California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
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A city council, town council, town board, or board of aldermen is the legislative body that governs a city, municipality, or local government area. Because of the differences in legislation between the states, the exact definition of a City Council varies. However, it is only those local government areas which have been granted city status that are entitled to refer to themselves as cities; the official title is "Corporation of the City of ______" or similar. Some of the urban areas of Australia are governed by a single entity, while others may be controlled by a multitude of much smaller city councils; some significant urban areas can be under the jurisdiction of otherwise rural local governments. Periodic re-alignments of boundaries attempt to rationalize these situations and adjust the deployment of assets and resources; the 2001 Local Government Act restyled the five county boroughs of Dublin, Galway and Limerick as city councils, with the same status in law as county councils. The 2014 Local Government Act Merged Limerick City and Limerick County Council together and Waterford City and Waterford County Council together abolishing Waterford and Limerick City council, While Limerick and Waterford maintain City Status.
The city councils and city halls in Malaysia are as follows. Alor Setar City Council Ipoh City Council Iskandar Puteri City Council Johor Bahru City Council Kota Kinabalu City Hall Kuala Lumpur City Hall Kuala Terengganu City Council Kuching North City Hall Kuching South City Council Melaka City Council Miri City Council Penang Island City Council Petaling Jaya City Council Shah Alam City Council Local councils in New Zealand do vary in structure, but are overseen by the government department Local Government New Zealand. For many decades until the local government reforms of 1989, a borough with more than 20,000 people could be proclaimed a city; the boundaries of councils tended to follow the edge of the built-up area, so little distinction was made between the urban area and the local government area. New Zealand's local government structural arrangements were reformed by the Local Government Commission in 1989 when 700 councils and special purpose bodies were amalgamated to create 87 new local authorities.
As a result, the term "city" began to take on two meanings. The word "city" came to be used in a less formal sense to describe major urban areas independent of local body boundaries; this informal usage is jealously guarded. Gisborne, for example, adamantly described itself as the first city in the world to see the new millennium. Gisborne is administered by a district council, but its status as a city is not disputed. Under the current law the minimum population for a new city is 50,000. In the Republic of China, a city council represents a provincial city. Members of the councils are elected through local elections for provincial cities which are held every 4–5 years. Councils for the provincial cities in Taiwan are Chiayi City Council, Hsinchu City Council, Keelung City Council. In the UK, not all cities have city councils, the status and functions of city councils vary. A city council may be: The council of a metropolitan district, granted city status; the council of a non-metropolitan district, granted city status.
Some of these councils are some share functions with county councils. A parish council, granted city status; these councils have limited functions. The council of a London borough, granted city status, or the City of London Corporation. A city council may be: One of the three councils of principal areas that have been granted city status. One of the three community councils, with limited functions, that have been granted city status. A city council is the council of one of four council areas designated a City by the Local Government etc. Act 1994; the three cities which are not council areas have no city council. Belfast City Council is now the only city council. Since the local government reforms of 2015 the other four cities form parts of wider districts and do not have their own councils. City councils and town boards consist of several elected aldermen or councillors. In the United States, members of city councils are called council member, council man, council woman, councilman, or councilwoman, while in Canada they are called councillor.
In some cities, the mayor is a voting member of the council. In larger cities the council may elect other executive positions as well, such as a council president and speaker; the council functions as a parliamentary or congressional style legislative body, proposing bills, holding votes, passing laws to help govern the city. The role of the mayor in the council varies depending on whether or not the city uses council–manager government or mayor–council government, by the nature of the statutory authority given to it by state law, city charter, or municipal ordinance. There is a mayor pro tem councilmember. In cities where the council elects the mayor for one year at a time, the mayor pro tem is in line to become the mayor in the next year. In cities where the mayor is elected by the city's voters, the mayor pro tem serves as acting mayor in the absence of the mayor; this position is known as vice mayor. In some cities a different name for the municipal legislature is used. In San
A semi-arid climate or steppe climate is the climate of a region that receives precipitation below potential evapotranspiration, but not as low as a desert climate. There are different kinds of semi-arid climates, depending on variables such as temperature, they give rise to different biomes. A more precise definition is given by the Köppen climate classification, which treats steppe climates as intermediates between desert climates and humid climates in ecological characteristics and agricultural potential. Semi-arid climates tend to support short or scrubby vegetation and are dominated by either grasses or shrubs. To determine if a location has a semi-arid climate, the precipitation threshold must first be determined. Finding the precipitation threshold involves first multiplying the average annual temperature in °C by 20 adding 280 if 70% or more of the total precipitation is in the high-sun half of the year, or 140 if 30%–70% of the total precipitation is received during the applicable period, or 0 if less than 30% of the total precipitation is so received.
If the area's annual precipitation is less than the threshold but more than half the threshold, it is classified as a BS. Furthermore, to delineate "hot semi-arid climates" from "cold semi-arid climates", there are three used isotherms: Either a mean annual temperature of 18°C, or a mean temperature of 0°C or −3°C in the coldest month, so that a location with a "BS" type climate with the appropriate temperature above whichever isotherm is being used is classified as "hot semi-arid", a location with the appropriate temperature below the given isotherm is classified as "cold semi-arid". Hot semi-arid climates tend to be located in the 20s and 30s latitudes of the in proximity to regions with a tropical savanna or a humid subtropical climate; these climates tend to have hot, sometimes hot and warm to cool winters, with some to minimal precipitation. Hot semi-arid climates are most found around the fringes of subtropical deserts. Hot semi-arid climates are most found in Africa and South Asia. In Australia, a large portion of the Outback surrounding the central desert regions lies within the hot semi-arid climate region.
In South Asia, both India and sections of Pakistan experiences the seasonal effects of monsoons and feature short but well-defined wet seasons, but is not sufficiently wet overall to qualify as a tropical savanna climate. Hot semi-arid climates can be found in Europe, parts of North America, such as in Mexico, areas of the Southwestern United States, sections of South America such as the sertão, the Gran Chaco, on the poleward side of the arid deserts, where they feature a Mediterranean precipitation pattern, with rainless summers and wetter winters. Cold semi-arid climates tend to be located in elevated portions of temperate zones bordering a humid continental climate or a Mediterranean climate, they are found in continental interiors some distance from large bodies of water. Cold semi-arid climates feature warm to hot dry summers, though their summers are not quite as hot as those of hot semi-arid climates. Unlike hot semi-arid climates, areas with cold semi-arid climates tend to have cold winters.
These areas see some snowfall during the winter, though snowfall is much lower than at locations at similar latitudes with more humid climates. Areas featuring cold semi-arid climates tend to have higher elevations than areas with hot semi-arid climates, tend to feature major temperature swings between day and night, sometimes by as much as 20 °C or more in that time frame; these large diurnal temperature variations are seen in hot semi-arid climates. Cold semi-arid climates at higher latitudes tend to have dry winters and wetter summers, while cold semi-arid climates at lower latitudes tend to have precipitation patterns more akin to subtropical climates, with dry summers wet winters, wetter springs and autumns. Cold semi-arid climates are most found in Asia and North America. However, they can be found in Northern Africa, South Africa, sections of South America and sections of interior southern Australia and New Zealand. In climate classification, three isotherms means that delineate between hot and cold semi-arid climates — the 18°C average annual temperature or that of the coldest month, the warm side of the isotherm of choice defining a BSh climate from the BSk on the cooler side.
As a result of this, some areas can have climates that are classified as hot or cold semi-arid depending on the isotherm used. One such location is San Diego, which has cool summers for the latitude due to prevailing winds off the ocean but mild winters. Continental climate Dust Bowl Goyder's Line Köppen climate classification Palliser's Triangle Ustic Wave height
A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service in a system it introduced in 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan; the basic format consists of five digits. An extended ZIP+4 code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four additional digits that reference a more specific location; the term ZIP Code was registered as a servicemark by the U. S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired; the early history and context of postal codes began with postal district/zone numbers. The United States Post Office Department implemented postal zones for numerous large cities in 1943. For example: The "16" was the number of the postal zone in the specific city. By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963; the USPOD issued its Publication 59: Abbreviations for Use with ZIP Code on October 1, 1963, with the list of two-letter state abbreviations which are written with both letters capitalized.
An earlier list in June had proposed capitalized abbreviations ranging from two to five letters. According to Publication 59, the two-letter standard was "based on a maximum 23-position line, because this has been found to be the most universally acceptable line capacity basis for major addressing systems", which would be exceeded by a long city name combined with a multi-letter state abbreviation, such as "Sacramento, Calif." along with the ZIP Code. The abbreviations have remained unchanged, with the exception of Nebraska, changed from NB to NE in 1969 at the request of the Canadian postal administration, to avoid confusion with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Robert Moon is considered the father of the ZIP Code; the post office only credits Moon with the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which describe the sectional center facility or "sec center." An SCF is a central mail processing facility with those three digits. The fourth and fifth digits, which give a more precise locale within the SCF, were proposed by Henry Bentley Hahn Sr.
The SCF sorts mail to all post offices with those first three digits in their ZIP Codes. The mail is sorted according to the final two digits of the ZIP Code and sent to the corresponding post offices in the early morning. Sectional centers do not deliver mail and are not open to the public, most of their employees work the night shift. Mail picked up at post offices is sent to their own SCF in the afternoon, where the mail is sorted overnight. In the case of large cities, the last two digits coincide with the older postal zone number thus: In 1967, these became mandatory for second- and third-class bulk mailers, the system was soon adopted generally; the United States Post Office used a cartoon character, which it called Mr. ZIP, to promote the use of the ZIP Code, he was depicted with a legend such as "USE ZIP CODE" in the selvage of panes of postage stamps or on the covers of booklet panes of stamps. In 1971 Elmira Star-Gazette reporter Dick Baumbach found out the White House was not using a ZIP Code on its envelopes.
Herb Klein, special assistant to President Nixon, responded by saying the next printing of envelopes would include the ZIP Code. In 1983, the U. S. Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system that it called ZIP+4 called "plus-four codes", "add-on codes", or "add-ons". A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments, an individual high-volume receiver of mail, a post office box, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. However, initial attempts to promote universal use of the new format met with public resistance and today the plus-four code is not required. In general, mail is read by a multiline optical character reader that instantly determines the correct ZIP+4 Code from the address—along with the more specific delivery point—and sprays an Intelligent Mail barcode on the face of the mail piece that corresponds to 11 digits—nine for the ZIP+4 Code and two for the delivery point.
For Post Office Boxes, the general rule is. The add-on code is one of the following: the last four digits of the box number, zero plus the last three digits of the box number, or, if the box number consists of fewer than four digits, enough zeros are attached to the front of the box number to produce a four-digit number. However, there is no uniform rule, so the ZIP+4 Code must be looked up individually for each box; the ZIP Code is translated into an Intelligent Mail barcode, printed on the mailpiece to make it easier for automated machines to sort. A barcode can be printed by the sender, it is better to let the post office put one on. In general, the post office uses OCR technology, though in some cases a human might have to read and enter the address. Customers who send bulk mail can get a discount on postage if they have printed the barcode themselves and have presorted the mai
Marriage called matrimony or wedlock, is a or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity. The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity; when defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A marriage ceremony is known as a wedding. Individuals may marry for several reasons, including legal, libidinal, financial and religious purposes. Whom they marry may be influenced by gender determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire.
In some areas of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage and sometimes forced marriage, may be practiced as a cultural tradition. Conversely, such practices may be outlawed and penalized in parts of the world out of concerns of the infringement of women's rights, or the infringement of children's rights, because of international law. Around the world in developed democracies, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights within marriage for women and recognizing the marriages of interfaith and same-sex couples; these trends coincide with the broader human rights movement. Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community, or peers, it is viewed as a contract. When a marriage is performed and carried out by a government institution in accordance with the marriage laws of the jurisdiction, without religious content, it is a civil marriage. Civil marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before the state.
When a marriage is performed with religious content under the auspices of a religious institution it is a religious marriage. Religious marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before that religion. Religious marriage is known variously as sacramental marriage in Catholicism, nikah in Islam, nissuin in Judaism, various other names in other faith traditions, each with their own constraints as to what constitutes, who can enter into, a valid religious marriage; some countries do not recognize locally performed religious marriage on its own, require a separate civil marriage for official purposes. Conversely, civil marriage does not exist in some countries governed by a religious legal system, such as Saudi Arabia, where marriages contracted abroad might not be recognized if they were contracted contrary to Saudi interpretations of Islamic religious law. In countries governed by a mixed secular-religious legal system, such as in Lebanon and Israel, locally performed civil marriage does not exist within the country, preventing interfaith and various other marriages contradicting religious laws from being entered into in the country, civil marriages performed abroad are recognized by the state if they conflict with religious laws.
The act of marriage creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved, any offspring they may produce or adopt. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, forced marriages. In modern times, a growing number of countries developed democracies, have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for the marriages of interfaith and same-sex couples; some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through annulment. In some areas, child marriages and polygamy may occur in spite of national laws against the practice. Since the late twentieth century, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, more couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry. For example, the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 30% from 1975 to 2005.
In most cultures, married women had few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family's children, the property of the husband. In Europe, the United States, other places in the developed world, beginning in the late 19th century and lasting through the 21st century, marriage has undergone gradual legal changes, aimed at improving the rights of the wife; these changes included giving wives legal identities of their own, abolishing the right of husbands to physically discipline their wives, giving wives property rights, liberalizing divorce laws, providing wives with reproductive rights of their own, requiring a wife's consent when sexual relations occur. These changes have occurred in Western countries. In the 21st century, there continue to be controversies regarding the legal status of married women, legal acceptance of or leniency towards violence within marriage, traditional marriage customs such as dowry and bride price, for
The Spanish Empire known as the Hispanic Monarchy and as the Catholic Monarchy, was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies", it included territories in Europe and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description given to the Portuguese Empire, it was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets". Castile became the dominant kingdom in Iberia because of its jurisdiction over the overseas empire in the Americas and the Philippines; the structure of empire was established under the Spanish Hapsburgs and under the Spanish Bourbon monarchs, the empire was brought under greater crown control and increased its revenues from the Indies.
The crown's authority in The Indies was enlarged by the papal grant of powers of patronage, giving it power in the religious sphere. An important element in the formation of Spain's empire was the dynastic union between Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, known as the Catholic Monarchs, which initiated political and social cohesion but not political unification. Iberian kingdoms retained their political identities, with particular administration and juridical configurations. Although the power of the Spanish sovereign as monarch varied from one territory to another, the monarch acted as such in a unitary manner over all the ruler's territories through a system of councils: the unity did not mean uniformity. In 1580, when Philip II of Spain succeeded to the throne of Portugal, he established the Council of Portugal, which oversaw Portugal and its empire and "preserv its own laws and monetary system, united only in sharing a common sovereign." The Iberian Union remained in place until in 1640, when Portugal overthrew Hapsburg rule and reestablished independence under the House of Braganza.
Under Philip II, rather than the Hapsburg empire, was identified as the most powerful nation in the world eclipsing France and England. Furthermore, despite attacks from other European states, Spain retained its position of dominance with apparent ease; the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis confirmed the inheritance of Philip II in Italy. Spain's claims to Naples and Sicily in southern Italy dated back to the Aragonese presence in the 15th century. Following the peace reached in 1559, there would be no Neapolitan revolts against Spanish rule until 1647; the Duchy of Milan formally remained part of the Holy Roman Empire but the title of Duke of Milan was given to the King of Spain. The death of the Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent in 1566 and the naval victory over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 gave Spain a claim to be the greatest power not just in Europe but in the world; the Spanish Empire in the Americas was formed after conquering large stretches of land, beginning with Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean Islands.
In the early 16th century, it conquered and incorporated the Aztec and Inca Empires, retaining indigenous elites loyal to the Spanish crown and converts to Christianity as intermediaries between their communities and royal government. After a short period of delegation of authority by the crown in the Americas, the crown asserted control over those territories and established the Council of the Indies to oversee rule there; some scholars consider the initial period of the Spanish conquest as marking the most egregious case of genocide in the history of mankind. The death toll may have reached some 70 million indigenous people in this period. However, other scholars believe the vast majority of indigenous deaths were due to the low immunological capacity of native populations to resist exogenous diseases. Many native tribes and their cultures were wiped out by the Spanish conquest and disease epidemics; the structure of governance of its overseas empire was reformed in the late 18th century by the Bourbon monarchs.
Although the crown attempted to keep its empire a closed economic system under Hapsburg rule, Spain was unable to supply the Indies with sufficient consumer goods to meet demand, so that foreign merchants from Genoa, England and The Netherlands dominated the trade, with silver from the mines of Peru and Mexico flowing to other parts of Europe. The merchant guild of Seville served as middlemen in the trade; the crown's trade monopoly was broken early in the seventeenth century, with the crown colluding with the merchant guild for fiscal reasons in circumventing the closed system. Spain was unable to defend the territories it claimed in the Americas, with the Dutch, the English, the French taking Caribbean islands, using them to engage in contraband trade with the Spanish populace in the Indies. In the seventeenth century, the diversion of silver revenue to pay for European consumer goods and the rising costs of defense of its empire meant that "tangible benefits of America to Spain were dwindling...at a moment when the costs of empire were climbing sharply."The Bourbon monarchy attempted to expand the possibilities for trade within the empire, by allowing commerce between all ports in the empire, took other measures to revive economic activity to the benefit of Spain.
The Bourbons had inherited "an empire invaded by
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was King of Spain, after ruling Naples as Charles VII and Sicily as Charles V. He was the fifth son of Philip V of Spain, the eldest son of Philip's second wife, Elisabeth Farnese. A proponent of enlightened absolutism, he succeeded to the Spanish throne on 10 August 1759, upon the death of his half-brother Ferdinand VI, who left no heirs. In 1731, the 15-year-old Charles became the Duke of Parma and Piacenza, as Charles I, following the death of his childless granduncle Antonio Farnese. In 1738 he married Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony, daughter of Augustus III of Poland and an educated, cultured woman who gave birth to 13 children, eight of whom reached adulthood. Charles and Maria Amalia resided in Naples for 19 years; as King of Spain, Charles III made far-reaching reforms such as promoting science and university research, facilitating trade and commerce, modernising agriculture. He tried to reduce the influence of the Church and avoided costly wars, his previous experience as King of Naples and Sicily proved valuable.
He did not achieve complete control over Spain's finances, was sometimes obliged to borrow to meet expenses, but most of his reforms proved to be successful and his legacy lives on to this day. Historian Stanley Payne wrote that Charles III "was the most successful European ruler of his generation, he had provided firm, intelligent leadership. He had chosen capable ministers.... Personal life had won the respect of the people." In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht concluded the War of the Spanish Succession and reduced the political and military power of Spain, which the House of Bourbon had ruled since 1700. Under the terms of the treaty, the Spanish Empire retained its American territories, but ceded to Habsburg Austria the Southern Netherlands, the kingdoms of Naples and Sardinia, the Duchy of Milan, the State of Presidi. Moreover, the House of Savoy gained the Kingdom of Sicily, the Kingdom of Great Britain gained the island of Menorca and the fortress at Gibraltar. In 1700, Charles' father a French prince, became King of Spain as Philip V.
For the remainder of his reign, he continually attempted to regain the ceded territories. In 1714, after the death of the king's first wife, the Princess Maria Luisa Gabriella of Savoy, the Piacenzan Cardinal Giulio Alberoni arranged the marriage between Philip and the ambitious Elisabeth Farnese and stepdaughter of Francesco Farnese, Duke of Parma. Elisabeth and Philip married on 24 December 1714. On 20 January 1716, Elisabeth gave birth to the Infante Charles of Spain at the Real Alcázar of Madrid, he was fourth in line to the Spanish throne, after three elder half-brothers: the Infante Luis, Prince of Asturias, the Infante Felipe, Ferdinand. Because the Duke Francesco of Parma and his heir were childless, Elisabeth sought the duchies of Parma and Piacenza for Charles, she sought for him the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, because Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany was childless. He was a distant cousin of hers, related via her great-grandmother Margherita de' Medici, giving Charles a claim to the title through that lineage.
The birth of Charles encouraged the Prime Minister Alberoni to start laying out grand plans for Europe. In 1717 he ordered the Spanish invasion of Sardinia. In 1718, Alberoni ordered the invasion of Sicily, ruled by the House of Savoy. In the same year Charles' first sister, Infanta Mariana Victoria was born on 31 March. In reaction to the Quadruple Alliance of 1718, the Duke of Savoy joined the Alliance and went to war with Spain; this war led to the dismissal of Alberoni by Philip in 1719. The Treaty of The Hague of 1720 included the recognition of Charles as heir to the Italian Duchies of Parma and Piacenza. Charles' half-brother, Infante Philip Peter, died on 29 December 1719, putting Charles third in line to the throne after Louis and Ferdinand, he would retain his position behind these two until they died and he succeeded to the Spanish throne. His second full brother, Infante Philip of Spain, was born on 15 March 1720. Beginning in 1721, King Philip had been negotiating with the Duke of Orléans, the French regent, to arrange three Franco-Spanish marriages that could ease tense relations.
The young Louis XV of France would marry the three-year-old Infanta Mariana Victoria and thus she would become Queen of France. Charles himself would be engaged to Philippine Elisabeth, the fifth surviving daughter of the Duke of Orléans. In 1726 Charles met Philippine Élisabeth for the first time, they embraced affectionately and kissed one another, it appears to me that he does not displease her. Thus, since this evening they do not like to leave one another, she says a hundred pretty things. She has the mind of an angel, my son is only too happy to possess her... She has charged me to tell you that she loves you with all her heart, that she is quite content with her husband." And to the duchesse d'Orléans she writes: "I find her the most beautiful and most lovable child in the world. It is the most pleasing thing imaginable to se