World Boxing Association
The World Boxing Association known as the National Boxing Association is the oldest and one of four major organizations which sanction professional boxing bouts, alongside the IBF, WBC, WBO. The WBA awards its world championship title at the professional level. Founded in the United States in 1921 by thirteen state representatives as the NBA, in 1962 it changed its name in recognition of boxing's growing popularity worldwide, began to gain other nations as members. By 1975, a majority of votes were held by Latin American nations, the organization headquarters were moved to Panama. After being located during the 1990s and early 2000s in Venezuela, the organization offices returned to Panama in 2007, it is the oldest of the four major organizations recognized by the International Boxing Hall of Fame, which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organization. The World Boxing Association can be traced back to the original National Boxing Association, organized in 1921.
The first bout it recognized was the Jack Dempsey–Georges Carpentier Heavyweight Championship bout in New Jersey. The NBA was formed by representatives from thirteen American states, including Sam Milner, to counterbalance the influence that the New York State Athletic Commission wielded; the NBA and the NYSAC sometimes crowned different world champions in the same division, leading to confusion about, the real champion. The International Boxing Research Organization describes the early NBA as follows: Originally more comparable to the present American Association of Boxing Commissions than to its offspring and successor, the NBA sanctioned title bouts, published lists of outstanding challengers, withdrew titular recognition, but did not attempt to appoint its own title bout officials or otherwise impose its will on championship fights, it did not conduct purse bids or collect "sanctioning fees." The NBA became the WBA on August 23, 1962. Gilberto Mendoza was the president of the WBA from 1982 until his death in 2016, after which Gilberto Mendoza Jr. took over as president.
In the 1990s, the WBA moved its central offices from Panama, to Caracas, Venezuela. In January 2007, it returned its offices to Panama; the WBA has been plagued with charges of corruption for years. In a 1981 Sports Illustrated article, a WBA judge claimed that he was influenced by the WBA president to support certain fighters; the same article discussed a variety of bribes paid to WBA officials to obtain title fights or rankings with the organization. In a 1982 interview, the promoter Bob Arum claimed that he had to pay off WBA officials to obtain rankings for his fighters. Though the "Super Champion" designation are for WBA champions who concurrently hold titles with the WBO, IBF and/or WBC, in some instances, the WBA has designated as "Super Champion" fighters with only the WBA title; this particular practice has come under scrutiny, as several boxing experts consider it a means for the organization to gain more sanctioning fees within each division. The WBA garnered some attention in 2015 when it continued ranking Ali Raymi in its flyweight rankings, despite Raymi, who worked as a colonel in the Yemeni military, having been killed by a Saudi airstrike that year.
Ali Raymi was ranked Number 6 at the time of Number 11 after his death. The WBA recognises the title holders from the WBC, WBO, IBF organisations; the WBA refers to a champion who holds two or more of these titles in the same weight class as a "Super Champion", "Unified Champion", or "Undisputed Champion". This applies if the WBA title is not one of the titles held by the "Undisputed Champion." In September 2008 for example, Nate Campbell was recognized as the WBA's "Undisputed Champion" at lightweight due to holding the WBO and IBF titles as well, while the WBA's "Regular" champion was Yusuke Kobori. If a fighter with multiple titles holds the WBA's title, the fighter is promoted to "Super Champion" and the WBA title—which is referred to as the "Regular" title—becomes vacant for competition by other WBA-ranked boxers; as a result, the WBA's official list of champions will show a "WBA Super World Champion" and a "WBA World Champion" for the same weight class, instead of "WBA Champion." The WBA has been known to recognize three different fighters as one form of champion or another in the same weight class, there have been occasions where two different WBA "World" champions have defended their own versions of the same title, in the same weight class, on the same night, in two different parts of the world.
A WBA champion may be promoted to "Super Champion" without winning another organization's title: Chris John, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Anselmo Moreno are examples. The WBA will promote their titlist to a "Super" champion when he defends his title five times; as of 2017, the WBA continues to issue Regular titles, despite having stated that they would seek to reduce their number of titles to one per weight class. Since 2015, the WBA awards a customized version of their Super champion belt to big fights involving a WBA championship; the WBA called this the Man of Triumph belt, named after the trophy awarded to the winner of Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. The plate of the belt has the images of the two boxers fighting. Floyd Mayweather Jr. received the first Gold-plated version of the belt while Manny Pacquiao was awarded a one-time Rhodium-plated version. Other recipients of the custom Gold-plated belt are Anthony Joshua, Vasyl Lomachenko, Manny Pacquiao, Oleksandr Usyk, Canelo Alvarez, Callum Smith.
As of April 13, 2019
World Boxing Organization
The World Boxing Organization is a sanctioning organization which recognizes professional boxing world champions. It is recognized by the International Boxing Hall of Fame as one of the four major world championship groups, alongside the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation; the WBO's headquarters are located in Puerto Rico. The WBO started after a group of Puerto Rican and Dominican businessmen broke out of the WBA's 1988 annual convention in Isla Margarita, Venezuela over disputes regarding what rules should be applied; the WBO's first president was Ramon Pina Acevedo of the Dominican Republic. Soon after its beginning, the WBO was staging world championship bouts around the globe, its first championship fight was for its vacant super middleweight title, between Thomas Hearns and James Kinchen. In order to gain respectability, the WBO next elected former world light heavyweight champion José Torres of Ponce, Puerto Rico, as its president. Torres left in 1996.
Valcarcel has held that position since. While the IBF had awarded recognition to Larry Holmes soon after its inception in 1983, the WBO sanctioned a fight between two unknown fighters, Francesco Damiani and Johnny DuPlooy, to determine the inaugural holder of its own heavyweight title in 1989. All other sanctioning bodies of boxing recognized the then-undefeated Mike Tyson as the undisputed heavyweight champion. Damiani, went on to become the first WBO heavyweight champion. At heavyweight in the United States, the organization struggled to gain credibility as a major sanctioning body, with WBO heavyweight champions Michael Moorer, Riddick Bowe, Henry Akinwande relinquishing the title to pursue other options. Boxing publication The Ring did not recognize the WBO, despite having recognized the IBF after its inception in 1983, five years prior to the WBO. In the lighter weight divisions, long-reigning champions during the 1990s such as Chris Eubank, Dariusz Michalczewski, Johnny Tapia, Naseem Hamed gave the WBO title more prestige.
The WBO was made popular by boxers such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya, Nigel Benn, Ronald "Winky" Wright, Joe Calzaghe, Wladimir Klitschko, all of whom held its title. In Europe, the WBO was more accepted during its early years than in the U. S. and WBO champions always fared well in unification bouts with WBA, WBC, IBF champions. For example, WBO light heavyweight champion Michalczewski unified his title with the WBA and IBF titles by defeating Virgil Hill. WBO featherweight champion Naseem Hamed defeated the reigning IBF, WBA, WBC champions in the same weight class. By 2000, the WBA was giving the same recognition to WBO champions as it did to WBC and IBF champions. In 2004 the WBC began naming WBO champions on its ranking listings; the IBF did not recognize the WBO in May 2006, but was doing so by February 2007. WBO regulations explicitly recognize the other three sanctioning bodies. For many years, as with the IBF, boxers based in Japan were not permitted to fight for WBO titles.
In 2012, the Japan Boxing Commission recognized the governing body. In August 2016, the WBO Asia Pacific Championship was recognized by the JBC and the Japan Professional Boxing Association. Since the early 2000s, the WBO has awarded the honorary title of "Super Champion" to certain boxers, in any given weight class, who fulfil a set of distinguished criteria. Boxers who have been named WBO Super Champion include: Joe Calzaghe, Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, Wladimir Klitschko, Juan Manuel Márquez, Juan Díaz, Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, Fernando Montiel, Jorge Arce, Omar Narváez, Donnie Nietes, Iván Calderón, Marco Huck, Sergey Kovalev, Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford; this title is not an actual world championship in the same vein as the WBA's Super titles. A boxer awarded the status of WBO Super Champion cannot win the title from or lose it to another boxer. On August 23, 1997, WBC minimumweight champion Ricardo López won the WBO minimumweight title by knocking out Puerto Rican fighter Alex Sánchez.
After the bout, López told a Mexican newspaper that he wanted to give his newly won championship belt to his father, a boxing fan. WBO president Francisco Valcarcel said he viewed that comment as a public resignation and declared the title vacant without holding a hearing or notifying López; the WBO sanctioned a bout between Eric Jamili and Mickey Cantwell to fill the vacancy despite protests by López. The WBO twice moved Darrin Morris up in its super-middleweight rankings in 2001, despite the fact that he was dead. In addition, Morris had only fought once in the three years before his death, beating a fighter with only 17 wins out of 81 fights. Morris was Number 7 at Number 5 when the WBO discovered the error. Valcarcel said, "We missed the fact that Darrin was dead, it is regrettable." Valcarcel stated that other boxing sanctioning organizations had made similar errors in the past by continuing to rank another boxer after he was dead. One week after British newspaper The Independent broke the story that one of the three men ranking the boxers, Gordon Volkman, still had not heard that Morris was dead.
The series finale of Japanese manga series Bleach revolves around the main cast gathering to watch a fight in which a charact
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
Cecilia Carmen Linda Brækhus is a Norwegian professional boxer and former kickboxer. In boxing she has reigned as the undisputed female welterweight champion since 2014, is the first woman in any weight class to hold the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring titles simultaneously, she is one of only five boxers in history, female or male, to hold all four titles along with Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Terence Crawford, Oleksandr Usyk. In 2017, the Boxing Writers Association of America named Brækhus their inaugural Female Fighter of the Year. Guinness World Records awarded her with three recognitions in 2018: the Longest Reigning Female Boxing Champion, the Longest Reign as a Four-Belt Undisputed Boxing Champion, the Most Bouts Undefeated by a Female World Champion Boxer. Born in Cartagena, Colombia, Brækhus was adopted as a two-year-old by Norwegian parents and raised in the Sandviken area of Bergen. Brækhus started kickboxing at the age of fourteen. Brækhus soon began competing in amateur boxing competitions, achieved an amateur record of 75-5-0 before turning professional.
2003 WAKO World Champion, Semi Contact 65 kg 2002 WAKO Euro Champion, Semi Contact 65 kg 3 National Championships 2 H. M; the King's Trophy She fought 80 won 75 of them. Silver medal at the 2005 World Championships Gold medal at the 2005 European Championships Silver medal at the 2004 European Championships In November 2007, she signed a pro contract with German promoter Wilfried Sauerland, who announced his intention of making her the first Norwegian woman World Champion, her first fight was against Croatian boxer Ksenija Koprek, 20 January 2007. On 14 March 2009, she became the WBC World Champion in welterweight against Danish boxer Vinni Skovgaard, she captured the vacant WBA female welterweight title. Brækhus defended her titles on May 30, 2009 against Amy Yuratovac in Helsinki, on September 12, 2009 against Lucia Morelli in Herning, Denmark. Eight months on May 15, 2010, Brækhus defended her WBA and WBC titles against Victoria Cisneros from the United States, while winning the WBO title; the match was fought in Denmark.
In a unanimous decision, the judges declared the fight for Brækhus. On October 30, 2010, in what was expected to be the hardest match of her career, Brækhus defended her WBA, WBC and WBO titles against Mikaela Laurén from Sweden, while winning the World Professional Boxing Federation title. After Brækhus having dominated the whole match, she knocked Laurén out in the 7th round; the match was fought in Germany. On September 14, 2014, after defeating Croatian Ivana Habazin, Brækhus became the first Norwegian and the first woman to hold all major world championship belts in her weight division in boxing history. In 2010, she was voted the "Female Boxer of the Year" by German boxing magazine BoxSport. List of female boxers List of female kickboxers Professional boxing record for Cecilia Brækhus from BoxRec Cecilia Brækhus profile at Awakening Fighters Cecilia Brækhus profile at Women Boxing Archive Network
A knockout is a fight-ending, winning criterion in several full-contact combat sports, such as boxing, muay thai, mixed martial arts, some forms of taekwondo and other sports involving striking, as well as fighting-based video games. A full knockout is considered any legal strike or combination thereof that renders an opponent unable to continue fighting; the term is associated with a sudden traumatic loss of consciousness caused by a physical blow. Single powerful blows to the head can produce a cerebral concussion or a carotid sinus reflex with syncope and cause a sudden, dramatic KO. Body blows the liver punch, can cause progressive, debilitating pain that can result in a KO. In boxing and kickboxing, a knockout is awarded when one participant falls to the canvas and is unable to rise to their feet within a specified period of time because of exhaustion, disorientation, or unconsciousness. For example, if a boxer is knocked down and is unable to continue the fight within a ten-second count, they are counted as having been knocked out and their opponent is awarded the KO victory.
In mixed martial arts competitions, no time count is given after a knockdown, as the sport allows submission grappling as well as ground and pound. If a fighter loses consciousness as a result of legal strikes it is declared a KO. If the fighter loses consciousness for a brief moment and wakes up again to continue to fight, the fight is stopped and declared a KO; as many MMA fights can take place on the mat rather than standing, it is possible to score a KO via ground and pound, a common victory for grapplers. In fighting-based video games, such as Street Fighter and Tekken, a player scores a knockout by depleting the opponent's health bar, which awards the round to the winning player; the player who wins the most rounds wins the match. This is different from real-life combat sports. A technical knockout, or stoppage, is declared when the referee or official ring physician decides during a round that a fighter cannot safely continue the match for any reason, without the need for an intervening count.
In most regions, a TKO is declared. Other reasons for stopping a fight include severe facial lacerations and a fighter's inability to put up a sufficient defense following a knockdown. A TKO only occurs. If a fighter or his/her cornerman decides to end the fight between rounds, it is ruled a corner retirement or "referee technical decision". Both TKO's and corner retirements are counted as knockouts in a fighter's record. In MMA bouts, the referee may declare a TKO if a fighter cannot intelligently defend him/herself while being struck. A double knockout, in both real life combat sports and fighting-based video games, is when both fighters trade blows and knock each other out and are both unable to continue fighting. In such cases, the match is declared a draw. In fighting games such as Street Fighter and Tekken, a draw is counted as a loss for both players. Little is known about what causes one to be knocked unconscious, but many agree it is related to trauma to the brain stem; this happens when the head rotates often as a result of a strike.
There are three general manifestations of such trauma: a typical knockout, which results in a sustained loss of consciousness, a "flash" knockout, when a transient loss of consciousness occurs, the recipient maintains awareness and memory of the combat a "stunning," a "dazing" or a fighter being "KO'ed on his feet", is when basic consciousness is maintained despite a general loss of awareness and extreme distortions in proprioception, visual fields, auditory processing. Referees are taught to watch for this state, as it cannot be improved by sheer willpower and means the fighter is concussed and unable to safely defend themselves. A basic principle of boxing and other combat sports is to defend against this vulnerability by keeping both hands raised about the face and the chin tucked in; that could still be ineffective if the opponent punches to the solar plexus. A fighter who becomes unconscious from a strike with sufficient knockout power is referred to as having been knocked out or KO'd.
Losing balance without losing consciousness is referred to as being knocked down. Repeated blows to the head, regardless whether they cause loss of consciousness, are known to cause permanent brain damage. In severe cases this may cause strokes or paralysis; this loss of consciousness is known as becoming "punch drunk" or "shot". Because of this, many physicians advise against sports involving knockouts. A knockdown occurs when a fighter touches the floor of the ring with any part of the body other than the feet following a hit, but is able to rise back up and continue fighting; the term is used if the fighter is hanging on to the ropes, caught between the ropes, or is hanging over the ropes and is unable to fall to the floor and cannot protect himself. A knockdown triggers a count by the referee. A flash knockdown is a knockdown where the fighter hits the canvas but recovers enou
Norway the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land. Norway has a total area of 385,207 square kilometres and a population of 5,312,300; the country shares a long eastern border with Sweden. Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, the Skagerrak strait to the south, with Denmark on the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the Barents Sea. Harald V of the House of Glücksburg is the current King of Norway. Erna Solberg has been prime minister since 2013. A unitary sovereign state with a constitutional monarchy, Norway divides state power between the parliament, the cabinet and the supreme court, as determined by the 1814 constitution; the kingdom was established in 872 as a merger of a large number of petty kingdoms and has existed continuously for 1,147 years.
From 1537 to 1814, Norway was a part of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, from 1814 to 1905, it was in a personal union with the Kingdom of Sweden. Norway was neutral during the First World War. Norway remained neutral until April 1940 when the country was invaded and occupied by Germany until the end of Second World War. Norway has both administrative and political subdivisions on two levels: counties and municipalities; the Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act. Norway maintains close ties with both the United States. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the European Free Trade Association, the Council of Europe, the Antarctic Treaty, the Nordic Council. Norway maintains the Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system, its values are rooted in egalitarian ideals; the Norwegian state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, having extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, lumber and fresh water.
The petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product. On a per-capita basis, Norway is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside of the Middle East; the country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World IMF lists. On the CIA's GDP per capita list which includes autonomous territories and regions, Norway ranks as number eleven, it has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with a value of US$1 trillion. Norway has had the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world since 2009, a position held between 2001 and 2006, it had the highest inequality-adjusted ranking until 2018 when Iceland moved to the top of the list. Norway ranked first on the World Happiness Report for 2017 and ranks first on the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity, the Democracy Index. Norway has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Norway has two official names: Norge in Noreg in Nynorsk; the English name Norway comes from the Old English word Norþweg mentioned in 880, meaning "northern way" or "way leading to the north", how the Anglo-Saxons referred to the coastline of Atlantic Norway similar to scientific consensus about the origin of the Norwegian language name.
The Anglo-Saxons of Britain referred to the kingdom of Norway in 880 as Norðmanna land. There is some disagreement about whether the native name of Norway had the same etymology as the English form. According to the traditional dominant view, the first component was norðr, a cognate of English north, so the full name was Norðr vegr, "the way northwards", referring to the sailing route along the Norwegian coast, contrasting with suðrvegar "southern way" for, austrvegr "eastern way" for the Baltic. In the translation of Orosius for Alfred, the name is Norðweg, while in younger Old English sources the ð is gone. In the 10th century many Norsemen settled in Northern France, according to the sagas, in the area, called Normandy from norðmann, although not a Norwegian possession. In France normanni or northmanni referred to people of Sweden or Denmark; until around 1800 inhabitants of Western Norway where referred to as nordmenn while inhabitants of Eastern Norway where referred to as austmenn. According to another theory, the first component was a word nór, meaning "narrow" or "northern", referring to the inner-archipelago sailing route through the land.
The interpretation as "northern", as reflected in the English and Latin forms of the name, would have been due to folk etymology. This latter view originated with philologist Niels Halvorsen Trønnes in 1847; the form Nore is still used in placenames such as the village of Nore and lake Norefjorden in Buskerud county, still has the same meaning. Among other arguments in favour of the theor
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge