. Bengali culture has been influential in the fields of literature, shipbuilding, architecture, currency, commerce and cuisine; the name of Bengal is derived from the ancient kingdom of Banga, the earliest records of which date back to the Mahabharata epic in the first millennium BCE. Theories on the origin of the term Banga point to the Proto-Dravidian Bong tribe that settled in the area circa 1000 BCE and the Austric word Bong.
The term Vangaladesa is used to describe the region in 11th-century South Indian records. The modern term Bangla is prominent from the 14th century, which saw the establishment of the Sultanate of Bengal, whose first ruler Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah was known as the Shah of Bangala; the Portuguese referred to the region as Bengala in the Age of Discovery. The modern English name Bengal is an exonym derived from the Bengal Sultanate period. Most of the Bengal region lies in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta, but there are highlands in its north and southeast; the Ganges Delta arises from the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Meghna rivers and their respective tributaries. The total area of Bengal is 232,752 km2—West Bengal is 88,752 km2 and Bangladesh 147,570 km2; the flat and fertile Bangladesh Plain dominates the geography of Bangladesh. The Chittagong Hill Tracts and Sylhet regions are home to most of the mountains in Bangladesh. Most parts of Bangladesh are within 10 metres above the sea level, it is believed that about 10% of the land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by 1 metre.
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East India Company
The East India Company known as the Honourable East India Company or the British East India Company and informally as John Company, Company Bahadur, or The Company, was an English and British joint-stock company. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region with Mughal India and the East Indies, with Qing China; the company ended up seizing control over large parts of the Indian subcontinent, colonised parts of Southeast Asia, colonised Hong Kong after a war with Qing China. Chartered as the "Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies", the company rose to account for half of the world's trade in basic commodities including cotton, indigo dye, spices, saltpetre and opium; the company ruled the beginnings of the British Empire in India. In his speech to the House of Commons in July 1833, Lord Macaulay explained that since the beginning, the East India company had always been involved in both trade and politics, just as its French and Dutch counterparts had been.
The company received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600, coming late to trade in the Indies. Before them the Portuguese Estado da Índia had traded there for much of the 16th century and the first of half a dozen Dutch Companies sailed to trade there from 1595; these Dutch companies amalgamated in March 1602 into the United East Indies Company, which introduced the first permanent joint stock from 1612. By contrast, wealthy merchants and aristocrats owned the EIC's shares; the government owned no shares and had only indirect control until 1657 when permanent joint stock was established. During its first century of operation, the focus of the company was trade, not the building of an empire in India. Company interests turned from trade to territory during the 18th century as the Mughal Empire declined in power and the East India Company struggled with its French counterpart, the French East India Company during the Carnatic Wars of the 1740s and 1750s; the battles of Plassey and Buxar, in which the British defeated the Bengali powers, left the company in control of Bengal and a major military and political power in India.
In the following decades it increased the extent of the territories under its control, controlling the majority of the Indian subcontinent either directly or indirectly via local puppet rulers under the threat of force by its Presidency armies, much of which were composed of native Indian sepoys. By 1803, at the height of its rule in India, the British East India company had a private army of about 260,000—twice the size of the British Army, with Indian revenues of £13,464,561, expenses of £14,017,473; the company came to rule large areas of India with its private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. Company rule in India began in 1757 and lasted until 1858, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led to the British Crown's assuming direct control of the Indian subcontinent in the form of the new British Raj. Despite frequent government intervention, the company had recurring problems with its finances, it was dissolved in 1874 as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act passed one year earlier, as the Government of India Act had by rendered it vestigial and obsolete.
The official government machinery of British India assumed the East India Company's governmental functions and absorbed its navy and its armies in 1858. Soon after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the captured Spanish and Portuguese ships with their cargoes enabled English voyagers to travel the globe in search of riches. London merchants presented a petition to Queen Elizabeth I for permission to sail to the Indian Ocean; the aim was to deliver a decisive blow to the Portuguese monopoly of Far Eastern Trade. Elizabeth granted her permission and on 10 April 1591 James Lancaster in the Bonaventure with two other ships sailed from Torbay around the Cape of Good Hope to the Arabian Sea on one of the earliest English overseas Indian expeditions. Having sailed around Cape Comorin to the Malay Peninsula, they preyed on Spanish and Portuguese ships there before returning to England in 1594; the biggest capture that galvanised English trade was the seizure of the large Portuguese Carrack, the Madre de Deus by Sir Walter Raleigh and the Earl of Cumberland at the Battle of Flores on 13 August 1592.
When she was brought in to Dartmouth she was the largest vessel, seen in England and her cargo consisted of chests filled with jewels, gold, silver coins, cloth, pepper, cinnamon, benjamin, red dye and ebony. Valuable was the ship's rutter containing vital information on the China and Japan trades; these riches aroused the English to engage in this opulent commerce. In 1596, three more English ships were all lost at sea. A year however saw the arrival of Ralph Fitch, an adventurer merchant who, along with his companions, had made a remarkable fifteen-year overland journey to Mesopotamia, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. Fitch was consulted on the Indian affairs and gave more valuable information to Lancaster. On 22 September 1599, a group of merchants met and stated their intention "to venture in the pretended voyage to the East Indies, the sums that they will adventure", committing £30
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory; some historians are recognized by training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere. During the Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt trial, it became evident that the court needed to identify what was an "objective historian" in the same vein as the reasonable person, reminiscent of the standard traditionally used in English law of "the man on the Clapham omnibus"; this was necessary so that there would be a legal bench mark to compare and contrast the scholarship of an objective historian against the illegitimate methods employed by David Irving, as before the Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt trial, there was no legal precedent for what constituted an objective historian.
Justice Gray leant on the research of one of the expert witnesses, Richard J. Evans, who compared illegitimate distortion of the historical record practice by holocaust deniers with established historical methodologies. By summarizing Gray's judgement, in an article published in the Yale Law Journal, Wendie E. Schneider distils these seven points for what he meant by an objective historian: The historian must treat sources with appropriate reservations. Schneider uses the concept of the "objective historian" to suggest that this could be an aid in assessing what makes an historian suitable as an expert witnesses under the Daubert standard in the United States. Schneider proposed this, because, in her opinion, Irving could have passed the standard Daubert tests unless a court was given "a great deal of assistance from historians". Schneider proposes that by testing an historian against the criteria of the "objective historian" even if an historian holds specific political views, providing the historian uses the "objective historian" standards, he or she is a "conscientious historian".
It was Irving's failure as an "objective historian" not his right wing views that caused him to lose his libel case, as a "conscientious historian" would not have "deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence" to support his political views. The process of historical analysis involves investigation and analysis of competing ideas and purported facts to create coherent narratives that explain "what happened" and "why or how it happened". Modern historical analysis draws upon other social sciences, including economics, politics, anthropology and linguistics. While ancient writers do not share modern historical practices, their work remains valuable for its insights within the cultural context of the times. An important part of the contribution of many modern historians is the verification or dismissal of earlier historical accounts through reviewing newly discovered sources and recent scholarship or through parallel disciplines like archaeology. Understanding the past appears to be a universal human need, the telling of history has emerged independently in civilizations around the world.
What constitutes history is a philosophical question. The earliest chronologies date back to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, though no historical writers in these early civilizations were known by name. Systematic historical thought emerged in ancient Greece, a development that became an important influence on the writing of history elsewhere around the Mediterranean region; the earliest known critical historical works were The Histories, composed by Herodotus of Halicarnassus who became known as the "father of history". Herodotus attempted to distinguish between more and less reliable accounts, conducted research by travelling extensively, giving written accounts of various Mediterranean cultures. Although Herodotus' overall emphasis lay on the actions and characters of men, he attributed an important role to divinity in the determination of historical events. Thucydides eliminated divine causality in his account of the war between Athens and Sparta, establishing a rationalistic element that set a precedent for subsequent Western historical writings.
He was the first to distinguish between cause and immediate origins of an event, while his successor Xenophon introduced autobiographical elements and character studies in his Anabasis. The Romans adopted the Greek tradition. While early Roman works were still written in Greek, the Origines, composed by the Roman statesman Cato the Elder, was written in Latin, in a conscious effort to counteract Greek cultural influence. Strabo was an important exponent of the Greco-Roman tradition of combining geography with history, presenting a descriptive history of peoples and places known to his era. Livy (59 BCE
Integrated Authority File
The Integrated Authority File or GND is an international authority file for the organisation of personal names, subject headings and corporate bodies from catalogues. It is used for documentation in libraries and also by archives and museums; the GND is managed by the German National Library in cooperation with various regional library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero licence; the GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format; the Integrated Authority File became operational in April 2012 and integrates the content of the following authority files, which have since been discontinued: Name Authority File Corporate Bodies Authority File Subject Headings Authority File Uniform Title File of the Deutsches Musikarchiv At the time of its introduction on 5 April 2012, the GND held 9,493,860 files, including 2,650,000 personalised names.
There are seven main types of GND entities: LIBRIS Virtual International Authority File Information pages about the GND from the German National Library Search via OGND Bereitstellung des ersten GND-Grundbestandes DNB, 19 April 2012 From Authority Control to Linked Authority Data Presentation given by Reinhold Heuvelmann to the ALA MARC Formats Interest Group, June 2012
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Système universitaire de documentation
The système universitaire de documentation or SUDOC is a system used by the libraries of French universities and higher education establishments to identify and manage the documents in their possession. The catalog, which contains more than 10 million references, allows students and researcher to search for bibliographical and location information in over 3,400 documentation centers, it is maintained by the Bibliographic Agency for Higher Education. Official website