East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States known as the Eastern Seaboard, the Atlantic Coast, the Atlantic Seaboard, is the coastline along which the Eastern United States meets the North Atlantic Ocean. The coastal states that have shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean are, from north to south, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida; the place name "East Coast" derives from the idea that the contiguous 48 states are defined by two major coastlines, one at the western edge and one on the eastern edge. Other terms for referring to this area include the "Eastern Seaboard", "Atlantic Coast", "Atlantic Seaboard"; the fourteen states that have a shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean are, from north to south, the U. S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. In addition and the District of Columbia border tidal arms of the Atlantic; the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, as well as the territories of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Navassa Island have Atlantic coastline, but are not included in the definition.
Although Vermont and West Virginia have no Atlantic coastline, they are sometimes grouped with the Eastern Seaboard states because of their locations in New England and the Old South, their history as part of the land base of the original Thirteen Colonies. The original thirteen colonies of Great Britain in North America all lay along the East Coast. Two additional U. S. states on the East Coast were not among the original thirteen colonies: Florida. The Middle Colonies had been owned by the Dutch as New Netherland, until they were captured by the English in the mid-to-late 17th century. There are three basic climate regions on the East Coast according to the Köppen climate classification from north to south based on the monthly mean temperature of the coldest month: The region from northern Maine south to northern Rhode Island and Connecticut has a continental climate, with warm summers, cold and snowy winters; the area from southern Rhode Island and New York City south to central Florida has a temperate climate, with long, hot summers and cold winters with occasional snow in the northern portions, milder winters in the southern portions.
Around south-central Florida southward has a tropical climate, frost free and is warm to hot all year. Average monthly precipitation ranges from a slight late fall maximum from Massachusetts northward, to a slight summer maximum in the Mid-Atlantic states from southern Connecticut south to Virginia, to a more pronounced summer maximum from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, southward along the Southeastern United States coast to Savannah, Georgia; the Florida peninsula has a sharp wet-summer/dry-winter pattern, with 60 to 70 percent of precipitation falling between June and October in an average year, a dry, sunny late fall and early spring. Although landfalls are rare, the Eastern seaboard is susceptible to hurricanes in the Atlantic hurricane season running from June 1 to November 30, although hurricanes can occur before or after these dates. Hurricanes Hazel, Bob, Irene and most Florence are some of the more significant storms to have affected the region; the East Coast is a passive margin coast.
It has been shaped by the Pleistocene glaciation in the far northern areas from New York City northward, with offshore islands such as Nantucket, Block Island, Fishers Island, the nearly peninsular Long Island and New York City's Staten Island the result of terminal moraines, with Massachusetts' unique peninsula of Cape Cod showing the additional action of outwash plains, besides terminal moraines. The coastal plain broadens southwards, separated from the Piedmont region by the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the East Coast rivers marking the head of navigation and prominent sites of cities; the coastal areas from Long Island south to Florida are made up of barrier islands that front the coastal areas, with the long stretches of sandy beaches. Many of the larger capes along the lower East Coast are in fact barrier islands, like the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Cape Canaveral, Florida; the Florida Keys provide the only coral reefs on the US mainland. In 2010, the population of the states which have shoreline on the East Coast was estimated at 112,642,503.
The East Coast is the most populated coastal area in the United States. The primary Interstate Highway along the East Coast is Interstate 95, completed in 2018, which replaced the historic U. S. Route 1, the original federal highway that traversed all East Coast states, except Delaware. By water, the East Coast is connected from Boston, Massachusetts to Miami, Florida, by the Intracoastal Waterway known as the East Coast Canal, completed in 1912. Amtrak's Downeaster and Northeast Regional offer the main passe
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of a world fur market in the early modern period, furs of boreal and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued; the trade stimulated the exploration and colonization of Siberia, northern North America, the South Shetland and South Sandwich Islands. Today the importance of the fur trade has diminished. Animal rights organizations oppose the fur trade, citing that animals are brutally killed and sometimes skinned alive. Fur has been replaced in some clothing by synthetic imitations, for example, as in ruffs on hoods of parkas. Before the European colonization of the Americas, Russia was a major supplier of fur pelts to Western Europe and parts of Asia, its trade developed in the Early Middle Ages, first through exchanges at posts around the Baltic and Black seas. The main trading market destination was the German city of Leipzig. Kievan Russia, the first Russian State, was the first supplier of the Russian Fur Trade.
Russia exported raw furs, consisting in most cases of the pelts of martens, wolves, foxes and hares. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Russians began to settle in Siberia, a region rich in many mammal fur species, such as Arctic fox, sable, sea otter and stoat. In a search for the prized sea otter pelts, first used in China, for the northern fur seal, the Russian Empire expanded into North America, notably Alaska. From the 17th through the second half of the 19th century, Russia was the world's largest supplier of fur; the fur trade played a vital role in the development of Siberia, the Russian Far East and the Russian colonization of the Americas. As recognition of the importance of the trade to the Siberian economy, the sable is a regional symbol of the Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast and the Siberian Novosibirsk and Irkutsk Oblasts of Russia; the European discovery of North America, with its vast forests and wildlife the beaver, led to the continent becoming a major supplier in the 17th century of fur pelts for the fur felt hat and fur trimming and garment trades of Europe.
Fur was relied on to make warm clothing, a critical consideration prior to the organization of coal distribution for heating. Portugal and Spain played major roles in fur trading after the 15th century with their business in fur hats. From as early as the 10th century and boyars of Novgorod had exploited the fur resources "beyond the portage", a watershed at the White Lake that represents the door to the entire northwestern part of Eurasia, they began by establishing trading posts along the Volga and Vychegda river networks and requiring the Komi people to give them furs as tribute. Novgorod, the chief fur-trade center prospered as the easternmost trading post of the Hanseatic League. Novgorodians expanded farther east and north, coming into contact with the Pechora people of the Pechora River valley and the Yugra people residing near the Urals. Both of these native tribes offered more resistance than the Komi, killing many Russian tribute-collectors throughout the tenth and eleventh centuries.
As Muscovy gained more power in the 15th century and proceeded in the "gathering of the Russian lands", the Muscovite state began to rival the Novgorodians in the North. During the 15th century Moscow began subjugating many native tribes. One strategy involved exploiting antagonisms between tribes, notably the Komi and Yugra, by recruiting men of one tribe to fight in an army against the other tribe. Campaigns against native tribes in Siberia remained insignificant until they began on a much larger scale in 1483 and 1499. Besides the Novgorodians and the indigenes, Muscovites had to contend with the various Muslim Tatar khanates to the east of Muscovy. In 1552 Ivan IV, the Tsar of All the Russias, took a significant step towards securing Russian hegemony in Siberia when he sent a large army to attack the Kazan Tartars and ended up obtaining the territory from the Volga to the Ural Mountains. At this point the phrase "ruler of Obdor and all Siberian lands" became part of the title of the Tsar in Moscow.
So, problems ensued after 1558 when Ivan IV sent Grigory Stroganov to colonize land on the Kama and to subjugate and enserf the Komi living there. The Stroganov family soon came into conflict with the Khan of Sibir. Ivan told the Stroganovs to hire Cossack mercenaries to protect the new settlement from the Tatars. From ca 1581 the band of Cossacks led by Yermak Timofeyevich fought many battles that culminated in a Tartar victory and the temporary end to Russian occupation in the area. In 1584 Ivan’s son Fyodor sent military governors and soldiers to reclaim Yermak conquests and to annex the land held by the Khanate of Sibir. Similar skirmishes with Tartars took place across Siberia. Russian conquerors treated the natives of Siberia as exploited enemies who were inferior to them; as they penetrated deeper into Siberia, traders built outposts or winter lodges called zimovya where they lived and collected fur tribute from native tribes. By 1620 Russia dominated the land from the Urals eastward to the Yenisey valley and to the Altai Mountains in the south, comprising about 1.25 million square miles of land.
Furs would become Russia's largest source of wealth during the seventeenth centuries. Keeping up with the advances of Western Europe required significant capital and Russia did not have sources of gold and silver, but it did have furs, which became known as "soft gold" and provided Russia with hard cur
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is a band of Ojibwe Native Americans. The Red Cliff Band is located on the Red Cliff Indian Reservation, on Lake Superior in Bayfield County, Wisconsin. Red Cliff, Wisconsin, is the administrative center. Red Cliff is notable for being the band closest to the spiritual center of the Ojibwe nation, Madeline Island; the reservation is located in the Town of Russell and the Town of Bayfield and northwest of the city of Bayfield, Wisconsin. The Red Cliff Band is one of the successors of the Lake Superior Chippewa the group of Ojibwe that moved west along the south shore of Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie. According to tradition, the Ojibwe came from the Atlantic coast via several stopping places to Chequamegon Bay directed by the Great Spirit to find the "food that grows on water". Madeline Island represented the final stopping place. During the 17th century, French fur traders and Jesuits arrived on Madeline Island and set up a trading post at La Pointe with a Catholic mission.
In the 18th century, the La Pointe Ojibwe spread throughout the mainland of what would become Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Ojibwe who remained in the vicinity of Madeline Island were referred to as the La Pointe Band. After a disastrous 1850 attempt at removing the Lake Superior bands resulting in the Sandy Lake Tragedy, the US government agreed to setting up permanent reservations in Wisconsin with the Treaty of La Pointe. At this point, the La Pointe band split with Roman Catholic members under the leadership of Chief Buffalo taking a reservation at Red Cliff, those maintaining traditional Midewiwin beliefs settling at Bad River; the two bands, maintain close relations to this day. During the early reservation period, most tribal members were forced to make their living working for white employers in nearby Bayfield, Wisconsin; the commercial fishing industry drew many of these workers. At the turn of the 19th century, the Commission of Indian Affairs allowed lumbering companies to cut most of the timber on the reservation.
Many tribal members found work in logging, but the tribe itself received few benefits from the financial profits. During the 20th century, commercial fishing in Lake Superior sustained many Red Cliff families. Despite the fact that the Ojibwe had reserved the rights to hunt and gather in treaties signed in Wisconsin Supreme Court case Gurnoe vs. Wisconsin, the court found in favor of a Red Cliff tribal member upholding that the tribe reserved the right to harvest reasonable amounts of fish; this was an important precedent for the Voigt decision. During the Wisconsin Walleye War, Red Cliff was not a site of violence in the way other Lake Superior bands were. However, Red Cliff tribal members began exercising treaty rights, member Walter Bresette emerged as a major leader of the treaty-rights movement. Today, Red Cliff is the site of a fish hatchery run by the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Red Cliff runs Legendary Waters Resort and Casino, which sits on the banks of Lake Superior; the band has taken control of the reservation's Head Start program, offers an Ojibwe language immersion program for young children.
Tribal member Rabbett Strickland is a prolific contemporary artist. The band's administrative headquarters are in Red Cliff; as of July 2018, there are 5,312 enrolled members, with about half living on the reservation and the rest living in the city of Bayfield or the Belanger Settlement. Kechewaishke Walter Bresette and Native American rights activist Loew, Patty Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Madison. Official website of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Bemaadizing: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Indigenous Life Eni–gikendaasoyang "Moving Towards Knowledge Together" Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Language Revitalization
Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes of North America, is the world's largest freshwater lake by surface area, the third largest freshwater lake by volume. The lake is shared by the Canadian province of Ontario to the north, the U. S. state of Minnesota to the west, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the south. The farthest north and west of the Great Lakes chain, Superior has the highest elevation of all five great lakes and drains into the St. Mary's River; the Ojibwe name for the lake is gichi-gami, meaning "great sea." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the name as "Gitche Gumee" in The Song of Hiawatha, as did Gordon Lightfoot in his song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". According to other sources, the actual Ojibwe name is Anishinaabe Gichigami; the 1878 dictionary by Father Frederic Baraga, the first one written for the Ojibway language, gives the Ojibwe name as Otchipwe-kitchi-gami. The first French explorers approaching the great inland sea by way of the Ottawa River and Lake Huron during the 17th century referred to their discovery as le lac supérieur.
Properly translated, the expression means "Upper Lake,". The lake was called Lac Tracy by 17th century Jesuit missionaries; the British, upon taking control of the region from the French in the 1760s following the French and Indian War, anglicized the lake's name to Superior, "on account of its being superior in magnitude to any of the lakes on that vast continent." Lake Superior empties into Lake Huron via the Soo Locks. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world in area, the third largest in volume, behind Lake Baikal in Siberia and Lake Tanganyika in East Africa; the Caspian Sea, while larger than Lake Superior in both surface volume, is brackish. Lake Superior has a surface area of 31,700 square miles, the size of South Carolina or Austria, it has maximum breadth of 160 statute miles. Its average depth is 80.5 fathoms with a maximum depth of 222.17 fathoms. Lake Superior contains 2,900 cubic miles of water. There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire land mass of North and South America to a depth of 30 centimetres.
The shoreline of the lake stretches 2,726 miles. American limnologist J. Val Klump was the first person to reach the lowest depth of Lake Superior on July 30, 1985, as part of a scientific expedition, which at 122 fathoms 1 foot below sea level is the second-lowest spot in the continental interior of the United States and the third-lowest spot in the interior of the North American continent after Iliamna Lake in Alaska and Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada at. While the temperature of the surface of Lake Superior varies seasonally, the temperature below 110 fathoms is an constant 39 °F; this variation in temperature makes the lake seasonally stratigraphic. Twice per year, the water column reaches a uniform temperature of 39 °F from top to bottom, the lake waters mix; this feature makes the lake dimictic. Because of its volume, Lake Superior has a retention time of 191 years. Annual storms on Lake Superior feature wave heights of over 20 feet. Waves well over 30 feet have been recorded.
The lake is fed by over 200 rivers. The largest include the Nipigon River, the St. Louis River, the Pigeon River, the Pic River, the White River, the Michipicoten River, the Bois Brule River and the Kaministiquia River. Lake Superior drains into Lake Huron via the St. Marys River. There are rapids at the river's upper end where the river bed has a steep gradient; the Soo Locks were built to enable ships to bypass the rapids and to overcome the 25-foot height difference between Lakes Superior and Huron. The lake's average surface elevation is 600 feet above sea level; until 1887, the natural hydraulic conveyance through the St. Marys River rapids determined the outflow from Lake Superior. By 1921, development in support of transportation and hydroelectric power resulted in gates, power canals and other control structures spanning St. Marys rapids; the regulating structure is known as the Compensating Works and is operated according to a regulation plan known as Plan 1977-A. Water levels, including diversions of water from the Hudson Bay watershed, are regulated by the International Lake Superior Board of Control, established in 1914 by the International Joint Commission.
Lake Superior's water level was at a new record low in September 2007 less than the previous record low in 1926. However, the water levels returned within a few days. Historic high water The lake's water level fluctuates from month to month, with the highest lake levels in October and November; the normal high-water mark is 1.17 feet above datum (601.1 ft
Wisconsin is a U. S. state located in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 20th most populous; the state capital is Madison, its largest city is Milwaukee, located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state is divided into 72 counties. Wisconsin's geography is diverse, having been impacted by glaciers during the Ice Age with the exception of the Driftless Area; the Northern Highland and Western Upland along with a part of the Central Plain occupies the western part of the state, with lowlands stretching to the shore of Lake Michigan. Wisconsin is second to Michigan in the length of its Great Lakes coastline. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European settlers entered the state, many of whom emigrated from Germany and Scandinavia. Like neighboring Minnesota, the state remains a center of German American and Scandinavian American culture.
Wisconsin is known as "America's Dairyland" because it is one of the nation's leading dairy producers famous for its cheese. Manufacturing, information technology, cranberries and tourism are major contributors to the state's economy; the word Wisconsin originates from the name given to the Wisconsin River by one of the Algonquian-speaking Native American groups living in the region at the time of European contact. French explorer Jacques Marquette was the first European to reach the Wisconsin River, arriving in 1673 and calling the river Meskousing in his journal. Subsequent French writers changed the spelling from Meskousing to Ouisconsin, over time this became the name for both the Wisconsin River and the surrounding lands. English speakers anglicized the spelling from Ouisconsin to Wisconsin when they began to arrive in large numbers during the early 19th century; the legislature of Wisconsin Territory made the current spelling official in 1845. The Algonquin word for Wisconsin and its original meaning have both grown obscure.
Interpretations vary. One leading theory holds that the name originated from the Miami word Meskonsing, meaning "it lies red", a reference to the setting of the Wisconsin River as it flows through the reddish sandstone of the Wisconsin Dells. Other theories include claims that the name originated from one of a variety of Ojibwa words meaning "red stone place", "where the waters gather", or "great rock". Wisconsin has been home to a wide variety of cultures over the past 14,000 years; the first people arrived around 10,000 BCE during the Wisconsin Glaciation. These early inhabitants, called Paleo-Indians, hunted now-extinct ice age animals such as the Boaz mastodon, a prehistoric mastodon skeleton unearthed along with spear points in southwest Wisconsin. After the ice age ended around 8000 BCE, people in the subsequent Archaic period lived by hunting and gathering food from wild plants. Agricultural societies emerged over the Woodland period between 1000 BCE to 1000 CE. Toward the end of this period, Wisconsin was the heartland of the "Effigy Mound culture", which built thousands of animal-shaped mounds across the landscape.
Between 1000 and 1500 CE, the Mississippian and Oneota cultures built substantial settlements including the fortified village at Aztalan in southeast Wisconsin. The Oneota may be the ancestors of the modern Ioway and Ho-Chunk tribes who shared the Wisconsin region with the Menominee at the time of European contact. Other Native American groups living in Wisconsin when Europeans first settled included the Ojibwa, Fox and Pottawatomie, who migrated to Wisconsin from the east between 1500 and 1700; the first European to visit what became Wisconsin was the French explorer Jean Nicolet. He canoed west from Georgian Bay through the Great Lakes in 1634, it is traditionally assumed that he came ashore near Green Bay at Red Banks. Pierre Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers visited Green Bay again in 1654–1666 and Chequamegon Bay in 1659–1660, where they traded for fur with local Native Americans. In 1673, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet became the first to record a journey on the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway all the way to the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien.
Frenchmen like Nicholas Perrot continued to ply the fur trade across Wisconsin through the 17th and 18th centuries, but the French made no permanent settlements in Wisconsin before Great Britain won control of the region following the French and Indian War in 1763. So, French traders continued to work in the region after the war, some, beginning with Charles de Langlade in 1764, settled in Wisconsin permanently, rather than returning to British-controlled Canada; the British took over Wisconsin during the French and Indian War, taking control of Green Bay in 1761 and gaining control of all of Wisconsin in 1763. Like the French, the British were interested in little but the fur trade. One notable event in the fur trading industry in Wisconsin occurred in 1791, when two free African Americans set up a fur trading post among the Menominee at present day Marinette; the first permanent settlers French Canadians, some Anglo-New Englanders and a few African American freedmen, arrived in Wisconsin while it was under British control.
Charles Michel de Langlade is recognized as the first settler, establishing a trading post at Green Bay in 1745, moving there permanently in 1764. Settlement began at Prairie du Chien around 1781; the French residents at the trading post in what is now Green Bay, referred to the t
The Dakota are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government in North America. They compose two of the three main subcultures of the Sioux people, are divided into the Eastern Dakota and the Western Dakota; the Eastern Dakota are the Santee, who reside in the eastern Dakotas, central Minnesota and northern Iowa. They have federally recognized tribes established in several places; the Western Dakota are the Yankton, the Yanktonai, who reside in the Upper Missouri River area. The Yankton-Yanktonai are collectively referred to by the endonym Wičhíyena, they have distinct federally recognized tribes. In the past the Western Dakota have been erroneously classified as Nakota, a branch of the Sioux who moved further west; the latter are now located in Montana and across the border in Canada, where they are known as Stoney. The word Dakota means "ally" in the Dakota language, their autonyms include Ikčé Wičhášta and Dakhóta Oyáte; the Eastern and Western Dakota are two of the three groupings belonging to the Sioux nation, the third being the Lakota.
The three groupings speak dialects that are still mutually intelligible. This is referred to Dakota-Lakota, or Sioux; the other two languages of the Dakotan dialect continuum and Stoney, have grown or unintelligible to Dakota and Lakota speakers. The Dakota include the following bands: Santee division Mdewakanton notable persons: Taoyateduta Sisseton Wahpekute notable persons: Inkpaduta Wahpeton Yankton-Yanktonai division Yankton Yanktonai Upper Yanktonai Húŋkpathina or Lower Yanktonai In the 21st century, the majority of the Santee live on reservations and communities in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Canada; some have moved to cities for more work opportunities. In the north woods of Minnesota, some Santee continue to live in historic communities at the Ottertail Lake and Inspiration Peak areas, their ancestors were never sent to reservations, as they were protected by settlers whom they had befriended. After the Dakota War of 1862, the federal government expelled the Santee from Minnesota.
Many were sent to Crow Creek Indian Reservation. In 1864 some from the Crow Creek Reservation were sent to St. Louis and by boat up the Missouri River to the Santee Sioux Reservation; the Bdewákaŋthuŋwaŋ live predominantly at the Prairie Shakopee reservations in Minnesota. Most of the Yankton live on the Yankton Indian Reservation in southeastern South Dakota; some Yankton live on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation and Crow Creek Reservation, occupied by the Lower Yanktonai. The Upper Yanktonai live in the northern part of Standing Rock Reservation, on the Spirit Lake Reservation in central North Dakota. Others live in the eastern half of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northeastern Montana. In addition, they reside at several Canadian reserves, including Birdtail, Oak Lake, Whitecap, it is difficult to determine where the Dakota people came from before the recorded era. The most similar people to them linguistically were Great Lakes–region speakers of Chiwere, a linguistically conservative Siouan language.
However, the Dakota language, Dakhótiyapi/Dakȟótiyapi, is very related to that of the Dhegihan and Hokan Siouan peoples — both of whom have oral histories explaining that they came west from present-day Ohio in migrations ending around the 13th century. A single line of older history seems to have survived from the Dakotas — that they had come to live with the Winnebago, but the Winnebago soon became angry and ordered them to leave. Combining this with the histories of the Dhegihans, it is possible to surmise that the ancestors of the Dakota people may have been refugees from further east who started taking refuge with other Siouan allies — even predating the move of the Dhegihan Sioux peoples; the Winnebago may have been forced to send the Dakota off to find a new homeland because of overcrowding or because the Dhegihans' arrival on the Plains disrupted commerce and trading along the Mississippi River. Either explanation, can only be an educated guess; the Dakota Oyate lived in Minnesota prior to the 18th century.
Most of their early history was recorded by a white man named James Walker close to the end of the 19th century, as he offered aid among the Lakota/Dakota people. He recorded much of what he knew in three books: Lakota Myth, Lakota Belief and Ritual, Lakota Society. According to Walker, the group was one people with one chief, which grew and developed four sub-factions over time, each with their own equal chiefs. In these two groups there evolved two distinct dialects of the original language and Dakota, their capitol was situated at a place known as Ble Wakan, identified as Lake Mille Lac. Late in the 17th century, the Dakota entered into an alliance with French merchants; the French were trying t
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men founded by Ignatius of Loyola and approved by Pope Paul III. The members are called Jesuits; the society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, cultural pursuits. Jesuits give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, promote ecumenical dialogue. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a Basque nobleman from the Pyrenees area of northern Spain, founded the society after discerning his spiritual vocation while recovering from a wound sustained in the Battle of Pamplona, he composed the Spiritual Exercises to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 1534, Ignatius and six other young men, including Francis Xavier and Peter Faber and professed vows of poverty and obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope in matters of mission direction and assignment. Ignatius's plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by a bull containing the "Formula of the Institute".
Ignatius was a nobleman who had a military background, the members of the society were supposed to accept orders anywhere in the world, where they might be required to live in extreme conditions. Accordingly, the opening lines of the founding document declared that the society was founded for "whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine." Jesuits are thus sometimes referred to colloquially as "God's soldiers", "God's marines", or "the Company", which evolved from references to Ignatius' history as a soldier and the society's commitment to accepting orders anywhere and to endure any conditions. The society participated in the Counter-Reformation and in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council; the Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage of Madonna Della Strada, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is led by a Superior General. The headquarters of the society, its General Curia, is in Rome.
The historic curia of Ignatius is now part of the Collegio del Gesù attached to the Church of the Gesù, the Jesuit mother church. In 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Jesuit to be elected Pope, taking the name Pope Francis; as of 2012, the Jesuits formed the largest single religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church. The Jesuits have experienced a decline in numbers in recent decades; as of 2017 the society had 16,088 members, 11,583 priests and 4,505 Jesuits in formation, which includes brothers and scholastics. This represents a 42.6 percent decline since 1977, when the society had a total membership of 28,038, of which 20,205 were priests. This decline is most pronounced in Europe and the Americas, with modest membership gains occurring in Asia and Africa. There seems to be no "Pope Francis effect" in counteracting the fall of vocations among the Jesuits; the society is divided into 83 provinces along with six independent regions and ten dependent regions. On 1 January 2007, members served in 112 nations on six continents with the largest number in India and the US.
Their average age was 57.3 years: 63.4 years for priests, 29.9 years for scholastics, 65.5 years for brothers. The current Superior General of the Jesuits is Arturo Sosa; the society is characterized by its ministries in the fields of missionary work, human rights, social justice and, most notably, higher education. It operates colleges and universities in various countries around the world and is active in the Philippines and India. In the United States the Jesuits have historical ties to 28 colleges and universities and 61 high schools; the degree to which the Jesuits are involved in the administration of each institution varies. As of September 2018, 15 of the 28 Jesuit universities in the US had non-Jesuit lay presidents. According to a 2014 article in The Atlantic, "the number of Jesuit priests who are active in everyday operations at the schools isn’t nearly as high as it once was". Worldwide it runs 172 colleges and universities. A typical conception of the mission of a Jesuit school will contain such concepts as proposing Christ as the model of human life, the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, lifelong spiritual and intellectual growth, training men and women for others.
Ignatius laid out his original vision for the new order in the "Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus", "the fundamental charter of the order, of which all subsequent official documents were elaborations and to which they had to conform." He ensured that his formula was contained in two papal bulls signed by Pope Paul III in 1540 and by Pope Julius III in 1550. The formula expressed the nature, community life, apostolate of the new religious order, its famous opening statement echoed Ignatius' military background: Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the Name of Jesus, to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity and obedience, keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching and any other ministration whatsoever of the Word of God, further by means of ret