Akihito is the current Emperor of Japan. He succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne upon the death of his father Emperor Shōwa on 7 January 1989. According to Japan's traditional order of succession, he is the 125th member of the world's oldest reigning dynasty; the Japanese government announced in December 2017 that Akihito will abdicate on 30 April 2019 due to his age and declining health. In Japan, the Emperor is never referred to by his given name, but rather is referred to as "His Majesty the Emperor" which may be shortened to His Majesty. In writing, the Emperor is referred to formally as "The Reigning Emperor"; the Era of Akihito's reign bears the name "Heisei", according to custom he will be renamed Emperor Heisei by order of the Cabinet after his death. At the same time, the name of the next era under his successor will be established. If the Emperor abdicates as planned, he will receive the title of Jōkō, an abbreviation of Daijō Tennō, the new era, "Reiwa", will be established. Accordingly, the Imperial Household Agency designated the official translation of Jōkō as "Emperor Emeritus".
Akihito was born in the Tokyo Imperial Palace, Japan, is the elder son and the fifth child of the Emperor Shōwa and Empress Kōjun. Titled Prince Tsugu as a child, he was raised and educated by his private tutors and attended the elementary and secondary departments of the Peers' School from 1940 to 1952. Unlike his predecessors in the Imperial family, he did not receive a commission as an army officer, at the request of his father, Hirohito. During the American firebombing raids on Tokyo in March 1945, Akihito and his younger brother, Prince Masahito, were evacuated from the city. During the American occupation of Japan following World War II, Prince Akihito was tutored in the English language and Western manners by Elizabeth Gray Vining, he studied at the Department of Political Science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, though he never received a degree. Akihito was heir-apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne from the moment of his birth, his formal Investiture as Crown Prince was held at the Tokyo Imperial Palace on 10 November 1952.
In June 1953 Akihito represented Japan at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London. Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko made official visits to thirty-seven countries; as an Imperial Prince, Akihito compared the role of Japanese royalty to that of a robot. He expressed the desire to help bring the Imperial family closer to the people of Japan. Upon the death of Emperor Hirohito on 7 January 1989, Akihito acceded to the throne, with the enthronement ceremony taking place on 12 November 1990. In 1998, during a state visit to the United Kingdom, he was invested with the UK Order of the Garter. On 23 December 2001, during his annual birthday meeting with reporters, the Emperor, in response to a reporter's question about tensions with Korea, remarked that he felt a kinship with Koreans and went on to explain that, in the Shoku Nihongi, the mother of Emperor Kammu is related to Muryeong of Korea, King of Baekje, a fact, considered taboo. Emperor Akihito underwent surgery for prostate cancer on 14 January 2003.
In response to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima I nuclear crisis, the Emperor made a historic televised appearance urging his people not to give up hope and to help each other. The Emperor and Empress made a visit on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 to a temporary shelter housing refugees of the disaster, in order to inspire hope in the people; this kind of event is extremely rare, though in line with the Emperor's attempts to bring the Imperial family closer to the people. In 2011 he was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia. In February 2012, it was announced. In August 1957, he met Michiko Shōda on a tennis court at Karuizawa near Nagano; the Imperial Household Council formally approved the engagement of the Crown Prince to Michiko Shōda on 27 November 1958. At that time, the media presented their encounter as a real "fairy tale", or the "romance of the tennis court", it was the first time a commoner had married into the Imperial Family, breaking more than 2,600 years of tradition.
The engagement ceremony took place on 14 January 1959, the marriage on 10 April 1959. The Emperor and Empress had three children: sons Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan and Fumihito, Prince Akishino and daughter Mrs. Sayako Kuroda; the announcement about the then-Crown Prince Akihito's marriage to the then-Ms. Michiko Shōda drew opposition from traditionalist groups, because Shōda came from a Roman Catholic family. Although Shōda was never baptized, she was educated in Catholic schools and seemed to share the faith of her parents. Rumors speculated that Empress Kōjun had opposed the engagement. After the death of Empress Kōjun in 2000, Reuters reported that she was one of the strongest opponents of her son's marriage, that in the 1960s, she had driven her daughter-in-law and grandchildren to depression by persistently accusing her of not being suitable for her son. According to the Constitution of Japan, Akihito is "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people." Unlike other constitutional monarchs, his function is defined as representative and ceremonial in nature, without a nominal role in government.
He is limited to acting in matters of state as del
Mexico City, or the City of Mexico, is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. Mexico City is one of the most important financial centres in the Americas, it is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters. The city has 16 boroughs; the 2009 population for the city proper was 8.84 million people, with a land area of 1,485 square kilometers. According to the most recent definition agreed upon by the federal and state governments, the population of Greater Mexico City is 21.3 million, which makes it the largest metropolitan area of the Western Hemisphere, the eleventh-largest agglomeration, the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world. Greater Mexico City has a GDP of $411 billion in 2011, making Greater Mexico City one of the most productive urban areas in the world; the city was responsible for generating 15.8% of Mexico's GDP, the metropolitan area accounted for about 22% of total national GDP.
If it were an independent country, in 2013, Mexico City would be the fifth-largest economy in Latin America, five times as large as Costa Rica and about the same size as Peru. Mexico’s capital is both the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by Native Americans, the other being Quito, Ecuador; the city was built on an island of Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325 as Tenochtitlan, completely destroyed in the 1521 siege of Tenochtitlan and subsequently redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish urban standards. In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenochtitlán, as of 1585, it was known as Ciudad de México. Mexico City was the political and financial center of a major part of the Spanish colonial empire. After independence from Spain was achieved, the federal district was created in 1824. After years of demanding greater political autonomy, residents were given the right to elect both a Head of Government and the representatives of the unicameral Legislative Assembly by election in 1997.
Since, the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution has controlled both of them. The city has several progressive policies, such as abortion on request, a limited form of euthanasia, no-fault divorce, same-sex marriage. On January 29, 2016, it ceased to be the Federal District, is now known as Ciudad de México, with a greater degree of autonomy. A clause in the Constitution of Mexico, prevents it from becoming a state, as it is the seat of power in the country, unless the capital of the country were relocated elsewhere; the city of Mexico-Tenochtitlan was founded by the Mexica people in 1325. The old Mexica city, now referred to as Tenochtitlan was built on an island in the center of the inland lake system of the Valley of Mexico, which it shared with a smaller city-state called Tlatelolco. According to legend, the Mexicas' principal god, indicated the site where they were to build their home by presenting a golden eagle perched on a prickly pear devouring a rattlesnake. Between 1325 and 1521, Tenochtitlan grew in size and strength dominating the other city-states around Lake Texcoco and in the Valley of Mexico.
When the Spaniards arrived, the Aztec Empire had reached much of Mesoamerica, touching both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. After landing in Veracruz, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés advanced upon Tenochtitlan with the aid of many of the other native peoples, arriving there on November 8, 1519. Cortés and his men marched along the causeway leading into the city from Iztapalapa, the city's ruler, Moctezuma II, greeted the Spaniards. Cortés put Moctezuma under house arrest. Tensions increased until, on the night of June 30, 1520 – during a struggle known as "La Noche Triste" – the Aztecs rose up against the Spanish intrusion and managed to capture or drive out the Europeans and their Tlaxcalan allies. Cortés regrouped at Tlaxcala; the Aztecs thought the Spaniards were permanently gone, they elected a new king, Cuitláhuac, but he soon died. Cortés began a siege of Tenochtitlan in May 1521. For three months, the city suffered from the lack of food and water as well as the spread of smallpox brought by the Europeans.
Cortés and his allies landed their forces in the south of the island and fought their way through the city. Cuauhtémoc surrendered in August 1521; the Spaniards razed Tenochtitlan during the final siege of the conquest. Cortés first settled in Coyoacán, but decided to rebuild the Aztec site to erase all traces of the old order, he did not establish a territory under his own personal rule, but remained loyal to the Spanish crown. The first Spanish viceroy arrived in Mexico City fourteen years later. By that time, the city had again become a city-state, having power that extended far beyond its borders. Although the Spanish preserved Tenochtitlan's basic layout, they built Catholic churches over the old Aztec temples and claimed the imperial palaces for themselves. Tenochtitlan was renamed "Mexico"; the city had been the capital of the Aztec empire and in the colonial era, Mexico City became the capital of New Spain. The viceroy of Mexico or vice-king lived in the viceregal palace on Zócalo; the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishopric of New Spain, was const
The Axis powers known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis", were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not coordinate their activity; the Axis grew out of the diplomatic efforts of Germany and Japan to secure their own specific expansionist interests in the mid-1930s. The first step was the treaty signed by Germany and Italy in October 1936. Benito Mussolini declared on 1 November that all other European countries would from on rotate on the Rome–Berlin axis, thus creating the term "Axis"; the simultaneous second step was the signing in November 1936 of the Anti-Comintern Pact, an anti-communist treaty between Germany and Japan. Italy joined the Pact in 1937; the "Rome–Berlin Axis" became a military alliance in 1939 under the so-called "Pact of Steel", with the Tripartite Pact of 1940 leading to the integration of the military aims of Germany and Japan. At its zenith during World War II, the Axis presided over territories that occupied large parts of Europe, North Africa, East Asia.
There were no three-way summit meetings and cooperation and coordination was minimal, with more between Germany and Italy. The war ended in 1945 with the dissolution of their alliance; as in the case of the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, with some nations switching sides or changing their degree of military involvement over the course of the war. The term "axis" was first applied to the Italo-German relationship by the Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini in September 1923, when he wrote in the preface to Roberto Suster's Germania Repubblica that "there is no doubt that in this moment the axis of European history passes through Berlin". At the time, he was seeking an alliance with the Weimar Republic against Yugoslavia and France in the dispute over the Free State of Fiume; the term was used by Hungary's prime minister Gyula Gömbös when advocating an alliance of Hungary with Germany and Italy in the early 1930s. Gömbös' efforts did affect the Italo-Hungarian Rome Protocols, but his sudden death in 1936 while negotiating with Germany in Munich and the arrival of Kálmán Darányi, his successor, ended Hungary's involvement in pursuing a trilateral axis.
Contentious negotiations between the Italian foreign minister, Galeazzo Ciano, the German ambassador, Ulrich von Hassell, resulted in a Nineteen-Point Protocol, signed by Ciano and his German counterpart, Konstantin von Neurath, in 1936. When Mussolini publicly announced the signing on 1 November, he proclaimed the creation of a Rome–Berlin axis. Italy under Duce Benito Mussolini had pursued a strategic alliance of Italy with Germany against France since the early 1920s. Prior to becoming head of government in Italy as leader of the Italian Fascist movement, Mussolini had advocated alliance with defeated Germany after the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 settled World War I, he believed. In early 1923, as a goodwill gesture to Germany, Italy secretly delivered weapons for the German Army, which had faced major disarmament under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1923, Mussolini offered German Chancellor Gustav Stresemann a "common policy": he sought German military support against potential French military intervention over Italy's diplomatic dispute with Yugoslavia over Fiume, should an Italian seizure of Fiume result in war between Italy and Yugoslavia.
The German ambassador to Italy in 1924 reported that Mussolini saw a nationalist Germany as an essential ally for Italy against France, hoped to tap into the desire within the German army and the German political right for a war of revenge against France. During the Weimar Republic, the German government did not respect the Treaty of Versailles that it had been pressured to sign, various government figures at the time rejected Germany's post-Versailles borders. General Hans von Seeckt supported an alliance between Germany and the Soviet Union to invade and partition Poland between them and restore the German-Russian border of 1914. Gustav Streseman as German foreign minister in 1925 declared that the reincorporation of territories lost to Poland and Danzig in the Treaty of Versailles was a major task of German foreign policy; the Reichswehr Ministry memorandum of 1926 declared its intention to seek the reincorporation of German territory lost to Poland as its first priority, to be followed by the return of the Saar territory, the annexation of Austria, remilitarization of the Rhineland.
Since the 1920s Italy had identified the year 1935 as a crucial date for preparing for a war against France, as 1935 was the year when Germany's obligations under the Treaty of Versailles were scheduled to expire. Meetings took place in Berlin in 1924 between Italian General Luigi Capello and prominent figures in the German military, such as von Seeckt and Erich Ludendorff, over military collaboration between Germany and Italy; the discussions concluded that Germans still wanted a war of revenge against France but were short on weapons and hoped that Italy could assist Germany. However at this time Mussolini stressed one important condition that Italy must pursue in an alliance with Germany: that Italy "must... tow them, not be towed by them". Italian foreign minister Dino Grandi in the early 1930s stressed the importance of "decisive weight", involving Italy's relations between France and Germany, in which he recognized that Italy was not yet a major power, but perceived that Italy did have
Iberia incorporated as Iberia, Líneas Aéreas de España, S. A. Operadora, Sociedad Unipersonal, is the flag carrier airline of Spain, founded in 1927. Based in Madrid, it operates an international network of services from its main base of Madrid-Barajas Airport. Iberia, with Iberia Regional and with Iberia Express, is a part of Iberia Group. In addition to transporting passengers and freight, Iberia Group carries out related activities, such as aircraft maintenance, handling in airports, IT systems and in-flight catering. Iberia Group airlines fly to over 109 destinations in 39 countries, a further 90 destinations through code-sharing agreements with other airlines. On 8 April 2010, it was confirmed that British Airways and Iberia had signed an agreement to merge, making the combined operation the third largest commercial airline in the world by revenue. Shareholders of both carriers approved the deal on 29 November 2010; the newly merged company, known as International Airlines Group, was established in January 2011, although both airlines continue to operate under their current names.
Iberia, Compañía Aérea de Transportes was incorporated on 28 June 1927 with a capital investment by the financier Horacio Echevarrieta and Deutsche Luft Hansa of 1.1 million pesetas. Flight operations started on 14 December 1927. Within a year, the company was sponsored by the Spanish government to provide postal transport between Madrid and Barcelona. During the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, the aviation companies in Spain were combined and became state-controlled as a general interest public utility, coming into effect in early 1928; as a consequence, Iberia was merged into Compañía de Líneas Aéreas Subvencionadas S. A. and ceased activities as an independent airline on 29 May 1929. The name "Iberia" continued to be registered although the company airline did not have a fleet or commercial operation under his own brand. In 1937 during the Spanish Civil War, Spanish Navy captain and Director-General of the company Daniel de Araoz y Aréjula received the order from General Kindelán to organize an airline for the air transport in nationalist-held territory during the course of the war.
Daniel de Araoz y Aréjula traveled to Germany to get support and material for the restoration of the company as independent airline, thus six Junkers Ju 52 from Deutsche Luft Hansa arrived, which were acquired by Iberia at the end of the conflict, in addition to material to help the operations. As the name "Iberia" was still registered, it was used when operations began in 1937 towards the end of the war. During the conflict Iberia was a purely domestic airline, with headquarters in Salamanca the airline operated flights to cities in the nationalist side, Spanish North Africa, Spanish West Africa and Morocco. After the war, at the end of the 1930s, the airline served the Seville–Larache–Cabo Juby–Las Palmas, Barcelona–Saragosa–Burgos–Salamanca–Seville–Tetuan and Palma–Barcelona–Vitoria runs using Junkers Ju 52 aircraft. On 1 May 1939 Iberia operated its first regular service to an international destination as an independent civil airline with a flight Madrid-Lisbon. In 1940 the government gave the monopoly of national air transport to Iberia, this privilege helped the company to start building as an important international airline, which had not been until then.
The airline was nationalised on 30 September 1944 and became part of Instituto Nacional de Industria. The policy of the company was to separate itself from the German orbit to which it had been linked in its first years, establish relations with the United States in terms of aircraft purchase and supplies of aeronautical material for the operation, thus that year was signed the purchase of seven DC-3, three DC-4 with the purpose of expand the network in Europe and accomplish with the main challenge of his director César Gómez de Lucía, perform the first transatlantic flight of the company. The challenge was achieved in 1946, Iberia was the first airline to fly between Europe and South America after World War II, using a Douglas DC-4 to operate flights between Madrid and Buenos Aires; this flight was the first of an expansion of flights between Latin America and Europe through Spain carry out by the company, with destinations like San Juan de Puerto Rico, Ciudad de México and La Habana. The bad diplomatic relations of the francoist regime delayed some destinations until the beginning of the 50s.
Iberia incorporated four more DC-4s to its fleet during the first half of 1950, enabling both the strengthening of current services and the launch of new ones. By the Pact of Madrid in 1953, visa requirements were eliminated for US visitors to Spain; this stimulated the start of transatlantic flights between Spain and United States the following year. The airline phased in the first of three Super Constellations in June 1954; the aircraft was named Santa María to commemorate Columbus' first voyage and was deployed in the inauguration of the new Madrid–New York service two months on 3 August 1954, the same day that Columbus left the port of Palos de la Frontera. The amendments to Article 6 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation of June 14, 1954 made in Paris on June 30, 1956 about non-scheduled air services enabled mass tourism using chartered aircraft since allowing European member states to carry out this type of operation with international flights between their territories; this favored the airline given that it had in its territory several sought after destinations those on the eastern and southern Mediterranean coast and in the Balearic and Canary Islands demanded by seasid
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
The Manila Galleons were Spanish trading ships which for two and a half centuries linked the Philippines with Mexico across the Pacific Ocean, making one or two round-trip voyages per year between the ports of Acapulco and Manila, which were both part of New Spain. The name of the galleon changed to reflect the city; the term Manila Galleons is used to refer to the trade route itself between Acapulco and Manila, which lasted from 1565 to 1815. The Manila Galleons were known in New Spain as "La Nao de la China" on their return voyage from the Philippines because they carried Chinese goods, shipped from Manila; the Manila Galleon trade route was inaugurated in 1565 after Augustinian friar and navigator Andrés de Urdaneta discovered the tornaviaje or return route from the Philippines to Mexico. The first successful round trips were made by Alonso de Arellano that year; the route lasted until 1815. The Manila galleons sailed the Pacific for 250 years, bringing to the Americas cargoes of luxury goods such as spices and porcelain, in exchange for silver.
The route created a cultural exchange that shaped the identities and culture of the countries involved. In 2015, the Philippines and Mexico began preparations for the nomination of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade Route in the UNESCO World Heritage List, with backing from Spain. Spain has suggested the tri-national nomination of the Archives on the Manila-Acapulco Galleons in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. In 1521, a Spanish expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan sailed west across the Pacific using the westward trade winds; the expedition claimed them for Spain. Although Magellan died there, one of his ships, the Victoria, made it back to Spain by continuing westward. In order to settle and trade with these islands from the Americas, an eastward maritime return path was necessary; the first ship to try this a few years failed. In 1529, Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón tried sailing east from the Philippines, but could not find the eastward winds across the Pacific. In 1543, Bernardo de la Torre failed.
In 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo helped pave the way by sailing north from Mexico to explore the Pacific coast, reaching as far north as the Russian River, just north of the 38th parallel. The Manila-Acapulco galleon trade began when Spanish navigators Alonso de Arellano and Andrés de Urdaneta discovered the eastward return route in 1565. Sailing as part of the expedition commanded by Miguel López de Legazpi to conquer the Philippines in 1565, Arellano and Urdaneta were given the task of finding a return route. Reasoning that the trade winds of the Pacific might move in a gyre as the Atlantic winds did, they had to sail north to the 38th parallel north, off the east coast of Japan, before catching the eastward-blowing winds that would take them back across the Pacific. Reaching the west coast of North America, Urdaneta's ship the San Pedro hit the coast near Cape Mendocino, California followed the coast south to San Blas and to Acapulco, arriving on October 8, 1565. Most of his crew died on the long initial voyage.
Arellano, who had taken a more southerly route, had arrived. The English privateer Francis Drake reached the California coast, in 1579. After capturing a Spanish ship heading for Manila, Drake turned north, hoping to meet another Spanish treasure ship coming south on its return from Manila to Acapulco, he staked an English claim somewhere on the northern California coast. Although the ship's log and other records were lost, the accepted location is now called Drakes Bay, on Point Reyes south of Cape Mendocino. By the 18th century, it was understood that a less northerly track was sufficient when nearing the North American coast, galleon navigators steered well clear of the rocky and fogbound northern and central California coast. According to historian William Lytle Schurz, "They made their landfall well down the coast, somewhere between Point Conception and Cape San Lucas... After all, these were preeminently merchant ships, the business of exploration lay outside their field, though chance discoveries were welcomed".
The first motivation for land exploration of present-day California was to scout out possible way-stations for the seaworn Manila galleons on the last leg of their journey. Early proposals came to little, but in 1769, the Portola expedition established ports at San Diego and Monterey, providing safe harbors for returning Manila galleons. In Manila, the safety of ocean crossings was commended to the virgin Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga in masses held by the Archbishop of Manila. If the expedition was successful the voyagers would go to the La Ermita to pay homage, offer gold and other precious gems or jewelries from Hispanic countries, to the image of the virgin. So it came to be that the Virgin was named the "Queen of the Galleons". Trade with Ming China via Manila served a major source of revenue for the Spanish Empire and as a fundamental source of income for Spanish colonists in the Philippine Islands; until 1593, two or more ships would set sail annually from each port. The Manila trade became so lucrative that Seville merchants petitioned king Philip II of Spain to protect the monopoly of the Casa de Contratación based in Seville.
This led to the passing of a decree in 1593 that set a limit of two ships sailing each year from either port, with one kept in reserve in Acapulco and one in
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection